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Wherein Michelle is irritated

Someone on Facebook kindly pointed out that someone appears to be selling a used (!) copy of Cast in Silence on Amazon.com.

Cast in Silence doesn't exist as a new book yet. It doesn't exist as an ARC yet. It barely exists as a finished manuscript, because I am still working my way through the AAs mentioned a couple of days ago.

The "merchant" in question is asking how much? Guess. The answer is here.

I'm not entirely sure what he -- or to be fair, she or they -- hope to gain from this, and mine is not the only "used" book offered for sale at this price. The other one thirty seconds of perusal turned up is Maria Snyder's also as yet unpublished book. I cannot imagine that anyone--besides a publisher--would pay 1,000.00 for a book of mine, let alone one that doesn't even exist.

So. Just in case you're curious: He isn't selling an ARC. Because it doesn't exist. He isn't, as far as I can tell, selling anything genuine. If anyone asks you about this, please pass it on, or point them here.


Apr. 11th, 2009 04:11 pm (UTC)
Understanding Feedback Ratings
On eBay, almost 100% of the customers leave feedback for every purchase they make.

On Amazon.com, only about 10% of the customers leave any feedback at all (this is an accurate statistic -I can find its source/reference if you so desire).

A well known statistic in the retail industry is: A unhappy customer is 10 times more likely to talk about their experience (or leave negative feedback) than a happy customer (who would be leaving a positive feedback). (I can cite a source for this statistic as well - if so desire)

Accounting for the ratio of (item sales/feedback posted) on Amazon, and considering the Happy customer vs. Unhappy customer feedback post ratio:

An Amazon seller with 90% positive feedback has similar performance rating to an eBay seller with 99% positive feedback. Do not compare apples to oranges - the 2 feedback rating systems are completely different (and both are just as effective, if you understand how they work).
Apr. 11th, 2009 04:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Understanding Feedback Ratings
On Amazon.com, only about 10% of the customers leave any feedback at all (this is an accurate statistic -I can find its source/reference if you so desire).

I, at least, would be interested in seeing the source or reference. On ebay, customers don't always leave feedback, fwiw. But the feedback system on ebay serves a distinct customer purpose. As a consumer, I check the feedback ratings, and I also check the complaints listed as negatives, to see what the problems were or are.

And at this point in time, given the accuracy issues already being discussed, and the nature of the complaints in the negative feedback for the particular seller, I would not buy from him. But I am currently writing a longer post on some of the issues that have come up, which will hopefully be up shortly.
Apr. 11th, 2009 04:41 pm (UTC)
Re: Understanding Feedback Ratings
If you don't receive feedback quickly, don't be discouraged. Most Amazon sellers receive feedback on 10% - 20% of their sales. Please know that leaving feedback is an individual's choice, not a requirement for using our site. Amazon.com cannot compel buyers to leave feedback.

Is what the Amazon.com site says. However, it also states:

We focus on negative feedback ratings as a percentage of total feedback ratings (the "Negative Feedback Rate") as an indicator of seller performance. Our very best sellers have a close to 0% Negative Feedback Rate.

Since your rating is calculated only as a percentage of feedback received, why don't we assume that the people who didn't leave feedback are neutral. They don't care either way. This leaves the very happy and the very annoyed. Your amazon.com score therefore deals with either end of the spectrum, however if a customer is dissatisfied, and a resolution can be worked out between you and the customer, the negative rating can be clawed back, or further feedback can be left.

What this tells me as a consumer, when I'm perusing ratings and reasons for them is what you do when things don't work out smoothly or perfectly. This is also what I get from ebay listings of the same.

So for me, 9% of the feedback received is unhappy with either product or lack of receipt. Which is 9% of the 10% that responded, which is still too high.

Edited at 2009-04-11 04:41 pm (UTC)
Apr. 11th, 2009 07:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Understanding Feedback Ratings
My experience as a buyer leaving negative feedback was that the seller was refunding me at the same time I was leaving the feedback and I didn't know. Once I realized this, I deleted my feedback. HOwever, I could not go back and leave a more positive note.

One thing about amazon feedback that's worth checking is what comment was left. I've seen people leave negative seller marks on the editorial content of the book, not the seller's performance. But generally that's only really an issue for low-volume sellers.