Monday, March 21, 2011

Used Book Refunds

I have been going through a period of ordering many used books online via Amazon, AbeBooks, and I purchase most of my curriculum used since I use public school curriculum for Science, Math, Health, Art, Social Studies, and Reading.

It has become quite a business selling used books on the internet.  A few years ago, book descriptions were detailed and accurate.  I rarely had to request a refund.  Of late (the past year or so), I've had to request multiple refunds because of damaged books or missing pages or large amounts of writing in the books.  Usually, because the value of the book is less than the return, the seller will simply issue a refund.   Today, I received notice that a bookseller I had requested a refund from was willing to issue me a 30% refund (probably from the price of the book, not total purchase price) or I can pay to return the book and receive a full refund.  I wanted write about this just to caution you with this bookseller.

The bookseller is Goodwill Discount Books.  Many Goodwills today are selling their books.  This Goodwill Discount Books was out of North Las Vegas, Nevada.

What this experience has made me think is that I need to be much more willing to accept a damaged product if I order a book in only Good condition or be willing to take the chance that I may or may not be able to use the book I've ordered.  In this case, I have a second copy and will be able to copy the pages that are missing in the workbook.  I can work with it.  But, in other cases, I think I will need to think harder about which used books I purchase and which sellers I purchase from.

Amazon also tends to have a better returns policy than AbeBooks, but I'd been trying to save money by buying books lately through Abebooks because the shipping is often cheaper.  I think I need to go back to Amazon!

Post Script...
The refund was made from the book by Goodwill Books from North Las Vegas--for the full amount (incl. shipping).  But, on the other hand, I checked another refund I had requested from another bookseller two weeks ago that I noticed hadn't gone through.  I often just assume that when I get an email saying that a refund has been issued that it has.  In this case, it wasn't.  I'm not sure what changed Goodwill Books mind.  I didn't mean to be a squeaky wheel with this blog entry.  But, I am learning that I really need to inspect used books when they arrive. The problem with the other refund was that I ordered the book two months ago and didn't inspect it when it arrived.  I just shelved it.  The other day I looked at it and realized that it was missing a lot of pages!

At the end of the day, doesn't always seem that there's one more thing to take care of and follow up on!

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