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Topic: Is it bad to cancel if a sender is taking to along?

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Subject: Is it bad to cancel if a sender is taking to along?
Date Posted: 12/8/2009 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2009
Posts: 19
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I am trying to get a book by Xmas but the sender is really slow.  They waited until the very last minute to respond to my request and it looks like the same for mailing.  I requested the book on Dec 3rd and was hoping to get it by Xmas.  The sender has until the 12th to mail it which will mean there is a good chance it won't make it by Xmas.  I was considering cancelling the order and then ordering it in hardback instead and hope for a quicker response, but I am feeling a little guilty about it. 

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 12:31 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Sorry but they are within their rights to send within the 5 day time frame. If you cancel and then reorder, you will have to wait for the new requestor to respond, and then mail out. They might be faster or they might not.
Plus if they use media mail there is a good chance it wont arrive very quickly this time of year.
For books you want quickly it is much better to just buy them from amazon.

Subject: I understand
Date Posted: 12/8/2009 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2009
Posts: 19
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I understand that they are within their rights to mail it within the time frame...I am new to this though and it seems that some people try to respond right away and others use the full allotted time.  If you use the full allotted time for both accepting and mailing then it can add a week to the time, where as I have had others respond and mail books very quickly. I know personally I have responded and mailed several books within a 24 hour time period.  I am just trying to figure out what is the norm and what is accepted practice on here.

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Honestly, If I was really that concerned, I might order both.  Cancelling the first one seems silly when it might arrive very quickly once it is put in the mail.  There's always the possibility that the HB one will rotate through an inactive account or two and REALLY take a long time.  At least with the first one you are certain the account is active.

The rules of PBS pretty much dictate that the more urgently you require a book, the longer it will take for you to receive it.  If you really need a book within a certain time frame, using PBS is a big gamble.

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 1:01 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,223
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I am just trying to figure out what is the norm and what is accepted practice on here.

The norm is anything within PBS guidelines. You are dealing with all types of people with all types of situations. If they are following the rules, then there is nothing you can do. How you choose to work PBS within the guidelines has nothing to do with how someone else is going to work PBS within the guidelines. As for me, sometimes I mail right away, sometimes I don't. I go right by a post office everyday but I don't always have time to stop. But I always mail within the timeframe I've said I would.

The accepted practice here is to: follow the rules, which they are doing. The rules are pretty explicit so when you joined you knew they had five days to accept  and five days to mail. Most of us have plenty of things to read in the meantime and the longer you're on here the more you will have as well. And if this is for a gift, never. That would be my advice, don't buy a book for a gift unless it's well in advance. 

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Especially this time of year, you have to remember that Media Mail goes last. If there's no room on the truck/plane/whatever after all the packages and letters are loaded, Media Mail will sit and wait until there is room. Some may even be delayed for inspection, since Media Mail can be inspected at any time along the way. So books really can move very slowly this time of year unless you pay to have them go at a more expensive rate.

As for shipping, I always figure the sender will take all the days allotted to them to get a book in the mail. That way when they come quickly it's always a treat.

If your book doesn't arrive in time, maybe you could make up a 'coupon' and give it on Christmas to let the recipient know that the books on it's way.

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2008
Posts: 91
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I think when it comes to expectations, it is better to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.  As the others have said, there is no real average time to accept and ship.  I understand how frustrating it is to wait and wait for some indication that a book is on its way.

PBS set the guidelines the way they did because it works. If I felt like I had to accept and mail out books within just a couple of days, I'd just as soon cancel my account than deal with that pressure. Sometimes I get the book out within a day or two, and sometimes it takes me the full allotted time to accept and mail. I assume that's how other members do it.  As eager as I am to receive my books, I learned to just exercise a lot of patience and not expect them until they're actually on my doorstep. Your sender may not have easy access to the post office, or is trying to bundle his/her PBS shipments into one trip to the PO. As long as they're working within the confines of PBS rules, they have every right to take the full ten days.

If it's very important for you to have this book in time for Christmas, it might be better to just buy the book and re-post the one you requested when it arrives.

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 1:48 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 6,035
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I agree with what everyone else has said, however, there are two things you can do to help speed it up.

First, check the weight of the book. If it is under 8 ounces, the chances are good that they are going to send it first class instead of media mail so you have a better chance if getting it before Christmas.  If it is over 8 ounces, I believe you are also allowed to offer the sender an extra credit to mail it first class OR offer to paypal them the difference in postage.

Second, it never hurts to POLITELY PM the sender and let them know you are trying to get the book by Christmas. You have to be careful here because you want to acknowledge that you know they don't have to mail until the 12th and they may have very legitimate reasons to wait that long, but if there is any way possible to mail it earlier, you would appreciate it.  I know if I received a well-worded, POLITE PM like that, I would go out of my way get it in the mail earlier.  Most PBS'ers are really nice and want to please people in their transactions, but just be prepared that your sender might not be one of them!

I hope that helps!

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 1:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Well I don't use PBS for gifts and I did for Christmas I would have ordered it back in September to allow time incase the book went lost or arrived unpostable or timed out on 3 people before it was accepted and mailed. 

If you have the credits and don't mind possibly ending up with 2 books, you could order the 2nd version and if it gets mailed before this one does, cancel this one.  But really they are in the acceptable time frames and shouldn't be punished because you need the book faster. 

With it being the 8th I don't think you'd get it by Christmas anyway unless they chose 1st class (not likely with a hardcover) and/or lived pretty close. But last year I had books take a month to go from MD to CT/MA this time of year. I remember this because I drove to CT and MA during this time and thought the books would have arrived faster if I'd delivered them myself. 

That being said: I cancelled a book request the other day that was on likes it 3rd or 4th day of the 1st request. I just decided that I had enough book to read (800) and didn't want to add another new to me author to the TBR pile until I got rid of some books.  But that one hadn't been accepted yet. If they had accepted the request I would not have cancelled the order.

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,682
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Also keep in mind that just because they put the last day to mail as the date doesn't mean it won't be mailed earlier. I pick the last date and normally mail earlier but I like the extra cushion.

I mailed a book media mail Saturday and it arrived to the recipient yesterday. Then I mailed a bunch on the 30th that arrived on the 4th. So my media mail books seem to be moving right along these days. Media Mail is unpredictable though.

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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But last year I had books take a month to go from MD to CT/MA this time of year.

I had one book take three weeks to go thirty miles. First Class. I could have walked it over faster!

You just never can tell, even in the best of times.

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 11:06 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Just remember that some members only access PBS or a computer every few days.
And as others have said alot of us choose the last day to mail, as a just in case measure.
I had a book requested at the begining of november, I was very glad I chose to say 5 days to mail because I fell and sprained my right ankle and my left knee so walking was very painful. I was unable to send it until day 4 when I was back at work and able to print/ship and hobble the few steps to the postal outbox..LOL

When ordering books from PBS always assume it will take the longest time to happen.
The norm is anywhere from 1-7 days request to shipping.

Date Posted: 12/9/2009 12:35 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 294
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I just want to second what Christa said about PM-ing the sender. In my experience, it never hurts to communicate. You find out more about the sender's situation, they find out more about yours, and you're not in the dark anymore about when your book is going into the mail. If they don't reply to your PM, that will tell you something, too: the delay is probably due to the sender being away from their computer for a few days. No matter what happens with your PM, you get more info to help you decide whether to order the book again from someone else.


Subject: swap memory issues
Date Posted: 12/14/2009 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 1
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Yeah I almost forgot to hit the links when I am away from the computer and can not get to the site to give credits.