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Advice needed: buying a "brand new" book

Discussion in 'Booktalk' started by Baronius, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. Baronius

    Baronius Mental harmony dispels the darkness ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Hello,

    I would really appreciate some guidance in the following case. :confused:

    I would like to give a book ("Most beautiful villages of France") to someone as a gift, it would be important. I went to Amazon (in the second time of my life, the previous one were professional books and they were fine), and noticed that there are "used" and "new" copies.

    I chose and paid for a "new" one, ordered it from Florida, USA. I got a used, damaged book which was from a library (the library's ID was in it). They offered to send it again, I said yes, but the book never arrived. Now they offered a full refund, and I accepted it.

    So, before trying with other sellers on Amazon, I sent a question to them through the Amazon user interface. The first one still hasn't replied, it has been several days I contacted it. The second seller answered. My original email, and their reply can be seen below (it's generic, so I don't violate any privacy rights):

    Their answer:


    I don't get it -- all these "brand new", "never opened" etc. are just tricks on Amazon?

    All the sellers I contacted seem to have 95+% completion rate (from hundrends of thousands of votes...).

    Is there no way to order a "new" copy of the book reliably?
     
  2. LKD Gems: 31/31
    Latest gem: Rogue Stone


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    I don't trust the online merchants. My advice is to use a local bookseller who will make efforts to get you what you want.
     
  3. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I think the issue you are having is that the book was published Oct. 1990, so it's more than 21 years old now. It's probably not easy to guarantee a pristine condition for a 21 year old book even though it has never been sold.
     
  4. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Baronius, there are 2 parts to Amazon. First is their own offer (usually the one presented on the product page), the other is the Amazon Marketplace. On the marketplace, external sellers can sell the same items at different prices. You bought from one of the marketplace merchants, possibly because Amazon didn't have the book available and in such cases the marketplace merchant offers are featured instead of Amazon's own. If you post the link to the book here I can tell you what the actual situation is.

    In any case, all of my dealings with marketplace merchants so far have been positive (but I only ever bought from merchants with very high ratings) - you can give them a negative rating and they all fear that so they usually don't pull tricks like trying to pass off old books as new. But mistakes can happen. When they do though, you should expect them to be fixed pronto. Otherwise negative feedback is obviously unavoidable.

    FWIW, if you want to avoid the possible hassle of dealing with marketplace merchants, only buy directly from Amazon's stock.
     
  5. Baronius

    Baronius Mental harmony dispels the darkness ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Tal, thank you for your valuable advice, I didn't know these things. Yes, even the one where I first ordered it gave a full refund, so they don't look like tricky sellers. I was just surprised that these "brand new", "perfect condition" etc. statements don't seem so genuine (considering their answer email I quoted).
    The link to the book:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0500541620/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new

    @BTA: I'm afraid of that, too. I just naively believed that brand new copies are indeed brand-new (e.g. because it's still in print, despite of its old publication date).

    @LKD: yeah, just too bad it can't be bought in Central/Eastern Europe. E.g. it seems that most "new" copies Amazon offers are from the USA, and a small part is from UK or France. It would be nice if someone (even from here in SP) could check a copy of the book personally (if the book is available where he or she lives), and I would pay all the costs (even more than the actual costs, because of the effort). I.e. I would transfer the money in advance for buying it, covering the post office costs as well.
     
  6. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Yea, if you go to http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0500541620/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&seller= you can see that Amazon's featured offer is used - that means that Amazon doesn't have the book in stock. In such cases the only option is Marketplace sellers or looking if you can find the book new somewhere else. But the first two merchants who have it listed in "New" condition look perfectly credible to me so I wouldn't hesitate buying from them. But like BTA said, any 22 year old book, even if new, might not be without a scratch or two simply due to the fact that over this long period it must have been moved a few times, if nothing else. Of course, merchants will rather tell you in advance that the book MIGHT not be as if it came from the printer's yesterday just so that you wouldn't expect the unrealistic. In all likelihood, the book would look just fine.

    Unless you're dead-set on exactly that book and no other, I'd just get another more recent book like One Hundred & One Beautiful Small Towns in France. There's a large number of similar books available if you do some searching on Amazon. And the more recent the book, the more likely it is that you'll also be able to buy it from the UK or DE Amazon.

    You'll be hard pressed to find a book out of print for over 20 years anywhere else but on Amazon's marketplace or various second hand bookstores.
     
    Baronius and (deleted member) like this.
  7. Baronius

    Baronius Mental harmony dispels the darkness ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Thanks Tal, I'm considering my options based on what you've written.

    What you suggested also looks like a great option (thanks a lot!) -- how come it's so cheap (16-25 GBP) compared to what I was looking for? It's 272 pages. I'm thinking that it's either because my original choice is an old one and third-party sellers can give whatever price they want, or that my original choice is full with photos (mostly consists of photos). Though I wouldn't think that photos reason such a huge difference.
     
  8. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    I'd say it's the first - your original choice is out of print and hard to find and only a few sellers can still offer it in mint condition, so the price is suitably inflated. From what I've seen, this one is full of photographs as well.
     
    Baronius likes this.
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