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The E-Sylum:  Volume 3, Number 15, April 9, 2000, Article 7

THOUGHTS ON BUYING BOOKS ON THE NET 

   Mike Jones of Honolulu writes: "On any collectible, I guess 
   one has to take good with the bad, and book buying is no 
   different. I am not talking about just coin books but all books in 
   general.  With ever-increasing "net" buying with thousands of 
   booksellers on the market, one has to develop an "eye" and 
   good "hunch" to properly succeed in making a transaction that 
   can be termed "good" or "great".  This may seem quite easy 
   and comfortable, as one can shop sitting on an easy chair, but 
   sometimes it is not the case. 

   Books described as "VG" turn out to be near "mint" from 
   some and just pure "junk"  from others. Quite often defects 
   such as torn pages, scotch-taped torn pages, loose pages, 
   taped bindings, library copies, pen markings, shot spine, etc., 
   etc. are not mentioned as part of  "condition".   It is best to 
   ask the sellers, before buying, about the so-called "hidden 
   defects". Some titles are so scarce that they are worth 
   having even with some defects, but would you not like to know 
   about them before sending payment?  This way you can take 
   all the pros and cons of a certain title and decide for yourself if 
   it is worth what you are considering paying for it. 

   What is this "bookrate" stuff anyways?   Some charge you an 
   arm and a leg and ship "bookrate"!  One seller wanted $5 for a 
   little pamphlet type title weighing perhaps five ounces and that 
   was for bookrate!   After asking "what gives" and hearing a poor 
   excuse I did not order.   Others charge you  plenty for "packing"! 
   I can order for free most any packing materials from USPS 
   including wrapping tape and can find cardboard to secure packing 
   for nothing.  Why should I pay extra for something that I am 
   entitled to for free?  If I buy a shirt somewhere, it will come in a 
   plastic bag for free.   If I go buy bananas, they too, put the 
   bananas in a bag for free. Nobody ever asked me for "packing" 
   fees!!!   If book dealers charge you for packing and priority mail 
   charges and send you "bookrate" he/she can make a living out of 
   it! 

   If I sounded sour it was meant to be.   Book dealers may have a 
   few words of their own about packing charges and all, but they 
   just don't hold up!   Some dealers will charge only actual postage 
   and those dealers are the ones that describe the condition of a 
   book correctly, at least from my experience.  I will be happy to 
   pay the correct shipping charges and will be very happy to pay 
   for correctly described items, but I will NOT make them rich for 
   overcharging on postage, packing,  and etc.. 

   Yes sir, yes madam...buying books is a whole lot of fun but 
   sometimes we all gotta take good with the bad!  The less bad we 
   take the better. Am I just talking to myself or are there others who 
   feel the same way? Feedbacks please!" 

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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