Ordering Books from Overseas

Ordering books from HK and Taiwan is actually quite easy.  They are shipped through courier (DHL) and there’s no taxes and duties (from my experience anyway).

One web site that I shop often from is books.com.tw .  It’s a Taiwan-based bookstore (as you can tell by the web site address).  For example, my book (I’m just using it as an example, ahem), listed here:


is selling for TW$133.  The shipping is calculated as base shipping fee (TW$250) + 30% of the retail price of the book (0.3 * TW$149).  So the shipping would cost TW$295 (no cents in Taiwan Dollars) and the total cost would be $295 + $133 = TW$428, which comes to ~CAD$15.  The same book sold from the local Kingstone bookstore would cost roughly the same after tax, but you know, the local store’s selections is limited…  :p

Another place that I used is cp1897.com.hk, which is the online bookstore of Commerical Press in Hong Kong.  Shipping with DHL would cost HKD$90 flat rate for each book.  So, for example, this book:


is selling for HKD$44.10.  So the total cost would be HKD$134.10, which comes to ~CAD$21.  Alternatively, you can choose to use standard mail (which is not an option for books.com.tw) which only costs HKD$25, but it’s not really recommended because it takes more than a month for the book to arrive, and due to an error on their database, the sent to address on their packages are screwed up somewhat (the postal code replaced the province), so there’s no guarantee that the book would arrive.  Also it should be noted that it takes extra time for them to order “Taiwan Edition” books (because they’d need to buy from Taiwan, get it shipped from Taiwan to Hong Kong, and then to you).

It used to be that CP is a great source of cheap textbooks (about 70% less than the bookstore price) back in the days when DHL shipping was HKD$50 and their service is really quick (i.e. a book that took Chapters more than 3 weeks to find came within 3 days from CP).  But since the textbook publishers found the loophole and not allow CP to ship International/Asian edition books to North America, those good days were gone…