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Topic: The condition of Books, whats ok, whats not

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Subject: The condition of Books, whats ok, whats not
Date Posted: 1/11/2008 5:31 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 2
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I am new and just wondering how picky people are about the condition? I understand the cover needs to be intact and the water damage thing, but are there people who complain about every little thing? I have a few books that are old and yellowed with age, mabe a few little pape tears...is this ok? (For me it would be, but I'm easy)

Date Posted: 1/11/2008 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,534
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There is a section in the PBS Help Center called "Book Condition Guidelines" that you might want to read.  It lists what is, and what isn't, acceptable for posting on PBS. 

I've found that the vast majority of people are happy with the books they receive that meet PBS guidelines.  Some people will have Requestor Conditions (you'll see those when they request a book from you) for various reasons.  That is perfectly acceptable. 

Date Posted: 1/11/2008 5:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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Heather, just read the PBS book condition guidelines. If your book meets their description, it's OK to post. People who have specific requirements beyond the PBS conditions are required to use the Requestor Conditions.

Welcome to PBS!

Date Posted: 1/11/2008 5:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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Yellowed pages (due to age) are allowed - and I've sent and received a few in this condition without issue.  Just make sure those books otherwise meet the posting guidelines and you are good to go,

Welcome to PBS!

Date Posted: 1/11/2008 5:43 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,763
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As long as it meets the book condition guidelines, then it's fine.  I've never received or given any complaints for anything that met guidelines.  If anyone has more specific requests (like they want their hardcovers to come with the dustjackets, or they don't want books from a smoker's home, etc.), they will have conditions set up that say so, and their conditions will pop up when they order from you. 

Date Posted: 1/11/2008 5:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 2
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Thanks all! I read it and I get it! Happy Reading! Heather

Date Posted: 1/11/2008 5:45 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I have received only one book so far and it was in almost pristine condition. I have sent out three books and they were all in excellent condition. For myself, I don't have a problem at all with used books but I DO like to have clean pages and intact spines. Yellowed and worn books don't bother me in the least. For the most part, I'd like to receive a book in condition that is good enough to read and send off to another reader. I don't expect perfection.
Date Posted: 1/11/2008 7:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I've sent out a lot of yellowing old books. As long as they meet PBS guidelines you don't need to worry.  If someone complains that the book is yellowing you don't have to give the credit back.  As long as it's age yellowing and not mold, mildew, food or liquid stains.  Most likely you won't get a complaint but if it does happen you can just point out that PBS rules allow for yellowing.  I had an older book requested one time that was yellowing quite a bit. I PM'd the person because the picture for that ISBN came up as the newly released, in stores now cover.  I decided to make sure before I sent it out and the person had no problem with that. They just wanted to read the book.  But you don't have to PM and I haven't since with any other yellowing books.

Date Posted: 1/11/2008 10:42 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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I can't honestly recall when I've read a complaint about a book that met guidlines here.  As long as you follow the guidelines AND any individual requestor conditions that come up you will be good, but be sure your books, tho they may meet PBS guidelines, also meet any additional requestor conditions that come up.  It is in your best interest to decline if your books don't meet an individual persons requestor conditions, EVEN IF your book meets PBS conditions.  Does that make sense? 

patticom - ,
Date Posted: 1/12/2008 1:13 PM ET
Member Since: 11/3/2007
Posts: 416
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If it's an old "vintage" book you can also list very specific descriptions, since the ISBN probably won't be in the system.  :)  I've sent out several, and while I pack them extra well for their advanced ages, I haven't had any complaints.  People understand that vintage books have that special smell, and (usually) yellowing pages or even those funny yellow spots that some types of old paper get after awhile.  It's normal, and I can't imagine you getting a complaint for it unless it was someone who never got an old book before.  :)  Torn pages are ok IMHO if there are just a few MINOR tears.  I did have one vintage book with several larger tears that were fixed with scotch tape, and I put that right on the description (book with no ISBNs have individual descriptions and you can do that).  It was requested and the person was thrilled to get it.  :)

Date Posted: 1/12/2008 2:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,534
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Hi Patricia,


Torn pages aren't okay.

From the PBS Help Center/Book Condition Guidelines:


  • 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 pages
  • No writing or highlighting 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/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

Last Edited on: 1/12/08 2:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 2