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by Craig Stark

#155, 25 April 2011

As a frequent online book buyer, I can tell you that my biggest issue by far is trust. Many years of experience have taught me to be cautiously skeptical of any description I come across, even if (in most cases) I've bought from a seller previously. There's so much that can go wrong. The represented edition state might be incorrect. The actual condition of the book may differ significantly from my interpretation of the seller's statement. Heck, the seller might not even have the book. I'm sure that many of you will agree that it's a guessing game, and the best you can do is attempt to elevate it to an educated guessing game - and hope that you've purchased from a seller with a generous return policy if you guess wrong.

I've written about this topic before, and I recall thinking (however many years ago it was) that surely it couldn't get any worse; things had to get better as booksellers gained more experience. Well, after looking at the example in the excerpt from Chapter 6 of BookThink's Guide to Online Bookselling below, you won't be comforted. As I continue to buy online, it seems as though it has gotten worse yet. I won't attempt to explain why, but I will suggest that this present state of affairs presents a golden opportunity for those who do attempt to establish a trusted online presence - an opportunity, namely, to gain a significant advantage over the competition.

By the way, Chapter 6 will be delivered to subscriber's tonight. Click here if you would like to buy a sample chapter or a subscription to the complete guide in PDF format.

A correction to my brief review of FBAScout in the last issue: It is indeed a free application, but after 50 scans, you will need to purchase a subscription to continue using it.

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