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Topic: Heavy Books - Why Should I Post?

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Subject: Heavy Books - Why Should I Post?
Date Posted: 11/7/2010 3:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2008
Posts: 5
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I have a copy of Under the Dome by Steven King.  I'm quite willing to part with it.  I didn't really think it was that good.  I see that it is on the Top 50 list of wished-for books.  But it would cost my $3.55 to Media Mail, plus the 43˘ PBSwap charges to print postage, for a total of $3.98.  I could buy a credit for $3.45.  So I'd be better off donating it at my local Salvation Army store (where, btw, Mondays & Fridays one can buy a plastic grocery-type bag of books for $3) and buying the credit.  I have some other heavy hardcovers where the situation is similar, like Einstein by Isaacson and American Soldier by Gen. Tommy Franks.

While I understand that it would be a pain to have varying credit prices, it seems to me that it might make sense to have some system whereby books over a certain size & weight sold for 2 credits, like audio books do.  Or maybe 1.5 credits.  Of course, no one would have to pay the higher price if they didn't want to, but some people might be quite willing.  Others may well be thinking like me, given the high number of unfulfilled wishes.  What do you all think? 

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 3:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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This comes up a lot and you find few people who agree with paying more than 1 creidt for any form of print book. 

If you use that credit to request another heavy book then you've broken even.

Or don't post it if you don't want to. Some people would post it because they want to share the book with someone who really wants it. Some would donate it because they don't want to deal with mailing it. 

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 3:20 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2009
Posts: 8,465
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I intend to post my copy of Under the Dome when I'm finished with it!  I figure that with all the deals I've received, and all the new releases that I've received through the site for simply a fraction of the cost that it would have been to obtain them new in the bookstore, that it more than evens out!   Plus, I really enjoy it every time that I can grant someone else's wish, because so many members have granted mine. 

For me, it's definitely about more than the cost of a credit.  I enjoy the sharing.  If everyone hesitated to send out a new hardcover release simply because it may cost more to send it than the cost of a credit, (which is usually only between 50 cents and a dollar anyway!) then there would be a LOT more unfulfilled wishes out there than there are now!   That's how I feel about it, anyway.  :) 

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2010
Posts: 4,316
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I've wondered what to do with large books too but just decided not to post them here....

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 3:27 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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You don't have to Dave.  But consider that some day you might want to request a heavy book (maybe have some wishlisted right now?) . . . wouldn't you hope the other members would post and mail the book you want?  Consider the cost averages, some smaller books can be mailed First Class for under $2.00 while a few of the heavier books are a few cents more than the cost of buying credits (even with Media Mail). . . it all evens out over time.

You've wishlisted a hardcover cookbook (2.9 lbs), with packaging it could fall into the same weight catagory . . . do you want a potential sender to decline posting it to your wishlist based only on mailing cost?  Would you pay extra to receive this book?  And isn't that almost the same as paying a bit extra to mail?

TPTB are very committed to 1 book = 1 credit.  That and FIFO are the characteristics that make PBS unique and successful.

Last Edited on: 11/7/10 3:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/7/2010 5:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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Since it's WL, another idea is to post it in the monthly WL Multiples thread if you have any other WL books. Shipping books out in multiples helps ease the shipping cost per credit.

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2010
Posts: 4,316
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After thinking this over a bit, I have to say that I use ebay quite a bit (ever since joining PBS I don't use ebay as frequently though).  Well, I've put things on there & charged a certain fee for shipping, but many times the actual shipping cost once it was weighed at the post office exceeded what I charged the bidder (especially for large boxes of items).  However, even when I'm out the money for it, I just dealt with it because I've bought things on ebay where the shipping fees that I paid were less than the actual shipping cost (which means the person I bought from paid more than they charged me, therefore putting themselves out that money too).

I think in the end, you just have to think of it this way: for each nice thing you do for someone else, you will receive something nice in return.  What goes around comes around as they say.  So if you post a large book here & it costs you more than usual, then when you want a book that's heavier, then you will have the chance to be repaid.

Just my 2 cents. cheeky

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 6:07 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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So the short answer is: good karma. :-)

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 6:26 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 625
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What Willa said.

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 6:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,484
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I also check the PBS members in my town to post the heavy books to them.  And arrange to drop it off.

Date Posted: 11/7/2010 6:47 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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I think it all equals out eventually.
Date Posted: 11/7/2010 6:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,210
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You can effectively make that credit worth more yourself -- just order a heavy book with it.  Since you would have gotten 1.5 or 2 credits for your heavy book and spent 1.5 or 2 to get the heavy book you requested, you are at the same place as the 1 credit gets you.

Scott (scalta) - ,
Date Posted: 11/7/2010 7:49 PM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2010
Posts: 723
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Last Edited on: 7/15/11 4:07 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/7/2010 7:57 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
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I've received heavy books.


I send heavy books.


I sometimes send some really light books that cost less than $1 to mail.


If PBS is only about the bottom line, some cool books would never be posted.  It's your book and up to you but what kind of community would you like PBS to be?

Subject: OK, I'm (mostly) Convinced
Date Posted: 11/7/2010 10:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2008
Posts: 5
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From the OP:  OK, you've mostly convinced me that it would be a good thing to post my heavy book.  Even though I'm not a religious person, I might argue, however, that the Salvation Army also does good things with the money they raise from donations.

@Amber A:  It seems to me that on eBay shipping charges are a major profit center.  Everyone seems to charge rather more for shipping than it actually costs.

@Emily E:  Is there in fact a way to post to members in one's town?  I'm not aware of such.  Suspect gas costs could quickly wipe out any shipping savings.

I'm still interested in what others have to say.


Date Posted: 11/7/2010 10:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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As others have said, I like the "one book = one credit" system. It keeps things simple, and with a site like this, I think simpler is better. If you started charging more for 3-pound books, next someone would argue for charging half a credit for 4 ounce books because there's hardly anything to them.

I do post big hardcovers (Le Morte d'Arthur, anyone? LOL) but I offset it by ordering my share of big hardcovers, too. I also send lots of books that weigh less than 6 oz. It all evens out in the end, is the way I look at it. And for those who are unwilling to pay the extra to send those heavier books out, it's always their choice whether to do so or not.

There isn't a way to enter a book's ISBN and see if it is wanted by someone in your town, but if you have a local PBS group and know them, you likely will have them as PBS buddies, and can check their wishlists and post directly to them or arrange to swap books at your PBS local meetings or whatever. :)


Date Posted: 11/7/2010 11:44 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2010
Posts: 4,316
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Yeah, on ebay, many people get more for shipping than they should, but sometimes it turns out that it's not enough.  And with all their fees, I sometimes end up behind.

As for this site, I think (so far) for me it's breaking even.  I've ordered more books than shipped out so far but I've bought credits that I've used & for the most part, it's all probably evened itself out.  I think bigger books will eventually even out for you also.  I'm sure that sending out smaller books will be a lot cheaper so in the end, the cost will probably cause you to break even.

Date Posted: 11/8/2010 1:24 AM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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Like others that posted, I post heavy books when I'm finished with them even though I know they'll cost me a little more to mail.  I'm sure that the person on the receiving end is appreciative of getting the book.

I've also requested and received some heavy books.  One in particular I had on my wish list for quite a while--didn't really think it'd ever be posted, but eventually it was.  When I got the book, it was in great shape and I was super excited.  I ended up buddying the sender an additional credit because I was so excited to get the book and wanted to help defray her extra postage.

Date Posted: 11/8/2010 1:54 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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LOL Dave, and yes Salvation Army does good stuff. 

I'm slowly friending PBS members in my region.  Doesn't make shipping cheaper, but if I have books on their wishlist they sure arrive fast!

Date Posted: 11/8/2010 9:14 AM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2008
Posts: 84
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I post heavy books if there is a wish list for them. I like knowing that the book I have is going to someone who wants it.   I have also ordered some heavy books (a really nice Wheel of Time reference book, hardcover, comes to mind). I don't post the heavier books if they are already in the system (and I tend not to order heavy books for the most part, as I like the paperbacks for carrying around). I figure a few extra pennies more than offsets the hard-to-find books that I've gotten on PBS...love that wish list, eventually you can get almost anything if you are patient.

Something that I found out from friends who volunteer: The Salvation Army and VOA getsso many books that some are sent to resellers or landfills, not put out for sale. So I still donate to them, but not really good books. Those I swap, or give to a library that I know has a book sale and can use them.


Date Posted: 11/8/2010 9:55 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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I would say just wait until you feel like spending the extra money on shippng to post it. I don't post many hardcovers or heavy books, but sometimes it's worth it to get rid of the book and get the credit. I do it when it's worth it to me, and then I don't have to worry about the fairness of it all or anything.

Date Posted: 11/8/2010 10:46 AM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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You also don't need to pay the PBS charges for postage.  If you use PayPal, you can use their shipping and only pay an extra .19 for DC.  Here's the link:

Pay Pal Shipping

The way I look at it is that it all evens out in the end.  Some books I send cost less than $2.50 (small paperback) and some close to $3.00 (larger paperback).  The only books that cost over $3.00 are hardback books and I send few of them.  If I have a book thats postable, I will offer it through PBS because I like contributing to this community.

Date Posted: 11/8/2010 1:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 160
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I actually just mailed that book off this morning and I was sitting there thinking that the postage wasnt bad considering how heavy that book is.  I kind of felt like I got a good deal on postage.  LOL

Date Posted: 11/8/2010 2:15 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 625
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I just got home from mailing "The Help.'  I had felt terrible when I had received it and saw how much it had cost the sender to mail.  I feel better now that I've had the opportunity to send it on to someone else who is looking forward to receiving it.

What goes around, comes around.

Date Posted: 11/8/2010 2:38 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 606
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Reasons #1-7 -- your own wishlist.  Just a random review showed two hardbacks over 700 pages in length, two hardback books over 600 pages, and another three over 400 pages.   You want others to send you the more-expensive -to-mail hardbacks.   As Willa said ---- good karma :)