I just bought a book. It cost be £9.49 from Book Depository. Shipping is included in their price. Before buying it, I checked Amazon's site. They wanted £8.43 but they also wanted £4.98 to ship it to Ireland! The book was eligible for "super saver shipping", so if I was buying more than £25 worth of books, the shipping would be free but I wasn't so that's beside the point.
If Book Depository can do the whole thing for £9.49, there's no way on earth it is actually costing Amazon anything close to £4.98 to ship 1 book to Ireland. So I really wonder what's going on. Are they trying to discourage single-item purchases? Are they ripping off the Irish (why leave that to the Irish?) Does it really cost them that much to ship a book? Is Book Depository losing money on this?
I'd love to know what's really going on. I sent them a mail. I already bought the book from Book Depository but I figure there's no harm in encouraging some competition.