Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: If a book isn't wanted immediately, how likely is it to be requested?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: If a book isn't wanted immediately, how likely is it to be requested?
Date Posted: 5/26/2013 7:41 AM ET
Member Since: 5/21/2013
Posts: 4
Back To Top

Hi there!   I'm new this week to the club.   I was told about PBS by a friend who thought I could get many of my daughters homeschooling books here (teacher keys, supplemental reading materials).  And I was excited to see there are a bunch available on here, but out of 85 books I've posted (a variety of genres) only 3 are to be mailed and 2 more possibly.   I go next week to order my daughters books and just wondered, based on your experience with the club:  if you post a book and there isn't a wishlist for it, how likely is it to be requested in the future?   Would you think 2/10 or 5/10, etc. will eventually be requested?  

And in general - what books go quickest?   I plan to ask my friends and family for books they were planning to get rid of, and don't want to waste time posting unwanted books.

Thanks so much for your advice!



Date Posted: 5/26/2013 10:58 AM ET
Member Since: 2/4/2011
Posts: 282
Back To Top

Hello welcome to the club


There is  no way really to tell how long a book will be on shelf. I had books that there were only one copy stay on my shelf for a long time and books with  a lot of copies go pretty quickly. I would you suggest offering deals on your shelf in the book bazaar like 2 for 1 if you feel people are not ordering books from your shelf. Also I have found that people order books from my shelf in cycles. I go through dryspells where no one orders for while and then all of sudden i get several orders.

Date Posted: 5/26/2013 11:40 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
Back To Top

Hi, welcome. 

There's no real way to tell when a non-wish list (WL) book would get requested. 

As you probably know, most of the book transactions work on the First in, First Out (system)

Some of your books, e.g. the James Pattersons, might already have many copies in the system ahead of you.

I've seen people looking for deals on Junie B Jones books.  Deals can be worthwhile for the sender if they involve more than one credit; eg 5 books for 2 credits. 

Good luck and enjoy the club!

mistie -
Date Posted: 5/26/2013 2:03 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,024
Back To Top

Julie, welcome to PBS.

You can put books on your reminder list, which will show you how many copies are currently posted. While the number posted is not the only factor to consider in how quickly they will be posted, it doesn't hurt to know.

Generally, newer releases from popular authors, and current best sellers,  move quickly - once these books get a little older, there are many copies around, and the list tends to move slowly.

If you feel like messing around and taking some time - before you post a book you can START to request it from another member, if you select "order more from member" you can see who you are ordering from - do NOT complete the order, then look up that members bookshlef, and you can see what date they posted the book (the copy that is now at the top of the FIFO queue).

If you want to order books now, and don't have enough credits you can buy credits. Either from the book kisok, or, at a substantially cheaper rate from other members via posts in the Book bazaar forum(currently around $2.20). So, it can actually be cheaper to buy a credit, than post a book and "earn" a credit...


Date Posted: 5/26/2013 7:14 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
Back To Top

If you can be patient, I think that most books have a good chance of being requested eventually.

Date Posted: 5/26/2013 10:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,348
Back To Top

You may already know this but when you post a book that is not wish listed, you are getting in line to send it.  So if it is a book that has at least a few orders a month, or even a few orders a year, you'll be moving up in the sending line.  When you are at the head of the line, the next request will come to you.  So to my mind, the only books I have posted that will never be requested are  books that aren't known to anyone, that are outdated (like a book on how to use Windows 95) or books where the number of requests per year puts my turn sometime beyond my life expectancy.  Most books I've posted have eventually been requested.



Date Posted: 5/27/2013 7:59 AM ET
Member Since: 5/21/2013
Posts: 4
Back To Top

Thanks so much everyone for the great information and sharing what experience you have had!   Definitely will check into buying some credits.   This seems like a great club with friendly people.

Date Posted: 5/27/2013 9:11 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
Back To Top

My rule-of-thumb is that if I have a fiction book that is more than a few years old and has more than a dozen copies in the system, I might as well just donate it to the local library book sale or thrift shop now, because it's never going to get requested.

Date Posted: 5/27/2013 11:33 AM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
Back To Top

I know a lot of folks leave books on their shelves for awhile and if they don't get requested they take them off and donate them.  I don't do this--currently I have plenty of room for storage, so they stay on my shelf until they get requested.  I've been a member since 2009, and some of the books I posted when I first joined are just now being requested.  Also, sometimes someone will request one of the heavily posted books on my shelf as an additional book when placing an order.  I figure these books have spent a lot of time moving up in the "FIFO" line, so it'd be a shame to remove them when they finally get close to being requested by someone!

Date Posted: 5/27/2013 3:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2010
Posts: 211
Back To Top

Welcome, Julie! One more tip: A good way to get an idea of the authors/books that get requested quickly is to check out the "Top 100" feature under the Community tab at the top of the site. You can see the 100 most requested, wished-for, and posted books for the last week, month, or all time. You might be surprised, some books can remain heavily requested for years after their release, like Jeannette Walls's The Glass Castle (2006) and Erik Larson's "The Devil in the White City".

Date Posted: 5/27/2013 9:52 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,459
Back To Top

I've had books that have scores, if not hundreds of copies ahead of them, that get requested. When people order books, they sometimes use the "Order more from member" button to check out your bookshelf. Often, if you have a book they want, you may have more they want too. I've done this myself and have had many others order multiple books from me after they select the first one.

If you have a lot of books that other homeschoolers could use, then start participating in the Homeschool Discussion area. Just by leaving messages about your successes and failures in homeschooling, or discussing books, or asking others for advice, people will start looking at your bookshelf and you will experience more orders.

Date Posted: 5/27/2013 11:12 PM ET
Member Since: 12/11/2008
Posts: 42
Back To Top

Kids books come off my shelf at a much faster rate than the adult books (but we go through kids books at a much higher rate, too!)  The paperbacks have the added advantage of being very light, too, and can usually be shipped first class mail.  I find that kids' picture books go pretty steadily around here, particularly if they have won a Caldecott or Newbery.  Folk tales, in particular, go very quickly for me.  Current kids series (like the Magic Tree House, Rainbow Magic, and Secrets of Droon which you have on your shelf) do eventually get requested, as lots of kids find a series they like and want to read all of the books.  Older series like Nancy Drew, Babysitters Club are very hard to move.  Junie B. Jones and Berenstein Bears are slower to move than most current series, mostly because there are so many out there.

CD fiction audiobooks also tend to move faster for me, but I only ever pick up 1-2 a year, so that may just be an anomoly of small numbers for me.

If there are a lot of available books that you'd like, I would also recommend buying a few credits, as you are likely not going to find a better deal on them.  Also keep in mind that you can swap credits among the sister sites Swap-a-CD and Swap-A-DVD (this one has a slightly different ratio, I think 2DVD:3Book).

Date Posted: 5/27/2013 11:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/21/2013
Posts: 4
Back To Top

Bought some credits and was able to order all the books that are currently available on my daughters 4th grade list!   Thanks again for the continued good tips.   I need them as my dad, husband and daughter have all requested that I find them books...lol!  Fun!!

Date Posted: 5/28/2013 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 558
Back To Top

As everyone's said, it varies a lot. I don't have kids, so I can't weigh in on that. The popular romance authors I read tend to go quickly when a book first becomes available on paperback, and then once the 'backlog' of wishers has been taken care of, it slows way down (and that can happen really quickly, like a week or two sometimes). The other genres I read are mostly nonfiction and history, and those are really haphazard and the wishlist estimates that PBS gives are complete nonsense.

Because of space restrictions, I personally choose to just list books that are wishlisted or the only copy on PBS, and donate the rest to my local friends of the library. But others, if they have the room, can definitely 'win' with the FIFO if they have the patience. After all, somebody's gonna want that Dan Brown in 5 years, right? Once you've been a member for a while you start to get a feel for what goes quickly on both your inventory and your wishlist and what tends to sit there for a while.

Oh yeah, I also wanted to mention that buying credits is often cheaper than the cost of mailing a book - last I looked they were going for around $2.50 in the bazaar, and that's about the cheapest you're going to be able to mail a book. Hardbacks and awkward sizes are pricier. So if it's pure economics you're looking at, buying credits is a great deal.

Last Edited on: 5/28/13 7:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1