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I do check some of the main sites where my trad-pubbed books are pirated, like Scribd, and ask my publishers to send take-down notices. I haven't had much of a problem with my ebooks, honestly.

I don't worry about Amazon returns. I'd far, far rather people think that ebooks are easy to use and buy than think it's too much of a hassle and just not bother at all. I've seen how easy it is for new Kindle users to buy a book by accident (especially when on some models the screen savers are ads ... with buy links ...). And you know, if someone reads one of my books and dislikes it so much then want their .99 or 4.99 back, fine. It's not worth stressing over. I get a few returns, but not that many as a percentage. I want the people who buy my books to be people who read them and enjoyed them and felt good about paying what I charged. That's my audience.
 

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Robert Stanek said:
If a person accidentally purchased an ebook, they wouldn't be turning off the Wi-Fi on their device and then fake returning the item. They'd be returning the ebook right there on the device and would have no problem whatsoever with a policy that checked to see if they were attempting a fake return.
Well, in the case of my mother, she didn't even know she'd purchased the books till several days later. And then there was another delay because she couldn't figure out how to return something, and needed my help. So that return came from a different IP address than the initial accidental purchase (which she did in a Starbucks). Would your 'system' flag that as a fraudulent return? What is your definition of a fraudulent return, anyway?

I guess if you want to worry about it, nothing I say will change that. I only meant my comment to mean that I don't consider it something worth worrying about. YMMV.
 

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Robert Stanek said:
Good questions. A person like your mother who is returning the item on the device itself would never have a problem with a simple check that looks at whether the Wi-Fi on the device is turned on. She's already on the device itself and doing the return.

As I've mentioned, fake returns involve a person buying e-items, turning off the Wi-Fi on their device or devices, and then returning those items. Because they've purposely turned off the Wi-Fi, the e-items they returned remain available. As a simple solution, Amazon could send an automated message/alert stating to complete the return, turn on the Wi-Fi on the device or devices.
But we didn't do the return from her device, on wifi. We did it on my desktop computer, at my house, while the wifi on her device was off. She couldn't figure out how to do a return on her actual Kindle (she's 85, and not very tech-y).

The items I helped my husband return we also didn't do on his device but when we got home, on my desktop. His wifi was used in South America--and it was an accidental purchase (he has that same screen saver problem). So it wasn't "fake"--but it sounds like your proposed system would flag it as such. Telling him he can only do the return from that specific device is (to me) getting into the realm of "annoying." Why can't he just do it from his Amazon account? See, I don't want to annoy legitimate customers. Not with my books, not with any books, or they'll stop using ebooks.

I believe Amazon already monitors for serial returners, and will shut down a user's ability to return items if they return too many. Other than going inside someone's head to x-ray their thoughts, I'm not sure how you can really determine whether a review is "fake" or not. Amazon does ask the reason that you are returning an item, but a person could always lie.
 

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Robert Stanek said:
I always love the grandmother scenarios as rationalizations. If your grandmother was at your house, she could have brought the device with her. If she wasn't at your house and is capable of turning on and off the Wi-Fi, she probably could just as easily learn to do returns. Or since she was capable of turning on and off Wi-Fi in the first place, she could simply have turned the Wi-Fi back on when you were prompted that the Wi-Fi needed to be on.
It was my mother, and I'm not sure why you're calling it a "rationalization" (or a "scenario"). At the time we did the return, the Kindle device wasn't with her. It wasn't in the house. I helped her at my house do the return. I'm sure you have your own ideas of how my mother ought to be and what she ought to do, but you don't actually get to decide that.

In any case--because of Amazon's policies, she's a happy Kindle user, and she and my dad buy heaps of ebooks (my dad in particular, who finds anything under $20 "cheap" for a book). They're happy, Amazon's happy, I'm happy. I'm sorry you're not, but I'm clearly not going to be able to help with that.
 

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cinisajoy said:
If I couldn't stand your book that much, I want the Amazon verified purchase on the review.
LOL. Right? I actually did have that on a series once--someone took the first one (which is perma-free), then bought the next two and returned them, and pasted the same review on all three, all with the 'verified purchase' stamp. She hated the series. I mean, she really, really didn't like it. So, OK. Should she be out $6? No, not for me. I'd rather she spent her money on books she liked. I'm sorry she didn't like the ones I published, but there you are, she's not required to. Thing is, we can't go inside her head and know what happened. Maybe she took Book 1 perma-free, saw it was a series, and figured she should buy the next two while she was in the mood or had them in front of her. Then she read one, loathed it, and returned the paid ones. Again--if my book isn't worth $3 to you, then please, return it and have your money back. The kind of readers I want, for anything I write or publish, are ones who consider the price I charge to be a good deal--or at the very least, a fair exchange.

Are there "cheaters" out there? Oh, doubtless. There are also shoplifters and people who break into your home and steal your stuff. But most people don't do that. The majority of Amazon's shoppers, at least as my sales figures show, are happy to pay for their books. People who don't wish to purchase books can use the library or borrow from friends, etc. Books that I'm giving for Christmas this year I notice are all ones I read free first somewhere, from a library or a loan from someone I know.
 
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