A while back I complained a bit about the first shipment of books I received from Powell’s, noting that my orders from Amazon and Barnes and Noble had come in quickly and well-packaged.

Well, I must say that the first Powell’s shipment was a fluke, as far as packaging anyway.  The subsequent orders all came in safely packaged and undamaged.  As to the time spent in shipment, the post office (economy mail was my choice) proved that the post  office in Washington held onto the orders for up to three days before forwarding it along. 

While Amazon will often ship free over a certain dollar amount spent, they do usually ship at a faster USPS method, or by UPS and either are fairly quickly received.  So there they’re definitely a better bet.  But on used books, whereas Powell’s ships all from one spot (in most cases), Amazon’s used books are usually shipped individually from individual dealers so you end up paying three to seven dollars on each individual book, and that adds up.

To locate particular books, Amazon’s is definitely the easiest as you can find the book in all its forms, hard cover, paperback, etc., and the variety of prices within a click or two.

One more point:  while I received a used book in very poor condition, it might have been marked so and my own fault for not noting same.  All the other used books were in very good shape.  Marked up books were specifically noted as having been used as academic text, and those were the only one with any notations on the pages.

So overall, I’m happy with Powell’s and have placed more orders with them and will continue to do so in the future. 

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