Here’s a little guilty confession of mine: I’m kind of a shopaholic. Especially when it comes to books. Despite the number of unread books on my bookshelf, I just can’t help buying new ones. And of course, this awful habit is only made worse when I see a book whose price is so much cheaper than what I’m used to.
I bet many of you can relate. Which is why I’m glad to introduce to you…
For the past three years I’ve been using The Book Depository faithfully, as it had free shipping and most of the time they sold books at a much lower price compared to the local bookstores here. So when a marketing executive from NoQ store got in touch with me and introduced their online bookshop, I was pleasantly surprised, and of course excited. But enough chit-chat, and on to the review of their website!
I really like the clean layout of the website. It’s not the fanciest, but it was fairly easy to navigate through the first time I visited the site, and the search bar was incredibly helpful. It’s also incredibly easy to switch between currencies — they have a lot more currencies than TBD — which is convenient if you’re buying from a different country.
2. Books & Pricing
There’s no denying that NoQ store has a large database of books for sale — and all for much lower prices! One hardback book is selling for around $15 – $16 USD, depending on which edition you buy (some are around $19, but I haven’t seen too many HB books priced as such yet), which is around $4 cheaper than what I’d find at TBD. So this is definitely a plus, since I love hardback books, though I don’t get them because they are crazy expensive over here. Their paperbacks are still priced around the same as in TBD. But since NoQ store caters more to the Southeast Asia zone, it’s much more worth it buying books from them than from TBD, as they offer free shipping to both Singapore and Malaysia with a minimum order of $25 SGD and RM 50 respectively. And since I can easily spend more than those amounts, it’s a win-win situation!
However, one setback is that if you’re looking to pre-order a book, NoQ store is probably not for you. Based on what I’ve seen, they only sell books that have been published.
3. Shopping Experience
The shopping experience is pretty much the same as any other online shop website. The only minor problem I had was when I was looking for books to buy. Unfortunately, NoQ store isn’t very detailed when it comes to which edition they are selling, and since I’m pretty OCD when it comes to covers, I wanted to make sure I got the right editions. This was difficult, because the site wasn’t very regular in listing down whether the book was in hardback or paperback. And even then, there would be all kinds of other editions, like PBD (not sure what that is; paperback?), or School and Library (am I allowed to buy those?), and some none at all. So I had to match their ISBNs to the ones on Goodreads, which was troublesome.
The checking out process, though, was easy to navigate through, and they accept payments through several platforms. Just in case you want to take a look at the check-out page, I’ve included a picture below:
All you need to do is add in your mailing and billing address(es) and select a payment method — standard stuff. It’s also super easy to review your shopping cart — all you need to do is hover over the link to the cart to see what books you have added into it. NoQ store also sends you a receipt of the books you’ve bought, along with your mailing address via email, so if you spot any errors you can let them know quickly.
Other than the messy book information, I had little trouble using the site.
4. Customer Service
Let me tell you, their customer service is great. I was a little worried about my order because I hadn’t received a confirmation email even after a week, so I got in touch with them to ask them about it. You can get in touch with them through a number of ways: they have a chat box that you can use if you want a quick response, but their email customer service is also really quick in getting back to you. They answered all the questions I had, though I think I sounded kind of paranoid, haha.
I noticed that sometimes the loading speed can get really slow, but it’s nothing too serious. Another thing I really like as well is that if you sign up for an account on their site (it’s free), you’re entitled to $5 SGD off on your birthday month! There’s nothing like knowing a bookstore out there cares for you as well, you know?
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Despite some really minor problems I’ve had with the site, my experience with NoQ store has overall been a great one, and this definitely won’t be the last time I’ll be buying from them! So for all you SEA people looking for a new bookstore to haunt — I’d thoroughly recommend checking them out!
Get 15% off!
NoQ store is also offering a 15% discount for all my readers! (They’re so sweet.) So if you’ve been waiting for an excuse to buy more books, here’s your chance. Just type in the code VULCAN when you check out. Happy reading!