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Topic: Book quality

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Subject: Book quality
Date Posted: 4/29/2008 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 1
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I am a  new member. I have a request for one of the books who specified no odor, water damage, tears, etc. etc. The book doesn't have any of those problems, the only thing is the book is old and so the pages are not as "white" as a new book would be. The person seems very picky so I am unsure if I should send it.

Thoughts, anyone?




Date Posted: 4/29/2008 4:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/26/2006
Posts: 318
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Mariah ~ I would probably send it out if they didn't mention anything about yellowing pages.  I think that is just part of the book's aging process.  Hope you enjoy PBS!

Date Posted: 4/29/2008 4:11 PM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2007
Posts: 1,313
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Books with yellowed pages are allowed, so I'd say go for it!

Date Posted: 4/29/2008 4:18 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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Yellowing is a nearly unavoidable result of aging.  It has to do with the way paperback paper is made, something about acid levels or some such thing.  I prefer older books, and to be honest when somebody tells me the pages are yellow It makes me happy because then I'm sure the book is older.  I don't think there's any way that natural yellowing could be against the rules, and unless they specified or expected a book printed in just the past few years it can't really be held against you.

Date Posted: 4/29/2008 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Personally: I would decline on the odor thing.  It's too subjective.  Especially if it's an older book. What smells like a normal, older book to me might smell bad to someone else and cause them to complain.  When requests come in with RC's that are really picky-I decline.  I only post books that meet PBS guidelines but some people want pristine books and that's just too unrealistic with used books.  If the RC's just say "please make sure the book meets PBS guidelines" I accept.  But when they want a sniff test and everything, I pass.

Date Posted: 4/29/2008 4:45 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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all books have some sort of odor...even if it is just paper and ink!  :)

Date Posted: 4/29/2008 8:35 PM ET
Member Since: 6/14/2005
Posts: 113
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I don' t know, I've been burnt on these condition things one too many times, that I'm no longer sending to anyone who has conditions. I don't mean to sound so negative, but it's a used book place and some conditions are too subjective. I just had someone pm me and tell me that I sent them a book with water damage. The book was BRAND NEW! I didn't even read it. I got it and it didn't catch my attention within the first 50 pages, so I posted it. This person had conditions beyond conditions and normally, I would have said NO, but because the book was NEW, I sent it...and now she wants a different book or her credit back. Oh and the book was sent in a bubbled envelope...I wouldn't send it...sorry, I'm not normally a nay sayer. : )

Date Posted: 4/29/2008 11:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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Eve, if you are certain that the book had no water damage before you sent it, then I would tell the person that. PM them that the book was purchased brand new, there was no damage to it when you sent it and you will not be returning the credit. Some people are a little to water damage jumpy in my opinion. They see wavy pages (which is NORMAL for books these days with the paper quality) and they are screaming water damage. If I was certain a book was not damaged before I sent it I would not return the credit. If it got damaged in the mail and you had it wrapped well, then it is not your fault that the USPS damaged the book.

Date Posted: 4/30/2008 12:25 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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<<no odor, water damage, tears ... person seems very picky>>

I think it is worth pointing out, for the benefit of newer members, that most of the conditions they've listed are, actually, PBS requirements (no tears, no liquid damage, etc).  Those with odor restrictions are generally for health reasons.  So, they may not be "picky" per se, but are trying to avoid getting books that don't meet PBS guidelines.

That said, if the wording truly is just "no odor", I would find that too vague and subjective; if you decline due to conditions, consider noting in your response that the odor statement is too vague, and politely suggest they clarify it to help with future trades.



Date Posted: 4/30/2008 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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It's not entirely impossible for you to have sent a completely perfect book and for them to have received one with damage.  There is the option of marking it damaged by the post office, I think.  I've had books that were ruined in transit, which stinks because there's not really any recourse on the matter. 

I have requester conditions that, unnecessary as it should seem, simply ask that the sender double check to make sure the book meets posting guidelines.  I did this because of a large enough number of books that came in absolutely deplorable condition, yet the person argued "I had no trouble reading it", as if that's the crux of the problem.  "That's the way I got it" is another one that started to get to me, so I set up requester conditions just so I had a way of officially noting the condition of the books I received.  But there's nothing picky about my conditions, I prefer older books which means I expect the yellowing, that certain smell of the paper, etc...

One way I've found of bridging the gap that RCs create is to include my screenname in my conditions so that people can PM me if they have questions.  That's worked out fantastically, and I've recieved far fewer unpostable or damaged books, while getting exactly the type I'm looking for. 

I say all this, really, just because I hope people don't truly become prejudiced against people with requester conditions.  I understand the worries about people using it as an excuse, as an easy way to get their credits back.  But I'd wager that people like that are actually far fewer than you might think.  You know, if you think somebody's complaining and you're certain the book was fine, I'm sure there's some way of complaining about them to the Swap.  I know you can't mark every book received wtih a problem without getting attention.

Date Posted: 4/30/2008 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2005
Posts: 3,562
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One way I've found of bridging the gap that RCs create is to include my screenname in my conditions so that people can PM me if they have questions.

What an EXCELLENT idea!!! omg, I got chills....lol