Sunday, September 6, 2020

Book Hunting, Simplifying My Life, and Amazon's Commingled Inventory

I no longer like hunting for books in person.  Driving around to various locations on a mostly fruitless search is a waste of energy.  I don't have as much energy as most people, so I can't waste any.  Read about the spoon theory if you want to understand how that works.

I no longer go to antique shops.  They depress me due to the lack of changing inventory.  I very often find nothing in antique shops, so they are a downer both physically and mentally.

Prior to March, I only went to estate sales when I actually saw a photograph of series books for sale.  Now that I wish to avoid exposure to the virus, I no longer look at the estate sale photos.  By not looking at the photos, I avoid knowing about any good books and will not risk exposure by going.  The idea of being in a house with lots of people coming and going, any of whom could have the virus, is rather unappealing to me.

For a number of years now, I have done only targeted book hunting.  I only go to places where I often make good finds.  That way, I'm not wasting much energy.  My pattern prior to March was to check those select places around twice per month.  During this pandemic, I will check those places around once every four to eight weeks.

I checked one of those places yesterday.  I was pleased to find some books.

My eBay and Etsy stores will remain closed indefinitely.  I do have an agreement with a couple of you to purchase books directly from me when I am ready.  I will probably take care of those transactions around fall break, so that will be around October 15th.

My hands are full right now.  With school, we try Plan A.  When Plan A has unexpected unpleasant consequences, we go to Plan B, and so on.  Everything is in flux.  It's a steep learning curve for everyone as we navigate this strange new world.

I cannot handle anything extra at all right now.  That's why I had to simplify my life.  I had to quit selling on eBay and Etsy indefinitely, because some buyers can take away most of an evening with their questions or how they handle transactions.  Read this post for several examples from early 2019, including the one where a buyer purchased 32 books in 32 separate transactions.  By keeping my stores closed, I avoid the time-wasting buyers.

I also put my Facebook groups on moderation, which is something that I resisted for a long time.  I knew that I would do it once I decided that moderation was less work than retroactively reacting.  With school starting during this pandemic, I finally reached that point.

At least now, people won't be able to post their off-topic books and topics.  The posts get shut down before they reach the groups.

I also want to touch on how this pandemic has permanently changed my behavior.  I used to go to the grocery store at least five days per week.  If I wanted something on a whim, I went to get it.  I now only go once per week, on Saturday mornings.  If I wish I had something else to eat during the week, I do without.  I find something, even if I don't particularly want to eat it.  Any food is good enough.

The other big change is my dealings with Amazon.  It had become my go-to place for most everything.  When people switched to online shopping in March, Amazon was so flooded that shipping dates were a month out.  I didn't want to wait that long, so I started purchasing from,, and occasionally  All the other companies ship faster than Amazon without me having to pay an extra fee (i.e. Amazon Prime).

Walmart does pack in terribly flimsy boxes, however.  If I want something like boxes of cat food, then Chewy is a much better option.  Chewy uses sturdy boxes.  Walmart is great for lightweight items, but heavy items show up falling out of the half-destroyed boxes.

I had already quit buying certain products from Amazon for another reason: the commingled inventory.  Let's say that two people sell a certain supplement.  One seller offers the genuine product, and the other seller offers a counterfeit product.  Both sellers use Fulfillment by Amazon.  They ship their products to Amazon, and Amazon commingles them by tossing them in the same bin.  We can no longer trust anything coming from Amazon. 

I had purchased a medical-grade air purifier for my classroom.  I wanted to go ahead and purchase the replacement filter so that I would have one on hand months from now.  I went to Amazon, where I could buy the genuine filter from the manufacturer or cheaper ones from other sellers.  I wanted the genuine filter.  I quickly decided that I could not risk purchasing from Amazon.  I went to the manufacturer's website and purchased the filter directly from them. 

I don't know for sure if I have ever ended up with fake product from Amazon, but I am suspicious about some Post-it Brand Notes that I purchased from Amazon last year.  The packaging appears to be real, and the notes look real enough.  However, they barely stick to anything. 

3M's Highland Notes are its cheaper alternative to its Post-it Notes.  These Post-it Notes that I purchased from Amazon are the least sticky notes I have ever used and are far worse than Highland Notes.  Either 3M has trashed its quality of product, or I purchased a counterfeit product.  Regardless, I will never purchase Post-it Notes from Amazon ever again. 

Even when the product says "shipped from and sold by," it cannot be trusted to be genuine because of the commingled inventory.  The fakes get tossed in the same bin as Amazon's genuine product inventory.  The bottom line is to be very careful when purchasing anything from Amazon.

1 comment:

Tai said...

I will miss your eBay store! I purchased most of my Wildfire Romance Books from you last year. I was hoping you would sell more teen romances.

I've read that sells a lot of fake Disney DVDs too. I stopped purchasing cosmetics and most personal or medical supplies from them years ago. It's not worth being poisoned or injured. I once ordered a bottle of perfume for my mother's birthday and received an empty bottle. They replaced it without any fuss though.