The Corner

Books for India

I just got an email from a person in India, grumbling that he couldn’t get one of my books because Amazon.com has no India site and in fact does not ship to India.

Really? I did some googling. There seems to be something to it:

Amazon.com may restrict sales to countries where currency or postal services may be a problem … When contacted, Amazon.com’s customer service representative Mohit Sharma said, “Using an address in India is perfectly acceptable for most retail purchases made from Amazon.com. However, the Amazon Payments system, which Amazon Marketplace employs to initiate payments, has a more limited scope.” …

Not sure what that means (and the posting has no date, so may be out of date). It seems a bit odd if true, though.

Payments currently supports shipping addresses from the following countries: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States … We are unable to extend the Payments Service to your country at this time …

They’ll deal with Mexico but not India? Is this in any way connected with the follow-up reports I’m reading about the Bombay terror attacks? The reports, I mean, that when the terrorists first started firing, the police ran away, a cop’s job in India being apparently something of a sinecure for the well-connected. Jonathan Foreman in America’s Newspaper of Record this morning:

The problem wasn’t the cops’ weaponry; it was their attitude and lack of training. Many police here buy their place on the force or get in through political connections. Policing is famously remunerative work, thanks to the opportunities for extortion.

Is India more chaotic than I’d been supposing? Does Amazon.com know something similar to the thing Jonathan Foreman knows?

If Amazon.com does venture into India, I suggest a promotional campaign bannered as “The Five Days of Holiday.”

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