For the book lover in Singapore, a myriad of options exist today to find and buy your favourite reads without having to leave the comfort of your home. This article compares various places you can buy books online. Some of these stores are based in Singapore while others are overseas but offer great prices and international shipping to Singapore. The links are at the bottom of the page.Credit: By Stewart Butterfield (flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Online bookstores in Singapore
The Kinokuniya Bookweb has a great selection of books in English, Chinese and Japanese although its prices are usually not the best. However, a lot of Japanese books and magazines are available in Kinokuniya only and cannot be found in other book stores.
Popular Online Bookstore
Singaporean's favorite bookstore. Although prices are great at Popular's on-line bookstore, it doesn't carry the entire selection you can find at their physical stores. For parents with school-age kids, this online bookstore is a godsend with their wide range of assessment books for the Primary and Secondary level.
I found out about this one from their promotion with Groupon. NoQ Store carries a wide selection of books and they guarantee their prices to be the cheapest compared to any physical retail store in Singapore. If after you buy a book, stationery, or magazine at NoQ Store and find the same item selling for a lower price at a physical store, you can submit the price tag of the item to the site within 7 days of buying from NoQ store and they'll refund the difference. NoQ Store also carries assessment books for primary and secondary school kids.
I don't find Opentrolley's book prices to be competitive most of the time but they allow you to collect the books at Plaza Singapura so you can save on delivery charges. Taking this into account, if you are purchasing only one or two books, Opentrolley may save you a few bucks if you can self-collect your order. Occasionally, Opentrolley may have promotions that bring down the prices of its books so that they are cheaper or at least comparable to the others.
Select Books is not your typical online bookstore. It carries mainly Asian publications that may not be available in the others. The web site is kind of tricky to order from because the shipping is calculated by the weight of the books so you don't get to see it until you fill in your details. (Name, address, email). You will see the cost of shipping before you enter your credit card details though. You can't sign up for an account at this web site so you'll have to fill in your information every time you want to buy. You can also go to the physical store to pick up your book if you don't want to pay for shipping.
Acmamall sells books and other stuff like beauty products. I'm not too familiar with this bookstore. They look like they have a good selection but I couldn't find a few new books that I wanted. I find it funny that the search bar on the top of the page is actually an image that takes you to a search page. I mean, how often do you find an online retail store that can't code its search bar properly? I would have excluded this store if I didn't want to make this list as complete as possible.
Buy secondhand and used books online in Singapore
Used books are much cheaper if you don't mind stuff that are not brand new.Credit: By Jorge Royan (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Book In Book Out
This is a great place to find used textbooks so you don't have to pay an arm and a leg for books on top of your already expensive school fees. Books are sold by individual sellers. I did a few searches and was able to find some of my textbooks for sale at half the price I paid. If you have any old textbooks, you can sell them here too.
If I'm not mistaken, this is the largest online site for secondhand books. They carry fiction and non-fiction titles as well as textbooks. Books are sold by individual sellers as well. As of writing, the site has more than 35,000 books and 10,000 users.
Shipping for these stores tend to take a longer time (a few weeks) but prices are also better.
Amazon Price: $10.00 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 28, 2016)
Other than books, this store also sells a bunch of other stuff such as toys and beauty products. I compare prices on this site often because they sometimes have the lowest prices for books. Shipping is free.
BetterWorldBooks carries both new and used books. I don't usually buy from this one unless I'm looking for used books. The new books don't really have a better price than the other bookstores. But I check anyway just in case. Shipping is free too.
This is one of the best online bookstores with a huge selection and it often has the lowest prices too. However, it's still good to check the other stores because I've seen books that are priced much higher occasionally. Bookdepository is usually a very good deal if you can find a promo code to use with your purchase. Free shipping with this one.
Great for books or anything else but only if you have a large order. It's not worth buying from Amazon if you're looking for only one book because of the shipping.
Special mention oo.sg
While not a bookstore, this web site lets you compare prices of books from different online bookstores including Amazon, Book Depository, Better World Books, Popular, Opentrolley, and so on. This is really useful since most of the good deals are found on the sites checked by oo.sg anyway. I highly recommend oo.sg for price comparison before making your purchase.
Buy ebooks online in Singapore
I'm not into buying eBooks but here are some stores anyway to make this list complete.
Kobo Books - http://www.kobobooks.com/
Skoob - http://www.skoob.com.sg
ilovebooks - http://ilovebooks.com
Have I missed anything out? If you know any online bookstores that are missing from this list, please leave a comment below. Thanks!