Textbook Season Ending & Return Season Starting

If you sell books online then you know that back to school season is a great time for us.  Students are always looking for a bargain.  I have hundreds of academic books and a decent amount of current textbooks so I sell my fair share this time of year.  Now that we are at mid-September the textbook season is winding down and textbook return season is starting up.  This is the time of year when I have the most returns. 

 Students drop classes or buy the wrong edition or no longer want their books for any number of reasons.  So this time of year is is important for us to cintinue to implement excellent customer service when handling returns.  If somebody buys a book and there is something “wrong” with it and they want to return it I accept it and provide a full refund (including shipping).  If a person decides they no longer need the book I accept a return and refund the purchase price but not the shipping.  This is my simple policy and I have never had an issue with a buyer. 

There is almost never a case when I do not accept returns – most markets require you to accept them (see Amazon’s A-Z policy).  I keep my return policy simple.  The only time I have not accepted a return is when a significant amount of time has passed between the purchase date and the return date or if the books condition is materially different from when I sold it (such as full of highlighting).  Sometimes it is easy to lose sight of the customer experience when I run a business from home and do not interact with the customers.

Amazon Charge When Shipped (Amazon CWS)

What does CWS mean for us booksellers? Not much. You will not have your account credited until you ship a book. If you use The Art of Books or a similar inventory management system Amazon should be automatically updated when the book is shipped. There are a couple of downsides to Amazon's Charge When Shipped - you do not get to send your own confirmation email to the buyer and the buyer can still leave feedback on a canceled order. Continue reading
Sales of the Kindle are one thing but it remains to be seen if people are actually going to adapt to using it as their primary way to read - as we have seen with Amazon recenlty deleting Orwell titles there are several issues with the Kindle that will effect its popularity. Continue reading

Should Online Booksellers Pay Sales Tax?

The question isn't if you should collect sales tax because that is impossible to do on most sites except eBay. Trying to collect sales taxes would kill sales if you are the only one doing it. Now - I am not a lawyer or accountant so I will simply tell you what I do - which is to pay my states sales taxes Continue reading
When I have a sale I generally provide a 10% to 20% discount on my 250 highest priced titles. I may tweak this formula this time and only pick the titles that are below $40 and see if I get more sales as I alreadt provide "Best Offer" on everything above that. Continue reading
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