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Old 06.09.2009, 23:39
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Where to order English books online

Hello,

I have been using Amazon for ordering English books, but recently have been hit with a CHF20 customs/Poste surcharge when they are delivered. As Amazon have been less then helpful in letting me know why this change has occured (I used to get the deliveries with no surcharge), I'm now looking for a new online store I can use - most of the books I order are quite specialist business books, and so not available at smaller stores.

Does anyone have a recommendation of a good Internet book retailer with a Swiss distribution arm so I can avoid the customs/Poste surcharge? Or any other ideas?

Thanks

Patrious
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Old 07.09.2009, 00:37
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Re: Where to order English books online

Nothing to do with Amazon, ask the Post Office. Recently they have been attaching an explanatory sheet with every taxed parcel.

Also, don't select express delivery as it will be delivered by courier and will incur higher customs fees.

Here is the internet version.

"The maximum values for VAT-exempt imports are:
* 7.6% VAT (the majority of items sent) => CHF 66
* 2.4% VAT (e.g. books) => CHF 209.- "

The applicable fees.
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Old 07.09.2009, 00:38
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Re: Where to order English books online

Try www.bookdepository.co.uk - I use them all the time, they seem to have pretty much the same stock as Amazon and the price you see on the screen per title includes worldwide postage.

This will get round the tax problem you've been having - Book Depository send all their titles separately, regardless of whether you order one or ten, so each parcel almost certainly comes through under the 200 chfs limit (duty is charged on imports where the VAT-thingie would be more than 5 chfs, which is around 65 chfs for regular stuff and 200 chfs for books due to their lower rate of VAT).

kodokan
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Old 07.09.2009, 00:39
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Re: Where to order English books online

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Nothing to do with Amazon, ask the Post Office. Recently they have been attaching an explanatory sheet with every taxed parcel.

Here is the internet version.

"The maximum values for VAT-exempt imports are:
* 7.6% VAT (the majority of items sent) => CHF 66
* 2.4% VAT (e.g. books) => CHF 209.- "
Any idea why the limit for 7.6% VAT is only CHF 66, when we all have a CHF300 per person per day tax-free allowance? Just curious.
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Old 07.09.2009, 00:43
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Re: Where to order English books online

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Try www.bookdepository.co.uk - I use them all the time, they seem to have pretty much the same stock as Amazon and the price you see on the screen per title includes worldwide postage.

This will get round the tax problem you've been having - Book Depository send all their titles separately, regardless of whether you order one or ten, so each parcel almost certainly comes through under the 200 chfs limit (duty is charged on imports where the VAT-thingie would be more than 5 chfs, which is around 65 chfs for regular stuff and 200 chfs for books due to their lower rate of VAT).

kodokan
Seriously great info, thanks very much. I had been desperate to get some English language reading and ended up buying some paperbacks in Barcelona on a recent trip for around 13 euros each. Just checked at The Book Depository and the prices are around half this! Ta much!
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Old 07.09.2009, 08:19
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Re: Where to order English books online

Was that amazon.com, amazon.co.uk or amazon.de I've had stuff quite regularly recently from amazon.de, and had no surprise charges. Of course, as amazon.de have free delivery, that reduces the overall cost.
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Old 07.09.2009, 08:23
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Re: Where to order English books online

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Was that amazon.com, amazon.co.uk or amazon.de I've had stuff quite regularly recently from amazon.de, and had no surprise charges. Of course, as amazon.de have free delivery, that reduces the overall cost.
Watch out because if the overall value of the books goes over a certain amount you will be hit for tax.
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Old 07.09.2009, 08:47
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Re: Where to order English books online

Or you could try the Swiss website at www.wellread.ch which sells used, hard to find and out of print books.
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Old 07.09.2009, 08:52
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Re: Where to order English books online

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Try www.bookdepository.co.uk - I use them all the time, they seem to have pretty much the same stock as Amazon and the price you see on the screen per title includes worldwide postage.

kodokan
Thanks this site looks amazing and I was having such a hard time finding English books in Lugano that weren't way overpriced!
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Old 07.09.2009, 09:18
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Re: Where to order English books online

Thanks everyone for the replies. NotAllThere - I ordered from amazon.co.uk, but its good to know that Amazon.de have no delivery charge.

Also, the thing to note with the customs tax is that there is a minimum fee payable of CHF20 - which means if you're just over the minimum limit you can be stung for much more than you expect!

Patrious
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Old 07.09.2009, 22:34
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Re: Where to order English books online

offtheshelf.ch
If you're looking for something special (like in my case) they will find it for you (even 2nd hand if necessary) order it and then send it to you when it reachs their shop in Geneva.
Great service
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Old 07.09.2009, 23:01
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Re: Where to order English books online

My latest tip is www.buch.ch
I needed a textbook for the course I am taking and checked around online:
At the University of Victoria (BC) book store it was $124 CAD plus an extra $60 CAD in shipping fees. Plus I would then get a 60 CHF customs taxes bill after the book arrived.
Amazon.co.uk did not have the latest (2005) version
Amazon.ca it was $81 CAD not including the delivery fee (and customs taxes)
Amazon.de it was 81,99 EURO not including the delivery fee (and customs taxes)
At exlibris.ch and books.ch (orel füssli) they did not have it.
At buch.ch it was 77,90 CHF with delivery included! I ordered it there and it arrived in 4 days and as the site is SWISS there are no customs taxes.
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Old 08.09.2009, 11:41
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Re: Where to order English books online

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Thanks everyone for the replies. NotAllThere - I ordered from amazon.co.uk, but its good to know that Amazon.de have no delivery charge.
Amazon.fr is now doing free delivery to Switzerland too, for people that want to top up their French books along with English titles.

kodokan
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Old 08.09.2009, 19:10
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Re: Where to order English books online

Just keep in mind that www.amazon.fr takes longer to ship orders...I think there's some law that requires them to wait a certain amount of time before they send it out...so I usually order from www.amazon.de (I live in France...no customs taxes) unless I'm looking for a book in French...

But their selection of English books is nice.
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Old 08.09.2009, 21:03
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Re: Where to order English books online

I brought my eBook reader from the States and use eBookwise to order online. There is also Kindle, etc. out there and many sources to buy books. No shipping fee/tax to deal with either.
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Old 08.09.2009, 21:08
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Re: Where to order English books online

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Thanks everyone for the replies. NotAllThere - I ordered from amazon.co.uk, but its good to know that Amazon.de have no delivery charge.

Also, the thing to note with the customs tax is that there is a minimum fee payable of CHF20 - which means if you're just over the minimum limit you can be stung for much more than you expect!

Patrious
The Book Depository sends out my orders one by one or at the most two books in a blister envelope, so there's never any tax levied.
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Old 08.09.2009, 21:10
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Re: Where to order English books online

I used to order from amazon.co.uk but find now that amazon.de hold the majority of best seller and new english books in stock I tend to order from there and go with the free shipping. It is worth checking prices between though as you can occasionally find books cheaper on co.uk even with shipping on top.
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Old 08.09.2009, 21:17
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Re: Where to order English books online

I use book depository too, and its great. I also go twice yearly (may and november) to the english/american library www.amlib.ch in Geneva where they have a book sale, with used books from 2 fr, and a nice tearoom with home made cakes after you have browsed and bought. I also donate all the books I have read to them when I go which helps them raise more funds, and recycles them too. Many people do the same.
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Old 08.09.2009, 21:22
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Re: Where to order English books online

I guess you live in Lausanne. In order to avoid Swiss tax.. ask someone living in France to "lend" you an address and you can order from amazon in UK and deliver to france.. All whithin Eu... therefore no taxes...

Cheers,
T.
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Old 08.09.2009, 21:33
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Re: Where to order English books online

I am a customer and big fan of http://www.bookdepository.co.uk as well. The free shipping makes a big difference in the net price.

There is another UK site that offers free shipping as well that sometimes has even better prices than book depository. The site is http://www.play.com

When looking at UK prices for soft cover books keep in mind that there are often two formats that are sold. The first is what they call "UK airport edition" which is essentially the size of a hard cover book but in soft cover. The other format is you standard paperback format. The prices of the two tend to vary (UK airport more expensive of course).

Happy reading.

P.S. Well worth reading the Millenium trilogy from Steig Larsson. The third book comes out in English on Oct. 1st. Buy all three at once because you will not want to wait for the next one.

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/sear...&search=search

Book 1: The girl with the dragon tattoo
Book 2: The girl who played with fire
Book 3: The girl who kicked over the hornet's nest (Oct 1st.)
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