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Help | Good Books International

Some Help and Information


Follow these links to find information and answers to frequently asked questions:

Search Tips
Credit Card Questions
Trouble shooting account details
Why am I seeing the same book with different prices?
Site Security
How online shopping with Good Books works
How your account information will be used
What you can find on our website
How to contact us

Search Tips

Our current search facility can be used to search by: Author, Title, ISBN, or Keyword.

If you are having trouble finding a title: If the title has 'the' in front, try searching without 'the' as sometimes publishers leave this word out.

If you are having trouble finding your author, or a title related to an author: Try searching the author's surname without the first name as sometimes an author will publish under a different name - e.g. Pete Smith instead of Peter Smith or P, Smith, or even D P Smith, so the search may not pick it up.

If you are having trouble finding a book by ISBN: Books can be published under more than one ISBN. For example when published by a new publisher, as a new edition, or for a book with different countries of publication. Search the title or author names to see what else exists.

If you want more information about a title: In order to maintain our zero expenditure policy, we do not purchase product information from suppliers. We rely on publication information that is provided to us by different wholesalers. Sometimes this is less than adequate. We recommend you always ask us if you are not sure about an item; we will always run careful checks for you. You might also want to run your own internet search to get complete product information and then come back to buy when you are sure of the ISBN you are after.

Why am I seeing the same book with different prices? The site has titles from multiple wholesalers and countries. Different pricing can be a result of a wholesaler having a different deal with a publisher or because a book is coming from a different country or origin. We have set a lowest price first default so that you can see which offers the best value. It is also important to note that audio and book products can look very similar but will usually carry different prices. Check yours is the type of product you are after in 'More Information'. We have sized the products differently too - audio is square and books are rectangular.

Search improvements: We are always working on search upgrades for the site. In the meantime, always feel free to contact us for help with any search, or try searching the internet for additional information. For example: you can Google a book title to find its ISBN and then come back to see if we hold it. Remember that a book can have more than one ISBN depending on where it was published.

Does the browse option bring up recommended books? No, the browse option does not bring up what we would recommend - it shows products in the order that they are published, so from most recent to oldest. However by using filters on your search results you can order the products by Title, Price or Author and you set a price or date range so you will only see products in this range. 

How can I get ideas then? We do have special Recommended Reads we can supply you for children and young readers and we are happy to put any Recommended Reads together for you. A number of our volunteers are ex bookshop owners and can offer well-qualified advice.

How does online shopping with Good Books work? Purchasing books online has become extremely popular but it can seem a bit overwhelming if you have not tried it before. Feel free to contact us for help at any stage. This section sets out the process in detail:

First find your book: Shopping for your books on our website involves searching our online products catalogue. Searches can be by title, author, ISBN (the numeric identifier on the back of a book) or keyword. You can simply browse a category but if you're not sure what you're after, browsing can be a bit broad. For example, browsing 'Horror' brings up the first 100 books in the section. We have limited genre browses to 100 because they would otherwise run in to the 1000's, which would be off-putting. If you are looking for ideas, try review columns in press or magazines, or Google 'recommended reads' to find lots of ideas - and then come back to us to buy your selections.

When I see a book I like, how do I buy? When you see something you like you can add it as an item to a virtual shopping basket, by clicking the 'add to basket' option. Your item will then appear in the shopping basket situated at the top left of your screen and in the page header menu. You can view your basket items in more detail and edit your order by clicking the 'view basket' option in either location. If you then want to find more books, you simply run a new search or use the link under the basket contents. More items can be added as you browse until you are finished.

Adding an item does not commit you to buy it: You can remove any or all items from your basket at any time. If you decide to buy any of the contents of your shopping basket, you can simply go to the checkout. The checkout process can be undertaken as a one-off process or you can register with us to make future visits very easy. For any purchase you will need to provide details for postage and payment.

Can I store basket contents for future visits? At this stage no, but we are working on this. If you want to save search details then we recommend you print off the shopping basket contents page before you log out of the site.

Troubleshooting account details:

Setting up an account: Anyone can visit Good Books and browse at any time. However, if you wish you can create a customer account, so we can recognise you when you come back on the same computer, or allow you to log on from any computer anywhere in the world. A customer account requires a login (your email address and a username) a password and a delivery address. You can also fill in your payment details as part of this registration process to have stored for future use. If you prefer, you can leave this step, until you wish to make a purchase, and fill it in at the time of purchase. When you do have something in your basket and want to proceed to purchase, you should select the 'checkout' option. If you have something in your basket to checkout and are not yet logged in as a Good Books customer you will now be asked to log in. If you have something in your basket and are already logged in, you will be asked to either fill in your payment details (if you did not already do this earlier) or to simply confirm them (just to make sure the delivery address and payment details are still correct). If you are buying something for the first time and have not yet set up an account, you can choose to save your details and create an account on the checkout page by ticking 'register and save details for next time'. Once you are happy with your order you simply select the 'confirm order' button to complete your purchase. 

Do you want to check the steps required to create an account for yourself? Go to Login/Create account at the far right of the menu tab on the web page. When you select this option it will take you to a 'Login and Registration' page. There you will see two options: The first offers a login with a box in which to enter your username and password. This is the option to use if you have already registered with us and are logging in on any subsequent visit. The second option is for new customers, and asks for your name, email address, a username and a password (you choose this) and then a repeat of your password to confirm it. When you have filled these in you can select the 'create account' button. Once you have done this you can log in at any time from any PC, anywhere in the world, using your username and password to do so.

If you have forgotten your password, or are having problems with your password:

To avoid confusion it is better to apply for a new password than to set up a second account. If unsure please get in touch and we will help sort it out for you.

Forgotten it? If you have forgotten your password, use the 'Forgotten Password click here' link. This will take you to the 'Lost Password' page and you can then confirm or correct your email address and a new random password will be emailed to you. You can use this to log on and then change the password to something you prefer. We cannot supply your actual password because this is secure information we do not have access to.

Having trouble? If you have inadvertently used caps, or spaces, when entering a password, you may not be able to log back in. It is best to apply for a new password.

Account Details: When you are registering for the first time you will be taken to the registration page. This is where we ask for information about your billing address (which appears on your confirmations and packing slips), your delivery address (this will default to being the same as your billing addresses, or you can simply tick the 'card address is different from delivery' box and choose to have your books sent anywhere in the world you want) and your payment method. Payment options at present are restricted to credit cards.

Any time you enter or update account details you must use the update details button at the bottom of the page to make sure details are then stored.

Help: We are more than happy to help you with the process at any time by e mail or by phoning you at a time that suits to go through the details. If you would like us to, please use the 'Contact us' option.

Credit cards: Your credit card information can be entered each time you make a purchase - or you can choose to enter it once and then keep it stored in the system by using the tick box option to do so. Because your credit card details are held as securely encrypted information, choosing to store such details is very safe but it is totally up to you to decide. You are also welcome to pay by credit card over the phone as an alternative method if online simply feels too difficult or scary.

Credit card details required: You need to enter your credit card number, your expiry date, and your security code. You do not need to enter the start date or the issue number - these are Switch Card (UK) requirements and do not apply to NZ Master Card or Visa.

What is the credit card security code: Part of the information required about your credit card includes the 3 digit security number on the back of your card. We are not very used to this in NZ but overseas it is becoming standard practice as an added security measure. If you are still not sure what this is hover the mouse over the 'i' for more information. Or contact your credit card provider who will assist you. If you wish, please feel free to contact us because we can always call you in person to help.

What if I get an error message about my card? If you see error messages about your card it is usually because of an accidental space bar or return key use that does not show up but alters the information that is 'read'. To remove this: log out of the site, log back in, and then re-enter your details. Make sure you are not using spaces or the space bar between the numbers of your card. Then use the 'update details' button at the bottom of the page. This will usually solve the problem. If not, please contact us and we will sort it out for you.

Is buying online safe? When you go to the checkout, you enter Paperbackshop UK's (PBS) secure server. All information is transmitted in an encrypted format which can only be read by PBS. They have taken all possible steps to ensure the security of your credit card details and the payment transactions are maintained.

What is secure encryption? This is a summary of what is provided on the website How Stuff Works.Com, for the full article go to:

Encryption is the process of encoding information (like credit card numbers) in such a way that only the person (or computer) with the 'key' can decode it. Computer encryption is based on the science of cryptography. As a child you may have even used cryptography, creating a coded message to send to a friend in which each letter is substituted with the letter that is two down from it in the alphabet. So "A" becomes "C," and "B" becomes "D". You have already told the friend that the code is "Shift by 2". Your friend gets the message and decodes it. Anyone else who sees the message will see only nonsense. However, most forms of cryptography in use these days rely on computers, simply because a human-based code is too easy for a computer to crack, whereas computer based codes are far too complex.

The 'key' to the code in public-key encryption, the system we use, is based on a hash value. This is a value that is computed from a base input number using what is called a hashing algorithm. Here's a simple example:

Input numberHashing algorthmHash value
10,667 Input# x 143 1,525,381


Essentially, the hash value is a summary of the original value. The important thing about a hash value is that it is nearly impossible to derive the original number that was encoded without knowing the data used to create the hash value. You can see how hard it would be to determine that the value 1,525,381 came from the multiplication of 10,667 and 143. But if you knew that the multiplier was 143, then it would be very easy to calculate the value 10,667. Public-key encryption is actually much more complex than this example, but that is the basic idea. In fact public keys generally use very complex algorithms and very large hash values for encrypting, including 40-bit or even 128-bit numbers. A 128-bit number has a possible 2 to the 128th power or 3, 402, 823, 669, 209, 384, 634, 633, 746, 074, 300, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000 different combinations. Trying to crack this code would be like trying to find one particular grain of sand in the Sahara Desert.

How will my personal account information be used? We only use your personal information to process your online orders, deliver you products and services, process your payments, to communicate with you about your orders, send any information you request, and, if you are registered with us, to display your information to you when you visit the site, such as your order history.

For more information please check our Privacy Statement.

What can you find on our website? At we offer information about us and the services we offer. You can search through a huge range of books and have titles delivered to you from across the globe. In addition, we offer information about our Oxfam partner, their projects in the Pacific, and how your custom enables their work. Please use our online contact form if you have any other questions you would like to ask about us or about our services.

How can I contact you?
Use our online contact form 
You can phone us on: +44 (0) 1285 715 127
Or you can write to us at

Good Books
Private Bag 47910
Auckland 1144
Aotearoa New Zealand