Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: How bad is it for PBS if someone buys a credit instead of mailing a book?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: How bad is it for PBS if someone buys a credit instead of mailing a book?
Date Posted: 5/14/2008 6:06 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2006
Posts: 35
Back To Top

I don't understand well how this works. 

I have been a member for 2+ years and have mailed out 200+ books (I've received close to 200 also).  Our mail service is no longer delivering to our house (only to the PO; we live rurally) and I would find it significantly more more convenient to purchase credits than to mail books out.  In other ways my life is currently more complicated than it used to be, and mailing books out is another thing I would like to not think about.  I don't expect it to be this way forever, but it might be for several months or a year. 

But I know that mailing books to other members is in the spirit of this website, and I don't want to be a loser if buying credits is a burden to PBS in some way.  I seem to remember something about R&R (or is it now just R?) having to make up for the lack of a book somehow, and people donating credits to make up the shortfall.  I don't want to hurt PBS by buying instead of mailing.

But I love getting PBS books in the mail, and I've been waiting on at least half of the titles in my wishlist for as long as I've been a member here.  I don't want that to end just because I find it difficult to mail books out.

I'd love to hear some seasoned members weigh in with thoughts on this.  Thanks.


Last Edited on: 5/14/08 6:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/14/2008 6:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

Well you could buy credits from another member who would have sent out books to earn those credits.  I for one have way more credits than I'll probably ever use and have sold credits a few times to cover postage. 

I think as long as the majority of the members send out books then it's ok that some buy credits.  Some people have really huge bookshelves that help compensate for those of us who don't. 

Date Posted: 5/14/2008 6:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
Back To Top

I think there are a good number of seasoned members that do not maintain a bookshelf anymore. As Mary said, if you are buying from other members in the BB (where it is cheaper anyway) then it really shouldn't affect PBS at all since you are only using credits that are already in circulation.

We wouldn't want everyone to quit posting new books, but I think that there are plenty people actively sending books, look how quickly the ticker climbed over 2M books. PBS has set a limit on the number of credits that a person can buy in a month, I bet they'll lower that again if they see any problems arising from too many people ordering and not posting.

Date Posted: 5/14/2008 6:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,602
Back To Top

I would have no qualms about buying credits--I've bought probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 60-75 credits (not sure just how many--most were when I first joined coming up on 3 years ago now) and wouldn't hesitate to do it again if need be. I can certainly see where it would actually be more cost effective for you to do that with the price of gas being what it is and having to drive in to a PO from a rural area to mail books.

And really, by the time you add up the postage for a book, the cost of packaging/wrapping the book, getting the book to the PO and then waiting for the credit, it's not that much more expensive to just buy the credit. And as someone else said, if you buy from PBS members who are selling their credits for a bit cheaper than the site does, it's even more cost effective. Plus it's a lot less hassle, too.

I didn't realize that there is now a limit from PBS on the number of credits you can purchase! That must be relatively new? But then again, it's been well over 2 years since I've bought any myself.


Date Posted: 5/14/2008 7:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 189
Back To Top
I was under the impression that the "having to make up for lack of a book" was for credits that the site gave to people. Like, the free credits people get when signing up, or the credit that is refunded to the requestor when a book goes lost, etc. They have to cover that by posting a book into the system or something... Actually paying for credits is a different matter. It is only detrimental to the site in that it reduces the pool of books that are available for members to request. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
Date Posted: 5/14/2008 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
Back To Top

The site has to have each credit in the system backed by a book or they have to have the funds available to cover that credit. If the site ended tomorrow and everyone expected a book for their credit, if there wasn't enough books in the system, they would have to cover it. Its an accounting/legal thing someone explained a while back.

I also wanted to clarify that the limit on credits purchased are those bt from the site (not other people). It was in a newsletter sometime in the last 6 months. If I remember right, you can only purchase 30 in a month from the site. You can buy as many as you want from other members.

Linda S. (thk) - ,
Date Posted: 5/14/2008 10:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2006
Posts: 317
Back To Top

I've sent out 500 books, and received 601 since late 2006.  So that logically should mean that I have bought at least 100 credits.  Most of these I bought from other members.  I've also transferred many credits to use for CDs and DVDs. 

There may be some esoteric disadvantage to PBS, but I haven't understood one.  I have ordered books/CDs/DVDs that I could not otherwise have.  Other members got money they would not have.  Still other members got credits they would not have had otherwise.  Overall, this seems to me to be a good thing.



Date Posted: 5/14/2008 10:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,136
Back To Top

Amanda, I wouldn't feel bad about buying credits if that's the only way you can continue with PBS, especially since you've mailed out books in the past and hope to again some time in the future.  The option to buy credits wouldn't be there if it was detrimental to PBS.  I guess if every single member only bought credits there wouldn't be any books to use them for, but since there are currently over two million books available I think we're a long way away from that.  I personally can't seem to stop buying books to post on this site, so I'm sure I'll keep us going for a while longer!  : )

Date Posted: 5/16/2008 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 11/8/2007
Posts: 142
Back To Top

there are over 2 million books on this site.  I would say buy the credits and don't feel guilty.  Read up all your TBR pile and in a year (or whenever you are ready) you will have lots of new books to post!  I agree lots of people out there like to sell their extra credits to help cover postage costs or get a little extra cash so browse the forums for those selling credits or make a post offering to buy credits. 

Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 5/16/2008 5:22 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
Back To Top

Yeah, buy credits. The site can't really go 'book bankrupt;' it just means there are a few more credits chasing the  books. The total number of available books continually goes up, so on balance things must be fine.

Date Posted: 5/16/2008 5:27 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
Back To Top

I'm not  "seasoned" member by any means but I've found this to be something Ihad thought about and am glad to read about it.  I've found so far that I've been able to find takers for many of the books on my bookshelf. I am trying to concentrate on reading books that are on WL's but reading mostly series books makes it hard sometimes. 

I do have a suggestion about sending our the books...if you have to go to the post office anyway to pick up mail - just put on your profile that you can only mail our on whatever day of the week that you go.  You can PM to people who order from you about that to see if they still want the book.  Most of the time the system seems to give a lot of leeway time that should cover your timing.

Date Posted: 5/16/2008 7:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2005
Posts: 1,621
Back To Top

Last Edited on: 2/5/15 8:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/17/2008 12:32 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

I 2nd what Ruth says.  If you have to go get the mail anyway, keep your shelf active and only mail once a week or on post office days.  You can let a request sit for a few days before you hit accept to buy you more time. Then choose the 5 day mailing option.  Or use printed postage and drop it in the blue box when you get to town.