Sporadic Sequential
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Shopping Tips: Sales & Secrets!

Back in April I ordered from Deep Discount for the first time (several times, due to a great book sale they were running). I was very pleased with their service: I received all the books relatively quickly and in perfect condition. And their customer service was excellent, too: I had to change my shipping address for an outstanding item and they responded to my inquiry in less than 24 hours. (In fact, they responded faster than Barnes & Noble's customer service did to a similar inquiry.) The biggest drawback continues to be their lousy site design: It's hard to navigate; product information is often inaccurate (check out the results for a search for "Yakitate!! Japan" -- note that three separate items are listed as "Yakitate!! Japan 5" -- and the images aren't always correct, either, so you're best off searching by ISBN to make sure you get the book you want); and product availability often changes between the time you place an order and when you receive your confirmation email.

Still, Deep Discount's prices are hard to beat (especially since they offer free shipping on every single item without the need to hit any order threshold) and they just got better: Deep Discount is running a MEGA SALE! now through June 16th. According to the site:

All titles tagged with the MEGA SALE! logo have been discounted an additional 20% off our already Guaranteed Lowest Total Prices.

I just placed an order for several books (including the intriguingly-named My Heavenly Hockey Club, which David Welsh convinced me to try out by comparing it favorably to Sgt. Frog in terms of laughs-per-page ratio) and all of them were discounted at least 43% off the cover price. And other books I looked at were discounted even more. (I'm having a hard time restraining myself from buying the art books from Hayao Miyazaki's films Spirited Away and Kiki's Delivery Service given that they're almost half-off.) So now's a perfect time to stock up on great series such as Bleach, Sgt. Frog, Death Note, and many more.

Plus, Deep Discount has the lowest price I've seen anywhere for Seven Sea's Nymphet, so order now to make sure you get a copy of this hot manga!

UPDATE 6/2: I just received a confusing email from Deep Discount announcing their MEGA SALE!: At one point it referred to the coupon code "SUPERSALE" but later it said no coupon codes were necessary. I decided to try out the code and it looks like it's good for another 20% discount on items marked with the "MEGA SALE!" graphic (indicating they'd already been discounted 20% off Deep Discount's regular low prices). So make sure to use the code "SUPERSALE" when you place your order for even bigger discounts! (Needless to say, this news resulted in my breaking down and buying both of the Miyazaki art books I'd been eying (total discount: a whopping 57% off!), along with Tanpenshu Volume 1 and Banya Volume 2, both for only $5.92 (54% off!))

UPDATE 6/5: Additional discount codes no longer appear to be working, but the sale prices through 6/16 are still a good deal.

Has anyone else noticed that you don't have to hit exactly $25 worth of items for BN.com to give you free shipping? I placed an order today (based on everyone's overwhelming recommendation, the xxxHolic omnibus was the clear winner in the "Thick Compilations Will Make John Buy Manga Series He'd Never Considered Buying or Even Heard Of Beforehand" contest) and it was just shy of reaching the $25 mark (even before member discounts were applied) but they gave me free shipping anyways. Curious, I played around with a couple test orders and the lowest total that still received free shipping was $22.94. I tried putting together orders that had slightly lower totals but I couldn't get any to qualify for free shipping. Has this happened to anyone else? (I'm especially curious to know if any non-members have received free shipping on orders that didn't hit $25.)