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Topic: Cheap scents

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Subject: Cheap scents
Date Posted: 4/11/2012 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,400
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I have a RC about my allergy to tobacco smoke. Some people still send me books with that smell. But that is not my rant today.

I received a hardback in excellent condition. Yet it reeked of something. It arrived in a solid plastic outer wrapping but I could smell the cheap scent even before I unwrapped it.  When I did unwrap it, it included a small plastic bag with two small stars (wax?) attached to a business card and a 4.5x10 inch advertisement. I know this violates USPS regulations on Media Mail, but my complaint is that the book is spending time on my back porch to get rid of the stench of the cheap scent. I have just the business card next to me as I write this and it is almost painful to sit next to it. Apparently, this is part of some marketing venture called Scentsy Independent Consultant. All I have to do is pay this person $99 and I can "join her team."  It includes her tel# and Web site information.

A lot of people have problems with scents. I once worked for a guy who had to avoid scented candle stores or displays as some people have to avoid peanut butter. It was almost worth his life to enter such a store. This is also why magazines stopped carrying sniff-n-scent advertising. I know I canceled my subscription to one that did. I'm sure many others did also which is why most magazines no longer accept this type of advertising.

The very next day I received a paperback that smelled lightly of perfume. I thought there was a linging scent of tobacco there, but was not sure. That also went out on the back porch. Today, the perfume has gone and the tobacco smell it covered over is apparent.

I believe I will start waiting a few days on some books before I click on the condition buttons and acknowledge that I received them.

This is not a regularly occuring problem, and I probably will not modify my RC to indicate scents, but what a disappointment with those two members.

Last Edited on: 4/11/12 8:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Subject: I can sympathize
Date Posted: 4/11/2012 8:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/7/2012
Posts: 62
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I frequently have  a lot of allergy  symptoms from scents : sneezing,  headaches,  watery eyes.  Obviously people  thing we are over-reacting and "making a big deal"  about it.    A book  from a smoker makes me actually nauseous.  That was my biggest fear about joining PBS. - REceiving those type of books.   I always used to buy new books to avoid  this problem but changes in the family budget have made that next to impossible.    Several lukcy  members  have been on the receving end of my  "practically new"  books.    I  have not been as lucky.  I had one books on my  front steps  for  two sunny days.  I  am almost afraid to read it.   I am also afraid that if I put a   Super Sensitive RC  no one would send me any books  .    Waiting a day or two is a good  idea before marking the condition.    Good luck

Date Posted: 4/11/2012 9:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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The scented candle one would probably send me into an asthma attack. 

I would report that to PBS as sending advertisements like that is a violation of the rules. Someone could receive one of this persons books with an upgrade to first class due because of the non-media materials added-if someone hasn't already and just not complained.  I really wouldn't be an RWP though unless you had a scent RC. 

eta: I have asthma but dont' rely on an inhaler daily.  But I have yet to receive a stinky book and have never had an RC against smoke or smells.  I've received probably 2,000 books at this point between 3 trading sites, ebay, box of books and games. 

Last Edited on: 4/11/12 9:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/11/2012 9:43 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Advertising and solicitations violate PBS membership Terms of Use, you might wish to report that. 

I'm allergic to smoke.  Of all the PBS books I've received only a few have arrived with a strong smoke odor, and a couple more with perfumy or other smells (such as dryer sheets meant to eliminate smoke odor).  I briefly had an RC, but I've received so few it didn't seem worth the effort and potential declines (those members who don't 'do' RC's even if their book meets criteria).

Date Posted: 4/11/2012 11:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,209
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I never understand why people go through the effort to cover up the smoke smell to send the book. Just deny the RC - its OK,  that's what I WANT you to do!

Date Posted: 4/11/2012 11:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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This is the reason I decline any RC that mentions "smell" in any way...I make scented handmade soaps and have been told by a few people that my books "Smell nice." (Some are in the same room where my soap cures and I suppose just absorb the scent from the air.) I do know that one person's "smells nice" is another person's stinky smell or allergy, so I just don't even go there. I know what you mean about 'cheap scents' though Thomas, they make me want to puke...those heavy perfumey scents. Ugh! I don't use that type of thing in my soap but scent and what you like is a very individual thing.

I would also report the person who send the business card/ad/SPAM basically...against PBS rules totally, besides as you mentioned violating media mail rules.


Date Posted: 4/12/2012 9:19 AM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2011
Posts: 286
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I think using PBS to solicit for what sounds like a pyramid scam should be discouraged.  I'd report it.  I'd also be annoyed that somebody put me in that position too because odd's are the sender knew better. 

I don't have an RC for it, but I'm allergic to smoke and most perfumes.  I've only received one book that I had a problem with and that was when someone (thinking they were doing a favor) put a scented dryer sheet in the sealed plastic bag with the book.  Those things set off my allergies.  The only way I can 'clean' a book, beyond alcohol on a cotton ball for the cover, is fresh air and sunshine.

Last Edited on: 4/12/12 9:20 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/12/2012 11:08 AM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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I'm very sensitive to smells. "Perfumy" type smells are by far the worst for me. And the most hard to get rid of. I'd much rather have a smokey smelling book. Leaving a smokey book alone for an extended period of time will almost always be enough to get rid of the smell--not so with some of the other smells!
Date Posted: 4/12/2012 1:55 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 1,262
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I've also received that business card in a book, but it was at least a year and a half ago.  I'm surprised that member is still getting away with that.

I don't have a RC for smells, but once I've gotten a book from a member that smells of smoke, I make a note not to trade with that member again - granted, if the the book was gotten through the FIFO I don't really know which member it is coming from, but I make a concious choice not to respond to deals from them in the BB, etc. 

But lately, I have to say that my biggest complaint isn't even smoky books, it's musty smelling ones.  These aren't books that look like they've gotten wet, but smell like they were stored in a cellar or maybe near moth balls?  I received 2 different orders yesterday and both of them were musty smelling.   Before I even finished opening the cardboard box the order was shipped in, I could smell the odor.  And one of the orders was for audios,  which I didn't think would carry a smell, but the cassette boxes must have absorbed it from where they were kept.

I never mark them as unacceptable since I don't have an RC, but I do wish people would store their books more appropriately.

Date Posted: 4/12/2012 4:05 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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I'm surprised that member is still getting away with that

Everyone receiving a book like that needs to report it.  That is the ONLY way to make sure they stop.

Subject: Smelly books
Date Posted: 4/12/2012 5:45 PM ET
Member Since: 4/12/2012
Posts: 1
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OK, I just joined PBS. Immediately got 2 requests for books I posted. However, when I signed in I saw both requesters did not want books from smokers. I recently quit smoking and I am sure my books smell even if one was fairly new and not in the house that long. I can't tell because my nose isn't that sensitive.(I tried smelling the books but they just smell like paper to me.)  I wish there was some way we could say up front that the books offered are from a smoker so people who don't want "tainted" books will know. This looked like a great place to swap books but if the majority of members are nonsmokers maybe it isn't. Time will tell, I suppose.

Date Posted: 4/12/2012 8:08 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,510
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Julee, if a member does not want a book from a smoker's home they can set up a condition. As a recent non-smoker you can decline that type of RC just to be on the safe side. I don't have any RCs and I've only received a couple books over the years that were strong smelling. I have a very strong sense of smell and one them reeked. But I put each in a bag with clean kitty litter for a while and later just let them sit out and I can no longer smell the smoke. Basically I think most members will take the chances and don't mind so much what they as get as long as it's otherwise postable.

Last Edited on: 4/12/12 8:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/12/2012 8:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,343
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Julee, when you click to decline the requestor condition, your book will immediately be offered to the next person on the wish list.  No hassle. smiley   If you have any doubts, don't sweat it, just click that your book doesn't meet the RC and move on.

By far the majority of members have no requestor conditions (many don't even know what a requestor condition is), but a book wish with a requestor condition tends to float at the top of the wish list longer.  It may be declined by several people posting books (or by lots of people if it's a complicated RC) so when you post a wish list book sometimes it feels like there are a lot of RCs here, since you see the ones first that are floating there at the top of the wish list.

Thomas said: I believe I will start waiting a few days on some books before I click on the condition buttons and acknowledge that I received them.

I understand that this comes out of frustration, but don't recommend it.  It doesn't accomplish what you want, and could eventually reflect on your own record.  A friendly note  "Thanks for taking the time to mail me the book, but..." will be more likely to stop the behavior.

And in the case of the business card, please, please report it.  PBS has a good reputation for only sending media in our media mail wrappers, and we don't want to jeopardize that!  Also, judging from Ann Marie's post, it sounds like this wasn't the first time.

Go down to the bottom right corner of any page, and under "company" click on "contact us."  Use the Feedback option to talk to the PBS Team.

Date Posted: 4/12/2012 8:47 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,400
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And in the case of the business card, please, please report it.  PBS has a good reputation for only sending media in our media mail wrappers, and we don't want to jeopardize that!  Also, judging from Ann Marie's post, it sounds like this wasn't the first time.

Thanks, I reported it  to the staff yesterday.

Date Posted: 4/13/2012 9:15 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
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I would suggest reporting *all* violations to the team with a note something like: "I PM'ed this person explaining that they can't ship books with just a Post-It with the address stuck to it.  If this is the first time, I'd let it pass, but if you've gotten multiple reports, maybe you need to take some action."  That way, people who goof once don't get slammed, but people who do keep doing the same thing do.  (This may be more work for the team.  I apologize if this is so, but it seems like it would be nice to give people just a warning the first time.)

Date Posted: 4/13/2012 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,037
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Well, I wouldn't unilaterally start reporting people who have a business card stuck in the book. I use stuff like that all the time for bookmarks, just pick them up wherever I happen to be at the moment I need a bookmark.

They are neither my businesses nor businesses I have any particular interest in advertising. They are just bookmarks.

Unless there seems to be some other solicitation from the sending member (like what the OP had) ... I would just assume "Oh, a bookmark" and toss it if you don't like it.

I buy donated books all the time with all kinds of things stuck in the books as bookmarks, including pay check stubs.

Julee .... Welcome to PBS. Yes, probably the majority of people here are non-smokers ... however, most of us do not care about smoky books, so you probably won't come across that Requestor Condition as often as you think. I don't smoke myself, but I only see that RC maybe once every 20 or 25 books ordered from me. So, don't worry about it, just decline the book request if you think perhaps you can't tell if the book smells smoky.

Last Edited on: 4/13/12 12:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/13/2012 5:51 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 5,760
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Julee , There is a way you can let people know your home is a smoking home. ( If they look at your shelf)  By puting that in your Book shelf header. Take a look at my Book shelf , and you'll see That I put it up that I have a smoker and cats in my home. So they know that ahead of time. but I also turn down all smoking R.C's.

And Welcome to PBS !

Last Edited on: 4/13/12 10:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/13/2012 10:18 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,400
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Reply from Staff:

Thanks for writing in about this! It not only violates PBS rules to include extraneous materials with a book, 
it violates Federal US Postal Service regulations for Media Mail.

We'll discuss this with the sender so she is clear on this, and will not do it again.


Last Edited on: 4/13/12 10:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/14/2012 12:37 AM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 24,423
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Julee - welcome to PBS!

My home has smokers, so I always decline RC's that mention smells.  What irritates me is when someone who DOES NOT have an RC receives a book, then sends a PM when it is received saying that it "reeks of smoke" and must be aired out for weeks before she will be able to read it. 

SHEESH!!!  If you have a problem with it - use an RC!  PLEASE!!!  I don't appreciate being berated in a PM from a stranger about the way my books "smell" when they don't even take the time to add an RC to the request.......  I ignored the PM and did not respond - but I wish I had told them how I felt.  In a completely calm and non-judgemental way, of course.

Date Posted: 4/16/2012 11:12 AM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2011
Posts: 56
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I don't smoke, nor does anyone in my house but I do use a lot of scented candles and sometimes incense. I wonder if anyone has gotten my books and been bothered by the smell? I hope not but if I don't see an RC stating they specifically dislike these types of smells I would still send them. I myself don't have an aversion to heavy scents and I'm afraid I use them a lot, even in my garden I go for the heaviest scented flowers I can find at the nursery. I know sometimes people hesitate to put RCs but I think if you really dislike heavy scents of any kind you should add a RC of that nature and be specific, if I see a RC for only no smoke smell, I am assuming tobacco and will still send the book. 

Last Edited on: 4/16/12 12:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/16/2012 11:52 AM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2011
Posts: 286
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I don't know about scented candles but incense can infuse itself into a book over time. 

I used to buy from a book store that burned incense often and all their books had the same scent. It didn't bother my allergies personally and it faded over time. 

Date Posted: 4/16/2012 8:39 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,875
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I have a severe smoke allergy so have had the 'no smoking' RC since the day I joined. BUT I have received 6 smelly books (at least 3 were definitely smoke, one I think they used scent to try to cover up smoke smell, the other two were horrible mildew smells and came together in a pkg so I think the newer book simply picked up the ancient book's smell) in the past year after getting NO smelly ones for my first two years as a member. in that time, PBS has changed the way they handle these. the ones that were smoky, I got my credits back for violation of my RC since one sender said they didn't bother to read my RC, and another bought the books at a garage sale and didn't bother to check them for smells. but the recent swap with the 2mildewy ones, I didn't ask for credits back, but got them anyway. I told the sender I would try the smell 'fixes' discussed here in the forums which have sometimes worked in the past, and would return a credit for the books which I could fix.