Saturday, February 7, 2009

Where Is My Book?

I bought a book on January 23, and I have not received it yet. The amount of time that has passed is a big concern, but the weather has been bad in many parts of the country. When sellers are honest, books that are delayed usually turn up.

This book is a very hard to find book that I want for my collection and is not just some random book that is of little importance to me. The book's cost was less than $10 but is worth much more than that to me.

I checked the seller's feedback a few minutes ago. It is not good. The seller has acquired many negatives in the last couple of weeks. The negatives state that the items have not been received and that the seller is not communicating. I bet my book has not even been mailed yet.

I sent the seller a message asking for shipment information. I am not confident of receiving a response. I just hope he decides to mail the book. I wish I could slap him. I despise nothing more than someone not mailing my purchase when it is something that I greatly desire and have looked forward to receiving.

I have at least one purchase go missing per year in cases in which I feel confident that the sellers were honest and did actually mail the packages. In those cases, the packages go missing because of inferior packing methods.

I have seldom been outright defrauded. Unless I have forgotten one of them, I have been defrauded twice and nearly defrauded two other times. In the latter cases, the sellers finally mailed the items after I filed complaints.

I have also had a handful of other types of problems with sellers. In one case, the books had undisclosed past severe water damage and arrived in a package that had something spilled on it that seeped inside and wet the books. It was an odd combination of past and present water damage. The seller claimed that her pictures showed the water damage, which was false. The seller also claimed that she was not responsible for the contents of the package arriving wet. Ultimately, that seller did allow me to return the books for a full refund but only after I made a big deal about it.

It is very frustrating. I have bought thousands of books over the years, and I seldom have problems. Nearly every time that I have had problems with a seller, there were warning signs. My current problem seller did already have three negatives from the previous month. I decided to take the risk. I don't regret it, because I wouldn't have had a chance at the book otherwise.

If the downturn that has occurred in the seller's feedback was already present when my book was up for sale, I would have thought twice about bidding. From the information I had at that time, I knew the seller was not the very best but thought that I would almost certainly receive my book. As the seller's feedback looks now, I am most likely not going to receive the book.

EBay began the Detailed Seller Rating system in order to restrict marginal sellers and to help protect buyers. I can't see where it is working. I am dumbfounded that my seller still has hundreds of open listings, considering that one of his DSRs is 4.2.

I checked the current policy, and eBay now reduces search standing for a DSR of 4.3 (odd since they lowered my search standing during the time that I had a DSR of 4.6) and restricts a seller who has a DSR of 4.1. This seller is continuing to sell despite numerous negatives, PayPal complaints (these are mentioned in the negatives), and terrible DSRs. Even though the seller's DSRs are above the minimum, all the negatives and complaints should be enough to force a restriction or removal of his listings. Why does eBay pick on people who have higher ratings yet allows people like this to continue to sell?


stratomiker said...

A couple of books I mailed in January did not make it to their destinations. I live in Cleveland and we've had the coldest and snowiest winter in 30 years here in the Great Lakes region, so there have been a lot of postal problems. Also, we have a lot of problems here with stolen mail, or mail just stashed somewhere so the delivery people don't have to deliver it. It has especially been bad the last three weeks as there is over four feet of snow on the ground and several days we had no delivery.

I do send another copy (if I have one) or a refund or replacement. I have no problem with that, as it happens so seldom. Perhaps your problem is due to weather if the book was coming from the Midwest or the East.

I enjoy your blog. It is so in-depth! One would think you had an entire staff digging up news for you. I have examined Bonanzle, as discussed on the Judy Bolton group, and will most certainly start selling there as soon as I have time to do the work. I'm still doing well on eBay but would like to be part of what's new and upcoming.

Best wishes, Mike

Jennifer White said...

Perhaps your problem is due to weather if the book was coming from the Midwest or the East.

I hope you're right. We had an ice storm week before last and had problems for days. The winter weather has affected most of the eastern half of the country.

I did not check into the seller's feedback until yesterday since my assumption has been that the weather is the likely culprit. I am not happy about the number of negatives and that makes me worry. He has acquired additional negatives since yesterday. His feedback was around 94.5% positive yesterday and is now 93.6% positive. Not good. His feedback was around 98% when I bought the book.

I am going to wait two weeks and then file a claim. I still have plenty of time. What I really want is the book rather than a refund.

I enjoy your blog. It is so in-depth! One would think you had an entire staff digging up news for you.

Thanks! You know, I do pretty good when I write about whatever is on my mind. I can come up with a long post fairly quickly. Sometimes I have less on my mind or am too tired to think so I try to space out the posts a bit when that happens. At the minimum, I try to have at least two to three new posts per week equally spaced apart.

Mike, I have always enjoyed your posts in the Judy Bolton group over the years. You always have insightful and well-informed comments.