Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Amazon Sent Me The Wrong Book. And Used.

Normally, I'm complaining about mid-sized bookselling operations  with too much work and not enough management or dim-witted individuals selling off their personal assets.
Today, my problem comes from the great Amazon USA Mothership itself: Amazon.com.

This is kind of bizarre.

I ordered this guy from Amazon.

Comparative Politics: A Global Introduction

  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Higher Education; 3rd edition (January 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071101810
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071101813
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.9 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds

Here's a picture of what I ordered. Notice the white cover:


I got a book, nicely packaged in one of Amazon's BK1 model book fold mailers.
I've attached a picture of the 'From' label, so Amazon management can see which warehouse made this mistake.


Now, here's a picture of what I received.



For the record, here's the catalog entry:

Comparative Politics: A Global Introduction

  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages; 3 edition (May 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0073526312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0073526317
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 7.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds

Let's take a closer look at the sticker on back:

Notice that the ISBN number on the sticker matches what I ordered. The problem, however, is that I didn't want a sticker with the ISBN of what I ordered on it. I wanted the actual book.
If you peel the sticker off... well, it's a different ISBN than what's on the sticker. Also, if you check the copyright page of the book.. it's the purple version, not the white one.

What's more perplexing than this, however, is that the book is clearly not new. The top corners next to the spine have visible bumping; this thing has been dropped. A bunch of times.
The other corners have wear suggestive of substantial handling. There isn't any highlighting, but it leads me to wonder how Amazon got this guy mixed in with the new book inventory.
Also, why would Amazon buy books with bar codes on top of their real bar codes?
I know that Amazon has in-house stickers used to help with order automation, but how did this mix-up actually happen?
I know Amazon has sellers using its 'Fulfillment By Amazon' service. Perhaps one of those guys sent his book in with this bar code, then the automation took over and this book got lumped in with the new stuff?
Is some poor Amazon seller now missing his book?

If anyone working at Amazon has any info as to whether or not this is possible, please let me know. I'd be fascinated to know, and would be glad to preserve your anonymity.

Bad Bookseller Jeff Bezos, No Cookie!

and, in a new feature, here is the Cookie recipe that Jeff Bezos, CEO, would have gotten if he hadn't been a Bad Bookseller:

1 comment:

  1. The white cover of this book is the INTERNATIONAL edition (which is usually EQUAL IN CONTENT to the item with the blue cover, AKA the US Edition) of Comparative Politics, 3rd Edition by Sodaro. Since you got THE IDENTICAL CONTENT, you have no real reason to complain. In fact, one time I DELIBERATELY ordered the International Edition of Cost Accounting (one term version in SOFTCOVER) by Vanderbeck.for a class I was taking at Queensborough CC (BU 110) -- did very well, thank you-- and had no problem with the international edition. So you got the US edition of that book... So what? Did they overcharge you for this older edition? If not, then you have no real gripe -- and YOU should get no cookie for trying to invent a distinction without a real difference. NOTE: I DO NOT work for Amazon (or anyone else), so I have no special relationship with Amazon (other than as an occasional customer), therefore I have no special "incentive" to write this reply at this or any time....