Remember those “Winnie the Anti-Abortion Activist” pre-teen horse books that I sold?
Well, as I explained earlier, I sold seven books, when the set actually consists of eight books. I was very clear, and I priced the books in such a way that anyone who bought them and purchased book 8 separately would still come out way ahead. I not only wanted to make money on the books; I wanted to get rid of them. The alternatives were unthinkable. I didn't even want to donate them for fear some poor unsuspecting kid would start reading them!
So I sold them. Yesterday evening I received the following message from the bonehead dad (Kenneth L. Myers, who I hope googles his own name) of the girl who had bought them:
"I am not happy - obviously. My daughter made a purchase with you only because she was getting all 8. She had a sick look on her face and kept asking how could that happen. I am going to give an option. Get a #8 and ship it to us at no charge or refund the minimum of $8 it will cost to replace it. This needs to be done by July 2. Show my daughter that adults work things out. Amazon is ready to jump, but I think we can get it handle. thank you for your quick response."
First, what kind of jerk goes right to the assumption that the person on the other end of a transaction is out to rip them off? I'm thinking a dishonest one. (I would have thought that there had been a mistake.)
Second, I was very clear in my description. “How could that happen” is that neither one of them read my description of the books. What kind of idiot buys something without reading the full description? I could have written, “the sixth book has had the cover ripped off, the seventh book has been scribbled in by a toddler, and the eighth book was used by the bunny in unmentionable ways.”
So I attempted to calm down, with only limited success, reminding myself all the while that my #2 goal in life is “peace”. (#1 is raise my children successfully, broken down into subcategories of health, education, fun, and being good people.)
Then I write back to Kenneth L. Myers.
Please slow down. I'm just a Mom.
Let's start at the beginning:
I posted my listing on Amazon. Here is a portion of that listing, which I
have copied from my confirmation e-mail from Amazon:
Here are the details of your listing:
Title: Winnie The Horse Gentler (8 Volume Set) (Volumes 1-8)
Quantity remaining: 1
Total quantity sold: 0
Buyer's price: $29.99
Condition: Used - Very Good
Comments: Smoke-free home. Read by my daughter, who takes very good care of her books. They are in excellent condition. PLEASE NOTE THAT VOLUME 8 IS
MISSING FROM THIS SET. But given the price I have set, it should be worth your while to purchase book #8 separately. Don't like the price? Make me an offer!
Please note the capitalized text above, which appears exactly as it did in my description of the item I was selling.
As should be clear, I intentionally priced the books as low as I did precisely because book #8 was missing. I'm having an internet issue just now
so I can't pull up Amazon, but at the time I listed this "set", I intentionally priced it FAR below what anyone else was charging, precisely
because this book was missing. As I said in the description, I priced it so that you would still have come out well ahead, even after purchasing the 8th book directly from Amazon.
I am guessing that you are having a forehead slapping moment right about now. How this could have happened is that you or your daughter did not read the full description of my item.
How would you like to proceed?
I check e-mail often, but I have been having bizarre computer issues the last several days. It comes and goes, so if I'm not rapid, I'm not blowing you off. I'm just not able to access my e-mail.
P.S. (I have a 100% rating for a reason. I always describe what I'm selling
Pretty clear, right? The guy should be slapping himself on the forehead, apologizing, and ordering his daughter book #8 from Amazon. That and he should learn how to use Amazon better so that this doesn't happen to him again and he irritates another seller with his stupidity and rudeness.
So this morning I wake up to the following message from my new friend Kenneth L. Myers:
"We looked at it and that comment was not there and the editorial review says all 8 books. You note to day was the first more information comment we saw. I just figured another slight of hand moment. I thought the description should have had more but we took a chance on it. With a masters in math and a fairly high IQ, I do not know why your comment did not appear during the two hours we considered if she was going to buy it. We operated on what we saw which was 8. I will not argue. You let us know what you believe and that is what we will go with. This was not a five minute transaction, as she was weighing several choices and thinking it over before buying, because I made
Myers Pedal Tractor Pulls
Ken Myers & Family
Lenox Iowa 50851"
“You note to day was the first more information comment we saw.”
I don't know. Maybe they measure IQ differently in Iowa.
Notice how he jumped straight to my description being “another slight of hand moment.” That's right. I'm dishonest. Because I'm going to voluntarily go to hell for cheating a kid out of $5.99. (That's right. The book costs $5.99, not $8. Who's dishonest now, eh, Kenneth?) Fact is, I could have fabricated the e-mail. That's true. But I didn't. And of course he could no longer pull up the description of what I was selling! He had bought it! It's no longer listed on Amazon!
(Can you tell that I'm annoyed??)
You know what's funny? If his daughter had just written me nicely in the first place, I would have just explained it to her and then fixed it for her.
Anyway, I wrote Kenneth back a long scathing e-mail, pointing out, among other things that we didn't actually have a contract because we had no “meeting of the minds” (a little term I learned in contract law when I took my IQ to law school) because I was selling one thing and he thought he was buying something different. The correct way to handle this would have been for him to return the books and me to refund the price. But no one wanted this. His daughter has probably started reading the books. And God knows I don't want those atrocious books back.
So in the end I wrote a brief e-mail to his daughter:
Book #8 will arrive directly from Amazon via UPS.
You should receive it on Tuesday.
I received a "thank you" e-mail in response.
No reason the kid should suffer because KENNETH L. MYERS is a her dad. So she'll get the book. I'll get “peace”. And KENNETH L. MYERS will get this blog entry.
It really hurts my feelings to have bought yet another copy of one of these horrible books. It feels downright immoral.
People should know better than to piss off a writer.
I'm just sayin'.
Joke's on him, though. The books suck.
And if I'm ever in Iowa, I sure know where I'm not buying my next tractor pull.