I have always enjoyed reading, and I read on a daily basis. Now, I have to admit although I love gadgets and gizmos, I refuse to buy into eReaders. I've tried a kindle, and I just don't like it, there is just something about the humble paperback, that just seem to feel right when it comes to reading.
Unfortunately, most of the world seems to disagree with me, and over the last ten years my home city has seen most of its bookshops vanish. All that is really left is two Waterstone's and a W H Smith. I really don't like shopping in W H Smiths, so I usually buy from Waterstone's. However there are times when despite two large stores, they don't have the book I want.
My first instinct is to hop on to Amazon whenever it comes to buying, well, almost anything online, but since my girlfriend has a Waterstone's card, I try to use waterstones.co.uk whenever possible.
= = = The website = = =
The website is easy to use, assuming you are familiar with any other online shopping sites (of course you are!) The top banner contains a search tool for looking for specific books, and a pop up menu on the left allows you to jump to specific genres. Elsewhere on the home page there is a best sellers list, and various special offers, along with current trending books. there is also a fairly comprehensive range of ebooks available now, but as you can imagine, I haven't really looked that much into that area.
Once you have selected a specific book, you are able to view an image of the cover, and read the synopsis, as well as any bookseller, and reader reviews that have been posted up. below all this is a selection of other books from the same author, as well as suggested books that others who got this book also bought. I have found quite a few good books this way, and its nice to find a similar book to what you like, especially if you never heard of it before.
= = = Price = = =
As far as price is concerned, waterstones.co.uk is fairly competetive. A recent Sci-Fi novel I ordered 'Caliban's War' was about 40p cheaper on here than Amazon. If you are concerned about price then it's always worth checking a few sources out. However, as I mentioned earlier, we have a Waterstone's card, which can also be used online, so as long as the price isnt to way out, we use Waterstone's.
= = = Delivery = = =
Delivery is reasonable but not amazing: A recent book I ordered was dispatched the next day, and arrived about five days later. In comparison, a couple of art books I ordered from Amazon arrived within three days on the free super saver option. At least delivery is free (within the UK).
I have had one slight problem regarding delivery. I often like my books to be delivered to my work, since sometimes nobody is at home during the day, but, unless I'm being really thick (it's been known to happen), I cant seem to set a different delivery from my home address, since they require the address your card is registered to. If anyone knows if you can have alternate addresses, let me know!
One area I don't like about waterstones.co.uk is the packaging its books. I like Amazon's cardboard packages; they always protect the books I order well. Waterstone's, in comparison tend to use Jiffy Bags. To be fair, I have never had a badly damaged book yet, but it seems a bit second rate to me.
= = = In Summary = = =
Despite a few concerns with its packaging, I still continue to use Waterstone's online. It may not be the best or quickest, but they have, at least to me, been reliable, and I have never have a missing or overdue order. There is also the fact that if you have a Waterstone's card, you can still use it online to gain points. I should also add that I recently signed up to Quidco, and you get 4% cash-back with online purchases from waterstones.co.uk through them.
I love to read, and I have quite a collection of books. I read quite quickly so I like to keep a stack of books ready to go, so that I always have something to read when I need to. I found the best way to get brand new books for decent prices, is simply just to shop around.
A lot of the time I get my books from Amazon, but I will always visit the Waterstones Website as well to compare prices, and there have been times when the book was cheaper on Waterstones and I bought it from them. I also got a Waterstones for christmas, and I can use this on their website, as there is not a Waterstones store in my local town.
The Waterstones website is basically a virtual store, as are most websites these days. When you go to the website www.Waterstones.co.uk you will land on the home page, which usually will show you special offers that are happening at that time. There is the usual navigation bar on the left hand side of the page, and a few other navigational items at the top of the page.
The pages of the site are usually well laid out, neat and clean with a good colour scheme, which often changes depending on the season or latest holidays. From here you can browse books (and the other items they sell) by catagorie, special offers and how well they sell. There is also the option to search by title or author. I believe you can also search by the ISBN number, but that personally seems like a lot of hassle to me, when you can just type in a name or title.
The website has a selection of thousands of books, pretty much any book you would want or need will be found on here, and I often find the books are cheaper on the Waterstones website then they are in the Waterstones stores. The website also sells stationary, DS games and little novelty gift items, just like you can buy in the larger Waterstones stores.
I usually use the search option to find a book I want, as I am normally there for a specific book, so I am not too sure how great the sections are to look through. I have found it to be very easy to use the search function and it is really easy to see the items in the results list. Each result comes with a picture as well as the title, so you can easily see what book or item you are looking at. The price is also shown in the results, so you do not have to go into the items page just to see if you like the price or not.
It is really simple to add books etc to your shopping basket, you just click on add to basket, and when you have finished choosing what you wish to buy, click on checkout and this will take you to the start of checkout process. If you already have a Waterstones.co.uk account, this is where you will be asked to sign in. If you do not have an account, you will be asked to sign up. This only takes a couple of minutes and they only ask you for the basic information needed, like name, address email etc.
After you have signed up or signed in, you are taken to the confirmation page, where you get to double check the contents of your basket before you commit to buying them. If all is correct here, just hit continue and you will be asked to enter your payment information. The Waterstones website accepts all major credit and debit cards, as well as Waterstones gifts cards. Once you have entered all your details, hit next and your payment and order will be confirmed.
You will recieve an email confirmation of your order, and also you will recieve another email to alert you to the fact your order has been dispatched. Waterstones offer free UK delivery on all orders, which is just the standard Royal Mail postage, but there is the option to pay extra for quicker delivery. I always go for free delivery, as I am not normally in a rush to recieve my order.
You can link your Waterstones points card to your account, should you have one. This means when you buy books on their website, you can earn loyalty points just like you can in their stores. I love this idea, as I love to build up my loyalty points and I can even do so in my pajamas this way!
I find the website simple to use, and it has not caused me any problems. The only qualm I have with the Waterstones online order was the length of dispatch and delivery on my latest order. My orders are usually dispatched quite quickly and arrive in less than a week of ordering, but my latest order was some what different.
I ordered one book that I wanted, and I was alerted by an email that this book would be with me in 7 - 10 days. I thought this was acceptable, and waited on my order. 10 days went by, and still no book. I had my dispatched notice on the 12th day after ordering, and my book finally arrived 3 weeks after the original order!! I was not too happy about this, but seeing as it is the only time this has happened to me with Waterstones, I am not going to make a fuss about it. My book arrived in perfect condition and well packaged, so all in all, it was not too bad a problem.
If you like books at good prices, have a look at Waterstones.co.uk, I personally recommend this site and I think most book lovers will enjoy using the Waterstones online service. 5 out of 5 from me.
I will admit that when it comes to books I read very little and a single book can take months rather then weeks to complete. When I want a book I tend to visit Waterstones as they are the biggest book sellers I know.
There website tends to back up that idea. On the front page they hit you with a very detailed website with all there types of book genre on the left hand side in a list which you can click onto. Once you have clicked there it opens up even more options.
I like the fact that if you click computer as the genre and they have new headings pop up such as internet in a bracket next to this they have how many books are in that category which I really do like. Going further into the website you might want to search for a specific author which would show all those books written by them.
Every book has the ISBN number and a brief description as to what the book is about. You have the published year as well which is good and sometimes reviews. There is not a review on every single book and some are poor but occasionally you notice an absolutely incredible review which makes you want the book.
Besides books they sell Ebooks which might be useful for some people. And they have thousands of Ebooks on there as well which will vary in price and have the same layout pages as normal books would have on the main page.
On there website when you locate a book you might see a link to Waterstones Marketplace and this is where you might find a book you want cheaper then the actual website. These are where the second hand books are located and stored. Sometimes you get a superb price on a book you want and other times a small saving.
If you want some rare books they have those at the top of the website as well and these help you locate those very rare books you might wish to have.
Signing up to the website was simple and also the fact that they offer free delivery as well very interesting. I found the website quick to load up pages and when I wanted a specific book If I knew the title it usually displayed.
You can use many sources to help search for a book and with a time limited on when it should arrive you can have that information displayed as well. I ordered a few books and was given emails as to when it was dispatched and the date it should arrive as well. These are simple and yet effect measures the website has taken to shop with confidence with them.
They do have good offers on and sometimes you can get some good deals on pre-orders but for me they could do with more information on books. A huge book with 800 pages and it has a simple 4 line information part underneath is poor to be honest.
I think the reviews help people as they are usually written and then assessed by Waterstones before they are displayed on the site so any nonsense reviews hopefully gets pushed to the one side. I would recommend them for speed and having plenty of books.
I couldn't find a certain book that I wanted in the waterstones stores near me, so I went onto their site and they had the book I wanted and the best part was that they have free delivery on all order with no minimum spend! Which is great and they have a wide selection of books, stationary and gifts too!
*What do they sell?
They mostly sell books, which is what I bought from their online site, but they also sell a lot of other items including, stationary, gifts, comics, calenders, photo note books, ebooks, textbook, dvds and much much more.
*My opinion on the site*
*Is the site easy to navigate?
Yes, I really like the way the site is set out, it is very easy to find what you want. There are genres of books to search by or you can use the general sub headings. I my opinion it is very easy to use, navigate and search though.
*Is ordering online easy?
Yeah, I made an order for two books which were also the cheapest price for the books that I have come across too. It is really simple, quick and easy to add the desired item to the basket, pay at the checkout and then just wait for the delivery.
One of the best things about this site is that it has FREE standard delivery in the UK only. And no hassle returns which is great. I really like that they have free delivery (obviously) and the delivery time is good too.
I ordered my books on a sunday and they came on the thursday, which is good for second class free delivery. I also like the account page, as when you have made an order, you can see where the order is up to in the delivery process. You also get a confirmation email when you order and then you get a email when it has been shipped which is good too.
Overall, I really like this site, they have loads of books and other things to chose from and they have really good prices too. but some times the prices online are not the same as in store. The have free delivery which is great and they also have a waterstones card which has the same principle as the boots advantage card and you get points which equals a certain amount of money which you can then spent too - just another great feature of waterstones.co.uk (and you can use the card in store).
*Easy to navigate the site
*Easy to order items
*FREE standard delivery
*Wide range of books
*They sell other things too including, dvds etc
*They have great offer on all the time
*You can preorder books
*They have an events sections which shows you events happening at stores near you
*Good prices and fast delivery
*Great gifts and stationary
*Competiton section too
*Waterstones card! (check it out)
*They have a review section
Thank you for reading my review
I never shop in the Waterstones stores but over the last couple of years I've been using their website quite a bit which actually offers must better prices than in the shop. I generally only use them around the Christmas period as this is when they have the best offers on and I've often found that they're cheaper than any other place to buy books both online and offline.
They have the widest range of books online and it's so easy to find what you're looking for whether it's a paperback book, hardback book or an e-book. You can read the blurb of the book and see reviews of it too which always helps in making you decide whether you want something or not.
Their prices are usually higher than elsewhere which is why I only use them around Christmas when prices drop quite a bit and they have lot of offers on, but during the rest of the year they are still pretty expensive, although shopping with them online is still often cheaper than shopping in the store.
The Christmas before last they offered free delivery on everything which was fantastic but now they only offer free delivery if you spend over £10 which is a little annoying as sometimes I just want the one book which is less than £10.
I've only ever had one problem with buying online where I had to call their customer services to find out about the delivery of a book. When I ordered it online it had said it would be delivered in 2-5 days but they were actually out of stock. They dealt with my enquiries pretty well though and sorted everything out for me very well and I received the book with plenty of time left until Christmas.
Overall, Waterstones online is a great place to shop or even just to browse for books, especially around Christmas when prices are often cheaper than anywhere else.
The waterstones.co.uk website is one of the best stocked book sites out there. They often list the titles that I can't find from any of the other large online retailers. However, this can sometimes be misleading. Waterstones occasionally states the availability of certain obscure books as being available to ship in 2-3 weeks but this seems to translate into "we'll process your order, let you know that the book can't be shipped straight away and then tell you in a few weeks that we can't get it for you." This doesn't happen very often but it is quite annoying when it does.
Aside from this annoyance, I have very little to complain about when it comes to the webiste. The customer service is good and usually you'll get a quick to responce to your enquiry. Shipping is fast and free if your order costs more than £10. What makes it stand out as a bookselling website is the frequency of their sales and promotions. If you sign up to the newsletter you might be lucky enough to get discount codes every now and again and there are often a few good competitions on the website. Unlike some other book sites, its well designed and easy to use, with occasional customer and bookseller reviews of book which are nice additions to a very efficient website.
www.waterstones.co.uk is the online version of Waterstone's book shop and with a much greater range of available items than you are every likely to find in one store.
The website is easy to navigate - the homepage has a list of book categories down the left hand side, links to special offers and a search function at the top if you're looking for something specific (you can search by title, author or ISBN which is very useful).
What can I buy?
As well as the obvious conventional books that we all know Waterstones for, you can also purchase e-books and a limited number of DVD's.
How do I buy?
Like other websites such as play.com and amazon.co.uk you search for items and when you find one you want to buy you click to add it to your basket. Once you have chosen all the items you wish to purchase you can click on the my basket link at the top of the page and you can 'check out'. Waterstones accept most cards including: visa, mastercard, delta, maestro and american express.
If you have a waterstones card you can also collect points with your online purchases and spend them too. The website gives you a running total of the points you have available and when checking out you can choose whether to spend or collect points.
- Free home delivery if you spend over £10 (not including ebooks)
- Free delivery to stores for pick up
My personal experience:
I've browsed the website a number of times but only attempted to purchase from it once (when buying books online I can usually find them cheaper on websites other than Waterstones or I would prefer to go into a branch to physically look at a book before purchasing). The order that I placed was for a relatively obscure book, the website didn't state it was out of stock but I recieved an email shortly after placing my order stating that it wasn't available and they wouldn't charge me until they had it back in stock to dispacth, unfortunately after a month they still hadn't sent me anything so I decided to cancel the order (simply done via a link in the email). Although I never got the book I'm happy with how they handled the situation and would consider purchasing from them in future.
I was looking for a book for someone as a Christmas present. Although not a recent book, it's still a popular one, featuring in many of the 3 for 2 offers on in various shops at the moment. Now as a money saver I don't like paying full price for a book that someones only going to read once so I set about searching online. All online prices were cheaper than the instore prices but most were still quite expensive, until I found the book on Waterstones website.
The website itself is easy to navigate around and find the item you want. Having found it I put it into my virtual basket, as you do with most online stores. There was nothing else I wanted so I went straight to the checkout. The next page that came up included the opportunity to enter any promotional codes that you may have and select gift wrapping.
In terms of delivery you can either pay to have it delivered home or have it delivered to a local store for free. I opted for delivery to store. I entered my card details and the delivery details (as you can select any store). Having processed this I got an email confirmation of my order, including the card address and the delivery address and a reference/order number. It stated in the email that I'd received another email when my order had arrived in store.
I did get this email to confirm that my order was ready to collect. I went to collect it today and forgot my order number and thought that this might cause a few problems when collecting. The Waterstones branch I collected from had a specific collections desk, I'm not sure if this applies to all branches or not. I said that I'd come to collect and stated my surname and off the assistant went. When she returned she asked for my order number, I explained I didn't have it but had ID and the card I paid with and this was all fine.
The assistant then asked if I wanted the package opened so I could check it - I did this just to be on the safe side.
The other advantage of the Waterstones website is that you can still earn points for your Waterstones card and you can even redeem them on your purchase if you wish.
All in all, this was a quick and easy shopping experience and I'll certainly look there again for cheap books.
So you love your books and are someone who loves to buy rather than just borrow but simply hate having to carry about your purchases just due to the weight? Why not make your purchases on waterstones.co.uk?
Waterstones is one of those stores on the highstreet that offers books of every kind across a variety of subjects like:
Crime, science fiction, horror, true crime, fiction, non fiction, mind & body and spirit, comedy, language, tourism, childrens (broken down into age ranges), cooking and more
The variety of subjects on offer as you can tell is simply outstanding but added to this is the amazing amount of books on offer for each and every one of the subjects meaning that you truly have the world of books at your feet.
The online store itself is well designed and easy to navigate with even those who don't do online shopping regularly finding it easy to locate what they are looking for (as my mum has shown when she asked me to sort getting a book for her on a visit to my flat so I simply turned on the PC and went to the website and left her to it).
The prices are more expensive than those you would pay on many of the other online stores offering books like Amazon or Play but you do have reward points given on your waterstones reward card for any purchases made which over time can add up to some nice money off a few purchases and comes in especially handy around christmas for presents.
I have not done many orders from the site but the items I ordered I simply could not find anywhere else on the highstreet or other online stores and the delivery was exceptionally quick and free which left me impressed with my purchases. I have never had any issues with any orders and so I can't fault this amazing online bookstore.
- Huge variety of books on offer across numerous genres
- Quick delivery
- Free delivery offered
- Well designed and easy to navigate store
- Points awarded to watersones reward card for online purchases
- Find books you can't get hold of anywhere else
- More expensive than other online book stores so just shop around
I have turned to Waterstones recently as a provider as presents for my daughters school friends. The delivery is now free on everything within the UK, and as I'm picking from an established range of books they all like its easy.
As it's online shopping I utilise all the tricks with 8% cashback, accrue the points on my waterstones card and pay for with a cashback credit card.
The deliveries are prompt and well packaged. The last order I placed though I did cancel as all three books were out of stock and on order with the suppliers with no confirmation date on when they would be due - this was unusual for Waterstones as these were mainstream books that should have been readily available.
There are inconsistencies between prices and offers in store and online, having picked up one of those booklets in store on the run up to Christmas i took it home and started thinking I would order against some of the offers but when I went online the offers were different - something to watch.
What I like about the website is your points value is also shown against the purchase price of the book so you can opt to use these. Vouchers codes that they send out are for one time use only and any voucher code sites purporting to have codes tend to be from other customers which are non transferable.
Delivery to store is available and this was better when you had to pay for delivery - not a problem now, now I tend to use it for ordering in my Mums name and letting her collect at store as she doesn't have the internet.
The range of books online is fantastic, and if you can't wait for delivery you can also view which of your local stores have it in stock which saves alot of unnecessary trudging about. If the book is not released yet - they do also state the release date, pre-ordering is also possible.
There's always plenty of competitions online too, I've never won any but somebody must - you should always have a go.
Sometimes they can be expensive and they are certainly worth a compare with Tesco books online at least - however Tesco does have a delivery charge.
The only reason I looked on Waterstones.co.uk was because i have a gift card for Waterstones, and i wanted to get a book which came out about 2 weeks later, called Starclimber.
I was able to locate my chosen book within seconds, with the easy search bar, and found that my book had a discount of about £2, making it less than £5, from the original £6.99 price tag. I quickly put it to my basket and checked out.. and was happy to see that i could use my gift card online, and save money! The process was quick, easy and hassle free.
The moment i confirmed, i received an email confirming my order, and within a week, got notified that the item has been dispatched and received it within 2 days of that email! I received the book atleast 5 days earlier than the release date and i am extremely pleased!
The service was fantastically quick, the dispatch was fantastic in great protective packaging, and the speed was quicker than expected!
Unlike other reviewers, it seems I'm the only one who has had all his books arrive within a reasonable time frame! What lets them down as an online store is their lack of stock - a product might say it'll be back in stock within 7-10 days, and say so for a bit longer.
The packaging isn't perfect as books are unprotected during transit and hence your hardbacks may suffer from very slight biffs to their edges.
Prices of hardbacks not great, but offering free delivery does lighten the load somewhat and bring the price down to below what other shops only posting 1st class may offer.
They have all arrived on time. Seeing stock levels is a nice twist mostly helpful (though not if it just says "available to order:reprinting").
Stock levels and slight packaging probs are their worst offences. Dependable, but needs tweaking. Nice to collect points with.
Waterstones online orders with UK courier service is a waste of time.I was guaranteed a next day delivery three days ago ... I am still waiting for my book.Computer errors, DHL unreliable services & mistakes from staff were among the excuses given. Staff still don't know where my book is, although they are conveniently able to confirm that my account has been debited the cost of my £40 book and also the additional £5 courier 'next day delivery' charge.Seriously Watertones, if you can't manage onine sales services, then don't bother offering it. It will save a lot of people a lot of time and money.
I ordered a book from the Sheffield Waterstones store on the 26.11.07 and it still hasn't arrived. I've been into the shop where I was informed it was 'on its way' & I've mailed the service@waterstones address three times now - they still havn't had the courtesy to mail back with any sort of explanation. As far as I'm concerned their customer service doesn't deserve a star. I know I can go back to the shop and ask for my money back but I bet they wouldn't pay me any interest that they have made on my money during that time & what I really wanted was the book in time for Christmas.
Waterstones , well what aload of rubbish, had I read some of these reviews I would never have dealt with them . Placed an order 3/12/07 with them as they offered best value for money and a delivery service they claim to be quick. Now 12/12/07 I have just checked for the 3rd time on site and the order has not even been processed. Given it is xmas time it still galls me that they are almost 1 week and half behind already even picking out the items from their warehouse so if you order anything now there is no chance of its delivery before xmas based on my experience.
To avoid being let down I suggest Amazon or the high street.
Adding insult to injury absolutely no replies to my emails enquiring about my order..Beware.