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Topic: complaints on books sent

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Subject: complaints on books sent
Date Posted: 5/23/2009 6:38 PM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2007
Posts: 1
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So far I've mailed close to 60 books and haven't recieved any complaints until these last two weeks.  Now I've had three complaints.  The book was too used, creases.  There was water damage on the top of the pages, oil marks, smudges this kind of stuff.  The only one that had a real complaint was the books spine had creases from being read.  Ok I'm sorry but this is a "used" book swap isn't it?  And how do I respond when I'm accused of sending a bad book?  I already explained to the people the book was fine when it left, but honestly I don't like being accused of being dishonest.  I even told the one lady if the book was that bad she could send it back and I would refund the credit, mostly because I don't  believe what she said.  Is anyone else having this problem?  What should I do?

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 7:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I'm sorry this has happened to you.  Did you make sure that the books met PBS conditions on the help documents and the posting warning? 

 

When you Post a book, you are asked to confirm that the book is "in good condition, and not excessively worn".  It is impossible to list all of the ways in which a book might be considered excessively worn, but the criteria below are as comprehensive as we have been able to make them.

If you feel your book falls into a "grey area", you can either post the book and send a Personal Message to the requestor, or not post the book.  We have delineated what we can, and we expect members to follow these guidelines, and use their common sense in cases that are unclear.  If you would not mind "paying" a credit for a book you are considering posting, then it is probably okay to post.  However, book condition can be a subjective matter.  Keep in mind that a pattern of sending out poor-condition or inappropriate books will jeopardize a sender's membership.

All of the information below apply both to swapping for credits and Box-O-Books swapping.

General remarks:

  • This is a used-book swapping site; books are not expected to be in like-new condition.
    • Older books may have some page yellowing or spine-creasing or dogeared pages; these are all OKAY.
    • Decirculated library books may have various markings and/or stamps inside or outside or on the page edges of the book; this is OKAY.  These may not obscure text.
    • BookCrossing books may have stickers or stamps or markings on the outside or inside covers or page edges of the book; this is OKAY. These may not obscure text.
    • Hardbacks do NOT have to include their dustjackets.
    • Audiobooks MUST be the original cassettes/CDs, but do NOT have to include the outer "box" that held the set.
    • Audiobooks must be playable.
    • There is an exception to general condition guidelines for textbooks; see below.
    • There is an exception to general condition guidelines for cookbooks; see below.

and

 

Overall Condition:

  • No damage at all from water or other liquid
  • Not soiled
  • No stains (exception for cookbooks--see below)
  • No mold
  • no highlighting, underlining or writing on text pages (exception for textbooks --see below)

Dust Jacket:

  • The DUST JACKET (this is not the same as the cover of a book) does not have to be included with a book at all, unless the requestor had this in their Requestor Conditions. 
  • So DUST JACKET condition cannot be considered as part of the condition of a book, unless there were Requestor Conditions on the request specifying that the dust jacket be included.
  • If the Dust Jacket was to be included as specified in the Requestor Conditions on the request, the Dust Jacket must meet the same conditions as defined for the cover, below.

Cover:

  • Must both be present (front and back)
    • note that a paperback missing its front cover is  usually an illegal, unsold copy
    • "cover" does not = dust jacket.  Hardcovers do not need to include their dust jackets to be swapped here.
  • Cover not water damaged (there may be no water damage to any part of the book)
  • Cover not torn or chewed/gnawed
    • some used book stores cut out a small part of the cover; if the amount missing is less than 1 inch, this is OKAY
    • a small rip (less than 1 inch) in the cover is OKAY
    • yes, that does say "chewed/gnawed" above.  That means no pet-chewed (or human-chewed) books.
  • A bookplate inside the cover or on the flyleaf is OKAY

Binding:

  • Must be intact, with no separation on the inside or outside of the book
  • If the book tends to open at a particular page, this is OKAY
  • Small amount of fraying or denting at top or bottom is OKAY

Pages:

  • No torn or chewed/gnawed pages
    • yes, that does say "chewed/gnawed".  That means no pet-chewed (or human-chewed) books.
  • No loose or missing text pages
  • Cover not water damaged (there may be no water damage to any part of the book)
  • No writing or highlighting or underlining on text pages
    • a signature or note on the flyleaf or inside front or back cover is OKAY
    • an author's signature on the title page is OKAY
    • writing or highlighting on the text pages is NOT OKAY
      • Exception: if it is a textbook or workbook, these are expected to have highlighting/underlining/writing
        • if you post a textbook/workbook, the condition must be described to the requestor in a Personal Message
        • AND the described condition MUST BE AGREED TO before the book is sent
        • This is the one of the ONLY two cases in which a PM exchange about a book is required before the book can be sent(the other is for cookbooks--see below).
  • No staining

    • Exception: Cookbooks may have some mild staining, since these are used in the kitchen and while cooking, and some minor degree of staining could be expected in a used cookbook.  Also a small amount of writing in cookbooks could be expected
    • HOWEVER, if you post a cookbook and it is stained and/or written-in, the condition must be described to the requestor in a Personal Message
    • AND the described condition MUST BE AGREED TO before the book is sent
    • This is the one of the ONLY two cases in which a PM exchange about a book is required before the book can be sent (the other is for textbooks--see above).
    • this exception applies to the covers of cookbooks also.
  • Page edges: remainder marks are OK.  A name written on the page edges is okay (if it does not bleed in and obscure text on the text pages)

Audiobooks

  • Audiobooks must be originals--not copies! 
    • Copies are illegal.  Swapping illegal materials here will get you expelled from the club.
    • burned audio downloads are not permitted on the site--these could be legal (being the only copies you made), but since there is no way to verify this, they are not permitted.
  • Audiobooks do NOT have to include the box that enclosed the individual cassettes/CDs
    • The audiobooks should be packaged well if the box is missing, to prevent damage by USPS en route
    • Audio CDs must be shipped in CD cases/DVD cases, to protect them from scratching, if the original box is missing
  • Audiobooks must be playable to be swapped here, without more than two (minor) skips.

 

If you feel your book met the condition guidelines, then respond that they did and you do not have to give back their credit.  If they didn't meet one or more, then the right thing to do is to apologize and return their credit.

Ruth

ETA - Water damage in any amount is a disqualifier.  Creases are allowed, but shouldn't compromise the stability and condition of the spine.

 



Last Edited on: 5/23/09 7:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/23/2009 7:12 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 3,830
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Angela, if the books you are mailing meet the condition guidelines on the site then you don't need to refund credits. But if the guidelines are not met with the books you sent you need to refund credits to those that ordered books. You mentioned that someone complained of water damage, oil marks so those books would be "unpostable" as they do not meet the basic requirements.

  • No damage at all from water or other liquid
  • Not soiled
  • No stains (exception for cookbooks--)
  • No mold
  • no highlighting, underlining or writing on text pages (exception for textbooks
  • Date Posted: 5/23/2009 7:15 PM ET
    Member Since: 8/19/2007
    Posts: 4,258
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    "There was water damage on the top of the pages, oil marks, smudges..."

    All of the above are against PBS guidelines, so they would truly be unpostable and credits should be refunded.

    The one with the creases, unless she had an RC regarding this, wouldn't be RWAP and you shouldn't have to refund the credit

    "if the book was that bad she could send it back and I would refund the credit,"

    If you want the book back, you need to send her a credit so she can do this.  She's under no obligation to send the book back.  If the complaints she made are against PBS guidelines then you should refund her credit and also send another credit to get the book back.

    Whenever people have asked for their credit back, I always send a second credit to get the book back, as I truly want to see what I missed so I can learn from it, and not send out a book that is unpostable. 

    Good luck.  Pat

    Date Posted: 5/23/2009 7:27 PM ET
    Member Since: 12/9/2007
    Posts: 9,601
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    Angela, if you truly think (as objectively as possible)  that the books weren't below PBS standards, then don't feel badly.  As stated, the water damage and stains are against guidelines, but you didn't say if that was the case with the books.  You said that was the complaint.  You need to decide if they were right.  It is a used book site, but PBS tries to have only high quality used books swapped.  We don't want to keep you from swapping your books, we just want high quality, clean books.  There are other sites where the less high quality books can be traded.

    Ruth

    Date Posted: 5/23/2009 9:39 PM ET
    Member Since: 6/21/2007
    Posts: 2,015
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    Last Edited on: 2/2/15 11:33 AM ET - Total times edited: 2