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Topic: Advice on RWAP?

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Subject: Advice on RWAP?
Date Posted: 8/6/2012 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2009
Posts: 3,279
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Do you have a rule of thumb about when to request a return on a credit for an RWAP? Lately, it seems like half the books I've gotten have underlining and/or highlighting in them. Most of the time, they have been "keeper" books for me, so although I marked them as RWAP, I did not request a return of my credit. The one time I did, the member returned my credit but was kind of snotty about it. The other times, I never heard a word back from the members. I'm wondering if requesting a credit return is more of a deterrent to future sending out of problem books than just a RWAP by itself, that most people seem to ignore.

Is it worthwhile to have an RC, like "Please make sure your book does not have any underlining or highlighting before sending it"? I have not had any RCs up to this point, because as long as a book is postable, it's fine with me.

Grrr...I'm just frustrated because today yet again I got another book full of markings. WWYD?

Date Posted: 8/6/2012 10:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
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I have had a "no highlightin/underlining" RC when I requested a textbook.  That way, people could turn the request down without penalty and I saved time not dealing with PMs.  I removed that RC when that request was completed.


I request my credit back if I intend to request another copy of the book or if because of the RWAP I couldn't repost the book.  I also do on heavily highligted books because it's just too much trouble to go through the whole "textbook exception" PM thing to get rid of the book.  Hmmm that could be why they sent the book without a PM in the first place?

Date Posted: 8/6/2012 10:17 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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I usually ask for a credit back on all RWAPs which are rather obvious.

Most of my RWAPs are not for underlining/highlighting issues. I think the rules of thumb I would use are: (1) extent of underlining / highlighting. If there's one line highlighted on one page out of 300, I think it's understandable that would be missed and would not ask for a credit back. (2) books with underlining/highlighting are acceptable IF AND ONLY IF the sender sent a PM and the recipient approved of the underlining/highlighting. I'd ask myself if I received such a PM, would I have told the sender to send or to pass? If I would have asked him or her to send (hypothetically), I would not ask for a credit back.

I'm sorry to hear that senders have not been responding to RWAPs. Did you ask for a response? Technically they are supposed to respond (even if you didn't specifically ask for a response??), but I am not sure what exactly they should say or do if you didn't ask for a credit return. I think if no credit refund was requested, one probably should be more specifically about wanting a response. Non-response to RWAP notification is reportable to TPTB (through feedback -- please see below)

Whether to put up a RC is a personal decision. There will be people who refuse you (with a perfectly postable book) just because they refuse all RCs. Would that bother you more than going through the RWAP process?

I find that taking photographs of what is unpostable, uploading them, and sending a link to the photos as part of a polite note detailing what you wish for the sender to do and a timeframe usually results in a polite and prompt credit return.

Once you have marked the book(s) received, give the sender 5 days to respond.

If you don't hear from the sender within 5 days:

  • For problem books that were marked received and are now in your Transaction Archive: go to your Transaction Archive  and click Then choose "The Sender has not responded."  This will send an email to the sender, making it clear that she or he needs to respond or forfeit credit for this swap.

If you don't hear from the sender within 2 days after you have done the above to send that "follow-up" email to the sender, contact us.  Failure to respond (in an active account) is considered admission of fault in a problem swap.

If the sender responds and resolves the problem:

  • You should mark the problem 'resolved' from the Transaction Archive, as described in Follow-up on Problem swaps.
  • 'Resolved' does not require a credit refund - you can mark 'resolved' if you consider that the sender has done what was needed (even if that was nothing).

If you made an error and the swap was not actually a problem:

  • If the problem is NOT resolved by the sender (and negotiations between you are finished),

    • choose "Problem was not resolved"  in your Transaction Archive, as described in Follow-up on Problem swaps
    • It is best to wait a week before marking a problem swap "unresolved"- this can't be undone.

Read more about submitting follow-up about a problem swap in Follow-up on Problem swaps. It is best to wait a week before submitting "unresolved" follow-up.

  • If the other member in a problem swap becomes rude or abusive in Personal Messages, contact us. Courtesy is important in the club.  We will Review the PM exchange and take commensurate action.
Date Posted: 8/7/2012 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2010
Posts: 262
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Yvette, I have similar problems. Since I request lots of books that are or could be textbooks, I get a lot of written-in books, and many people don't PM about it beforehand. I generally do accept books with writing, but I like to know the extent of the writing ahead of time. I do lots of RWAPping without asking for a credit back - generally when I would have accepted the book in that condition if asked. I'm not sure I've ever asked for a credit back for writing, actually, but there are cases when I really should have, when the book was unusable to me.

I haven't put in an RC for several reasons:

(1) I generally don't mind the amount of writing that is in a book; I just want people to follow the rules.

(2) RCs generate an amazing amount of confusion and bad feelings (for reasons that I'm still not clear on), so I'm willing to accept the hassle rather than creating new hassles.

(3) RCs are necessary if you want to create your own rules and be able to get a credit back if someone doesn't follow them. In this case, though, we already possess the right to request our credit back if someone sends a written-in book without prior approval. The only potential gain is that some people might become more aware of the details of the textbook exception.

I do think that a lot of people aren't aware of the textbook rules. Perhaps they see on the little pop-up window that writing is allowed under a textbook exception, and they think, "My book is a textbook, so it's allowed!", ignoring the fact that the pop-up says "please see the exception for textbooks at this link." So I consider my RWAPping to be an educational service; I always assume that the person didn't realize, and that they just need to be made aware of the rules. At times, I have even asked for a PM in return stating that the person now understands, although I don't do that any more.

In the future, if I get a non-textbook-type book with writing and without notification, I think I will go ahead and ask for my credit back (assuming that it's more than just a single, missable word somewhere). It doesn't seem fair to give them the credit, now that I think about what Ruth is saying in the last line of her post.

Yesterday I requested a work of classic literature in a nice critical edition. I did get a PM saying that it has writing, which I appreciate. But rather than just asking, "Is this okay?" she said, "I would like to send you this book and would like you to choose 1 more book from my list which I will send you without a credit." That would be nice but I can't accept, because (1) the whole purpose of requesting this book is so that my daughter can write in it herself (I even already own a copy of the text that I don't want writing in), which means that this copy shouldn't have much writing; and (2) none of the 350 books on her shelf appeal to me enough to have them occupy bookshelf space over here, since I'm on a one-in-one-out policy at the moment, with bookshelves full to bursting. There are other copies of this work available, so I'm hoping that she responds with promptness in this situation.

I'm grateful for the textbook exception, though, because I do send out a lot of books with writing in them. Never without permission, though!

Date Posted: 8/7/2012 11:54 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,213
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My general rules of thumb are (1) is it something obvious that they should have caught before sending and (2) would I have accepted the book for a credit in that condition had I known about it.

If a member is sending out obviously unpostable books I will usually ask for the credit back. For something like highlighting/writing, that they could have followed the textbook exception and PMed me about, I ask myself if I would have accepted anyway. If I would have, I may not ask for the credit back.

I found myself in a similar situation. I used to not ask for a lot of credits back, just let the members know that the books weren't postable and ate the credit myself. Then all of a sudden, after a run of bad books and a member who had asked for a loan stiffing me on paying them back, I was down 15 credits and didn't have many left to request books myself. It was at that point that I decided I wasn't going to be the one losing credits for other people posting unpostable books and started asking for my credits back more. Even if they get snotty, it is THEIR error and they should be the ones who are out because of it.

Last Edited on: 8/7/12 11:54 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/7/2012 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2009
Posts: 3,279
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Thank you so much for all the advice. Sometimes it's hard to know if I'm being reasonable or not. I can deal with lots of things when it comes to used books - I don't mind creases or dog ears or smoky smells or ex-library or stickers, but highlighting and underlining just bug me. And none of these books are what I would consider textbooks. I agree, sometimes it's easy to miss just one line out of a whole book, and I'm willing to let that slide. But when it's multiple pages, eh, they really should have known better.

I think I will pass on adding an RC for now, but I'm going to be more firm about requesting a returned credit.