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Topic: A Book I sent was RWAP'd - WWYD?

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Subject: A Book I sent was RWAP'd - WWYD?
Date Posted: 5/14/2013 11:18 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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I recently sent a hardcover book. Missing the dustjacket, no problem there. The book has a small (~2") vertical slice on the spine... like if you are looking at the front of the book it is facing you to the far left. It's in the upper half of the book, but does not extend all the way to the top, or even particularly close to the top. The book is otherwise in great condition. I received it like that via PBS (I know, doesn't matter) so I don't know how it got there, but it looks like a sharp object was used to open packaging and sliced the book a little. 

Anyway, I didn't think it was a problem. It has zero effect on the function of the book. The binding (at least when I sent it) was still tight and secure and the slit is far enough down that it is in no danger of causing any problems. It doesn't go deep, it's just that paper layer on top of the binding. I considered it a cosmetic thing, it's not a tear, like if a book had a scratch. 

The receiver didn't see it the same way. They say the book is going to fall apart if they open it three more times, and now they can't give it as a gift to their friends. 

I know what the posting guidelines say about tears. This is not a tear and is closer to the middle of the book, not the top. As far as I am concerned, the binding is intact, though maybe I am interpreting that wrong. It is a cut to the paper part on the outside of the binding, but not the actual binding itself. 

My hunch is that the receiver was disappointed in no DJ, as they stated that they like to gift their books to their friends, and is looking for an excuse to get their point back. They did not have any RCs. 


What would you do? I guess I could ask for a picture and see if it was somehow damaged in transit. 

I don't think I've ever had a book RWAPd before, so I am not overly concerned about having a black mark on my record. I don't really want to give a point to someone who is mad they received a book they consider ungiftable. If the binding is actually about to come loose or whatever, that is a legitimate complaint, but it wasn't like that when I sent it. 

Date Posted: 5/14/2013 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 4/29/2009
Posts: 7,896
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You are completely within your rights to request a photo.

Date Posted: 5/14/2013 12:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/4/2011
Posts: 277
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I am not sure what the rules say about that kind of damage. i would to look at the rules again, however if she wanted it in gift condition she should have said so in a RC. People should not expect gift condition unless they specify they want gift condition.


Date Posted: 5/14/2013 12:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 550
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And if you feel that your book met the posting guidelines, you can politely inform them of that, and that you have decided not to return their point. (I'm assuming they asked for that.) Unless there's a gross violation of the rules, RWAPs and points for them are self-governed by the sender and receiver, and if you don't feel that you should return the point you don't have to. (You could point out that if they are particularly looking for books that are "giftable" and like new, they should have a RC for that, because that is a more demanding level of quality than the base PBS requirements for a swappable book.)

Unfortunately, in these situations you can't make everyone happy - either you send a point you don't think you should have to send, or they don't get back a point they think they should get. I was in a similar situation a few months ago, where a book I sent was RWAPed for damage that I knew wasn't there when I sent it. They got offended when I asked for a photo; I apologized but never heard back from them. *shrug*

Date Posted: 5/14/2013 1:01 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,303
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Here are the posting guidelines. You need to decide if there was separation on the outside of the book. I got a book that way that I had ordered from an Amazon seller and the cut in the binding did cause the book to separate when I was reading it.


  • Must be intact, with no separation on the inside or outside of the book
  • If the book tends to open at a particular page, this is OKAY
  •  Small amount of fraying or denting at top or bottom is OKAY
Date Posted: 5/14/2013 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2007
Posts: 5,852
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To me a cut and a tear are the same thing. Where it is on the book cover does not make a difference and we really don't need to know how it happened. I would never try to send a book with a tear and dispute someone by saying it's a cut or vice versa. I would ask for my credit back if it had a 2' cut (or tear) on the cover.

Date Posted: 5/14/2013 2:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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I would ask for my credit back if it had a 2' cut (or tear) on the cover.

Yeah, the rules let you send it on with and inch or less, but not more than that. And I think a cut and a tear are the same thing, it's damage to a book's binding, more than allowed by the site. I wouldn't worry about it being "Giftable", since that's not a criteria here and the receiver didn't have an RC about anything beyond the site rules.

I don't think requesting a photo will do anything but waste time. The OP already knew it was there.

I'd send the credit back, and next time offer books like that in the Bazaar. You'd still get a credit if someone wanted it, and then wouldn't have to worry about differing opinions.


Date Posted: 5/14/2013 4:03 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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If the receiver wanted books in giftable condition, they need an RC.

This might be a bit of a gray area, have we had a tour guide weigh in?  The 'tear' part of the guidelines would seem to apply to paperbacks or hardcovers that may be torn all the way through the cover.  Didn't we recently see a post asking about a cover that the top layer of paper/color/illustration had been torn off, like a sticker had been removed and took just the top layer off?  The under portion of the cover was intact, only the top colored part of the cover was missing.  IIRC it was deemed not a tear since the cover was intact under the damaged spot, and the book postable.  Again IIRC, the 'cut' and 'tear' guideline comments are in the same sentence and are probably meant to be applied the same.

I'm not sure a surface cut that doesn't go all the way through a hardcover is unpostable, especially if it's not on the upper or lower ends of the spine.  I'm curious to hear input from our more official members on this one.

Last Edited on: 5/14/13 4:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 5/14/2013 5:05 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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I'm a Tour Guide, but this is just my own opinion, not a "Tour Guide" consensus opinion nor an official interpretation of the rules.  Just the opinion of another site member here.  Not posting to be a "voice of authority" or anything.

To me, a cut = a tear.  If the cut / tear / ripped area is more than 1" then it is unpostable here.  Doesn't matter where the location of said flaw is.  My take: Credit refund due if OP knew book had a 2" cut in the cover  Even if not causing separation or binding problems when OP sent it out, it could have weakened the book so that when USPS was done with it and it was delivered to Requestor, there could well have been problems and the flaw is larger than allowed for posting.

Best offered for credit in the Book Bazaar.

Last Edited on: 5/14/13 6:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/14/2013 7:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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If I am imagining your description correctly, I would not consider it postable. 

Date Posted: 5/14/2013 7:59 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,826
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+1 Sianeka

Date Posted: 5/14/2013 8:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,204
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I would agree with Sianeka. I would simply look at the rules and say that a cut can be up to 2 inches and it sounds like the book had a cut that was bigger than that so the book sent was unpostable. May not be the receiver's complaint. But an unpostable book was sent it sounds like to me. 

Spines go kaput out of the blue. I've had them do it in my hands - checked the book 3 times, the first and second time the spine was perfectly intact and on the third time, SNAP!, pages came out and the book looked horrid. Had I send after the second check, the receiver would have thought I'd sent a piece of crap to them. Had the book not had other damage to it, then it would have been a more clean issue of stuff happens in transit. With the great than 1 inch cut on the book, it muddies the waters and one of the reasons we encourage people to put those kinds of books in the Bazaar instead of trying to slip them through the system.

Date Posted: 5/14/2013 8:50 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Sianaka and Melanie outrank me, but I agree with them, and with Carol.  Cut, tear, slice -- there's still a 2" gap in the book, and nothing in the PBS condition requirements permits that.

I'd apologize, return her credit and move on to other swaps. ;-)

Date Posted: 5/15/2013 2:25 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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I can see the arguments about cut versus tear, but this is a hardback book, the cut is costmetic on the surface, more like a scratch, not like a tear that goes through all of the layers, and it is in the middle of the book, not at the top or the bottom. It would probably be more accurate to describe this as a scratch from a sharp object as opposed to a cut. 

I will ask them to send a photo, maybe it got worse in transit somehow. 

Date Posted: 5/15/2013 10:23 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Doesn't matter -- tears in the cover are also largely cosmetic, but they're also not allowed.  By your own admission, you sent a book with a 2" gap, for lack of a better word, in it.  Unpostable. Return the credit and move on. ;-)

Date Posted: 5/15/2013 7:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,314
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I'm agreeing with those who say it wasn't postable - it wasn't postable when you got it and you should have RWAPed it.  It wasn't postable when you sent it out, whether it's a cut or a tear, it's more than the 1" allowed by PBS.  You're beating a dead horse.  You'd be better off giving the credit back and chalking it up to a learned experience.  Good luck. Pat

Date Posted: 5/15/2013 8:27 PM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2008
Posts: 1,446
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I also agree that it wasn't postable and that you should return the credit. Now if you want the book back, then you should give the person an extra credit to do that.

Date Posted: 5/16/2013 11:41 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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Thank you for all of the feedback. I am disappointed to get my first RWAP, but I have decided not to refund the credit and am willing to accept a black mark on my record. I have had hundreds of good transactions here, and almost 2000 on Bookmooch without a complaint, so I am confident in my ability to determine whether or not books are postable. The receiver was unable to send me a picture of the book, they said they already gave it to Goodwill, so I do not know if the book was somehow further damaged in transit. They say it was packaged beautifully, and I've never had a book damaged enroute that I know of, but there is a first time for everything.

I would not do this, but had I placed a giant sticker on the cover, no one ever would have seen the scratch or known about it and the book would have been unequivocally postable. If the receiver wants books that are in giftable condition, they need to make an RC about it. 

Date Posted: 5/16/2013 11:55 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I've actually noticed a few 'remainder' books marked in this exact way.  Looks like someone got an exacto knife and run it along the middle of the spines, maybe cutting into the cover and first two layers of the coverpaper and not into the end papers and spine carding.
The library had bought books from a place going out of buisness that had many remainder books, ALL of them were gotten by the business in that condition.

It's enough that they cannot sell these books as 'new'.  I'll see if I can find one of them to take a pic of.