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Topic: Hardcover books?

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Subject: Hardcover books?
Date Posted: 5/26/2010 8:07 PM ET
Member Since: 5/24/2010
Posts: 8
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OK, I'm relatively new here but I belong to some other sites like this.  My question/comment here is this:  Just about all of my books are relatively new hardbacks with dustcovers intact, whith no damage or dirt at all and I have already sent out 4 of them and have two pending requests. (I just don't ever save most paperbacks but just give them away around in my neighborhood).

Soooooo, several of the books already sent out and the two pending requests are really heavy books. I just think that more credit should be given to members who send out REAL BOOKS, meaning hardbacks, because we are paying far more postage than the little, often in bad shape paper versions.


It's just a true fact that paperbacks just don't withstand the ravages of time and even normal wear & tear like hardbacks do. I believe that members who send out hardbacks should be compensated with MORE CREDIT.


That's all.





Last Edited on: 5/26/10 8:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/26/2010 8:10 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 2,585
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I can understand where you're coming from, but with the FIFO, one book/one credit system, it all works out.

I may send out a book that costs a bit more to mail, but I also have stacks of hardcovers on my wishlist that someone out there will be ready to trade out and swap to me.

A book is a book.  While I do prefer my hardcovers, I would never go so far as to say that a paperback is not a real book.  All books traded here are real.  You can hold them in your hands and turn the pages.  One book = one credit.

Date Posted: 5/26/2010 8:13 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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Paperbacks, mass market size and trade size are real books here at PBS and in my world. PBS is based on a simple premise, a book is a book and a book is worth one credit.

You can of course, chose to not post hard covers to your Bookshelf due to the higher cost of mailing them. I dont mail many hard covers because I personally like a paperback book better. Easier to hold, easier to carry and less stress if I happen to bend a spine or read while I eat. I can just not post it back to PBS if I happen to "enjoy" myself too much while reading it.

I guess it comes down to this, is the book an object or is it the sum of its word, ideas and pleasure/ knowledge it brings to the reader. To me it is the contents written inside of the book, not the pretty packaging it comes in. 

Date Posted: 5/26/2010 8:19 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2009
Posts: 8,497
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For real?


It's your choice whether to post hardcovers to your shelf or paperbacks... the shipping costs to participate on the site are clear in the help documents, as are the rules...

The rules are: 1 book for 1 credit... paperback or hardcover.

In some cases, people even do deals (book bazaar, etc.) where you can get as many as 5 or 6 books (paperback or hardcover) for 1 credit... all real books, I might add!

Box-of-Books lets you trade for no credits- paperback or hardcover... all real books!

By the way... sending out a few hardcovers together may end up being less expensive than sending each one separately, due to the way the pricing on Media Mail works.  (Check out Media Mail pricing per pound on usps.com).

Welcome to PBS... I hope you enjoy it!


Date Posted: 5/26/2010 8:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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if you're concerned about receiving equal value for what you're mailing out, you are free to order only hardback books. The 1 for 1 credit system keeps things simple. Besides, I've gotten plenty of well-worn hardbacks from here. They were postable but definitely not worth more than 1 credit.
Date Posted: 5/26/2010 8:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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There has been a lot of discussion as to the 1=1, and as mentioned, you can choose to only select hardbacks to keep your trades "even."  You can also stop discarding your paperbacks and send them out as well (presuming they meet conditions), lowering the "average" amount of postage for books mailed. Some people only post paperbacks, some for postal reasons, others due to space considerations.  

Date Posted: 5/26/2010 8:35 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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Anything under one pound is the same price.

One pound to two pounds is the same price.

Very FEW hardbacks weigh over two pounds.   A few cents more to mail one not much. 

Just curious?  Why would join PAPERBACK swap if you don't want to swap paperbacks?

Date Posted: 5/26/2010 8:43 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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Welcome to PBS. 

I am in agreement with all that was said prior, basically 1 book = 1 credit.  I do have a different take.  Some of my trades are heavier than some of the hardbacks I have received or sent.  I also send reference books that are softcover and hardcover and the weight is a good 3-4+ pounds ... and I still get 1 credit for each book I send or request.  I never thought I should receive additional credits for those reference books. 

On the other hand I just sent a children's book that only weighed 2.5  ounces (0.16 lbs), should I only receive a half of a credit because of the weight.

The FIFO line and the 1  credit for 1 book works and somehow everything evens out.   Remember the hardcovers you are requesting will be for 1 credit as well.  I would also post your paperbacks here instead of donating or giving them away.

You can always put your account on vacation hold to suspend requests from your bookshelf and you maintain your position in the FIFO line.  You can set your wish list books to auto so when offered they will be accepted and you can still participate in the site and the forums while on hold.  I do this when I send the heavier reference books to recover my postage budget. 

You haven't been the first to ask this question and you won't be the last, but as you spend more time on the site and swap more books you will probably agree with how the site works.  Enjoy and have fun. 

Date Posted: 5/26/2010 8:47 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2009
Posts: 1,393
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I've posted many brand new hardcover books into the system,  and I typically only order paperback books.   I prefer a mass market paperback book, because I can pop it in my purse and read on the subway.  I HATE carting around hardcover books.   I only have ordered a hardcover if a paperback version isn't available. 

For me,  a book is a book is a book is a book.   I am on this site to find books I enjoy reading,  I am not here to find a "collectible" book to display on my coffee table.   I tend to purchase those myself. 


Date Posted: 5/26/2010 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 5/24/2010
Posts: 8
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Thanks for all the opinions, guys.

Of course I didn't mean that paperback books are less readable but I just don't keep or buy many of them these days. And FYI, I did join this site because on the ad that I read and on the homepage it states that there are also zillions of hardbacks posted on here.

My main point was that I've spent 19.86 sending out books so far. But, yes, now I know what to post for swaps here. Thank you!

Date Posted: 5/26/2010 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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Welcome to PBS Jennifer--Hope you enjoy it here!

I've been a member here since last October and have sent and received many hardcover and paperback books. I do think it evens out in the long run.  I've only received two books that I've had to mark RWAP (received with a problem)--one was a hardcover and one was a paperback.  I've also received a few borderline books--that I won't post--some have been paperback some hardcover.  I actually think that more of these borderline books have been hardcover--it's been my experience that the newer hardcover books seem to have spine problems more often than anything else.  So I don't know that I would say hardcovers hold up better than paperbacks!


Date Posted: 5/26/2010 9:13 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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Are you sending your books Media Mail because $19.86 to mail 4 books is a bit more than usual.

Date Posted: 5/26/2010 9:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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You are spending way to much on postage if 4 hardcovers cost you over $19 to mail.  A 4lb book going media mail would only cost $3.55 and that would be one big book.  I've sent out heavy hardcover cookbooks and they only cost me about $3 to mail.  If you choose to pay for priority mail then you are choosing to spend too much money on postage.

Date Posted: 5/26/2010 10:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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Yikes, like others said, you're spending too much to ship your books.

I swapped and old German textbook here once and it only cost like $3.50 to send media mail.

When you go to the post office tell them you want media mail. They should automatically do it unless you are handwriting the addresses instead of printing the labels, which say media mail on them.

Date Posted: 5/27/2010 12:29 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome to PBS Jennifer!  As you've noticed, the site works on the basis of 1 book = 1 credit regardless of size, weight, cover, etc.  But it's all good, make it work for you...post paperbacks and order hardcovers lol!

I agree, make sure your books are going out Media Mail.  It's a much cheaper rate and only in 1 lb. increments.  Some of the other rates have smaller increments, and therefore significantly more expensive when mailing hardcovers and/or multiples.

Last Edited on: 5/27/10 12:31 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/27/2010 12:35 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2005
Posts: 4,469
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You are using media mail, right?  You could always just order hardbacks(I've gotten many, and sent out many).  Or, if the shipping cost is just too much, I'm sure your local library would love a donation.  Happy swapping.

Date Posted: 5/27/2010 4:41 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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And check the weight listed before printing your label.  A scale is so helpful.  The lesser posted books (such as nonfiction hardbacks) often have incorrect weight.

I always mail media rate unless 1) the book is under 7 oz (and cheaper by first class)  or 2) the book is going over water, such as an APO, HI, AK, PR, or GU.  Books going by boat take FOREVER.  I'll often send those books first class.

Date Posted: 5/27/2010 7:50 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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I think the one book = one credit rule, except for audiobooks, is one of the better rules here. I wouldn't be here long if they changed that.

As the others have said, somehow you're paying way too much for postage. I hope your next shipments are more reasonable!

Just remember that if you want they same kind of books as you post, make sure you are ordering the right binding when you order. Don't just order by cover art, (especially since cover art doesn't have to match) but make sure you're ordering the right binding and edition you're looking for.  And if dust jackets on HB's are important then you'll need to set your RC (requestor conditions) to ask for only HB books with dust jackets. Otherwise they're not required.

Also, there are a lot of HB that come from library sales, or are otherwise used and with stickers such. All perfectly postable here. So if you want a HB book better than the standard guidelines set by the site for book conditions, then you'll need to make sure you ask for the better conditions in your RC as well. You might get turned down, but if you need help wording an RC to keep the turn-downs to a minimum, you can always ask for advice here. Lots of people can help you tweak an RC.

The guildelines for book conditions are in the help docs if you need to read them, and everyone should know them not only so the books they send out meet the rules, but so that they'll know what they're entitled to receive.

Hope you're able to find some good books with the credits you'll bet getting.

Date Posted: 5/27/2010 7:53 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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It's hard when you're new and only have "what I've spent" to look at to judge the site. But trust me, it does even out in the long haul. I'm coming up on my five-year anniversary here and have sent hundreds of like new, hardcover books. But I've also received hundreds of them, so it definitely does even out over time. As others have said, be sure you have a scale to weigh the books (or take them to the PO to get an accurate weight if you don't have one) and send them media mail. Even big heavy hardcovers are not that expensive to send!


Date Posted: 5/27/2010 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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I had a under 2 lb HB show up as 13 lbs on one label.  Always check the weight. 

If you use an APC, print out the media mail rate.  The APCs do not offer the media mail rate.  But you can buy a stamp for the correct amount and mail books there.  There is an option "to buy a different value stamp"

Date Posted: 5/27/2010 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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There's also a USPS postage calculator you can use at...


You'll need to know the package weight, and don't chose "Large Envelope" even if you wrapped your book in one. It should be "small package" or "large package."

Then it'll show you all the different postal rates for that size and weight.

Subject: Cost of shipping
Date Posted: 5/29/2010 12:31 AM ET
Member Since: 5/24/2010
Posts: 8
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I've sent out 6 books so far. Three were $3.16 and three were $2.77 which equals $17.79 plus the two trips to the P. O. to mail them.  These figures come straight from the labels I printed out on THIS system. That's all I'm saying.


And thanks again, bibliophiles.

Date Posted: 5/29/2010 6:33 AM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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Jennifer, I am not wanting to beat this to death, but many of my soft covers cost me about 2.77.  I send fiction, non- fiction and reference books.  All of them at some time have cost me $2.77 or more.  I don't think that I should get extra credits for sending heavier books may it be hard cover or softcover and I don't expect to have credits taken away for sending children's books that can weigh a couple of ounces.  

I respect your opinion, but as you are on the site more and swap more books, you will realize it works itself out.

I would also recommend that if you feel strongly about the 2 credits + for hardcovers, then you should contact the PBS Team and provide feedback on the topic.  Otherwise it falls on deaf ears, because the membership doesn't make the rules. Click on Contact Us locted at the bottom of this page and located to the right - just under the "Company" header.  

I hope you continue to enjoy the site.

Date Posted: 5/29/2010 7:19 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I would not pay 2 credits for a hardcover.  I see way too many in the thrift stores for super cheap to want to pay extra for them here.  Not just fiction ones either but reference, text books etc..., 

PBS is set up as 1 credit per book. They aren't going to change that and anger members.  There are other places to trade/sell the book if you want more for them. 

I would have only made one trip to the Post Office. I go once a week.  I plan my acceptance and mail by dates accordingly.  Sometimes I'll go twice if I'm going to be near the PO and have books to mail. But usually it's once a week. 

Date Posted: 5/30/2010 11:38 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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You really need to get a scale if you are going to use PBS postage. The weight shown for books is not correct very often. You are more often than not going to pay too much if you don't have a scale. It says right on the PBS wrapper that the weight is not garaunteed to be correct.