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Subject: copies available 0
Date Posted: 12/11/2010 12:55 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2010
Posts: 3
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I've searched for 13 books now, and ALL of them have come back unavailable.  Am I doing something wrong, or is the selection on the site pretty limited?  I have to admit, the books are pretty much all of the same nature (strength training) and I haven't really looked for anything else yet. 


Is this site more focused on Fiction books (my girlfriend would enjoy that more) or textbooks for college (we could both use it when the semester starts up.)


I don't know,what's everyone's input on availability and selection here?

Date Posted: 12/11/2010 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome to PBS Caleb!  

PBS has a large member base and selection varies alot.  For the most part, popular author/releases from the last year or so are mostly "wishlisted" and you will have to wait in line a bit to receive a copy.  Waitlist times vary alot (from a few days to a year or more) based on many factors such as popularity, original cost, original availability, or if it's reference material members might be more likely to keep rather than trade.

Specialty genre (which would include strength training) are going to move slower just because fewer people buy them in the first place, and therefore fewer copies are wandering around waiting to tbe posted for trade at PBS sad  Fortunately, large membership means many, many books are posted here every day and hopefully the one(s) you want will be available soon.

Each member can wishlist a maximum of 200 books, and over time will see that some books move quickly, some have regular but slower movement, and some will only have one or two posted into the system annually.  The good news is PBS is stricly FIFO (first in first out) so the member waiting the longest gets the next available copy of the book.  Same with books you post into the system to trade, the member with the earliest posted book is notified when a member requested that title.

Otherwise Caleb, if it's something you can't or don't wish to wait for check out the 'buy' links to Amazon.  Some of their venders have excellent prices on used books, or you can buy it new directly from Amazon.

Date Posted: 12/11/2010 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,125
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Well, I don't know exact breakdowns, but I would guess that it is much stronger in fiction than non-fiction, in general. There are a lot of people also trading textbooks, but for very recent textbooks, I suspect that most people sell them rather than offer them here for the equivalent of about $3.

If you are a science major and need new science textbooks ... I would say that it is unlikely to find them here. If you are an English major and you need copies of classic books ... then you should have fantastic luck here. it just depends on what you are looking for.

Certain genres of books are just less available in general .... non fiction tends to be published in smaller quantities to begin with, tends to cost more to acquire in the first place, tends to be the type of book that people keep longer as reference books, etc.

Having said that, there are close to 5 million books available, and last time I looked, there were about 500,000  650,000 unique titles from that 5 million. (have to go look up the exact numbers).

I don't know about strength training books .... but I have been able to order books about training in other sports. If there are 0 copies, you might consider putting the books on your Wish List ... I don't know how soon they might be posted, but you might get some idea from your Wish List (generally, there a "Date Last Posted" for books in your WL, you could see if any were posted recently and there just happen to be no copies currently ... or if there is a "N/A" instead of a Last Posted date, you will know that it is a book which has not been posted to the system in quite a while (so perhaps not likely to be posted soon).

There are always surprises, though. Many people have ontained books from their Wish List that they could not find any other way.

If you need the books immediately, you might want to look into purchasing them used. If you can afford to wait for a time, you never know what could get posted.

Last Edited on: 12/11/10 1:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/11/2010 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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PS - Although fiction is probably a majority of the books swapped at PBS,  I've also posted and received a large number of non-fiction titles.

You might find a few textbooks here (wishlist as early as you can get the info from your college).  But due to the high cost of textbooks, many are re-sold to textbook buyers or through websites like E-bay and Amazon.

When DD was in college, we had better succes finding some of her support books on PBS such as classics, literature, and other required reading.  But when textbooks can be sold on Ami for $60 - $100 each...few are posted on a free swap site.

I've also received books that have been underlined or highlighted, that were obviously used as textbooks (mostly biographies & history).  BUT if you are posting text books to trade you will want to read the help documents that refer to the "Textbook" clause.  Books with writing and/or highlighting on text pages are unpostable unless the textbook clause is involked by the sender and accepted by the requester.

Last Edited on: 12/11/10 1:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/11/2010 4:41 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2010
Posts: 262
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I mostly trade older textbooks and non-fiction, and the selection is fantastic - over time. But I don't get everything I look for, and I have to be patient.

I agree with the others: if you're currently a student, you're unlikely to find your textbooks here. But it's not impossible - I know, because I myself have mailed a current textbook to a current student. So go ahead and put those books on your wishlist, and you haven't lost anything if they don't come to you.

Date Posted: 12/11/2010 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2008
Posts: 694
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I would suggest putting a post in the Book Bazaar saying you are looking for strength training books.  I would imagine these would be heavier to ship than mass market paperbacks. So people might have some they haven't posted individulally but might be willing to send if they could send several to one person and save on shipping.  Hope you're able to find some.


Date Posted: 12/11/2010 5:12 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2010
Posts: 3
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thanks for all of the replies, I've added all the books to a reminder list, but it sounds like the Wish list is the way to go.

The concept of this site is awesome and it sounds like it is working for a lot of people... maybe after I buy some books I can list them here for others interested in strength training.

Also, is there any type of kick back on the amazon purchases? I usually get my books there anyway and if it helps this site out at all, I will try to link through this site first.

Date Posted: 12/11/2010 5:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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If you enter the Amazon site through any of the links on PBS, a small portion of that purchase DOES go to PBS, and every little bit helps.

Date Posted: 12/11/2010 9:17 PM ET
Member Since: 9/4/2009
Posts: 293
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Just a by-the-way comment...there are folks who check to see what books have been wish-listed each day.  Someone may have the exact books you are looking for and not know it until they see the titles listed.  Good luck...we have found some of our best books that way.

Date Posted: 12/11/2010 9:57 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,984
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One more piece of advice that might help:

When you search for a book and the search results page comes up you'll see a box on the left hand side of the page.  If you change the drop down menu at the top (under Search Type) to say "Posted Books" only books that are currently available to order right away will show up. 

Don't know if you're looking for specific titles or not, but I just searched "strength training" using the posted books setting and came up with about 180 books currently available to order.  Hopefully that means you'll be able to find what you're looking for, if not currently posted, then by wish list. 

Good luck!

Date Posted: 12/12/2010 11:50 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2010
Posts: 3
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You all are really helpful, thanks everyone!  I'm glad to hear about the Amazon link thing too, when I buy my books for next semester I will go through here.  Wish I knew about it before I did all of my Christmas shopping.

Date Posted: 12/17/2010 12:15 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2010
Posts: 1,540
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Jackie R:  "here are folks who check to see what books have been wish-listed each day."


How do I do that?