Have Amazon suddenly hiked their shipping fees?

I just went onto the Amazon website to order five of the Flashman books- they’re AUD$25 each here, versus AUD $12.50 on Amazon, and was amazed to discover that the shipping costs of five paperbacks was going to be AUD $44 for “standard” shipping!

Whisky Tango Foxtrot?

There is no way that it costs Amazon $44 to mail five normal sized paperback novels to any civilised country, especially somewhere like Australia, and especially not when they can all fit in the same box.

The shipping charges are so much that it’s actually about the same price for me to go to my local bookshop and purchase the books off the shelf. Not only would I not have to wait a fortnight to get the books, I’d be keeping someone local employed.

Usually Amazon is cheaper than anywhere in Australia by orders of magnitude, so I’m gobsmacked that in this case it’s actually cheaper (with the time factor) to go and buy the books here.

I feel a little disappointed in Amazon, to be honest. The books are half the price they are here, yet the shipping is astronomical!

There is an Australian equivalent to Amazon that I’ve discovered- fishpond.com.au- but I don’t know how reliable they are and there’s still a fair wait on the books (6-10 days), along with the fact they’re not actually a lot cheaper than the bookshops in some cases.

So did Amazon suddenly put their shipping rates up, or has there been a dramatic fall in the price of books here all of a sudden? Anyone got any insights?

I think it may be because some of the books may be shipped from Amazon.de or elsewhere, which may mess the prospective shipping rates more than before now that the world (or the US anyway) is in an economic turmoil.

By the way, how’s this for an on-the-nose website title? No good discounts, though.

That truly sucks. I’ve heard good things about The Book Depository. Free shipping worldwide.

It looks like for Australia it’s supposed to be $5 per shipment + $5 per item. It’s $4 + $4 each for Europe and $5 + $4 each for Japan, as a comparison.

Is that higher than it used to be?

I’m not sure, but usually the shipping cost doesn’t come to as much as the items, IME…

I found some cell-phone accessories on the cheap via Amazon. Like, 99 cents for a hands-free set (nothing super fancy), but $3.99 to ship.

Sis pointed out to me that the independent seller’s agreement with Amazon prolly was calculated as a percentage of the item’s selling price. I.e. they would have charged me $3.99 for the item and 99 cents to ship, but they pay Amazon less by putting the “real” cost in the shipping and handling.

I just ordered three books from Amazon France, to be shipped to Belgium, and the total shipping and handling fee was 5 euros (US $7.19).

Sorry, I was quoting the Amazon US prices. I’m sure it makes more sense to buy from your local Amazon if it exists, but there is none for Australia.

I usually use the US one and have for years; the book market situation here is appalling and books cost a fortune.

Until today it has always been a LOT cheaper for me to get whatever I was after from Amazon; even including the shipping charges. That’s why I was so surprised that it was actually about the same price for me to go to my local bookshop and just buy the books I was after, and got me wondering if they’d put the price of their shipping up or something.

You might want to try www.bookfinder.com - search the world for your books; their database includes thousands of independents as well as the big boys like Amazon. I’ve gotten some great deals using them.

Have you checked different Amazons? Like amazon.co.uk or amazon.ca? Maybe one of them will be cheaper.

I’m shocked that there isn’t an Australian one. I always assumed there was one for pretty much everywhere.

There’s a local competitor- Fishpond.com.au- but no Amazon, amazingly.

My personal theory is that it’s because Australians (certainly Queenslanders, at any rate), as a whole, are not huge readers.

We have a technical term for that. :smiley:

Seriously though, here Amazon works out as a decent deal (low purchase price + horrible shipping charges to NZ) provided you’re buying 6+ paperbacks, less than that and its going to get cheaper to get the books locally… assuming that you can; the local bookstores are almost all dismal for SF and Fantasy (what I’m usually getting from Amazon, and I try to get 10 or more books at once to make it a better deal).

I recommend to all Australians to use Amazon.co.uk as their default Amazon site, because shipping times are at least half that of the US website - I’ve gotten packages within a week from the UK, but it’s taken a whole month sometimes from the US.

Not related to prices really, but something worth keeping in mind if you want something more quickly.

I’ve had stuff show up in five days from the US Amazon before; usual time seems to be about two weeks for standard shipping, but I’ll bear the suggestion for the UK Amazon in mind for future use…