Online Buying for Dumb People

I an in a foul mood because of Amazon affiliates. On January 17, my wife ordered textbook Japanese for Young People I: Student Book through one of Amazon’s affiliates. Twelve days later, we still don’t have the book, and another ordered with it.

I take the blame for the mistake. My wife asked my assistance when ordering the book, and being work rushed that day I failed to demonstrate diligence. I should have done what my daughter did: Check Amazon reviews of the seller. Many, many of the reviewers complained about long delivery times, no books received, or damaged items. I would have canceled right then, but I quickly learned that the seller provides no easy cancelation mechanism. So we gambled on the order, for which we received shipment notification on January 18, and lost. 

Amazon doesn’t have the books in stock, which is why the retailer led my wife to an affiliate. Barnes and Noble does have the books, for higher cost than the Amazon affiliate, but with free shipping and promised three business days delivery.

The no-show book compelled my daughter’s Japanese teacher to hold back the first week’s lesson from the textbook, for the entire class. I couldn’t let that happen again. So yesterday I used Google Local to locate Japanese bookstores in the Washington area. This afternoon I drove nine miles down Connecticut Ave. to Ginza bookstore, which is located a few blocks from Dupont Circle.

Even should the ordered books arrive, I won’t buy from an Amazon affiliate anytime soon. I still trust Amazon, of course. I would trust the affiliates more if Amazon provided better resources to assist resolving problems.