It’s amazing that such a badly designed site as amazon.com is so successful. Maybe it works better for users “local” to the site, but for me it’s a disaster. The site completely ignores my location, even when signed in, and peppers me with offers for which I’m not eligible.

Save with this Amazon credit card!*
*but only if you’re in the US, which we know you’re not

Free Super Shipping availabe!*
*but only if you’re in the US, which we know you’re not

Shipping $3.99!*
*but only if you’re in the US, which we know you’re not. Hahahahahahha!!!

It’s not exactly hard to program a site to adjust these things. If I sign into EBay it quite happily lists the shipping costs to Sweden for eligible items.

What’s even more irritating with Amazon is the process to find out how much something will cost me. Because I’m in Sweden and usually ordering from the UK or US, the shipping fees are normally significantly greater than the cost of the books, especially when ordering second hand books. The problem is Amazon refuses to tell me the shipping costs until after I have gone through the entire ordering process – including confirming my shipping address and credit card details. Most of the time I’m not going to confirm because shipping becomes exorbitant – an order I’m looking at this morning for about $12.00 worth of books is going to cost me over $70.00 in shipping.

So now I want to keep looking  – but does Amazon give me the option? Not easily – only hidden down at the bottom of the page away from the screen is the link –

Go to the Amazon.com home page (without completing your order)

The really don’t want me to do anything but “Confirm Order” do they?

Now, the way to save money on shipping is to order multiple books from the same seller, so I like to look and see which seller I’m ordering the most books from, and then search their store to see if they have other books I want.

Well …. that’s what I’d like to do. 9 times out of 10, no matter what the store, I get something like this –

amazoncom-storefront-errorThis is my usual experience with Amazon, and frankly it sucks! These things are not technically difficult issues to fix, why don’t they fix them? If there is a better alternative, particularly for second hand books, please, please, someone let me know.

So that’s a few minutes … time to check back … sigh ……