I *paid* for 18 books, but perhaps that number was just a "suggestion."

This has happened twice now. I just don’t get it.

As I’ve mentioned occasionally, I’m learning Spanish so I’m on the prowl for Spanish-language books. And, being the compulsive book-collecting soul that I am, I am not satisfied with only with the run-of-the-mill books that can be found in the USA, I want more obscure ones that are only available outside of the USA.

So I got a lot (“lote”) of a bunch of Spanish books off of eBay, from someone in Spain. The auction was very specific. Had scans of all the book’s covers, titles and authors. The whole thing. Very detailed.

But when the books arrive, 2 are missing. All the other books are there, but one that I most specifically wanted (it was extra-special) and another book are just gone. I wrote to the seller about it but haven’t heard anything back.

I am happy that I got the books that were sent and they’re all in good condition, but why did the seller bother to be so specific with the auction (going to the trouble of scanning the front and back covers of each title) if he wasn’t going to send them all out? I know, it probably was a mistake. Oh well.

So, I bought some more books, 18 of them, from someone in Argentina. I took a big chance with this one. Just trusted that this person would send me the books. (The price of shipping was eye-popping, too.) I figured that it was worth taking the chance—I really wanted the books.

And so they arrived today. Yay! I am really pleased. Part of me was worried that I just got soaked and would get nothing. But they arrived. Promptly, too. (Of course, the packing was abysmal, but they arrived!)

But once again, books are missing. I was very specific about what books I wanted, what titles I wanted, and 3 are missing. What the hell?

What is this? Is this what I have to look forward to when I order books from overseas? That the amount of stuff I am paying for won’t really be what I’m going to get? That the number of items I paid for were merely a “suggestion”? Is that it? I am so confused.

Sounds like fraud to me.

If they don’t respond in a reasonable amount of time, take it to eBay.

It’s called “lying,” “stealing,” and, if it continues for much longer without you being able to do anything about it, “being a sucker for people in foreign countries selling things on eBay.”

Send them a nice email. if no books are forthcoming, file a NPS with eBay. Then NEG 'em.

The second book sale was not through eBay. And that one was, admittedly, a big chance on my part. I knew it going in, but figured that the cirumctances were such that I had a good chance of not getting ripped off. Turns out that I was (sort of) right. By “ripped off” I was thinking, “No books come at all, the seller just pockets the money.” Which they didn’t do. But they just sent a few less books. Books, I might add, that were worth only a buck or two each. So if they were intending to rip me off, why bother to pay expensive shipping and send most of the books, but keep a few broken down, used books that were only worth a buck or two each in their country? I am so confused.

The eBay auction is also confusing. The “lote” of books was quite large and I can almost imagine that the seller just forgot to add those two. It’s something that I could almost believe. And, the books were not worth that much either. About 2 dollars each. The seller has excellent feedback (I think it’s almost 100%) on a lot of auctions. I don’t believe that he typically is out to cheat people, though of course I will continue to pursue this matter with him.

I’m beginning to wonder if perhaps with some people that it’s “no big deal” if a few books are missing, and they figure that we (the buyers) won’t complain about it, because it’s “close enough.” Or something? Very confusing indeed. Either way, I am now going to be very cautious and am probably (famous last words) finished with the overseas book buying from individuals. I found an international online bookstore that looks pretty good, and I presume they would be a little more literal with the actual amount of items that they are shipping. Or am I expecting too much? :wink:

One of the BIG problem in international shipping, is sticky fingered custom workers. Did the package looked opened or resealed? People who are as detailed as you say your seller was usually aren’t looking to rip people off.

What’s the sellers feedback? If there’s no complains of missing books, then chances are either he forgot them or customs “borrowed” them. Keep an eye on his auctions, and see if the books are relisted or his feedback changes.

You could be right.

The second shipment of books (non-eBay, from Argentina) had bad packaging. Perhaps this was mostly the blame of the seller, or perhaps the bad packaging was “helped” along by customs. The package arrived at my local post office in bad condition, and it looked like the Post Office had to tape parts of the package back together. Perhaps a customs official swiped some of the books, or perhaps they just fell out? I’ll email the seller, but of course I don’t expect to get the books back.

The eBay auction could have been a mistake. The box he sent the books in was a little beat up (it went by boat—took 6 weeks to arrive) so it could have been opened and resealed.

I don’t think the guy has the profile of a rip-off artist. But one of the missing books was curious. It was an extra special, extra large volume, and sometimes I wonder if he found another buyer for it, and figured that I’d never notice the lack of it amidst all the other books. Or, a customs person saw that book, thought it looked nice, and took it for themselves. (But it’s kind of a cheap pulpy book, so I don’t know if all customs workers are into cheap pulpy books!) :wink:

Ok- but have you tried contactting them and asking what’s up?

Hey, I just wanted to point out, the times I’ve had packages from the UK opened by Customs, they had tape all over them saying Opened By Customs, or something like that. However, this was a couple years ago, so I don’t know if things have changed?

I am intrigued which are the books that are missing?
Also If you want to send me the e-mail of the second seller I could try e-mailing him, getting his phone number or beat the crap out of him :slight_smile:

I got the “missing” books from the seller in Argentina! Actually, I got an extra book! (I think that was an error on the part of the seller—or else she was feeling generous.)

There was a card from the Post Office, telling me I had a package to pick up, but I was sure that it wasn’t anything more from Argentina. Imagine my surprise when I discover that it is a separate package, with a total of 4 books! I don’t know why the seller did it this way—I’m assuming that the postage was somehow cheaper when she split the shipping cost between two packages.

Anyway, I’m glad that I had ISP problems last night and therefore didn’t get around to shooting off an inquiring email to her about the “missing” books. Probably would have worried her. Now I get to send off an email thanking her for prompt delivery. :slight_smile:

So, I guess this latest happy development sort of takes the edge off the original rant of the OP, but I’m glad. Though I still need to try to light a fire under the seller in Spain, and see if he’ll send me replacement books or something . . .

Oh, and these are cheap pulpy books. (A lot of these titles are not available in the USA.) I chose these books because they are “light” and “fluffy” and I don’t have to be fluent to read one of them and get the basic plot (when my fluency improves I’ll read some of the heavy-duty books I have collected). They also can resell quite well on places like eBay, where Spanish-speaking ladies fight tooth and nail for 'em. (To give you an idea, a while ago some 50+ old, crappy pulpy novels went for over $150 on eBay. The bidding was furious. The English language equivalent of the same amount of pulpy books would go for . . . oh, maybe $5-10 or so.)

Estilicon, the missing book from the seller is Spain is an extra-large volume (cheap pulpy book, of course). It was higher priced, had more pages, and had stories by three different authors, instead of the usual one title/one author. The publisher does not release these extra-big volumes in the USA (as far as I know). I was looking forward to reading it, but I also knew that when it came time to resell the book, those Spanish-speaking ladies on eBay would go mad for it! :wink:

But still, it is just a cheap, pulpy book so it’s a little hard to imagine that it would be coveted by anyone in customs. But who knows?

I am glad my fellow countrymen behaved properly, after all we have enough bad publicity.-
Spaniards are all pricks :slight_smile:

Try reading “Platero y Yo”, it’s a simple book about the author and a donkey. It’s supposed to be simple (I wouldn’t know I speak spanish fluently :)), and the best part is that it was written by one of our glories, Spanisj Nobel prize of literature Don Juan Ramón Jimenez.-