So, I have this dark fantasy PBO (paperback original) on ebay, right? and it’s the first in an increasingly popular series . . . So, it’s worth a few bucks. And since I have the only mint unread copy listed for sale that i can find, maybe MORE than a few bucks. It just so happens that it’s my OWN personal copy, which I never got around to reading so it’s FINE, I mean never-been-read-mint-in-polybag fine, ya dig? So, I don’t have much money into it, and I am not in a terrible rush to sell it, as all it can do is appreciate. So I slap 200 bucks on it and just because I’m not totally dim, I clicked ‘make me an offer.’ And of course after a while some guy does – he offers me $40 bucks. Yes, forty dollars as in 160 less than my BIN price. I just declined and forgot about it. Then he offers me $50, twice; and I again, say thanks but no thanks bub. Now the fun begins, the guy is WILD for this book, and starts sending me these harassing ebay-mails about how he just bought a lesser copy for $5 bucks and that mine is only worth $10 and that I should be grateful for his generous offer of $50. I say thanks very much but I have been doing this 30 years and No means No. This of course just winds the guy up some more, and he starts telling me he’s been around books since 1975 and that i’m unprofessional for overpricing my book, and he’s gonna report me to ebay, yatta yatta yatta.
Now, i have been on the internet a while…i mean a WHILE… back before AL Gore invented it even, I don’t let shit like this wind me up. In short, I don’t care anymore. Buy it – don’t buy it, no skin off my nose. Yes, a nice fat sale is a nice fat sale but some customer’s money is just NOT as green as another customer’s money. I mean it’s NOT worth debasing yourself, or lowering your standards or in this case, selling some monkeyshit-for-brains a three digit book for a fraction of the value just because he whines loudly at me. I don’t mind bending over backwards for a GOOD customer, or making a few accommodations to increase sales overall, but really a bookseller SHOULD listen to his spidey sense. A customer that smells like a problem will nearly always turn out to be one and you will regret having made the transaction a lot more than you will ever regret turning it down. Judging from the excessive verbiage, veiled threats and heavy handed capital letters, this guy smells bad. He wants something he can’t really afford (he’s seeing the author on the 10th and wants the best copy he can find to have it signed . . . very reasonable) So, I says to him, if MY copy is so overpriced, why not bugger off and buy it elsewhere? And he comes back with more rubbish, saying that I should fire whomever priced my books for me, and what not and so forth. (believe me, i would love to fire myself)
Okay for argument’s sake, say I grab my ankles and play lets make a deal, I come down a little he goes up a little, whatever. This guy already has a value for the book IN his widdle head. Which means, he’s already got a head start on buyers remorse. He’s gonna be looking for a way to get back what he thinks I gouged out of him. Either the book will never arrive, or he will claim it’s the wrong edition, condition, whatever, he will just ship me back his $5 copy and then contact, Paypal or Visa or whomever and do a chargeback. There are many more ways for me to get screwed dear Horatio, than are in your Kama Sutra. A customer who thinks you OWE him before you even enter into a transaction is not one you want. You want one who views a transaction as just that, an even exchange of good for currency. Yes, everyone wants to come out ahead, that’s when you value the currency more than the book and the customer wants the book more than the currency. See Mr Monkeybrain here, he wants BOTH – And I am not in a very bendy mood.
I don’t really have an answer, all I can do is block him from buying which we know he’s not gonna do anyway. He reports me to ebay for what I don’t know, I report him for being an asshead, and hopefully he will just go away. But sometimes the shark, he wouldn’t go away..oh wait…wrong movie….anyway the balls in his court. Either he will go bother someone else, or knowing the ways of the internet, he will sit out there and stew and try to come up with some new harassment to punish me for keeping him from what he thinks he deserves….oh well, some people just can’t take go to hell for an answer, you know?