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Topic: Fussy, fussy, fussy?

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Subject: Fussy, fussy, fussy?
Date Posted: 1/5/2012 9:34 AM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2006
Posts: 3,259
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I recently posted a number of books and have gotten a number of requests.  All have conditions.

If I received a book used (from PBS) and am passing it on, how in the world would I ever know if it had ever been in the home of a smoker?  I just don't.

If I mail an audio book carefully, how do I know if it is carefully wrapped enough for the recipient?

It makes me sort of concerned that they may be just trying to scam me...that they put these things down and will complain anyway...

Does that happen often?

I think I'll just refuse the person who needs to know the life history of the book before I mail it--since I can't verify where it's been before it was at my house.

Date Posted: 1/5/2012 9:54 AM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2010
Posts: 399
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I don't think I'ver ever had a RC person cause me any problems.  I actually usually have a requestor condition on mine about smoking.  Really, the condition for smokers should read that it doesn't smell like smoke.  I received a book one time off of here that reaked of smoke and that really turned me off!  Anyway, wish you well.  I received 2 requests today and both of them had conditions.  I don't mind the conditions so much, but it does bother me some if they have ALOT of conditions!

Date Posted: 1/5/2012 10:14 AM ET
Member Since: 4/24/2008
Posts: 310
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Just sniff the book before you send it out to make sure it does not have any odors.  Some people are highly alergic to cigarette odors.  I don't have any RCs on any of my books so I take the chance I'm going to get one with odors.  In all my years of trading and buying used books on the internet (100 or more I've only received two books that had odors and those were in the same week.  I ususally recycle the bubble envelopes that come with books but had to throw that one away.  Could not take the chance that anything that I would send out would permeate to the book I'm sending out.

Date Posted: 1/5/2012 11:03 AM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2011
Posts: 2,110
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I personally have an RC about smoking as well, but I try to be specific and say no strong smoke smell and not in a current smoking home....and I define a strong smoke smell as being able to tell as soon as I open the package that it reeks of smoke.  But I think it is very unreasonable to ask a sender to account for the life history of the book, obviously unless they bought it new they'd have no way of knowing something like that.  Normally I will do my best to accomodate RCs but if it seems too vague or is just way too picky then I will deny because I don't want to open myself up for someone to RWAP me with little to no reason. 

I have gotten most of the requests on here with RCs and have not had a problem with any that I have sent, but have denied one that was pretty much like reading a novel just to get through the RC...I didn't have 10 minutes to get through it so I denied lol.

Date Posted: 1/5/2012 11:18 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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I feel your pain! My philosophy is that if the RC makes me uneasy, for any reason, I deny it -- If it starts out bad, it could also end bad. You know by getting the request that you are at the head of the FIFO line so just patiently wait for the next person.

I will comply with RCs whenever I can but if they are too long, too subjective, or too threatening (yes, I've had a few of those..."If you send me a book I don't like, then I am going to....") I don't take it personally and just move on and odds are the next person will be delighted to get the book. The beauty of RCs? They can ask for anything they want, and you can deny them for any reason -- just say "no thank you" and move on and don't offer criticism of their RC, that only prolongs it all.

Last Edited on: 1/5/12 11:19 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/5/2012 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Sorry but sniff testing a book, wont mean the person who gets it cannot smell it. Not all noses are equal.  I think it's best to just use an RC about it not currently being in a smokers home. 
I am always going, can you smell that? most can't.

Date Posted: 1/5/2012 12:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I don't accept smell ones either.  I have sinus issues.  But I will accept "not currently from smoking home" unless I bought the book just a short time before.

I might even accept a special packaging request one that's reasonable and doesn't cost me any additional expense.  For the audiobook one: my guess is that this person orders them regularly and has had them come damaged from inadequate packaging. I've had a few come that were just wrapped in paper and it was a miracle that none of the discs were scratched.  I had one I send get cracked even though it was in a bubble mailer and I had written do not bend on it.  (we split the credits on that one-I kept 1 to cover the postage and sense it really wasn't my fault but refunded 1 because it seemed fair). 

Also with smoke ones: if you send a book that was in your house and fit the "not currently in a smoking environment" RC-and they complained, you would not have to refund a credit.  Just say your house is non-smoking and so it met that criteria.  PBS will not punish you for it.  The same could be said for a smell one. If you say you didn't smell anything-what can they say?  I just don't want to deal with the hassle on that one since I know I have sinus issues.

Date Posted: 1/5/2012 12:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,212
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RCs are allowed by the site. Denying RCs is allowed by the site. It's really that simple. There is no need for you to worry about their character or what they might do. If everyone with RCs just scammed the senders the site would have did away with them long ago. I don't understand why it causes people such concern, either your book meets the RC or it doesn't (if you can't tell if it does then thats a no too) so there is no way for the receiver to "scam" you. You get the credit and it is up to you to return it. Receivers are actually at the mercy of the sender not the other way around.

Last Edited on: 1/5/12 12:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/5/2012 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2006
Posts: 368
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Wow, Sally!!!! Do people really say things like that, "If you send me a book........"? You are a very patient person. I'm afraid I would have been tempted to answer that in a not so kindl way! Wow! I'm amazed! I've been member for quite awhile,but haven't as yet come across that! Again, WOW!    M'ann

Date Posted: 1/5/2012 2:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,348
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When there's a long wish list line, the difficult RCs tend to collect at the top because they're repeatly passed over.  A really odd one might be in the number one position for a long time! indecision

Date Posted: 1/5/2012 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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Margaretann B.: I know it is unbelievable but last spring I had about 3 RCs, practically in a row, that were absolutely scary militant! I mean, even if my books surpassed their RCs there was NO WAY I was going to send it. One of the threatening RCs was totally against club rules (well, actually I guess they all probably were...) and I did report one and when I looked later the account was "closed or suspended". There are some wacky folks out there and I don't suspect that any of them enjoyed doing much trading here. But that was when I fully embraced the decline politely and move on philosophy! Having said that, I have swapped with some great people -- most of them actually.

Date Posted: 1/5/2012 4:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,460
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I don't think I've ever declined an RC, and I've never had a problem with them.  I've never had one myself.  About audio books/CDs/DVDs:  most people don't realize how many get broken in transit when only protected by a bubble mailer.  It really isn't enough.  I get a lot of audio books.  I also used to open all the CDs sent to an independent radio station, and most were just single CDs in a bubble mailer.  A lot of them arrived broken.  Audio books come different ways.  If an audio book is CDs in individual envelopes inside a box with a piece of styrofoam, it should be fine.  If an audio book is individual CDs inside a cardboard book type case (where you turn the page to get to the next CD) inside a box, it should be fine.  If the audio book is CDs in individual envelopes inside a box, it might be okay.  If the audio book is in a hard plastic (CD type) case, I recommend sending it in a box rather than just an envelope.  Extra packaging for audio books could include an extra layer of bubble wrap or cardboard inside a bubble mailer. 

Date Posted: 1/5/2012 4:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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As others have said, if an RC makes you uneasy, simply decline it. I try to take each RC on its own merit, although just before I put my shelf on hold (we're moving at the end of the month) I had a run of goofy RCs...as someone said, those really strict or strange RCs tend to collect at the top of wish list queues because they are turned down by almost everyone...so that may explain why you get a bunch in a row.

I decline any that are iffy and subjective...for example, ones that ask me to judge smell or odor. "I have never, to my knowledge, received a smoky-smelling book from PBS and I've received over 1600 books. So either I've just been really lucky, OR...my smeller just isn't very good at detecting smoke. I'm not chancing my nose against someone else's, possibly someone who has allergies. Phrases like "good condition" are subjective also--it means different things to different people.

I also decline any that are paragraphs long (I don't even read those) or that say to PM them before declining if I have questions...sorry, no. Their job is to tell me what they want clearly and concisely and if they can't, I decline. Also, 90% of the RCs that ask for a PM don't even include their contact details, so even if I wanted to, i couldn't PM until I have accepted. I usually will include that detail in my decline PM.

Bottom line: The choice is always yours--it's what you are comfortable with.


Date Posted: 1/5/2012 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2011
Posts: 634
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My 2 cents; for what it is worth.  I don't think RC are a bad or fussy thing.  I am in good faith sending someone a book, so I have spent money on buying the book and postage then in return I can make requests about the books I receive. 

I can not be around smoke; it is very simple, I will end up ill.  So I have a not in a current home smoking RC.  If you are unsure then pass right by me I understand by putting that RC on the book request, then there are people who will skip me.

I also have an RC about ex-library books; I just don't want them.  If I want an ex-library book I can walk down to the local library and pick up a book for 0.25 to 0.50 cents per book.  I don't want to waste someone's postage sending me a book I can get for a lot less then the cost of shipping :)

I have been passed by on several books because of my RC and I have no issue with that; in fact I would rather you pass me by then worry about how I might respond.  I will say I have yet to receive a book that did not meet my RC :) 

So pass by if you are unsure because no one is going to complain about it.  If they want it that bad, they can turn off the RC :)

Date Posted: 1/6/2012 10:03 AM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2006
Posts: 3,259
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With the audio books, wrapped them in newspaper, and then I put them into a bubble mailer.  I figured the newspaper was like an extra cushion.  Thanks for everyone's input.



Date Posted: 1/8/2012 3:56 AM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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FYI, the help documents specifically suggest not wrapping books in newspaper because the ink can rub off on the books while they are in transit. Not sure if this will be as much of an issue with audio books, but I imagine it could be. 

Date Posted: 1/8/2012 10:27 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
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I think if you use the shiny colored inserts, the ink won't rub off.  (But I'd check what happens if they get wet--do they run?)

Date Posted: 1/8/2012 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 399
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Pass 'em by - if you got a request, you are at the top of the queue and, even if there isn't a waiting list now, the next request down the line will come to you.  Life is too short to worry about long, weird, rude or subjective conditions - just decline politely and move on.  Personally, I reject virtually all environmental conditions since most of my books come from used sources (and those that don't are stored with them that do), we have pets of all varieties and I live in an old Victorian.  I have no problems with dust jacket, library book, etc. requests.  It's all in what you feel comfortable with - it's not like there's an obligation here.  =}

Date Posted: 1/8/2012 7:43 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
Posts: 11,880
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I have RCs and understand that some may not want to accept my request.  Okay.  But do not get rude or nasty and say something.  You are asking for trouble.  Either accept or decline.  EASY.  I say "does not meet" and move on.  And by the way, I rarely decline RCs unless it is open to interpretation, such as book must be new.  Even then if the book was only read by me, I will send it as the books I read do not get any damage, not even spine creasing.

Date Posted: 1/8/2012 8:29 PM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 2,283
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If you pass them, please don't include a detailed reasoning as to why.  I have a no-smoking RC, and I don't mind getting quick "does not meet requestor conditions".

But the last two rejects went into too much detail as to why they would not request it.  I can only guess as to their reasoning behind it, but my mind points to trying to make me feel guilty for having an RC or trying to paint me as an unreasonable person for merely having an RC.

Date Posted: 1/9/2012 7:01 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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I get where you are coming from, and I have turned down RCs before that were too complicated or that I was not comfortable with.  However, I've also been on the other side, and I have been called "fussy" before for my RC.  My RC asked that 1) the book be in postable condition according to the PBS guidelines, and 2) that the ISBN on the senders book matches the one I was requesting.  I was having a chronic problem with books I was trying to obtain in a series, and had WLed the trade paperback versions, but kept getting sent mmpbs.  After literally the 5th one, I put on the RC.  That's when I got called "fussy" for having my RC.  I hope that you can see where that might be frustrating and disappointing to the person requesting the book.  Not all requesters are out to nitpick or scam the senders out of their books- some just have had bad experiences and are trying to protect themselves from more.

That said, you are well within your rights to refuse a RC if you are not comfortable with it.  Just please be polite about it and don't call the requester names when you give a reason for declining.

Date Posted: 1/10/2012 8:13 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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There is no reason to say anything beyond "Does not meet conditions" or "No thank you". Some people do seem to want to punish the requestor with an RC and I don't get it -- it accomplishes nothing.

Date Posted: 1/10/2012 10:32 AM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2011
Posts: 56
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As a newbie to swapping I don't mind RC as long as I don't get penalized for turning down the transaction (another site I tried held refused trades against you), I used to work at a library and so I do post books with library stickers and marks or some hard backs w/o dust jackets and while they are in good shape and meet the site's requirements, they are not something you would be able to gift and as I can't leave condition comments or PM requester before sending the book I like to know their expectations beforehand, so if someone wants a like new book I know before the book is sent out.