One of the main reasons you may receive negative feedback on Amazon is if your buyers feel their item has been mis-described. Therefore it is always best to describe your item as honestly as possible, in fact you should err on the side of caution – that way your buyer should be nicely surprised when their item arrives in better condition than they expected.
That said, it really is a subjective decision as to what constitutes a ‘good’ or ‘very good’ description.
I know that I am guilty of perhaps being a little optimistic when separating out good from very good. But as the vast majority of customers appear happy then I must be doing something right. However that is not to say I have not received some criticism from a few buyers who feel their item should not have been listed in a different category than the one I chose at the time of listing.
On the most part I receive glowing comments such as, ‘this item is in much better condition than described, in fact it is ‘as new’’. Therefore you have to conclude that many buyers expectations are not as high as we may believe… BUT there are always those whose expectations are unrealistic.
Amazon’s advice is to ensure that we are careful when describing our books, however we are all capable of making honest mistakes. From time to time I myself am guilty of missing inscriptions or markings inside the book or failing to mention defects in the comment box. Although as I’ve pointed out before, many buyers simply do not read the comments before purchasing and then complain. This is especially true of ex library copies.
I think the fact that Amazon includes the description comment on the packing slip may help to deter these types of customer complaints as they will be able to see exactly how the item was described, and if they missed the comment then they are at fault. Of course if a customer wants to be unreasonable then nothing will stop them.
Price is not a deterrent when it comes to bad feedback, I think I get more disgruntled comments from buyers of 1p books than any other purchase. Continued below…
Just to assist you Amazon have created guidelines to help ensure that sellers have uniform descriptions.
* We suggest that you list new and used books at a price lower than the Amazon.co.uk price.
* Must be signed, out of print or otherwise unique–you will have an opportunity to say why your copy is collectable. We suggest that you list such books at a price greater than the Amazon.co.uk price.
* Brand-new, unused, unread and in perfect condition.
* Like New: An apparently unread copy in perfect condition. Dust cover is intact with no nicks or tears. Spine has no signs of creasing. Pages are clean and not marred by notes or folds of any kind. Books may contain a remainder mark on an outside edge but this should be noted in the listing comments.
* Very Good: a copy that has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
* Good: a copy that has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact (including dust cover, if applicable). The spine may show signs of wear.
* Acceptable: a readable copy. All pages and the cover are intact (dust cover may be missing). Pages can include considerable notes–in pen or highlighter–but notes cannot obscure the text.
[…] Be sure to describe your books in an accurate manner. […] Should a book have an obvious cosmetic flaw, sellers are strongly encouraged to make a note within the comments field.[…]”
If you do receive adverse feedback and you feel it’s unfair you can ask Amazon to remove the comment. However Amazon will only remove feedback if it fits their criteria.
* The feedback includes obscene language.
* The feedback includes personally identifiable information.
* The entire feedback comment is a product review.
* The entire feedback comment is regarding fulfilment or customer service for an order fulfilled by Amazon.
That said if you believe that you have received feedback that is unreasonable then try phoning Amazon and speak to a real person you never know, they may come down in your favour and remove the comment.
But in any case do always contact the buyer first and ask them to remove the comment after explaining why you believe it should not have been left. Always be polite and professional and do not get into a ‘slanging’ match with the customer. If an email does not get a response try sending a polite letter by post.