Amazon Wishlist | March 9, 2004

When I designed my blog, I added my Amazon wishlist more because everybody else did it, than because I though people would want to buy me stuff. However I figured, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Somebody may find something on this site that helps them, and decide to buy me something as way of thanks.

However I’ve never been bought anything and to be honest, it didn’t come as a surprise. Then last week, I was browsing my wishlist and saw a link saying “Items already purchased for you are hidden from view. Reveal purchased items”. Cool I thought, somebody has bought me something. Sure enough, I see that some kind sole has bought me a couple of books of my list.

Hang on a minute, I thought. I’ve not actually been sent any books. So I shoot off an email to Amazon asking if they can tell me what’s going on. The following day I get a polite email back saying no, they can’t tell me what’s going on, I have to speak to the person who bought me the items. I tried to explain that I didn’t know who bought me the items, but get sent back a reply saying that Amazon can’t tell me who bough the books for me. I try to explain that I wasn’t asking them to tell me who sent me the book, but that surely they must know, and couldn’t they find out what’s going on. I get a reply back, basically saying exactly the same thing. Sorry but we cant tell you who sent you the books. End of conversation.

So if the person or persons who bought me these books is reading this, I’d just like to say a big thanks as they are both books I’ve wanted for a while. However is there any chance you could drop Amazon an email to let them know that the books haven’t been recieved :-(

Posted at March 9, 2004 9:38 PM


Ste said on March 9, 2004 10:15 PM

Well, I’m not the person who bought you the books, but I wonder if it might be a bug in Amazon’s wishlist setup? I think that Amazon marks items as purchased if a user clicks Add to Cart from your wishlist regardless of whether they are shipped to you in the end. So someone may have visited your wishlist, decided that they liked one or two of the books, and bought them. I’m not positive that this is the problem, but I vaguely recall reading something like this on another site. :\

Joshua said on March 9, 2004 11:13 PM

yeah, Meg has had similar problems…

simon said on March 10, 2004 1:04 AM

wishlists are good reading though Andy, They some how give a description of the type of person you are….

Cameron Adams said on March 10, 2004 3:52 AM

Yes, the type of person who wants people to give him stuff :-]

Don’t we all …

Rik Abel said on March 10, 2004 9:08 AM

Andy, I think I have Total Immersion kicking around somewhere (although I may have sold it on marketplace…). If I can find it, I’ll let you know and send it to you. Good book - I reduced my average number of strokes per length from 24 to 16 and felt much smoother through the water. Fascinating, no?

Jeff Croft said on March 10, 2004 5:06 PM

I didn’t buy you any books, but I’m not above pretending I did. :)

Andy Budd said on March 10, 2004 6:52 PM

Thanks for the link to megnut. Looks like they probably were just false positives, and me with a Birthday coming up on the 24th as well :-(

Brahm Windeler said on March 10, 2004 11:44 PM

It could be the purchaser chose to have the items shipped to a different address such as their own in order to give them to you personally.

This happened with our baby registry when our first child was born. There was an item on the list that said it had been purcased but we had never received the gift, even several weeks after the baby showers. It turns out one of our grandparents had purchased it and planned to ship it themselves with a few other non-Amazon gifts a little later.

With a birthday coming up, I wouldn’t get too concerned about it… yet.

Janie said on August 10, 2005 3:09 PM

Did you ever find out what happened with this? Is it a bug, or did someone pay for an item that never got delivered?

Given Amazon’s (non-)response to you, it occurs to me that this could be a nice little addition to Amazon’s bottom line. Not suggesting that Amazon is intentionally defrauding people, but more that they may not feel as much incentive to address this kind of problem as they would if, say, they were shipping merchandise and not charging for it. Amazon knows perfectly well you can’t contact an anonymous person who purchased a wishlist item. If the purchaser doesn’t know there’s a problem, and Amazon refuses to deal with you about it, then there’s no correction mechanism and Amazon pockets money for merchandise never delivered.