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Great Science-Fiction
& Fantasy Works

science-fiction & fantasy literature:
a critical list with discussions

International Amazon Book-Buying

"[T]here are always two places in everything with which we can commence . . ."

--The Crock of Gold,
James Stephens





The Six Amazons

This is--I hope--an international site. I am an affiliate of Amazon U.S.A., Amazon U.K., Amazon Canada, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, and Amazon Japan. As I say many times elsewhere on this site: stock, its prices, and its availability are by no means the same from one division to the next. It will often happen that a particular book will be available through one division but not another; it will also often happen that the various divisions have the same volume (or its direct national equivalent) at very different prices. And, of course, English-speaking readers are to be found all over the globe.

(Many books are published in various English-speaking countries in editions that differ only in such minutiae as spellings, as with color/colour, or, occasionally, vocabulary--wrench/spanner or fender/wing--but are otherwise identical in binding, illustrations, and the rest; those are what I call "direct national equivalents".)

Currencies

For each book I list here, on its editions page I give you its price in the currency of every division that carries it, and what that price amounts to in all the other national currencies, so you can compare true base costs with no mental gymnastics (I use exchange rates obtained fresh daily).

But the purchase price is only a part of the total cost to you: there is also shipping. All Amazon divisions now offer "Super Saver" shipping, meaning "qualifying items" (including virtually all books bought new) can, if the order total meets the divisional minimum, ship free. But . . . orders from addresses outside a division's coverage--more or less its host country--cannot qualify. So, if you want to order from another land, you need to know the things set forth on this page.


Shipping Costs

We will look at shipping costs in three steps:

  1. "raw" costs--international shipping rates taken from each national division's "shipping costs" pages;

  2. converted costs: the raw costs converted--approximately, as exchange rates vary by the minute--to their values in the currency of the recipient nation (rather than that of the sending nation); and,

  3. approximate costs, in the receiving nation's currency, per book ordered, for several likely values of book order.

That last will tell you what you really want to know: "how much extra, in my currency, does it cost me per book to order X books from division Y?" Remember, though, that these are shipping costs: many nations are so greedy and barbarous that they impose tariffs and customs duties even on books--so check those out and don't forget about them.


These data are supplied as a convenience to you, but I cannot guarantee either that the base raw rates are correct--they may have changed or I could have erred extracting them--or that the calculations are either exact (exchange rates vary continuously) or correct (I did the math by hand, at speed). Take them as a suggestive guide, then figure your exact costs for yourself at order time.


(If you are only interested in that bottom line, you can jump right to that table.)




"Raw" Costs

Here are the costs "raw"--that is, in the native divisional currencies. Each nation's name is a link to that Amazon's shipping-costs page, so you can check to see that nothing has changed since this page was last updated (16 December 2006); it will also allow you to check rates and times for other areas of the world (I have here, for simplicity, only used the locales of the Amazon divisions). All costs used on this page are from the cheapest method offered, regardless of estimated shipping time.

From To per
Shipment
+ per
Book
estimated
Time
U.S.A. Canada US $3.99 US $2.49 7 - 11 business days
" Europe US $4.49 US $4.49 9 - 36 business days
" Japan US $6.99 US $4.49 13 - 20 business days
Canada U.S.A. CAD $7.99 CAD $1.99 8 - 16 business days
" Western Europe CAD $10.99 CAD $4.99 8 - 12 weeks
" Japan CAD $9.99 CAD $5.49 8 - 12 weeks
U.K. North America £3.99 £2.99 5 - 7 business days
" Western Europe £3.99 £0.99 3 - 5 business days
" Japan £4.99 £2.99 5 - 7 business days
Germany North America €14,00 no per-item 9 - 12 business days
" Western Europe €6,00 (free if "local") no per-item 7 - 21 business days
" Japan €14,00 no per-item 9 - 12 business days
France North America €9,00 €1,90 10 - 12 business days
" Western Europe €4,50 local, € 13,00 remote €1.55 3 - 4 business days
" Japan €13,00 €1,90 12 - 15 business days
Japan North America ¥1200 ¥300 2 - 3 weeks
" Western Europe ¥1450 ¥300 3 - 4 weeks
Amazon Germany:
· "local" (free book delivery) nations are Germany itself plus Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Luxembourg

Amazon France:
· free within France itself and Monaco if order meets minimum
· "local" nations are Andorra, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom
· "remote" are the Azores, Austria, Canary Islands, Denmark, Finland, Gibraltar, Greece, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Vatican
· beyond "remote", at €13,00 per shipment and €1,90 per item, are Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia


Converted Costs

Here are the costs converted--that is, in the receiving nations'currencies. Conversions were done with approximate exchange values as of 15 December 2006.

From To per
Shipment
+ per
Book
estimated
Time
U.S.A. Canada CAD $4.62 CAD $2.88 7 - 11 business days
" U.K. £2.30 £2.30 9 - 36 business days
" Europe €3.43 € 3.43 9 - 36 business days
" Japan ¥824 ¥529 8 - 12 weeks
Canada U.S.A. US $6.90 US $1.72 8 - 16 business days
" U.K. £4.86 £2.21 8 - 12 weeks
" Western Europe €7,25 €3,29 8 - 12 weeks
" Japan ¥1017 ¥559 8 - 12 weeks
U.K. U.S.A. US $7.80 US $5.84 5 - 7 business days
" Canada CAD $9.02 CAD $6.76 5 - 7 business days
" Western Europe €5,95 €1,48 3 - 5 business days
" Japan ¥1149 ¥688 5 - 7 business days
Germany U.S.A. US $18.33 no per-item 9 - 12 business days
" Canada CAD $21.22 no per-item 9 - 12 business days
" U.K. £4.02 no per-item 7 - 21 business days
" Western Europe €6,00 no per-item 7 - 21 business days
" Japan ¥2160 no per-item 9 - 12 business days
France U.S.A. US $11.78 US $2.49 10 - 12 business days
" Canada CAD $13.64 CAD $2.88 10 - 12 business days
" U.K. £3.02 £1.04 3 - 4 business days
" Western Europe €4,50 €1.55 3 - 4 business days
" Japan ¥2006 ¥293 12 - 15 business days
Japan U.S.A. US $10.18 US $2.55 2 - 3 weeks
" Canada CAD $11.79 CAD $2.95 2 - 3 weeks
" U.K. £6.30 £1.30 3 - 4 weeks
" Western Europe €9,40 €1,94 3 - 4 weeks



Per-Book Actual Costs

And here's the nitty-gritty: what extra it costs you to buy books from another country's Amazon division. (Note that this is a worst-case calculation: it assumes that you would otherwise be ordering so that your domestic shipping costs would be zero--that is, a "Super Saver" package.) Here, the data are rearranged so as to be grouped by recipient address, rather than sending division, so you can more easily see what you want.

From To Per book,
1 book ordered
Per book,
2 books ordered
Per book,
3 books ordered
Per book,
4 books ordered
Per book,
5 books ordered
Per book,
6 books ordered
Canada U.S.A. US $8.62 US $5.17 US $4.02 US $3.45 US $3.10 US $2.87
U.K. '' US $13.64 US $9.74 US $8.44 US $7.79 US $7.40 US $7.14
Germany " US $18.33 US $9.17 US $6.11 US $4.58 US $3.67 US $3.06
France " US $14.27 US $8.38 US $6.42 US $5.44 US $4.85 US $4.45
Japan " US $12.73 US $7.64 US $5.94 US $5.10 US $4.59 US $4.25
U.S.A. Canada CAD $7.50 CAD $5.19 CAD $4.42 CAD $4.04 CAD $3.80 CAD $3.65
U.K. " CAD $15.78 CAD $11.27 CAD $9.77 CAD $9.02 CAD $8.56 CAD $8.26
Germany " CAD $21.22 CAD $10.61 CAD $7.07 CAD $5.31 CAD $4.24 CAD $3.54
France " CAD $16.52 CAD $9.70 CAD $7.43 CAD $6.29 CAD $5.61 CAD $5.15
Japan " CAD $14.74 CAD $8.85 CAD $6.88 CAD $5.90 CAD $5.31 CAD $4.92
U.S.A. U.K. £4.60 £3.45 £3.07 £2.88 £2.76 £2.68
Canada " £7.07 £4.64 £3.83 £3.43 £3.18 £3.02
Germany " £4.02 £2.01 £1.34 £1.01 £0.80 £0.67
France " £4.06 £2.55 £2.05 £1.80 £1.64 £1.54
Japan " £7.60 £4.45 £3.40 £2.88 £2.56 £2.35
U.S.A. Western Europe €6.86 €5.15 €4.57 €4.29 €4.12 €4.00
Canada " €10,54 €6,92 €5,71 €5,10 €4,74 €4,50
U.K. " €7,43 €4,46 €3,46 €2,97 €2,67 €2,47
Germany " €6,00 €3,00 €2,00 €1,50 €1,20 €1,00
France " €6,05 €3,80 €3,05 €2,68 €2,45 €2,30
Japan " €11,34 €6,64 €5,07 €4,29 €3,82 €3,51
U.S.A. Japan ¥1353 ¥941 ¥804 ¥735 ¥694 ¥666
Canada " ¥1576 ¥1068 ¥898 ¥813 ¥762 ¥729
U.K. " ¥1837 ¥1263 ¥1071 ¥975 ¥918 ¥880
Germany " ¥2160 ¥1080 ¥720 ¥540 ¥432 ¥360
France " ¥2299 ¥1296 ¥962 ¥795 ¥694 ¥627



Conclusions

If there are book editions you want that are only available from an Amazon division other than one for which your address can qualify for free shipping, you can now determine from the table above approximately how much above the nominal book price it will cost you to get that book.

One thing that is clear from that table is that if you are going to order from "another" national Amazon, it behooves you to order several books at a time, so as to spread out the fixed, per-order cost as best as possible.

Are these costs reasonable? Does it make sense to buy a book form a "foreign" Amazon division? In part, of course, that depends on how badly you want that book if only foreign divisions have it at all. By and large, these costs--especially for books not staying on the same continent--seem pretty high. Using just the costs to ship to the U.S., because U.S. dollar costs are what I'm used to, only shipment from adjoining Canada--and that only for a few books ordered at one time--seems to make much sense, a remark based on most used-book sellers charging US $3.00 to $3.50 a book for shipping.

You'll have to make your own decisions based on the urgency of your wants, but at least now you have some easy-to-use data to help you. (I sure hope, after a long night of web-combing and calculator juggling, that someone gets some use from all this.)

Do have fun . . . .





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