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Topic: Condition Question?

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Subject: Condition Question?
Date Posted: 6/5/2010 9:11 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2010
Posts: 4
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I have a book here that is rather large that I bought used. It has minor highlighting on maybe 5 out of 300 pages. What is ettiquete concerning this? I know it says no highlighting but it's barely noticeable and the book has a waitlist.

Date Posted: 6/5/2010 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2009
Posts: 2,524
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Welcome Matthew!  No highlighting at all unless it is a textbook and then you would need to follow the guidelines for textbooks. 

You risk paying for postage, sending your book away and being marked as sending a problem book and being asked to refund the credit if you do send it.   Enjoy the site!


Date Posted: 6/5/2010 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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If it's been a textbook you can post it, but you have to PM and describe the condition to the receiver and you must get an agreement to accept it before you send it. Otherwise you leave yourself open to a RWAP and a request to refund the credit.

Don't be tempted to fudge on the rules. "Barely Noticeable" will get a complaint if they do notice it. No use going there if you don't have to.

Otherwise what you can do is go to the Bazaar and catch the thread that lists unpostable WL books, and describe the book and condition, and you can as for a credit for it there and then post it directly to their WL shelf. Just make sure you're posting it to the right person.

Then, if they complain, you can show you gave clear notice to the condition.


writing or highlighting or underlining 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 in a reply PM before the book is sent
    • This is the one of the ONLY three cases in which a PM exchange about a book is required before the book can be sent (the others are for travel guidebooks and cookbooks--see below).
Date Posted: 6/5/2010 9:38 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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Any book that has highlighting must be Okayed by the ordering member before it can be mailed. You can post it. Aafter the book has been ordered, accept the order but use the I Can Mail Later option, and choose the last date possible. This will give some time for you and the ordering member to communicate via PM.

Once you accept the order, there will be a PM button for you to use on the order to send a message to the ordering member. Describe the highlighting to the other member. They must agree to it before you can mail the book.

If they do not agree to it, please cancel the order. If they cancel it they will lose their place in the Wish List line.

You will have to wait to repost it again until after this member receives a copy from another member or removes it from their WL. Posting it immediately after you have cancelled it will just cause the order to go right back to that same member.

There is a lot of great info in the Help Center docs about this. If you put "Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS" in the search field there the Doc will come right up.

Or you can read Cindy's reply, because she is a way faster typer than I! ;)

Last Edited on: 6/5/10 9:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/6/2010 3:16 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,348
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What Cheryl said...

Here's one of the newer help docs on this:

What is the definition of a textbook?

Actually, the way the system and rules are designed, it does not matter what the "objective definition" of a textbook is.  The club members decide this - as long as the rules in the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS are followed.  See the explanation and examples below.

If a member considers her book a textbook she may Post it with underlining/highlighting/writing on text pages, according to the "textbook exception" in the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS; BUT since the textbook exception in the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS require her to contact the requestor and obtain PM consent to the book's condition, she won't be in the position of sending a "stealth textbook" to someone who doesn't expect to receive one.

Examples/further explanation:

  • Member A posts an Economics 101 textbook - something that most people would clearly consider a textbook.   
  • Following the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS textbook exception rules, she sends a Personal Message to the requestor when she gets a request, describing the book's condition.
  • Chances are good that she will get PM consent from the requestor to send the book with highlighting/etc. 
  • Member B posts a novel (fiction) that she used in a class - something that most people would NOT consider a textbook.
    • Following the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS textbook exception rules, she sends a Personal Message to the requestor when she gets a request, describing the book's condition.
    • Chances are good that she will NOT get PM consent from the requestor to send the book with highlighting/etc.
    • If the requestor declines the book in its condition, Member B will have to cancel the request and repost her book.  It will go to the 'back of the line' for requests.  (If it is a Wish Listed book, it will be offered to the same wisher and the sender will again have to cancel.  She will have to wait for the wishing member to get a copy of this book from someone else before Member B can post her copy again.)

So, the farther the book is from a 'textbook' in common perception, the more likely it will be difficult to get consent to its condition.  Members in Member B's situation may encounter several declines, and will eventually realize that the book is not likely to be acceptable to the club in its condition.  Member B will stop trying to offer it as a "textbook"  and will consider it instead an unpostable/damaged book.

In this way, the club defines "textbook" on a case-by-case basis, and no one who is following the rules will be able to "surprise" another person with a highlighted/written-in/underlined book.

Date Posted: 6/6/2010 12:19 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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The fact that the book is wish listed is a moot point. ALL books need to meet the requirements.   You can offer this book FOR A CREDIT in the Book Bazaar if you list the damage.  If it's UNpostable and NOT a text book, it must not be posted at all.

Date Posted: 6/6/2010 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,087
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I think based on the rules as they are now written, you can post the book and then PM to see if they want it with the highlighting.

Really, anything could have been used as a textbook, and PBS acknowledges that right in the rules. I don't think it had to be used personally by you as a textbook.

I've had orders for nonfiction books that I had acquired with some writing in them, and I just make sure that I describe it accurately and wait for a PM saying its OK or not. I realize some people are vehement against writing / highlighting ... but most people don't seem to care, especially when they are informed about it in advance. And, if they do care, that's OK, they just let me know ... and I cancel the order.

Date Posted: 6/6/2010 8:45 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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You can also put it in your blue bookshelf header and your public profile.  If you are active on the forums, putting it in your signature lines will help.


Date Posted: 6/6/2010 9:53 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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You are welcome to post it but you must PM the receiver and have them agree to accept the book in that condition before you send it. If they don't want it you will need to cancel and wait to re-post, otherwise you will just keep getting that person who is first in line and has already told you they don't want it. 

It doesn't matter if it has been used as a textbook before. The team has clarified that any book with highlighting can fall under the textbook exception, but people ordering textbooks are less likely to have a problem with it.

Date Posted: 6/7/2010 2:51 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome to PBS Matthew!  If the book has been used as a text book, you can post it by carefully following the PBS guidelines (posted above) for textbooks.

Easily half of the books DD has used in college are not traditional 'text' books, yet they are required for class and used as textbooks.

Last Edited on: 6/7/10 2:51 AM ET - Total times edited: 1