About buying and selling used books and stuff online. Plus my adventures and random thoughts.

Friday, July 14, 2006

At All Costs

That's the title, "At All Costs." Very apt.

The buyer of this book wrote to me, saying "The item was not in the promised condition. Comment/ Question: Honest mistake I am sure. Item has tears and moderate erosion in dustjacket (not slight), the CDROM is missing and the binding is loose. I've sold on eBay for a couple of years now and would list this item in "acceptable" condition. I'm not upset, I will gladly accept a replacement item and shipping refund."

I think she means that I should send her money to return the book to me; or that I should send her another copy of the book, presumably in better shape, and refund her cost of shipping, so she could return the book.

Well, I guess I'm just out the full refund, including shipping, that I sent to her. I don't have another copy.

She's right, there was no CD-ROM in the copy I had. Honest people can and do disagree about the condition rating of a book; but if I realized a book contained a CD-ROM when new and didn't when it came into my possession, I'd make note of that in the description. Usually a book with a CD-ROM will have a sleeve or envelope glued inside the back. This one didn't. The descriptions of other sellers of this same book did not mention a CD either, at least, not that I noticed.

I first thought she didn't know what she was talking about.

In fact, it took quite some digging for me to find out that it did originally ship with a CD. Perhaps it was mentioned on the dust jacket and I overlooked it. Perhaps not. The Wikipedia article I found explains it.

The neat thing about the internet is that we can use it to build trust in each other.

With the full refund and the book, I would argue that my customer came out ahead. True, she did suffer the inconvenience of not getting what she paid for; but she got all her money back and she gets to keep the book. With the refund, she can try again to get the book and CD.

And I learned a couple of things. The most important being the value of trusting the customer.


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