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Topic: Credit prices are really dropping

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Subject: Credit prices are really dropping
Date Posted: 9/2/2009 8:42 AM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,168
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Has anyone noticed that the prices for credits are REALLY dropping in the BB? I used to sell 10 for $2.85 and sell out within an hour for however many I had. A bit ago, I got no response so I dropped to $2.80. That's basically MY cutting point - between what it actually costs to mail a book and the % Paypal charges, I don't want to actually LOSE money. (Yes, I realize that sometimes when there are multiple orders per package, you make out bettter, but I'm just thinking about one book = one credit = average postage amount.) A while ago, I saw someone sell 5 credits for $1 each, though I think that was just an "OMG, I am quitting this site" anomaly.. Lately there's been a lot of $2.60 each, even $2.50 each. Today, someone's got 10 for $22. I'm not trying to make a living off of PBS credits (I mostly sell when my credit bank goes up high to make back some postage money or to prevent myself from going on a massive book ordering binge. So it's not really hurting me if I can't sell.) I'm just curious. Could it be the influx of new people who join, get a bunch of orders, mail the books/get the credits, and then decide they don't want to be here anymore? Or members who have just sent SO MANY books that there's no way they'll ever order that many back?

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 9:48 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
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I've noticed it too. I have more than I like to keep on hand, but I refuse to sell them for that low. I know a couple of the guys are earning them on the CD and DVD sites where postage to send is lower so their cost to get the credits is lower. A few just looked like scammers to me, brand new so they've doubtfully earned that many extra here, but offering such a low price that people take the bait.

Unfortunately, as membership rises, the # of credits in the system at one time rises (especially if a lot are being transferring into PBS only to be sold) and supply and demand will run the price down. That's one of the reasons I don't mind lending credits, to keep people from buying out of the Kiosk and adding more excess credits to the system.

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I keep wondering why with the cost of postage going up people are selling credits so cheaply. I used to sell credits and will probably again. But I get discouraged when I see people offering them at $2.50 and $2.60.  Not that I want to make a huge profit but still.  I used to sell them for $3.00 when the cost to mail a books was only $2.14.  Now it's $2.38 and the credit prices have dropped. I pretty much sell them to cover postage costs but I still have the cost of the book I sent and the packing material  as well.  I've stopped trying to find cheap WL books to post because of the plunge in credit prices.

I just posted this in teh other thread about somebody reselling the credits they bought.

The last time I sold credits about 6m ago I sold them for $2.75 but only because someone bought like 30 from me at once.   I wouldn't sell them any cheaper.  And I wouldn't sell them that cheap without being able to sell a large amount to 1 person.

The only reason I sell them is that I have over 600 books already, 100+ WL books in my TBR and an  active WL (thus keeping me furnished with WL books to post). So I sell them to recoup some postage costs. 

I'll just keep hoarding them for now until I can sell a large chunk and make it worth taking a cut in price. 

 

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 9/2/2009 10:14 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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That's amazing, earlier this year I was able to sell some for $3 and a couple of months later didn't.  I'm with you Mary, not letting them go.

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 10:19 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I've just stopped posting as many WL books.  I've started trying to read through some of my heavily posted books so I can post them and going back to boxing at some point.

And I've been using WL books for games more often.  When I get below my credit comfort level I read and post a few WL books.  I used to post 20-30 WL books a month but now It's only like 5-10.  I don't think I posted any in July.  I know that slows the WL lines down. But I don't need 50+ credits hanging around and I don't need anymore books right now.  I don't want to rush to post and earn credits just to sell that super cheap either.

 

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 10:46 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 6,035
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So let me get this straight...based on what Melanie said above.   I have noticed that it's mainly a couple of guys who have been running the credit price down.  So they are earning the credits on DVDSwap and CDSwap, where it costs less to mail, then transferring the credits here to sell?  Is there no limit to the number of credits that can be swapped between the sites?  TPTB should look into this.  I appreciate the fact that they let us sell credits and don't force everybody to buy them from PBS at the higher price, but wouldn't think they want the price differential to be so high that nobody would ever buy them from the kiosk.  I assume that income is part of what fuels the site.  There should be some limit to the number of credits than can be transferred each month, or maybe even a minimum price that credits can be sold for, to keep it fair to everybody.

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 11:16 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
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That's my take on it Christa, someone else might see something different going on, but thats what It looks like to me. One said thats what he did when asked and I've seen one of the other guys selling on the CD site too. Most of the CDs I've gotten cost about $1.50 to be sent to me. That makes it a lot easier to sell for 2.50-2.60. 

I don't know how they would stop the transferring without hurting the members that actually use the credits they transfer. I know I transfer to the other sites to use. I don't actually post anything to those sites, but I don't sell credits on them either. Maybe they could limit the amount transferred in a month to 30, like the kiosk purchase does.

I think that the low credit resale price hurts PBS because many of us do like Mary said, they stop posting WL books until they can use up some of their credits. I know I will be holding back posting WL books for the next couple of months. If members can't sell off their glut of credits without losing money on them, they hold back books that could be circulating in the system.



Last Edited on: 9/2/09 11:16 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/2/2009 11:54 AM ET
Member Since: 7/3/2008
Posts: 4,984
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Hmmm, but when you transfer them over from the cd/dvd site, do they still equal to the same as a pbs credit? I just joined the dvd site but havent needed any credits yet. I sell mine sometimes in the bazaar for 2.50 because I just don't need them and usually I save on shipping by posting more than one book to the same person so it evens itself out. When I have too many credits and know I won't use them anytime soon, I sell em cheap.

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 11:59 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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From Swapadvd it's 2:3 PBS credits.  I have a feeling that's what's pushing the price down.  I've started transfering credits between the two sites, but only to feed my insatiable book habit. 

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 12:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I think PBS might actually prefer that people don't buy as many credits from teh kiosk which is why they set a limit as to how many can be bought from them by individuals.  They can't use that money for anything.  There has to be a book or the money to back every credit in the system.  It's a legal thing.  So they can't use that money to say pay people to work on the site or get a salary.  They have to have that money set aside incase for some reason there is a mass liquidation of PBS.  Although I'm sure the money earns interest that's useful.  So everytime they sell a block of credits they have to either set aside that money or acquire the books to cover them.  I guess incase for some reason they need to close the site then if everyone wants to spend their credits immediately there aren't people with credits that are worthless. Something like that.

So it's probably easier for PBS if members sell to eachother.  Because then the book are in the system to cover the credits.  It's just one member passing them on to another.

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 1:05 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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I make the system as it it is currently set up work for me as best I can.  I keep my credits down to about 5-10 at any given time.  When I need to buy some credits, I get them for $2.50.

Sweet deal.

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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Could the economy also be a contributing factor?

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 1:28 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Could the economy also be a contributing factor?

Contributing?

I think the economy is the main factor

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 2:06 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Not a brain child here, but I assumed that PBS limited the number of Kiosk credits purchased monthly as a way to limit the number of available credits not backed by books in the system...like a gold standard.  And further assumed that credits transferred between the sister sites were a courtesy for a members own use, not intended as a method of making monitary profit from PBS membership.

Wishlists have become enormous in the last 12 to 18 months, and I'm sure the economy is a large factor.  But am I mistaken to think that an over-abundance of credits not backed by books, could also be a significant factor?  Like government printing too much money and contributing to inflation, are we seeing artificial inflation of withlists caused by too many unbacked *is that even a word?* book credits?

PBS TPTB have considered wishlist changes including required ranking of books, to speed up wishlist movement and help new members receive wishlisted books more quickly.  Working under the theory that long wishlists are intimidating to new or potential new members.  But maybe we just need fewer 'inflationary' credits running around?

I have an extensive wishlist, and bunches of credits (all representing books I've sent) to cover any wish fulfillments.  So, as already mentioned by others, I don't feel any pressure to post and mail books in the near future.  I've probably two boxes of wishlisted books I'm finished with...but don't need the credits, so why spend the postage?  If wishlists were moving faster, I'd need the credits and would re-post more quickly.  But I probably have enough credits to order every book on my wishlist that isn't a future release, so I'll save my postage money for more chocolate :-)

Date Posted: 9/2/2009 2:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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PBS is supposed to have money and or books to cover all the credits that are currently in circulation.   I think it's highly doubtful that all of a sudden everyone will want to spend the credits they have ro that PBS will close down. But you never know and so they are legally required to be able to back those credits in the event that they have to close down or something.  So when the kiosk sells credits they have to save that money. 

It would not surprise me if they started to limit the # of credits that could be transferred between teh sites to prevent one club being flooded with credits.  I do the opposit and transfer credits from PBS to the DVD site because I never have DVD's to send out.  So I always need credits when a WL DVD comes up. 

There used to be no limit to the #of credits you could buy from PBS. But they put a limit on that because there were a lot of people buying large amounts of credits and not posting any books.  You would think this woul dmake the price of credits go up for members but it didn't. 

I guess it's just the economy now.  People can't buy as many books and you can't mail out what you don't have. So they use up more credits then what they are sending out books to earn. 

Then a lot of people used to buy cheap WL books just to post have probably stopped. With the postage going up again it's just not worth it to buy a WL book for $1.00 or .50 just to post it here and earn a credit.  It's cheaper to buy a credit.  I've stopped doing it-unless it's a book I'd want to read myself before posting.

 

Ronda (RONDA) - ,
Date Posted: 9/2/2009 2:54 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2009
Posts: 415
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This is from the help about buying credits from PBS. 

There is a limit of 30 purchased credits per month, per account.  Purchased credits are "unbacked" credits, and we need to limit the number we issue to keep our taxes and required escrow under control.

It sounds like a legal/tax/accounting issue.  It sounds like they are trying to keep this kind of revenue within a certain threshhold to manage tax and escrow payments/amounts.

And one of the sellers of credits is definately accumulating the credits on DVD swap and selling them on both sites. Somebody questioned him about how he could sell credits without sending out many books and he did explain it.  I don't see a problems with this and I think he is just setting his price so he can move his credits.  PBS seems to have more traffic, so I would expect he is able to sell credits on PBS easier, but maybe not.  I don't think anyone is making a lot of money on selling credits, I just think they are offsetting some of the costs.

There was a complaint about the low price of credits earlier and it inspired me to calculate how much I "spend" per credit.  I only included postage, because that is all that I can easily track.  I also had a lot of the packing materials, etc around so didnt consider them.  I had 42 shipments for a total of 50 books, 6 of my shipments were for more than one book.  My average price to mail per book is $2.00.  I also had 3 shipments that were large, a total of 34 books in 3 shipments, with this factored in my average price to send a book is $1.44.  These 3 large shipments were unusual and that $1.44 will creep up over time for me.  I also have only done 1book = 1 credit so far, so if you do deals that would impact as well.  I did have a mix of hardback and paperback, but mostly paperback.

I did have 2 DVDs to send out and my price for mailing those was 1.73 per DVD, so that would give a better profit. And multi DVD sets probably get the shipping cost down even more.

 

 

Ms K. (MsK) -
Date Posted: 9/3/2009 11:18 AM ET
Member Since: 10/1/2005
Posts: 121
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Ok, I have a better understanding of buying credits from PBS vs buying them from other members...

I bought credits from PBS to help the system... if I bought credits, I was helping PBS stay in business.... helping with the cost of running the site...  or so I thought. (I use DC for the same reason)

If that isn't the case, that I'm actually hurting PBS by buying credits from the kiosk, then I will buy them directly from other members... those who I recognize from the forums or from whom I've gotten books before.

So, if I've gotten books from you or you are a regular poster here (or you are on the forums at LT), PM me & let me know if you have any credits you want to sell. $3 a credit is fine with me.  I can't buy 100 credits this week, so I can't buy from everyone, but if you want me to buy from you every once in a while, let me know. (I've got paypal) I'd rather buy from someone I 'know' than from someone just posting a deal.

My situation is that I get books for myself & a few friends. I've gotten a few to join because they found out how easy it was to use PBS. For now, they give me books to post, but they aren't always WL books or fast moving books.  Not everyone has easy access to the internet either.

Thanks for helping me understand "the system" better.

 

Date Posted: 9/3/2009 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
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 but I assumed that PBS limited the number of Kiosk credits purchased monthly as a way to limit the number of available credits not backed by books in the system...like a gold standard.   - this is the reason they set up the limit, because if the credit is not backed by a book in the system, then they have to back it with a $$ reserve. I don't see how the transferring in of credits from another site is any different than buying from the Kiosk for this, its a new credit  in the system not backed by a book.

MsK - you sound like such a sweetheart!  Buying from the Kiosk does support the site, the $ they get selling them can go into the reserve fund. Buying from other members is preferable to me because it keeps the available credits in the system down so it doesn't drive down the prices for people who need to sell to cover postage costs.  

Date Posted: 9/3/2009 1:01 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 36,028
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This is very disheartening...  Yesterday was the first time I posted to sell credits (to help defray postage costs) , but alas I have had no takers.  I am asking $3 a credit thinking it was a good deal since they are $3.44 in the kiosk.  Only want to sell a few as I don't have that many I am willing to part with at this point ( games and WL books, lol).

Date Posted: 9/3/2009 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,168
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Adrienne- sorry you are disheartened. It should feel good that you're offering them for $3, which is really a nice discount compared to the kiosk, but I'm not surprised yours haven't sold. $3/ea is really the HIGHEST price going for credits now, and there are so many listings for lower prices that people are going to try to bargain shop. I used to list mine at $2.85 and have takers. Today I listed one set of 10 at $2.80 and was SHOCKED that someone DID buy them, since the prices have dipped so low. I was pleased. Try to figure out just how much you can afford to drop. To me, $2.80 is it, considering how much it costs to ship a book, paypal fees, etc. If you really want to make up some postage costs, I think dropping to $2.80 (or $2.75 if you can handle it, but I don't blame you if you can't) would see a bit more response.



Last Edited on: 9/3/09 1:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Ms K. (MsK) -
Date Posted: 9/3/2009 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 10/1/2005
Posts: 121
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Adrienne (starvinArtist), are you still feeling disheartened? ;)

Date Posted: 9/3/2009 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 36,028
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umm...   NO!!    lol   and thank you!!!

Date Posted: 9/3/2009 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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The drop in credit price is the main reason I have held off on building up anymore.  I'm still using up the money from the last batch I sold.  Hopefully they'll come back up when the low ballers either run out of credits or realize that selling that cheap just isn't worh the time involved to earn them. 

Date Posted: 9/3/2009 5:26 PM ET
Member Since: 10/11/2007
Posts: 8,455
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I usually sell my credits 6 for $15. I won't go any lower. Can't afford to.

Date Posted: 9/3/2009 5:46 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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It is sort of our very own little stock market.   Maybe that could be somebody's kid's school project. I hope there are no Enron's or mortgage brokers involved.  ;D

Ruth

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