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Topic: Am I being too picky?

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Subject: Am I being too picky?
Date Posted: 8/22/2008 1:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2008
Posts: 5
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After receiving a hard cover book with a dust jacket in shreds, I changed my requestor conditions to read: "If the book is hardcover, the dust jacket must be in good condition." After making that change, I requested another hard cover book. The book arrived today and I'm a bit disappointed. The dust jacket had a ring of something (maybe milk?) from a glass, something sticky (not glue from a price sticker) across the front, and has a gold star sticker stuck to it. I intend to mark the book as received without a problem because I was able to clean up the jacket so it looks ok and I can live with the sticker. But I feel like it shouldn't have arrived to me in this condition. Am I just being too picky? Should I accept that it met my conditions because I was able to clean it up? Or should I expect it to arrive already clean? Should I PM the sender and explain my feelings?

What do you folks think? Thanks!

Date Posted: 8/22/2008 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,213
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Hm, that is tough. Saying "good condition" leaves you open to a lot of interpretation by shysters. That could seem good, sure, compared to the first one you got, ha ha! You might want to really be more specific in your language, though it might get you a few less books. But you could say something like "I'd like it to not have any remnants of your breakfast or child's art projects." Haha. Maybe just say the jacket itself has to be in off-the-shelf condition, but the book doesn't need to be. Me, when I am reading a book with a dust jacket, I actually take it off and just read without it. Then I know nothing much can happen to it. Whatever you do, please don't put in your RC "Please PM me to discuss." I'm not sure WHY, but this irks the irkiness out of me. Like we all have time to just PM conversations with people? Good luck on getting some better condition books.

Date Posted: 8/22/2008 2:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2008
Posts: 1,050
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Well, considering the books are used, there is a bit of wear-and-tear that you may have to expect. That being said, you might need to make your RC's a bit more specific. I'm pretty new, but I would think that the pickier you get, the more senders are going to reject your requests, afraid that their books won't meet your standards. But, it's worth a shot. Good luck!

Date Posted: 8/22/2008 2:02 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I think the problem is that "good condition" is pretty vague. The sender may have thought you meant "not torn." Perhaps you should specify "no rings, no stains and no stickers" - keeping in mind that that may significantly increase the number of refusals you get,

Date Posted: 8/22/2008 2:42 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2007
Posts: 2,090
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Last Edited on: 1/22/09 9:39 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/22/2008 2:56 PM ET
Member Since: 7/20/2007
Posts: 1,046
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If you put an RC that a Hardcover must have a dust jacket, then the dust jacket must be in decent condition. As decent as a book cover on a paperback book should be when received. If you want a BETTER condition than what is required, that's where you will run into problems. Such as... i would say a ring from any kind of cup is water damage so it wouldn't be allowed.

From the Help Docs...

Dust Jacket:

  • The DUST JACKET (this is not the same as the cover of a book) does not have to be included with a book at all, unless the requestor had this in their Requestor Conditions. 
  • So DUST JACKET condition cannot be considered as part of the condition of a book, unless there were Requestor Conditions on the request specifying that the dust jacket be included.
  • If the Dust Jacket was to be included as specified in the Requestor Conditions on the request, the Dust Jacket must meet the same conditions as defined for the cover, below.

Last Edited on: 8/22/08 2:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/22/2008 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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As a note, the dust jacket update that Tracey quotes was added very recently. For the time being, I might write something like:

For hardbacks, I am requesting that the dust jacket be included. (As an FYI, PBS guidelines have been recently updated to state that the DJ must meet PBS guidelines when requested as a condition.)

Then later, remove the FYI. It would seem common sense, but since it was changed recently it might be a good idea to make the reference.

Date Posted: 8/22/2008 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2007
Posts: 5
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Date Posted: 8/23/2008 6:11 AM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 2,835
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OCH! This becomes such a slippery slope! You put in an RC. People don't understand. You clarify. Someone else doesn't understand. You clarify more. Then your RCs get long and other people (it seems always ones who have the only book in the system) reject because your RCs are too long and complicated.

I think it is not possible to write an RC everyone will understand and others will not reject because since you have a detailed RC, you must be too picky.

Date Posted: 8/24/2008 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2008
Posts: 5
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Thanks for the feedback. After thinking this over for a few days, I've decided that as long as I'm clear in my RC about the condition I'm looking for that it's ok if I'm "picky." I do realize that being "picky" means I risk having more requests rejected. But I personally would rather have my request rejected than receive a dust jacket with tears, stains, or art work.

That said, I'm glad to see PBS update their guidelines regarding dust jackets. Personally, if I use a credit for a hardcover book it's because I really want to be able to put that book on my shelf for years to come. And if I can't get a good condition HC book here, then I'll look elsewhere. That's part of the fun! Searching through used book stores, hunting through used book fairs, checking out garage sale book shelves. But then again, maybe I'm just a little strange. :)

Thanks for everyone's feedback, it helped me clarify where I want to be with my swaps.