Have a seat. We need to talk about returning books----ebooks, bought from #Amazon. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. It's been all over the news this week and something tells me it won't stop there. Not that the Buying/Reading/Returning thing is new, but after a viral video on #TikTok earlier this week, there's been a HUGE increase of people doing just that. Let's take a look at ALL the reason you shouldn't...
I have the right to return my items, right?
Yes, you do. You bought something, which means you have every right in the world to return it if it isn't good. But here's the thing: is a book not good because you didn't like it? Or is the book not good because it's a faulty product? When looking at the BRR-principle, this is the first thing we must consider. Are we objectively judging a book by its quality, or are we allowing our emotions to play a part in it? It's a thin line we're walking here. It's easy to decide you want your money back if you didn't like the book, but is that actually the reason we have returning policies in place? From my perspective, a returning policy is there to protect you from buying faulty products, and no matter how you twist or turn it, a book that doesn't fit your taste is not a faulty product.
So what happens when I do return my book?
What an excellent question. I'm glad you asked! When an author sells a book through Amazon, the price a customer pays contains several posts:
- costs to produce the book
- delivery fees (yes, even when digital)
When someone buys a book, that person initially pays for all of this. The author gets paid his/her royalties, and it's a done deal. When someone returns a book, however, the delivery costs are claimed back from the author. This could easily result in a negative balance between due returning fees and royalties. In fact, authors have gone bankrupt because so many people returned their work, the amount of money they had to pay back to Amazon was... well, disastrous.
Morally Gray Area
Some other arguments that have passed the revue appeal to the morality of the situation and people's ability to understand what is going on. How is this a moral issue, you ask? Well, you are cheating the system; a system that has been put in place to protect you from fraud (or like I said before: faulty products). By putting the BRR-principle to practice, you are actually becoming part of a fraudulent act yourself. I'll give you an example that will make more sense if the book situation is too unclear. Imagine you go to a restaurant. You order the best freaking pizza in the world, spend some money, put the chef to work, delight yourself with the full Italian sensation of warm dough and fresh tomatoes. You FINISH the whole damn pizza and call for the waitress. "Excuse me, miss. I didn't like this pizza for one bit. Absolutely horrendous, how dare you serve me this abomination. I want my money back!"
Do you think the waitress will repay you? I don't think so. And why should this be any different with books? You've had your fill. You finished your pizza... you do not get to return an finished pizza. Let this be the moral of today's blog: If you want to read for free, please, go to a library.
What do you think? Let's start a good conversation in the comment section down below.