There is a lot of debate about PBShop UK (and it’s other PBShop variants). Supposedly they have a ton of positive feedback, but most I talk to have had horrible experiences. A few are really good, but so adamant in their defense that I do have to wonder if they don’t work for PBShop UK in some way. Perhaps paranoid, but the vehemence of their defense and their weird, often choppy defenses are suspect. One of the biggest criticisms I’ve seen is that PBShop UK is a drop shipper.
For those who don’t know, a drop shipper is a seller who offers to sell books they don’t have. Once ordered, they get them from the distributor or Amazon and then fulfill the already taken order. This often results in long delays and cancelled orders when they claim to discover not to have the book (they couldn’t get it, or at the price they wanted). PBShop UK claims to have this immense stock, but others claim they don’t really and just drop ship, relying on their supposed shipping from the UK to justify delays (though many say that the actual items you click on say ships from US and PBShop UK later denies that).
But, what can I say on this? Well, Amazon accidentally listed my book Not Quite so Stories as available over three months before it actually released. It wasn’t actually available, but it looked like it was.
“Not Quite So Stories” by David S. Atkinson on Ganxy//
Because of that, third party sellers jumped in and started offering it. PBShop UK was one of the first. Mind you, it hadn’t been published. There were no copies available other than the advanced release reader copies that had been sent to reviewers. When you ordered, the third party sellers realized they didn’t have it, cancelled the order, and took the ad down.
Well, except for PBShop UK. They continually claimed to have the book from December 30, 2015 through March 1, 2016 when it actually released and copies were available. I started ordering. I was just trying to get them to realize the error and take their ad down. Sometimes the same day, sometimes as much as a week later, they’d suddenly “realize” they didn’t actually have the book and cancel the order.
However, their ad offering the book stayed up.
I kept ordering. From December 30, 2015 through February 17, 2016, I ordered the book from PBShop UK 31 times. Each time, they’d accept the order. Each time, they’d eventually cancel because they suddenly “realized” they didn’t have a copy after all. Then, despite realizing they didn’t have any copies, they kept the ad up offering to sell the book.
They just didn’t care. Clearly they were drop shipping here. 31 times? They knew they didn’t have the book and couldn’t get it. They just kept the ad running anyway. There’s simply no other explanation other than being a drop shipper, and lying in their explanations for why they had to cancel the orders. They knew they didn’t have it and couldn’t get it. 31 times? They knew.
SuperBookDeals was almost as bad. I only ran into them 4 times, but that’s because they took around two weeks to “realize” and cancel. Of course, they’d at least take their ad down after the order. However, it would go up later.
So, yeah. PBShop UK has to be a drop shipper. I don’t see any other explanation for offering a book for sale for months they claimed to have in stock despite no copies being possibly in their inventory, both by the book not being released yet and by 31 orders having to be cancelled for the book being suddenly “realized” to be out of stock. I really have to wonder where all their positive feedback comes from.