Last week I got a surprising e-mail; it’s from OpenTrolley, an online bookstore from Singapore who sells international books to Singapore and Indonesia. They are relatively new—especially in Indonesia—so, to spread the awareness of their products and services, they provide vouchers to Indonesian book bloggers who read imported books. They invite us to use the vouchers to do online shopping, so that we can share our experiences later in blogs. In short, I’m one of those lucky bloggers!
I received the voucher by e-mail on February 25th, 2013—it felt just like I’m getting a belated birthday present!—and eagerly hurried to opentrolley.co.id in no time. My first expression was ‘wow!’…, for I’ve imagined that, for a new bookstore, they must have had limited collections; but on the contrary—they have quite impressing collection of books. Since my main interest is in classics, I browsed through their classics sub-category, and found 20.294 books in it—just fourth from Mystery & Detectives, Romances and Literary. Yayy…now I have found a new alternative to feed my ever-unsatisfied hunger of classics books!
But, to do justice to this new alternative, I should compare it with two existing online bookstores I usually visit to order my books: TBD and Amz. Frankly speaking, I was opening OpenTrolley's website with a hope that, because they are based in Singapore and Jakarta, they must have a “free delivery” concept as in TBD. I have been neglecting Amz lately because of the shipping rate (around $15 to Indonesia!), so that if I’d like to order a book from Penguin English Library collection, the shipping rate would be higher than the book price! That’s why I am now a frequenter of TBD (yay to free delivery!...).
Back to OpenTrolley, I was rather disappointed to find that they charge us a quite high shipping rate (IDR 18.000 or $1.8 to Surabaya). I know that the shipping rate is counted per order, not per book, so if I buy four books in one order, I assume the shipping rate would be the same. I’m only guessing that the warehouse is located in Singapore, so they must arrange a shipment to Jakarta office first, then forward it to our addresses, and this is which they charged us. I quite understand it, but still…. I still think that OpenTrolley should have created a more flexible shipping rate scheme. Rather than making it per order, maybe it’s better to have it per book. It would be fairer for us, and I think would give more orders to OpenTrolley.
Or, if the shipping rate scheme is remain unchanged, OpenTrolley should adjust their book price to be slightly lower. From my browsing before I picked a book I’d like to order, I was quite surprised at their quite expensive prices. Compared to TBD, OpenTrolley’s overall prices are still higher, and remember….TBD is “free delivery”, so in the end the total we pay for the same book is much cheaper than OpenTrolley.
Other than that, I am very satisfied with my first order to OpenTrolley (they gave me a free delivery along with the voucher, by the way :P). First, because they have books that are difficult to get at other book store; second, their response is fast; third, their satisfying shipping handling. I was so excited when I found the latest issue of Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. I then proceeded with the order and transferred the payment at the same day. The next day I received their payment receipt, and in the next four working days I have received the shipping acknowledgment. The book finally arrived one day after the acknowledgement, which is yesterday.
To my surprise, my book arrived with a secure and neat packaging. The paperback was wrapped in plastic shrink to avoid disfiguring during shipment, then neatly wrapped in a sheet of bubble plastic wrapper, and finally packed in a carton box, before being put inside the courier’s usual envelope. This is the first time I encounter such a safe and neat packaging containing only of one paperback (I got that treatment usually only for hardbacks). Thanks to OpenTrolley for making sure our books arrive in good condition, for, for booklovers, books are treasure, aren’t they? :)
So now, OpenTrolley has become one of my sources for ordering imported books. If only the prices were friendlier with free delivery service, I might consider ordering from them more frequently. I wish in no time OpenTrolley would spoil us with more discounts and bargain books! So, my fellow Indonesian classics-readers…do you like to try too? Just click opentrolley.co.id, and happy shopping! :)