Alternative to Amazon

Tell us about your wildest feature dreams. Or just harmless suggestions for improvement.

Alternative to Amazon

Postby Alex » Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:25 am

Hello, I am starting a new topic so we can gather all the data on this.

I know this has been mentioned before in the posts dealing with this issue, but what sites out there have people found that can be used as alternatives to Amazon for English content?

Specifically for:

Books (and comics, which are very hard to find outside specialized shops or Amazon)

DVDs

Games

CDs

What I'm really interested in are sites where you can buy content online and they will ship to EU countries. I know that in the U.S. there are plenty of options. Seems like in Europe we have a lot less, especially outside the UK. One good thing that Amazon offers is peace of mind when ordering. You know your credit card information is safe and that the shipping is taken care of. If the item does not arrive, you are assured of a response from them. And of course low prices. I am looking for sites that deliver a similar experience.

The API situation for the pedias is a different matter than this. A site with a good API and a good catalog doesn't necessarily make for a good shopping experience; and vice-versa.

Cheers
User avatar
Alex
Addicted to Bruji
Addicted to Bruji
 
Posts: 230
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2004 4:02 am
Location: Barcelona

Re: Alternative to Amazon

Postby kbarnes70 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:58 am

Alex wrote:Hello, I am starting a new topic so we can gather all the data on this.

I know this has been mentioned before in the posts dealing with this issue, but what sites out there have people found that can be used as alternatives to Amazon for English content?

Specifically for:

Books (and comics, which are very hard to find outside specialized shops or Amazon)

DVDs

Games

CDs

What I'm really interested in are sites where you can buy content online and they will ship to EU countries. I know that in the U.S. there are plenty of options. Seems like in Europe we have a lot less, especially outside the UK. One good thing that Amazon offers is peace of mind when ordering. You know your credit card information is safe and that the shipping is taken care of. If the item does not arrive, you are assured of a response from them. And of course low prices. I am looking for sites that deliver a similar experience.

The API situation for the pedias is a different matter than this. A site with a good API and a good catalog doesn't necessarily make for a good shopping experience; and vice-versa.

Cheers


My remarks apply only to DVDpedia as this is the only pedia I use. Of course, we have the amazingly good IMDb from which to draw almost all of the relevant information re the movie (and sometimes the DVD too) and this won't apply to books and CDs and so on.

When I look at the retail sources for my collection of about 800 DVDs and Blu-rays, I notice that about 70% come from www.play.com and less than 10% come from Amazon. I use a site called www.find-dvd.co.uk to search for the best prices before I buy and invariably play.com is in the top 5 or so, often with only a few pence difference in the cost. Also, Play send the discs postage free whereas with Amazon you have to add an extra £1.24 for postage so this is an important factor when comparing prices.

HST, I am sure Amazon will probably carry more catalogue than almost anyone but this may or may not be important to people, depending on how obscure their purchases are.

If I look at the disc information from the two sources, this is what I find:

Amazon:

Product details

* Actors: Gerard Butler, Katherine Heigl, Cheryl Hines
* Directors: Robert Luketic
* Format: Anamorphic, PAL
* Language English
* Subtitles: Danish, English, Finnish, Hindi, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish
* Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
* Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
* Number of discs: 1
* Classification: 15
* Studio: Sony Pictures Home Ent. UK
* DVD Release Date: 8 Feb 2010
* Run Time: 92 minutes
* Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
21 Reviews
5 star:
(8)
4 star:
(2)
3 star:
(3)
2 star:
(2)
1 star:
(6)

› See all 21 customer reviews...
* ASIN: B0024FA4H8

Play:

Actors
Katherine Heigl, Gerard Butler, Cheryl Hines, Bonnie Somerville, Bree Turner, Eric Winter, Vicki Lewis, Nick Searcy, Justin Rodgers Hall, Yvette Nicole Brown, Adam Harrington, Rebecca Creskoff, Brooke Stone, Allen Maldonado & Noah Matthews
Director
Robert Luketic
Certificate
15 years and over
Year
2009
Screen
Widescreen 2.40:1 Anamorphic
Languages
English - Dolby Digital (5.1)
Subtitles
Danish ; English (UK) ; Finnish ; Hindi ; Norwegian ; Portuguese (Portugal) ; Swedish
Duration
1 hour and 32 minutes (approx)
Region
Region 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.

So not too different. Of course I have no idea if Play has a suitable API etc but as a source for DVDs and Blu-rays at extremely good prices, it is, IME, better than Amazon most of the time.

For Blu-ray discs I have founbd no better site than www.blu-ray.com and this is the info on the same title as the one used as an example above:

The Ugly Truth Blu-ray
United States
Sony Pictures | 2009 | 96 mins | Rated R | Nov 10, 2009

Blu-ray.com:

The Ugly Truth (Blu-ray)

Video

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Audio

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
French: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Portuguese: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1... (more)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
French: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Portuguese: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
English: Audio Descriptive Servie (less)

Subtitles

English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish (less)

Discs

50GB Blu-ray Disc
Two-disc set
Digital copy

Price

List price: $39.95
Amazon: $23.99 (Save 40%)
Third party: $23.99 (Save 40%)
Usually ships in 24 hours

Buy The Ugly Truth on Blu-ray

Blu-ray rating

Users 4.1 of 5 4.1
Reviewer 3.0 of 5 3.0
Overall 4.1 of 5 4.1
Based on 6 user ratings

Playback

Region A (B, C untested)

The reviews and screenshots on this site are absolutely terrific and you can buy directly from the site via, wait for it..... Amazon - so in that sense it replaces Amazon as a source yet allows puchasing from Amazon.

I'm not sure if this is the sort of info you wanted but certainly the sites I have mentioned have provided a truly excellent experience. I should add that buying from Play is just as secure as buying from Amazon and that their service levels are both excellent (woth Play probably a bit better IME). Finally, the usual disclaimers: I have no connections with any of the sites mentioned other than as a customer.

Kind regards.

Keith
kbarnes70
Addicted to Bruji
Addicted to Bruji
 
Posts: 333
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:15 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Alternative to Amazon

Postby adamhh » Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:57 am

Thumbs up for Play.com

For UK (especially hard to find) DVDs I use:

http://www.moviemail-online.co.uk/

CDs - http://www.boomkat.com

For Germany try:
http://www.zweitausendeins.de//

very comprehensive selection of cd/books/dvds

Good luck
adamhh
Addicted to Bruji
Addicted to Bruji
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:09 am
Location: London, England

Re: Alternative to Amazon

Postby adamhh » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:06 pm

Another thought:

http://www.discogs.com

has an international CD/vinyl collector user base. Though I'm not sure about the technical compatibility, it's also very detailed, maybe overly so (eg pre-cd releases will be tracklisted a1,a2,a3..b1,b2,b3.. etc)
adamhh
Addicted to Bruji
Addicted to Bruji
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:09 am
Location: London, England

Re: Alternative to Amazon

Postby kbarnes70 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:10 pm

adamhh wrote:Thumbs up for Play.com

For UK (especially hard to find) DVDs I use:

http://www.moviemail-online.co.uk/

CDs - http://www.boomkat.com

For Germany try:
http://www.zweitausendeins.de//

very comprehensive selection of cd/books/dvds

Good luck


Thanks for that moviemail link - excellent site.

Regards,

Keith
kbarnes70
Addicted to Bruji
Addicted to Bruji
 
Posts: 333
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:15 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Alternative to Amazon

Postby adamhh » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:03 am

Assuming that this thread is now the extension of databases one, and further to discussion in the 'ipad' thread.

Some more databases that have been useful to me:

http://www.allmovie.com
http://www.allmusic.com
http://www.allgame.com - all part of the same group. Synopses are better than IMDb (IMO) and interface is much more user friendly.

http://www.bfi.org.uk/filmtvinfo/ftvdb/ - This British Film Institute site lists TV programmes and short films too. Unfortunately they've run out of money and stopped adding to it in 2007, but for film and TV up to that year it's great. Another potential problem is that being BFI it won't be using up-to-date technology!
adamhh
Addicted to Bruji
Addicted to Bruji
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:09 am
Location: London, England

Re: Alternative to Amazon

Postby Mikkail » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:23 pm

I have always found HKflix.com to be great to order from - cheap postage, good communication, and a wide selection of Asian movies, especially martial arts. There is a wealth of information on each movie on their site, but I lack the programming skill to write a plug-in to extract it. :(
Mikkail
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:49 pm

Re: Alternative to Amazon

Postby kbarnes70 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:19 am

adamhh wrote:
http://www.allmovie.com
http://www.allmusic.com
http://www.allgame.com - all part of the same group. Synopses are better than IMDb (IMO) and interface is much more user friendly.



The plot summaries on IMDb are all user-provided. This was my point in the iPad thread - that user-provided information is not always the best information. BTW, I agree with you - the allmovie plot summaries are a lot better than IMDb. I wish there was an easy way to get these summaries into my DVDpedia database.

Kind regards,

Keith
kbarnes70
Addicted to Bruji
Addicted to Bruji
 
Posts: 333
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:15 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Alternative to Amazon

Postby spj » Sat Jun 26, 2010 4:54 pm

As someone who used to work (as a copy editor) at All Media Guide, I strongly second using allmusic.com, allmovie.com and allgame.com as reliable sources of information instead of IMDb. As a previous poster noted, IMDb content can be changed by users (like Wikipedia), which means that it sometimes (often, in my opinion) contains inaccurate information. Fact-checking and accuracy was a priority when I worked for AMG, and we never relied on IMDb. I'm not saying that AMG's database is 100 percent accurate, but I'll bet my house that its information is a lot more accurate than IMDb.

As a sidenote, for a comprehensive (and accurate) database of all things music, allmusic.com has no equal anywhere on the Web -- at least not that I've found. I wish AMG would come out with iPhone and iPad apps.

Just my $0.02.
spj
Junior Member
Junior Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2008 7:25 pm
Location: Lafayette, Ind.

Re: Alternative to Amazon

Postby Principia » Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:00 pm

I have consistently found Barnes & Noble to be best site for clear, comprehensive information on Books, DVDs and CDs in US. For UK, I suggest W H Smith (Waterstones), since it was WHS who invented the ISBN numbering system..!!

For Books alone, world-wide, I suggest ABEbooks or Alibris, both of which have extensive databases of "old" out-of-print and antiquarian titles.
Principia
Junior Member
Junior Member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:44 pm

Re: Alternative to Amazon

Postby Alex » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:41 am

Keep those suggestions coming. allmusic.com looks good. However, a search for Hector Lavoe (one of the best Salsa singers in history) shows a somewhat short discography for this prolific artist. Compared to wikipedia (or even discogs.com) it is really lacking. So... you can't have it all. The problem as some people have already stated here, is that Wikipedia might be quite inaccurate.

The search continues.
User avatar
Alex
Addicted to Bruji
Addicted to Bruji
 
Posts: 230
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2004 4:02 am
Location: Barcelona

Re: Alternative to Amazon

Postby FineWine » Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:30 pm

I have been updating my meager DVD collection of 303 movies and I am discovering that Wikipedia is consistently having the best info. Whilst it does not contain all the info, I am able to grab the missing pieces from other sites such as IMDB & Amazon UK/USA. Perhaps when Bruji's Doghouse is up and running, it will contain the fullest and the most accurate info every assembled in the one place.

I would like Wikipedia to be added to the Look Up sites list though. Perhaps in the "Update from:" facility.
User avatar
FineWine
Addicted to Bruji
Addicted to Bruji
 
Posts: 476
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 2:41 am
Location: Tauranga, New Zealand

Re: Alternative to Amazon

Postby Nora » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:23 am

We do have plans to look at Wikipedia as a possible search option. The one problem we might run into there is that it'll be tricky for the program to find the correct result in terms of media (Lord of the Rings: the books, the movies, the soundtrack, the video games...). But it's on our radar! Thanks for the feedback.
User avatar
Nora
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2149
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2004 5:03 am

Re: Alternative to Amazon

Postby Al B. » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:14 am

What I'm really interested in are sites where you can buy content online and they will ship to EU countries. I know that in the U.S. there are plenty of options. Seems like in Europe we have a lot less, especially outside the UK. One good thing that Amazon offers is peace of mind when ordering. You know your credit card information is safe and that the shipping is taken care of. If the item does not arrive, you are assured of a response from them. And of course low prices. I am looking for sites that deliver a similar experience.


This makes it harder for you as a developer, but perhaps you may find it best to have different fullfillment options for different countries; one for the EU, another for Australia, still another for Canada, etc.

Al B.
Al B.
Junior Member
Junior Member
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 1:52 am

Re: Alternative to Amazon

Postby Alex » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:31 am

Well, as a developer we can write plugins for the major sites that make sense, and we're not involved in any of the purchasing process through those sites.

But as a consumer it seems difficult to compete with these big sites so I was curious about other people's experience.
User avatar
Alex
Addicted to Bruji
Addicted to Bruji
 
Posts: 230
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2004 4:02 am
Location: Barcelona

Next

Return to Feature Requests

cron