Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Am I doing all this right?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Am I doing all this right?
Date Posted: 7/14/2014 3:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2014
Posts: 1
Back To Top

First off, hello everybody. I just joined PBS less than a week ago and I've heard some really great things about it. The main reason I signed up is because I'm trying to eliminate a lot of clutter in my house and get rid of these books that I don't plan on reading again. I do have a used bookstore downtown and I have some credit there, but they don't always want the books I offer. I've even donated books to the library, but I never know if they'll be bought at the book sales or added to the library inventory.

The idea of sending books off to people who would want and love to read them seemed like a fun and inventive way of limiting my clutter, but at the same time getting new books.  I'm just wondering if I would be "Greener" by simply going back to the used book store/library route. I'm sure if I accumulated the amount of postage after three months, I'd probably spend more than I saved as far as getting new books is concerned.

Here are a list of newbie questions that I would be so grateful if some of you could answer:

I just sent off my third book today and this time, I selected delivery confirmation to get the instant credit, but I haven't seen it show up on my account yet. Will I get it soon?

Have there been cases where people who received my books have NOT alerted PBS and given us credit? 

How large is everyone's wish lists? And what is an "auto-wish list" exactly? I had a hard time deciphering that. 

I hope I get a chance to talk with all of you about this website and I'd appreciate any help you can offer me in the long run. Thank you! 

Date Posted: 7/14/2014 4:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,326
Back To Top

Welcome, Elizabeth!

You'll get the credit for delivery confirmation when the Post Office scans your book, and then uploads that info to our site.  The timing on that is different for everyone, depending on postal sorting schedules, I suppose.  Mine are often scanned in the wee hours of the next day -- as in 24+ hours after I mail them -- but you may find your scan comes in faster than that.  Delivery confirmation gives you "quick credit".  "Instant credit" is when you use PBS postage -- you get the credit when you mark the book mailed.

If a member hasn't marked a book received after a certain time interval, the site will send emails asking if the book has arrived.  Also, if a member hasn't logged on for a while and appears inactive, the server will mark the book "received" rather than "lost in the mail."  So it's rare that a member would forget to mark a book received, but it happens.  If you send the member a message and don't hear back after 5 days, you can contact the administration here, and they'll step in.  However, since you used PBS delivery confirmation, you would get to keep your credit even if the book goes lost in the mail.

You can add any book that isn't currently available to  your wish list.  When you reach the top of the wish list, and the book is offered to you, you have 48 hours to respond and click that you want the book.  If you choose to place the book on "auto-request" on your wish list, then you don't have to worry about the 48 hour deadline.  When the book is offered to you, the server will accept the offer for you.  Only place books that you know you are going to want on auto-request, and be aware that if you place your account on vacation hold, auto-requested WL books will still be mailed to you if you have the credits to cover them.  Auto-request bypasses vacation hold.

Most people's wish lists are limited to 200 books.  Gold key membership ups that to 300 books.

Glad you found us!

 

Date Posted: 7/14/2014 4:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
Back To Top

 I'm sure if I accumulated the amount of postage after three months, I'd probably spend more than I saved as far as getting new books is concerned.

Hey, Elizabeth!

While PBS is a great site, it's one where you have to figure out how to use it to your best advantage. The question is "Where can I get the books I want to read at the best price?" Sometimes it may be from here, sometimes not. Just use it when it is and it works for you.

For me, I'm a huge 'series' reader. I've been able to complete and read some very good series, in order, due to PBS. Sometimes as a series goes along it can be hard to find the early ones, even in book stores or libraries. So I mostly used PBS to complete collections I wanted to continue. It's worked pretty well for me, as long as I allow enough time for the books to arrive and stay patient.

I just sent off my third book today and this time, I selected delivery confirmation to get the instant credit, but I haven't seen it show up on my account yet. Will I get it soon?

I think you usually get it after it's been scanned along the way, and after PBS connects to the USPS to get the information. I don't ever use that so maybe someone else can help.

Have there been cases where people who received my books have NOT alerted PBS and given us credit? 

Some books do go lost, and some may get 'delivered' but at the wrong address. The sorting machines at the P.O. can tear up some packages, and they never get to where they're going. If someone does it on purpose the site can see from their statistics and decide whether to take action. If you buy the DC for the credit, then PBS will give you the credit and they take the hit. Which is why some people like to spend the extra to be sure they don't lose out.

How large is everyone's wish lists? And what is an "auto-wish list" exactly? I had a hard time deciphering that. 

It will depend. I have 85 on mine, but I'm looking for more than one edition of a book, and each edition takes a space. Usually, you're allowed 200 WL spaces, unless buy into the Gold Key membership which entitles you to 100 more slots. It used to be unlimited WL spaces, but they changed it to 200 years ago. You can also put books on your Reminder List if you want to keep track of books in the system.

If your turn comes up and a book you have WL'd becomes available, the site will send you an email asking it you want to order it. If you know for sure you will accept it, and/or will be on vacation, sick, or any other reason you may miss out on getting to the email in a timely manner, you can put the book (or all of them) on Auto Request. If you have a credit in your account the site will automatically order the book for you so you don't miss out on it.

There is a lot of information in the Help Docs.  Here. If you have any other questions, it's a good place to see if you can find the answers.

Welcome!

Date Posted: 7/15/2014 11:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2008
Posts: 8,381
Back To Top

Welcome Elizabeth!  Patty and Cindy did a great job of answering your questions.  I just want to say hello and welcome to PBS.  I hope you thoroughly enjoy your PBS experience, however it works best for you.
 

Date Posted: 7/15/2014 11:39 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,377
Back To Top

Welcome and don't forget to check out Tips For New Members at the top of this forum: 

http://www.paperbackswap.com/Tips-New-Members/topic/223294/

Date Posted: 7/15/2014 1:37 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
Back To Top

I'm just wondering if I would be "Greener" by simply going back to the used book store/library route.

IT'S SIMPLE AND EASY TO DONATE BOOKS AND GET THEM OUT OF YOUR HOUSE.

YOU GET RID OF CLUTTER AND FEEL BETTER.

I HAVE DONE THIS MANY TIMES!  I LOVE JUST GETTING RID OF STUFF THE FASTEST EASIEST WAY POSSIBLE.

SOMETIMES I PUT STUFF ON MY SIDEWALK WITH A FREE SIGN!   GONE IN SHORT ORDER!

 

Date Posted: 7/16/2014 3:41 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
Back To Top

" I'm just wondering if I would be "Greener" by simply going back to the used book store/library route. "

This can be kind of a tough one.  For every book that is requested from you and that you send, you get a trade credit that can be used to request a book from someone else. Working within this paradigm, you don't cut down on the number of books in your house as long as you use your credits to request other books.

However, the site does have several alternatives that can be employed for ridding yourself of books and excess credits. For example, you can donate excess credits to PBS's School Donation Program, or you can give some of your credits to your friends on the site. You can also sell excess credits or give books away for no credit in the Book Bazaar. Of course, each of these options entails a real physical cost for you since you will have had to pay all the postage costs entailed for sending books to other members in order to earn the credits to donate or give away.



Last Edited on: 7/17/14 3:07 AM ET - Total times edited: 3