There is an interesting, although negative, take on Bookmooch.com posted at the CNN/Money.com website today. I've had very little real experience with Bookmooch myself, having mailed out a total of 9 books and received 5 in return so far, but I've started to wonder a bit ab0ut exactly the main point that is being made in this CNN article: Are used book bookstores taking advantage of the system to dump a bunch of junk (accumulating points) to get "sellable" books in return? Are they dumping all of their unsellable stuff and making so much money on what they pick up in return that they make a tidy profit above what they spend on postage to send out a few "junk" books?
And, if that's the case, is it wrong or not? Should they be allowed to "cherry pick" the book orchard this way?
I fear Internet entrepreneurs may be taking advantage of Bookmooch in a similar way. After all, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of people these days using the Internet to sell used books for cash. And once the idea of resale outside the system is introduced, Bookmooch's point scheme becomes close to irrelevant; booksellers would have no problem giving away hundreds of books they can't sell in order to acquire books they can.I know that many of you love Bookmooch and have picked up dozens of books that way. I blame the fact that I've picked up only five books more on my own laziness than anything else and I don't blame the Bookmooch system for my low numbers. I look at Bookmooch as a site where I can pick up books for about $2.50 a copy, the media rate charged by the post office for most of the books I mail out to those requesting them. That works for me...but if I have to compete with full-time clerks at used book bookstores, is it fair - or not. What do you guys think?
So far, I've sent out four books, and no one has sent me any on my wish list (which supposedly automatically sends an e-mail to anyone who's offered up that book). And one of the books on my giveaway list - "Religion and Popular Culture in America" - aroused the interest of three moochers within my first 24 hours on the site. But they reneged when they learned that mine was not the updated edition. That smacks of a professional interest in reselling, which stung even more when the moochers posted not-entirely-helpful feedback almost implying that I misled them (I didn't even know there was a subsequent edition).