Friday, April 5, 2013

Reader's Warehouse launches online store

During the last half of last year I started hearing rumors that Reader's Warehouse were planning to launch an online store of their own. Being stuck in the middle of nowhere, with the nearest branch nearly 400km away this was great news. Finally I could also get my hands on books at the unbelievable prices everyone were raving about.

The tentative launch was set for somewhere in November 2012. November came and went and no site materialised. The launch date kept being pushed back month after month (I'm sure my monthly tweets nagging them about it didn't help). But the day has finally come! The Reader's Warehouse online store has finally been launched and it looks great.

I had the chance to give their site a test run last night and I'm quite impressed. The site has a nice layout and while the selection is quite limited at this stage the prices are very good. I chatted with Sean from their customer support and it seems that they currently have roughly 3900 titles currently available. More titles will be added as all the kinks are worked out and the site will eventually have over 44000 when all the store stock is listed, with plans of adding ebooks sometime in the future.

As with any online store the proof is in the pricing and using the 3 titles I decided to get as a benchmark I did some comparison shopping at the other major South African book sites.

Title Reader's Warehouse Kalahari TakealotExclusives
The Departure (Hardcover) 9780230708730R60R272R261R349
Snuff (Hardcover) 9780385619264R99R307R199R313
Dark Inside (Hardcover) 9780230756182R30R151R153R194
ShippingR25FreeFreeFree
TotalR214R730R613R856

As can be clearly seen from this Reader's Warehouse comes out much, much cheaper than any of the other sites. Of course this will vary according to the titles you order, but it's a huge step in making books more affordable.

My order has already been shipped so they get an A+ for service. Once the package arrives I'll report back, but I'm definitely impressed with the level of service I've received. Reader's Warehouse seems set to give the more established sites a serious run for their money.

Bibliophiles in remote locations rejoice!

UPDATE:
My package arrived today, just 2 business days after placing my order and selecting Post Office delivery. Each book came individually wrapped in bubble-wrap offering more than adequate protection while en-route. I'm extremely happy with my order and I'll definitely be ordering from Reader's Warehouse again.


2 comments:

  1. I'm in the UK, so I don't know much about this, but I have heard that books can be quite expensive in South Africa. So it's nice to see competition opening up the market.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, books can be very expensive here, especially hardcovers. We also don't have all those convenient charity shops I hear all the UK folks rave about.

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