After detailing how Amazon.com works, someone asked me what it was like as a bookstore: Are the prices good? Do the books take a long time to arrive? I had to admit I had never bought anything (just taken commissions). I thought I should try Amazon, so ordered a copy of William Horton's e-Learning by Design.
At the local ACT Library had I found "Designing Web Based Training" by William Horton (2000). This is a very useful book on how to set up online courses. But it is a bit dated and does not include the recent development with standards for web based courseware. If you are using a package such as Moodle, you need to worry less about the web design of the course as that is largely set by the package.
The same author had the more recent "e-Learning by Design" (July 2006), so I ordered a copy via Amazon. As well as be useful for creating a course it would allow me to test the Amazon ordering process.
The book was offered for $AU77.95 by bookstores in Australia. Amazon charged $US39.50. At the current exchange rate, even allowing for shipping ($US11.98), this is a total of $AU65.52, which is 16% less than the Australian bookstore. I bought the book via my own Amazon store, so I will get a commission on the sale, reducing the price by another 6%.
I ordered the book last Friday morning and Amazon sent me a message shortly after to say the book had been shipped and was expected to arrive 9 March. The book actually arrived on the following Thursday morning, taking less than a week. This was using the lowest cost, slowest method of shipping. It is a very impressive result and I can now confidently say of Amazon that the prices are good and the books do not take a long time to arrive.