Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Cutting in line?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Cutting in line?
Date Posted: 2/7/2009 3:54 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2008
Posts: 204
Back To Top

I meant to bring this up months ago but kept forgetting.

I recall being around number 126 in line for a popular and slow moving book at the time. I was on the wishlist for only one version. Much to my surprise, a message came through granting me my wish. Odd. I let the time expire because I felt bad about leap frogging 126 spots. Does anyone know why or how this could've happened?

Date Posted: 2/7/2009 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2008
Posts: 456
Back To Top

Perhaps someone saw your wish list and decided to post it directly to you! :-)

Date Posted: 2/7/2009 4:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,220
Back To Top

It is allowed to post directly to someone's WL. Someone may have seen you in the forums or dealt with you in the past and checked out your WL. We aren't supposed to ask other people to do it, but we can certainly accept it when they do :)

Letting the offer expire took it off of your WL so make sure you re-WLed it if you still want it.

Last Edited on: 2/7/09 4:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/7/2009 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2008
Posts: 204
Back To Top

oooof. I had no idea that option was even available, Brenna. Well, I hope that generous person wasn't insulted by my uninformed actions.

But this brings up another open question if we really can post to other's wishlists, so I'll ask it here rather than start a new thread.

Why was there so much anger toward that proposed New Wishlist if we already have a method for line cutting?

I recall people being upset at the possibility of losing ground depending on how they rank books. Well, I've been number 1 in line for 25 books for a very long time, but I always see the line get shorter while I'm still stuck at the top. For example 1 of 25. Three weeks later I'm 1 of 21. Granted, these could be folks who are removing themselves from the wishlist by purchasing the book elsewhere or borrowing from a library, but we'll never really know.

But this isn't a complaint since I'm sure the books will be rolling in someday and I'll repost them. This is more of a curiosity as to why the New Wishlist was bashed, while posting directly to someone's wishlist is more accepted. It can be argued that each method is unfair.

Date Posted: 2/7/2009 4:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2008
Posts: 204
Back To Top

Hi Mel. I didn't see your response initially. Thanks for the heads up. I'll go check

Date Posted: 2/7/2009 5:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

Well some people believe that all WL books should go to FIFO and no one should ever be offered a WL book if they aren't 1st in line.  So they think that the new WL will cause newbies to just jump right in on 1st place.  But the PTB have said that they will take into account the length of time that someone has had a book on their WL.  So if you're #1 now for a WL book and the new WL comes out you aren't going to suddently be #25 or whatever.  But people are needlessly freaking out. 

Pesonally I post most of my books to FIFO. But sometimes I know a buddy on here will have a book on their WL and if I have it I might post it right to them.  I know it's going to be accepted right away because they are a regular posted.   It's very frustating to post a WL book and have it timing out or getting declined by person after person. Especially if you are holding off on mailing other books so you can mail this one at the same time. 

Also everytime I post a WL book to FIFO-I check their WL and see if I have something else.  If I do I'll ask them if they want the other book posted to them as well and if so do they mind if I don't accept the request right away. If they want the other book then I'll hold off on accepting the 1st one to give me a few extra days to read the 2nd. 

Date Posted: 2/7/2009 5:30 PM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2008
Posts: 232
Back To Top

But sometimes I know a buddy on here will have a book on their WL and if I have it I might post it right to them. 


I did not know this was possible when I joined because this site presents itself as if everyone is equal, but apparently not. Lesson learned.  Just wish I'd learned it before I sent out 40 books in good faith.

Date Posted: 2/7/2009 5:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
Posts: 1,924
Back To Top


 We all equally have the same oppertunity to make friends here who may or may not directly offer us a WL book. I have not heard of it happening often actually and I think it is sweet. There are also games, though I have no tried them, and you can get a WL book not posted to the system that way. For the most part though, it is First In, First Out. A lot more equal than any other site like this I have seen.

 You are always free to pick up your marbles (Or rather books) and go home. But like on the play ground, that is not a great way to make friends!

Date Posted: 2/7/2009 5:49 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
Back To Top

Karen, what do you mean before you sent out the books in good faith?  do you think that everyone is posting to other's WL and such because that is not the case.  There are times where I post directly to someone's WL because of conversations or because they did it for me, but overall I post to the FIFO system and I'd be willing to be that most do as well.  It is a very small percentage that don't post to FIFO so very few people are getting books before they make it to #1.

Date Posted: 2/7/2009 5:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,220
Back To Top

Its not like its done that often, a very small % of the books are posted that way. I post some that way to repay people who have sent me great books. I bet I have posted maybe 10 books straight to someone's WL while I've sent out over 300 books, a good chunk of them WLed at the time. I also think it is only done by members who frequent the forums, and posters make up a tiny, tiny part of the site's membership so it really isn't like anyone would be missing out on enough to even notice. eta: I do post to buddies more often these days because I have buddied up with some great members in the Paranormal forum and I will always put the book back into the system the way I got it, so if it came to me buddied, I will offer it back to that group first. That's only fair in my opinion.

Going backwards in lines, or seeing them get shorter while not moving up in #, is more likely to be caused by account holds, lost/RWP books, or people giving up and getting out of line.

Last Edited on: 2/7/09 5:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Well said, Mary
Date Posted: 2/7/2009 5:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2008
Posts: 204
Back To Top

I like to play devil's advocate once in a while. You're right about needless freaking and that it would be impossible to drop like a rock on the new WL. On swapacd, I was only surpassed once at the top spot. And I didn't drop far at all (down to #2).

Perhaps some members don't mind the option of posting directly to someone's WL since it doesn't affect their spot in line. I guess the blood pressure were to rise only if they fell further from the number 1 spot.  Personally. I'm fine with both methods. I also respect those who disagree with both options. But I have trouble with those who hate the new WL and like having books posted directly to their own WL. It's like they want to have their cake and eat it too.

(although, what else would you do with cake, but eat it.? Sorry, that expression makes little sense to me. I'll never use it again. ha)

Date Posted: 2/7/2009 6:04 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2008
Posts: 204
Back To Top

" is more likely to be caused by account holds, lost/RWP books, or people giving up and getting out of line."

Agreed Mel. Many of the books are new-ish non fiction; a year or two old. I notice that nonfiction titles move much slower than fiction. It wouldn't surprise me that the back-end of the lines are getting shorter due to people dropping out and purchasing them.

Date Posted: 2/7/2009 6:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
Back To Top

I'm one of those folks that, most of the time, prefer to just do things through FIFO. I think it's the fairest way to do things. In 3 1/2 years and over 1200 transactions in each direction, I would say that 98% of the trades I've done have been via FIFO, whether sending or receiving.

However, I have a few buddies on PBS that I have known before I ever joined here, people I met in other online groups, and I do keep an eye on their wishlists and if I notice they have a book wishlisted that I'm finishing up with, I will post directly to their list and they'll do the same for me. We discuss books in other venues so know each others' tastes in books very well. I like the option of being able to do that, but as I say, most of the time I simply post a book into the system as I finish it and let it go to whomever is first in line.

It's all good. My TBR is so darned huge I'm just not worried about a few people jumping over me in line because a friend posted a book directly to them. No big. I'll get it eventually. And since I do the same thing periodically, well, that's how it goes.


Date Posted: 2/7/2009 7:47 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,670
Back To Top

You tend to make friends on the forums.  If I'm going to post a WL book, I will sometimes check out my friends' WLs to see if they're in line for the book and post it to them.  I try and return the favor if someone does that for me.  The majority of the WL books I post, I post them FIFO.  Especially if it's a long WL line because I know the #1 person has been wishing a long time for the book.

Date Posted: 2/7/2009 7:55 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2006
Posts: 136
Back To Top

do you think that everyone is posting to other's WL and such because that is not the case.

Actually, it is the case. There is a thread in the Paranormal forums right now called "February Wish List Books Available". Members are posting titles of heavily wish-listed books and asking if anyone wants them. If another member wants the book they send a PM to the original member and that member posts the book directly to their wish list. Their excuse is this way they don't have to wait for a request to time out if they go through FIFO.

Well, my entire wish list is on auto request and I am first or very nearly first for many of the books they are trading amongst themselves. There are a lot of members just like me who wait patiently in line for books only to have other members completely circumvent FIFO by posting to each other in the forums. I can understand posting a book once in a while to your buddy, but this is completely different. These people aren't buddies, they are offering the books to the first person who PMs them.

PBS allows this so I guess I have to accept it, I don't have to like it though.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 2/7/2009 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
Back To Top

I have mailed (checks profile) 192 books, not counting multiples for various deals since I've been a member here, and only a couple of those were WL books I posted to other people.  I have had a number of books posted directly to my WL, but the vast majority have come through FIFO.  No one should have an objection if I decided to give the book to a friend off site, and I don't see what the difference is if I have friends on the forum here as well.

Anyway, I think there were other issues with the new WL...like having to rank every book, and not having a reminder list (there are more than 700 books on my RL at present). 

Date Posted: 2/7/2009 8:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,220
Back To Top

do you think that everyone is posting to other's WL and such because that is not the case.

Anne, I think the key word here is everyone. the Paranormal thread probably has 10-15 people, tops, ever posting in there.

These people aren't buddies, they are offering the books to the first person who PMs them. Actually, most of us are buddies, we are in swaps together and run into each other around the forum a lot.  Are we bffs, no, but hang out in the forums enough and you will recognize the other members and get to know who has the same tastes as you too. Jump into that thread and ask for some if you want them.

I have received far more books through the WL FIFO line than I have through that thread, I have also posted way, way, way more into the FIFO lines. As the postage costs creep higher and higher, finding a way to ship multiple books to one person may be the only way that some of these books get to people in the PBS WL lines.


Date Posted: 2/7/2009 8:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

I would say I post probably 95% of the WL books I post through FIFO. 

You have to keep in mind that the members frequenting the forums are a small percentage of the actual members. Right now is says that there's nearly 2,000 members online. But only a handful of those are actually participating in the forums.  Most are probably just on searchign for books, posting books and such.  

But it's nice to have the option to post directly to someone.  Especially if you're on a budget and can post more than one WL book to someone.  I just put my account on hold because of postage costs.  I had a run of book orders on my shelf after posting several WL books (all but 1 to FIFO). 

And Anne you have the option of participating more in the forums, games and such.   Come to the boards more often and check out the WL threads.  I only post to them when I have several WL books to post and want to find someone with more than one. 

Most of the WL books I get are through FIFO but occassionally a buddy will post some to me. Usually because they have more than one of my WL books.  I don't usually respond to the WL threads because I have so many TBR books that I don't mind waiting.

Date Posted: 2/7/2009 8:41 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
Back To Top

While I have never posted directly to a WL, I have some IRL friends who are also PBS members.  If I knew that they were wishing for one of my books, I wouldn't hesitate to post directly to their wishlists.

I am one of the people that does not want the new WL.  I have several books that are very, very unlikely to be posted - ever.  I am the only wisher on several of them, but I have competition on others.  I would hate to lose one of them because I didn't keep on top of my place in the WL.  I think FIFO is the way to go.


Date Posted: 2/7/2009 10:41 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
Back To Top

"I can understand posting a book once in a while to your buddy, but this is completely different. These people aren't buddies, they are offering the books to the first person who PMs them."

I think this makes the situation more acceptable, not less. There's no preferential treatment--the first person who PMs them could easily be you. I don't know the vast majority of people I post WL books to.

Almost every time I post a WL book FIFO, I wind up having to wait for it to cycle through several people. If I have several books to mail, timing my post office visits is annoying. Posting to someone who definitely wants the book does save a great deal of time and effort.

I also check the WL of anyone I'm sending a book to, to see if I have something they want. (Which I'm betting is what happened to the OP.) It saves me postage and allows me to send more books and since PBS encourages people to "order more from this member," (which also bypasses FIFO) I don't think there's a thing wrong with it.

Date Posted: 2/7/2009 11:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,136
Back To Top

I, too, think that the percentage of people posting WL books to buddies here is small, compared to the number of members here.  And I agree with Ruth that the reason I'm not crazy about the proposed new wishlist format is that I have a lot of books on my WL where I am the only wisher--if I have 40 books like that, and I rank them 1-40,  the books ranked 30 or 40 can easily have other people ranking it higher--and if the only copy of one of those books that might be posted here in a 2-3 year period comes in, I'll miss it, even though I might have had it on my list longer.  The mathematical computations are complicated so maybe I'm wrong, but it just feels like those of us who wish for more obscure books will have it worse with the proposed format change.  I love the simplicity of waiting my turn in line for a book, even if a few people who have the book post it to their buddies, I'll still be in an orderly line waiting for the next posted copies.   

Date Posted: 2/7/2009 11:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
Back To Top

I have to say that all the books I've posted have been to FIFO.  I have received only one book I can think of that was sent to me outside of FIFO and that was because I'd gotten the first book of a series (not a new one) from someone through FIFO and they asked me if I wanted the next one because they were almost through reading it.  I believe in the FIFO system.  I do not want the new WL.  I do not want to have to rank books.  200 on a WL is more than I need - in fact I already have more than I need.  That won't stop me from getting more!  I'm 1 of 1 or a few more on many books waiting list.  I've been there on some of them since I joined.  When I notice that a WL line shortens - I attribute it to people deciding there are other books they want more that they have a better chance of getting.  That's what I do sometimes.  I also find them used and drop off the WL.  For Christmas I'd been wanting to get my DD a Christmas present of a few popular cook books that have hundreds in the WL.  I gave up and bought them used.  Sometimes, I just get tired of waiting and switch WL books over to my RL and get in line for another maybe newer book that hasn't come out yet but is supposed to soon.

I don't want the new WL because I love the FIFO since I think it is the fairest.  I don't want to think about it again until it's my turn to get a book.  I do look now and then to see if I've moved up on any of the lists.  But the ones I'm closest to the top and have been a while may never come in.  That's been my experience so far.  I have a lot of different kinds of books on my WL.  After 6 months or a year, I get tired of waiting and look for something else.  Any book I get used and read I post to FIFO.  Most people do.  What some people do in some of the genre forums I can't control and since the AMazon debacle - I don't want to be involved. 

And you'd be really surprised that some members haven't even realized that they can go look at someone else's WL!  Someone I ordered from told me that after I mentioned we had a lot of WL books in common - upon which he told me he had "hundreds" of books waiting to be listed and traded and he would check out to see what people wanted now!  Please do not think that PBS members post to others' WL often.  It just doesn't happen.  It takes knowing that someone wants it before you ever post if anywhere, and that's more work than just posting it to FIFO.  In my experience, people don't want to do more work than is required.


M.E. (ryenke) -
Date Posted: 2/8/2009 12:28 AM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2009
Posts: 625
Back To Top

Diane, on the proposed wishlist: I think you got it right.  I'm a member of swapaDVD and I like the wish list there, but books are not the same to me, and I've been wondering why I don't like the idea of the wish list change here at PBS  But you helped me see that it's because I may have hundreds of items (at least dozens for sure) on my BOOK wish list, and many of them (but not all) of them are the obscure ones. 

So how would I rank?  The obsucre ones at top so somene doesn't sweep in ahead of me when the once every 3 years the book is posted?  But then I'll NEVER rise to the top of the common wish lists.  The common ones at the top?  Then sure thing, the random almost never event of the obcure book that I'm currently 1 of 2 on will be posted, but I wont be 1 of 2 anymore because I've downranked it.

While everyone will be facing these issues, those of us who are waiting and hoping on the obscure book posts are not likely to find an good way to manage our list. 

And frankly, I don't WANT to manage my list.  Now it manages itself for me just fine, thank you.

Date Posted: 2/8/2009 12:54 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
Back To Top

ryenke, you wrote what I meant.  Thanks.

I also do not want to lose the RL. I use the RL for several things and it's not necessarily a back up WL for me.  Mostly it's a "check it out" list, a "I wanat to think about it a while list",  it's an alternative copies list.  and more.  It's very useful to me.  I would hate to lose it.  And I don't want to "manage " a WL.  I already put a book on the WL that should be good enough.


Date Posted: 2/8/2009 1:45 AM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2009
Posts: 2,680
Back To Top

I think the new WL sounds rather complicated and confusing myself. Now, instead of simply thinking 'I want this book, I'm going to get in line for it', everyone will have to think 'How much do I want this book? How much do others want it? Do I have any hope of getting it if I don't rank it number one? What about all these other highly wished for books? What order should I rank them in? What about the rest of my wishlist books? Will I get passed over on those now?' Is it just me or does that sound like an awful lot of thinking to need to go through just to get in line for a book? Half the time I'd likely get so confused or frustrated with it that I'm likely to just go out and buy myself the book to avoid the headache. That kind of eliminates the effectiveness of the wishlist.

The one aspect of the new WL that I really do like though is the idea of it being unlimited. Of course, can you imagine all of the management that would become necessary on a WL hundreds of books long using the point system? I could get nightmares just thinking about it.

Last Edited on: 2/8/09 1:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 1