You may notice that prices of shipping and handling on amazon is inching up. For a 11 dollar book of Portable Petrarch, I end up paying $4 in shipping costs. Here’s the trick: if it looks as though Amazon won’t make the promised delivery date, always send an email to Amazon to complain. They will almost always refund the full shipping costs if the product won’t be delivered by the promised delivery date. This book’s delivery was promised Oct 8-13; on the 11th the tracking page showed it wasn’t even mailed. I wrote them, asking what’s up? That’s when they refunded my $4 shipping costs and gave me a revised shipping date.
This works with new books; I don’t know about used books (probably not). I feel no guilt about doing this. Amazon’s shipping rates are exorbitant enough as it is; it is only fitting that they comp shipping costs after making a false promise.