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rebor

Where to buy physical books in Chinese? (online)

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rebor

I've been mainly reading ebooks/PDF:s/.txt-files in Pleco Reader, but have now switched to paper, as Pleco became to much of a crutch. I got 家, which I'm currently reading, from amazon.co.uk at a reasonable (if still vastly inflated) price, but I got a bit sticker-shocked when I searched for  圈子圈套3 (my next project) and the only seller wanted $30 for it. I might resign myself and pony up the cash, but I thought I might ask where you get your Chinese paper books (I'm in Europe should that be relevant)? I searched and only found old threads, apologies in advance if I missed something. 

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Jim

Looked up Guanghwa Books who have a physical shop in Chinatown in London and I see they sell online: http://www.cypressbooks.com/aci_books-in-chinese.php Quick browse suggests they're not cheap but a couple of classics seem to come in a bit less than the equivalent of thirty bucks.

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mungouk

I've used Purple Culture in HK several times... prices are reasonable, they accept paypal as well as visa/mastercard, and overseas shipping is quick.  

 

They also have lots of handy "tools" on their website.

 

https://www.purpleculture.net/

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roddy

I've actually been meaning to make a post about this, so well-timed. The option I found best, after giving up on amazon.cn and dangdang.com because of problems with foreign phone numbers / payment cards (I forget which hurdles were the problems where, but overall it was a frustrating process) was jd.com. It's a general ecommerce site, has lots of books, and I was able to register with a UK mobile number and pay with a UK card (payment was a bit finicky - had to use Internet Explorer, and re-enter card details second time round rather than using saved details. 

 

I haven't actually *got* anything yet, but have four books on the way across two orders, averaging out at under £10 each. Posted delivery rates were reduced significantly at checkout (perhaps because my order was all printed material?) and you can also take advantage of promotions - ie, currently Y50 off for every Y100 you spend in some categories (all non-fiction, so maybe not the best example). Not everything ships overseas. 圈子圈套3 I got into my basket for delivery to the UK at Y24.80 + Y192 shipping - Y115.20 mysterious shipping discount, for a total of Y101.60. So obviously a chunky premium on the ship-to-China cost, but...

 

It does seem like not everything you see is available - some stuff doesn't ship overseas, perhaps because it's sold by third-party merchants. Once you've got your address set up you can use availability filters on search pages. 

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murrayjames

Check out your local Chinese/Asian grocery store. They may sell Chinese-language books.

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anonymoose

If you don't mind waiting a few extra days, the best option I've found is using a 代购 (agent) service like 86daigou.com. With this service, you can pay with PayPal (amongst other options, which I can't remember). There is a fee for the service, but it is not extortionate.

 

Then you can buy books or anything else for that matter off practically any Chinese website. Taobao.com is one option. A good option for books is kongfz.com. They have a lot of old and out of print books, often for a fraction of the original price. The only issue some may face is that the website is in Chinese only.

 

@rebor For example, 圈子圈套3 is available here for RMB2.98 (+ RMB7 for domestic shipping). Even with the agent fee and shipping to Sweden, it will still probably come to less than $10.

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rebor

Thanks for all the replies, a lot of great recommendations! Since I'm hesitant to give out my work phone number (the only one I use) I'll get a prepaid SIM to use for registering. Most likely I'll try JD.com, I'll report my experiences once/if the merchandise arrives. 

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Balthazar
On 5/2/2020 at 4:31 PM, roddy said:

The option I found best, after giving up on amazon.cn and dangdang.com because of problems with foreign phone numbers / payment cards (I forget which hurdles were the problems where, but overall it was a frustrating process) was jd.com.

 

I successfully made a purchase from dangdang.com (with a foreign phone and credit card), but this was back in 2016 or so. Haven't attempted since, but I remember that I had to go through a couple of hurdles to get it to work (and a couple of payment attempts before my MasterCard was accepted). I might give it a try again, been meaning to pick up some books. (Shipping was not cheap, but the total was still a bargain compared to buying the books from an international store.)

 

Didn't know jd.com ship internationally. Thanks for the tip.

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PerpetualChange

I bought books from chinesebookonline.com before. 

The prices were similar to buying English books from a retailer, and the shipping was cheap and reasonably fast. 

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roddy

That's my books arrived from JD.com. Well-packed and in good condition, just under two weeks since ordered - probably would have been faster, but happened upon a public holiday here in the UK, and obviously things are generally a bit disrupted. Pretty reasonable, worked out at an average of £9 per book for four books across two orders (I ordered the one I needed, then impulse bought three more a few hours later). Would happily use again, although I'm going to wait and see if I read these ones first... 

 

Does anyone know if the substantial shipping discounts I got (运费优惠 of Y84 off Y140 for the single book order and Y217.5 off Y362.5 for the three books, so... 60% exactly) are permanent, or only for printed matter, or things that are easier to pack, or...?

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Balthazar
10 hours ago, roddy said:

Does anyone know if the substantial shipping discounts I got (运费优惠 of Y84 off Y140 for the single book order and Y217.5 off Y362.5 for the three books, so... 60% exactly) are permanent, or only for printed matter, or things that are easier to pack, or...?

 

I just made an order from JD.com myself, eight books, taking advantage of the  "¥50 off every ¥100" sale. Original freight was at ¥408.5 to Norway, after freight discount ¥204.25 (so precisely 50% off). Couldn't find any explanation of this freight discount..

 

Wasn't able to sign up from Firefox on Ubuntu (the phone number verification button wouldn't work). Worked fine on Chrome using my wife's Macbook. Payment worked on first attempt too.

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889

I got free shipping on jd.com the first time I used it. Ordered again expecting the same and discovered it was just a first-time-customer bonus.

 

 

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rebor

I finally got around to ordering today, no problems entering my Swedish burner number and the payment was accepted right away (Safari on macOS). Shipping ended up being 175 kuai, 350 with 50% of for 圈子圈套3 and all three volumes of 平凡的世界 (the cost for the books being around 100 kuai).  I will report back on how it works out. 

 

I found this regarding shipping: https://help.jd.com/user/issue/109-3492.html

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