Describing the “Better” Older Book

book cover: Ghost of the Java Coast

Details and more details. A prospective customer for a valuable and/or unusual title wants to know as much as possible about its condition before purchasing. An uncommon item may not have a very good catalogue details entry (Amazon), so some additional description of the contents can be helpful. Continue reading

Ebay Observations

This month’s AE Monthly, the online magazine from Americana Exchange, comments about auctions on Ebay – “a particularly tough marketplace and not one for the faint hearted.” The author, Bruce McKinney, is the founder of AE, a notable collector, and a friend of libraries. A recent auction by the Seattle Friends prompted a few suggestions. Continue reading

Returns

Even when you’ve done everything correctly, sometimes a customer will want to return an item. And, inevitably, you will make a mistake from time to time with a listing or an order. Customer service is all about how you handle those concerns and problems. Studies have shown that a customer whose problem is resolved quickly and courteously is much more satisfied and loyal than one who has no problem at all with her purchase. Continue reading

Describing the Older Book

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I like to think of book description as a creative challenge. New or like new books are quick and easy to list, but they offer no scope for the wordsmith. A book that’s been read, handled, shared – one with a history – that’s the one that makes the work interesting. You need to conjure an accurate image of the book in the customer’s mind with a few well chosen words. You’ll want to do it quickly, as well, so your time is well used; an exacting description of a $10 book is a waste of everyone’s time. A few specific details will perk up a listing and reassure the customer that he’ll get what’s expected. Here is a typical book that sold recently that offers an example of the description and pricing process. Continue reading

Bad Feedback – Is It the End of Everything?

Happily, no. It happens to every seller sooner or later, as it rains on the just and the unjust alike. It’s important to monitor your feedback to catch these problems quickly. A prompt response will minimize the damage and time will dilute the impact on your store’s rating. Let’s look at some examples of bad feedback and what can be done to counter it. Continue reading

Feedback aka Customer Review

Web commerce is driven by customer reviews, know as “Feedback” in the Amazon and Ebay worlds. Customers evaluate the shopping experience and give the transaction a rating of positive, neutral, or negative; customers may also write a comment. These scores are added up and averaged over time. Essentially, the Feedback rating is your reputation. Continue reading

USPS Tracking Issues

We use USPS Tracking on every package and find it very helpful. It doesn’t guarantee delivery, of course, but generally lets you know what is happening with a package. One recent order for a town in Florida went from us (Indianapolis) to Cincinnati (the usual sorting station) to Gainesville; something went wrong and turned the package north to Ohio again, then Warrentown PA where it sat for ten days through a snowstorm and subsequent clean-up delays. Eventually it was liberated, returned south, and found its destination. Continue reading