Bol.com to cease sending Dutch content abroad

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PeterMollenburg
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Bol.com to cease sending Dutch content abroad

Postby PeterMollenburg » Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:58 am

The Dutch version of amazon found at http://www.bol.com has announced that from the 1st of November this year they will cease sending content outside of the Netherlands and Belgium. This includes digital content. :cry:

If anyone knows of any really good booksellers (and other content such as DVDs/ CDs etc) equivalent to Bol.com selling Dutch books, I'd love to hear about it. Is there a decent Belgian site for example or another Dutch site that might sell just as much as bol.com?

As a side note, I usually have issues with any Amazon site outside of Australia (my location). I stopped being able to use amazon.fr as they refused to send to Australia once amazon.com.au was up and running, yet the little content available through amazon.com.au in terms of foreign language books is ridiculously expensive (or it's more than likely simply not available).

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Below is a copy of the message from Bol.com I received in my email:

Vanaf 1 november 2020 bezorgen we alleen nog in Nederland en België, ook voor digitale producten.

Illustratie bestelling
Je hebt wel eens ebooks, downloads voor games & software of digitale cadeaukaarten bij ons besteld met een account buiten Nederland en België. Helaas bezorgen we binnenkort geen bestellingen meer buiten Nederland en België omdat we onze leverbelofte niet altijd kunnen waarmaken. Ook digitale producten bezorgen we vanaf dan alleen nog maar in Nederland en België.
Dit klinkt misschien gek omdat we digitale producten helemaal niet hoeven te vervoeren. Maar we hebben besloten dat het duidelijker is om dit gelijk te trekken voor alle artikelen op bol.com. Mocht dit veranderen, dan hoor je het natuurlijk meteen van ons.
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PeterMollenburg
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Re: Bol.com to cease sending Dutch content abroad

Postby PeterMollenburg » Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:09 am

And another message with a little more detail:

Vanaf 1 november 2020 bezorgen we alleen in Nederland en België.

We willen je bedanken. Jij bent 1 van onze klanten die wel eens een bestelling laat bezorgen buiten Nederland of België. Helaas hebben we gemerkt dat we bij onze buitenlandse bestellingen onze leverbelofte niet altijd kunnen waarmaken. Ook moeten we door nieuwe Europese regelgeving straks per Europees land waarin we pakketjes bezorgen, de lokale btw in rekening brengen. Dit maakt het bezorgen van bestellingen in het buitenland voor ons erg ingewikkeld. Daarom hebben we besloten om per 1 november alleen binnen Nederland en België te bezorgen.

Hoe gaat het nu verder?
Nog t/m 31 oktober 2020 kun je bol.com bestellingen laten bezorgen buiten Nederland en België. Deze bestellingen kun je uiteraard binnen de zichttermijn retourneren. Vanaf 1 november kun je bestellen en laten bezorgen in Nederland of België. Onze klantenservice blijft uiteraard voor je klaarstaan.
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Re: Bol.com to cease sending Dutch content abroad

Postby tungemål » Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:11 am

I don't understand why they do that, particularly when it comes to digital media.

When I buy Spanish books I search the Spanish Amazon, but they tell me to order from the US Amazon where I'm registered, or change location. Fortunately US Amazon usually got Spanish titles as well. When Amazon now comes to Sweden I guess I will be forced to order from that location.
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Re: Bol.com to cease sending Dutch content abroad

Postby rdearman » Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:37 am

tungemål wrote:I don't understand why they do that, particularly when it comes to digital media.

When I buy Spanish books I search the Spanish Amazon, but they tell me to order from the US Amazon where I'm registered, or change location. Fortunately US Amazon usually got Spanish titles as well. When Amazon now comes to Sweden I guess I will be forced to order from that location.

My guess is you need to look no further than the taxman in Holland. I had a similar issue in the UK with digital books when the UK started to charge VAT on them. They no longer do this, but it caused problems for me with purchasing from the USA using a gift card. During that entire process I discovered that Amazon isn't one company. Amazon (unlike Google or Facebook) is a collection of in-country companies which are subsidiaries of the larger company. Each of these smaller entities must conform to the local laws regarding shipping, logistics, VAT, customs and other taxes. Amazon is a retail store, not an Internet company, so they have a lot more areas where they potentially could conflict with local laws if they don't have a local presence.

Another problem I had was that the US couldn't do a refund into an account in the UK because they are different companies. They explained it to me saying it would be like Apple putting your refund into Microsoft. So people purchasing items from Holland, and expecting remediation via Amazon.fr for example would cause a lot of headaches they probably don't want.

(All of the above is speculation of course)
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Re: Bol.com to cease sending Dutch content abroad

Postby iguanamon » Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:38 am

These geo-limited restrictions have, from the companies' perspectives, the undesired effect of driving people with money in their hands prepared to give them... to piracy. Truth be told, there probably isn't such a huge market for foreign language media to begin with in large monolingual countries, so the companies probably don't see it as a huge financial loss for them, nor do they see it as a huge market opportunity to the bottom line worthy of investment. So, digital media will continue to be pirated. Language-learners will go where they need to go to get what they want. What a pity.
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Re: Bol.com to cease sending Dutch content abroad

Postby DaveAgain » Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:44 pm

PeterMollenburg wrote:If anyone knows of any really good booksellers (and other content such as DVDs/ CDs etc) equivalent to Bol.com selling Dutch books, I'd love to hear about it. Is there a decent Belgian site for example or another Dutch site that might sell just as much as bol.com?
Boekwinkeltjes.nl was mentioned by Kat on another thread.
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Re: Bol.com to cease sending Dutch content abroad

Postby PeterMollenburg » Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:20 pm

DaveAgain wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:If anyone knows of any really good booksellers (and other content such as DVDs/ CDs etc) equivalent to Bol.com selling Dutch books, I'd love to hear about it. Is there a decent Belgian site for example or another Dutch site that might sell just as much as bol.com?
Boekwinkeltjes.nl was mentioned by Kat on another thread.


Thanks DaveAgain,

With what little time I've had I have emailed a few other booksellers asking them directly to see whether or not they will post to Australia. So far I have contacted the Belgian store: https://www.standaardboekhandel.be/ and the Dutch stores https://www.boekenwereld.com/ and https://www.bookspot.nl/.

I just took a glance at boekwinkeltjes.nl as well and was going to send then an email too, however it appears as a platform for booksellers from all over the Netherlands (maybe Belgium as well, haven't checked) that enables them to sell their books. I'd imagine boekwinkeltjes takes a cut for the service. I doubt this will work for me as it's probably dependent on each individual physical shop and their policies. Although I will explore it some more. Sure I might be able to find a store on there that will send to AU but it's just a bloody headache when you have the impression that you have a reliable bookseller and then it disappears.

Fortunately for the French/Australia amazon situation I was able to resolve that by buying from fnac.com, a fantastic French alternative that will send to Australia (for now). As they say 'if you can't beat them, join them'. Too many problems in todays world have been sold to humanity out of efficiency and convenience. I wanna do this the hard way, my way ;)

The reason I'm finding this such an issue is that I much prefer to buy physical books for my children to read to them in foreign languages because as it stands kids are growing up in a world with far too much screen time nowadays, and so we are doing our best to avoid that for as long as reasonably possible. Physical books are so much 'nicer' to read with your kids, imo. Okay, not everyone will agree with me, necessarily, and that's fine, but this is my situation. Thus, if I cannot find an alternative, I might slam bol.com with a horrendously MASSIVE order or several orders before 1st of November in an attempt to cover several years into the future of Dutch reading with my kids. Thus, the race is on, find an alternative or fork out a semi-trailer load of cash on physical books for the coming years. I know I know, I could be accused of being a bit odd, but it's not true, I swear! (don't trust me)

I'm hoping to introduce Norwegian to my children in a year or two. Come that time, I imagine I'll have some new struggles obtaining content, not to mention exorbitant prices. Meanwhile everything is turning digital. I'm certainly one of those people who gets a bit nostalgic about how things were in the past.
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Re: Bol.com to cease sending Dutch content abroad

Postby lingua » Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:39 pm

I agree with you that kids should be read to from physical books. I don't think it's odd at all.

I prefer digital for ease of use, font size for my aging eyes, built-in dictionaries, travel, etc but for specific picture heavy reference type books I still prefer the physical.
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Re: Bol.com to cease sending Dutch content abroad

Postby PfifltriggPi » Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:48 pm

PeterMollenburg wrote:Fortunately for the French/Australia amazon situation I was able to resolve that by buying from fnac.com, a fantastic French alternative that will send to Australia (for now). As they say 'if you can't beat them, join them'. Too many problems in todays world have been sold to humanity out of efficiency and convenience. I wanna do this the hard way, my way ;)


The prices on Fnac, intercontinental shipping aside, of course, are so much less expensive than other sources of French books in my country that I tried ordering from there once but my bank blocked my debit card and it was a terrific hassle to fix it. As a result I have yet to try again, as much as the low prices are very tempting. Has this sort of thing happened to you? If so, does anyone have any sort of advice on how to better buy books internationally without one's bank getting in the way?
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Re: Bol.com to cease sending Dutch content abroad

Postby iguanamon » Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:12 am

PfifltriggPi wrote:...The prices on Fnac, intercontinental shipping aside, of course, are so much less expensive than other sources of French books in my country that I tried ordering from there once but my bank blocked my debit card and it was a terrific hassle to fix it. As a result I have yet to try again, as much as the low prices are very tempting. Has this sort of thing happened to you? If so, does anyone have any sort of advice on how to better buy books internationally without one's bank getting in the way?

Most Americans don't buy things directly from overseas, so to the fraud protection algorithm, doing so flags your card as a possible fraud target. Yes, it's frustrating. You must actually call the customer service number on the back of your card and tell the bank that you want to make an exception for the particular country where you want to buy regularly.
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