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Topic: Being able to see transaction history

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Subject: Being able to see transaction history
Date Posted: 7/14/2011 10:00 AM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2008
Posts: 42
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First let me say I absolutely love PBS. I found this site after being on FrugalReader for a few years, and this site is so well done. The only thing I would change -- which they had available at FR -- is being able to see a trader's transaction history. Before ordering a book, I was able to look at the ratings and comments and number of books that hadn't arrived or arrived damaged. This allowed me to avoid receiving from AND sending to problem people.

Just recently I had a transaction where a member accused me of sending a damaged book. I was a little stunned because the board book was a gift to my daughter and in like-new condition. The things she was saying about the book seemed ridiculous, but to avoid a problem, I just refunded her credit. I felt really powerless. I had no way of proving she was right, and I wished I could look at her history to see if this was a pattern. There are creeps everywhere, and there are always those who will sneak into an awesome community such as this and take advantage of good-hearted people. If we aren't allowed to communicate with one another (i.e. watch out for this one!) and hold each other accountable, then they have more power.

Of course, I'm also fully aware that a rating system can be abused also. I was just wondering if allowing the trading history (not the titles, just % of successful transactions) to be public had ever been considered.

Subject: Damaged book
Date Posted: 7/14/2011 10:25 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,418
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If I sent a book and I knew what condition the book was in, there would be no way I would refund a credit-especially without proof. Sounds to me that someone is trying to get a free book.

Date Posted: 7/14/2011 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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I agree with Sue. If you're sure the book was in good condition, and that it was your book they were complaining about and not another that was sent by someone else, then state your case and don't refund the credit.

In that case, it'll all be in your records, and your own credit history will speak for itself. So I wouldn't sweat a few disagreements.

Of course, I'm also fully aware that a rating system can be abused also. I was just wondering if allowing the trading history (not the titles, just % of successful transactions) to be public had ever been considered.

I hope not. I think making trading history public would be a huge invation of privacy.

TPTB can see it. If they rack up enough black marks their account will be looked at. I'm also sure if they complain too much, it will also send out some red flags. In that case, I think that TPTB should be the only people to see the history.

Not just anyone who wants to.

Date Posted: 7/14/2011 11:43 AM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2008
Posts: 42
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I agree about the invasion of privacy, because I did not like that other traders on FR could see the actual books I was sending and receiving. But just a percentage of successful trades would be helpful.

I'm assuming since I didn't include the PBS team that they simply look at the amount of RWAPs a person has both when receiving and sending?

Date Posted: 7/14/2011 12:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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The problem with those numbers showing without anything else is that you don't know what they mean. After this transaction, you would no longer have a perfect %, would you like that something you feel is totally unjustified would ruin your perfect rating without anyway to show your side of the story? The site can see the problems and they deal with problem swappers, there is no need for us to see this information since we can't do anything with it anyway the way PBS is set up.

In this system knowing if that member had had some problems in the past wouldn't have made a difference because it is FIFO here and you don't get to pick who you deal with, you send the book to the first person who requests it and you get it from the first person that posts it.

Date Posted: 7/14/2011 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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I'm assuming since I didn't include the PBS team that they simply look at the amount of RWAPs a person has both when receiving and sending?

I don't know what the red flags are for the team, and I don't think they're real hot about letting us know what goes on behind the scenes. Especially on individual cases.

All you can do on your end is to not be bullied into refunding credits when it's not called for. You can ask for a picture of the damage, although not everyone will be willing to take one, nor able.

You're the best person to know if the book you sent met conditions or not. Don't let yourself be bullied. But also, if you didn't inspect or didn't wrap well, admit it and refund and move on.

But if you know the books was okay, because you examined it before it left, then don't refund.

I wouldn't worry of a transaction too much. TPTB seem to know that disagreements will happen. I don't think they're quick to jump in on just a few blips on someone's history.

Date Posted: 7/14/2011 12:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,664
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I am not supportive of having a feedback system.

In the case of the OP, I am sure we would have been reading that she felt pressured to refund the credit in order to maintain her perfect feedback. (no offense to the OP, but I am sure that that is how most RWAP transactions would go ... instead of feeling pressured to refund credits so that PBS doesn't audit your record, now people would feel pressure to refund credits so that PBS doesn't audit your record AND so that your prefect transaction histories would be maintained.). Not sure how that is better.

I've received about 900 books from PBS and I can say that less than 1% of these was a problem. Going from that, I would imagine that I would be picking between senders that have feedback of 98% successful, 99.2% successful, 99.8% successful .... which is completely meaningless.

Then you get the new member who has sent 2 books out and one goes lost for whatever reason. They now have a 50% successful trading record. So, people looking at their record are now going to ignore them and trade with someone with a better record. This means that being unlucky when you have a small number of transactions would have a HUGE impact on your ability to trade books here, where being unlucky when you have a large number of transactions under your belt would be essentially meaningless.

Date Posted: 7/14/2011 12:28 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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No you can't see who might be a problem trader, however the power is in the hands of the sender.  IF you know you sent a good book, you don't refund the credit.

BTW - I've been on here 4 plus years.  I've had maybe 5 problem trades.  Sometimes when you read the forums you think there are a lot of problems but actually there are very few.

Welcome to PBS.

Date Posted: 7/14/2011 12:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I would'nt have refunded the credit if I knew the book met the guidelines.  For all you know they received the book from another sender that forgot to mark it mailed before the request came to you.

ETA: I've received may a dozen truly bad books out of hundreds and only had 1 complaint against me out of hundreds. And that complaint turned out to be a mistake made on the receivers part.  So I think in general, PBSers are pretty honest.



Last Edited on: 7/14/11 12:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/14/2011 1:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,597
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As others have said, I wouldn't have refunded the credit if I knew the book was in good shape and you packaged it well so it wouldn't have gotten easily damaged en route.

A rating system just doesn't work here because ordering is based on FIFO (first in, first out) so you iIf you search on a book and click 'order' you don't know who you are ordering from. Unless you know someone with that exact book on their bookshelf you're ordering blind from the system. (You CAN order directly from people by clicking on their bookshelf, but of course there's no guarantee they'll have a book you want.)

Cheryl