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Topic: Boxers - Opinion about the Service (Trying to see if I should join up!)

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Subject: Boxers - Opinion about the Service (Trying to see if I should join up!)
Date Posted: 6/4/2008 2:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2008
Posts: 413
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Hello!  I was wondering what you Boxers think of the service now that you've signed up.  Do you find it worth the money?  Do you feel like you get more requests or less since the service? 

And, do you ever have requests you just simply can't afford (with the large quantities and shipping costs?  How do you handle this?

 Do you still generate enough credits for you use so that you can still shop for books on shelves of non-boxers and wishlists? 

Speaking of wishlists.... do you get your wishlist books easier because you can do non-credit swaps??

 

Sorry about all the questions... but I didn't know how else to find out!  And, is there a forum for boxers specificially?? I couldn't find one or I would have gone there....

Thanks everyone!

Date Posted: 6/4/2008 3:17 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,354
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I'm not currently a boxer, but I was one.

I only had one request for over 5 books, so postage shouldn't be a huge concern.  And if it is too much, just decline.  It's less than spending credits if you want all the books from their shelf, though, since shipping multiple books is a lot cheaper than shipping them separate.

I steadily had BoB requests when I was signed up from a variety of people.  When you first sign up you (I presume this is still true) will be innundated then it'll taper off to more reasonable amounts.

I never noticed it impacting my credit generation.  If there was a book I had just posted and expected to swap for a credit and it appeared in a BoB that evening, I just let it sit for a day or two to see if it was going to get requeted for a credit.  I did have quite a few books go out via BoB that would have taken forever to work through FIFO line for credits.

I'm not sure how to answer your WL question--if you order lots of random books just to read, then you'd have an easier time with BoB because you can do that via BoB and leave your credits for WL books. But the WL line doesn't move any faster b/c you are BoBer--though I suppose a BoBer might check your WL to see if they have any to send along with the box.  I wouldn't rely on that!

Overall, if you read a variety of books and are open to trying new things out, it's worth the money.  Just remember if you can't find anything on the other person's shelf is it JUST FINE to decline the swap request.  Some people feel bad--don't!

(Now, why am I not still a member?  Because my TBR is so big I am no longer that interested in boxes of books coming in. I have narrow (not commonly posted) genres I'm interested in and the books on my  WL.  So I was turning down almost all the requests because most of the books I want are on my WL and thus not in the library.   So I decided it was not a good idea for me.  I'm still open to renewing if someone has a bunch of books I want and I have a bunch of books they want. )

Date Posted: 6/4/2008 3:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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You can't trade WL books through BOB because they have to be books posted to your shelf.  When you post a WL book to your shelf it automatically offers it to the 1st person in line.

I like being a boxer but I'm kind of sorry I didn't wait until after I moved cross country. Because I've had my account on hold for months now to stop the WL offers.  I also too most of my books to the thrift store.  But I did do a few box trades when I first signed up for BOB.

You don't have to accept every BOB offer made to you. If they don't have anything you want-just decline.  No big deal. 

Don't buy a bunch of books you'd never read just to have a bigger shelf. Because then you'll get a lot of BOB offers for those books and guess what?-that's what they'll have on their shelf.  So if you don't read romance-don't stock up on a bunch of cheap romances (or mysteries, sci-fi or whatever).

I think it's worth doing if you have quite a few books that are plentiful on PBS and just sitting on your shelf.  Because people don't usually order those unless they get them as part of a deal or a BOX trade.  I got some Nora Roberts books from a BOB trade that I never would have spent credits on unless it was 3 for 1.  Just beause there were so many available. I like to spend my credits on WL books or books that don't have a lot of copies posted.  They're more likely to be requested after a short period than a Grisham that has 100 copies posted.  I was able to send out a few books that were common on PBS through BOB and got a book for each one.

As for how many credits you'll generate will depend on what you're posting. If you post a lot of WL books or books w/o a lot of copies posted-you'll still get credit orders.  If you post a lot of Nora Robers, James Patterson, John Grisham, Stephen King (basically the mega selling authors) then your books might sit a while because there's already a bunch of them posted.



Last Edited on: 6/4/08 3:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/4/2008 8:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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You can't trade WL books through BOB because they have to be books posted to your shelf

Mary, I want to say right off that I agree with this *100%*.  This is how it is supposed to be and how it should work.  However, I also know that people do it anyway.  They swap a few books, I guess, in the actual BoB and deal in PMs for the WL books.  I don't really know the particulars, only that it's done.  More than once we've had people post here that they were bummed to have been denied a WL book and the reply was "Sorry, I'm using it in a BoB trade". 

Personally, I think this should be made against the PBS rules.  I know BoBs are creditless swaps, but there is an accounting OF the trades.  I think WL books should have to go through the system, too. 

Date Posted: 6/4/2008 8:16 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2008
Posts: 413
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this is all good stuff!  See, I'm learning alot....

Date Posted: 6/4/2008 8:16 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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Kimberly, I had BoB for 2 years.  I did not renew recently for a 3rd year.  This is partly because I have a TBR of roughly 500 books and BoB had a lot to do w/ that, LOL.

I did have a little bit of trouble with people mailing later and even not getting a few books this last year.  This is *by no means* the norm, though, and most swaps go along just fine.  There is a feedback system and I would encourage you to use it if you join.  Don't just say "Thanks for the swap", but mention if things were mailed promptly, if packaging was good, things like that. 

Having used it for 2 years myself, I really would encourage you to try it and see what you think.  I never had a problem keeping credits coming at the same time.

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 12:38 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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There is a lot of really good information in this thread, so I just wanted to add that another good thing about joining BOB is that the $8 goes to help support PBS.

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2008
Posts: 797
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I joined BoB within a month of finding PBS and I love it!  You can search by author to find someone who has more of a series you might be looking for.  It's a nice way to try books you might not otherwise read if you had to use a credit.  I try to do medium swaps (3-6) at a time to save on postage, but I just had 3 that were 1/1 so it really is your choice.  I've had boxes refused and I've refused some myself and it's always been very positive.  I've also done uneven swaps (3/2 or 5/6) based on book size and who wants what.  It's also nice once you get several different genres from book sales and such because you can swap with so many different people.  You've got a few books on your shelf I'd be interested in if you decide to sign up!

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 6:01 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 1,883
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I'm on my second year of BOB and I love it. I use it mainly to get books I wouldn't normally spend a credit for or to try out new series/authors I'm not sure about. It's really been alot of fun and I think you would enjoy it :)

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 6:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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I have a BoB membership, but have had it on hold most of the time because I just couldn't keep up with them and the regular shelf orders. If you are someone that doesn't have many books on hand and read a lot, I think it is well worth it. If you are like me, with a large shelf and an even larger TBR, it might just add to your pile. I did really enjoy it, but it was the one piece I could control, the shelf orders and WL books are enough for me to have to keep up with. 

Subject: BoB
Date Posted: 6/5/2008 10:32 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2007
Posts: 97
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I absolutely love it, use it a lot. I'd never consider swapping a WL book via bob.....that is rotten!  My husband is an avid reader, so I've been able to get stacks of books for certain authors rather than using credits. Nary a bad experience, and my largest order was for six books.  Sometimes I swap for books I don't really want, because I want to pay back for all the great books I've gotten knowing someone probably didn't want what I had to order either.  lol!  I just reupped for BOB, and I imagine I'll continue, great way to meet some super people.

 

LOVE BOB!!!!! and PBS      Hugs Pat

Subject: only useful if.....
Date Posted: 12/30/2008 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 29
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 I was a book boxer last year, but... because my genre is so specific I find that noone wants my books. so I got turned down all the time!! I had good swaps but had to accept books that I wasnt really that interested in to get the books I wanted. If you like lots of recent releases by best seller authors you will have good luck, otherwise the book bazaar is a much better site. At least you can bargain with people and they dont have to like your books.  Sorry PBS but you need to do some work to get me back as a book boxer. The system doesnt work for alot of us. Look at the book bazaar and learn to adapt it so you can reform the book boxer to my advantage.

Date Posted: 12/30/2008 9:05 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 510
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> Hello!  I was wondering what you Boxers think of the service now that you've signed up.

>And, do you ever have requests you just simply can't afford (with the large quantities and shipping costs?  How do you handle this?

I'm puzzled by this question.  Each additional pound of media mail postage is only $0.35 or so, at 2-4 MMP books per pound the expense is minimal.  As long as you are finding books you are interested in, I think the shipping costs are a non-issue.

> Do you still generate enough credits for you use so that you can still shop for books on shelves of non-boxers and wishlists? 

Yes.   BOB can also be put on vacation for periods of time.

> Speaking of wishlists.... do you get your wishlist books easier because you can do non-credit swaps??

No effect that I can see.

Date Posted: 12/30/2008 9:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 5/20/10 3:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/30/2008 9:41 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2006
Posts: 472
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I didn't renew my BOB membership, but that's only because books are like crack to me.  Someone would send me an offer and of course, I'd find something on their shelf that I liked.  They are books what's not to like?  The only times I didn't where when people had one very narrow genre or mostly kids books.

However, this left me with books that once they arrived, I wasn't as interested in reading as I thought at the time and my small apartment was getting filled up with books.  Considering that I joined PBS to manage the volume of books I had it wasn't working for me.  (At the time the branch of the library near me was pretty much only open when I was at work so I was buying most books I wanted without a good way to move them along when I was done.)

However, that was all about me and an inability to be discriminating when presented with an offer than about BOB itself.  At the beginning I also found myself short of materials to send BOB orders out in because again, small apartment, I tossed or recycled boxes as they came into the house and actually had to buy something for the first couple of swaps.  However, then I started saving boxes that I got swaps in or hanging on to the occasional shoe box.

Another downside for me at the time was the inability to do printable postage.  At that time if it was under 16 ounces it could go in the blue box, but over that it had to be given to a clerk if it had stamps.  My post office is not at all user friendly so that was an issue, but with printable postage that's not a problem any more.

Generally, my BOB swaps involved books that had been on my shelf awhile so I don't think it impacted my credit situtation.

If you can be discriminating about the books you want or have lots of storage space, I say go for it!

Date Posted: 12/30/2008 10:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
Posts: 1,051
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for 8 bucks (or roughly 2.5 credits) you can trade all the books want. i rarely have "huge" trades, but when I do, it never breaks the bank with the postage. i say "try it."

Date Posted: 12/30/2008 10:29 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 798
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I did have a little bit of trouble with people mailing later and even not getting a few books this last year.  This is *by no means* the norm, though, and most swaps go along just fine. 

I have had 2 problems just this month....I'm probably not going to renew mine when it comes up for subscription, or I'm going to stick to doing deals with people I know and have done deals with the past.  And feedback is not necessarily accurate. When looking someone's feedback, be sure to read the actual comments, not just the positive/negative.

 

Date Posted: 12/31/2008 12:24 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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I was one of the beta-testers for BOB before it was released to the general PBS population and as a thank you, I got a free 6-month subscription to BOB...but to be honest, I had it on hold for all except the first couple of months and never did renew it. There were quite a few bugs in it to begin with, many of which didn't get sorted out til well after my trial membership expired.

Most of the time the offers I got were really lopsided and I ended up turning them down. By that I mean, I'd get a 10-book offer from somone with only 30 books on their shelf and they didn't have any books I wanted. Or I'd get offers for five mysteries from somone with an all-romance shelf, and I don't "do" romance--or else they'd have only really common books on their shelf like John Grishams, Nora Roberts, etc. Stuff like that.

I did do a few BoB swaps, but to be honest, most of the books I acquired from them I ended up just re-listing here unread a year later, so I figure if I had *really* wanted the book, I'd have spent a credit on it, right?  I've never had problems moving books off my shelf in regular for-credit swaps and maybe if I did have a slower-moving shelf I might feel differently, but for me it doesn't make sense to use BoB, especially now that my Wishlist actually does most of my PBS shopping for me.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 12/31/2008 8:53 AM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,979
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I absolutely love by BOB membership!  I have gotten BOB requests for books that likely would have sat on my shelf for ages had they not been requested in BOB.  I have also met some of the nicest people through my BOB swaps.

As for the postage question, although I usually do BOB swaps for 1-5 books, I have gone as high as 10-18, and the highest I ever paid was $5.04 media mail.  But if you're concerned about postage, you can decline any offers you think might be too much for you.

As for WL books, to me they are in no way connected to BOB.  BOB swaps are only for books posted to your shelf and not on anyone's WL.  I have never sent a WL book as part of a BOB swap.  It's against the rules, plain and simple. 

When swapping with a military member, I often include unpostables as freebies.  I ask if they would like them, knowing that they can pass them on to others serving if they are not interested.  This week I also sent a free unpostable as a surprise  to someone I swapped with because it was along the same line as the other books they requested from me.

I highly suggest you try the service.  The absolute worst case scenario is that you don't renew next year, and the total cost of your "gamble" is $8.