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Topic: Do more books have conditions?

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Subject: Do more books have conditions?
Date Posted: 7/8/2008 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2008
Posts: 428
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This morning, I opened one of the smaller boxes of books that I still haven't gone through. After I removed duplicates from my shelves, unpostables and the ones I wanted to keep, there were only 8 books left. Mainly writing books although there was one book on preserves that I had to hand enter. It had an ISBN but it wasn't in the system.

One of them went onto wish list hold immediately. Two of the others (including the book on preserves) have already been requested. Not a bad turnaround considering they've only been posted about 5 hours.

Both the books that have already been requested had requestor conditions. Both quite detailed. I know I haven't been on here long, but it seems that more and more requestors are including conditions.

Date Posted: 7/8/2008 12:11 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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Actually, I haven't run across conditions in a while, but my books tend to be out-of-print tough-to-find ones, so perhaps I'm dealing with folks who end to be less ... particular?

Date Posted: 7/8/2008 12:50 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2007
Posts: 369
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I've come to the conclusion that RCs, like all of life, just kinda ebb and flow, lol. 

I run into stretches when I can hardly get a book out without having to read endless RCs and then, suddenly, they stop.  I know they'll be back, though!

I'd like to see PBS come up with one last out on the RC thing.  I've sent out a lot of books that didn't meet the conditions, because a little common sense goes a long way.  I've PMed people and said "your condition says must be in very good condition, but this is a 86 year old hardcover and it's not going to BE in very good condition!"  or whatever.  9 out of 10 times, they want it.    When they don't, I make sure I'm the one to cancel so they don't lose their place in line.  If there's a line.

Rather than ME subverting the system, I'd like to see them change it so I can say "doesn't meet conditions" and tell them why and the requestor can - if they like - say "send it anyway!"  OR PBS could make it possible to PM the person before accepting the request.  A lot of conditions aren't 100% non-negotiable, especially on hard to find books. 

Hey, I can dream.

Date Posted: 7/8/2008 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/17/2007
Posts: 3,129
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Anna, I like your idea about being able to PM the requestor about conditions.

And how on earth do you manage 8 bookswapping sites?!!  You must be super-organized!

Date Posted: 7/8/2008 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2008
Posts: 428
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My personal condition dream is that we can create multiple conditions. Then, when we request a book, we can choose which condition (if any) to use.

Hitting two conditions, especially two such involved conditions, in one day started me wondering. I thought I'd ask and see what everyone else's experiences were.

Date Posted: 7/8/2008 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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I tend to agree with the ebb and flow theory.  Sometimes you'll hit dry spells, sometimes you'll get a bunch.  I think it is possible that more people are getting comfortable with using them, so maybe it's a little bit of both.

Before I say anything on PM's I want to preface:  I KNOW what the site info says about this, BUT it's worked VERY well for me, SO:  With my RC's I include my screenname and a "feel free" about sending a PM should the need arise.  It has ALWAYS worked well and has saved quite a few requests that met my conditions but might've been denied had there not been a means of communication. 

Tim, if I feel the need I change my conditions for specific requests.  The condition that's set when you make a request stays  for that request even if you change your RC immediately afterwards, and you can always check the details of a previous swap in the Transaction Archive to see the text of former RC's.

eta: 86 year old hardcover?? <Homer Simpson style drool>

Last Edited on: 7/8/08 1:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/8/2008 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2008
Posts: 428
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I know. However, in order to change it, I have to open my settings page, make the change, save my settings and then request the book. And, if I happen to forget (which is entirely likely), the request goes out with the wrong condition.

Plus, both of the conditions I had today had parts to it. For hardbacks, they wanted one thing. For paperbacks, they wanted something else. It just seems easier to me to have a way to make a choice.

Of course, it's not really important. I don't even use conditions unless I'm ordering a book for a relative.

Date Posted: 7/8/2008 1:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,513
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I agree with the ebb and flow, sometimes I'll go months without running in to one, and then have several in a row with them.

Date Posted: 7/8/2008 5:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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I would say less than 10% of orders from my shelf have conditions.  It is a ebb and flow though just like orders.  There will be long dry spells and then a slough all at once.

Date Posted: 7/8/2008 9:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,136
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I think that in the last 6 months I've seen a lot more book orders with conditions.  Out of my last three orders, two had conditions.  However, most are reasonable and politely worded, so I have no problem with them. 

Date Posted: 7/8/2008 11:53 PM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2007
Posts: 63
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I've had a lot more conditions lately, and many of them have been vague conditions about smells.  I had one last week where someone wanted a book that wasn't "musty smelling".  What does that even mean?  The book was one I'd bought brand new, so I took a chance and sent it out, but I almost turned it down just on principle.  

I'm trying to get rid of as many books as possible because I may be moving soon, so I've been more willing to take a chance on vague conditions, especially with books that have been sitting on my shelf for a long time.  Maybe that's how I'm getting orders for books that still have 7 or 8 copies in the system - maybe everyone else turned them down. 

patticom - ,
Date Posted: 7/9/2008 4:08 AM ET
Member Since: 11/3/2007
Posts: 416
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Ah yes, the great RC debate!!  :)  I am finally getting to the point where I don't feel like such a newbie and these discussions are feeling "routine."  ;)  Yay for me, LOL!  Anyway.....

I agree with the others, fwiw.  I've gotten a stream of requests with no conditions, then I'll get several in a row with them.  Brief as possible, to the point, VERY clear conditions don't bother me one bit.  I love to see the option to have them and write your own, and I really really wish they'd add that feature to swap-a-dvd (but that's another long discussion LOL)!!  For the long picky ones, it just depends on how busy and bored and desperate to clear my shelf I am.  ;)-  If I have the time and motivation, I'll accept the book with the longest possible "mail by" date and PM the person to ask for clarification.  If they reply in time (which to date they always have), I will mail or cancel, accordingly.  If for some reason someone did not reply in time then my plan would be to cancel and note that it's cancelled due to lack of response and unclear RC.  But if I'm kind of in a rush and my shelf is low (and credit bank fat!) enough that I'm not in any big hurry to move the books, I just turn down the long/complicated ones as too much hassle.  People will learn in time how to clarify their RC, or they'll find they aren't getting any books!  :)

Date Posted: 7/9/2008 5:47 AM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2008
Posts: 346
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I wish that we could make up conditions for just one specific book, rather than it for everything.

Date Posted: 7/9/2008 8:01 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2006
Posts: 4,972
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I know I haven't been on here long, but it seems that more and more requestors are including conditions.


Yes, it does seem that way to me too. I wonder if some people like me orignally did not have any specific conditions but felt like the were forced to due to the quality of (or rather lack of)   books they were receiving?

Last Edited on: 7/9/08 8:01 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/16/2008 9:16 AM ET
Member Since: 5/30/2007
Posts: 400
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Lately I have been getting a lot of condition asking for new or "pristine" books. Before this, I never got any conditions.
Date Posted: 7/16/2008 9:45 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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I haven't noticed an increase in conditions, and I send quite a few books. Like everything else here, it seems to go in streaks. I'll go weeks without getting any requests with conditions attached, and then will get 3 or 4 in one week. I had a couple this week (out of about 10 requests) but they were just a standard 'not from a smoking home' and both were from the same person, actually.


Date Posted: 7/16/2008 10:44 AM ET
Member Since: 7/16/2006
Posts: 198
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I just had a WL book go through 7 people before I came to one without a RC about smoking or "other smells". My mom had read the book, and she smokes, so I wasn't going to send it to a non smoker, and I almost always decline on a blanket "no stinky smells" condition. How do I know what's stinky to them? Smells like a book to me! I had 4 other requests in the past week with conditions.

This is my first run of nothing but requests with RCs attached. I hope it ends soon, or I hope that at least the RCs are more clear.

Date Posted: 7/16/2008 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,372
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If I remember when RCs first came out, their main purpose was for health concerns, especially smoke & pet allergies.  In which case--they shouldn't be often applied to some books and not others.

If you want to turn your RCs on and off, maybe you should just consider turning them off? 

I don't really want to see lots more RCs, nor do I want yet more pages to click through when requesting a book, so I don't think making them even more simple is a good idea. You can already turn them on and off--that seems sufficient.


Date Posted: 7/16/2008 3:11 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2008
Posts: 428
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The only time I've used RCs is when I mean the book as a gift. Then, I put on there that I only want the book that I requested and not another book with the same title but a different ISBN and that I only want books that meet PBS guidelines. Both should go without saying, but I say them anyway. For my own books, I don't use RCs. Not now anyway. In the future, I might.

I still think having multiple conditions would be useful. The On/Off of the current method seems overly simplistic. I suppose that works for some, but I'd like to see more. If nothing else, I'd like the On/Off mechanism moved to an easier to access location. Right now, it's 2/3rds of the way down the settings page. It's actually below newsletter settings which would be only infrequently changed.


Date Posted: 7/16/2008 4:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I only added RCs recently, and that's because I've started replacing some of my keeper books with hardcover copies, and I just want dustjackets.  They don't even have to be exceptionally great looking dustjackets because I'll probably laminate them anyway, I just want to have them.  I hope I worded it nicely enough; I just said "I'd like to have the dustjackets with hardcover books please:)".  I've already been declined on one, but I'm hoping that's because the book didn't have a dustjacket and not because the person who got the request doesn't accept requests with RCs:P