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beware half.com

May 8th, 2006 at 09:48 am

I have a few things up for sale on half.com, and I've sold things in the past. Over the weekend, I had a guy buy a book set of mine and send me this email:

I have just purchased a book/tape/card set from you on half.com to be shipped to [woman's name & address]. Can you do me a BIG favor. I am fixing a mistake I made with this customer. Will you please e-mail me immediately if you are missing the tapes or cards. Also, will you e-mail me when the book ships? I really appreciate your help here. Regards, [man's name & his bookstore's name]

Two minutes later I get this email from him:

One more thing i forgot to mention. Please do NOT include an invoice with this order.

After I got the second email, I realized that he wanted me to ship this book set and essentially pretend to be him. Excuse me? Am I your personal shipping service? What if the customer paid him $10 for the set and he's buying mine for $2? Not cool. I wrote to half.com and presented the issue. Here's what I got in response:

Thank you for writing in to Half.com customer service with your concerns about drop shipping for your buyer. I will do my best to address this.

Half.com does support drop shipping in every way, shape, and form. What I mean by this is buyers asking for the order to be shipped to another location. However, from what you've described it sounds like while this buyer isn't technically asking for you to lie, there is an element of withholding the truth. If you feel uncomfortable in doing that I'd recommend that you cancel this order and refund your buyer.


I was a bit surprised by their response. Not only is it unethical to withhold the truth, it's disrespectful to me and misleading to the customer. He should have offered a refund to her, not tried to use me. This guy's got a big bookstore on half.com - I'm a home seller.

I decided to give the guy a refund rather than sell my ethics for a mere $5. Give me a break. I'm removing all of my stuff from half.com and either putting it elsewhere or bringing it to the used bookstore. Too much of a headache!

What happened to ethics in business? It will be interesting to see if this guy leaves me negative feedback for not doing his bidding.

6 Responses to “beware half.com”

  1. armywife Says:

    OH wow.. what a turkey! I admire your call on this one, kashi How dare he offend you in that way! I haven't used half.com in a while ever since someone tried to finnagle a free math textbook from me courtesy of some flawed seller/buyer policy clause.

  2. markio26 Says:

    i don't use anything, but, amazon to sell books... ebookdrop.com and half.com gave me headaches.
    i do sell alot of books at garage sales...

  3. kashi Says:

    As expected, I got a nasty email from the guy in response. I took down all my half.com listings. I've had it!

  4. Ima Saver Says:

    Sorry about that kashi!

  5. mjrube94 Says:

    Wow...That stinks. I've always had problem free transactions with them. Way to go for sticking to your guns!

  6. carol Says:

    What a jerk!! and that's putting it nicely! I'm so sorry you had to run into someone like that who would want you to be decietful and dishonest. And then he has the gall to send you a nasty e mail on top of it?! What a jerk!!

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