Amazon Keeps Sending Me Dinged-Up Graphic Novels

Yes, buying used books can save a lot of money, but Spencer went to the trouble and expense to buy a new copy of the trade paperback he wanted from Amazon. A Star Wars graphic novel, thank you very much. Only Amazon was unable to send any books to him in mint condition, or without getting banged up in the box or puny padded envelope.

Is he being picky? Maybe. The words and pictures are all there, but as Spencer says in his e-mail to us, “If I pay full price for something I want it to be in new condition.”

July 31 I ordered a trade paperback/graphic novel along with another item from Amazon. The other item was bigger so both items were placed in a large box. The book was allowed to bounce around inside the box and the corners got all dinged up. Just one little air pillow in the box to protect both items.

So, I shipped it back and figured they’d probably send me a new one in a smaller box, or at least ship it in one of those hard cardboard envelopes that’s about the size of a graphic novel. Nope! Oversized bubble envelope. The thing had creases and dings, folded corners, and so on. Maybe I’m picky, but if I pay full price for something I want it to be in new condition.

I e-mailed their customer support. I got the usual spiel. The CSR said that he would investigate and then follow up and send a replacement if he was able, and that if I decided against a third replacement I could just get a refund instead. Needless to say, I didn’t have much confidence in them, so I chose to get a refund and went through with the return process.

A few days later I checked the tracking number and saw that the item arrived back at their facility. That same day I was e-mailed and told that the issue with the item had “been resolved”, and that a third replacement order was (mistakenly) coming to me.

It was a pain dealing with their screw up, but no biggie, I thought. I was half way curious to see what condition the replacement was in because it looked like they were shipping it to me with free two day shipping. Maybe they’d ship it in a box?

Nope! It arrived in yet another padded envelope. The corners of the book were dinged up, there were folds along the spine, and the binding of the book was actually peeling apart. Needless to say it got sent back. So much for “resolving the issue”.

I suppose this isn’t the worst situation you’ve ever heard. I waited a while to e-mail you guys so I could tell you that they did indeed issue me a refund, but still, isn’t it weird that they somehow “forgot” how to properly ship a book? Years ago I remember everything coming in boxes and having either packing peanuts or brown packing paper in there to cushion everything. Their attempt to cut costs is surely canceled out by their willingness to go through with the exchange process three or four times. I have zero confidence that items will arrive safely if they are skimping like this now. I’d expect inadequate packaging from one of their marketplace sellers, but from their own facility? That’s pretty bad. Have you guys been getting any complaints about this?

We haven’t noticed a particular uptick in crappy packaging from Amazon lately, but maybe some of you out there in Consumeristland have. Received any mangled “new” books lately? Let us know.