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Topic: Frustrated looking for help

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Subject: Frustrated looking for help
Date Posted: 1/17/2015 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 812
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Members ask for restrictions re pets, smoking, peanuts. These are used books. I do not have pets, do not smoke and don't like peanuts. But, I do not place restrictions on books I receive and can not reasonably know if a book I gratefully received from another member had exposure. Yes, I can just decline request but I am frustrated because it is not reasonable to ask a member to know the provenance of a used book. I am tired of wasting my time waiting for a member to respond only to find out they have conditions which are impossible to verify unless you purchased the book new. Is there any way to encode your account to eliminate all restricted requests and move immediately on to the next in line?

Mary Anne


Last Edited on: 1/17/15 3:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 1/17/2015 3:45 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,484
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You have the right to turn down all RCs. It is not held against you in any manner. It is your choice. Some members do turn down all RCs.

You need to manually refuse each one. You are expected to be polite. (Yes, PBS in general is really strict about the polite bit.)


Date Posted: 1/17/2015 7:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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PBS allows people to put up what ever restrictions on books they please. It's a benefit of the site, so it's not unreasonable at all to have RC's. 

I don't understand what you're waiting on, and what the receiver is responding to. An RC should be a pretty quick process, and the requestor is contacting you first, so no waiting there. Either yes, or no, except in the Textbook Exception, where you have to get permission to ship for some book conditions. Many people have said they just decline any RC. No problem there.

What are you waiting on them to respond to? Is it part of a game swap?


Date Posted: 1/17/2015 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2014
Posts: 63
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It would be a nice feature to turn them all down if you wanted so it would move on to the next person, instead of waiting for the person to say yes or no to the book and then you having to turn down the condition and on to the next person in line etc.

Date Posted: 1/17/2015 10:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,037
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I sincerely doubt that PBS will create an option to automatically turn down all RCs.

Especially since they have made it possible for all members to have RCs if they want them. RCs are a feature of the site.

By the way, I send books to all RCs that my books meet and have never had any problem at all doing that.

I don't worry about the history. If the book doesn't smell like smoke (and I don't smoke myself) then I send it. I also am able to tell if a book looks new, has no dog ear pages, isn't yellowed, or whatever the requestor is looking for.

I have pets, so I turn down that RC, but if I didn't have pets I would mail out books and not worry about the history for a single second. Unless the books smelled like animals for some reason, which I have never experienced (with the sad exception of the Cat Pee Book).

Everybody knows they are ordering used books from the site, and my personal feeling is, if you have severe enough allergies that receiving a book that was in the same house as a dog 10 years ago is going to trigger your allergy ... then you really ought to think twice about using a used book site, just to ensure your own safety. Or make it clear in your RC that you only want books that the sender knows the whole history of. Otherwise ... I really don't think that anyone expects you to decline RCs if you don't know the whole history of the book. And if they do, then that statement needs to be in their RC.

Last Edited on: 1/17/15 10:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/18/2015 2:56 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,343
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I think it's really nice that even people with allergies -- or people who can't stand the smell of smoke, or who want books with dust covers -- can still use the site for swapping.  It takes me maybe 10 seconds to click to accept or decline the RC, and type in a quick and kind (or just-the-facts, ma'am) reason, if I'm declining.  I think it works better than having members PM senders to ask about a book's condition, then having to wait for a reply. 

I haven't run into a peanuts RC yet, but I can really understand why that would be important.  Most people with a smoking RC phrase it something like, "Please no books that are currently in a smoking home."  They aren't asking where the book was before it reached me, just that it's been in a smoke-free home while it was with me.  That's easy, because I know nobody smokes here.  If someone has an RC that says they don't want books that smell funny, I'll decline, because my sense of smell is probably different from theirs.  That's easy too.  Same thing with pets -- I have cats, so it's an easy decline. 

I don't see an advantage to the site to have a way for members to skip all transactions with Requestor Conditions -- it would cut down the number of trades -- but you can ask if they've thought of offering that option.  I can see how someone might like to receive only requests without RCs.

By far, most members do not have Requestor Conditions.  Members who frequent the discussion forums are probably more familiar with the site's features, so more of them (us) likely use RCs.  The times I mostly run into RCs are when I post a wish list book.  If there are difficult or unclear RCs, they tend to gather at the top of the wish list, because their RCs have been declined multiple times, so they're kind of sitting up there.  Either they are happy to wait until someone can fulfil their conditions, or they'll eventually figure out that they need to reword them.  Either way, that condition felt important to them -- important enough to write it up -- and if I decline, I'll do it in a friendly way.  I think of the site as a large tent with rooms for all kinds of people, most of whom probably are very different from me.  I like the mix.

Date Posted: 1/18/2015 11:04 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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It would be a nice feature to turn them all down if you wanted so it would move on to the next person, instead of waiting for the person to say yes or no to the book and then you having to turn down the condition and on to the next person in line etc.

I guess it's been a while since I've sent a book out, or listed any but WL'd books. But I'm blanking on the 'waiting' part.

If you have a book on a shelf, and someone asks for it, you would then see the RC if they have one pop up. It lists their requirements, and you can accept or decline. If you decline, the book moves to the next person on the list that has it, if there is one. If you accept, you wrap, print the label, mail. 

The sender doesn't wait for the requester to answer anything, unless it's a textbook with underlining. So I'm lost on the 'waiting' part the sender does? The RC part only takes a few seconds.


Date Posted: 1/18/2015 1:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2008
Posts: 3,693
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Last Edited on: 2/2/15 12:37 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/18/2015 3:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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I think the waiting comes in when you post a book that is wish listed.  You have to wait for them to say whether they want you to send the book and then if they have conditions that you turn down, you have to wait for the next person to indicate that they want the book.  It can end up being on a "wish list hold" for several days that way.

Ah, I guess that would bump up the time a little. But in that case the main reason for the wait isn't the RC, it's the fact it's waiting on the other person to respond to the WL book. (Which is good, because sometimes I've had to buy credits when one's popped up.)

The problem there isn't the RC, it's those who don't have their book on Automatic request and/or need to buy credits if they've run out. The RC isn't making the process last more than a couple of seconds more.

WL holds are famous for sometimes running several requestors in a row. That's not due to RC's.


Date Posted: 1/18/2015 8:53 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2009
Posts: 793
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Most of the time I meet the conditions so no problem.  Today, however I got two different RCs, both of which were pretty straight forward but wanted me to PM for a "discussion" about it before I rejected. I saw no reason for a discussion.  My books were old (1930s) old bordering on rare and one didn't have a dustjacket and the other didn't have the required "like new" dustjacket. So I rejected them but I don't care for discussions as they are outside of the conditions.

Last Edited on: 1/18/15 9:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/18/2015 9:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,484
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Any RC that asks me to contact them gets turned down. And if they fail to include their screen name with the request? No guilt. No discussion.

Date Posted: 1/18/2015 11:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
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RCs should be succinct and clear enough to not need further explanation. But if a member has a particular concern regarding a book and has a question or wants more detail about it, I have no problem with contacting them if asked to do so. It's really not a big deal in my opinion, and in general I don't mind telling them more about a book they have requested if they want additional information. 

Scott (scalta) - ,
Date Posted: 1/19/2015 3:00 AM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2010
Posts: 723
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The problem about contacting the requestor then can become a test of wills on who will then cancel the request.  The only straightforward way to contact a member is to accept the order so you can then PM them.  If the sender cancels, then they lose their place in FIFO.

I will read he RC, but if it isn't short and detailed, then I deny the RC.

Date Posted: 1/19/2015 11:03 AM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2009
Posts: 793
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I also don't mind providing further information about a book's condition if someone PMs me.  What I mind is the discussion being part of an RC.  If the RC doesn't apply to this particular book, it can easily be turned off prior to ordering that particular book and it doesn't put sender or receiver in an awkward position.  e.g. if someone said they wanted my book after a discussion I'd want them to turn off their RC before I accept and send it but I'm already in a Catch 22 because I had to accept it in order to PM them.

Date Posted: 1/20/2015 1:51 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Also, sometimes when I post a book with a long WL, I'll hit a bunch of unreasonable RCs in a row as nearly everyone has turned them down and they've all clustered at the top. If you post a lot of popular WL books, I can see how that could get mildly irritating.

The one thing I will not do is engage in a back and forth regarding a book. I use PBS because of the convenience and having a conversation about one book strikes me as being a ridiculous waste of time.