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Topic: Need some help being fair to both sides on a deal I placed

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jbq
Subject: Need some help being fair to both sides on a deal I placed
Date Posted: 8/19/2011 9:26 AM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2009
Posts: 61
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I've participated in a couple of deals on the book bazaar page but only as the receiver, so this is the first time I've been the sender.  Yesterday I placed a 3/1 deal on my bookshelf and got a PM asking "if she would order 14 books, would I swing her a deal?"  I asked what she was looking for and she said 14 books for 4 credits.  My response:  "That might work. If you're ordering smaller paperbacks, yes. If you're ordering several larger and/or hardbacks, it will be too expensive for me to do that for just 4 credits. Let me know what you're looking to get and we'll go from there, ok?"

She responded with a list of 16 books, 2 of which had previously been spoken for and removed from my shelf.  Of the remaining 14, 3 are hardbacks, 6 mass market paperbacks, 4 larger paperbacks, and 1 hard to categorize book.  It's a textbook type with a spiral binding (the everyday writer).  These books weigh approximately 11 pounds.  I'm figuring it will cost $8-10 dollars to mail once they are boxed and wrapped.

I'm not trying to screw her, but I'm trying to not get screwed either.  If you were in my position, would you think 4 credits would be sufficient? I'm not sure if she was trying to sneak 2 extra books in and hope I didn't notice or if she was putting extras on there in case some had been spoken for.  I just want to be fair and I'm not sure if it is or if I'm being too uptight so I'd like some impartial opinions, please.

 

Date Posted: 8/19/2011 9:37 AM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2009
Posts: 1,938
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IMO, I wouldn't fault her for trying to get the best deal she can. With your deal of 3 for 1, she could get 12 books for 4 credits, so she is asking for two extra books (well, 4 extra books but two of them are already gone), which sounds reasonable to me.  Did your deal have any specifics about type of binding to qualify for the 3/1? I guess it boils down to how badly you want to unload the books.  If you just want them gone I would accept the deal (14 for 4 credits).  If you don't mind holding on to them I would tell her the 3/1 deal stands and she can have 12 for 4 credits or 15 for 5 credits.

Laura M. (LMM) - ,
Date Posted: 8/19/2011 9:39 AM ET
Member Since: 12/12/2005
Posts: 524
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I would probably ask for 5 credits..that is 2.8 books per credit--pretty close to your original offer.

jbq
Date Posted: 8/19/2011 9:42 AM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2009
Posts: 61
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Oh, I don't fault her for trying to get the best deal.  I know I can always say no.  I guess I didn't think 2 extra books was "right" since it was a 3/1.  If I'd offered a higher number per each credit, sure, but it just came across as sneaky to try to get 16/4. 

Date Posted: 8/19/2011 9:44 AM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2009
Posts: 1,938
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But, Laura, why would the person want a deal that is not as good as the original offer of 3 books for 1 credit? If I am asking for a deal I expect to get something better than the original offer. I think a lot of the decision hinges on how the original offer was stated.  Was it 3/1 on mmpb's only?  Or was it 3/1 on any book on the shelf?

Date Posted: 8/19/2011 9:48 AM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2009
Posts: 1,938
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I see, Heather.  I think she may have been hoping to get the 16 for 5 credits?  Which would be one extra over the original offer, which is reasonable. She probably looked at your shelf and decided she found more she was interested in, as opposed as trying to get one over on you.  But I tend to think most people aren't looking to screw over others (except for some of my family members who will screw over anyone ;-).

jbq
Date Posted: 8/19/2011 9:50 AM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2009
Posts: 61
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Sherry,

 

I made the deal for my whole shelf with no restrictions.  I only pointed out the different types of books to show that it was going to be a heavy shipment.  Because she is wanting a better deal than what I offered, I don't think it's unfair say "No, it's going to cost me extra than what I initially offered".  She has the right to not order them just as much as I have the right to refuse a deal that isn't what I offered.

jbq
Date Posted: 8/19/2011 9:52 AM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2009
Posts: 61
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See, I trust no one.  Thanks to all my ex-boyfriends who have lied and cheated.  But that's a whole 'nother ball of wax. wink

Date Posted: 8/19/2011 10:15 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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I see no problem with responding that no, a better deal would only be made on mass market paperbacks of X pages or less only. SInce since she looking for hardcovers and larger paperbacks, the original deal stands at 3/1. I found that when I offered deals it was easiest to just stick to my deal. I got tired of people constantly asking for a better one and just started saying no, I have stated the best deal I can offer.

 

Date Posted: 8/19/2011 10:36 AM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2009
Posts: 1,938
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LOL, Heather.  I am so sorry about the history and trust issues wink

And I do agree with Melanie, if you think it isn't worth it you can just say no. You made no promises, you just said you would think about it.

Date Posted: 8/19/2011 11:42 AM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
Posts: 1,924
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 Heather, the fact that your doing a deal at all is wonderful! I would stick with the 3/1 personally as it helps to cover the bigger books. I don't think there was anything wrong with asking for a better deal but I also don't think there is any issues at all with saying it does not work for you. Wishing you many happy dealings!

Date Posted: 8/19/2011 12:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I don't think it will cost you that much unless each book weighs 1lb+.  You can mail 15lbs of books via media mail for $7.99. 

Date Posted: 8/19/2011 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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Hi Heather,

Sorry to hear about your history and the trust issues.

I'm just going to offer a quantitative analysis. Based on the weight of the 14 books (11lbs) I think your estimate of the shipping cost is about right, or if anything, slightly high. It depends on whether you buy your packaging materials or get them free from somewhere or have some to recycle.

The postage for 15 lbs media mail is 7.99. I'm not sure you need 4 pounds or so for the box and padding.

So using your numbers, you'll spend $10 for 4 credits, or $2.50 per credit. (Remember, I think this is the high end)

If someone ordered just 3 books for 1 credit, chances are it will weigh 1lb (media mail $2.41) or even 2lb ($2.82). These don't include estimates for the cost of your packaging materials.

I'm assuming you are not especially attached to any book, and the original cost of acquiring the books was not taken into account. 

So I think you'll do about even or slightly better than having people take you up on 3/1 individually.

I would, however, confirm the details of the deal, 14 books (with titles) for 4 credits, with the person before sending them. Just so they don't complain about the other 2 books being missing later on.

Good luck!

Date Posted: 8/19/2011 3:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2008
Posts: 346
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I think she listed 16 books just in case some became unavailable or needed to be swapped out. See what sort of boxes you have and if you can get all 14 to fit in there. If the hardbacks won't fit in the box, ask if she would be willing to swap them out for paperback.

And a warning...when offering deals in the bazaar, I always spedify just paperbacks, since it is harder to mail out a hardback+paperbacks unless you are using a box. And, I suggest you do a 7/2 deal. Even though it is an extra book, you are guaranteeing yourself an extra credit for probably less than a dollar more shipping (sending 2 orders of 3 books is way more expensive than 1 order of 7).



Last Edited on: 8/19/11 3:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/19/2011 4:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,727
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I also think only you can decide if it is too much to send.

But I think you are probably overestimating the mailing costs unless you would buy packing materials.

Given those books, I might not even use a box. I only start looking for boxes when book orders get up to around 20 books or so.

Make a pile of the hardcovers. Then make 2 piles of the mass market paperbacks and put them sideways, next to each other, on top of the hardocvers. Place any trade sized books on top. You should end up with one more or less square pile. Put the whole pile in a plastic grocery bag and tape the plastic wrapped books well, in all three dimensions, until you have a brick of books where nothing much is moving. Then I either cut open a bubble wrapper, manila envelope, or brown paper grocery bag and wrap the brick like a present. Tape every seam, and completely around the package in all three dimensions. Pay attention to corners, too. I even keep a roll of strapping tape (the kind with string in it, and I buy them at the dollar store) and tape in all three dimensions, using that, (under the mailing address, though). Strapping tape is extremely strong and will keep even broken packages together.

I've mailed out multiple packages like this of 8, 10, 12, 14, even 16 books and never had one received damaged.

And to keep it cheap, I buy all my tape at the dollar store. You really can't use too much tape on a package like this.

Packing it like this will only add a few ounces to the mailing weight.



Last Edited on: 8/19/11 4:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1