Why I do not recommend FishPond online bookstore

by Kylie on June 23, 2011

I have previously recommended Fishpond for books, but after continuous bad customer service and having to chase them over everything I am going to tell you all to AVOID THEM LIKE THE PLAGUE. Seriously!

I have dealt with them as a buyer, as a seller and as an affiliate and have had problems with ALL of it. I am over it. The most recent issue I have been trying to sort out for over a month and keep getting the run around, so I decided to outline for you all the many, many issues I have had with them and why you should not use them.

As a buyer

–          Their site will say the book is available or can be dispatched within 2 days. I will get told I can expect it within a certain timeframe. It NEVER happens. I have had to wait over a month and chase them and chase them to get some of the books I have bought. This is new books through them, not used books from other private sellers.

–          If they have run out of a book you have purchased they will not tell you straight away, instead you get to pay and then after a few weeks of it not turning up and you email them, they give you excuses for a few weeks, then finally admit they do not have it in stock and you will get a refund in 7 – 21 days. NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!

–          They are often more expensive than the RRP. They used to do discounts and things, but now there is no incentive to buy through them.

–          They have terrible and slow customer service who prefer to dodge your questions and not answer directly, and never within a day or two.

As a seller

–          They used to offer 20cents credit when you listed a book with them. They changed this which was fine. I had not used my credit, which did not bother me, but when I put up new listings, which I did not receive 20 cents for, then subsequently removed them I had 20cent deleted from my account each time to the point where I owed them money!

–          They charge postage on your behalf, which does not really cover the cost of posting most books, plus they add the postage to the sale total THEN deduct their percentage, so they essentially give with one hand and take with the other. I have no issue with them taking a cut of the sale price. I have an issue with them taking a cut of the postage they charge customers “on your behalf”. That is just wrong and a lie.

–          After books are sold it can take up to 21 days to get paid, they say 7 – 14, but most of the time I have had to email asking when I will be paid and often it can take over 1 month from when I sell it to when I get paid.

–          Sometimes if a buyer purchases a book, then changes their mind and requests a refund you get stiffed. Fishpond expect you to send the book within 3 days, but if the customer cancels their order after that, after you have already sent it, you don’t get paid. Tough luck, you lost the book and made no money.

As an affiliate

–          They do not pay you what you are clearly owed. In my affiliate account I have money that should have been paid to me in November. Instead I keep getting the run around and they obviously have no intention of paying despite the paperwork clearly indicating I earned it.

–          They do not answer emails promptly, if at all. I have waited days; other times over a week and had no response. Their customer service is atrocious and they could care less about you as an affiliate.

There have been more issues and at first I didn’t mind so much because  their discounts when they ran them were good and postage was free over a certain price. Plus, when you got paid 20cents to list a book with them and it was so easy to list I didn’t mind. I got my first few affiliate payments, despite having to chase one, so I was ok. But they gradually went from bad to terrible and now, I would not recommend them to anyone.

If you want to buy books go to Book Depository or Amazon, they both have affiliate accounts as well. I would recommend selling your books one eBay, online classifieds or other book websites (such as Amazon if you live in the USA) but pass on Fishpond at all costs. They are not worth the headache to deal with. I don’t know why I have dealt with them for so long.

*The banner is an affiliate link, as I wanted an image to show you who I am talking about.

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