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  1. #1
    Moderator Balakin's Avatar
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    Default Packaging, Shipping, Refunds and Replacements - Share your Experiences!

    I thought it would be a good idea to make a thread where everybody can share their experiences about the various online shops and marketplace sellers.
    So, for example, if somebody is not sure whether a marketplace seller's packaging would be adequate or not, just check this thread and maybe somebody has some info about it.

    Please differentiate international and domestic shipping.

    Here are mine (always international):

    Bookdepository: I've never ordered from Amazon but based on what I've seen, Bookdepository has better packaging in 70-80% of the cases (amazon owns BD). Sometimes they put bigger tpb-s in bubblewrap envelopes instead of cardboard boxes, but they are pretty good with refunds and replacements and I've never had to send back anything, I could always keep the damaged items.
    Just this week I got a replacement copy of a Showcase Presents book, because the original order was badly damaged in the crappy bubblewrap envelope. The replacement copy arrived in an even thinner bubblewrap envelope and it looked the same. I sent them some photos and they gave me a full refund and I kept both damaged books.
    Today 2 Essentials arrived from them and both were in cardboard packaging, in mint condition. So it is a bit random.

    Wordery: Similar to bookdepository, but their shipping is very slow (which is strange because they ship from the UK IIRC). I complained about a late book once and they immediately sent a replacement without question.

    tfaw.com: Best packaging I've seen so far, never had to ask for refund or replacement but I have a friend who got a damaged figure and the immediately sent a new one. Another friend ordered a nick & dent hc 2-3 month ago and it arrived only in a nylon bag. He emailed them and they said sometimes they ship nick and dent books with this kind of packaging.

    amazon.co.uk marketplace sellers:
    Speedyhen: I think they don't ship to Hungary anymore through amazon but when they did they were the fastest and the cheapest. The packaging was very secure, never had any problems (always ordered omnibuses). Once I ordered 3 regular hc-s from them through ebay and they all came in cardboard envelopes. 2 of them had some minor dings but nothing to complain about.
    I've heard that their packaging sucks a bit in case of domestic orders (UK).

    bookoutlet2USA: the book was cheap, shipping was fast and it was in a cardboard envelope (which is OK for an Essential but not ideal.)
    UK BOOKS DIRECT: same as the previous but the packaging was a bit better.
    World of Books Ltd: same as the first
    Books2anywhereUS the packaging was a bit weak but the book wasn't damaged (it was a hc, listed as and arrived in "very good" condition)

    books_any A lot of people complain about their slow shipping but the one time I ordered from them the book arrived in 2 weeks (shipped from US) and it was in almost perfect condition (Sandman omnibus vol1, placed in a box with an airbag).

    Bilbio.com marketplace:
    The Book Place: I've asked them after I placed the order to check some info for me about the book (page count, content) and they've sent photos about the dustjacket so I can check it myself. They were very nice and responded quickly. The book (a hardcover) was listed as "good" but it was rather a "very good" despite the fact that it came in a bubblewrap envelope. Shipping took 2 weeks, which is good in case of US orders.

    Bookshop4U Also from the US and it took 2 weeks. It came in a thin bublewrap envelope but it didn't look any worse than the listed condition (and it was dirt cheap).

    [B]Abebooks:[/B]
    Paperbackshop-US: Shipping always took 2 weeks (from the US obviously) and the books always came in a bubblewrap envelope with a piece of cardboard attached. Very minimal damage despite the week looking packaging (I ordered 3 big books from them and for the price, a microscopic little ding is nothing to complain about IMHO).

    Sierra Nevada Books or Thrift books League of extraordinary gentlemen Black Dossier came without the 3D glasses (used book) and they immediately gave me a full refund and I kept the book. Costumer service was quick and nice.
    The packaging was only a nylon bag but the book didn't look worse than the listed "good" condition. Shipping was slow but that was expected.

    That's it for now, please feel free to share your experiences!

  2. #2
    forging evil plans victorxd1999's Avatar
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    I usually order from Cheap-comics.com, which ships almost immediately, and always has great customer service and packaging, and from Amazon (.com and various marketplace sellers from .co.uk and .de, usually Books_Any). I Luckily never had damaged products (yet) so I can't comment much on the Amazon customer services
    "You don't ever quit. Not even to your last drop of blood. You got folks relyin' on you then you just can't afford to." Sean Noonan-Hitman #47

  3. #3
    PLORP! canadianaidan64's Avatar
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    Amazon - :

    Fear Agent LE. Came damaged, ordered replacement. Replacement came damaged.

    Absolute Long Halloween. Arrived with dent in slipcase and book. Ordered replacement which was fine.

    Colossal Conan: arrived with literally no packaging at all, not even the customary brown paper. Miraculously arrived in perfect condition. I guess Crom favours me.

    The Book Depository:

    Once sold me a damaged floor model. Replaced it without issue. Good packaging for multiple books, sends single books in crappy brown envelopes.

    *Have since recieved multiple damaged books from them
    Chapters/Indigo

    Best place to order from in Canada. They use lots of brown paper to cushion orders. I've also seen air bags and books shrink wrapped to cardboard.

    Barnes and noble
    Took a month to receive books, box was crushed books were damaged. Replaced without a problem (but replacement took a month to arrive) worth ordering from Canada when their B2G1 sale is on.

    instocktrades
    Really expensive shipping but bomb proof packaging. Box arrived with literally an entire garbage bag full of packing peanuts. Box also had thickest sturdiest cardboard I've seen yet.
    Last edited by canadianaidan64; 03-12-2015 at 02:57 PM.

  4. #4
    Moderator Balakin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canadianaidan64 View Post
    Amazon:

    The Book Depository:

    Metabarons Genesis Castaca. Arrived in a black envelope with one dented corner. Also had a ridged imprint from what looked like a box cutter making me think they sold it it to me like that. Also arrived out of shrink wrap. Wondering if I can still ask for replacement even though it arrived 2 weeks ago and I've already left feedback.
    Worth a shot. IIRC you have 40 days with every order to complain.

    If the book is not severely damaged they won't necessarily send a replacement, maybe just a coupon or a partial refund.

  5. #5
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    I have ordered from my comic shop . Grading is very fair and prices and shipping decent packaging is super . Also have ordered from mile high package great and shipping reasonable but product was not what I expected . Also have ordered from Doug's Comic world but prices little high and grading so so . My favorite place to go would be my comic shop . Nice web site. Also have ordered on e-bay but its been hit and miss so cancelled my account when shipping and export cost went way up .

  6. #6
    Member Black Iron Tarkus's Avatar
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    Don't buy from Aphrohead Books! Seriously.

    I received a damaged copy of Witzend last week, and am still trying to sort out a return/replacement. I emailed them with photos the day it arrived, and got a copied & pasted email offering me a 50% refund or replacement. When I asked when the replacement would arrive (no stock!), I didn't get a reply. Chased it up a couple of days later; still no reply.

    Now I've started a claim through Play.com, and have received the same copied & pasted email as before, but offering a 20% discount! Needless to say, I'm annoyed. Did a quick Google and found the email address of the company's MD, so I've emailed him. Let's see what happens!

  7. #7
    PLORP! canadianaidan64's Avatar
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    I contacted The Book Depository about my damaged copy of metabarons genesis, first they offered my a 50% rebate, which was generous, but I told them I wanted a replacement and now they're sending me one. I don't even have to send back the damaged copy. So Book Depository is pretty awesome after all. I will buy from them more often.

    Although on a less optimistic note, I just received my copy of Dennis o'neil's novelization of Knightfall from Amazon seller Greatbuy_books_USA. It was described as "very good, tight binding clean pages". It arrived covered in dirt and grime and stickers, with a torn dust jacket, frayed and severely bent hardcover, dented corners, and writing in in the pages. It's amazing what passes for "very good" condition in some seller's minds.

    I don't think I'm ever going to buy used books again unless I see photos of the actual book I'm buying.
    Last edited by canadianaidan64; 07-22-2014 at 02:27 PM.

  8. #8
    Moderator Balakin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canadianaidan64 View Post
    I contacted The Book Depository about my damaged copy of metabarons genesis, first they offered my a 50% rebate, which was generous, but I told them I wanted a replacement and now they're sending me one. I don't even have to send back the damaged copy. So Book Depository is pretty awesome after all. I will buy from them more often.

    Although on a less optimistic note, I just received my copy of Dennis o'neil's novelization of Knightfall from Amazon seller Greatbuy_books_USA. It was described as "very good, tight binding clean pages". It arrived covered in dirt and grime and stickers, with a torn dust jacket, frayed and severely bent hardcover, dented corners, and writing in in the pages. It's amazing what passes for "very good" condition in some seller's minds.

    I don't think I'm ever going to buy used books again unless I see photos of the actual book I'm buying.
    BD is pretty good with refunds and replacements but their packaging is hit and miss unfortunately (but for Europians they are a great source).

    I would definitely complain about the Knightfall novelization.
    I bought a lot of used books and usually they are in great condition. HC-s are a safer bet than tpb-s because those can't be that easily damaged. (also I usually only buy used tpb-s when I can get them for much less than a new, so if I get a damaged copy, it's not that big of a deal).

  9. #9
    Junior Member momaw's Avatar
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    *Originally posted in the Marvel, DC and General Collected Editions threads*

    Sorry for the spaming across the 3 main threads but this may be of interest to international buyers (I'm in Australia) considering IST's international shipping costs have come down. So without further ado, here is some packaging porn.

    I'm going to contrast my IST experience with my latest amazon experience. Starting with amazon.

    On 9 July Amazon shipped my copy of Big Damn Sin Cty. I'd been looking for an excuse to use IST but this wasn't it. IST shipping on BDSC was $50 adding in the book at the time was $100 vs amazon preordered and shipped for about $65. The book arrived on 21 July so it took 12 days. Here is a pic of the box that arrived:



    There was zero padding in the box. Amazon had done the trick where it puts a piece of card on the book and then shrink wraps the card to the book. Now while I wish Amazon would do this with more of my book orders (it's pretty rare for me to get a book like this although they do it often for multiple blu-rays), in this case it was pointless. Due to the size of BDSC the card was the same size as the book so effectively all they did was shrink wrap an already shrink wrapped book, throw it in a box with zero padding and then hope for the best. Given the weight of this book you can all understand why the box arrived looking like it did and the corners were all dinged up. What's most disappointing is I have seen pics showing DH shipped BDSC in a separate box and that amazon took the book out of that box to throw in an oversize and structurally weaker box. Had they posted it in DH's shipper within their box it probably would have been fine.

    On the second of July I place an order with IST for Absolute All Star Batman and Robin and the Infinity Guantlet Omnibus. Shipping for these two books was $47 so about $23.50 each. Due to IST's 50% off on release, even with the higher shipping cost, it came to the same price all up as my amazon pre-order. That made it a perfect candidate to try IST's international shipping. The books shipped on July 3 and arrived today (July 23) so 20 days delivery. Amazon won on speed. The box I received looked like this:



    and inside like this:



    The box card was about twice as thick as amazon's and with the peanuts both books were in perfect condition. ASB&R came in the white absolute shipper so it was ever further protected.


    So based on this experience, come release day I'll be checking IST against amazon, and even if a little more expensive I think I'll be using IST. Yeah it's slower but the books come in better condition. But to be fair to amazon, other recent omnibus deliveries (eg Wolverine and the X-men, JSA Vol 1, Uncanny X-Men Vol 2 and Justice League of America Vol 1) all came in perfect condition. I'll have to make a judgement call on each book where IST costs more.

  10. #10
    Junior Member momaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balakin View Post
    tfaw.com: Best packaging I've seen so far, never had to ask for refund or replacement but I have a friend who got a damaged figure and the immediately sent a new one. Another friend ordered a nick & dent hc 2-3 month ago and it arrived only in a nylon bag. He emailed them and they said sometimes they ship nick and dent books with this kind of packaging.
    I second TFAW as great sellers and packagers. They have reasonable international shipping, package fantastically and their free insurance protects you even against price drops for up to 30 days after purchase.

  11. #11
    Junior Member momaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Keyt View Post
    I have ordered from my comic shop . Grading is very fair and prices and shipping decent packaging is super . Also have ordered from mile high package great and shipping reasonable but product was not what I expected . Also have ordered from Doug's Comic world but prices little high and grading so so . My favorite place to go would be my comic shop . Nice web site. Also have ordered on e-bay but its been hit and miss so cancelled my account when shipping and export cost went way up .
    I've also had good experience with mycomicshop internationally. I've only bought from their ebay store but the packaging and international shipping costs were very good.

  12. #12
    Incredible Member NZ_InFerno's Avatar
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    I had put this in the DH thread, but since this thread has now been made here is a recent amazon purchase/packaging:

    Don't know if anyone had mentioned it but I received Big Damn Sin City from Amazon this morning, and Dark Horse evidently ship them in cardboard boxes for protection. Which is really nice. Also shout out to Amazon for not only keeping the box on when they ship, but putting it shrinkwrapped to a piece of cardboard so it doesn't move around. Came in a huge, solid box too. Those shipping complaints might be working?



  13. #13
    Incredible Member NZ_InFerno's Avatar
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    Book Depository

    Over 100 books

    Been buying regular books from them for 5 or 6 years, and bought all my comics from them for 3 years before switching to Amazon. Paperbacks or Trades are a crap shoot, they send them in envelopes which generally offer no protection except for a bubblewrap coating. Hardcovers are generally better, they tend to cardboard envelope/wrap most books even up to Absolute size which protects them most of the time, but water or someone dropping the package means that damage goes straight on to the book. Bigger, heavier books, Simonson Thor Omnibus size, should not be ordered from them as the cardboard is pretty useless even containing the heavy books. A couple of times I received the book with new packaging added on from my local post service as the books weight had broken the glue on the packaging. I have messaged BD so many times about damage to various books or improving packaging its not funny, but they were the only option at decent prices for a long time so I was kind of stuck.

    On the flipside they have an excellent return/replacement policy, where if you can prove the damage with a photo they will offer a partial refund or replacement. I have had this many times, and they were always apologetic and quick to respond. it was the only thing that kept me ordering.

    If I am after one book I will order from them in most cases, they generally are the cheapest and fastest for one book, and if damaged will replace it.


    Amazon

    40 odd comic books

    Amazon has been my primary comic shop for the last couple of years, they are the cheapest generally as I preorder multiple books. Things I like are that you able to preorder and cancel right up to shipping if the price isn't low enough, they don't charge till they ship the books unlike BD, and their shipping on the whole has been outstanding.

    Yes that felt weird writing that about their shipping, I dreaded the first orders I made in 2012 due to horror stories that were on this forum. I even received a damaged book with one of my first orders, Fear Agent v1. I was pretty pissed, iirc it had gone OOP almost immediately, so no replacement was available. Amazon promptly offered a full refund, which was pretty good. Since then I have not made one complaint, afaik, about receiving damaged books, which is bananas. I remember a couple of damaged boxes but the books were sweet. I went and checked my bookshelf against my orders even I couldn't believe it LOL. This includes books like Colossal Conan, Big Damn Sin City, Absolutes and regular hardcovers and even trades.

    Most of the time they ship in a cardboard box with the book plastic wrapped to a piece of cardboard, this seems to work very well. For single trades or hardcovers I have occasionally received it in a plastic envelope similar to BD. But most of the time the packaging is superior to BD.

    I'm probably the furthest away from Amazon without being in Antarctica, and my postal service is pretty unkind on packaging with a lot of handling going on. So I'm happy to keep ordering from Amazon, since my books turn up in good nick, but only if they keep the good discounts rolling.




    I've ordered from a few other places, Barnes & Noble(3 or 4 orders), Mycomicshop(1 order), Mile High Comics(1 order), Alibris( 6 or 7 orders), Amazon Marketplace(6 orders), Amazon UK(1 order), Ebay Sellers( 8 orders) and my local auction site. These ones there is not enough to really give a good review of their shipping over a period of time and orders.

  14. #14
    Junior Member momaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NZ_InFerno View Post
    I had put this in the DH thread, but since this thread has now been made here is a recent amazon purchase/packaging:

    Don't know if anyone had mentioned it but I received Big Damn Sin City from Amazon this morning, and Dark Horse evidently ship them in cardboard boxes for protection. Which is really nice. Also shout out to Amazon for not only keeping the box on when they ship, but putting it shrinkwrapped to a piece of cardboard so it doesn't move around. Came in a huge, solid box too. Those shipping complaints might be working?
    See my posts above yours for the exact opposite.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by canadianaidan64 View Post
    I contacted The Book Depository about my damaged copy of metabarons genesis, first they offered my a 50% rebate, which was generous, but I told them I wanted a replacement and now they're sending me one. I don't even have to send back the damaged copy. So Book Depository is pretty awesome after all. I will buy from them more often.
    BD is a big nono for me since they offered a 30% discount on a damaged book. I replied a couple times with a nasty feedback and got nothing more.
    Since their packaging is hit or (more often) miss, I'm not gambling on their bad customer service.

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