<p>My older son is a junior in college and I've bought his textbooks on half.com many times. This semester something happened that will likely prevent me from ever using online stores again.</p>
<p>I purchased a marketing text for $95, and chose expedited shipping -- total of $101. After several days I checked the tracking number to see the status of the shipment, and to my great surprise, read that USPS Delivery Confirmation said it was "delivered" last Friday! My son is really good about telling me when books arrive so I know he got them and he hadn't told me he received this textbook.</p>
<p>But, despite the PO saying they'd delivered this particular book...nope. No book.
My son checked with all his neighbors in case it accidentally went to one of their houses. No.
Checked with the post office -- no book accidentally brought back to the PO.</p>
<p>And here's the worst part -- the seller of the book says her obligation has been met; she shipped the book and purchased Delivery Confirmation for the package, which "proves" the book was delivered. Except that it wasn't! I asked her whether she had insured the book; if I was mailing something worth $100, I would definitely insure it. But she did not, and also stressed that half.com sellers are not required to insure. She really had a "not my fault, sorry" attitude.</p>
<p>I contacted customer service at half.com. They do have a buyer protection policy, but it seems to say, for the most part, that they refund buyers if there is no delivery confirmation saying the book was delivered. No word on what happens when the book disappears. And the post office absolutely will not take responsibility if the package is not insured.</p>
<p>I've now filed a mail theft report with USPS, and I will go through the item-not-received process with half.com, but I don't know if they will refund me since the PO marked it as delivered. Meanwhile, my kid still needs a marketing book, and I have told him he'll have to buy it at the book$store at school.</p>
<p>So what I've learned: If you buy a textbook on half.com, and the book is lost in the mail or stolen off your porch, or if the mail carrier erroneously marks it "delivered," you are up a creek. It's gambling, except the customer isn't even told that when he purchases an expensive textbook that he's taking a big risk. Personally, it's not a risk I'll take again.</p>