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Topic: certain types of damage but totally readable: postable?

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Subject: certain types of damage but totally readable: postable?
Date Posted: 11/22/2008 10:07 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2008
Posts: 3
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Hi, I'm a newbie, really enjoying this site.

I have one question about the covers of paperbacks. Of course, I do NOT want to post any book in unacceptable condition - I can find other places to pass these on. Do you know whether the following books would be acceptable? All are completely readable, with no damage to text.

Cover heavily crayoned
Cover heavily taped
Damage to a few pages from drops of coffee (on the edges, not the text) - would this count as "water damage", which I know is unacceptable? (I bought this one used.)

Thanks for the info,


Date Posted: 11/22/2008 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2008
Posts: 16,558
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Hi Maria! I am new to this site as well and I think you will find that it is an AWESOME place. :)

As far as I know, the conditions that you have listed would make the book unpostable.

For further clarification, try the Help Center for the Book Condition Guidelines.


Date Posted: 11/22/2008 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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Follow Courtney's suggestion about reading the book condition guidelines in the help center.  The books you described are all unpostable, BUT you can offer them as freebies with any order off of your shelf.  It generally does not cost too much more to ship two books vs. one book, and it can get your bookshelf moving.  Make your offer in the book bazaar (plenty of examples there that you can follow), and/or your signature line.

Date Posted: 11/22/2008 10:49 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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Hi Maria,

As Courtney has already posted, those books would not be postable here at PBS. You can certainly offer damaged books free with an order from your shelf, or post them in the Damaged Book thread in the Book Bazaar. Members post books there "no strings attached" to share books with other members that are past their postable life but are still readable

And welcome to PBS. I hope you enjoy your membership here as much as I do mine.

Subject: Non-postable books
Date Posted: 11/23/2008 11:07 AM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2008
Posts: 4
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I have only been using paperback swap for a few months.  I just sent a book a member complained was non postable after she received it and I gave her a credit  on the book.  This is a book I received not a month ago, read and reposted.  It was well used but not falling apart.  It didn't even occur to me that I should of not accepted the book in the first place.  Isn't this the point, we are trading USED books.  I have found that some members are very picky about the condition of the books they receive.  This is annoying because I just mailed out a brand new copy of a book that is quite valuable and I have nothing to show for it.  I love the idea of sharing books and getting them circulated for others to enjoy.  The words aren't worth any less just because it is a used book.


Jeana Smith


Date Posted: 11/23/2008 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Jeana if the book you sent met the PBS posting guidelines then you did not have to give a credit back.  It is a used book site but there are book conditons that must be met.  If you receive a book that doesn't meet those guidelines you need to mark it RWP even if it is still readable.  Books cannot have stains, water damage, spine seperation, loose pages, writing etc...,  They can be yellowing, have dog earred pages, a name or initials normal wear and tear stuff.  Reread the posting guidelines to be sure what is postable and what is not. If people want books in above PBS postable condition they need to have rcs requesting that. 

Date Posted: 11/23/2008 11:14 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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I believe what you got Jeana, was a book that simply was on it's last read.   All of us get a book now and then, that we can read but it's just too worn out to offer to someone else.  I don't think most readers on here are picky, but there are some.   All most of us ask is that the books be in the condition that is posted in the guidelines.   I've gotten many older books, and loved them.  But they were old - not unpostable - in other words, the pages might have been yellow, the cover have some creases, BUT the pages weren't falling out, there wasn't ANY water damage and no stains.   That's the rules and that's all I ever ask for. 

Date Posted: 11/23/2008 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2006
Posts: 2,303
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We frequently hear the "but this is a USED book site..."

"used" does not have to mean damaged. If you found a heavily crayoned cover at the used book store, would you buy it? (Yeah, maybe you would-- but I probably wouldn't and I don't want to spend my credit for it either.) 

Some used books sites let you describe the condition of your copy of the book, this one isn't set up that way. Books are expected to meet at least the minimum condtions for being posted. When I request a particular book, I could get an absolutely brand-new fabulous condition book. I should at least be able to expect that the pages are not torn, the is no writing on text pages, etc. according to the posting guidelines.

Date Posted: 11/23/2008 10:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2005
Posts: 467
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I'm with KJ...if I were to browse through a UBS and found a book that had been crayoned all over the cover I wouldn't get it either but would search for another copy instead. I try to use this example when I decide to post a book. The only thing that I am iffy about it the newer paperbacks (from the last 10 years or so) all seem to spine crease terribly. Many I noticed have that fall open to the same page issue where if you opened the book and layed it down as if you were reading it and let the book go it would stay opened to that same page. Whereas a book without this issue would flip closed or at least you would lose your place. Know what I mean? The guidelines state that a book is postable if it continually opens to the same page but to me this seems like a "broken" book. Unfortunately, almost half the books I am receiving are like this. I can't afford not to repost them other wise I would end up spending as much to trade here as I would buying the books new.

Anyway, enough about that. Welcome to the site.

Date Posted: 11/24/2008 6:55 AM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
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I also think K makes a great point - if you're buying a used book, you'll try to get a nice copy, right?  And one of the reasons I really like this site is that I know the books are going to be (for the most part) in good condition.  To be blunt, I am not so desperate to read something that I will suffer through hours of holding a crummy, water-logged, food-stained book.

Date Posted: 11/24/2008 8:47 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Crysteena: I am having the same problem. THe spines on newer books seem to snap so easily.  I have received many like this where the spine is obviously snapped but I can't see the binding or glue.  I posted a thread about these awhile back and the general consesus was that they were postable if the spine or glue wasn't showing.  But so far I have been afraid to post them for fear of getting dinged.  I joined the Damaged Books virtual box and have sent some out there.  I also joined another site that has no condition requirements and allows you to state the book's condition.  I might try posting one of the more pristine ones here and see what happens.

Date Posted: 11/24/2008 12:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2008
Posts: 676
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Jeana, I totally agree with your post.  I think people are being very picky.  I recently posted a book that the cover had been bent at the corner.  So there was a white line, no tear.  I certainly felt this was postable, but the receiver did not.  I order books because I want to read them, not for their reposting value.  I have gotten some that I can't repost, but I enjoyed reading them.  I then offer them for free.  I'm certainly being more careful and sending a pm to requestors, so they know what they are gonna get.

Date Posted: 11/24/2008 2:10 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2008
Posts: 3
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Thanks, all, for the help.  I have a better idea of what' s postable now.



Date Posted: 11/24/2008 3:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Angela: the book you described sounds postable to me and I would not have given them their credit back. 

Date Posted: 11/24/2008 10:21 PM ET
Member Since: 3/19/2007
Posts: 62
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Angela...I agree with Mary here.  That book sounds completely postable and I would not have given a credit back on it.  A bent corner on a cover is postable according to PBS!  Still, I would like to repost the books I read so that I can read more books, the entire reason I swap here.  I have gotten some unpostable books (covers hanging off with pages coming loose) and while I will eventually read them, I can not repost...which is a bummer.

I haven't had much issue with folks being picky but rather with folks sending books unpostable by PBS guidelines. 



Date Posted: 11/25/2008 12:26 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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There are valid reasons for these condition rules.  Water or liquid damage no matter how small may introduce mold or mildew into someone's home and they may be highly allergic, but for the most part it is to protect any other books from getting contaminated with molds and mildew.  The stains issue is you don't know what the stains are.  If they are food stains they will draw bugs more quickly and some foods people are allergic to. Severly so.  Besides what if it isn't food that stained it - there is the "eeewww" factor.  The point is that PBS wants us to trade the highest quality used books we can.  The standards aren't so high that they can't be met.  I've gotten bent and/or creased covers, warped books, some with tears which are allowable if under an inch in length, and others that I was disappointed to get - but they were postable.   Angela's case sounds like someone was taking advantage of her.  Sometimes I wonder if there are people who try to take advantage of new members when they find them.  I had one such situation occur when I was new.  The best bet is to check out the situation with more experienced members here. 


And if you are approached by a member who wants you to make a deal that is really one-sided - don't take it.  I think you need to check out all your titles to see how many of each ISBN is in the system before just blindly giving your books away. I know that isn't the issue here, but it happened to me and the offer they wanted was okay if there'd been 50 of each of the 20 books in the system or it was an over-popular author...but in my case there wasn't.  I will agree to deals but I want to know all the facts first.