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Slight Water Damage


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Initial post: May 11, 2011 3:42:55 PM PDT
I have a textbook that I would like to trade in with Amazon.
There is slight water damage on a handful of pages in one corner.
Do you think Amazon will accept this book?

Posted on May 12, 2011 9:08:23 AM PDT
L. Drummond says:
If it doesn't have a noticable stain from the water or pages stuck together then I assume they'd accept it. Just trade it in and mail it to amazon with the prepaid shipping label they give you. If they won't accept it, they will send it back to you. The shipping and return is all free. All it takes i just the effort of mailing it.

Posted on May 13, 2011 9:46:42 AM PDT
Thanks. The return process seemed vague to me. I wasn't sure if they would send the book back or not.

Posted on Aug 14, 2011 1:07:35 AM PDT
Melissa says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Aug 14, 2011 12:02:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 14, 2011 12:05:16 PM PDT
Barbara says:
I disagree with Melissa, and to insult you, especially when you asked a question because you were unsure is just plain wrong.
It is not Amazon themselves that receive the books back - it is a 3rd party. It really depends on how bad the damage actually is, because just like everywhere else, people's opinion vary great on what the condition of a book is. What I suggest is that you go ahead and send it in, and be sure to select "return item" if they don't want it. It doesn't cost you anything, and if it really is damaged, they will return it to you. You are not trying to "sneak" anything.
I have seen people say "slight water damage" anywhere from when half the book was damaged and it was unreadable, to a 1/2 inch wrinkle on 4 pages from a drop of water.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 15, 2011 3:15:49 PM PDT
According to the Amazon textbook trade in rules (which aren't hard to find, or unclear at all)

"Books having one or more of the conditions listed below will not be accepted.

Library copy
International edition
Custom edition textbooks (typically has a school name listed)
Water damaged (wavy, swollen or discolored, crinkled, stains, rings)
Broken spine or binding
Books with torn or taped cover
Missing, torn, or loose pages
Burns, fire, or smoke damage
Strong odor of any kind (including musty odor, cigar or cigarette odor)
Marked Not for Resale (or is otherwise marked not for sale) anywhere on the cover or inside"

So if your books have a stain that is caused by water, then they are ineligible. Which means the buyers will have to pay return shipping as well as the shipping to get it to them, and their time to look at it, thus having less money to give to people that do follow the rules.

Almost any anyone that buys lots of used books to resell them will refuse any book with any amount of water damage, and that's at least partly because they don't want mold, which is hard to detect (though general water damage is easier to see) and not something you want having inside a stockpile of books. An individual end reader might not mind at all if the damage is minor, but someone that plans on reselling will likely not want it.

And it very specifically does not meet the trade in requirements. If you haven't read the Textbooks Condition Eligibility Criteria at http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_200438390_books?nodeId=200438390#books then asking others is one way to educate yourself. But keep in mind that responses from other people that also did not read the rules is merely an instance of the blind leading the blind.

If you mail it in, the best reasonable outcome is they buy it even though you didn't follow the rules, and the worst reasonable outcome is that their stock of books gets moldy and they decide to blame you and send you a bill for all their damaged books. I really find either of those unlikely, you'll probably just get your book back. Keep in mind that since they clearly laid out their policies, and that they have a basis for setting that policy, the only reason they would give you money is if they were too tired and busy that day to notice that you failed to follow the rules. So to expect money you have to hope that the fact that your book failed to meet their standards just slips past them.

An individual marketplace buyer (not trade in) might find your book to be exactly what they want. Amazon will not let your book be sold if it is actually moldy, but it should be somewhere between

Good: A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact (including dust cover, if applicable). The spine may show signs of wear. Pages can include limited notes and highlighting, and the copy can include "From the library of" labels.

Acceptable: A readable copy. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact (the dust cover may be missing). Pages can include considerable notes--in pen or highlighter--but the notes cannot obscure the text.

Unacceptable: Moldy, badly stained, ...

Since it has a stain, it probably does not meet the "Very Good" standard (these standards are from the amazon marketplace, as I've already explained that any amount of water stain makes your book inelligble for the textbook trade in), and if it is not moldly and not "badly" stained then it should be acceptable or better depending on how minor the stain is.

As for anyone that claims that damage so major as to make it a book unreadable is "slight damage," those people might be doing onto others what was done unto them. But Amazon has specific rules that prevent you from selling a book that is unreadable, full stop.

Posted on Aug 19, 2011 5:42:12 PM PDT
It is a legitimate question. No need to "Melissa" to accuse of "shady dealings".I agree with Timaeus. As a former bookseller and amazon prime seller, I know condition is everything. Superficial water damage, even on a handful of pages, renders a book unacceptable. Those are my personal standards. The Amazon terms seem pretty clear on this issue as well. However, if it is a high-demand, expensive textbook other booksellers may be more than willing to overlook some flaws. Try taking the book to a brick and mortar college bookstore, or a chain like Half Price Books if there is one in your area.

Posted on Aug 22, 2011 10:48:57 AM PDT
Jenni says:
If Amazon doesn't prefer books with some water marks as you are describing, try selling it yourself on Amazon and be very clear about the water damage in your description. As a frequent buyer of law school books which cost an arm and a leg, I am willing to save as much money as possible and will take books with some damage as long as the content of the book is still completely useable. As long as you are honest in the description. I always appreciate that the most when I purchase used on Amazon. Also, I think Melissa seems angry and needs a hug.

Posted on Sep 11, 2011 6:53:58 AM PDT
Elly says:
Listen to what Jenni says -- you can always sell damaged books yourself via Amazon. Just be fair & describe them very accurately, and don't expect buyers to want to pay lots for books with wavy pages, etc.

We have just been through our first session of textbook buying for our new college freshman daughter. The ones she had to get new from the bookstore because the prof insisted on the latest editon, or had bundled some custom software with the book, were ridiculous, what a racket. The ones we bought from Amazon's "used" vendors offset the cost by quite a bit. We would be happy to get your water-damaged book if it meant we were not throwing $100-150 at the damn thing!

When you list it, describe just how many pages have the damage & how far down the corners it goes.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 12, 2012 1:18:23 PM PDT
W. Yniguez says:
She isn't trying to sneak anything past them. That is why she is going here to ask a question. Don't be such a dramatic baby

Posted on May 23, 2012 11:41:17 AM PDT
Kim says:
I tried the same thing, I sent it to them just to see if they would accept it since it is free shipping both ways... they sent it back to me saying that it was not in the correct condition. It really isn't a hassle to try and see if they will take it

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2014 10:58:31 AM PST
The Amazon policy statement on selling books back says they will not take water damaged books. I am also trying to do this. My book has very little damage and is still readable, but their on line policy states that they won't.
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Discussion in:  Textbook forum
Participants:  11
Total posts:  12
Initial post:  May 11, 2011
Latest post:  Jan 13, 2014

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