Some functionality Amazon is missing

Just something that occurred to me recently while I was looking for this book to buy it online. (I needed it for my translation work on “The Children’s Book” that is full of references to British mythology; the book was recommended by ASB herself.) I found the book at amazon.com for $70, and decided I cannot afford it. Then I entered it into my wishlist but that did not help a lot. Finally a good and kind soul checked amazon.co.uk for me and, hoorray, there it was, for $20, including shipping.

This simple story made me believe there are two important pieces of functionality that Amazon is missing.

1. There should be an option for the people to contribute small amounts towards somebody’s wishlist. Right now, if I am not mistaken, if I want to buy someone a gift from their wishlist I can only splurge for the entire book, which can be tricky if the book in question is expensive. It is much easier for 5-10 people to contribute smaller amounts. This would be especially convenient for groups of friends, relatives etc. who want to give an expensive item (think rare editions, anniversary gifts etc.)

2. There should be an option for searching “other Amazons” if the book is not at amazon.com. Right now you have to do it manually: go to amazon.ca, amazon.co.uk and so on which is a) non-intuitive and b) tedious. It would never occur to me to look at amazon.co.uk if it were not for that friend’s kindness.

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2 Responses to “Some functionality Amazon is missing”

  1. Sandy Kemsley Says:

    If you check the Toronto Public Library site, you’ll find that you can get the book on loan for free. Eight copies available, no holds, so it would be at your local branch in a couple of days — about the same time as you’d receive from Amazon.

    • oryxandcrake Says:

      Hi Sandy! Thanks for the advice. I use TPL a lot, but when I am working on a translation, I may need a book for several months in a row. It is not always possible to extend a hold for so long. But in general, yes, it is a good idea, and in the past I borrowed the book sometimes if it was available and I needed to start working on the translation straightaway.


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