Thursday, December 24, 2009

Better World Books: Listing Half Of A 2-Part Item

Today we've got Better World Books, a social enterprise based in Mishawaka, IN listing a book's Shop Manual and neglecting to list the actual book itself. The listing has ISBN 1418028657.
The objectionable part of their listing is highlighted and bolded in red below.
Not only does this behavior detract from the overall experience of Amazon customers as they shop for used media, it also messes up automatic pricing engines and may cause BWB's competitors to lose money.
Note the poor feedback of this seller. In practice, 92% is between bad and terrible on the Amazon feedback scale.
If you sent an incomplete item like this in to BWB's textbook buyback arm, they'd probably toss it in the trash and refuse to give you any credit for it.
Bad Bookseller! No Cookie!

  • Seller:  BWB - TEXTBOOKS

  • Rating:92% positive over the past 12 months (3118 ratings.) 15854 lifetime ratings.

  • Shipping: In Stock. Ships from IN, United States. Expedited shipping available. International shipping available. See Shipping Rates. See return policy.

  • Comments:   Shipped by Better World Books. Shop Manual only. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers. ( « less )

    Note the following less than stellar feedback:

    1 out of 5:
    "very bad seller, after i purchased for two weeks, then sent me a message and said the book had been sold. don't trust this seller."
    Date: December 21, 2009     Rated by Buyer: XXXX

    1 out of 5:
    "The review is based solely on the misinformation on the condition of the book. Seller said "used - very good," but book has highlighting and writing throughout the entire book. The condition of the book should be clearly described. Labeling the book as "used - very good" when every page has highlighting and writing in he margins is misleading. "
    Date: December 4, 2009     Rated by Buyer: XXXX

    They're getting a total of 3 NO COOKIES today.
    On a closing note, they're at 3.118 sales per year. With most sellers getting about 1 feedback per 5 sales, we can guess this division of BWB is moving about 16,000 pieces per year. If their textbooks average $20 per unit, that's probably a gross of $320K just from Amazon. I'll guess Amazon is 1/3rd of their volume, so this department is probably right around $1M gross annual revenue.
    Their business model probably warrants another blog entry. I'll do it if I get around to it, although I should probably discuss Nebraska Books and their Amazon purchasing antics first.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

You Bought Books From Monkey Poo?

When you buy a book from a guy named munky_poo, don't be surprised if things turn out poorly.

Note this feedback:

1 out of 5: "Received a defective DVD-it crashed the DVD player on my brand-new laptop! Product described as in "good" condition, the DVD is full of visible scratches and is unplayable. DVD had no cover art and came in a case full of food stains. "
Date: September 1, 2009     Rated by Buyer: Nina M.

Nina, I hate to say it, but those probably aren't *food* stains.
One "No Cookie" goes out to Nina for buying from a seller named after the stool of a simian primate.
Two "No Cookies" go out to munky_poo; one for a poor choice in store names and a second for getting his monkey poo on the DVD case he sold.