Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction

What is Bookwhale.com?

We are Singapore‘s marketplace for secondhand books with direct shipping. Our platform is designed to allow ultra-easy buying and selling of pre-loved books. Enjoy cheaper books with time and cost savings. No more back-and-forth texting, meetups, travel fares and postage confusion.

Bookwhale.com wants to nurture and grow Singapore’s reading community. Learn more about our service here.

Buying

1. How do I purchase?

Browse Bookwhale.com and select a title that you like. Under that title, select a book sold by a seller and add-to-cart. You may then checkout using your Credit/Debit Card and/or eWallet balance. Credit/Debit Card payments are processed through Stripe.

2. What are my shipping options? How long before I receive my book?

  • For snail mail via Singpost, $2.25 for paperbacks, $3.15 for hardcovers: 5 to 7 working days (no tracking ID).
  • We will not be providing registered post at this time.

3. What payment methods can be used?

Currently, we support most major Credit/Debit Cards.

4. Do you ship overseas?

We’re still young, and have decided to focus locally before considering overseas expansion.

5. Some of the books on sale have no shipping options, why?

We strive to set affordable shipping prices for our books. Currently, we are unable to offer affordable shipping for large textbooks. We are working to make this available at a later date.

6. All the prices are fixed. Why can’t I nego. prices?

We believe that Buyers nego. simply because Sellers’ prices are unfair. We designed Bookwhale.com with inbuilt safeguards to encourage Sellers to give fair prices. These include:

  1. Price cap: we inform Sellers of the book’s RRP when listing.
  2. Price competition: we inform a Seller about other Sellers’ prices and condition when listing.
  3. Buyer’s choice: we list competing Sellers together under every title
  4. Track record: view Sellers’ track records of past successful transactions. All in all, Bookwhale.com aims to cut valuable time spent on nego. through platform design

7. Why must I pay for shipping? Why can’t I meetup with the Seller?

In other traditional online marketplaces, we see a lot of cases of wasted time:

  1. Back-and-forth messaging to schedule meetup time and location.
  2. Meetup uncertainties (no-show, late, no exact change, not enough cash-on-hand). And in other cases, due to strict location preferences, miss out on a good deal. There are also travel time and costs to account for. We aim to save the time wasted in the form of lower shipping prices, tracking options and returns.

8. I received my book. I am happy with it. What should I do next?

You may go to your corresponding book’s order status to click ‘Yes’ to indicate successful delivery. That way, your Seller will receive his/her proceeds, and be able to buy other books. Or, simply do nothing. 12 working days from your purchase date, if no return/refund claim has been filed, we deem the transaction a success. Gold Stars will be awarded to you and your Seller!

9. Can I return my item?

Yes, but you have to pay return shipping costs in order to get your refund (price of book). Original shipping costs will not be refunded. For cases where the book’s condition is very different from its listed condition and if you have other complaints, please contact us at moby@bookwhale.com

10. What if my purchase does not arrive?

Please wait at least 7 working days before filing your claim. Options to file a non-receipt claim will appear under your order status 7 working days after your purchase date. If your book is tracked, please check status using singpost.com/track-items. If your book doesn’t arrive by then, please file a non-receipt claim by clicking ‘Didn’t Receive’ on the corresponding book’s order status on Bookwhale.com. A full refund will be credited to your eWallet, inclusive of initial shipping costs, within 2 working days.

11. I am dissatisfied with my purchase. How do I return the book?

Please wait at least 7 working days before filing your claim. Options to file a return claim will appear under your order status 7 working days after your purchase date. If you are dissatisfied with your purchase, please file a return claim by clicking ‘Return’ on the corresponding book’s order status on Bookwhale.com. You will then be led to the checkout page to pay for return shipping costs (lowest cost applicable, no tracking). A refund of the book price will then be credited to your eWallet after 2 working days.

12. How to ship and pack a book for return?

Simply wait for delivery of an envelope containing the pre-stamped and pre-addressed mailer bag. Place your book inside the mailer, seal it, and post it at your nearest post box/post office.

13. Can I use more than 1 address?

To reduce delivery failure, we only allow one active address. We will not refund any book lost due to a wrong address.

14. Why am I paying shipping for every single book?

You are buying each book from readers like yourself. Each book is shipped from different locations. And, due to variable book size, the mailer bags do not fit more than one book inside. In future, we will implement quantity discounts if you buy 3 or more books from the same Seller.

Selling

1. Why is a fee being deducted from my sale?

We charge a small fee (S$0.80 + 5% of your book price, deducted from sales proceeds) for the upkeep of the website, no-ads space for the reading community in Singapore. This fee also enables us operationally to provide the service of sending out pre-stamped pre-addressed mailer bags.

2. How do I list my book for sale?

Simply search your title, scan the barcode of your book, or type in the ISBN number. Select your book that you want to sell. Then set the price and condition. And voila! You are listed. We also inform you if your book fits into a post box slot or if you have to post it at your nearest post office.

3. My book title does not appear in the Seller Search, why?

It is likely that the book title is too large for our mailer bags and too heavy for shipping fees. Rest assured, we are working on a solution for this.

4. How to ship and pack a book that has been sold?

Simply wait for delivery of an envelope containing the pre-stamped and pre-addressed mailer bag. Place your book inside the mailer, seal it, and post it at your nearest post box/post office. Please try to post your book as soon as possible in order to avoid a Buyer filing a non-receipt claim.

5. After 2 working days, I haven’t received the mailer envelope. What do I do?

Please double-check your address on your User Page, and contact us straightaway at moby@bookwhale.com.

6. Why do I have to post the book myself? No direct pickup?

Currently, to keep shipping prices at an affordable price point for buyers, we are unable to provide door-to-door pickup and delivery. Part of our service is to help prevent missed sales opportunities due to strict location preferences and flaky Buyers.

7. Can I use more than 1 address?

To reduce delivery failure, we only allow one active address. We will not refund any book lost due to a wrong address.

8. Why are my sales proceeds pending?

Sales proceeds will remain pending until after 12 working days from sale date, or if your Buyer indicates successful receipt.

9. I received a return. What happens next?

Your Buyer pays for return shipping costs (lowest cost applicable, no tracking). A similar mailer bag envelope will be sent to the Buyer’s address. Pending proceeds for the corresponding book will be refunded to your Buyer. We do not take any Seller fees for returned/refunded sales. You should receive your book back within 7 working days. We are not responsible for any lost or damaged mail in this instance. Please re-list your book following the condition scale provided.

10. I have received a non-receipt claim. I forgot to send the book. What do I do?

Please re-list your book. Pending proceeds for the corresponding book will be refunded to your Buyer. We do not take any Seller fees for returned/refunded sales.

11. I have received a non-receipt claim. I have proof that I sent the book, but the Buyer didn’t receive it. What do I do?

Sellers are responsible for posting the books as soon as they receive the mailer, latest within 1 working day. Pending proceeds for the corresponding book will be refunded to your Buyer. We do not take any Seller fees for returned/refunded sales. If you wish to dispute this claim, kindly email us as moby@bookwhale.com. Disputes are handled on a case-by-case basis.

12. Where is the condition scale?

10/10     NEW
9/10     LIKE NEW Open & read no visible defect.
8/10     VERY GOOD Barely any signs of wear.
7/10     GOOD Few signs of wear.
6/10     FAIR Some signs of wear. Spine creased.
5/10     USED Signs of wear. Edges worn. Spine creased.
4/10     WORN Sign of age & wear. Edges worn. Spine creased. Stained. Binding OK.
3/10     POOR Worn out. Cover OK. Pages OK. Repaired. Stained. Binding loose.
2/10     DAMAGED Cover damage. Pages OK. Repaired. Stained. Binding loose.
1/10     DEFECTIVE Cover missing. Pages loose. Damaged. No binding. Still readable.

eWallet

1. Why are sales proceeds stored in an eWallet?

With immediate pay-outs of proceeds, we cannot deliver a fast service. Hence, we use an eWallet to hold your sales proceeds. You may withdraw through your User page or use the balance to buy books. Due to Stripe’s fees, the minimum amount when paying with a Credit/Debit Card is S$0.60. After deducting the checkout amount from eWallet, the leftovers are credited back to your eWallet.

2. Are there any withdrawal fees?

We charge S0.25 per withdrawal from your eWallet, deducted from the withdrawal amount.

3. Why do I need to key in my bank account details?

At the moment, we can process eWallet withdrawals only through bank transfers. We will support digital wallet apps in future.

Gold Stars

1. What are Gold Stars?

Gold Stars (1 for Buyer, 1 for Seller) are awarded for each successful sale, where there are no return- or refund-claims being filed.

2. What can I do with them?

Gold Star benefits will be announced at a later date. We plan to allow you to redeem your Gold Stars for promotions or collect them for tiered discounts.