Desert Sand Mica

Whatever, just crash it Bob...


This is a too-much-coffee induced business rant. Skip it if ya want. It's probably boring as hell. I just hadda get it out.

We get the dumbest questions in response to books and merchandise for sale on half and ebay.

Here's a book we had listed:
Internal Marketing Strategies - Like New
and our comment about the book:
Completely clean inside, tight binding. Looks brand new.

Today we get a question:
Does this book have any writing inside?

Also...people are forever writing and asking us to leave positive feedback for them after they've bought a book. I have no problem with leaving feedback for someone, when the transaction merits it. I leave feedback for every ebay transaction, because that is appropriate. I've dealt directly with a buyer or seller, and can truthfully leave feedback about whether the transaction was positive or not.

But on, we don't actually deal with the customer, unless there's a problem. People order books from us through directly through us. collects their money. We don't even get the order if there's a problem with their payment. If they order a book, and the payment doesn't clear their credit card, we never even know. We ship the books out to the customer, and then we get paid by, twice a month. So it's appropriate for someone to leave us feedback, which they frequently do. We get about 10 comments a day, mostly saying how fast we ship. But there really isn't any reason for us to reciprocate positive feedback. We haven't dealt with the customer, we didn't collect their money. What is there to say? "They bought a book. We mailed it out".

Some people are really mean when it comes to negative feedback. At the volume of business we do, problems are unavoidable. Books do get lost in the mail, or we mix up orders and send the wrong book to two people. We lose books. They're in there somewhere, but misfiled, or..something. Usually we find them right after we've cancelled the order. It never fails.

Frequently, we have to piggy back a book onto another edition of the same book, because doesn't list every single book ever put into print in their database. Textbooks, especially.
So we'll attach a comment to the listing of the book, that says something like "1992 3rd Edition", when in fact the actual listing is for a 1997 edition. Almost all of our negative feedback comes from people who ordered a book, and didn't read the comments, which are visible to the buyer at every step of the transaction. Man, that pisses me off.

We have gotten positive feedback after problems, too. Recently we got these comments:

Praise: Book was not as stated. Refund promptly given
Praise: Sent me unavoidable cancelation in a timely and with explanation; good people!

Nice folks.

I do love it when people write and say how much they loved the book, or have something nice to say like that. Often someone will write and say "I have been looking for this book for years!" That's fun.

However, regularly someone will write and say "What is this book about?"

Um, hi. As you can see, right by our name on your the number of books we have in inventory. EIGHT THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED BOOKS. I haven't read em all, believe it or not. And I sure as hell am not gonna go pull the book to synopsize (is that a word?) it for you. Go look it up somewhere.

We had an auction of James Michener books up recently. A woman wrote and asked
"Are these mysteries?"
I wrote back and said "No, they are geographical fiction novels"
She wrote again - "What does that mean?"
"They are "drama" novels, written about and from the perspective of a specific place and time"
"How many novels has he written?"
"I'm not sure, I think there are probably lots of web pages with a biography of James Michener that would list all his books."
She wrote back one more time. And this is all she said:

What the hell does that mean? I'm ugly? She looked up James Michener and he's ugly? His stories are ugly? My attitude was ugly?

People are fuckin weird, I tell ya.


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