Friday, August 15, 2014

# aido dubai # aido qatar

Doha Review: Ezdan Mall & WHSmith Bookstore Doha vs Store vs

As you probably already know, it's very hard to get one decent book on pregnancy in the whole of Qatar. I have looked high and low for the book but alas, I was to be disappointed by this little country. By luck-last year I managed to find What To Expect When You Are Expecting in I-Spy bookstore, City Center and that was my bible for up to 5 months then I realised I needed a better, comprehensive book. I didn't have time to look for them in Malaysia so I halfheartedly decided I will do the book hunting here in Doha.

The book hunting begins

I called I-Spy book store today and they told me they had no book on pregnancy.
I called Jarir book store and no one picked up the phone.
Last night I looked online and my husband suggested I search for WHSmith book store because they have a small branch in the new Doha Airport so they may have some store in Doha. And they did! They have a flagship store in Ezdan Mall (Opposite Landmark Mall, next to Lulu Hypermarket)
Today we decided to check out the store

And they did have books, plenty of English books. Plenty of books written by British authors and all kinds of cook book pastry book sourced from BBC, Nigella and British chefs. And somewhere in the nook of all odd-titled and ill placed books were, on the bottom shelf, a row of books on parenting, pregnancy and fatherhood. It looked so pitiful I felt bad being pregnant. We couldn't find the books in the first place, they were so poorly placed. There were no "Pregnancy Books/Parenting & Toddler" sign or anything like that. Anyways the girl working in the store showed us where the books were located and I bought one titled Your Baby Week by Week by Simone Cave and Dr whatsherface

It cost me 85 riyals

Some pictures of the book store in Ezdan Mall. I only took pictures of the book section. The toys, garish notebooks and books for kids I have left out

The Online book hunting begins

The moral of this post is not to count on the local bookstore for any books you like unless they're mainstream fiction and non fiction. So I came back home feeling dissapointed and my husband suggested me to look for online book stores in GCC. He said there must be some GCC websites that sold books to GCC only. Again my husband came to the rescue. He seems to have all the solution to my woes when I need it the most. After extensive searching it all boiled down to JAMALON.COM and AIDO.COM

It was obvious that books on Aido were higher priced than the books sold on Jamalon. Aido is Dubai based and Jamalon is based in Jordan

Here is a comparison for a paperback from both retailers

Here's the price for a slightly older version of the Baby Book from Jamalon

And the price for a newer version from Aido

The Conclusion

Anyways I settled on Jamalon and got 5 books from them (based on reviews from Amazon)

If you feel uncomfortable buying from these online stores you can always buy from Amazon. Shipment to middle east is not that expensive; for these two books with standard shipping it was costing me about RM (Ringgit Malaysia) 170 If you don't mind waiting for a month to get your book that is.

I bought 5 books from Jamalon and it cost me 360 riyals including shipment (80 riyals) with Aramex (3-7 working days delivery)

I will update this entry once I have received my books


I have sent 2 emails to Jamalon and no one bothered to reply me

I decided to call them today. This morning the guy at the other end spoke no English. Second call attempt worked better-a lady picked up but spoke halting English. She passed me to her supervisor or something and he explained to me that the books were being shipped from their publisher in London to Qatar and it will take 3 days; meaning 72 hours

One of the 5 books is not in stock

They will refund me the money once they have shipped the remaining 4 books

Until I don't hold the books in my hand I am giving Jamalon a thumb down.

Update II is the biggest online bookstore-cum-rip-off in the whole of GCC. I regret buying from them. It's the 24th August today and my Aramex record is stand still at "Data Received" and "Record Created"

It's better to buy from bookrepository and Aido that buying from Jamalon, They are a giant big scam online ripping innocent people off their moolah

Here's the screenshot of the email I sent them today using their contact us option

Update III

Imagine my surprise when two days ago I saw this on the Aramex tracking site. They had actually procured the books in London. Within a day it was here in Qatar sitting in Abou Hamour at about 3pm. So I logged another case with Aramex and they called me back saying since there is no driver they will try to deliver it to me within 48 hours. I said please hurry up this parcel is long overdue. And lo and behold this morning I had another call from Aramex and this guy asked me when I wanted the parcel delivered. That's it. I blew up like a volcano. I said now I want it now its been so long overdue why do you even ask me when I want it delivered?! He said he will try before 12pm and someone must have realised what a big cock-up Aramex did with my books so he wrote with permanent marker on my parcel to deliver it before 12pm

Also, two days ago I had a call from Jamalon in Jordan saying my books are already in Qatar (but I knew that already I have been tracking it daily) I said my thanks, resolved never to buy from Jamalon again because 

A. crappy customer service
B. I had to call them to ask for my item shipment number
C. I had to keep harassing Aramex for my books
D. Some of the books' covers were damaged. Someone was hasty when he removed the price tag, the glue didnt come off

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