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Topic: Too Many Conditions

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Subject: Too Many Conditions
Date Posted: 2/21/2012 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2011
Posts: 551
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OK, a book was requested from me, with these conditions listed: "  I do not accept books from smoker's home , have  rips,  or writing on pages. Names on the inside of the covers  are  OK.  Do not send  books that  look and smell moldy, or  have any water damage on them. If you have any doubts please email me. Thank you."

I sent the following reason for not being able to send the book:  My home is a non smoking home, I cannot smell any smoke but I have no idea where the book was previously. There are no rips, no writing. The book doesn't look or smell moldy to me, and given I have a severe mold allergy it has not triggered my asthma. I don't see any water damage. I cannot email you because when a book is requested the requester's email doesn't show up. I'm very leery of sending any book when the list of conditions is long and somewhat subjective. Sorry.
Doesn't that seem the best thing to do? Some of the conditions seem rather subjective.
Date Posted: 2/21/2012 5:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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I usually just write that the book does not meet requestor's condition(s). They may have a laundry list of conditions but I don't feel I have to address each one individually.

I respect their need to have conditions - they sometimes come into being because they've been burned in the past and I can understand that but we have the right to not send a book if we're uncomfortable with the situation.





Date Posted: 2/21/2012 6:03 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,888
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I send books that meet PBS Guidelines so I have no issues with that RC as it is just clarifying what they do not want. I would accept the RC as my home is nonsmoking.

I have requestor conditions myself and understand that I might not get books because of that but I will happily wait for one that I can repost when I am done reading it. I do agree that it is best to say "it does not meet conditions" if you are unsure or if you just don't send to those with conditions.

Date Posted: 2/21/2012 6:45 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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If you're uncomfortable with an RC, responding with "does not meet RC" or "no thanks" is all you really need to do. You are under no obligation to honor any RC, even if you feel the book meets it.

Date Posted: 2/21/2012 8:30 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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I really would not answer like that long one.  I'm sorry, but that kinda felt like you were teasing them.  I make it short.  "Too subjective" or "Failed to include the member's name or nickname".    I really do try to meet RCs.  But that laundry list?  Getting a short no from me.


It sounds like that member was venting past bad trades in their RC.  Such a wrong place to do so.  Come here and vent.

Last Edited on: 2/21/12 8:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/21/2012 8:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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Going into a long explanation of how a book meets a persons RCs to then say you aren't sending it because you feel their RC is long and subjective can come across as being taunting. Just stating that the RCs are subjective and no contact info is provided would have been good enough.

Last Edited on: 2/21/12 8:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/21/2012 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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What Emily said yes

Date Posted: 2/21/2012 9:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Rips over a certian length, pages written on, liquid damage or mold are already against PBS guidelines. Those aren't subjective.

I might be iffy about the smell, but since I don't have a smoking home and don't send out books with rips, I'd probably send what I had.

I wouldn't have replied anything more than "Doesn't meet Request" and moved on.

Date Posted: 2/21/2012 9:17 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2011
Posts: 551
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OK, thanks everyone.

Date Posted: 2/22/2012 12:15 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
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I usually just write that the book does not meet requestor's condition(s).

I do the same. 

Date Posted: 2/22/2012 3:58 PM ET
Member Since: 10/31/2005
Posts: 4,577
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I just got caught on Requester Conditionss so think I'm going to be more careful.  No one smokes in my apartment yet I got a message from a book I sent stating it smelled like smoke and air freshner.  I didn't smell anything on the book so I mailed it.  Guess someone has a very sensitive nose since she said it can't sit next to her other books.  I got it thru the system and it must had previously been around smoke.  I think from now on I'll just skip the hassle and say no to anyone with smoking RC conditions unless I purchased a book brand new since there's no way of knowing if it had previously been around smoke

Date Posted: 2/22/2012 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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This can be one of those 'darned if you do, darned if you don't' things...sometimes you see people complaining on the forums that "someone declined my request because of RC and didn't explain why!" and other times people complain because the explanation given was too detailed, or "sounded snarky."

When I come across an RC that was too long and convoluted for me to even read the whole thing, I would love to write "I didn't even read your RC because it was way too long," which would have been the truth, but not very nice...and since I had no idea if my book met the RC or not, I didn't want to lie and say "didn't meet conditions" because for all I know, it did. So I would just put a . (period) since *something* had to be entered in the field. If it was something like "no smoke or mold smells" I would just say "I don't accept RCs with subjective conditions that ask me to make a judgment that may differ from yours." People with ultra-picky or (pardon my French) downright stupid conditions probably expect to get turned down a lot...but I do respect their right to have them in place.


Date Posted: 2/22/2012 5:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,235
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Well, I would have mailed, because most of those conditions are about things which are unpostable anyway (and as far as I am concerned, RCs which go on and on about things that are unpostable anyway are the easiest of all to meet, so I always accept those). The question that might cause me to check a book before mailing it out would be smells "moldy" ... as I do receive books from PBS members in more humid parts of the country that smell musty to me. (not what I would call moldy, but yes, musty, some of them a lot).

I accept all conditions as long as my book meets it. I've never had  a problem so far, and I also have no problem with not returning a credit if I feel strongly about the transaction. So, overall, I don't really worry about it.

Date Posted: 2/28/2012 6:38 PM ET
Member Since: 10/1/2008
Posts: 147
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My home is a nonsmoking home.  Like Melissa, I got caught on a RC when the requestor said the books reeked of smoke.  I always send a PM to the requestor now who has a non smoking home request.  I tell them my home is a nonsmoking home but the book is second hand, I do not know if the previous owner smoked or not but the book does not smell of smoke to me.  I also tell them I have been burned on this condition before and leave it up to them if they want the book or not.  They usually still want the book and the responsibility is theirs not mine.

Date Posted: 2/28/2012 8:46 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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My home is a nonsmoking home.  Like Melissa, I got caught on a RC when the requestor said the books reeked of smoke.


Recently happened to me too. There is absolutely no smoking in my house, but my package somehow "reeked" of smoke. I used to send to all "not currently in a smoking household" RCs and never gave it a second thought. I'm no longer accepting any smoking RCs at all.

Last Edited on: 2/28/12 8:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/29/2012 10:54 AM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2006
Posts: 3,475
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FYI, we had a previous mailman who chain smoked in his mail truck.

Every. Single. Piece. Of. Mail. reeked of smoke regardless of whether it originally came from a non-smoking home. So, any book I received stunk of smoke, more or less depending how many cigs the man had smoked during the day. And it was in no way the sender's fault.

Thank goodness the man is retired now.


Date Posted: 2/29/2012 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2008
Posts: 370
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I wouldn't go into details about why you don't accept an RC. Just click that it doesn't meet the RC and move on. Too much time and energy is spent worrying about RCs on this site. I have an RC on my books. If someone doesn't want to send me a book because they worry their book won't meet it, I'm good with that. I don't need a long explanation, nor do I need anyone telling their opinion of my RC. It's there for a reason. I'm perfectly willing to accept the risk that someone might turn down my request because of it.
Date Posted: 3/1/2012 9:45 AM ET
Member Since: 12/12/2008
Posts: 6
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At least you were polite with your response - I recently got a refusal from a member to send a book I had requested because "I don't smoke but I find your condition to be intrusive and arrogant. Especially since you could have worded it in a way that made you sound less than a jerk!". My requestor conditions simply state "I am not willing to receive books that are currently in a smoking home." I'm not sure how that constitutes being intrusive or arrogant - in fact, it is a word for word copy of the example that paperbackswap.com has on the requestor conditions page!

Oh well, you can't please everyone, I suppose. Interestingly enough, the book almost immediately became available again. It's not a very commonly listed book, so I suspect it was the same individual, but I can't track down who made (and then refused) that first offer. Needless to say, I refused the second offer and took the book off of my wish list. I'll just buy the darn thing!

~ wendy


Date Posted: 3/1/2012 10:44 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,235
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Oh, you might get a kick out of the RC I accepted a couple of days ago, then ....

"No stinky smoker-house books, please."

I laughed when I saw it and I just had to accept it ... cause really, that's pretty entertaining.

Date Posted: 3/1/2012 12:25 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
Posts: 1,328
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My requestor conditions simply state "I am not willing to receive books that are currently in a smoking home."

I think it's the "I am not willing.." part, which I know is the example given by TPTB, but it could sound a little demanding when you're (general) asking for something above and beyond the site's requirements.

Date Posted: 3/1/2012 11:50 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I've received that RC Lsressler, and wasn't offended.

Like Sara says, some are just amusing...so I send the book if it meets criteria.

Date Posted: 3/2/2012 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2010
Posts: 262
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I have to say I think "I am not willing" doesn't sound very friendly, either. "Please don't send" would sound better, but apparently some people think "please" means that following the request is optional, or something. There's no good solution, apparently. This is why I don't have an RC, and just accept the occasional book that doesn't meet my needs.

Date Posted: 3/6/2012 7:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 5
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One thing I've said before when I feel like they're basically saying they only want a brand new book is "While I feel the book is fine, the requestor's conditions are such that I worry my book would not meet their standards." But I've only done that once or twice.