Thursday, July 31, 2008

Motor City Books, no book, no contact, I want a refund

I've recently taken up brewing beer. Being the geek that I am, research was part of the process. Sometimes I wonder if I take up a new hobby for the sake of the hobby or as an excuse to research something in absurd detail.

Anyway, I, like many before me, quickly became a fan of Charlie Papazian and "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing Third Edition. I learned that he'd written a sequel of sorts entitled "The Homebrewer's Companion." Having enjoyed the first book so much, I bought my own copy, I thought I'd order the second book.

I went to Amazon.com and found a used copy for one cent, plus $3.99 Shipping and Handling from Motor City Books. I placed the order on July 6, 2008, and got an estimated delivery window of July 15, 2008 - July 29, 2008. Given the price, I found this reasonable.

The evening of July 29 I sent the following to Motor City books using Amazon.com's "Contact Seller" feature. Amazon.com supposedly includes the order number with the message.

When will the book arrive? Has it even shipped yet?


As I write this on the 31st, I have not yet received a reply. I have, however, left the following feedback on amazon.com:

"Item did not arrive even though I waited for almost a month. I tried to contact the seller for information and received no response. I am filing a reimbursement claim through Amazon.com on this order. I would advise against ordering from this seller."


Since Amazon.com won't let you leave a zero star rating, I had to give them one star out of five.

The point of all this, is to advise others to not order from Motor City Books through Amazon.com. Based on my experience, they don't ship your order, don't respond to efforts to contact them and you're going to end up trying to get a refund.

58 comments:

Julian Ochoa said...

I think its a scam, i ordered a book from motor city books through amazon and the same thing has happened. Motor City Books are a bunch of crooks.

Matthew said...

I finally received a couple of form letter replies from Motor City Books telling me that the book had allegedly shipped on July 10 and could take longer than 21 days to arrive.

Well, here I am on August 22 and the book never showed up. Amazon has issued me a refund though.

Based upon my experience I'd have to agree that Motor City Books is probably not a legitimate business.

Janie said...

Glad i found your post cause I was about toorder a book from them. Not now! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I ordered a book that never arrived and I have not heard from Motor City Books at all. I'll give them till tomorrow to respond to my second query.

Deborah said...

I had the same problem with Motor City Books, but on half.com. I did finally received my books, though. I just thougth it was a fluke that it took so long. I'm glad I found this posting, I won't order from them again. I was actually looking for their website to order books directly from them.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to see that so many people had issues with that company. I ordered some books on potty training for a penny each thru amazon and although they were a bit slow to come (one day late)- they did and in excellent condition. I hope that will help anyone looking for a bargain who has the time to wait.

Matthew said...

"Time to wait" are you kidding? They claimed to have sent the book via media rate in late July of 2008. If they'd really shipped it, don't you think it would have arrived by early October?

Media rate doesn't offer any cancellation options. If the book had actually been mailed it would have arrived by the time you commented.

stghm said...

I am upset with this seller because I ordered a textbook expecting the full edition of it. However I was sent an abridged LCC MATH 107 edition instead. They didn't mention this in their sales listing which would have been helpful. So I had to run out on a minutes notice to buy the correct version for full price because I didn't have time to order it online for cheap or else I would fall too far behind.

Christina said...

I am glad I decided to research first. I was about to order 5 books from Motor City that weren't even going to be sent to me. Thanks for the info!

Chris said...

Well, it is Detroit after all. No merchandise or surprises? That doesn't surprise me in the least.

Ari said...

I am originally from Detroit and so I make an effort to buy from Motorcitybooks whenever I can. I have never had a negative experience with them and I am surprised to hear that so many customers have.

Anonymous said...

I live in Michigan and whenever I order a book off Amazon I try to order it through Motor City Books - not only have I NEVER had a problem, I have suggested them to friends who have been satisfied as well. I will continue to order from Motor City Books whenever possible.

Matthew said...

Can anyone who had POSITIVE experiences with Motor City books give any specifics? So far it looks like they may ship locally but rip off anyone else who orders from them.

Anonymous said...

I ordered with a ship date at the end of April and it is mid-May (after 15 business days). I will wait for the "up to 21 days for media" to see if it arrives. Based on this I would only recommend using them if you understand it takes several days to process and receive a ship date then count the 21 days from the ship date.

Matthew said...

Good luck receiving the book. Media rate doesn't have the option of recalling an in-shipment order. If they'd actually shipped the book I ordered, it would have arrived eventually, but it never did. It's about 10 months since the order was placed, well beyond the 21 day limit, even if you take into account a few MONTHS of processing before they ship it.

James said...

Wow, I love Motor City Books! I live in Texas and have never had a problem with them!

They are HUGE on Amazon.com! Their feedback is awesome too! They only have 2% negative feedback so you're probably just hearing the most vocal of the 2%. For the 10 negative comments posted on this blog, there are 500 Happy customers.

Here's a link to their feedback:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/seller/at-a-glance.html?ie=UTF8&marketplaceSeller=1&seller=A1QJ4UH6FW3UH1

And no, I don't work for them. I've been purchasing from them for about 9 months now. They ALWAYS have the best prices on Amazon.

Anonymous said...

I live in washington state and have ordered from them as well. if i ever have a question, on shipping status or wanting to cancel an order, i always get helpful and polite customer service. did you ever think the POST OFFICE has lost your order?? i do recommend motorcity books because of the POSITIVE feedback...don't let one persons bad experience ruin your own.

Anonymous said...

MOTOR CITY BOOKS ROCKS MY SOCKS... I AGREE TO THE PERSON ABOVE. MAYBE ITS THE POST OFFICE THAT SUCKS EH EH? i LOVE M.C.B. would order from them ANYDAY!!

Tiffany said...

I just ordered from them because I live in the Detroit area and I always try to buy from the seller who is closest to Detroit. Usually this ends up being sellers in Ohio or Illinois but I was excited to see my book show up under Motor City Books. Hopefully everything works out okay. I will post again when I receive the book.

Joanne Lynn said...

I ordered a text book through amazon.com, motor city books was the third party. I paid extra to have the book within 2 day, however received an email 2 days later saying the book had been shipped, however it is the wrong book title and I am unable to get an response from motor city books, and customer service at amazon was not helpful at all.

I would suggest paying the extra few dollars to order elsewhere!

Anonymous said...

i live in metro detroit if anyone has an address to motor city books i'll just go pick it up instead of having it shipped.

Anonymous said...

got confirmation from MCB that books would ship in 4-14 business days. a month later the books have still not arrived. there's no tracking number, no phone number to call. books never take this long in the mail.

Blair said...

I ordered an X-wing book from Motor City Books through Amazon.com. Today I received The Princess Bride--from a different company I hadn't ordered from. Too weird. I don't think I'd order from either company, though I'm more likely to believe that Motor City Books is the problem. After all, I ordered from them so that means they should assume responsibility.

Blair said...

Update... they apologized for the mistake and said they are sending the item I ordered, and can keep the mistaken item.

Blake said...

Motor City Books has become the first place I look for used books online. I've found that they have a great selection and some of the lowest prices.

I first found the company using abebooks.com and have been so impressed with their service that I often go directly to their website now.

I've ordered from them 4-5 times for a total of around 30 books and have always got exactly what I ordered in about two weeks. Shipping seems to take a little while, but always within in the timeframe described on their website.

I just received my latest order a few days ago and unfortunately some of the pages of one of the books were very loose and starting falling out as soon as I began reading it.

I contacted their customer service department about the problem and they responded to me the next business day to give me a few different options on how to resolve the problem. They ended up sending me another copy of the book whose pages were falling out and let me select another book at no additional cost.

Based on how quickly they responded to and resolved my issue, how they went above and beyond to fix it and how happy I am with their company overall, I'd recommend them to anyone looking to purchase used books online.

I really rarely write reviews, but I think exceptionally good or exceptionally poor service deserves to be recognized either way.

Paula said...

I bought a cookbook, and it arrived in good time. But the postman left it outside, and the dog chewed it up. I contacted Motor City Books through Amazon, and they sent me another book, even though it wasn't their fault. Needless to say, I was impressed. They definitely got 5 stars from me.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I am surprised people have complaints with Motor city Books. I have ordered MANY books from them for over a year and have NO PROBLEMS. I live in the South and the USPS have no issues giving me the books quickly.

Gail said...

I ordered three books from Motor City Books through ABe.com. The order through ABe was correct but when Motor City books confirmed my order it was wrong. I wrote 3 emails and called twice (no answer at Customer Service) to give them a "heads up" before they shipped. I received no response. Sure enough 3 days later they sent an email that my books had shipped and again the order was wrong. I tried to contact them again and of course no response except the automated email stating they received my email. I will NEVER order from Motor City Books again. I am waiting for my books but I am pretty sure if the order does arrive it will not be correct.

Mailman said...

I ordered a brand new book from Motor City Books late on a Thursday. The book was delivered to me the following Tuesday. I always look for them on Amazon.It cracked me up how Chris bashed the City of Detroit because of a late book delivery. I bet Chris has never been to Detroit.

Marta said...

I ordered a book from motor city books. I got a confirmation email the next day stating that the book has been shipped. It's been over a week and a half since I ordered the book. I'm located in Ontario so I understand it may take a bit longer to arrive; however, I am getting concerned because when I try to trace my order on Amazon it doesn't show that I ordered anything. It just says "No orders or transactions"
I've ordered from third party in the past. My book was shipped from England and arrived within a week.

I'm not sure what to think about Motor City Book. My credit card has been charged, I hope my book arrives soon, I need it for class.

Canuck said...

Thanks to this post and all the comments, I won't be ordering from Motor City Books!

Bear1Mi said...

I placed an order with MotorCityBooks today 02/04/10, at about 1pm...the order was confirmed...

after I got home from work at 10 pm,,I has a notice from Amazon.com that my order with MotorCityBooks had been canceled, and my CC NOT Charged...

Did amazon finally dump them?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. I live in Detroit area also, and was looking for the address. Here is what I found:
http://www.detroit.com/motor-city-book-drive-b24516342
NOW OPEN EVERY SATURDAY AND SUNDAY - EVERYTHING IS $1

18135 E. Nine Mile Road
Eastpointe, MI 48021

Motor City Book Drive is a family owned social and environmentally responsible business located in Eastpointe, MI.

btw: They are not close by, I'll be buying from another seller.

Anonymous said...

I drove to the Eastpointe, Mi address for Motor City Book. Building for lease and tennant gone. No forwarding address or telephone on door.

Rick -Seattle said...

A quick web search informed me that Motor City Books is part of Thriftbooks in Auburn, Washington (south of Seattle).

Please check out: http://www.thriftbooks.com

I've ordered from them through Alibris several times in the past with great results. Delivery time wan't an issue.

Wendie said...

I just jad a very bad experience with Motor city. I ordered 3 books, and two of the books I received were not the right books. The titles were not even similar, and the Alibris packing slip that was included had all the the correct info on it. I am waiting for some response before I go back to Alibris for a refund.

Fadrian said...

I have ordered two books from Motor City Books. I order five more from different sellers on Amazon the same day. I received an e-mail from all of them stating the order had been shipped. That was February 17th. All of the other books arrived within three to four days, and here it is the 8th day of March and I have received nothing from Motor City Books. The shipping date listed on Amazon is Feb 24th - March 11th. If I have not received it by the 11th, I'm filing a complaint and asking for a refund. I have no idea where they ship from, but one of the books that came within four days came from Colorado. It just can't have taken 19 days for even standard mail to be received. I'm really angry about this.

Ted Keer said...

I found a book on the Greek language listed for sale on ABE by Motor City Books at a price well below that of other sellers. But the image supplied was of another book, a collection of poems by a different author. And while the blurb described the book I wanted, the ISBN was also for this poet. So I emailed Motor City and asked them to confirm which book it was before I sent them my credit card number.

The email I got in response from a "Sara" said that they have too many customers to be able to help each one individually (!) and that in any case the [self-contradictory] listed information is correct! I somehow doubt that Sara actually read my email (although I did receive an email from ABE saying that Motor City Books would respond to my inquiry, and an email from Motor City Books telling me that they had received my email, and would respond to me shortly with another email) or that Sara is even a real person.

I decided to call them to speak to a real person before wasting my time and money. (You can do this with actual bookstores like Powell's and The Strand) but was not able to find any phone number for them.

But I did find this very informative blog post.

Erica said...

I just ordered a book from Motor City Books, but through abebooks.com, and I received it just as easily and quickly as any others I've ordered via that website, and I live in Vancouver, Canada. I can't remember if I've ordered others from that bookseller or not. It's strange to read of such a variation in experiences with them. I'm wondering if it makes any difference whether you order from amazon or abebooks.

Anonymous said...

I ordered a book through them via Amazon and I got it in about 2 weeks.

Anonymous said...

Motor City books just send me a hardcover book that was so moldy we couldn't have it in the house. You could actually see the mold. The binding was seperated from the spine. I couldn't believe someone would sell a book in this condition and it was rated as good. The book was delivered right away so they did deliver fast.

I buy many books and intentionally try and buy from them and have done so on many occasions, not any more. I always bought from them because the live in Michigan, a state that has been devestated by the eceonomy.

Kay said...

I ordered a paperback from Motor City about a month ago and never got it. They also never responded to my e-mails. I'm saving my Amazon claims for more expensive items and just contacting my credit card company.

Anonymous said...

I have ordered over 50 books from Motor City books over the past few years in about 35 orders. Also visited their Eastpointe store when it was open (it's gone now). Never had a problem. Timely shipment and every single book was as advertised. Just ordered another textbook today. Received confirmation of shipping within two hours.

They were/are a real business and the people who worked at the Eastpointe location were very ethical. The store closed because they couldn't renew the lease. All profit went to sending textbooks to third world countries for poor children to use, and they actually did it.

They probably did have serious problems with deliveries when the store was closing (summer 2008 I believe). I was there the day it closed and it was a bit of a mess. Walked out with about $4,000 in textbooks for $45. Still have many of them, but have given some away to other students.

Anonymous said...

I suspect that Motor City Books is a scam! I ordered a book from them in November, with anticipated delivery of first week in December. I still haven't received the book, and their "customer service" department has been lacking in service. I'm still trying to get a refund!

Anonymous said...

I am on online bookseller who is also a 3rd party affiliate through Amazon. I am always very quick to respond and work hard to make my customers happy. While occasional mistakes are made through the post office, it is the sellers responsibility to ensure delivery of the book. Basically, it boils down to this, you get what you pay for. If you pay a penny for a book, you are not going to get very good customer service. Just like shopping at Wal-Mart versus a local mom and pop shop. Mom and pop may charge more, but you know they are going to treat you with respect, as where you go to Wal-Mart, you are going to get the worst service possible...

Anonymous said...

If they're scam artist, then press charges. They'll quickly close down their business if they're a bunch of crooks.

Matthew said...

"If they're scam artist, then press charges. They'll quickly close down their business if they're a bunch of crooks."

That's pretty much what I did. I filed a complaint through Amazon and got a refund after a couple weeks. Googling "Motor City books" brings up a web site that lists "thriftbooks" as their preferred online retailer. No mention of Amazon. I wonder why...

Papa John said...

Gosh, I hate to add to the whining, buuuuuhht... I just purchased a book through Motor City Books and when it arrived, 8 of the pages in the middle of the book had been completely bent, curled, and twisted out of shape. How hard is it to just "fan" the pages before you send out a book. Book was listed in very good condition..NOT!

Anonymous said...

I had the same experience as Ted Keer. Booksellers are not what they used to be since the Internet has made the selling of used books such big business.

But contrary to what Anonymous said, the problems are not necessarily price related. I have often had better service ordering a very low-priced book, over a more expensive one.

I do try to find books I want in local independent bookstores, but they usually do not have what I'm looking for, and they use the same sources I would to obtain them.

But Motor City's response that they just have too many customers to verify that the copy they are selling is the copy you seek is just plain bull. This is what happens with any big seller, no matter what the product - there are plenty of nondescerning customers who will be happy with whatever they get as long as the price is low enough, and, Motor City has clearly delivered the goods in many cases. I won't order from them.

Anonymous said...

Wish I'd found this blog entry and associated comments a couple days ago, before ordering from Motor City Books. I was looking for a particular out-of-print softcover book. I'd recently purchased a copy of this book on eBay, and was looking for a second copy as a gift. After being unable to find a copy on Amazon or eBay, I went to Barnes & Noble (NOT my preferred supplier, but that's another story). They listed a "very good" condition softcover available from Motor City Books, which I decided to purchase for $12.11, plus tax and shipping. Multiple emails that evening from Barnes & Noble: "Your order's received", "Your order's scheduled to ship", and finally, "Your order's on its way!", with a reported shipping date of 6/11. Next day, I received a couple of similar emails from Thriftbooks (Motor City's "parent"?), advising that my order shipped on 6/12. Curiously, as of 6/13, my credit card has not yet been charged for the cost of the book. I sent an email requesting the tracking number for my allegedly shipped text, and in several subsequent replies from two different customer service reps at Thriftbooks and Motor City Books, I was told that tracking information is not yet available. One rep advised that I check back with them in one or two days, since it sometimes takes a couple days for the tracking number to "show up in our system". This rep wasn't able to answer my question about how a book can already be shipped, but a tracking number is not available. In what would now be my third email reply to this rep, I thanked her for her earlier replies, but stated that I do not wish to wait two additional business days for a tracking number, and requested that if she is unable to contact the Detroit location and obtain my tracking number, that I would like her to give me the name of the location manager and his/her telephone number, and I will contact that individual myself to obtain the tracking number. I then received a reply from a second customer service rep, thanking me for understanding (are you kidding me??!!), and telling me once again that the item has been shipped, but no tracking information is available. The real kicker, though, is that this book is listed on the Thriftbooks site, in the same "very good" condition, for about $4 -- with free shipping and no sales tax. (That's less than one fourth of the total cost from my order on the Barnes & Noble site, for those keeping score.) Because of the absolutely abysmal customer service, I won't be ordering from Motor City Books, Thriftbooks, or any of Thriftbooks' daughter companies, again.

Kat said...

I wish I had found this before I ordered from them. My book is a week late so far.... I do live in Canada and it is close to Christmas though, so I will hold out some hope still.

Anonymous said...

Motor city books ent the wrong book. Poetry instead of book on Canadian Whiskey. they had no idea what book they shipped and asked me to tell them. no internal ship documents in the pkg. Their "return" asked me to pay to ship back to them the wrong book. Really? #fail by Motor City Books. They need like every other company to pay to ship back to them.

Anonymous said...

Ugh! Wish I would of seen this before I purchased my books. I've purchased from two different book seller MOTOR_City_Books and Books Squared which seem to be the same company. Ordered my books with expedited 2 day shipping. It's been 5 days since the 2 days Amazon gives them to ship. NO TRACKING provided and when I contacted both companies they both replied with an automated email saying they will respond in 48hrs. 48 Hrs? Geez that's the time my books should have arrived in! Both emails were written exactly like the other. Meaning it's the same company.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to see that 7 years after the original post they still haven't improved. I ordered a book six weeks ago anticipating the need for it today. That book never arrived I contacted them reiterating my need for the book and they claimed that they would ship a replacement and expedite shipping. Instead they shipped it standard rate via the post office. So in they never followed through on the order. Amazon gave me a refund. Like others I have little faith that this is a legitimate business. their website has no way of contacting them other than to fill out a form which they never respond to.

Anonymous said...

I ordered a book on July 21, 2015 through Abe's Book which was being shipped from Motor City Books. THEN I read the reviews and was worried I'd never see the book. Got an email on July 23, 2015 that the book had shipped. It arrived on July 29, 2015 in good shape. I had no issue.

Anonymous said...

The owner of Motor City Books is allegedly a thorough cheat, crook and confirmed criminal as per earlier posts here.

I noticed there is no address, phone number or email address at their contact page, with a web posting form which doesn't fetch any response.

http://www.motorcitybooks.com/ContactUs.aspx

The positive comments posted here are seriously suspect, as hoodwinking, harassing and harming amazon customers is regular habit of motor city books.

Kindly email your personal grievance/experience to jeff at amazon.com with this weblink for permanent removal of motor city books's owner based on his original credential documents, with debarment from registration of any new entity as front within amazon family of websites including abebooks etc.

Amen


Anonymous said...

MCB sells under a number of different aliases. They also use fake buyer profiles to tie up their competition's products in "Pending" status. They are bad news all around.

Anonymous said...

Agree completely with Anonymous; MCB sells under a number of different aliases. They also use fake buyer profiles to tie up their competition's products in "Pending" status. They are bad news all around. I found this out the hard way. I ordered a book from Abe Books UK 5/4/16 and they went through Motor City Books who went through Thrift books and before it was all said and done, more money than I originally expected to pay was deducted from my credit card immediately ! After numerous e mails to 'each' company I finally have a promise of order cancellation and to wait 2-5 business days for a refund to show on my card ! While doing some research I found who Motor City Books really are. They ask you to leave a message for customer no service! Neither online company has customer service number to reach them ! BEWARE
Silver Arch Books LLC
2337 Centerline Industrial Dr
Saint Louis, MO 63146-3301
(253) 275-2241