Open Trolley is my alternate universe Amazon


Actual Open Trolley does not look like this.

Okay, like, I was surprised some people didn’t know what Open Trolley was but then I realized that I haven’t actually told what it was specifically except in real life to people.

I call it my alternate universe Amazon.


Because it’s basically got all the books online except that IT IS IN SGD AND THE SHIPPING IS LOCAAAAAL! ARRGH. Yes! You know those hard to get books that you wanna buy in the US/elsewhere because it’s not stocked at Kinokuniya/Borders/Popular/etc?

It’s here.


It’s simple to use too and oh I did use the delivery service and the pick up service before.

For the delivery service, the books are packed into a box and it’s like a cute little package OF BOOKS.

Which is duh, because I ordered that.

And it’s so huggable and it’s like Christmas, only not because you’d pay for it and the postman isn’t some fat jolly dude with a beard. He’s just some tired fat dude with a hat (Mario???). So anyway, yeah. They pack your books pretty well and you open up the box and go, “OH GASP! I love you Open Trolley, I love you!” and sleep with the box of books on your bed.

Well, you might not but you could.

I didn’t do that.


ANYWAY! For the pick up point, it was pretty easy too, it’s at The Toy Outpost at Plaza Singapura (Dhoby Ghaut mrt). You might find it odd but imagine it like a trading post and if you did do this method, remember to print out your order form/receipt and just go straight to the cashier counter. They’ve actually got a list of people collecting whichever books.

In the words of Monopoly:

Pass go and collect $2.

Okay, in Monopoly here, it’s $200 but whatever, you get what I mean. If you do a self pick up in the option when you are buying it online, you get a $2 refund. But if you’re too busy or lazy to get to town or whatever, just choose the delivery option. And it’s most worth it if you bought more than one book if you’re choosing delivery.

Oh and if you go via the pick up route, PLEASE bring your own plastic bag or book bag, the Toy Outpost only helps in passing the book to you. Save the Earth and all that. Also, wait for their sms/email notification before you can collect your book.

For both of the methods, there’s a minimum standard time before your book arrives but heck that, if you’re ordering online you should know it’s not gonna appear on your doorstep the next day like how you’d do it in a real store.

Open Trolley is best for those hard to find comics, books and even audio books. The prices vary and sometimes it might be more expensive than the real stores although, it’s not too much variation. Just a few dollars or so and generally said books are sold out or not stocked in the real stores any more.

At times you might see the option for the same book but in different prices. If you see something like, “library edition”, it means that the book is HARDCORE.


Library edition books or audio books are specially bound to withstand the use of many people so unless you have a hundred people in your house or you really, really want to keep that favourite book forever, you don’t have to choose the library edition.

They’re just versions with harder/spine fixed casings (for audio cds) or bindings. That’s why those versions tend to be multitudes more expensive than the normal version. It might look similar but it’s not.

So anyway, before you look to Amazon, just check out Open Trolley here and they might actually have the books you want!

Published by


Well, this is seriously Sarah and that's all you need to know for now.

13 thoughts on “Open Trolley is my alternate universe Amazon”

  1. Hahah both! Since some of them aren’t really hardcovers but their spines got respined with better glue or something.

  2. We will like to mention ( which is Singapore based as well and offers 1 million titles and FREE shipping. So what you price you see on the book is what you pay for with no additional charges.

    There are promotions now like HSBC card holders who can get 35% off all book titles. If you don’t have a HSBC card, go and check the offers there too.

  3. Thanks for the tips on Acmamall and Book Depository. Have to say, I am disappointed with my shopping experience on Open Trolley- it’s been 5 days since I placed my order, but they still haven’t picked the books yet- terrible customer service. I got an order that I placed with a USA based vendor in less time!

    Also, Acmamall has lower prices, and free shipping- maybe I’ll try them next time.

  4. That’s too bad on Open Trolley for you, they’ve always been quite fast for me, oh well! Anyway, yes, looks like other people can also choose to try Acmamall or Book Depository.

  5. Well, I miscounted, because of the weekend- it’s only been 3 days, and they did respond to my email… It is nice to have alternatives here in Singapore to the full price book stores, like Borders…

  6. OK- tried all 3 of the stores above- here’s the results- all orders were for books shown as “in-stock”-

    OpenTrolley- order placed January 6th, available for pickup January 15th- 7 working days. Paid $0.50 to pick them up at Plaza Singapura.

    Acamall- order placed January 10th, delivered January 26th to my house- 12 working days. 40% off of best sellers and free shipping made this the best price, but the longest delivery.

    Book Depository- order placed January 17th, delivered January 26th to my house. Overall good prices and best delivery time (6 working days), even though they are not local. Will probably continue to use them in the future.

    I think both of the “local” bookstores are just a website who then order in bulk from overseas, thus the long lead times.

  7. Hi Sarah (and respondees),

    I’ve used the sites listed here to put together a book comparison site for Singapore:

    It’s a bit of a work in progress at the moment as I’m still finding book stores to list, and trying to get my Acamall searches to work reliably (my fault not theirs).

    I’ve already built a book price comparison site for New Zealand (where I’m from) and was amazed that I couldn’t find one for Singapore.

    And plus one for Book Depository from me. They always deliver so quickly.


  8. I tried open trolley and book depository for the 1st time last week. I had always buy my books from local bookstore until my friend recommended buying online because they are alot more cheaper. 1st time encounter with OT was abit unpleasant. So far, BD was good. I ordered 2 books from OT and 8 books from BD in the same day. 1 of my BD book came very fast. then next came the 2nd one not long after. BD dispatched different books at different timing. I did not expect to get my books so fast. I chose to self collect at Toy outpost for my OT books. When i received 1 of the book, i was so disappointed as to see that it is not what i saw as displayed on the website. I bought that book because of the cover page and now i get a different one. It is kind of misleading. customers should get the actual/exact of what is being shown on the website. I felt abit cheated. I had sent them an email to request for exchange and waiting to see how they respond.

  9. 2 weeks and 2 emails to them (open trolley) on what i should do about my book. And not even a reply from them. what a “good” service they offer. Never going to buy from them again. My 8 books from BD comes perfectly!

  10. Wow, just found this blog post. I have bought books from Book Depository and OpenTrolley before and decided it’s best to stick to OT.

    Altho BD does sell many books cheaper than OT, the service level of BD is really poor. I got my books after one month last Christmas while OT is always punctual, within a week. I wouldn’t mind paying slightly more (I figure $1-2 per book) so long I know it’s coming faster and I can always contact them here in Singapore.

    Don’t forget to also support local stores like Kinokuniya and Borders. Sometimes they have big discount and it’s worth the wait too, because you get the books instantly.

  11. OpenTrolley is expensive beyond belief. Some books are priced at more than double than or even Kinokuniya that is becoming slightly more competitive than in the past.

    Check the book “Ionic in Action” by Jeremy Wilken as an example…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.