Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Amazon.com Hates Collectors

For years, I have been an avid customer with Amazon.com but the results of my recent purchases has given me pause and much to consider. With various new collectible items that I have ordered from them, the online retailer has repeatedly sent me items that are damaged or are in a used condition.

Most recently, I made an order from Amazon that consisted of several new graphic novels and trade paperbacks. The items I received had cracked spines, dented covers, and folded pages. It was obvious just by looking at them that they were not new items. Subsequently, I contacted Amazon to let them know about the situation and I was then asked to return the item for a refund. Without hesitation, I returned them, but like a fool, I made a new order of the same items hoping that the good folks at Amazon.com had learned from their mistake and that they would send me items in the condition they were advertised in. Sadly but not surprising, the items they sent me for my second order were also at an unsatisfactory condition.  Eventually, I ordered from Books-A-Million and received pristine new copies of the publications which made me very happy.

In another incident from a couple of months earlier, I ordered a pair of new action figures from Amazon.com and was shocked to discover that they did not care about the condition of the items that they were shipping to me. In this instance, whoever was packing my order decided to fold back the cardboard packaging to make it fit into a small box. By doing son, the folding of the cardboard packaging essentially eliminated the item's collectibility. Without hesitation, I returned the items and demanded a refund which, to Amazon's credit, was a painless process.

In general, the non-collectible items that I buy from Amazon do come in a condition that is acceptable and as described. It is only when I order collectibles that they fail miserably.

Amazon.com needs to educate and train the people that work in their warehouses to be able to identify and item that is considered a collectible and to handle those items wither better care. As it stands, Amazon just hides behind their returns process which unfortunately takes up my time and resources as well as theirs.

So what did I learn? Amazon is not a good place to buy collectible items. The people that work there do not care about condition of the items that you buy from them. They'd rather just have you send their items back and give you a refund than actually be competent in their item handling.  As a serious collector, I have have come to the conclusion that buying from a proper collectible stores, be it online or brick-and-mortar, is probably the best way to get what you are pay for. 

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