A few months a go I registered on Bookrabbit, the new social networking/online bookshop site that I first heard about from Juliet on Musings From a Muddy Island. In the last week I finally got around to making a purchase. For obvious reasons I don't buy that many new books, but with a spate of birthdays coming up I had some shopping to do. The ordering process on Bookrabbit was quick and easy and I opted for the free standard posting. One of the books was indicated as being sent directly from the supplier and the others were marked as being in stock at Bookrabbit. All three had a reasonable discount on the RRP.
All three books arrived within 2 days as though they had been sent 1st class. Very efficient for free posting. Rather cutely the invoice came with pictorial instructions on the back for turning it into an origami rabbit. Daughter will enjoy that at any rate.
The only downsides to my Bookrabbit buys where that the search process is not quite as good as some other online bookshops and the book packaging was a bit basic, though the books where certainly ok on arrival.
With the searches it is best if you know exactly what you are looking for (ie have the ISBN number) or if you want to hit the serendipitous jackpot by browsing other readers bookshelves, and this last surely is Bookrabbit's key feature.
Bookrabbit's packing was a padded bag, a jiffy style thing. In my experience these do the job about 80% of the time but they aren't brilliant if you want to be absolutely sure a book is going to arrive in pristine condition. I don't use them in my own business for that reason plus they are hard to recycle.
My first purchases there however were definitely a success and I will no doubt return for Christmas shopping purposes soon. I do recommend signing up and adding some books to your profile though you can make purchases without doing the networking thing. Browsing the shelves of like minded readers is very useful, and great for present ideas.