New article on Dogeared: "Ethics & eBay - No, Really!"
kamins at dogeared.com
Sat Jan 28 19:01:02 EST 2006
I certainly agree that some buyers are unreasonable. Asking questions
that are answered in the listing or asking for a large number of
photos for a cheap book falls in the category of unreasonable; if
these people go away, you probably won't lose much.
Given your comments and putting yourself in the shoes of a collector:
1) Do you think that two photos of a dustjackted book - one of the
front panel and one of the spine - is an unreasonable request?
2) Assuming a buyer (as I suggest in the article) provides first
edition points for a book you advertise as a first and asks you to
check for them in the book, would you check for them?
On Jan 28, 2006, at 2:54 PM, Stan Shelley wrote:
> Very interesting article and pleasing writing style.
> Books are my hobby, and ML is a part of that. My knowledge of ML
> is not
> nearly as extensive as all you guys in modlib. In my day job I own 3
> jewelry stores and an auction business that is now mostly Ebay. We
> platinum power sellers with 6 employees for Ebay so I may have a
> different perspective on a couple things. We sell on consignment
> for people
> and estates. I do however agree with the tenor of most of your
> I will comment particularly on your list for determining who you do
> with. I agree with the positive feedback...ours is 99.9%.
> I agree with those who don't allow returns..we allow them for
> absolutely any
> reason..including."I changed my mind"
> My problem comes with "refuses to answer questions." We try to
> our description of condition and provide great photos - this minimizes
> problems. When we get questions we always send back an FAQ and
> sometimes we
> give specific answers to specific questions. If we are selling a
> book for
> $30 and we get 30% commission, that is $9. Out of that we pay Ebay
> paypal fees, employees to list and photograph the book, and
> overhead. There
> is just no economical way to provide much individual help with lots
> sell in this price range. We hope the photos will help. A second
> with this category concerns the questions asked. Now, I am sure your
> questions are wonderful, maybe even profound. But you simply would
> believe some of the questions we get. Some ask for information
> that is in
> the description, but it was long, so they didn't want to bother.
> Some want
> to know the consignors name. Some ask a series of 6 or 8
> questions. So
> when do we give specific answers? We answer if a quick examination
> of the
> product will provide the answer (as opposed to the lengthy research
> folks want us to do.) Also, because we are generalists, the
> bidders usually
> know more about the products than we do. Thus if a questioner
> needs to know
> the last book listed in the ad that precedes the title page, we
> presume this
> is a fact of consequence to the knowledgeable collector and we answer.
> The other area where my world might be in conflict with the
> concerns of your
> article concerns photos. We start with what we hope are a lot of
> photos. If someone asks for more, we have to locate the item, take
> it to
> the photo room, shoot the pic, load it on our system, send it to
> the guy who
> answers email, and then he sends it. Because we typically have 500
> to 1,000
> items in process at a time, just locating the item takes time (to
> look it
> up.) For this reason, we generally do not do additional photos
> unless an
> item is deemed to be worth well up in the hundreds of dollars.
> Okay. That's it. Just a little different perspective.
> Stan Shelley
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Scot Kamins" <kamins at dogeared.com>
> To: "ML ListServ" <modlib at algol.owu.edu>
> Sent: Saturday, January 28, 2006 4:49 PM
> Subject: New article on Dogeared: "Ethics & eBay - No, Really!"
>> Here's an article I wrote at the request of the editor of an online
>> magazine for bibliophiles. The article's publication has been
>> delayed, and I decided to give ModLibbers a preview. The article,
>> "Ethics & eBay - No, Really! (Perspectives from a Modern Library
>> Collector)", combines information already on Dogeared plus a bunch of
>> other info and subjective observations. Sure to offend any number of
>> eBay sellers, It's available at:
>> Scot Kamins
>> "He not busy being born is busy dying." -- Bob Dylan
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