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Topic: Enforcing Requester Conditions....

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Subject: Enforcing Requester Conditions....
Date Posted: 3/12/2009 7:04 AM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2005
Posts: 1,746
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I received a request this morning for a book and the requester conditions stated that the book 'must be in very good to excellent condition with minimal wear or spine creasing'. 

Maybe its the lack of coffee this morning, but that makes me think the requester needs to get her books from the book store.  I don't especially want to search through boxes and boxes of books to find the one she wants and then try to decide what constitutes too much spine creasing.  Is one very obvious crease too much?  How about half a dozen barely  there creases? 

And how does an RC like that get enforced?  The requester goes to PBS and says the book didn't look new enough and gets her credit back?

I don't mind RCs in general.  Most of my books come to me used so I can't vouch for whether they come from a smoking environment, so those RCs I have to turn down.  For the most part, peoples' RCs seem reasonable.  This one just seems to be stepping over the line a bit for me...

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 7:52 AM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2007
Posts: 453
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This is a pretty typical type of RC that many people take a pass on- for all the reasons that you state- how in the world do you make a judgement on how much is too much?  And how likely are you to get into a disagreement with the requestor?  You run the risk of getting a RWAP for a perfectly postable book. 

I would turn it down with the explaination that the RCs are too vague and subjective. 

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 8:10 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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Just as people with RCs have a right to make them, you can refuse them for whatever reason you want. You can turn down ANY book request. I'm sure that person is used to having a fairly large number of their requests refused, so you likely wouldn't be the first.

I generally tend to at least read RCs and generally will take them on a case-by-case basis. A lot of the books I post are books that are indeed in like new condition and if I think the book will meet that request, I accept.

If the RC has a snotty tone, is very vague, or is very long and wordy with huge explanations, I'm likely to decline though--and the ones that aggravate me more than people asking for 'like new' books are the ones that simply re-state the PBS guidelines or parts of the PBS guidelines like "no water damage" or something. While I usually will accept them, I have turned down a few simply because of the tone of the RC.  At least people with RCs asking for like new books are using the RCs as they were meant to be used--to stipulate that you want something 'above and beyond' the PBS posting guidelines.



Last Edited on: 3/12/09 8:11 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/12/2009 8:36 AM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2009
Posts: 2,680
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A lot of people have felt forced into adding RCs repeating the PBS posting guidelines due to repeated bad experiences. They may annoy those who are careful to follow the rules, but they also often reduce the number of RWAP books received. Unfortunately, many members are completely ignorant of the rules until they encounter them in RCs, having not felt the inclination to read them before posting.

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 8:48 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 1,564
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I would probably turn that one down, even if the book was in like new condition in my mind, because you never know just how many creases are too many for them or what other ideas they might have.  I just wouldn't want to take the chance on getting a bad transaction out of a perfectly fine book.

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 9:00 AM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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I don't think it's stepping over the line since PBS has not indicated there is any "line" on this issue.  One is allowed to put whatever they want in their RC's.  If you (general) can't meet their request(s), simply decline.

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 9:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I wouldn't accept it even if I had a brand new never read book. The make books so cheaply now that even new ones have some wear to them.  If she gets a lot of turn downs then she needs to get rid of her RCS.  I only post postable books so RCS like this annoy me too.  I can see the dust jacket, no smoking, no ex library book ones.  But the ones that nitpick or ask for basicaly new books irritate me.

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 3/12/2009 9:34 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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I had a request for a book today that had RC's.  I actually considered starting a thread about it.

Like Cheryl I will read the RC's.  My last three requests for books had RC's that repeated PBS standards.  I pm'd one and said it was a shame she had to do that.  She said that she had received so many books with water damage she included NO water damage as a part of her RC.  She actually had someone pm her and say the book only had "a little water damage" and ask if she wanted it!

I came very close to turning down this last request.  She went through many PBS guidelines and at the end said if the book didn't meet these standard she would submit a RWAP a demand her credit back.

I don't have that many requestors for my books, they're a bit older and I don't have that many calls for them.  Right now my books are books that I accumulated because I was a heavy duty patron of the three bookstores in my area.  I'm reading them as fast as I can.  So I hate to turn down a request.  I hope to get to the point where I can look at an RC like that and say phooey on that!

I have my own RC stating that I'd prefer books from a non-smoking home.  That it's a preference but not something that will cause a problem.  That's simply so I can repost without a problem.  I think if I got one I'd just give it to the library for their sale.  A clarification my request is just "prefer books from non-smoking a home, a preference not a deal breaker." 

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 10:17 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,773
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I got turned down on my RCs yesterday simply because I state that a lot of my books go to alternate addresses and please don't worry I will make sure they get marked received! I only put that in because I send a LOT of books to alternate addresses and there had been some concern expressed about it here, but I got a rude message saying that my RCs were too COMPLICATED! Which is ridiculous since my RCs don't actually have any conditions in them at all...I guess I'll turn them off now though if I'm going to get turned down b/c of them. I was just trying to make people feel more comfortable about shipping to non-PBS members.

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 10:18 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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When I come across an RC asking for a new book, my reply is:

I'm sorry, but this book has been read several times, and I do not feel that it meets your requirement for a "[insert descriptor from RC]" book. I hope that someone else is able to fill your request soon.

Many of my books are in better-than-PBS condition, but with the rare exception, they don't look new. I often buy them used or receive them through here. So I often have to decline those requests.

Bottom line: If you're not comfortable with the RC, don't accept it.

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 11:08 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 10/4/10 8:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/12/2009 11:24 AM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 6,991
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Last Edited on: 3/17/09 10:15 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/12/2009 12:59 PM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2006
Posts: 2,077
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I agree with tomboymom. I'd turn it down in a heartbeat. The person's standards are obviously very high. I am not confident that I would interpret "very good to excellent" the same way they would, and we would both be disappointed in the transaction. I'd make us both happier by declining and removing all doubt.

I do read RC's and accept those I feel I can confidently comply with.

Date Posted: 3/12/2009 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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IMO, people who have very strict appearance related standards in their RCs are either accustomed to being declined, or they soon will be.  They'll either get tired of that & change them, or they'll be fine with it & leave them as is.  Either way, what's relevant is whether you as a sender feel comfortable with accepting a request with RCs like that.  If you don't, then politely decline & move on.  The only thing that I really think of as inappropriate in those situations are snarky responses to the requestors.  They can request that the books they receive be only purple with pink polka-dots on them if they like.  That doesn't mean they're actually going to get any books in that condition:P

Last Edited on: 3/12/09 3:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/12/2009 4:11 PM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2008
Posts: 232
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I'm likely to decline though--and the ones that aggravate me more than people asking for 'like new' books are the ones that simply re-state the PBS guidelines or parts of the PBS guidelines like "no water damage" or something.


I am sorry if those requests bug you,  but the reason I felt compelled to restate the requirements are the number of senders who do not comply by the site rules.  I am NOT picky about a book being new or like new -- I happily accept library discards and so on, but I do want senders to comply with the site rules and I am hoping that by restating them as a RC, that I might weed out the most egregious violators.  Even still I just got one where the spine was falling apart which is quite discouraging in terms of using this site.

Last Edited on: 3/12/09 4:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/13/2009 10:08 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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I do read RC's and accept those I feel I can confidently comply with.

This phrasing -- "confidently comply with" -- sums it up for me, too.

Date Posted: 3/13/2009 4:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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What kinds of books are the people who have all the problems with receiving unpostable books ordering such that it's so many that they have to have RCs re-stating the PBS guidelines? I am seriously asking--because I just don't have that problem and never have. I've received, to date (goes to look) 1,241 books over a 3 1/2 year span, and if I remember right, I've had 6 problem books come in.  And most of those happened somewhat early on, before they even HAD the RWAP system. And a couple of those were due to USPS mangling the packaging. I have a few unpostable freebies available, but they didn't come from PBS. Virtually all of those are ones I picked up at Friends of the Library sales that I either could tell were a little water damaged but that I wanted to read, so for a dime, I picked it up anyway or that I didn't notice the problem til after I got it home and looked the books over more closely.

I receive on average several books a week, check them over carefully before I mark them received...they're fine! Many are like new. Even the obviously used ones are very postable. I get mostly mass market paperbacks, but also a good mix of trade paperbacks, hardcovers, library editions, and the like. But....no water damage, no cracked spines, falling out pages, moldy smell, boogers, mysterious stains, nothing. I order primarily mystery, fantasy, historical fiction...with some paranormals, some pagan reference, some general fiction...is there a particular genre that you guys with many problem transactions order? I really am curious as to why some folks have so many problems and others don't.

Anyway, as others have said, everyone has a right to have whatever you want in your RCs. And senders can refuse any that they want as well.


Date Posted: 3/13/2009 5:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,136
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Cheryl, my experience has been like yours, and I too was wondering if it was a genre thing.  In fact, last week I got three PBS books in one day, from 3 different senders, and each book looked brand new--I mean, like the pages hadn't even been opened.  Looking at the books someone would have thought I just got back from Borders.  Obviously not ever book I get is like this, but it's very rare that I get an unpostable.  I usually order mysteries, literary fiction and nonfiction.

Date Posted: 3/13/2009 6:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2006
Posts: 183
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I usually order mysteries also, and I rarely get an unpostable.

Oh Cheryl...btw...there may be a leftover boogey in Shadow Man...lol...j/k!

and back on topic...I don't know how an RC can get enforced, especially the subjective ones. I suppose that TPTB can intervene.

Date Posted: 3/14/2009 11:20 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I order a lot of mysteries too and I've gotten a few that were beat up/borderline postable and I've marked 2 as RWP now.  They were both nice tradesize books too but basically split in half.

Date Posted: 3/14/2009 11:26 AM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 3,308
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The books that have been problems for me are paranormals or fantasy that have been wishlisted for a while.  I think that they have just been through too many hands.  I've also had a problem w/ BOB books, so that I rarely have it turned on anymore.  About 2/3 of my trades have been great but the others have had water damage and broken spines. 

I'm actually thinking about writing an RC for spine damage to turn on  for books where there are lots in the system or WL books that have been around for a while to try to head off some issues.  I don't mind creased spines, just broken or breaking ones.

Last Edited on: 3/14/09 11:27 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/16/2009 6:18 PM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2005
Posts: 3,030
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That's the kind of RC that typically gets turned down.

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 3/17/2009 3:59 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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I usually order mysteries and I've received 100 books to date.  Compared to others not many.  I've had seven unpostables since January.  Torn cover (half of it gone), cracked spine with pages falling out, three with water damage, one with stains of unknown origin and an ARC. 

From all that even though I contacted everyone and politely asked for my credit back...one person responded and returned my credit.  The others ignored me or I got the famous "that's how I got the book, it's an old book what do you expect, it's only a little water damage."  My favorite was what's an ARC?

I was strongly tempted to just give up on the site.  But decided to hang in for a bit longer.

I've had a couple of people that had RC's and I felt I could meet their conditions.  After accepting I PM'd them.  One had an extensive RC quoting PBS guideline about water damage.  She told me even with that she has people PM and say the book has a little water damage would she like to have it anyway.


Last Edited on: 3/17/09 4:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/17/2009 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Most of the problem books I have received have been children's books that I ordered for my kids.  For some reason, Goosebumps books in particular seem to come with pages coming loose from the binding.  I've also gotten kids' books with writing/underlining and stains.  I know kids are generally harder on their books, but the adults who are posting them ought to know better.

Date Posted: 3/17/2009 6:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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I'm a little concerned when people list facts or explanations in the RC text aren't the actual request. For example, "I have allergies, so no books that have been in a home with pets." It makes me wonder if it's only pets they are allergic to. I understand that it could be people just want to explain themselves, but it potentially creates room for ambiguity.

But the harder I think about this, the more I think RC could be fraught with problems. For example, if someone has an RC for dust jackets, but the dust jacket is sent in non-pristine condition, then what?

For the people who have had very few problem books, I want to ask: do you mainly order books through FIFO? Off specific members' bookshelves?