I recently opened an account with half.com in order to sell used books to raise money for my family's international adoption (I already have an online craft store, and I love books, so I was looking for ways to expand my business.) Half.com was recommended by a coworker. I was pleased with the ease of listing my items for sale, and quickly made a few sales.
Last week I received an automated message from eBay regarding my Half.com account. The message stated that an item was deleted from my inventory because Half.com does not allow any water or liquid damaged books to be sold on their website. The automated message said if I had any further questions, I could reply to the email, and that I should copy/paste the book title and item number into that reply. I was very surprised, considering not a single item in my inventory (either for sale or one of the many hundreds of books in my personal library) has any kind of damage- let alone water damage. I work in a public library, incidentally, and am the pickiest among my coworkers when it comes to items returned to our branch with damage. I'm usually the first one to charge a patron for the item if it has the slightest liquid damage...but I digress. I responded to the message, explaining there was nothing wrong with my book, and could they please get back to me as to why the item was removed. The book would retail for $7-$9 at the local franchise of a nationwide used book seller (I know because I took my books in and asked!) When I submitted the form, I got a screen saying I would get a response in 24-48 hours. I never got a response, relisted the item, and made sure that there was absolutely nothing in the listing that could be interpreted as damage (all my listings essentially say the same thing: spine is in great shape, clean unmarked pages, cover shows minimal signs of shelf wear around covers, price sticker is still on book and can be removed, smoke free, pet free home.) I then included my standard note about all proceeds going toward our adoption, and said "thank you for your support!" (This is included on my listings on other sites and my business cards.)
Today I received a second notice from eBay, saying the item in question had been removed from my inventory AGAIN. I got the same mini-paragraph regarding water and liquid damage, and then there was a new note saying that if I said the book was missing pages or a cover or something like that, and I classified it in the wrong category (such as listing it as "Like New" instead of "Fair" condition), that might be cause for removal of items as well. Neither of these terms applies to me. At the bottom of the message was a vaguely threatening note implying that if they continued to have problems with me breaking the rules, I would be subject to "stern administrative action". I find this unacceptable. Once again, I responded to the email, offering to send in pictures of my item so they could see there is indeed nothing wrong with it, and told them I was disappointed that they had not contacted me regarding my last message to them.
I have family, friends, customers and supporters around the country (and a few international buddies) who know about our efforts to adopt, who are fans of my handmade goods and have been spreading the word about my half.com store. These people would be glad to close their eBay accounts and to spread the word, as well.