From the FAQ:

If I see an error in an eBay Modern Library book listing, should I notify the seller?

Most sellers on eBay are not experts. Most people who sell books on eBay are not book sellers in their real lives. And most people who are indeed book dealers are certainly not ML experts! Expect to see errors and omissions, not out of malice, but out of ignorance.

Here's a blanket statement that has no exceptions that I can think of: Reputable sellers are always interested in correcting errors. Beyond being the ethical thing to do, it's just good business to do so because it attracts long-term customers. These sellers welcome corrections and will thank you for them. Sometimes they'll just fix the error without thanking you.

Of course, not all sellers are reputable. Some are interested in selling as much as they can as quickly as they can without regard for careful listing of purported facts. Such folks do not welcome corrections and will ignore you or, worse, send you nasty-grams for your efforts.

Being a natural troublemaker and the owner of an asbestos suit that I purchased many years ago soon after discovering newsgroups, I always write to sellers pointing out what I believe to be errors. Here's what I include:

  • Reference to the item by name and link to the page (not necessary if you use the "ask seller a question" link on the item's page)
  • Description of the alleged error
  • Statement of why I think it's an error
  • If I have it, reference to my source material
  • Suggestion(s) for correcting the error

Sometimes I get thanked; sometimes I get trashed; sometimes I get ignored; and sometimes the listing actually gets changed! Occasionally I'm shown why the error isn't one.

For a summary article about buying and selling on eBay, see Ethics & eBay - No, Really! elsewhere on this Website.

Contributors to this FAQ answer include:

Scot Kamins John Krygier

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