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BookScouter’s Feedback System

News By May 18, 2009 No Comments

I go through a fair amount of work to ensure that the vendor feedback system on BookScouter.com is accurate and comes from legitimate book sellers. For each submission, I go through a process to check several things that I have found indicative of problems. Submissions may be rejected or deleted if I identify any of the following:

  1. Vulgar or offensive language.
  2. Excessively poor grammar, punctuation, or spelling.
  3. Comments not specifically regarding the vendor to which they were submitted.
  4. Comments not related to selling books.
  5. Any attempt from a vendor to try to promote themselves or to attack another vendor.

Vendors in violation of number five risk having their site removed from BookScouter.com and may be publicly humiliated.

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BookScouter Mobile Beta

Mobile, News By May 5, 2009 3 Comments

I’m very happy to announce the availability of a simple beta version of the BookScouter Mobile Application. It is available now at http://m.bookscouter.com. This initial release is a very simple price lookup system with minimal formatting and ‘fancy stuff’ to make it perform well on a mobile device. Please give it a try as you are out and about, and leave feedback in the comments below, or via the contact form. I have been working for the past couple months on rewriting much of the code for the site, and the new mobile application is the first part that will be running on the new code. The new code base will enable development of some new features that I have been planning but were difficult to implement previously. In addition, the new code should perform faster and reduce some of the server load that has been stretching some limits this buyback season.

In the next week or two I’ll also be redoing the main website to be based on this new code. It won’t have many visible changes initially, but I’m excited to get it out there as well.

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Wanted: Hints for Properly Packaging Books

General By May 1, 2009 3 Comments

I’ve noticed that a common complaint is that some people have shipped new books to a buyer only to have them graded as used. I believe that some of this is due to people packing books poorly and having them damaged in transit. Can anybody share some hints for properly packing books for shipment? I’ve pointed people to this link on ebay before, but it seems like overkill. I’m hoping to compile some simple, practical steps that people can use to ensure that their books aren’t damaged in transit.

I imagine their might be some different things to consider when mailing individual books versus sending a box of books at a time.

Please post comments here, or email me your tips. I’m hoping to add a new page or two to the site with your input.

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Pricing Multiple Books at a Time

General By April 14, 2009 No Comments

I have had a ‘hidden’ page available for a while where users can enter multiple ISBNs and look up approximate pricing for all of the books on one screen. That page is available at http://bookscouter.com/multi.php and available for anybody to use. It works similarly to the Paperback Swap Lookup that I posted about recently. The pricing displayed is from the last time the book was looked up on the site, and it provides a link for you to refresh with the current prices.

I’m posting this here in hopes of gathering some feedback about how it works, and how you think it might be done better. As usual, feel free to comment here, or send me a message if you have any comments or suggestions.

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Look up your Paperback Swap Bookshelf Value

General By April 8, 2009 3 Comments

PaperbackSwap.com is a great site for swapping books with other people. The intention is to make your books available to people, and you can ask for books from anybody else on the site. This works out pretty well, and the service has grown a lot. I have noticed that people occasionally post textbooks and other books that have a decent value. My guess is that the members don’t know that their books are worth anything, so they are willing to give them away in exchange for books that sell for a penny.

I have just created a page at http://bookscouter.com/pbs.php where a user can enter their PaperbackSwap MemberID and use their API to retrieve a list of their books. It then displays the approximate value of each book and provides links to look up the value of each book on BookScouter.

The page is pretty basic now, but if there seems to be any interest in it, I can spruce it up a bit. Please post comments here or Contact Me if you have any suggestions or comments.

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