Indoo Ships Your Textbooks To You When They Feel Like It

Don’t order textbooks from if you need them right away, because they’re a little casual with their shipping. Joe ordered two textbooks on September 5th. Four days later on September 9th, they sent him an email saying they’d been shipped via USPS Priority mail. They hadn’t arrived by the 16th, so Joe emailed to ask what was going on. They responded that actually the books had been shipped on September 11th via USPS Priority and that “the arrival expectation is 4 to 5 business days.” Joe received one of the two books yesterday, on September 17th, which would have been 5 business days after the 11th. Still no sign of the other book.

After this experience, Joe started looking online, and he found similar stories from frustrated shoppers. A customer on Pricegrabber from this summer wrote:

I ordered two books, paid for expedited shipping, and have just received one book after 12 days. No idea where the other book is, and they did not provide tracking information (even after I contacted them 5 days ago to get tracking / shipment details). On the 3rd part bookseller website, the order was listed as being shipped / completed 8 days ago but when I checked the USPS tracking info on my package it was listed as being shipped 2 days ago. That means they falsely listed the order as having shipped 6 days before they actually put it in the mail.

There’s another personal account of an Indoo shipping fiasco on this livejournal page.

We might have been willing to cut Indoo a little slack, except they never responded to Joe’s follow up email, nor did they acknowledge or apologize for the misreported shipping date in the single response they did send him.

Joe adds,

Frankly, the only reason I ordered from them was because I read about a bookseller aggregator on Lifehacker or Consumerist and Indoo came up as cheapest/fastest for both books. I was a bad consumerist since I didn’t do my research on them first. Would have saved me some aggravation. Maybe a post on Consumerist would keep someone else from making the same mistake.

(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. bleigh says:

    I just dealt with them this semester for my art history and English class. My English books came in a week, the art history books took 3 WEEKS!! They won’t respond to my emails or anything. I’m really frustrated and I had to go to the bookstore to purchase my books for 30 dollars more, not to mention since they won’t respond to my email, I’m stuck with an additional three that I can’t seem to return.


  2. campredeye says:

    I didn’t buy a single text book in my 4 years of school. Saved about $4,000. Graduated Cum Laude. Take better notes. Eliminate books from the system, its a monopoly and a waste of money.

    I understand that there are some classes that require them, though. Most professors are understanding in this case if you talk to them and don’t want to buy the text.

    • frari489 says:


      I didn’t buy a single text book in my 4 years of school. Saved about $4,000. Graduated Cum Laude. Take better notes. Eliminate books from the system, its a monopoly and a waste of money.

      Same here, I went to every lecture and took great notes. Didn’t use my text books at all.

    • sjaguar says:

      @campredeye: I could go either way with books. In some classes, I did not even open my book; I either knew the material or was able to find it online. In other classes, having a book made it easier to find information I needed.

    • CRNewsom says:

      @campredeye: I don’t know what your major was, but this is not feasible with engineering texts. The tables in the appendices of the text are required for exams and homework.

  3. "I Like Potatoes" says:

    Any store that wants to keep customers in this day and age better get a clue and ship on time. There are just too many alternatives out on the web who are either looking to give you a better deal or are willing to give you better customer service. Slow shipping is my #1 biggest pet peeve about a lot of online sites. There’s just no excuse for it.

  4. Sasselhoff says:

    @campredeye: Sorry but that is a rather ignorant comment. Perhaps at your university, in your field of study the books were not absolutely needed. As CRNewsom said, that does not always apply.

    Heck, at my school a bunch of the professors even wrote the book we had to use. Sure the whole textbook oligopoly is a sham, but that doesn’t change things.

  5. Ouze says:

    what a timely story. I ordered a bunch of used books a few weeks ago from amazon, which of course is just a venue for a bunch of various booksellers. (not textbooks, just stuff to read). All of them came in a few days except the one from Indoo, which indeed just came last night – a full 14 days after the other ones. I was meaning to leave them a negative feedback nastygram and keep forgetting – thanks for reminding me, amazon!

  6. SybilDisobedience says:

    I always buy used textbooks online – used in campus bookstores rarely means more than a $10 discount; by contrast, I recently bought my sociology text for $2 (and $2 shipping). You have to be really careful whom you order from, though – I too have picked crappy sellers who took weeks to get my books to me. Now, I’m always careful to read all the buyer feedback before I choose a seller, even if their price beats the other guys’.

    • RandomHookup says:

      @SybilDisobedience: Of course, most of the booksellers on Amazon are just some guy selling out of his basement (I know, I’m one of them…though I’ve dumped most of my titles as unprofitable). Sometimes the best thing is to find someone locally and see if they are willing to meet up with you after you buy in on Amazon.

  7. MathIsWrong says:

    I agree about eliminating books, however most Universities have rules about professors using books they have written as their main teaching material or at worst do not allow them to accept royalties on behalf of books that they have written and are sold in their college bookstore. The “edition scam” plagues beleaguered college students from day one. Anyway, I’m a huge fan of because they are one of the few online textbook engines that doesn’t actually sell anything. It’s strictly comparison from top to bottom and when you order your entire semester worth of books online, they compare not only standard prices but, rentals, international editions and calculate shipping cost in. It’s really pretty insane. I’m finishing my MA in Poli Sci and I’ve been using them since I found it about a year and a half ago. MUST RECOMMEND!

  8. HogwartsAlum says:

    Here, we have some stores that sell textbooks independently of the school bookstores. Sometimes you can get something there. My school bookstore is notorious for not having enough of something and then taking weeks to get replacements in, often well after the semester has started.

    And the state university here will let students from my (private) university buy stuff in their bookstore with a valid ID.

  9. pixiegirl1 says:

    I used to get all my textbooks from Amazon. This semester I guess the school got wise and actually had competitive pricing on their books. I guess when you mark up books 200-300% enough people look elsewhere for them sales go down. I last semester I had to have a state statue book which gets redone every year I got mine directly from the manufacture with express shipping for $60 the book store was selling that shit for $200! The ones I needed were only $3-5 more than what could get them for online so I actually bought them from my school for once.

  10. pete7919 says:

    I had this exact problem, but I ordered from them through By the 3rd week of class the professor was screaming for an assigment that was due the 1st week. Of course what happened the day after I trekked to the school bookstore and bought the book?

    Yup, right on my doorstep.

    The only reason I bought from them over another seller was because it said they were in NJ and I’m in PA. 14 days total from order to delivery 1 state away.

    • jeebussez says:

      @pete7919: is in the same boat as Amazon sellers; its just people selling books out of their homes. One time it took half a semester before I said screw it, demanded my money back, and gave them a negative review. As a tip, has a feedback rating just like on Ebay (since it’s a subsidiary) and such; pay attention to it. If you don’t get your stuff in a timely manner, you’re within your rights to demand a refund.

      As for those who say ‘eliminate books from the system’, that’s hard. One way of cutting costs though is to just read books at the library. It’s a little more annoying, but infinitely cheaper. As for you engineering types that need your tables, just photocopy em.

  11. WoodrowHaemarrhoid says:

    I’m having a similar issue with alibris. Ordered books in August, said
    delivery expected by September 11th, so 2nd week of school, I could tolerate
    that. So rather than order the cheapest copies I ordered the ones that would
    be here quickest (sept 11th), each being shipped from a different location.
    Of 3 books only 1 arrived on time. It’s the 19th, no sign of the other
    books, I’ve contacted them about it, and am waiting on a response.

    When they arrive I’ll just be returning them since I’ve had to buy them
    elsewhere. If they aren’t here by the end of the month, I’ll be on the phone
    with mastercard.

  12. it5five says:

    I had the same problem with Indoo. I ordered a book from them through Amazon marketplace and it took about a month for the book to arrive. Luckily I didn’t need the book right away for the class, but I left them some bad feedback and won’t be buying from them again.

  13. Jaynor says:

    I went to two schools for my Undergrad (a small private college for the first two years, a large state school for the last two and a half) and all of the textbooks (or nearly all) were available for checkout at the school library.

  14. BytheSea says:

    Ugh. I only had this happen once during 4 years of school and 3 of grad school, and it was due to a crappy seller on amazon. When it comes to my grades, I put my faith in And Amazon. Well, I DID buy like 60 books over those 7 years and only 1 came late (and was the wrong edition).

  15. sventurata says:

    Indigo Online: books ordered January 5, books shipped January 31, books delivered mid-February…

    first refund on my credit card: appeared next day
    second refund: THREE MONTHS LATER. I have no idea why.