Peter’s Articles: Buying Books in Australia

Buying Books in Australia

I don’t know why, but buying books in Australia is expensive. There is no need, you can buy books much more cheaply if you do not mind a short wait.

In Australia, if you buy books from a local bookshop, especially technical books, you will pay way more than if you buy just buy them from in the USA. I am not talking about saving a few dollars, you can often save ten or twenty dollars per book, even after shipping. Here is a comparison of some books.

Title Amazon Dymocks Angus & Robinson Boffins Saving
Bulletproof Web Design 51.16 59.95 59.95 59.95 8.79
Perl Best Practices 51.13 74.95 72.95 74.95 21.82
Universe 59.84 89.95 89.99 89.95 30.11
Electronics Demystified 34.06 34.95 34.95 34.95 0.89

Prices were correct as at Nov 2005, are shown in Australian dollars (exchange rate of 0.75) and includes shipping (typically $16) for only, the Australian book store prices do not include shipping which just shows you how large the discrepancy is! Even allowing for shipping from the USA, in separate orders, instead of picking them up yourself locally, it would cost $60 less to buy these four books from Amazon than from any of the local bookstores.

The moral of this story is that if you are willing to wait the two weeks for the book to arrive, you can save yourself quite a lot of money by simply ordering the book from