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Topic: etiquette re: restrictions on shipping

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Subject: etiquette re: restrictions on shipping
Date Posted: 1/4/2008 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2007
Posts: 445
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im new here so im stil trying to figure out what the etiquette is here.  it seems that alot of members have restrictions that are simply reiterations of requirements for posting books. 


i guess the reason that im concerned about this is that if my book is postable, then of course it doesnt have water damage, kwim?   so seeing someone post that as a restriction is a bit....i don't know....repetitive. 


even though my book meets teh requirements, what are the etiquette of sending or not sending a book due to the fact that someone has a restriction that your book meets but that is simply a reiteration of the guidelines? 


i dont know if im explaining this correclty but i worry about someone being overly picky.  


any thoughts on this?

Date Posted: 1/4/2008 6:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,534
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Some members have received too many books that shouldn't have been posted, so they like to emphasize the PBS posting conditions in their Requestor Conditions.  And some members have problems with allergies or asthma, so they have conditions such as "No books from a smoker's household."   

Will some members be overly picky?  Possibly.  But most aren't.

Not everyone feels this way, but my opinion is, if your book meets the conditions, then send the book.   

Last Edited on: 1/4/08 6:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/4/2008 6:21 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2007
Posts: 445
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i do understand the non smoking issue..and allergies (dogs, cats, etc. etc.).   btw, my books are all from non smoking homes but we do have cats. :) i GET those conditions..i just dont get the reiteration of the rules that we all have if we have posted the books, yk. 


maybe im being too sensitive (which is what dh is telling me! lol!).

Date Posted: 1/4/2008 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,231
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If only all members had the same ethics as you Alex, unfortunately there are some bad apples that have sent  books not meeting the posting guidelines. It does seem like a DAH! issue, but there are members that don't know, don't understand, or don't care if their book meets basic posting requirements.  Reiterating the ones that mean the most to us is a way to wave that flag at the sender on last time in hopes of getting them to double check the book. Requester Conditions are allowed by the site so hopefully if your book meets the conditions you will send it. It is within you rights to not trade a book if you don't want to. Just be polite about it.

Date Posted: 1/4/2008 6:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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This is the way I look at it Alex.   This site allows requestor conditions - with no restrictions.   Therefore - anybody can ask for any conditions they choose.       As the sender - I read the conditions - if my book meets them, I send the book.        IF they don't - I send a PM saying "sorry - my book doesn't meet your conditions" and I move on.

I don't care WHAT the conditons are - that's not for me to judge.    The only thing I judge is if my book meets it or not.

Hope this helps.

Date Posted: 1/4/2008 7:16 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2006
Posts: 1,956
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Unfortunately, there seems to be a handful of members out there that seem ignore the guidelines.  I've received books with water damage, loose pages and even a couple that were taped back together.  This is pretty rare (about 6% for me - that's 15 damaged books I've received) but it does happen.  So, my conditions actually read:

The only condition I have is that books sent to me meet Paperback Swap (PBS) condition guidelines (Those are the conditions you agree to when you clicked the button that said "I can post this book.")

You should not have to click that you cannot meet this condition, because if your book does not meet the PBS conditions, they should not be posted here to trade & should be removed from your shelf. 

I know this request sounds absurd to those of you who follow the rules, but I've received several books lately with wavey pages from water damage or books where you could see the spine through the pages on the inside of the book.

Believe it or not, I've gotten about 4 damaged books since I put that condition in place, so even with that warning, some people still don't read the guidelines.


Date Posted: 1/4/2008 8:27 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Alex, I'm one of those who restates the rules.  Imagine what I've received in the mail to actually motivate me to decide that I needed to do that?!?!

Date Posted: 1/4/2008 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2007
Posts: 445
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wow!  im just amazed.


ok, i think i need to set conditions! lol!  


thanks everyone.


Date Posted: 1/4/2008 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,223
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Alex - I would only set conditions if YOU yourself have had issues with bad books. You will find that many, MANY PBS members have real problems with requester conditions and will refuse to send a book if a requester has conditions. Many get really upset at the reposing of the conditions especially. Picky to some, but true and it's largely because they fear running into an overly-picky person who will have problems with the book -real or imaginary.

So, picky also falls on the other end of the scale. Those that seem to think a ripple or bump is unacceptable. They read the posting conditions to the extreme and site the "I only send out perfect books" as a reason to be overly picky.

It's a two way street and until you've travelled it a couple of times to form your own opinion I'd opt to leave off the requester conditions that repeat the PBS guidelines.

I've been here going on 8 months now and swapped many, many books. I have had no where near the problems that many people have had on here. In fact, I've had two problems. That's it. I'm actually the norm - you'll find that the "norm" rarely post unles they have an ax to grind - I've been guilty of that once or twice myself. It makes it appear that the bulk of the PBS members have a lot of problems and that is simply not true.

And no, I don't have requester conditions per se. Mine asks not to be sent hard covers that don't have dust jacekts. It's away from the postable conditions so that's why I have it listed.

So if I were you, until you actually swim here instead of treading  water in this pool (cool analogy! lol) I'd stick to requester conditions that are unique (such as mine, allergies to smoke, cats etc) and away from the reposting of the rules.

Last Edited on: 1/4/08 9:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 1/4/2008 10:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Well I received a WL book recently that had disgusting brown stains everywhere. So not everyone follows the PBS guidelines when posting books.  I have turned down requests before for seeming to picky. I had a 20 yr old OOP/HTF paperback romance book w/84 people on WL.  The 1st one said "I want only books that look brand new, no spine creasing, no yellowing, no dog eared pages" etc..., Um hello it's a 20yr old used book.  I declined that one. The book was perfectly within PBS guidelines. But it was yellowing and had been read a few times-but for a book that old on probably it's 3 or 4th owner it was in excellent shape.  The 2nd person was pleased as punch with the book. 

But if the requests just say, "please make sure it meets PBS guidelines" then I accept. I don't send out unpostable books except a freebies w/an order.

ETA: I agree with Susan.  Unless you get some bad books, don't put conditions that repeat the guidelines unless you want a lot of request turned down. There's is constantly someone posting on here that their requests are being declined for this reason and the decliner saying "I'm afraid I won't get my credit".  I've received about 50books from here and only 1 was bad enough for me to mark as having a problem.

Last Edited on: 1/4/08 10:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/4/2008 10:06 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2007
Posts: 445
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see, thats exactly what i worry about.  if someone is posting what is already required, they may be extra picky and really..im here to have fun..not to provide someone a brand new type paper book, yk?? :)


i will take your advice though and hold off on restrictions for now.  i myself find it annoying to have that pop up when im simply answering a request for a book. :)



L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 1/5/2008 1:23 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Alex, I have a "no water damage of any kind" condition.  Look at my stats.  I have sent 500+ books and received 600+ books.  Would someone who is picky really be satisfied with 600 random books?

The point is, I finally just got completely fed up with receiving books that should never have been posted and were posted when the damage was obvious.  Sure, people can make mistakes, but when the book looks like it's been through the meat grinder and is moldy, it's a little hard to believe they missed the damage.  So I had to resort to reiterating the "no water damage" condition.


patticom - ,
Date Posted: 1/5/2008 3:49 AM ET
Member Since: 11/3/2007
Posts: 416
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That's something that you are going to have to decide for yourself, and I agree with the others that I would wait until your first 10-20 swaps before you decide anything at all about Requestor Conditions of the random nature.  My conditions are long and pre-generated by PBS because I live overseas at a military APO address... so far I've had only 2 people turn down my "conditions" because they said they "couldn't get to the post office."  It's not actually necessary to go to a post office to mail to APO, but either they didn't understand that or couldnt' be bothered, whatever.  There are other books out there.  :)-

On the sending end, I have seriously considered turning down people for RC twice, just because they were insanely picky IMHO (one demanded children's books be brand new, no kidding!), but since my books happened to meet their ridiculous conditions, I sent them anyway.  The way I look at it they are only hurting themselves being so particular, losing out on a lot of good books/trades, but I like to think/hope that they are as picky about books they send out to other members as they are about the ones they receive.  :)  I've only turned down someone for RC once, it was for mold/mildew smells and they were requesting a vintage book (published 1940 I think)... well, old books smell and while it didn't smell at all like mold to me mildew is more subjective and I didn't want to take a chance (which I explained to them in the turn-down message).  But I never turn down people repeating normal site conditions, though it does seem like overkill.  :)  There are some who will turn down any RC though....

Enjoy the site, give it time to grow on you, and find your place here.  I think you'll like it, if you don't become an outright addict like me LOL!!  ;)