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Topic: Another RC Question - Opinions please

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Subject: Another RC Question - Opinions please
Date Posted: 8/10/2009 7:25 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 167
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I have a request for four books (yay!) with the following RC:

I do not want  worn, torn, sticky, or chewed book covers or books that smell of smoke or mildew.

I send out books in good condition and would like to receive the same so your consideration is appreciated...thanks so much!"

These pb's are from the early 90's -they are not excessively worn and meet PBS guidelines, but there is the normal wear on the spine and edges that is consistent with age and use.  In doing the usual "flip the pages and sniff" test *I* don't smell smoke and we don't smoke in our house, so that's probably ok, but they do have that "book" smell.  I don't think it is mildew, but it is a certiain book-y odor that you get in nearly 20 year old paperbacks.

If I accept, PM and then decline, I have to go to the back of the line and these are somewhat slow movers, so I hate to do that. I hate to miss out on 4 credits, but I would hate more to lose 4 credits plus the books.  Thoughts???

It's for the Tory Bauer mysteries on my bookshelf if that makes any difference.

Many Thanks!  Happy Monday!

Date Posted: 8/10/2009 8:03 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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If you decline because you check cannot meet RCs, you won't go to the end of the line. You retain your place in line for those books.

Date Posted: 8/10/2009 8:08 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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Correct, if you decline for conditions they stay on your shelf at that place in the FIFO queue. And I personally WOULD decline that request, as there are so many subjective terms in it ("worn"-- and then asking your opinion about "smell" in particular) that I would certainly hate to get dinged, especially on a four-book order.


Date Posted: 8/10/2009 9:14 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 167
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I was thinking if I accepted and then discussed with the requestor via PM, and then cancelled the order, I would lose my FIFO place.

The conditions are somewhat subjective - I think I will just decline and go on.

Thanks for the verification!

Date Posted: 8/10/2009 10:12 AM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2008
Posts: 66
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I would decline also because the conditions are too subjective.  I received a similar RC this morning ("books must be in good condition") and I declined because although my book is in good condition and absolutely postable, the request was too vague.  "Good condition" is very subjective -- to me a clean ex-library book or book club edition would be fine, but perhaps not to another member with vague RCs.


Last Edited on: 8/10/09 10:13 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: If I may make a remark about the initial question
Date Posted: 8/12/2009 4:07 PM ET
Member Since: 4/14/2008
Posts: 16
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Most paperbacks printed in the past 30 years are on very cheap, terribly acidic paper. This causes browning of the covers especially, but also of the pages, and gives off a noticable but not terribly objectionable odor. This is known in the book trade as foxing. It's also getting worse, most popular paperbacks printed in the past 10 years are already showing the signs of age. After a while, these paperbacks will begin to fall apart, with the browned covers especially tending to crack and break!

This is a normal sign of aging in books that aren't expressly marked as printed on acid free paper.

I've always assumed that this is acceptable in listed books. Am I wrong?

Date Posted: 8/12/2009 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Yellowing or browning of pages is fine as per the help documents.  Foxing is actually a little different - it's a chemical process that causes spotting on books.  There is a lot of debate as to what are the exact causes and they vary depending on the age of the book.

I asked PBS  about foxing and shelf burn and this was the reply I received:

These are technical terms that are not going to be familiar to the vast majority of our members. As the guidelines in the Help Center state: books that exhibit the normal signs of aging are allowed; books that are stained are not allowed. Foxing and shelf burn really fall somewhere in between, as they are stains that are caused by the normal aging process. It is not reasonable to expect an average club member who is not a collector or professional to differentiate between foxing and excessive staining.

Members need to use some judgment in posting books that exhibit these conditions. If you have such a book, you can communicate with the requestor before sending, and if you do communicate about this you should be willing to cancel the request if you don't get a reply or if the reply is in the negative

Date Posted: 8/12/2009 4:50 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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I would probably decline as well 

I send out books in good condition and would like to receive the same so your consideration is appreciated...thanks so much!"

This type of statement is subjective  - if you post a book on PBS the books should be in good condition.  I feel if someone posts this type of remark they are looking for books better than PBS guidelines.  What is good condition to you might be mint condition to them.  I had an RC recently telling me that club books weren't real and no one wanted them anyway, so don't send them.  It was a very long RC going on about dust jackets and how they weren't picky but they send out books in good condition and expect the same.  They also said to PM them but didn't provide the nickname..I wasn't about to accept the request and then have to cancel - being booted to the back of the line - so I declined. 

Sorry - I see Trish also finds the statement too subjective.  I agree....

Date Posted: 8/12/2009 5:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2009
Posts: 301
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Man, 4 credits is a lot.  Could you accept, PM her with a description of the condition, and then, if it doesn't meet her vague and subjective RC, ask HER to cancel? 

If she accepts and then RWAP later then, maybe I'm wrong about this, the PMs will be attached to the transaction with her consent to mail them, and you won't lose credits?

I'm asking for my own education as well -- I'm planning on posting some titles that I used as primary texts for college courses.  They were used as textbooks, and so have writing, underlining, highlighting, etc but are not your "typical" textbook (I was a French major, so I have a lot of novels).  So I'm planning to do what I've mentioned above, but not sure how that affects FIFO.

Last Edited on: 8/12/09 5:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/12/2009 6:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2009
Posts: 413
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I think I would accept and then PM her with the condition.  She should know that these books are 10 years old and expect them to be in good condition for a 10 year old book.  If she said "excellent" condition or "very good" condition I would be more worried but to me good condition is kind of what is expected as the minimum here.  If she doesn't accept the description you give, then she can cancel the order and you would retain your FIFO place.  Hope it works out.

Date Posted: 8/12/2009 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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If nothing has changed, as long as you only accept and don't print the label, you could have the PM discussion on things, and then if it wasn't what she wanted - have her decline or cancel.  That would keep you in the your current place on the WL.   Of course if it's a long WL - then she won't want to cancel because she'll go to the back of the WL line.  It all just depends.


Date Posted: 8/12/2009 11:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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I personally would decline the RC and in the message explain the condition of the books and leave my PBS name if she wants to re-order. While you might find her RC vague, since she did not ask for you to contact her, according to the protocol in the Help Document "How to Use Requestor Conditions" (see excerpt below) you would have to cancel and lose your place in FIFO. If it's a shelf book she might be willing to cancel on her end because it doesn't affect her, but she has the right to make you cancel.

From help docs:

  • Your Requestor Conditions should NOT ask the sender to "PM me if you are unsure"
    • There is no mechanism for the sender to PM the requestor from a request without accepting it
  • If you want the sender to communicate with you about the book, you should phrase this "If you are unsure whether or not your book meets these conditions, please ACCEPT this request and then send me a Personal Message about the book."
    • If the sender does this, though, YOU will need to cancel the request if you decide that the book does not meet your conditions.
      • The sender would have to repost the book after cancelling it, so if YOU ask the sender to contact you to discuss the book, YOU must be the one to cancel the request if the sender contacts you and you don't want the book.
      • The exceptions to the above are:
    1. a sender who accepts and then sends a message about an unpostable book
    2. a sender who accepts and sends a message about a book that clearly does not meet your Requestor Conditions (no further communication or clarification was needed)
    3. A sender who accepts and sends a message when your Conditions did not ask to be contacted to discuss your Conditions

    Date Posted: 8/12/2009 11:38 PM ET
    Member Since: 11/4/2006
    Posts: 795
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    I would decline, too. Too subjective on several points. Under Discussion Forum, see the thread on how to write a better RC.

    Date Posted: 8/12/2009 11:40 PM ET
    Member Since: 11/4/2006
    Posts: 795
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    Link to the thread on how to write a better RC:


    It will help you to remove the subjectiveness from your RC.