In January this year I ordered two books from Alibris, an online bookstore based in the US. The coveted items finally arrived this week, almost seven weeks later.
Last year, I ordered two books from Amazon, another [far more popular] US-based online store. Those books arrived ten days later.
Why the discrepancy?
Alibris tell me it takes "up to four weeks for books delivered via the Standard International Shipping method I had selected", and that the time lapse is due to "Customs", whatever that entails. (Seems time they reviewed their maths here.)
So, in actuality: seven weeks? For a couple of books? Amazon quoted 12 to 20 days for the same thing, then bettered it.
Considering that Alibris also stuffed a bookmark into each package, stamped with a "$1 off your next purchase" coupon that expired two weeks ago, and they won't replace this, I know where I'll be buying next time.
On a related note, Amazon now have an express shipping membership package, Amazon Prime, which, for $79 USD a year, will give me as many items as I want direct to my doorstep within two days of purchase. This is actually great value, if "Express Shipping" is the same as "Priority International Courier" for Australian customers, as the shipping charge on a single book shipped that way would be $31.98 USD ($24.99 shipment charge + $6.99 item charge). A couple of individual book purchases and you've nearly spent that anyway.
[Can you tell that I love online shopping?]