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Date Posted: 4/25/2009 2:47 PM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2009
Posts: 4,319
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Last Edited on: 1/10/10 3:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/25/2009 2:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Well a lot of buy books very cheaply, read them and then post them. So we get the entertainment value and the credit.

Those heavy books really don't cost that much more to mail.  I mailed a huge hardcover sewing book one time that was around 3lbs. I think it cost me around $3.50 mail it out.  I take advantage of a lot of book deals so if I think about it-that credit was probably used on a book deal where I got 3-4 books for that 1 credit.  Plus the book is no longer collecting dust in my house.  I would not have gotten enough to buy 3 books for it if I traded it into a used book store.  And the tax write-off for donating it somewhere would be insignificant.

Plus trading books is fun.  There's a certain thrill I get when I come on and find a book request or when I finish a WL book and post it, presumably making the wisher's day a little happier.

You have to take into account the entertainment value you get out of the book before you send it out.  I read most of the books I send out.  If I don't it's because I got the book super cheap and then decided it wasn't going to be to my tastes or someone gave them to me.

There are people who never send books out and just buy credits.  There are people who have or used to have used book stores and have super cheap sources for books and earn way more credits than they can ever spend-they sell to the people who dont' send out books. It all works out.

If people didn't post  books to send out then there would be no Paperbackswap.  It would be just another internet bookstore. 



Last Edited on: 4/25/09 3:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/25/2009 3:05 PM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2009
Posts: 4,319
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Last Edited on: 1/3/10 10:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/25/2009 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 10/4/10 8:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/25/2009 3:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2007
Posts: 765
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I have received several two-at-a-time request for books and even a four-at-a-time request once.

Kate -
Date Posted: 4/25/2009 3:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2008
Posts: 534
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Last Edited on: 5/12/09 6:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/25/2009 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2009
Posts: 227
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Its great food for thought.  

I joined because I was giving away current and in demand books to my daughter's school (teachers lounge).  I did this because I had no idea what else to do with my expensive, read once books.   When I saw on this site that they had some value (so to speak) and I could get something in return, it seemed worth a try.

I suppose if I am buying a $12.00 trade and on top of that, sending it out for another $2 plus, then yes the old paperback I get in return is not quite an even trade financially.  But, now that I have been at it awhile, I haven't bought any new books.  I am discovering new authors through their earlier stuff (as recommended on the forums). 

I feel I am in my second phase as a member.  My shelf is now full of some older things that I have received.  I have plenty to read without really hoping to get anything that is on my waitlist, that is current and would cost me something significant at B&N.

Funny thing is...I bought one credit as a wish list book came up for me.  I got the book, didn't enjoy it and put it back on my shelf only to have it requested immediately.   So, to me its cheaper to try an author here for $2.23 or $3something rather than spend $7.99 and be disappointed on a book that didn't work out.

I think it depends on how you use this site and it has to be a little fun for you too.



Last Edited on: 4/25/09 3:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/25/2009 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,517
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We don't have a UBS in town.  Just Goodwill and they don't have a big selection of books.  So, PBS is a lifesaver for me.  I can exchange books I no longer want for books that I do want.  So, I buy a new book, read it, and send it out.  Then, I can use that credit to request something else.  Once I'm done reading that, I can repost it and use the credit from that to get something else.  Pretty soon that one book I bought has turned over several times and I've had the pleasure of reading 10 or more books for the cost of the one I bought new.

I don't count the cost of the shipping in there at all because the cost of that is returned to me when I request a book and don't have to pay the shipping to get it to me.

Date Posted: 4/25/2009 3:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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I probably would have saved money over the 1 1/2 years I have been on PBS by buying credits... but.... I LOVE to shop and buy books and get a charge out of sending them.  I have more fun earning my credits with books instead of paying directly.  I have no idea why that is, but that is how it works for me.

My estimate costs:

$2.50: Cost of Books (lets say I send one of out every 5)

Date Posted: 4/25/2009 3:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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I probably would have saved money over the 1 1/2 years I have been on PBS by buying credits... but.... I LOVE to shop and buy books and get a charge out of sending them.  I have more fun earning my credits with books instead of paying directly.  I have no idea why that is, but that is how it works for me.

My estimate costs:

$2.50:  Cost of Books (lets say I send one of out every 5)

Date Posted: 4/25/2009 3:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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I probably would have saved money over the 1 1/2 years I have been on PBS by buying credits... but.... I LOVE to shop and buy books and get a charge out of sending them.  I have more fun earning my credits with books instead of paying directly.  I have no idea why that is, but that is how it works for me.

My estimate costs:

$2.50:   Cost of Books (lets say I send one of out every 5, and I spent 50 cents a book). 

$2.84:  Cost of PBS postage on average

$0.10:  Packaging supplies

$5.44 per credit (however, when people take me up on my specials, the postage for the second credit is only 30 cents and the cost goes down)

3/2 Special:  2.50x3, 3.19, .10 packaging:  $11.14/2 = $5.40

As I see it, I am paying more than $3.45, but getting a lot of fun out of it :  )



Last Edited on: 4/25/09 3:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/25/2009 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I found 10 WL audiobooks for .50 each at the local FOL big sale.  So I spent $5-downloaded them all to my IPOD and posted them on PBS.  Audiobooks are 2 credits but usually cheaper to mail.  3 of them had people add a print book to the order.  They only cost me (with DC) sending 1st class-about $2.75 each to mail because audio cds are usually lighter then print books.  I upgrade audio books to 1st class and use DC since they are worth 2 credits and get better treatment as 1st class.  (I had one sent media mail arrive cracked)  So I got 2 credits foreach of  them for  about a $3.50 investment-plus I am now listening to them on my IPOD and got 3 print books off my shelf in the bargain.  I spent nothing on packing materials because I recycle boxes and padded envelopes that I receive books and things.   I sold the 20 credits to one person for $55-$5 (cost to buy them)-$27.50 (shipping est) =$22.00 profit. (did I mention that I also got the listening enjoyment out of them?) Not that I normally sell credits. But I had a lot of credits at the time and with 500 books to read I decided to sell some and use the $ for game books because the require DC. 

Now I know finding a deal like that is probably rare-it is for me anyway. But I just wanted to use it as an example.  I've been very lucky in that I frequently find WL books that are very cheap.

Also if you make an effort you can find people to post more than 1 WL book to at a time.  If I post a WL book-I immediately check that person's WL. If I have something from their WL in my TBR pile I ask if I can post that one to them as well. Then I choose the last mail by date and post the 2nd book to them.  I save on postage and they get 2 WL books.  I rarely get turned donw. I will frequently read several WL books before I post them and find someone who has more than 1 on their WL.

Date Posted: 4/25/2009 3:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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You can find people selling credits in the book bazaar.  I dont' have any to sell now. I purposely sold that bunch off because my TBR is close to 600 and DH is complaining.  Less credits-means less books I can order.  If I want more credits I need to read some of my TBR and post books to earn them. 

I do a lot of games so the $ I got will pay for a lot of DCS on game books and the occassional cost of printed postage which I only use if I'm too busy to go to the PO.

Date Posted: 4/25/2009 4:08 PM ET
Member Since: 9/18/2007
Posts: 2,715
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For cheap books I go to library sales, especially on bag day. Most of the books I request from this site are keepers to finish off collections I started years ago.

Date Posted: 4/25/2009 4:19 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 63
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The main reason I joined PBS was to get rid of my books. It's very satisfying to send a book directly to someone who really wants it. Obviously I'm not saving shelf space by replacing my old books with those I receive from swappers, but at least I'm not taking up even more space.

Olivia is right. From an economic point of view, it makes more sense to just buy credits. But as others have pointed out, swapping is just plain fun.

Date Posted: 4/25/2009 4:22 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 26
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Last Edited on: 5/28/09 4:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 4/25/2009 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Well Rana:

1 thing: the sender does not have to refund the credit. So if they feel the book they sent was postable by PBS guidelines then they don't have to give a refund and can make that comment in their response.

2: If a sender chooses to send a book they know is unpostable then they deserve the RWP and the loss of the credit if they return it to the requestor.

3: If someone chooses not to read the posting guidelines or chooses not to inspect the books they send out -then again they deserve the RWP and the request of a credit returned.

4: no one is forcing you to post your brand-new expensive books. There are other ways to get rid of them-like selling them on Amazon, Half.com and Ebay. 

5: It is the receivers duty to complain when a bad book is received. This is how PBS gets rid of bad senders. If people don't complain then there is no incentive for senders to follow the posting guidelines. Which are defined and easy to read before even joining the site.

The Posting Guidelines are there and have to be agreed upon before the book is even posted. If a sender chooses not to follow those rules then they face the consequences.  People have the right to expect that the books they receive here meet posting guidelines. Now I don't always ask for a credit back but I do mark RWP. If a book is readable and the flaw was something that could have been missed: I mark RWP and will mark resolved if I receive an apology.  If a book is really bad and obviously should not be posted then I ask for my credit back.  I don't keep many books and I should be able to repost them here when I'm done reading them.

I repeat the rules are clearly stated and if anyone doesn't want to follow them then they can join another book site where there are no posting guidelines.

ETA: I took the time to read all the rules and requirements before I joined.  I read them again before I started posting books. 

 



Last Edited on: 4/25/09 4:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/25/2009 6:11 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2008
Posts: 370
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Limited space.  By sending out the books, I can get news to read without having to increase the amount of space I need for my books. 

Date Posted: 4/25/2009 6:42 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2006
Posts: 575
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Thanks Mary. You've posted what I wanted to say and saved me time. :)

Just want to add. I've received 267 books.  I've had maybe 8-10  RWAP. (Unfortunately I've had 4 in the past 6 weeks.) Half of those times I didn't ask for a credit back. Just PMed and let the member know of the issue. The other half I have asked for a credit back. If I'm just going to read it and it's not that bad, I'll do so and throw it out or post it for free with an order from my shelf. If the book is nasty I wont even read it. and yes I'll ask for a credit back because now I have to reorder the book. If the book is for my keeper shelf I want a nice copy. It does not have to be new, well loved is fine. I just want a copy that meets PBS guideline's. That is good enough for my keeper shelf. No stains, no liquid damage, binding intact and so-on.

As for buying credits. It's cheaper for me to buy a book at the UBS for .50 post it here and pay $2.00 or so to mail it. Plus any books that  I get here and don't keep get added back into the system and I can earn my credit back again. I can see both sides though. I guess it's whatever fits you best.

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 4/25/2009 6:59 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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I'm glad I joined PBS.  I've accomplished exactly what I hoped for.  Trimmed down my TBR pile by about 100 books and though I have received some, not as many as I've sent out.

This is a great place to find new authors and try them out without a huge outlay of money. 

No complaints here! 

Date Posted: 4/25/2009 7:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,193
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I volunteer for an FOL so I get great books in great shape for very cheap so it most certainly is worth it for me. Even if it wasn't worth it financially, I'd be here. I've met a lot of nice people who love books as much as I do. That, in itself, is worth it for me.

I also rarely come to this forum because I think the complaints here don't represent the bulk of the swappers on PBS. Admitedly some of the posts anger me with the sheer pickiness of them but .... the bottom line is, post and send books within the guidelines and you'll be just fine. I may not like the pickiness of some posters in this forum but that sure doesn't mean I'm going to send a book that isn't acceptable here at PBS. No way. That's not fair to those that joined this site expecting to receive something within the guidelines.

Date Posted: 4/25/2009 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Just sort of in response to Rana's comments - I believe a lot of members here think that they're spending a credit for a repostable book, but I don't believe that the PBS team necessarily sees it that way, and if they did, they'd say something to that effect in the help docs.  They don't mediate on an indvidual level with problem swaps, and say they can't make judgement calls on books they can't hold in their hands & inspect.  They have to rely on the common sense of their members, and when they take action, it's on a pattern of problems in someone's transaction record, and not on any single incident, no matter how irate the receiver may be.  Most books posted here are going to meet the guidelines, some will not, & some will be borderline.  There will be disagreements between senders & receivers in a certain percentage of those situations, but I think PBS makes it clear in the help docs that they basically expect members to try to resolve those problems themselves, and to just move on if they can't.  Yes, record that on the RWAP transaction record, but if you don't get your credit back, just let it go & move on, and try to keep in mind that if the sender in question is really abusing the system, it will catch up with them eventually and they will be dealt with.  If it's an isolated incident, just a misunderstanding or miscommunication, or the receiver was somehow in error in reporting the incident, it's not likely to cause the sender any problems as long as they go forward acting as a reasonably responsible member.  Everyone makes mistakes, and I suppose it could be just as much a mistake to refuse to refund a credit when you really should, as it could be a mistake to post a book that doesn't meet the site requirements in the first place.  The point being, no matter how smug &  self-righteous a receiver might be when they report a book RWAP & a transaction unresolved - whether they get their credit back or not - it's not going to hurt the sender unless this is something that happens to them regularly.  They should really take a hint from having several RWAPs on their record and re-examine the books they have posted on the PBS shelf with one eye on the conditions guidelines as they do so.  If I had had even two RWAPs in a year - which really wouldn't be much - I know that's exactly what I'd be doing.  If not, and they end up with their account locked, possibly losing credits in the process, they'd really have nobody but themselves to blame.

Date Posted: 4/25/2009 7:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 10/4/10 8:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/25/2009 7:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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I think it depends on how you use PBS. There are situations where it makes more sense to mail books to accumulate credits than buying them at Kiosk price (3.45) or cheaper.

I joined PBS to get rid of my books, mostly from childhood. Some of them are now obscure titles. I've looked into selling them on amazon but I doubt they would ever move, since with fees and commission the person buying them would pay $4-5. Here, I can turn something I no longer want into something I do want, all for the price of postage mailing my unwanted item away to someone who does wants it.

Sometimes people order more than one item, from my shelf, so that really drives down the cost per credit. Once someone lived within walking distance so I didn't even have to mail it.

I think it's important to think about the money you spend at the bookstore as mostly lost. Like new cars, once they leave the lot, you can't get the sticker price for it anymore. So let's say you bought a nice new WL hardcover for $15. If you can sell it to a used bookstore, online, whatever, and get more than $3.45 for it, that's what you should do, from a purely financial standpoint. But if for some reason you can't get more than $3.45, or don't want the hassle of doing so, then you can post it here. But in truth, you were never going to recoup all of the $15.

Date Posted: 4/25/2009 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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Well I ask my relatives to let me have any unwanted books, so about 90% of my shelf are ones I never paid a dime for. So it's very economical in that sense. I also find it valuable because if I didn't like a book or at least didn't like it enough to reread it, I can post it here and get a book I do want with that credit. So I'm not gathering a ton of books I don't like or won't reread just to pay full price for ones I do. I think in that sense it is economical.

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