Amazon goes weird with Ultimate Magic


Paizo General Discussion

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Amazon.com just pushed release date of UM to ... July 2011.

Now, I know they take their stuff from Diamond/Alliance and not from Paizo, and they have a legendary track for delays in releases, but maybe it's some misunderstanding :)

Former VP of Finance

Gorbacz wrote:

Amazon.com just pushed release date of UM to ... July 2011.

Now, I know they take their stuff from Diamond/Alliance and not from Paizo, and they have a legendary track for delays in releases, but maybe it's some misunderstanding :)

Thanks for the heads up. I just emailed our Director of Sales. Hopefully he'll get that sorted out.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Chris Self wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

Amazon.com just pushed release date of UM to ... July 2011.

Now, I know they take their stuff from Diamond/Alliance and not from Paizo, and they have a legendary track for delays in releases, but maybe it's some misunderstanding :)

Thanks for the heads up. I just emailed our Director of Sales. Hopefully he'll get that sorted out.

We'll give them a poke, but it's doubtful that it's a misunderstanding—it just seems to be the way they do stuff.

I'm pretty sure that as soon as they receive stock, they'll set the release date to "now" or "Wednesday"—whichever is later.

(Honestly, I'm pretty tired of hearing about Amazon and their "stated release date" hijinks. I wish everybody just realized that if they care about getting gaming books close to the release date, they really shouldn't order from Amazon.)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Chris Self wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

Amazon.com just pushed release date of UM to ... July 2011.

Now, I know they take their stuff from Diamond/Alliance and not from Paizo, and they have a legendary track for delays in releases, but maybe it's some misunderstanding :)

Thanks for the heads up. I just emailed our Director of Sales. Hopefully he'll get that sorted out.

We'll give them a poke, but it's doubtful that it's a misunderstanding—it just seems to be the way they do stuff.

I'm pretty sure that as soon as they receive stock, they'll set the release date to "now" or "Wednesday"—whichever is later.

(Honestly, I'm pretty tired of hearing about Amazon and their "stated release date" hijinks. i wish everybody just realized that if they care about getting gaming books close to the release date, they really shouldn't order from Amazon.)

Tell me about it - I'm trying to convince a bunch of my friends to quit ordering from Big A due to delays. Maybe this will be the breaking point...


Gorbacz wrote:

Amazon.com just pushed release date of UM to ... July 2011.

Now, I know they take their stuff from Diamond/Alliance and not from Paizo, and they have a legendary track for delays in releases, but maybe it's some misunderstanding :)

If that is true my friend who owns a FLGS will be overjoyed.


My preorder still shows a delivery estimate of May 23rd - May 27th... don't know if that means anything though.

Gonna be seriously peeved if they don't ship until two months after release.


Vic Wertz wrote:
(Honestly, I'm pretty tired of hearing about Amazon and their "stated release date" hijinks. I wish everybody just realized that if they care about getting gaming books close to the release date, they really shouldn't order from Amazon.)

+1!

Is the discount REALLY that significant? Shoot...the whole reason I DONT have any Paizo subscriptions is so I can get it from my FLGS and support them! I usually buy a .pdf from Paizo anyway at a later date.

In fact, I bet you that if I HAD bought all my gaming books from Amazon I would have exactly SQUAT to show for it now. Ten or twenty bucks used to mean a heck of a lot more when lunch at Wendy's was still under $5.

Shadow Lodge

Vic Wertz wrote:
...I wish everybody just realized that if they care about getting gaming books close to the release date, they really shouldn't order from Amazon.)

Quoted for truth.

I've gone the Amazon route to save a few bucks and there is no doubt they have good pricing but it's a crap shoot when you get new releases.


I tried Amazon once.... ONCE.

When I ordered two books from them, one of which was a relatively new (under 2 months old) release and I didn't get it in my hand for SIX MONTHS, I quickly decided that it was not worth the discount. I would have rather had the book in hand NOW than maybe possibly we'll see sometime later. Maybe.

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Heh. This thread warms my little heart...

The Exchange

While I do subscribe to some Paizo lines, I do not have a FLGS and I do regularly buy from Amazon.

Depending on the book I can save as much as $15 for brand new HC books. The smaller books end up costing the same or less than they would if I bought them from Paizo with my Subscription discount.

I am in grad school so I get a student account that gives me free 2 day shipping, thus saving me as much as $8 S&H.

For a $39.99 book I pay around $24 - $26, sometimes less, with no S&H and I get it no more than 2-days after I order. So I save almost $20 for a single book. Granted I may have to wait a week or two,(a month is the longest I've ever waited), for Amazon to get it in stock, but then I get it two days after I place my order. Actually I've ordered books in the middle of the night and had them delivered that next morning.

I'm big on showing support for my favorite game and game company, which is the only reason I subscribe, but I also have to live in the real world where my mortgage, car payments, and family needs come first.

Shadow Lodge

@Capt. D

I'm not knocking the idea of buying from Amazon, I've done it myself. It just seems like every big new release someone shows up commenting or complaining about shipping delays when they order (or even pre-order) new releases from Amazon.

People should just accept that they are trading time with the product for money saved. This is particularly true if you are buying every book where you can get them even sooner.

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

0gre wrote:

@Capt. D

I'm not knocking the idea of buying from Amazon, I've done it myself. It just seems like every big new release someone shows up commenting or complaining about shipping delays when they order (or even pre-order) new releases from Amazon.

People should just accept that they are trading time with the product for money saved. This is particularly true if you are buying every book where you can get them even sooner.

Sorry. I'm not trying to make light of anyone's suffering due to ordering from Amazon. I also fully support trying to save money in any way you can.

I only made the comment I made because I have a strong dislike of Amazon (and WalMart, Barnes & Noble, Starbucks...). I'm sure you can see the trend in the names I listed. My heart is warmed by the fact that people seem to be joining me in my dislike.

Like Ogre said, you're trading convenience for savings if you go this route. Accept the fact that they will, occasionally, give you the short end of the stick when you deal with them. They simply don't have to care...


Katerek wrote:
Is the discount REALLY that significant?

I can't speak for the U.S., but in Canada the discount is really quite large since the Canadian dollar price for books seems to be derived by adding a hefty percentage to the U.S. dollar price, irrespective of the actual exchange rate.


Here in Canada the difference is massive, agreed hogarth.

I just ordered a game screen and Ultimate magic and got a $75 price tag. I could have gotten it free shipping from amazon and paid final price of around $38 give or take.

Thats not a minor discount, thats darn near %50 off. However, for me getting it quickly and supporting Paizo end up worth the trade off, with supporting Paizo being the top of my list.


I only order game books from Amazon when I'm not worried about how quickly I'll get them, or when I'm trying to save as much money as possible. I don't order from them much anymore because their release dates and shipping time is horrendous!

I'd rather pay more and get stuff quickly! I have ordered books from Buy.com before and they seem to do better than Amazon, and ususally have the same price/discount.


drkfathr1 wrote:
I'd rather pay more and get stuff quickly!

Not me -- I'm still waiting for the first Dragon Age video game to drop even further in price before I shell out for it. ;-)

Dark Archive

Amazon is fine to order from... as long as what you are ordering has been out for at least a year. :)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

I almost always buy two of the hardcovers. My first one is a subscription copy for Paizo that I get very quickly being I live an hour from them - usually the day after I get the PDF. I rarely get to dig into a PDF much before I get my physical copy.

Then I order a second book from Amazon. I have had my subscription copy since last week sometime and Amazon tells me my book from them should arrive on the 19th. I am not sure they shipped it yet but I usually get Amazon stuff in a day or two depending on where it is shipped from.

Liberty's Edge

Dark_Mistress wrote:
Amazon is fine to order from... as long as what you are ordering has been out for at least a year. :)

Lol, this is so true. I use Amazon to fill my backlog not for ordering new rpg material.

The Exchange

I can understand hating on Amazon if you are a game store owner/employee, if you've had a really bad experience or if you absolutely have to have your new release today, but I've never encountered any of the problems anyone is talking about.

Like I said I'm all for supporting Paizo (note my two subscriptions)and if I had a FLGS I would probably buy a as much as possible there. There is just something about walking into a shop, thumbing through the books and buying it right there on the spot that can't be replaced. The instant gratification and interpersonal relationship with the store owner/employees is worth the extra cost for most items, but I don't have that option.

I've been ordering stuff (RPG books, School books, video games, novels, Movies, music, Trade Paperbacks, electronics, etc)from Amazon for years and only had a delay when I ordered from a distributor in Hong Kong. That one time I had to wait 3 weeks for an item, when I complained they refunded the S&H. I almost always order the items that ship directly from Amazon and as I said I get them in 2 days or less. On the rare occasion that I order from the other sellers I get my stuff in a week, at the most. I always get what I order, it comes in just as it was described and every complaint I have ever had, has been taken care of within 48 hours.

Without the option of having a local shop to hang out in, I just can't justify spending over $40 on a book (including S&H) when I can wait a couple of weeks and get it for under $30 (including S&H) and no more than 2 days after I order it.

I'm not trying to convert people to buying from Amazon, it's your money and you spend it how you like. I guess it just bugs me because it feels like people sometimes adopt the "I'm a real fan and I'm better than you" attitude because they don't need to cut corner when it comes to money. Its not as bad on these boards, but I have seen it and it sometimes gets downright cruel on some of the other boards. I guess I just felt like "sticking up" for those of us that need to pinch pennies and who live in BFE and aren't lucky enough to have a shop nearby.

I guess I also don't understand how someone who owns a shop in Texas or Oregon can get the books and sell them brand new on Amazon (including S&H) for less than I can buy them on Paizo's site (even with my discount). Even if I don't order directly from Amazon, but from one of these other sellers the S&H is $3.99, but I think I average over $5 for S&H from Paizo.

One thing I have noticed about Amazon is it seems that of the RPG items I buy, Paizo's stuff is the only stuff that has the big release delay. I don't buy as much from other RPGs companies as I do Paizo, but it seems that when items for other RPGs are released they are pretty much released at the same time, or at least really close to the time that they come out in the shops or that company's site. I'm more curious about why this is so than anything else.

Just in case anyone takes offense, I sincerely meant no offense to anyone. This was just my POV, so please don't take anything I said personally or in a negative way.


Vic Wertz wrote:
(Honestly, I'm pretty tired of hearing about Amazon and their "stated release date" hijinks. I wish everybody just realized that if they care about getting gaming books close to the release date, they really shouldn't order from Amazon.)

As someone who buys from Amazon. I couldn't agree more.

Katerek wrote:
Is the discount REALLY that significant?

As an Aussie, yes. From Amazon I will be paying $30 USD for Ultimate Magic (including shipping). From Paizo I would pay $55 USD. From my FLGS I would pay $58 USD. That's almost half price from my FLGS, and substantial savings from Paizo. I buy most things in PDF (I prefer them to physical books), so to me that $25-$28 difference means 2-3 Paizo books I could otherwise buy.

Scarab Sages

For me, I prefer to buy actual Paizo products direct from Paizo because I want them to get the full price, stay in business, and keep the great stuff coming. Paizo isn't just a printing house, distributor, or retail outlet. It's a center for creativity that I want to support--while still meeting my bills out here in real life. For non-Paizo products I tend to buy PDFs from Paizo, since it keeps all my downloads in one place and there is my subscriber discount, but for hardcopy I consider other sellers along with Paizo. I bought three (non-Paizo) books used through Amazon recently from non-Amazon sellers and the service was good. I don't shop much at my FLGS, since ordering online at home is more convenient and I get a much wider selection 24 hours a day.


Vic Wertz wrote:
(Honestly, I'm pretty tired of hearing about Amazon and their "stated release date" hijinks. I wish everybody just realized that if they care about getting gaming books close to the release date, they really shouldn't order from Amazon.)

I did try to order UM from Amazon and encountered the problem everyone's talking about. I appreciate your wish, Vic, and I would have simply picked it up at a local store or straight from Paizo etc. if I had known it would be a problem, but how was I supposed to know? As a player who newly converted to Pathfinder, there was an extremely slim chance of me stumbling across the knowledge that it would be faster and less hassle not to order from Amazon as I've never had any trouble with Amazon the dozens of times I've ordered from them.

So, I hear where you're coming from, and NOW I sure as heck won't do it again, but I don't think it's unreasonable for first timers like me to complain.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
Capt. D wrote:

I can understand hating on Amazon if you are a game store owner/employee, if you've had a really bad experience or if you absolutely have to have your new release today, but I've never encountered any of the problems anyone is talking about.

Like I said I'm all for supporting Paizo (note my two subscriptions)and if I had a FLGS I would probably buy a as much as possible there. There is just something about walking into a shop, thumbing through the books and buying it right there on the spot that can't be replaced. The instant gratification and interpersonal relationship with the store owner/employees is worth the extra cost for most items, but I don't have that option.

I've been ordering stuff (RPG books, School books, video games, novels, Movies, music, Trade Paperbacks, electronics, etc)from Amazon for years and only had a delay when I ordered from a distributor in Hong Kong. That one time I had to wait 3 weeks for an item, when I complained they refunded the S&H. I almost always order the items that ship directly from Amazon and as I said I get them in 2 days or less. On the rare occasion that I order from the other sellers I get my stuff in a week, at the most. I always get what I order, it comes in just as it was described and every complaint I have ever had, has been taken care of within 48 hours.

Without the option of having a local shop to hang out in, I just can't justify spending over $40 on a book (including S&H) when I can wait a couple of weeks and get it for under $30 (including S&H) and no more than 2 days after I order it.

I'm not trying to convert people to buying from Amazon, it's your money and you spend it how you like. I guess it just bugs me because it feels like people sometimes adopt the "I'm a real fan and I'm better than you" attitude because they don't need to cut corner when it comes to money. Its not as bad on these boards, but I have seen it and it sometimes gets downright cruel on some of the other boards. I guess I just felt like "sticking up" for those of us...

When I use to get my DnD 4ed stuff Amazon always had a two to three week delay for it. Not sure if they still do.

They also listed a release off from the official release.


Capt. D wrote:
I can understand hating on Amazon if you are a game store owner/employee, if you've had a really bad experience or if you absolutely have to have your new release today, but I've never encountered any of the problems anyone is talking about.

I've had problems with Amazon's wildly varying estimates as to when a product will be delivered (not with respect to Paizo products, though); for instance, once I ordered a book and it took something like 6 months before they would admit "no, we really didn't have any copies of that book after all". Before that, I thought Amazon could do no wrong. Now I realise they can do plenty of wrong (they've always apologised politely whenever I've complained), but they're still worth it.


More than likely it is out of stock.

Amazon will order for all their pre-orders, and then some.

However, they are ordering it from a distributor, not from Paizo. The distributor puts in an order to Paizo.

So, what has likely happened is this :

Paizo ran off 100,000 copies (SWAG)
Distributor A ordered 30,000 copies
Distributor B ordered 40,000 copies
Distributor C ordered 15,000 copies
Paizo kept 15,000 copies for their own sales

Distributor C had an order for 5,500 copies from Amazon
Distributor C had orders from other customers totaling 15,000.

Distributor C doesn't have 20,000 books, so they send a percentage to everyone, so Amazon got 4,000 books. Unfortunately, they have 5,000 pre-orders. So they put the other 1,000 people on back order until Distributor C sends them their other 1,500 books.

EDIT : Cross-posted


Capt. D wrote:
I guess I also don't understand how someone who owns a shop in Texas or Oregon can get the books and sell them brand new on Amazon (including S&H) for less than I can buy them on Paizo's site (even with my discount). Even if I don't order directly from Amazon, but from one of these other sellers the S&H is $3.99, but I think I average over $5 for S&H from Paizo.

Shipping of $3.99 is set by Amazon for a single book. What this means is that, in many cases, if not ordering from Amazon, but a Marketplace vendor, that you'll be lucky if you get a padded envelope sent Media Mail.

Paizo's shipping prices don't include Media Mail (or don't for many items), and superior packaging.

As far as pricing - "shops", or anyone with an account from a distributor like Alliance, are paying around 50-55% of the cover price for the book.

As such, if they choose to barely mark it up, they can offer it for a 35-40% discount, and still make a couple bucks off it by beating the subscriber discount here (15% if you're an AP subscriber, or the 30-33% discount Amazon provides), assuming they cheap out on the shipping and make a buck or so from that.

Former VP of Finance

Cross posted, following MDT around:

Also of note:

The distributor Amazon buys from, Diamond, releases new items on Tuesday. Paizo releases new items on Wednesday. So, Diamond will release their new Paizo items the Tuesday after Paizo releases them. Which means that Amazon won't have them on release day.

A few days before release date, Amazon's algorithms will say, "Huh, we don't have this book that's releasing on Wednesday in stock. Let's push the release date back a month."

Viola. Amazon says that the product isn't available and is releasing a month late.


Chris Self wrote:
Viola. Amazon says that the product isn't available and is releasing a month late.

Wait -- Amazon is running out of violas, too!? Why doesn't anyone tell me these things!!


On a side note, has any other subscribers received their book yet(hardcopy)?

Was hoping to get an email today for it to show up where I receive my mail, but nothing yet.


Hobbun wrote:

On a side note, has any other subscribers received their book yet(hardcopy)?

Was hoping to get an email today for it to show up where I receive my mail, but nothing yet.

I received mine this past saturday..apparently thanks to some space/time hopping from the postal service as I live on the other side of the country and my subscription page shows it shipped Friday.


I received the email last Tuesday (week ago yesterday) that my shipment was expected to ship on Friday (13th). That’s the last email I’ve received on it.

What shipment method do you have? I know mine might take a little longer as I have USPS.


Hobbun wrote:

I received the email last Tuesday (week ago yesterday) that my shipment was expected to ship on Friday (13th). That’s the last email I’ve received on it.

What shipment method do you have? I know mine might take a little longer as I have USPS.

I have mine set to ship with the adventure path subscription, and it always ships USPS package service. I believe that the Friday shipping date is a generalization as mine said the same thing but there is no way that a shipping method that says it takes 4-8 days got to my door in less than 24hrs (roughly 2500 miles).


Yeah, I agree. That’s why I was asking your shipment method.

Shoot, hope mine gets here soon then.


I never buy anything pre-release, so thankfully I have never been burned by the process. It goes along the line of buying something that doesn't exist. The only exceptions are items like open design, where I am participating in product development and release.

Liberty's Edge

Hobbun wrote:

On a side note, has any other subscribers received their book yet(hardcopy)?

Was hoping to get an email today for it to show up where I receive my mail, but nothing yet.

I got the ultimate magic, broken moon, and the rival guide in the mail yesterday.

The Exchange

Brian E. Harris wrote:


Shipping of $3.99 is set by Amazon for a single book. What this means is that, in many cases, if not ordering from Amazon, but a Marketplace vendor, that you'll be lucky if you get a padded envelope sent Media Mail.

Since 99% of the stuff I order is directly from Amazon and not from the other sellers, my stuff always comes in a nice box with air pillows. I try to order directly from Amazon because I don't pay S&H since I have a student account(Prime). However, even when I order from the other sellers on Amazon, my stuff is always packaged in a nice package and I get it in about 1 week, if not less.

Now that I think about it, it usually takes longer for an item I order from Paizo to get to me(1-2 weeks) than it does for something I order from Amazon, and I pay higher shipping with Paizo. Like I said I've been ordering from Amazon for years and have never had the problems that everyone else is claiming. I've been lucky I guess.

All I know is that I often buy the pdf from Paizo and order the HC from Amazon and I still save $10 or more (even with my AP subscription discount) for many books by ordering from Amazon instead of Paizo. My product comes in packaging that is just as good if not better and I get them two days after I order.

Granted I do not get the items on the day that they are released and I may have to wait a few weeks before Amazon has them in stock. Of course I feel no pressure to have the new books ASAP. I'm completely happy to wait. Even if I had a FLGS or if I do order from Paizo I can't order until I have the extra money so I often end up waiting anyway.

If I have to wait anyway I might as well save myself some money. Which means I usually can pick up one of the new Campaign Setting or Player's Companion books or some Gamemastery Cards with the $10 to $20 I save by ordering from Amazon. Paizo is still selling the product and I'm able to buy more of it, just not always directly from them.

Scarab Sages

Katerek wrote:
Is the discount REALLY that significant?
As an Aussie, yes. From Amazon I will be paying $30 USD for Ultimate Magic (including shipping). From Paizo I would pay $55 USD. From my FLGS I would pay $58 USD. That's almost half price from my FLGS, and substantial savings from Paizo. I buy most things in PDF (I prefer them to physical books), so to me that $25-$28 difference means 2-3 Paizo books I could otherwise buy.

Amazon has the advantage of economies of scale. Due to the size of their supply chain and the volume of product they move every day, they can beat the cost of a smaller operation like Paizo even in the international market. Amazon's efficiency means lower costs for them, lower price for consumers, but not always convenience for consumers. Massive systems like Amazon do well with high volume, mass market goods. A relatively low volume, niche product does not move through the system as smoothly, hence the longer wait.

Dark Archive

John Kretzer wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

Amazon.com just pushed release date of UM to ... July 2011.

Now, I know they take their stuff from Diamond/Alliance and not from Paizo, and they have a legendary track for delays in releases, but maybe it's some misunderstanding :)

If that is true my friend who owns a FLGS will be overjoyed.

Some of my friends order from Amazon or directly from Paizo, but I always pre-order my copies at my FLGS, even though it costs me almost twice as much (they convert dollars directly to euros). I do it to support brick-and-mortar stores, and to show them it's worth it to carry Paizo's stuff (although this is kind of a moot point, because PF sells a lot better than 4E around here, so they'd do it anyway). :)


When it comes to amazon, what always surprises me is that there will be little chat about an item on RPG.net, until about three days after amazon ships. Then there will be a bunch of threads. Just an indication of ho important Amazon has become to this hobby.


Capt. D wrote:
Since 99% of the stuff I order is directly from Amazon and not from the other sellers, my stuff always comes in a nice box with air pillows. I try to order directly from Amazon because I don't pay S&H since I have a student account(Prime). However, even when I order from the other sellers on Amazon, my stuff is always packaged in a nice package and I get it in about 1 week, if not less.

I buy a lot of stuff via Amazon. A LOT. I'd say about 50% is from Amazon itself, and the other 50% is from Marketplace vendors.

Amazon's packaging it adequate for a lot of things, but those air pillows are horrible for large books like the CRB. About 3 months ago, I purchased a 3rd Printing from them, and had to exchange it three times to get a copy that wasn't mangled. Fortunately, as a Prime subscriber, it was quick and on their dime - they advance-shipped the replacement, I shipped the mangled copy back in their packaging.

Marketplace vendors are all over the board. RPG stuff purchased from Titan Games or Sci Fi City (via Amazon) are always packaged fantastically. Some other vendors kinda suck.

Capt. D wrote:
Now that I think about it, it usually takes longer for an item I order from Paizo to get to me(1-2 weeks) than it does for something I order from Amazon, and I pay higher shipping with Paizo. Like I said I've been ordering from Amazon for years and have never had the problems that everyone else is claiming. I've been lucky I guess.

I don't have nearly the problems some folks claim. The CRB issue above? Over the last 10 or 12 years that I've been buying from them, I've had far less issues than I've had at brick-and-mortars.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

John Butler wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
(Honestly, I'm pretty tired of hearing about Amazon and their "stated release date" hijinks. I wish everybody just realized that if they care about getting gaming books close to the release date, they really shouldn't order from Amazon.)

I did try to order UM from Amazon and encountered the problem everyone's talking about. I appreciate your wish, Vic, and I would have simply picked it up at a local store or straight from Paizo etc. if I had known it would be a problem, but how was I supposed to know? As a player who newly converted to Pathfinder, there was an extremely slim chance of me stumbling across the knowledge that it would be faster and less hassle not to order from Amazon as I've never had any trouble with Amazon the dozens of times I've ordered from them.

So, I hear where you're coming from, and NOW I sure as heck won't do it again, but I don't think it's unreasonable for first timers like me to complain.

I hope you didn't take my statement the wrong way—I'm not blaming people for not knowing, I'm really just wishing that they weren't put in this position.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Brian E. Harris wrote:
Capt. D wrote:
Even if I don't order directly from Amazon, but from one of these other sellers the S&H is $3.99, but I think I average over $5 for S&H from Paizo.
Shipping of $3.99 is set by Amazon for a single book. What this means is that, in many cases, if not ordering from Amazon, but a Marketplace vendor, that you'll be lucky if you get a padded envelope sent Media Mail.

To go into a bit more detail on that, Amazon Marketplace sellers are given a certain allowance for shipping for each product they sell, and that allowance is based solely on the product *type*, not on what it actually costs to ship. Sellers get $3.99 to ship a book, whether that book is a 4-page leaflet they can ship in an envelope for under a buck, or a 46-pound cookbook that would cost *at least* $25 to ship within the same county.

Our shipping fees are based on actual shipping costs.

Brian E. Harris wrote:
Paizo's shipping prices don't include Media Mail (or don't for many items), and superior packaging.

We don't use Media Mail at all, because Media Mail does not allow the shipped items to contain any advertising whatsoever, apart from "incidental announcements of books," which means that very few books actually *can* legally be shipped using Media Mail. Many small companies ignore that rule, but that's not something we're going to do.

The Exchange

Vic Wertz wrote:


We don't use Media Mail at all, because Media Mail does not allow the shipped items to contain any advertising whatsoever, apart from "incidental announcements of books," which means that very few books actually *can* legally be shipped using Media Mail. Many small companies ignore that rule, but that's not something we're going to do.

I did not know that. I've gotten more than a few items from other publishers that obviously ignored, or simply did not know about the Media Mail rule.

The Exchange

Brian E. Harris wrote:


I buy a lot of stuff via Amazon. A LOT. I'd say about 50% is from Amazon itself, and the other 50% is from Marketplace vendors.

Amazon's packaging it adequate for a lot of things, but those air pillows are horrible for large books like the CRB. About 3 months ago, I purchased a 3rd Printing from them, and had to exchange it three times to get a copy that wasn't mangled. Fortunately, as a Prime subscriber, it was quick and on their dime - they advance-shipped the replacement, I shipped the mangled copy back in their packaging.

Marketplace vendors are all over the board. RPG stuff purchased from Titan Games or Sci Fi City (via Amazon) are always packaged fantastically. Some other vendors kinda suck.

Living at least an hour from most stores (Dept. Stores, Malls, shoe stores, book stores, FLGS/Comic Shops, etc), means that I also order a great deal online, predominately from Amazon.

In the past 2 years I have ordered in the neighborhood of 2 dozen brand new RPG products and TBP/Graphic Novels. Many of them came in the air pillow packaging and every one of them came in tip top condition. Often they were in better condition than they would have been if I had bought them in a shop or book store. I've just been incredibly lucky I guess.

Brian E. Harris wrote:
I don't have nearly the problems some folks claim. The CRB issue above? Over the last 10 or 12 years that I've been buying from them, I've had far less issues than I've had at brick-and-mortars.

Like I mentioned in an earlier post the only issue I had was with a seller in China. The item took a few weeks to arrive, but they dropped the S&H to make up for it. Other than that I think I was double charged for an item once and it was refunded within 48 hours.

The only company I have ever dealt with that had customer service that good was Paizo. I love dealing with Paizo and I have bought books directly from them on occasion, but now that money is an issue I have to go with Amazon whenever I can. Still I have bought a lot more product because of the cheaper prices and free shipping.

The Exchange

Vic Wertz wrote:


To go into a bit more detail on that, Amazon Marketplace sellers are given a certain allowance for shipping for each product they sell, and that allowance is based solely on the product *type*, not on what it actually costs to ship. Sellers get $3.99 to ship a book, whether that book is a 4-page leaflet they can ship in an envelope for under a buck, or a 46-pound cookbook that would cost *at least* $25 to ship within the same county.

Our shipping fees are based on actual shipping costs.

I did not know that either.

I guess you do learn something new every day.

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