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Seller Beware!


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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 20, 2012 12:13:00 AM PDT
Sorry TA that is just not true, there is no "price" for expedited shipping, it has to be explicitly selected by the buyer and that's only if it's offered. However that being said shipping a $150 book via USPS seems kind of dumb in the first place. It's more appropriate for a $5 book. And anyone that files a claim without contacting the seller is shabby too.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 20, 2012 10:01:29 PM PDT
Apparently you misunderstand me or something. Yes, expedited shipping has to be offered by a seller, but when they DO offer it, the price Amazon charges the buyer for it (the "shipping credit") IS $6.99. This person CLEARLY stated the shipping amount the seller paid on their book was $6.99. That corresponds to the expedited shipping service. I can only assume that the seller thus offered expedited shipping as an option, and that's the option the buyer selected. Whether or not one can ACTUALLY pay for expedited shipping with the amount of the shipping credit is completely irrelevant. If you offer the service, and a buyer pays for it, you MUST ship via that service, even if it costs more than the shipping credit amount to do so. I sell here as well you know.

I already commented on it being off for a buyer to file a claim without contacting the seller first. I initially assumed she had done so, and discovered the book was sent media mail and not arriving in the time-frame she'd paid for, prior to filing the claim. Apparently, that's not the case at all.

Posted on Jun 20, 2012 10:46:33 PM PDT
I just think the term "expidited shipping" is a bad one... Really all it means is the seller has two weeks rather than 4 to get the book to it's destination. When I shipped it, they told me it'd be there May 17th, and I had til May 21st. So I figured even if it was a day or two late, it'd be there in plenty of time. But then USPS lost it, and I still have no idea where the book is.

I shipped a second book at the same time as the one that is lost, also by media mail. It got to it's destination in 2 days. So I don't think media mail was really the issue...it was that USPS screwed up and lost it somehow. That book is lost in space to this day.

And no the buyer did not communicate with me before filing the complaint. I had emailed and let her know I was in contact with USPS, and what they had said. But rather than contacting me back she made the complaint. I'm not so unreasonable that I would not have worked this out with her. She was already mad over the expidited shipping issue. I don't think Amazon would expect you to ship a book overnight for a shipping credit of $6.99! That'd be crazy! Just sending a couple pages of documents can cost around $20 or so. So I imagine a book overnight would be much more expensive. Expidited shipping is just a bad term... I'm glad I didn't know what all the consequences would be when she made that complaint. I'm not going to sell here again, but if I sell elsewhere I would never agree to anything like "expidited shipping."

Posted on Jun 21, 2012 3:04:52 PM PDT
A. Hernandez says:
StanO, you took the words right out of my mouth. I've never paid for shipping on a textbook that was less than $9, just while using Priority. The prices that Amazon tacks on for shipping seem to just be arbitrary, bottom-rate estimates. "Disgusted," I really feel badly for you. I've read all the posts and it seems you just got the wrong end of the stick from buyer, Amazon, and USPS most of all. Having done quite a few of these transactions myself over the years, I now realize I could very easily have been in your shoes. I do agree with Kleinhans that one has to be absolutely familiar with policies and outlets for possible worst-case scenarios, but there are some things that Amazon doesn't outline in their policies, such as dealing with USPS (and yes, I do realize this is completely not their obligation but it would help sellers SO much). The lesson learned here is really to be familiarized with USPS services. If I'm selling something over $50 dollars, most of the time it is worth the insurance on it. I just factor in these extra shipping costs in my price for the book I'm selling and outline what shipping method I will be using in my product description. As StanO said, some new buyers seem to think that these books are being fulfilled by Amazon and, as such, will be expedited for free. Good luck, I hope you get this resolved!

Posted on Jun 21, 2012 4:16:05 PM PDT
A. Hernandez...it really has been a lesson in knowing ALL the policies! Lol... I just had no idea this could drag out this far. I've been selling some stuff on eBay, and making my own shipping cost, or factoring the shipping into the lowest bid. It really can get expensive, and eat up a lot of the money you make selling an item. I won't go without insurance again either, but with the response I've gotten from USPS, I wonder how easy it would be to cash in on that insurance?! That'd be the next issue...lol... I thought I had my bases covered when I asked what day the book would arrive. Then later I get told that the delivery date is only an estimate? Good grief...had they told me that up front I could have made a different decision! I'm actually going to go to the post office tomorrow and at least try to get a refund on my shipping costs.

Posted on Jun 22, 2012 12:12:48 AM PDT
I suggest you read Seneca unless you want to spend your life in a state of frustration (I suspect there will be others after this one).
"when I go out in the morning I expect to meet people who will lie to me, to cheat me, to be unfair and uncouth, to be angry, grumpy and even murderous. This is a part of life and it is up to me if I stay happy or unhappy" (I paraphrase!)
Cheeryble

Posted on Jun 23, 2012 8:59:03 AM PDT
steve says:
I sell on Amazon, and have had good luck in doing so. For my own sake I always paid for tracking just to make sure I knew what was going on, and it allowed the buyer to have a good idea as to when they could expect their purchase. Going for the cheapest shipping will always put you in a position where the item could be lost or take too long, and that is just too much of a risk for me so I don't do it.

As for the holding of the funds for the second book, I can understand that when your first sale goes sideways and the paying customer gets nothing. You can try to blame it on the post office, bad weather, or gremlins but the bottom line is that as the seller it is your responsibility to get items to the buyer on time or earlier. If you blow it on your first sale, of course they are going to hold up the whole process trying to figure out if you are trying to scam people or not.

Meanwhile all of the time spent crying over horrible customer service(that you created by not getting the book there) is an absolute waste of time and makes you look like a kid crying over spilled milk. Get over it, move on and go make more money. It is a book for gods sake.

Posted on Jun 23, 2012 11:34:03 AM PDT
J. Larson says:
Expedited shipping = Priority Mail. Standard shipping = cheapest way that still makes sense, usually Media Mail, but if it's a small book, it could mean First Class. Whether the amount charged the buyer matches what the seller pays for postage/shipping makes no difference. If a buyer pays for expedited, they expect Priority Mail.

Go back and read the Amazon seller policies carefully. Forget all this craziness about Attorney General and BBB. Just do the right thing in the future. If you offer Expedited, and it costs more to ship Priority than you thought, pay it anyway. I have books that I just won't sell this way because shipping them would cost more than I would make from the sale.

Posted on Jun 23, 2012 11:49:29 AM PDT
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Posted on Jun 23, 2012 12:32:34 PM PDT
The lady at USPS also said she has seen this happen on quite a few occasions, where an item gets held up in shipping for some reason, and the buyer ends up with a refund. Then the item ends up being shipped to the buyer, and then the buyer doesn't pay nor do they send the item back.

So I guess it is just something to keep in mind...if just the right set of events unfold, the seller is out the item and the payment. I imagine Amazon doesn't scream this from the rooftops because a lot of people might look elsewhere to sell. If this happens, they will wash their hands of you. I don't think it matters how much you spend in shipping, or who you send it through, this can happen to any seller. I just wish I had known this...and that's why I shared.

Posted on Jun 23, 2012 12:37:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 23, 2012 12:49:51 PM PDT
"NEVER use those print outs of the persons address that Amazon allows you to print from their site. The lady from USPS said when you tape on a label like this, your package can become caught and get damaged. This had nothing to do with media mail, or any of the rest of it. I don't care what you pay, you could still have this same thing happen."

This is such bull, I'm amazed she was able to say it with a straight face. Any mailing label used, if it's taped down properly completely to the package, should not have any way of helping the package get caught or damaged. If someone is taping it on loose, yeah, because they're idiots. But, if it's taped on completely, this statement is a bald-faced lie. The package would then need to be ALREADY stuck in the machine for the label to be shredded off, then it's too late anyway. That's why the #1 rule of mailing things is "tape everything". I always tape all seams, "weak spots", tape down all envelope corners and such that could get caught, and tape the label completely down on the package. They can still be scanned through a single layer of tape. I also always use good mailing tape, and not the cheapo stuff that barely sticks. I've had very good success with my packages. Though, if you really want to buy into that nonsense, I guess you can hand-write the info from now on. It makes no difference, except it's much more of a pain in the butt, and it stops you from being able to recycle old mailers. I mean, seriously, I wonder what this woman would say about the fact that both times I only received the address portion of a package in the mail (no package, just the address part and a "we're sorry" letter) they were hand-written. I guess she'd need to come up with another line of bull to make the customer leave feeling happy in their profound wisdom.

And how exactly does this profoundly wise USPS lady have any knowledge whatsoever of subjects completely outside her job? There's no way she could possibly "see it happen" that an item gets held up, delivered late, and the buyer gets a refund and the item without paying. Not unless she's installing spy cameras in people's houses. It's literally impossible for her to make such a statement with any kind of certainty or authority. She might know about a late delivery, but can't possibly KNOW about an item being paid for or not. That's not done via the Post Office. Not to mention, the circumstances of lost or badly delayed packages should be relatively rare overall, so if she's "seen it happen on quite a few occassions", it's time to find a new post office, because yours must be losing and misplacing mail left and right.

Also, I'd love to know what YOU think the policy should be? The buyer pays, and if nothing arrives, oh well, bad luck for them? Every seller should know they are responsible until the package is actually in a buyer's hands. It says this in multiple places. I think virtually everyone knows the USPS doesn't have a 100% success rate, as no company does. 2+2=4. People should thus realize "I'm responsible, some go lost sometimes, this package may go lost, thus I may need to refund the sale". It's really fairly simple logic.

Posted on Jun 23, 2012 12:54:09 PM PDT
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Posted on Jun 23, 2012 12:59:46 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 23, 2012 1:08:18 PM PDT
Seriously though, I went and checked my stats at the book swapping site I belong to, and out of 500+ transactions I was on either side of so far, two went lost in the mail. Two. All of the others made it to their destinations safely. This only counts my swapping transactions, and not my purchasing or selling transactions (since those aren't easily sortable), or even just my standard everyday use transactions, but the stats on those are equally as good, to the best I can remember. So, I'd say the USPS does pretty damn good overall. That's why I only get insurance when the value of a package is to a level that if it was one of the unlucky ones to be lost it'd be really upsetting to me. For smaller ones, I just take my chances.

I still don't get what "recourse" you're expecting exactly? You say you don't want to be left hanging, but haven't named a valid workable alternative. Amazon's policy isn't really that unusual. I guess they could adopt eBay's policy and do the whole "if it's scanned delivered, it was delivered" thing, and favor the seller rather than the customer. But, yours wasn't delivered. So, it'd make no difference for you so far. I doubt you'd be any happier with other eBay policies though, if you hate Amazon so much. They have some doozies.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2012 1:26:41 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 23, 2012 1:34:23 PM PDT
Trolls...nice. Because how dare anyone disagree with you or tell you to get over it or be aware of the policies of the site you're selling on. I can't believe how many people have completely forgotten the meaning of "troll". It's for those that post deliberately inflammatory statements for no reason other than to raise a stir and get people upset. Like, the people that post on a story about a toddler who drowned in a pool "yeah, that dead little trailer trash got what she deserved, I just wish I could" as one recent example I saw, with an ending too disgusting for me to even finish the quote on. If you're going to use such an insult, please at least use it correctly. I for one prefer that we have an appropriate name set aside for such disgusting individuals, and that won't happen if people just start tossing the word around for anyone that says something they simply disagree with.

Posted on Jun 23, 2012 1:35:43 PM PDT
J. Larson says:
"....AGAIN I POSTED THIS SO OTHERS WOULD NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE I DID. Geez J. Larson, tell me to do things right next time. I guess you never made a mistake?"

If all you wanted to do was tell people about your mistake, then what are all these long paragraphs about?

Yes, I've made plenty of mistakes in my time.

Now I'm confused. Did the buyer get the book or not? Did the woman at USPS say the book was lost? If the buyer didn't get the book, then the buyer shouldn't have to pay for it. Yes, as the seller, you're out the lost book unless it turns up. This can happen whether you sell through Amazon or just send a book to a friend on your own! No one owes you anything if the package was not insured.

I have always used the printout address label to fill orders, and I have never had a problem. But, I use clear box-sealing tape to put the label on the package. I do NOT use "scotch" tape--that will come right off. I also package the books/etc. well--I often pay for a padded mailer even though that's more cost.

One last thing--when you post on a forum, you get responses. You may not like all of them. That's just how it is. I haven't said anything rude to you or called you names or anything like that. I'm sorry you had this bad experience with selling, and I hope you don't have anything else like this happen again.

Posted on Aug 14, 2012 6:06:03 AM PDT
L. Owens says:
Had a very similar experience with another company...sold a book, got paid, buyer said they never received it, Money was removed from my account, and I haven't seen the book again! Buyer stopped communicating...I stopped selling online.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 17, 2012 8:37:58 PM PDT
What she was doing was trying to let people know of her mistakes, and the difficulty she had with customer service, and the fustration she felt. You seem to know the policies quite well. Maybe you could conduct your criticisms in a more productive way. Instead of going toe to toe with a battle of the witts " so to speak" rite off the bat, maybe you could have just offered helpful info for her and everyone else to use in the furture. Leave the belittling commentary in the rearview mirror next time :)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 17, 2012 10:36:32 PM PDT
If my pointing out the mistakes one makes constitutes "belittling commentary" then so be it. I've never believed in NOT being honest with someone when they mess up. Otherwise, it's very hard for them to do a better job and/or make better decisions in the future. Also, if someone flies off the handle at me and starts personally attacking me for pointing out those mistakes and giving my honest opinion on things (as happened immediately prior to the post you replied to), I WILL defend myself, and they'd best be ready for that. I realize that anyone that is loving basking in "justified" outrage dislikes being told they're wrong, but that doesn't mean I'll just smile and agree with them so that they can continue to to "feel" right. I'm sure we've all had it happen to us. I, for one, appreciate it very much when someone is able to point out to me when and why I'm being a bit excessively absurd on an issue. It's not an insult to be told you've made a mistake, or at least it shouldn't be. It's just an inevitable part of life.

I was a bit blunt. I readily admit that. In absence of knowing someone, I feel little obligation to sugar-coat things, and I also firmly feel that if someone is prepared to post a rant online they should also be mature enough to be prepared to accept the fact that they might not get a long string of affirmation and agreement as a result. If they are in fact mistaken in their anger, eventually someone will point it out to them. If that's an unbearable idea, then waiting until they've calmed down and are completely rational before posting is the wiser move. This isn't Facebook. In the absence of knowing each other, all we can do is call it like we see it, and just go by what someone says, for better or worse.

Posted on Aug 18, 2012 4:12:05 PM PDT
S. Brackenrich...thank you for understanding my point of view. I clearly know I made mistakes, and I was disappointed by Amazon's response, or lack of a response. I don't believe in the need to sugar coat anything for anyone either, as Kleinhans states, but I also believe in having a little class and social skills. I do want to thanks Kleinhans however for reminding me that I meant to delete my Amazon account, and hopefully by doing so I will no longer have to see the rediculous nasty messages that some people felt the need to post here. Yet another lesson I have learned...never to post on such an online forum ever again. Clearly some people have nothing better to do than drill it into someone else's head that they screwed up, which I already knew. Good grief...

I never have gotten my book back from the dead letter department. Just one of those things you have to chalk up to stuff happens. But I still won't do business here again, there are far too many other places to purchase books. No need to deal with any company with lousy customer service.

Good luck to you Kleinhans...I don't imagine you have many friends. I'm over and out...

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 18, 2012 11:10:06 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Aug 19, 2012 12:27:06 AM PDT]

Posted on Aug 19, 2012 12:17:29 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Aug 19, 2012 2:15:49 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 19, 2012 3:05:54 AM PDT
You know what? Nevermind. Forget it. I'm done. As far as I'm concerned, you made your character very plain when you tried to claim any kind of superiority while ending the same post with such a statement. There's actually a name for that, but it doesn't matter. All that matters is, I simply don't respect anything you have to say enough for you to hurt my feelings, or whatever you might have been attempting to do there. I don't even know you, any more than you know me. So, congratulations. The only one you managed to hurt is yourself, by posting a truly EPIC fail (thouse familiar with debate "rules" will know what I mean) to finish your line of fails. Go ahead and play the innocent victim all you want though. I see through you, as will pretty much anyone that reads your posts. Face it, you wanted to be angry, and to lash out at pretty much anyone and everyone that even dared to look at anything beyond how tragic your situation was and how sorry they were for you. That was your choice to make. It's not my responsibility or anyone else's that you decided to take any comment as a personal affront in order to give you the excuse you wanted. It's okay though. Really. I get it.

Next time though, before trying to make such claims of superiority, you may want to read through all your own posts again first. You can try putting the blame on me and painting yourself as being superior all you want. I truly don't care. The truth is here for the world to see. I for one would be extremely embarrassed right now if I were you. But, I doubt that applies to you. After all, everyone's just picking on you and being "nasty" for no reason, right? Surely you and your mindset and attitude have had nothing to do with it. *snort*

Good riddance.
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Discussion in:  Textbook forum
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Initial post:  Jun 2, 2012
Latest post:  Aug 19, 2012

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