I had a buyer contact me, telling me that I sent her the wrong book. She told me that she expected to receive title A, which was pictured, and instead, she received title B. This was a Nancy Drew book. Pretty much, I was speechless.
You see, I know how I package my books. I know how easy it is to pack a different copy of a title or to switch address labels, thereby sending the wrong books to two different people. Around 16 or 17 years ago, I had a suspicion that I might have switched labels right after I packed two boxes. I opened one, and I discovered that I had switched labels. Around the same time, I mailed the wrong copy of a book to someone and had to have that person mail the book to the correct recipient. Ever since those incidents, I have been careful to make sure it doesn't happen again. I was 99.9% certain I had sent her the right book. I am not infallible, so I could possibly have messed up.
This is how I pack my books. I find the title that was purchased. To make certain that I have the right copy of the right book, I bring up the listing and get the picture enlarged. I hold the book and compare it to the picture. I make sure that both have the same wear patterns. As long as I can find some blemishes, even very tiny ones, that match exactly, I know I have the same book. Sometimes I discover that I have picked up the wrong book and have to go back to find another. When I am satisfied that I have the correct book, I pack the book with the packing slip from that listing. I make sure that I click on the "print label" link from that listing. I completely finish sealing the box and applying the label before I begin on the next package. That's why I was 99.9% certain I had mailed the right book.
I looked at the listing and thought about it. This isn't always the case, but I remembered packing that book. I won't get into the details, but there is a specific reason I remember. It has to do with when I was checking for wear patterns and looking over the listing. I knew I had packed that book a week before. I had mailed out no copies anytime in recent weeks of the title the buyer said she received. I couldn't have mailed the book she received.
I told the buyer that I was certain I had mailed the right book and asked for a picture of what she received. I also told the buyer my name and asked if my name was on a packing slip inside the package. Meanwhile, I continued thinking about the book. There was still a chance I could have screwed up. I thought
of one possibility. I had a stack of Nancy Drew books on the floor that had been there since around the time that I packed this book. There was a slight chance that I could have somehow switched the book with one from that stack. I still had the books stacked, so I brought up the listing from which they were purchased and compared the books to the listing. The books were all there, and the book I was supposed to mail was not in the stack. I had to have mailed the right book.
Shortly, the buyer sent me a picture of an envelope with another seller's name on it along with a UK edition Nancy Drew book. I told her that the seller was not me, because we have different names and live in different states. The buyer told me that she had begun to wonder after she received my response giving my name, which was different from the sender's name. She agreed that I didn't send her that package. That was the end of it.
I probably have around one buyer per year tell me that I sent the wrong book. The situation always gets resolved when they figure out that they have confused me with another seller.