It was bad enough the seller took three weeks to ship the book instead of three business days as she was supposed to. But to add insult to injury, I opened the package to find my "very good" condition book had the spine broken in three places, creases on the covers, and a tear at the bottom of the front cover where it is separating from the spine. Now, I've mentioned many times before my love of used books and used bookstores. I don't need every book I purchase to be in pristine condition, but this kind of damage according to Half.com guidelines qualifies the book as "acceptable" condition -- the lowest of the five categories and a full two levels below "very good."
An email to the seller was met with a rather rude response -- I've sold on Half.com myself, so I know exactly how I would have handled a complaint of this type, and it's a far cry from the "customer service" I actually received. Now it's my own fault for buying from a newbie seller, but minimal feedback usually doesn't deter me as long as it's positive feedback. Anyway, her email quickly made clear she had no knowledge of Half.com's Item Quality standards because she told me she, "believed it to be in perfect reading condition, and as a soft cover book, it has normal damage for having been read." Forgetting the fact that she listed according to her own standards instead of the website's, that last part really irked me!
It got me thinking, too -- what does the average person consider "normal damage" to a book? I have no problem reading a book into tatters -- my Diana Gabaldon books are practically crumbling apart -- but under no circumstances would I try to tell anyone else they are in good condition, especially if I were trying to sell them (not that I ever would!). Am I crazy to think creases, rips and mutilated spines are not "normal"? These things happen, I know they do, but they are not normal for a trade paperback only read a time or two, if you ask me.
|My early Outlander books are about 20 years old.|
I bought them used & have read them several times.
These babies have been loved, not abused!
It really bugged me that she tried to blame the book itself instead of human carelessness saying, "Spines are cracked when the book it sufficiently opened to read with that quality of book." As if every book that's ever been read automatically gets a cracked spine. I'm sorry, but trade paperbacks published in recent years are pretty well made, in my opinion. We're not talking about 1,000 page mass markets, like the photo above. I don't think I've ever broken the spine of a trade paperback, come to think of it!
Fellow book-lovers, please weigh in about what you consider "normal damage" for previously read books -- I'd like to think I'm not crazy, but am I?