I have ordered several Kindle and Audio books from Amazon.com, however recently I finally ordered a paper book from Amazon India, which was delivered to me today.
While I had wanted to order from Amazon India for a while now, their prices haven’t yet been the best in the market, at least the products I was purchasing. However this time around, thanks to their Independence Day sale, they were giving 66% discount on books. This meant, “Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel” was available for just Rs. 135, including shipping!
So I went ahead and placed the order for the book on the 14th of August at 8:00am and it was delivered to me today (16th of August) at 5:55pm. Considering the fact that yesterday was a national holiday and book was shipped from Mumbai, I believe delivery was fast enough. Additionally, delivery guys (from ATS) came in a van to deliver the book! Now I have never seen a courier company deliver a book in a van, so it was kind of a pleasant surprise and I guess kept the book safe and dry in the monsoon season of Delhi.
However, packaging wasn’t what I had expected from Amazon. Now don’t get me wrong, nothing got torn or damaged, it’s just that, the book was in an over sized paper bag (with bubble wrap lining) without any plastic covering or anything else.
In comparison, Flipkart packs its books well in individual plastic wraps and then packs it in bags which are meant for the size of the books. So it kind of looks neat and well packed.
Maybe Amazon India is trying to be green and use as little plastic as possible or maybe they were just making the package really easy to open for the customer (which it was) or maybe it is the price they have to pay for not being able to start selling directly in India, thanks to Government restriction on FDI in E-Commerce.
Whatever it was, it was a little disappointing, but not really a deal breaker.
Of course the real funny bit was the SMS updates they sent.
I am just glad that I didn’t order any books with name of, “bomb” or “airplane” else my phone would have probably come under the surveillance of NSA :P.
Overall it was a nice shopping experience and I really liked their ordering process (I guess I am just too used to their clean interface). However, I would love to see Amazon India entering the B2C E-Commerce space on their own, rather than relying on individual sellers and courier companies. Also I would like to see them offer Credit Card EMIs for things like mobile phones and digital cameras, because at the end of the day, I depend on EMIs to fund most of my purchases and it is kind of surprising that Amazon.in hasn’t started offering it yet!