C and I both enjoy reading, so naturally, we hope that Noah will love books too. I’ve been reading to Noah since he was a few months old, and we’ve been very blessed to have received many hand-me-down books. When I was pregnant and put on bed rest, I did quite a bit of online shopping, and realised that children’s books can be quite costly. I also discovered that it was cheaper to buy these books online, as long as I could be patient and wait for the books to arrive via snail mail.
Recently, I chanced upon a new website to shop for books, and was thrilled that the prices offered were lower than those I’ve seen on Book Depository and Fishpond. I made my first purchase from The Groovy Giraffe, and was so pleased with my shopping experience that I just HAD to share it with all of you.
Curious to find out more about The Groovy Giraffe, I contacted Pearlin via Facebook for a short ‘interview’.
When and why did you start The Groovy Giraffe?
My husband, Kheng Hoe, started The Groovy Giraffe in mid-June earlier this year, and as I’m currently on no-pay leave to look after our son, I help out with the business when I can.
Have you noticed the high cost of books, especially children’s books, in Singapore? We did, and didn’t like what we saw at all, so we started The Groovy Giraffe, Singapore’s first official online remainder bookstore, with a big dream of helping readers save money on good books. We do that by bringing our customers great books at unbelievable prices. Pick up any of our items and you will realise you have saved as much as 80% off the same title elsewhere!
How did you come up with the name ‘The Groovy Giraffe’? What exactly does being an online remainder bookshop mean? Where do you get your books from, and are they cheaper because they are damaged in some way?
We had a long discussion on this actually. We wanted a unique name that is cool and will appeal to people of all ages. We chose the giraffe, as it is the tallest animal, and can thus spot a bargain from far away. Stay Groovy!
Our books are brand new, overstock and overprint books, also known as remainder books. We get our books directly from the publishers, who sometimes overprint books and can’t sell all of them to standard bookstores. These are known as remainder books. As they are trying to clear their stock, we receive these copies at a discount, and we then pass on the savings to our customers.
Most of our books are brand new and in mint condition. For those that are not, we explicitly state their condition (Some even come with pictures!) on their individual description page, so that our customers can make an informed decision on whether the huge discount can commensurate with the condition of the books. Usually, the condition can be shelf wear (The wear that occurs as a book is placed onto and removed from a shelf. It may be to the tail edge of the covers as they rub against the shelf, to the dust jacket or exterior of the covers as the book rubs against its neighbours, or to the head of the spine which some use to pull the book from the shelf) or remainder marking on the edge of the book (the publisher marks the bottom edges of books sold as remainders with a stamp, a black marker, or spray paint, which speckles the bottom).
Will you be expanding your collection? I shop at Fishpond and Book Depository because they have an extensive collection of books, offered at low prices. Why should people buy books from Groovy Giraffe then?
Yes, we’ve just crossed our second month and our earliest customers will realise that we have already doubled our collection. As our business grows, so will our collection.
Check out any of our books and you will realise that our pricing is extremely attractive and is generally, if not all the time, better than most of our competitors.
I’ve noticed that shipping is a lot faster, but it isn’t free, except with a minimum expenditure of $60. Are there plans to offer free shipping, like the two other online bookstores I’ve mentioned?
We seek to deliver within three working days as we hold all our inventory in our repository, which again, is not the norm in our industry as you have probably found out.
We are constantly trying to strike a fine balance between providing good pricing, great service, quick delivery (by courier), and free shipping to our customers. We can provide free shipping for all orders, but as you have probably figured out, the cost of “free shipping” will actually be priced into the books, and that isn’t ideal, in our opinion.
My first purchase included a few ‘Bargain’ books. I actually saw quite a number of titles in the Bargain collection which I liked, but thought I would get a few of them first, to see what their condition would be like. They were marked as ‘minor shelf wear’, but I was a little sceptical, because I’ve seen how roughly some customers handle browsing copies in our local bookstores. I was pleasantly surprised to see that apart from a few scratches and dents on the books’ spines and covers, the books were in relatively good condition, and a real bargain for the price I paid.
Front and Back Covers
As there was a slight mix-up with my order, Pearlin came personally to my house within hours of receiving my email, to rectify the error. That really impressed me, because if the same error had occurred to my order from Book Depository or Fishpond, I’m pretty sure it would have taken a much longer time to get the books exchanged.
The Groovy Giraffe carries quite a wide variety of items, including novels, children’s books, activity books, assessment books, cookbooks (check out the Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson ones), and even games. I found a few Sandra Boynton books being sold at prices lower than what I paid for them on the other websites!
Apart from the low prices, I think that the fast shipping time is a good reason for me to shop at The Groovy Giraffe. As Pearlin stated earlier in her interview, they seek to deliver within three working days (for Singapore addresses only), which is much faster than what I’ve encountered with the other two websites. In fact, I placed my order on a Friday afternoon, and received the books via courier on Monday morning. How’s that for speed and service? We got to enjoy our books earlier, and that made me a very happy customer. I foresee myself spending quite a bit of time on The Groovy Giraffe’s website.
Noah ‘reading’ two of his new books
SPECIAL PROMOTION FOR READERS OF GROWING WITH THE TANS
Enter ‘GWTT’ as your coupon code to get a 5% discount, on top of the normal discounts on the books from The Groovy Giraffe. This discount is applicable to all books except those in the bargain corner (which are already VERY cheap, trust me!).
This discount code is valid till 3 September 2014.
GROWING WITH THE TANS & THE GROOVY GIRAFFE GIVEAWAY
We have a $20 gift voucher from The Groovy Giraffe to give away! Click on the Rafflecopter link below to participate.
Closing Date: Monday, 9 September 2013, 2359h
UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. The winner is…
PS. This is NOT a sponsored post. I just love books and sharing good deals with others. You’re welcome! 😉
PPS. What do book lovers need? Bookmarks! Check out the adorable ones that came with my purchase.