I’m a fan of buying used books on places like Amazon.com’s Marketplace. I’ve found that I can buy an book sometimes in mint condition at half the price or less. When I can’t find it anywhere, I usually find it on sites like Marketplace.
I recently ordered a book and it arrived last week. On time. In nearly mint condition. The bookseller who sold me the book exceeded my needs and I’d like to order from him or her next time.
Unfortunately, for the bookseller, only the reply address identified him. There was not even a packing slip inside.
What would have been nice is if a thank you letter (a form letter would have been okay) had been included thanking me for my purchase, enclosing a business card perhaps, and asking me to remember him again the next time I want to order an out of print book.
How expensive would that be?
Instead, what we have here is a perfect example of a transactional philosophy. There was no attempt whatsoever to build a relationship with me. Even a small business owner would have the resources to add a letter and a business card.
I don’t know if Amazon.com shared my email address with the business, but what if I had been offered the opportunity to opt in to future communications? What if the bookseller did a quarterly e-newsletter to keep his name fresh in my mind. I’d think of him first next time. (And, for me, there will be a next time, but I’m not going to be able to remember who this particular bookseller was.)
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