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Topic: Frustrated with receiving books with problems.

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Subject: Frustrated with receiving books with problems.
Date Posted: 3/12/2012 4:49 PM ET
Member Since: 11/4/2010
Posts: 2
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I have received three books with binding problems.  Problems that would keep a book from being postable according to PBS guidelines.  Binding where pages are separated. 

The first book was literally in two pieces, I was disappointed, but it's a book I've been searching for years.  It's a very old book and I wanted to keep it for personal use anyway.

Received two more books with the same problem just this week.  The first one was an older book and I understand that older books that are out of print will have wear and tear.  I just wish the sender would have notified me first.  The second one this week, also had a separation in the binding.  Wasn't wrapped well (used scotch tape, instead of packing tape) and the post office had to re-wrap it because it popped open in transit.  This was a book I was hoping to repost in the future. 

Usually, I don't want the hassle of marking RWAP and just mark it as recieved, but now I'm starting to wonder if I should be marking it as a "problem".  All three books were from different senders.  I'm not picky when it comes to accepting books, I will accept anything that is postable within the guidelines.  I don't have any special requests as to the condition of books I receive.    It's just frustrating when I feel like I wasted a credit on a book I won't be able to repost.

Could mailing be causing problems with the binding separating?

Date Posted: 3/12/2012 5:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2008
Posts: 3,693
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 1:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/12/2012 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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Nicole--Sorry you've received a string of bad books!!  It's always a huge let down to open a package to discover an unpostable book!

I agree with Michelle--books need to be marked RWAP...you don't have to ask for your credit back, but marking them RWAP will let PBS know there was a problem transaction, and helps them weed out the habitiual "bad swappers".

And, books can get spine damage in the mail--especially if the book isn't wrapped well.  Unfortunately, a lot of times with broken spines, it's hard to determine if the problem happened before or during mailing.

Last Edited on: 3/12/12 5:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/12/2012 6:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
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Especially with older books, yes, mailing can cause damage.  Many older books cannot take the weight of other packages on top of them and the rough handling many packages take.  The glue/binding is older, and often brittle, so easier to snap.  Sorry this has happened to you.  I've never received a book like that, but then I don't order many older books.

Date Posted: 3/12/2012 7:20 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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I agree with the others. PLEASE mark unpostable books RWAP even if you don't want to ask for a credit back. Not doing so only encourages people to continue sending crap that will make other people unhappy.

Date Posted: 3/12/2012 11:33 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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These things seem to run in groups Nicole. 

I've also noticed some genre seem to have higher RWAP rates.  I read alot of tradesize, small imprint books.  These move very slowly FIFO but usually arrive in very good condition.  I also order some non-fiction and certain classics that I donate to a local school, a much higher number of those seem to arrive in unpostable condition...maybe 25 to 30 %.  It's actually becoming quite annoying.

Date Posted: 3/13/2012 6:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,984
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As Denise mentioned, they do seem to run in groups sometimes, just luck of the draw.  And she's right that sometimes it depends on the books you're ordering too.  I request mostly just WL books these days and as most are still pretty close to their publication dates, I find that they're usually in good condition.  Plus anything paperback is not going to last as long in general as a hardcover book. 

Date Posted: 3/14/2012 3:41 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,357
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By marking a bad book received with a problem, you're making it more likely that the sender will double check the next book before mailing it out.  Think of it as a kindness to the next person who requests a book from that sender.

If there's no consequence for mailing a bad book, the number of bad books mailed gradually increases.  The site runs on trust that people will follow the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS

Most sites have you list the condition of your book, and you page through everyone's listings and prices to choose your book.  This site says you order the ISBN.  Your order goes to the person who has been waiting longest to mail it.  And all books you order should meet or surpass the criteria.  It's really important to only click that a book arrived in good condition if it actually did -- if many people received bad books and don't note the damage, the site would start falling apart.