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Topic: Discouraged by RC

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Subject: Discouraged by RC
Date Posted: 5/31/2010 6:48 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 613
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I've never posted to the PBS discussion forum before, and this may not be the appropriate place to post, but there didn't seem to be a betterplace and I just want to share my thoughts. I hope I won't get roasted for them.

I was SO excited to find this book club. As an avid reader, and with the exorbitant price of books these days, I was thrilled to find a low cost alternative and an outlet through which to share my collected books with other book lovers.

Reading through the messages here, I've seen several posts lately questioning an increased number of requestor conditions. I, too, have noticedthis.... and I'm disheartened by the typesand number of condition restrictions I see. I had a bad experience with a requestor condition transaction in which I was the sender a while back. It was hurtful and left a very bad taste in my mouth.... To the point where I will automatically decline any request that has condition restrictions.

We are so very blessed to have this book club to share and receive books and connect with other bibliophiles. When I receive a book from this site, I KNOW that is not new. I anticipate that it will show signs of having being read or stored, includingbent spines, dog-earred pages or yellowing for older books.I would never expect a "new condition" book to cost the price of postage.... If I have reason toneed that, I'll fork out the money for a new copy from a retail store.

I don't even mind seeing someone's name written inside the front cover. I like to think that it passed through a group of friends before it was sent on its way. I even love to watch the footprint on books on this site. It's cool that one copy of a book can give so many hours of pleasure to so many different people.

I realize that some people might find it necessary to have particular condition restrictions, but I would hope that people wouldstay cognizant of what this book club is, where the books are coming from, and use condition requirements sparingly. I mean, seriously, where can you get a book, paperback or otherwise, for the price of postage, to keep for as long as you want,read as many times as you desire to, put it onyour shelf or pass it on.... My library fines are usually more expensive than that, much less were I to buy all of these books new. The condition guidelnes set by the club seem more than fair to me.... Respectfully, anything much more than that seems frivolous and entitled.

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts.

Kathy

Date Posted: 5/31/2010 7:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
Posts: 1,619
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The condition guidelines set by the club seem more than fair to me....

I pretty much agree with that. I won't say that I turn down all RCs, but the really picky ones do irritate me. Other than the people who have health issues with smoke or pets, come on folks it's a used book site. I'm sure somebody will feel the need to point out that they have the "right" to put whatever conditions they want to on their requests, and according to PBS rules they certainly do. I'm just one of those people who thinks if you want a brand new book then go buy a brand new book. If you want to trade used books that meet the PBS guidelines then here we are.

Date Posted: 5/31/2010 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I think that most of us are very happy with the vast majority of our trades. The problem is that a forum that deals with Questions also deals with "Why" a lot. And that usually means someone was unhappy because they didn't know, didn't know where to look, didn't care, or just plain is confused. This forum gets many more "problem" swap information and troubles than any other forum. It's not really geared to the great swaps we all have but don't mention to anyone but the sender or requester. So you have to keep that in mind.

Also the people who are just fed up with getting books that are clearly unpostable are starting to tighten up their RC's probably in an effort to get those who won't read what they click to read what they didn't read. It's all a requester who's gotten multiple flood damaged (apparently) books or books that were first dragged through an elementary school lunchroom first before mailing in a one sheet of inside out Christmas paper they got after Christmas at the Dollar Store and taped together with "Gift" tape. There are a myriad of problems and if you are here long enough you'll have a few of them. Many are very lucky and have very few problems. Others are very unlucky and get lots of problems. In the end it's just a used book that we all agreed is worth $3.45 +postage. And that in the grand scheme of the universe is nothing at all.

Happy trading!

Ruth

Date Posted: 5/31/2010 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Also the people who are just fed up with getting books that are clearly unpostable are starting to tighten up their RC's probably in an effort to get those who won't read what they click to read what they didn't read.

Ruth is right. Many people RC for book condition because they're looking for something specific, some because of health issues, and other's because they've gotten some books here that never should have been posted. There are people who seem to join and don't care about the rules, or don't bother to look them up and read them. And some people are unlucky enough to have more of a problem with that than others. They've gotten a few in a row where they've had to mark books RWAP, and in many cases never get their credits back.

So, in a last ditch effort to try to stop getting the problem books, they'll try using RC's to weed out the problem swaps. I know there have been times I"ve been tempted to put in RC's, when I've gotten a few books that clearly should never have been listed and mailed to me. It can be very frustrating, and will make a lot of people feel like leaving, when they have to mark books RWAP more than a few times in a week, and then have to deal with unpleasant answers and arguments, or have to continually education someone who had no idea there were rules. Then not getting your credit back anyway.

The whole point of RC's is to be able to ask for the books you want. In the condition you want. That makes the site more open for members to use the site as they see fit, and in a way that works for them. For not everyone uses the site in the same way. Or for the same reasons. So giving people the ability to ask specifically for what they want is a benefit.

So while it's not one I've used, or one you may be thinking of ever using, please be aware that if it helps people make good trades, where the sender and receiver are both happy, then it's a good thing. And if you ever decide you need it, it'll be there for you as well.

And it only takes a few seconds to deny an RC if you wish and move on. It really just wastes time to worry about them, since they're so easy to avoid, yet will help to make another member happy. I've filled lots of RC's, and have gotten the most wonderful Thank You's.

They're not evil people, or doing anything wrong. They're just doing it differently than you are right now, and that's their choice. I know I try to respect that, like I hope people will respect mine.



Last Edited on: 5/31/10 8:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/31/2010 8:20 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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I tend to agree with the statement, but I do not turn down every RC and I do not take RCs personally. If the book meets the RC, I accept, if it doesn't, then I don't. I am wary of a RC when they ask for like new, condition +++ , etc., but if the book is near new condition, I will accept the RC. I will turn down RCs that ramble on about conditions and if it becomes confusing or subjective.

I can see where some members need to add an RC. I have a dust jacket RC. Most hard covers are keepers or I donate to the local Library. Recently I had a member send me a hard cover book, which had a dust jacket that was in mint condition, but the book itself had stains all over the edge. It looked like coffee or hot chocolate. He thought it was okay to send because my RC didn't cover stains. Then he blamed it on me being too picky and that anyone with an RC was too picky. I nicely reminded him that even without an RC, I would have still marked it RWAP, because book conditions for swapping states NO STAINS! The majority of my swaps go very well and I am happy with the condition, most books are very good to new condition. I have not seen an increase in RCs.



Last Edited on: 6/1/10 8:05 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/31/2010 8:45 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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I know how you feel, really. I'll automatically turn down any RC that mentions the condition of the book, even if my book is brand new and perfect. I just turn them down to avoid any "problems" once they receive the book. I just figure that if someone is going to insist on "brand new condition only" then they're going to go over my book with a microscope and find something wrong with it if it kills them. That's not what this site is about, so no thank you.

Most of the books I send out are in near-new condition, and they all meet the site's guidelines in any case. That's all I'm going to worry about and it's good enough for me. If I have to turn one person down for being a bit picky, someone else will come along and be happy with the transaction.

Anyway, I haven't gotten too many picky RCs, and I've never received a RWAP. Nearly all of my transactions have been hassle-free. This forum might make it seem like there are constant problems, but not when you consider the huge number of swaps that happen here on a daily basis.

Date Posted: 5/31/2010 9:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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You are perfectly free to turn down any and all RCS and don't need to feel guilty about it. I personally don't care for RCS either although I don't auto-decline them all. But I won't accept any RCS that are vague, ask for a PM, come off as demanding or rude, are really long or are about a books overall condition-I turn down the "like-new" "good condition" type RCS. I find it annoying to be reminded of the posting guidelines because I onlly list postable books. But having received 2 unpostables in the last 2 wks (the only books I requested)-I can see how someone might feel it necessary to list them if they've gotten a lot of unpostables. So I'll accept those depending on their worded.

Also don't go by what you read in the forums. People tend to only come on here to talk about the bad and weird swaps. The majority of swaps go off without a hitch. But if you look at the forums it might seem like most swaps are a problem and everyone has crazy RCS. I've reallly only seen maybe 50 requests with RCS on them out of over 500 and that's probably a high guess.

Date Posted: 5/31/2010 9:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,664
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There are about 55,000 swaps per week on PBS. At least, that's been the average as long as I've been here. About 5 or 10 complaints on the forum about bad transactions per week. Zero posts about good transactions. (Actually, that is not true, maybe once every two months or so, someone will post about a good transaction).

I mail between 30 and 50 books a month and I haven't seen any increase in RCs. Also, I have an RC, and I haven't noticed any increase in rejections or anything like that.

There have been a lot more posts about people thinking there are more RCs ... but it seems to me that really, there is just more TALK about RCs ... I haven't noticed an actual increase in RCs. And, my shelf is pretty busy.

Anyway, every single book you send out has to meet some arbitrary set of rules. The PBS book conditions are just arbitrary rules that some people somewhere made up.People with RCs make up some extra rules for their own book requests. I don't really care myself if its PBS's list of rules or PBS's list of rules plus some other rule that someone makes up. Either way ... same difference. If your book doesn't meet the arbitrary set of rules ... you get an RWAP ... and the rules regarding credit returns are the same whether or not your book was "Damaged by Sender" or "Does Not Meet Conditions".

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 5:33 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 2,584
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As someone who has an RC, I find myself bristling at being called entitled. If I am collecting a book to finish out a collection, then I am certainly entitled to ask for it, in the format that I would most enjoy.

For me, that would mean hardcovers with their dust jackets.

I am happy to wait, and let other members decline the request, to get the book in the format that I prefer.

If that makes me entitled, then so be it.

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 5:51 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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That's not what this site is about..

I see this a lot in the argument by people who turn down RCs without thought. I just have to say that that may be your view of what the site is about, but with over 300,000 members, there's going to be a lot of differing ideas of what this site is about.Just because it is your's, doesn't mean it hasto be others' view of what the site is about.

The great thing about PBS is that it is a diverse group of people so the selection of books is tremendous. Once we start tossing out those who want to use the site differently that us, we cut that down. Think of all thenice books you have received; they may have come from one of those nasty picky people who want their books to be in better condition for whatever reason who may never have joined without the ability to specify conditions on books. I know if I could not specify non-smoking households I would notbe trading here and I've sent out over 600 books not counting Boxing, deals and games.The majorityin like-new condition.

Occassionally I will add RCs to get books in like new condition because they are either the few authors I collect, or I am getting replacement OOP books for the library. I certainly do believe that sending out that many books and paying the postage to do so "entitles" me to occassionally get something I really want.

PBS is the most expensive place I get books from by far and I think that is the case for many other members too. Ifmembers want to get a little bit better book once in a while or want that dust jacket, why is that so bad? The only reason I can ever see for people getting so upset about RCs is that their books usually don't meet them.

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 7:58 AM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 613
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Thank you for your thoughts. I always appreciate seeing other people's perspectives.

I hope I didn't give the impression that I'm sour on this site. I've had many WONDERFUL transactions here and for the most part have swapped books with really great people. I had one really bad incident, the details of which I won't bore you with,that caused me to decide not to send out anything with a condition requirement, even though I've never seen a requirement that my books would not fulfill.

I've definitely seen a sudden rise in the number of RCs I'm seeing and perhaps that's because of the types of books I'm posting (i.e., best sellers, book club favorites that have a lot of people wishing for them) and it's not just the number of requests, but the number of requirements. After third or fourth one that listed a litany of restrictions, I decided to share my thoughts. I certainly understand a restriction based on health issues, or even wanting a hardcover book with the dust cover. Those don't seem unreasonable to me. Having a list of 10... even 5.... requirements does. But as you said, that's just me.

I've received a few books (out of many) that probably didn't meet the condition standards set by PBS (i.e., underlining, spine conditions, etc.), though nothing that made them unreadable. My philosophy is...... What do you want for a $2.38 book? This same book, new, would have cost me at least $10 and it wouldn't have been delivered to my door. It's certainly nothing worth getting my knickers in a twist. I simply don't repost it and pass it on to friends.

You're absolutely right that everyone has the "right" to use this book club as they see fit. And if this dialogue allowed people to think about "why" they put conditions on their requests and what their expectations are for the book club, it will have fulfilled its purpose.

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 8:51 AM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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I've received a few books (out of many) that probably didn't meet the condition standards set by PBS (i.e., underlining, spine conditions, etc.), though nothing that made them unreadable.

That is the point, it doesn't matter if the book is readable. It is the responsibility of the sender to make sure that the book meets the Book Conditions for Swapping per PBS and any condition the member adds. If you are receiving books that do not meet PBS Conditions for swapping, I do hope you are marking them RWAP and then resolved. You don't have to ask for your credit back, but it should go on record that books are being swapped that do not meet the basic conditions. It is the responsibility of the receiver to mark books RWAP when they do not meet the site or RC requirements.

What do you want for a $2.38 book?

The cost is a credit which costs $3.45 in the kiosk, plus postage (average being $2.38) so you are paying a lot more than $2.38 for a book, more like $5.83 for the book you mentioned above. It is still less than $10.00, but it is a lot more than $2.38. Since many members started swapping using their start-up credit they do not think of credits having a monetary value.

And if this dialogue allowed people to think about "why" they put conditions on their requests and what their expectations are for the book club, it will have fulfilled its purpose.

I think that most members expect to receive a book that meets the conditions for swapping. Many RCs are born out of pure frustration of receiving multiple books that have food and drink stains, water damaged, crack spines, pages falling out. The response from the sender seems to be "it's is readable, you are being picky" or "that is condition it was in when I received it from a PBS member".

I am happy to hear you have not soured on the site it has a lot to offer.

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 9:03 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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You'll see a rare post by someone who got an RWAP from an RC transaction, and on the surface, maybe it looks like the requestor was being outrageously picky. But again, that happens very rarely. Most of the complaint threads about RC problems are from senders, and they're usually about subjective or hard to interpret RCs. My overall impression is that most RC transactions - the ones that don't get declined right out of the gate - go off without a hitch, just like the majority of other swaps do. I think the majority of people who have RCs probably have been burned in some way, or they have plenty of books & credits, and have just gotten more selective about what they want to spend their credits on. Nothing wrong with that, in my view. It's trickier than being selective at the UBS, because you can't leaf through the books & decide if this specific copy is worth buying, but it's basically the same principle.

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 9:27 AM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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I attribute the rise in RCs to a rise in unpostable books being posted into the system. I think it would solve both issues if people just stopped trying to pass off end of their life books as meeting the minimum condition guidelines.



Last Edited on: 6/1/10 9:27 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/1/2010 9:44 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 5:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/1/2010 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 613
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"The cost is a credit which costs $3.45 in the kiosk, plus postage (average being $2.38) so you are paying a lot more than $2.38 for a book, more like $5.83 for the book you mentioned above. It is still less than $10.00, but it is a lot more than $2.38. Since many members started swapping using their start-up credit they do not think of credits having a monetary value."

If I originally posted 10 books to my bookshelf and have mailed out all 10, I now have 10 credits with which to request books. The books generally cost $2.38 to mail. I guess if you calculate in the original cost of the initial books sent out, it would increase the "cost" of subsequent PBS books received in trade. The way I see it, those original 10 books were sitting in my guest room, doing nothing. I had purchased them and read them, and were it not for this group, they'd still be sitting there, so anything additional benefit that comes of them is a "freebie."

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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You'll see a rare post by someone who got an RWAP from an RC transaction, and on the surface, maybe it looks like the requestor was being outrageously picky.

I've filled many RC's and have not once had one RWAP-Sender, and I've mailed out 834 books. I think just assuming that someone with an RC is going to be 'extra picky' is really not fair. You're painting a lot of people with a very ugly brush, for no good reason at all.

I know some people have had bad lucky with recivers, but I've gotten some of the nicest "Thank You's" from people with RC's, including the "Like New" requests. And I"ve been lucky enough to pick up many WL'd books that were just that. Like new. So we both ended up very happy with the RC trades.

And if the RC's are too vague, or the book doesn't fit their requirements, I don't have any problem denying them either. It does pay to make sure your RC's are short, sweet, and to the point.

Anyone can get a RWAP complaint from any book they send. Avoiding RC's you can fill isn't going to spare you that. It just may keep you from some really good trades though.

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 10:09 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Katherine, it really doesn't matter how much a credit costs. Some people do buy them full price at the Kiosk. Some get them way cheaper at the Bazaar. You don't have any idea how much someone's paid for that credit they're spending.

The point is that somehow, in some way, someone has paid for that credit, and they're entitled to at a book that at the very least meets site guidelines. One of the staple excuses of those who don't send out books that meet guidelines are "So what do you want for a free book?" and "But it's readable!"

And people are within their right to spend that credit as they see fit. Just like I can walk away from any store, new or used, that has the book I wanted but in a condition I won't accept. Not even for a nickle.

And if they want a book in really good shape, then the RC is free to used and endorsed by the site. Nothing wrong at all with using it the way you want. Just like nothing wrong with anyone else using it either.

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 5:47 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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"Anyway, every single book you send out has to meet some arbitrary set of rules. The PBS book conditions are just arbitrary rules that some people somewhere made up.People with RCs make up some extra rules for their own book requests. I don't really care myself if its PBS's list of rules or PBS's list of rules plus some other rule that someone makes up."

Brilliant!

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 6:36 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I will wade into the fray..

I do not have RCs. I have gotten a few but mostly they are for health reasons. Thats fine with me.. At this point, I could care less what someone is wanting in an RC. If my book meets it, then fine off it goes, if not then I do not send it.

PBS has rules and they should be followed. If the book does not meet the rules then RWAP. OP mentions more RCs, wonder why when the OP has allowed people to send books without RWAP on them.. This lets the sender know that its ok to send books in that condition. You do not have to ask for a credit back when RWAP, but you should let the sender know those conditions are not acceptable.

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2009
Posts: 579
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This is a good forum post! I have read EVERY entry! Good stuff you guys!

I have only once had to RWAP a book. But I have happily received books I have wanted with problems past the PBS guidelines, it was my decision to accept them. And most people are nice about... just about everything! I haven't met a nicer group of people! Gosh, and most people her are literate. I don't have to wade through rubbish with net speak and shoddy grammar. Ugh, pet peeve! LOL!

As far as RC go I have occasionally refused them for being bitchy or non-specific. The only ones I feel bad about are the ones for pets, cause I have cat/dog and they sleep on my books and me... so there will be dander etc. C'est la Vie...

For me I am a horrible spender and I buy tons of books, I have cut back over the years... but since 99% of the books I post here are from my collection, I have read them and don't feel that urge to keep them (for whatever reason) so their value... in a box in my closet... is $0. So paying to ship them Bye-Bye is CHEAP! And I get a book (or a book deal! yay!) back is SUPER! Love it! Plus, while you can buy a book for under $1 at garage sales and thrifts... they aren't new or great books as far as I have seen. And even on Amazon for a 1 book has $3.99 shipping, so PBS is cheaper! Basically it's not that NEW book by XXX author that I smell the pages of and stay up until 3am to read! So what I mean to say is PBS is GREAT!

Don't be disheartened by a few quibbly RCs! If you have bestsellers and WL books, offer them in the Bazaar for 2 or 3 books per person, you save on shipping and you can state to turn off RCs so that you can post the book to them directly. And save on shipping.

Date Posted: 6/2/2010 12:30 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 3,041
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I have gotten burned repeatedly by senders, and as a result, each time it happens, I tighten up my RC's. I received two books in the mail today, and both received an RWAP for the same reason: water damage. Both books were packaged well (one was even wrapped in plastic wrap; ironically this was the one that had the worst water damage of the two) and the packaging was bone dry. The water damage was less obvious in the hardcover--only when I opened the book and started flipping through the pages to find that they were wavy, the texture was different, and the pages were stiff was the water damage obvious. If you just look at the book in its closed position, it would appear completely postable. The only thing I can think is that the sender never read it. Either that, or she just didn't care.

As a sender, I'm very conscientious when I send out books. If it's a book I've never read, I WILL spend 10 minutes or so checking out each and every single page for tears, stains, and water damage. Only then will I accept the request and mail it to the requestor. So many people don't look over what they send first, although they claim they did. If they had, surely they would have noticed the spaghetti stains, bug carcasses/smears, and water damage. It's one tired excuse after another. Every time a credit refund is refused, that is money that I'm losing. These books are not free; to get them, we either pay a few dollars for each credit or we mail our own books out that we may have purchased at full price. Those non-refunds add up after awhile. Additionally, it's frustrating when the majority of books that I mail out are in like new condition/very good condition, and in return I receive completely unpostable books.

I'm perfectly happy parting with a less than $3 credit for a well-loved book. I don't mind used books at all. What I am not happy about is spending that credit on a book that obviously does not meet basic posting requirements. So unfortunately for me, I might get turned down for a lot of books I really want just because people don't pay attention to the rules. I might have to repeat basic guidelines, and some will find this insulting. But what other recourse do I have? The PBS Team does not intervene in problem swaps unless it turns into harassing behavior or other situations that are a case by case basis.

I would ask those of you who have a bitter taste in your mouth about RC's to please look at it from the requestor's position. I hate confrontation, and wouldn't voluntarily put myself in that position of RWAP'ing unless it was absolutely appropriate. I have been lenient. I have not RWAP'd books that should have been RWAP'd. You certainly don't like when you get books that don't meet site standards, right? Some are just unlucky, I guess, and I'm one of those unlucky ones.