I made my first bookselling mistake at the weekend

Or, at least, I found out about it this weekend.
Whenever we sell a book on Amazon I receive a ‘sold, dispatch now’ email, or if there’s any problem with payment I get a ‘sale pending’ email telling me to reserve the book until payment goes through / three days pass. Three weeks ago I received a dispatch1 email, quickly followed by a sale pending message. So I reserved the book, but didn’t hear anything so forgot about it. I hadn’t realised quite how it works: ‘sold’ emails are definitive, and only arrive once payment has actually gone through. I’d probably have figured it out if the Amazon emails hadn’t arrived in the wrong order – for whatever reason there was a delay on the initial ‘pending’ email. Not their fault, just unfortunate timing.

So on Saturday I had an email asking why the book hadn’t arrived, which confused me for a couple of minutes. Once I realised what had happened I quickly posted the book and, after double-checking with Abi, completely refunded the guy. I’m nervous every time I check our feedback, now. Obviously it’d be reasonable to leave negative feedback, but we’re currently at 100% positive and one problem would drop us to ~97%, or over 1 in every 50 orders. Not good, when you’re selling online.

I knew the spreadsheet was out by a few pounds, so would probably have picked it up once I properly balanced the tables. Shame I didn’t spot it sooner, but at least I won’t make that mistake again.

  1. despatch? []