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Topic: any boxers here?

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Subject: any boxers here?
Date Posted: 8/22/2009 2:57 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2008
Posts: 1,770
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I know I should probably post this in another forum, but since I know you guys (sort of...lol) from posting here every day, I figure your opinion matters to me.  I've seen people mention box-of-books and really had no clue how it worked, even though I've been a member here for a while.  I went today & read the info on it, and it sounds great - in theory.  But how great is it? Do people actually take you up on it often when you want a box of their books?  I'm thinking, with my luck, I'd find a bunch of books & set up a request for a box and nobody would want anything from my shelf!  lol

 

Date Posted: 8/22/2009 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
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I've been a PBS member for a little over 2 yrs and a boxer for about 1-1/2 yrs. I have a huge bookshelf now containing mostly category romances but used to include a fairly large collection of historical bodice rippers. One of the advantages of the BoBs is that there are a lot of PBS members who are hesitant to spend precious book credits for category romances (including me), but a 10 for 10 swap is great.

I've used BoBs to assemble series which I sell on eBay. It keeps me in postage money most of the time, but not much more. Which brings up the first issue with BoBs. I've had users who want to do 1/1 swaps. If they have a book on their shelves that I might otherwise spend a credit to receive, I'll do a 1/1 swap. But the more books involved, the lower the cost per book.

At this point, I have a list of only about 250 books that I'm hunting for that are not wishlisted. I've got soooo many books, I won't swap for books that are not on my list and other than the series titles, I don't want to trade category books for more category books. There are lots of boxers who want a batch of my Silhouette titles but all they have on their shelf is Harlequin titles.

Which brings up another issue: box weight and postage. I'm more than willing to do BoBs swaps with unequal book counts. To my way of thinking, it's much more fair to trade 10 192-page books for 5 400-page books than 10/10. But there are times when I request 10 of the skinny books and the other boxer wants to snag 10 400-page books off my shelf. Most of my 400-pagers are bought for the purpose of swapping and it's frustrating to have one user clear my shelf of them and expect me to pay shipping for 4 or 5 lbs vs. their 2 lb. box.

Having mentioned some of the down sides of boxing, there are some positives. Boxers communicate directly with one another and are usually a lot more accommodating regarding shipping times. There is no PBS clock ticking. If you agree to do a BoB swap but can't afford to ship for a week or so, just send a PM to the other boxer. I've never had someone cancel the swap.

As previously mentioned, it can bring down the cost per book significantly if you do large swaps. The largest I've done is 63/63 books. It was a lot of fun and we worked back and forth for about 3 weeks to get it settled (she had some books she hadn't posted, I had some books I wasn't planning to post but was willing to offer them to make the deal happen).

Michelle, I glanced over your shelf. At first glance, I'd say you probably want to get some more books posted to find boxers who want several of your books and who have books you want, too. On the other hand, you have some popular authors and a good selection of books within the genre. That's important.

Occasionally, I get offered a BoB by a user whose shelf doesn't contain very many romance titles. I don't want other genres. Adversely, there are times I've offered other boxers a swap, wanting several titles from their romance-laden shelf only to be declined because they don't want romance titles in exchange... OOOOkay. I've added to my selection at the Salvation Army. The collection center near my mom's house has a huge book department and on Fridays, paperbacks are 10/$1.00. I pick up Balogh, SEP, Crusie, McCarthy, Johansen, and a few others just to list them here. If you have a UBS near you with cheap, cheap, cheap books in good condition, you might want to do that. One tip: avoid Grisham, Nora Roberts, and Danielle Steel titles. There are hundreds of copies already posted on PBS.

If you decide to sign up for boxing, don't be discouraged if other boxers decline your swap offers. I probably have a near equal number of completed and cancelled swaps. Sometimes I'm the one who declines to do a swap. Sometimes the other boxer doesn't want anything I have. At the end of the day, it's worth the $9.00 it costs to sign up for a year.

Colleen

 

Date Posted: 8/22/2009 5:54 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,542
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I am a boxer, too.  I have had some really nice swaps and I like that I don't use my credits when I do a BOB.  I like that I am usually forced to look at some really large and interesting bookshelves.  It does take more time, but I love to shop over the internet, so it works for me.  

I will often be asked for more books than I can find an equal number on the other person's shelf.  In that case, I am usually inclined to go with whatever works, like 3 for 2 or 5 for 3 or whatever.  You can do whatever you like on BOB, so I appreciate the freedom that the swaps don't have to be equal if we both agree on the books.  I have swapped for books that I go ahead and post and they move on before I read them and that is ok with me.  I wish more members with large bookshelves were BOBers or more willing to deal a little. 

I have received more books that are not in great shape in these swaps.   I have also had some swappers wait to mail my books until they receive theirs.  I don't like it, but in the big picture, it works out OK.  

I have been able to find some really nice folks that will do a 1/1 swap for some obscure romance title.  I like swaps that are 5 or less books at a time.  It is just easier to get them wrapped and on the way.  I have declined more swaps than I have accepted.  I have only had a few declined.  There is truly no hard feelings about this.  It is part of the way it works.  I found that to be the hard part in the beginning.  Everyone is so nice here that it is hard to say no.

Pamela

Date Posted: 8/23/2009 11:45 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I used the heck out of it for several months, and then spent the last few turning down offers because my TBR was huge and I wasn't ordering anything but WL stuff.  It was great for glomming authors.  I put several collections together while I had it - and then got rid of most of them after reading a couple of their books and deciding I didn't like them:P  I can only think of a couple that I got through BOB (and I got LOTS) that were successful, in the sense that I actually read all of those books.  We're talking dozens that I just reposted & didn't really touch.  I've considered getting it again because my shelf is very TBR lite right now, but I keep holding back because I don't think it's going to do much for me.  It's not much good to have a huge TBR that you'll never read, and I'm not one of those readers who is content with B-C level books to curl up with & not expect much from.  I want them all to be A+ keepers:P  I can deal with picking an occasional lemon, but if I know they're just so-so, I'll hang onto them for months and never quite work myself up to reading them.

Date Posted: 8/23/2009 12:37 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
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LOL, Kim. I was looking over your WL. 90 of 150 are craft books. Do people actually get rid of those? Fiction, I'll read and post, but my craft/needlecraft books are SACRED!

Colleen

Date Posted: 8/23/2009 2:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2006
Posts: 673
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where do you sign up for these Boxers? I would love to find a boxer of Harlequins.

Date Posted: 8/23/2009 2:24 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,518
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I think you subscribe to BOB via the PBS kiosk.

I've never considered signing up since I joined PBS to get rid of books.  Just way too many series romance books around that I've slowly been getting rid of.  I try and keep my shelf under 200 books so it's easier to browse.

Anyway, once I get to the point where I'm not interested in getting rid of books and truly want to swap what I have for other stuff to read, I'll join BOB.  My TBR pile is way overwhelming right now so I'm still in getting rid of books mode.

Date Posted: 8/23/2009 4:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Colleen, a few months ago my WL was all romance & I only started adding the craft books very recently.  I've gotten quite a few so far.  My wish list of romance books has thinned way out since I removed a lot of the collectibles & most of them are new releases now.  I had tons of old Balogh on there, but I think I have as many of those as I need already:P

Date Posted: 8/23/2009 6:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I have my BOB on hold right now for the same reason as Kim: my TBR is out of control. I will reactivate it when I have my shelf built up.

It's great if you have a lot of heavily posted books that just aren't moving.  When I do BOB my shelf is mostly heavily posted romances and mysteries and I usually end up wiping out my shelf with BOB deals within a week.  I don't like the little series romances either (except for Blazes) and I never had a problem. 

If you like the type of books you have on your shelf then it should be good for you.  In fact I saw a couple of books I would do a BOB with you for. If you see anything on myshelf you are intrested in-PM me and I'll take my BOB off hold. 

If your shelf is loaded with books you would never read then BOB might not be a good idea unless you don't mind turning down a lot of BOB offers.

If you do sign up-don't be afraid to turn someone down. If they don't have anything you want just say "no thanks"-politely.  Don't feel like you have to make a trade with everyone who asks. Then you'll just end up with a bunch of books you have no interest in reading.

Date Posted: 8/24/2009 2:40 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
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One advantage for Box-O-Books that I was just reminded about... BoBs are a great way to test drive NTMAs. That's how I was introduced to Mary Balogh, Jane Feather, and Liz Carlyle (they now fill an entire shelf in bookcase #3).

Most of us don't have so many credits that we can spend them on favorite author backlists. We hoard them for that mixed blessing: the "Wish Granted" e-mail message. How many books are on your RL for which there are copies available? And why haven't you ordered them already? BoBs are a great way to get around the credit shortage.

If you're just trying to get rid of books, you can certainly do uneven swaps. I had one swap where the other boxer was moving and trying to clear her shelf. We did a 19/1 swap. Or if the numbers are uneven and you want to try a new author, ask the other boxer for a recommendation and use it to even out the numbers.

Another scenario: I initiated a BoB for 2 books I want. The other boxer declined because I didn't have anything on my shelf she wants. I glanced through her WL and now we're doing a swap of her 2 MMPBs in exchange for 1 trade-size book that is on her WL. She's at #71 of 76 in the WL queue...

Box-O-Books is much less regimented than the PBS ordering system. You communicate/negotiate directly with another user, arranging a swap that works for both of you.

Date Posted: 8/24/2009 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/27/2009
Posts: 753
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Any suggestions as to how many books should be on your bookshelf for it to be worthwhile to be a boxer? I've been holding off cause I don't know if I have all that many books and also I'm trying to decrease the size of my TBR pile.

Date Posted: 8/24/2009 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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When I first got BOB, I had about 75-80 books on my shelf and did plenty of swaps.  It just depends on what they are.  Since FIFO doesn't apply, it doesn't matter if they are typically slow movers with lots of copies in the system.  I traded bunches of them that had lots of copies and mine were way down the list.  I got at least 1 or 2 BOB offers daily, and was turning down the majority of them just because I didn't see anything on those shelves that I wanted or didn't already have TBR.  Now I keep roughly a 200 book PBS shelf, but I do need to trim it down more:P 

Date Posted: 8/24/2009 4:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
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Dagmar, I browsed over your shelf and noticed that you have lots of HQN Blazes, several Janet Evanovich, and some other popular authors. Also, you have enough Romance titles to interest other boxers who want to swap within the genre. BoB would probably be a good experience for you unless you wanted to swap what is on your shelf for non-fiction or for another fiction genre (since you have a limited number of mysteries).

Colleen

Date Posted: 8/24/2009 6:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/27/2009
Posts: 753
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Thanks Colleen! I've been thinking about doing it and I think you've convinced me. ;>

Date Posted: 8/25/2009 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I've never had more than 50 books posted and didn't have any problems with being a boxer.

The only downside to a small shelf is that it can get wiped out quickly when you become a boxer. Then you can't really do many trades until you build it back up.

The last time I activated my Bob shelf I had about 30 books posted and within about a week I had BOBs pending for most of them.  I would love to reactivate it but my TBR is insane at the moment.

Although I suppose it's better to store books I haven't read yet instead of books I've already read.



Last Edited on: 8/25/09 5:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/28/2009 7:10 PM ET
Member Since: 11/25/2007
Posts: 773
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Ive been a member of PBS for almost 2 years, and just joined the Boxer feature about 3 months ago...

I really like it!   I have received alot of great swaps in the past few months...and my bookshelf is usually about 120-130 books or so.

I like romance books and mystery books and usually trade for the same, sometimes I find another book on someones shelf that will make a great gift,

so I will order that with the swap also.

I have received all of the swaps that I have started..except for one~ and the PBS team said they are checking into that one.

I recommend being a Box member for anyone that likes to read alot, and dosent always have the credits to order books with!

Date Posted: 9/29/2009 7:23 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,542
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I just wanted to mention that I have 22 box swaps going on right now.  It is one of those things where I wanted a book here, a book there, and everytime I tried to order a new author the person was a boxer.  What a great way to get new authors to try. 

Date Posted: 9/30/2009 7:31 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I recently reactivated my BOB account.  I did 5 trades very quickly and with only about 30 books posted.