Amazon.in cheapest to buy books with promotional shipping policy, Flipkart cheaper for heavy book buyers

6 Jun, 2013

Just on Wednesday, Amazon Seller Services Pvt Ltd, part of the world's largest e-commerce firm Amazon.com, launched its marketplace in India at Amazon.in. The firm has started by launching just two product sections—books and movies & TV shows, and in the books section, is offering over 7 million print books across more than 200 categories (it is not offering e-books as yet).

MySmartPrice, an online product discovery and comparison site, did a price comparison of the top 2,000 books across all genres for Amazon and several other Indian ecommerce stores to find out who is offering them at the cheapest price. Here are the findings of the comparison:

As of now, Amazon is the cheapest option for almost half of all books (44 per cent to be exact), followed by Infibeam (for 17 per cent), HomeShop18 (14 per cent) and Flipkart (11 per cent). Interestingly, Amazon.in leads the pack due to an introductory offer—the site is providing free deliveries on orders fulfilled by it. Promotion aside, the site also offers free delivery for orders above Rs 499, although orders not being fulfilled by Amazon.in would incur delivery charges as per the seller.


In comparison, Infibeam charges Rs 30 for books below Rs 250, Crossword Rs 30 for books below Rs 300 and Flipkart Rs 50 for books below Rs 500. HomeShop18 and Landmark still offer free shipping.

Table 1

However, once the promotional offer ends and Amazon.in starts charging for deliveries, the scenario will change completely. Assuming that the site will charge Rs 49 for books below Rs 499, it will be the cheapest for only 7 per cent of books. In this situation, Infibeam will take the lead with 28 per cent, followed closely by HomeShop18 (for 25 per cent) and Landmark (for 22 per cent).


Table 2

But for those who can buy Rs 500 worth of books in a single order and hence don't have to pay any additional delivery charges, Flipkart continues to be the best option. Flipkart leads the pack unanimously and is cheapest for 47 per cent of the books, followed by Amazon.in that is cheapest for 24 per cent. In this scenario, the otherwise number one/two Infibeam takes a hit and drops down to the third position.

Table 3


(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)