I did a quick search on these boards and didn't find any discussion relating to my problem. I apologize in advance if I missed the thread.
I have a relatively small bookseller (about 850 books) and I keep my system simple and manage my inventory in an Excel spreadsheet. It works for me just fine.
Most (but not all) of my books are listed through Alibris and automatically transferred to Amazon, B&N, etc. However, I also list other non-book/media items (printer cartidges, for instance) on Amazon separately. I may, for various reasons list other books exclusively on Amazon.
Here's my problem: Occasionally -- perhaps three or more times per year, Alibris will transfer all of its inventory to Amazon, replacing all of my Amazon inventory (essentially a purge/replace operation), wiping out all of my additional listings. This happens without my knowledge or permission. The only way I know it has happened is by periodically checking the 'open date' in my Amazon current inventory and, if they're all the same, I know a purge/replace from Alibris has occured.
Yesterday I sent an email to Alibris explaining the problem and got an almost immediate reply from Peter Skerritt in which he stated:
"There are times when a purge and replacement to a seller's Amazon account becomes necessary, but I'm not certain what the criteria is for that. It's never a good idea to list items with Amazon that you don't list to Alibris if you're going to participate in the Amazon Seller Program with us, exactly for that reason." He then cited part of the relevant FAQ that talks about how inventory changes made on Amazon will be overwritten by Alibris uploads (purges, changes and deletes). He also made it clear that there's no "opting out" if you're an Amazon program seller.
By the way, I learned the hard way that telling Alibris you're going on vacation will also result in a purge/replace upon your return. Now, I always download my Amazon inventory prior to vacation and upload it again after Alibris wipes it when I'm back.
Has anyone else been affected by this random purge/replace? If so, how do you handle it -- is there any way to get around it?
Thanks in advance for your help.