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 years—we can do better.
Amazon tends to have better response rates and better resellers. On the other hand, they have more individual resellers.
With abe-half, you just have no idea what “subcontractor” you’re getting the book from. If I needed the book from abe, I’d probably go directly to the site of abe books to buy it instead of going through half.com
One thing, btw, I noticed after writing that piece up is that user feedback on amazon and ebay throw in buyer and seller feedback together. I get lots of positive feedback from sellers in the hopes that I will return the favor. Good grief! I just gave them the money; I don’t deserve accolades! In addition to viewing feedback, you need to be careful to filter the results only from buyers, not from sellers. (this applies more towards individual sellers then companies).
One thing I LOVE about half.com btw is that on used book sales, you can buy other books by the same bookseller, and further S%H costs are reduced from $3.49 (or $2.99) to $1.99. That can be a really good deal. Of course, I have to question the tastes of some resellers, and sometimes it’s not all the time and effort of browsing.