Blogger Robert Nagle posts that he tried to purchase an Abebooks title via Half.com, but got his order canceled because it was out of stock. Incensed, he discovered that 15 of the past 50 feedback entries on Abebooks’ Half.com listings page were for cancelled orders.
Abebooks’ eBay/Half.com program’s statistics indicate that 12% of feedback for transactions over the past 12 months has been negative or neutral. (Most of that feedback is for cancelled orders; in fact, even some of the positive feedback ratings cite cancelled orders.) One out of every eight customers appear to be walking away unhappy.
Alibris’ numbers indiate that they’re doing almost twice as well. Over the past year, only 7% of Alibris feedback over the past 12 months has been negative or neutral. Alibris seems to be disappointing only (only?) one of every fifteen customers. (Some of the non-positive comments are about product quality, though most are still about order cancellation.)
These numbers are disappointing, and though they reflect difficulties involved in syncing data between a listings service’s own database with eBay/Half.com’s inventory management systems, they also highlight how far we are from reaching 100% deliverability for all the used titles listed for sale online.
Robert Nagle’s not alone. Nobody likes ordering a book and having the seller tell you that he or she doesn’t have it in stock. On our side, we’ve been discussing bookseller rating mechanisms with our listings service partners, and are working to help ensure that BookFinder.com’s users can feel certain that the book they order is from as reliable a seller as possible. We’ve been pushing for tighter inventory management for yearswe can do better.
Have you had issues with cancelled orders on BookFinder.com? What steps should we be taking to address the problem? As always, we appreciate comments.Posted by Anirvan