Blog: The absolute latest random thoughts
Kari Byron news
09.2002 10.2002 11.2002 12.2002 01.2003 02.2003 03.2003 04.2003 05.2003 06.2003 07.2003 08.2003 09.2003 10.2003 11.2003 12.2003 01.2004 02.2004 03.2004 04.2004 05.2004 06.2004 07.2004 08.2004 09.2004 10.2004 11.2004 12.2004 01.2005 02.2005 03.2005 04.2005 05.2005 06.2005 07.2005 08.2005 09.2005 10.2005 11.2005 12.2005 01.2006 02.2006 03.2006 04.2006 05.2006 06.2006 07.2006 08.2006 09.2006 10.2006 11.2006 12.2006 04.2007 05.2007 06.2007 07.2007 08.2007 12.2007 01.2008 02.2008 05.2008 06.2008 07.2008 08.2008 12.2008 01.2009 02.2009 03.2009 04.2009 05.2009 06.2009 07.2009 09.2009 10.2009 11.2009 12.2009 01.2010 02.2010 03.2010 04.2010 05.2010 06.2010 07.2010 08.2010 09.2010 10.2010 11.2010 12.2010 01.2011 02.2011 03.2011 04.2011 05.2011 06.2011 07.2011 09.2011 10.2011 11.2011 12.2011 01.2012 02.2012 04.2012 07.2012 10.2012 11.2012 01.2013 02.2013 03.2013 05.2013 05.2014 06.2014 07.2014 12.2014 01.2015 02.2015 03.2015 06.2015 11.2015 02.2016 03.2016 04.2016 05.2016 06.2016 11.2016 04.2017 10.2017
For starters, you should know that I've been buying things on eBay since 1996. No, that's not a typo and I'm not off by a decade; back when the auction site was named "AuctionWeb" (the reason that eBay e-mails had/have "aw" in them) tucked under the domain "eBay.com" (which was the "holding company"), I was buying brochures and guidebooks from the 1939 New York World's Fair there. So I know eBay pretty well, and have seen it shift from a cooperative community to a bloated money-making-venture for its owners to a dying site that has driven away its sellers by victimizing them in the name of "buyer protection".
Which brings me to today's topic. Years ago (just shy of four years, to be exact), we listed some old books for sale on Half. There weren't many sales... though one notable one went to "peaceandhope060" who gave Ruth her first and only negative feedback after claiming a book never arrived. For some reason, "peaceandhope060" didn't bother to contact Ruth and tell her about that before permanently messing up her eBay feedback rating. (Knowing Ruth, regardless of things like post office delivery receipts, she would have just refunded the purchase price and shipping cost just to avoid the hassle... but, hey, the experience taught us that it's the ones named "Peace and Hope" that you have to watch out for...)
Anyway, point being, the Half.com experience was never a good one for us. We took that set of books, set them to "Suspended" so that they were no longer included in the Half.com database as available, and figured we might get back to selling them someday.
Today, having paid very little attention to Half.com for a very long time, a surprise appeared in the Inbox. Before reading, note a few things:
Look, I'm all in favor of having policies and standards. But when you're trying to be a decent, honest, law-abiding (and TOS-abiding) citizen of the Internet, and you go through the pain of matching up ISBNs and making sure everything complied with Half.com standards... how are you going to react when out-of-the-blue you get a snippy e-mail like this:
- The book in question wasn't for sale. It was tied to our account in "suspended" state, but nobody could buy it. (In fact, it was part of a collection that we gave away last year.)
- We have no way of knowing what the problem really was. The book has already been deleted. eBay and Half.com: Judge, Jury, Executioner, Sender of Form Letter -- in that order. In a nutshell, the message is "Trust us; there was something wrong, but we already obliterated all evidence of it."
- If we do it again (what, exactly?) the punishment will be worse. "You don't know what 'it' was, but so help me, if you do 'it' again, we're going to 'escalate' on you, though we won't tell you what that means, either." Nice.
- None of the suggested issues could possibly apply. The only comments that we added to our listings are regarding quality (e.g. "Name on inside" or "Some highlighting"). It wasn't an international edition or teacher edition. I'm pretty sure it wasn't an 8-track tape.Hello ----- (-@-------.com),Well, Half.com, here's the scoop: I "found some time" and I just deleted all the items from our inventory. Happy now? Every last one of them. I started with the "suspended" ones, which left just five active books... but you still said that I had 36 listed out of the 90+ I started from. I'm no math expert, but I think 36 is greater than five.
We are writing to inform you that the following item(s) were removed from your Half.com inventory:
12357068252 - Sociology : David M. Newman (Paperback, 1995)
When creating a listing at Half.com, sellers must match the ISBN, title, author, edition, binding format, publisher and publication date on the catalog page exactly. It is not appropriate to use the seller comment field to change any of this information. If an item your want to sell does not match an offering in our retail catalog, you will not be able to sell it on Half.com. Your item was ended because it did not match the catalog page exactly.
You can request that your item be added to our catalog by using the form below. If your book is not in our catalog and is out of print, published before 1990, from an out of business publisher, or vanity press we strongly suggest that you list the item on eBay instead of requesting a catalog edition.
The following items can not be listed on Half.com and should be sold on eBay. In some cases you must be in possession of distribution rights.
- International edition books
- Teachers editions books
- Book club publications and Music Club releases
- Prepublication editions books (ARCs, galleys, proofs, etc)
- Promotional music cd's (including items with drill holes and saw cuts)
- The cassette, LP, and 8-track music formats
We have already deleted the item from your inventory. If you have any specific questions regarding your recently ended item please reply to this email and include the ended ITEM NUMBER and ITEM TITLE indicated above. We do ask that you find some time to review our list of prohibited items and compare it to the items in your inventory. Please delete any prohibited items from your inventory. If Half.com is continually ending your items it may escalate into stronger administrative action against your account.
Half.com Trust & Safety
It was awfully helpful of you to show that I had a second page of content... but when that page just duplicates the five books that really are there, I realize that you can't manage a database... and you can't write a civil form letter... and history shows that you can't be trusted to broker someone's online reputation.
So... Goodbye, Half.com!
emlarson.com: Home | Blog| Work | Tech | Life | Lord | Play | Mail
Entire site contents Copyright © 2000-2005 Eric M. Larson
All rights reserved, please don't steal my stuff, etc. etc. etc.