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Topic: How come no one wants to swap with me?

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Subject: How come no one wants to swap with me?
Date Posted: 12/29/2010 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2010
Posts: 27
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Hi everyone! I am new to paperbackswap...I was so excited when I started, got my 2 credits after posting 10 books...then got even more excited when 2 of my books were on someone's Wish List...then nothing. Hahaha I don't mean to feel slighted, but are my book tastes pretty bad that no one else wants the other books I've listed? What are your "tricks" to get your books swapped? I see so many books in this forum I'd like to get, but I don't have any more credits! Short of buying credits, what do you experienced members do to "market" your bookshelf?

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 2:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 3,041
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If you add the books on your bookshelf to your Reminder List, you can see how many copies of it are already in the system. Assume that you are toward the end, if not the last one on that list, because you are only 2 days old.

It's not that you have bad books; it's just that the books you have posted are already in the system. Since it works FIFO (first in, first out) it can sometimes take awhile for you to work your way up the line. It might go faster depending on if someone who requests the book has Requestor Conditions. If they get denied by people in front of you with that book, it could make its way down to you.

You also have some kids' books, and a lot of people will not spend 1 credit on a child's book. They want deals on them. Not saying you have to offer deals in the Book Bazaar, but it is an option if you are wanting credits right now.

The key to being happy here is to practice patience. Many of us even buy books to post here. Check out your library sales; oftentimes you might find a WL'd book for a buck or less. I will often buy a book or two at the $1 store if I think it will get requested eventually. Then someone gets a new book and I get a credit and everyone is happy. Check out yard sales and garage sales in your neighborhood--you never know what people are selling for cheap. 

You can also purchase credits in the Kiosk for $3.49 each, or from other members for even less than that.

Make posts on the forums so people get to "know" you and see that you are an active member. Oftentimes people will order a book from someone on the forums because they know that chances are that person will ship out the book sooner.

Some books move faster than others, so even if you have 100 other copies ahead of you, it could still get order in a few weeks. 

Ronda (RONDA) - ,
Date Posted: 12/29/2010 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2009
Posts: 415
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Well there are different reasons.  Drop them on your reminder list and you will find :

1. a couple like the lovely bones have over 600 copies in the system.  since it is on fifo (first in first out), you will likely wait a long time.  the problem with this book is that it is so popular that there are many copies in the system.  But it is also possible that someone will order directly from you for a heavily posted book if you offer a deal.

2. Several of your books are the only copy in the system, but they might be considered special interests (nanny ).  so it is harder to find the person interested in that.

3.  Several are childrens books.  since they are generally smaller, some might not want to spend a credit on them.

what can you do about it?

In the Book Bazaar there is a post for only copy in the system, you can try listing your only copies there and maybe someone will notice it. 

In the book bazaar you could offer a deal like sesame street books 5 for 2 credits and list the books you have available.

you can also buy credits in the book bazaar from other members for less than pbs sells them for.


Date Posted: 12/29/2010 2:14 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,570
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Welcome aboard, Karen.  I looked at your shelf and I'm guessing that your books are probably common within the system and since it works on FIFO, it may be a while before they get requested.  Lots of people, myself included, hit thrift stores, FOL sales and garage sales to beef up their bookshelves.  My suggestion would be to avoid books by authors like Stephen King and John Grisham as they are heavily posted in the system.  There are many others who are also heavily posted, but those two came to mind right away.  Look at the club WL to see which books are in demand right now and check in the genre forums to see what kind of books are being sought after.  I know that manga and newer cookbooks, and newer craft books usually do really well.  I keep a list of authors whose books I enjoy, but who are rarely posted in the system.  Robert Rankin is one you can never go wrong with as his books are seldom posted; every time I find one I already own, I post it and it immediately goes on hold for someone.  Zombie books are generally in high demand, too.  There have been many threads posted on just this topic, so search this forum and you'll find all kinds of suggestions to help out.

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 2:18 PM ET
Member Since: 12/17/2010
Posts: 51
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I am new too, and I bought credits in the book bazaar for $2.50 each. When I finish reading the books I bought with those credits I purchased, I will have more to swap. A few of my books I thought would move fast are really popular too...I did the reminder list and now I know that there are many other people with these books posted! I got really into it a few weeks ago, and now I have like 10 books to read! So far I love PBS!

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 36,601
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Welcome Newbies!!

Ditto on advice already given.  I  have found the fol sales are the best for getting books for less than a dollar.  Plus they have computers, so you can see if they are wish listed before you buy them.  I have added to my shelf this way, trust me, it works!!

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 8,411
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PBS is built on patience.  You've only been a member for two days!  Here at PBS we wait for orders, wait for Media Mail to deliver, wait for our wishlisted books to pop up.  Your books will be ordered.  You may just have to wait for it to happen.  :)

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 3:03 PM ET
Member Since: 11/9/2009
Posts: 196
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I would post a childrens book deal in the Childrens Books forum.  I request mostly kids books and the book bazaar is too busy for me, so I watch the childrens book forum instead.

I also buy used books to post.  Thrift stores are great for this.  I also buy at garage sales.  You can do a search on heavily wish listed books to get an idea of what will go fast.

Good luck!

Ronda (RONDA) - ,
Date Posted: 12/29/2010 3:49 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2009
Posts: 415
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you can also ask friends or family if they have books they would like you to get rid of.  my mom gave me 4 boxes of my dads books she wanted to get rid of and my sister has given me some too.

And you can get a referal credit if you someone you refer signs up, says you refered them and list 10 books. 

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 4:08 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 1,516
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I've also noticed it seems to come in spirts.  I won't have any orders for awhile and then I'll get several real close together.

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 4:14 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 621
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Hi Karen!  Welcome!

Are those first book requests exhilarating?!?  Then the let-down of the slow down.... LOL

My problem is having soooooo many books on my wishlist.... I think I'm pretty maxed out.  So occasionally I look to see which books on my wishlist are heavily wishlisted and buy a couple of those new so that I can read them and turn around and post them for credits right away.  At least that keeps books moving through my account and credits coming in. 

You'll learn to get creative about getting your PBS fix.  Enjoy!

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 5:31 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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All of the above suggestions especially building a diverse shelf and as large as you can store and manage.Also offering creative deals in the BB. RD
Date Posted: 12/29/2010 6:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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May I add my "welcome" to the new members? I went through the let-down feeling after the first couple of quick requests after I joined.

After you've explored the site more - figuring out how many copies of a book are in the system, spot-checking the daily wish list, even visiting the forums (if you're interested in that sort of thing) for particular genres - you'll get a feel for what people are looking for, what may be on their Reminder List, and you'll get a lot of very helpful hints from members here.

As stated above, patience is required here, and you never know when a book will be requested. I've had someone request a book, apparently look over my Bookshelf and request a book that has maybe 100+ copies in the system. You NEVER know when a book will be requested. I don't know what genre(s) you're into, but in the Love & Romance forum there's a thread called "Is This on Your Bookshelf" where members post titles (NOT wish-list titles) they're looking for - that's a good way to find out what some people are looking for. This is very different from posting titles and looking for swappers, though, so you have to be careful in that. I don't know if other forums have a similar thread, but I've taken advantage of it on the L&R boards.

Requests coming is spurts is absolutely true! Weeks with nothing and then a request every day in a row. All the suggestions stated here are on target - just relax and enjoy PBS. My shelf has been on vacation hold since Thanksgiving and I'm getting twitchy, ready to swap after the first of the year.


Subject: This is a great community
Date Posted: 12/29/2010 6:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2010
Posts: 27
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Thank you everyone, you have all been so helpful! I will do all as advised...in fact, thank you to the couple of those who requested 3 of my books from my bookshelf. I wasn't sure what kind of books to swap in this community, but looks like there are a lot of readers here who like off the beaten path books - YEY! coz that is exactly the kinds I have (i thought i should only post popular books...). I gave away so much through freecycle....(but hey, at least someone benefits!). Again, thank you all!

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 6:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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You've only been a member for 2 days and it's in the middle of hte Holiday season. Give it some time.

Subject: I remember
Date Posted: 12/29/2010 7:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,522
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 I remember being 2 days old in PBS. The thrill of  book swapping with other people who love books was  exciting. ( I too thought it would be fast paced)   Once I heard about this site , I jumped right in and waited.  Welcome aboard---stay awhile and trade.

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 7:58 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2008
Posts: 1,191
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Yes, sometimes it just takes time. I have some books on my shelf that have been there a couple of years--and now they're starting to get requested. Others have been requested within hours of posting (and not just the Wishlisted ones, either).

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 8:26 PM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2008
Posts: 1,869
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Welcome!  It does pay to hang in there.  After a long while with a couple of books every couple of weeks or so, then...bam!....lots of orders for books that have been on the list for a very, very long time.  I figured I moved up in the system.  Then, you'll have a bank of credits to pull from on the slow stretches.  I am lucky that Hubby likes the newest paperbacks and he provides those to post after he reads them which helps a lot.  I think the advice to check out thrifts and libraries for recent heavily requested books is good advice.  Watch out....this site is very addicting! 

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 9:23 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 5,726
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Welcome ladies ,

ditto what everyone else said. It does take time.

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 10:03 PM ET
Member Since: 4/12/2007
Posts: 2,566
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You might also want to check out the Games forum - each game takes a credit (or more) to play, but you get it back at the end, and swap a book you already had for a new one!

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 11:05 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2009
Posts: 1,411
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It's only been three days, Karen. You must learn paitence when working with PBS. With a small shelf, requests come slowly. When my shelf had no more than 15 books on it at a time, I generally had one request every two or three weeks. At 40 books, I now get one a week. Beef up your shelf a bit and you'll get more interest in it. Gather books from friends and family, or buy some when your local library has a sale (mine always does two each year).

Also, keep in mind that it's the holiday season. A lot of people have their shelves on hold while they're busy with real life. Mine was on hold until just two days ago, in fact.

Getting involved on the forums is also a great to show off your shelf. Strike up conservations with members who have the same taste in books and they may request something off your shelf. That's happened to me several times.

Don't get discouraged by a slow start. Hang in there and you'll see that it will all be worth the wait!

Date Posted: 12/30/2010 3:50 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome to PBS Karen! 

Another option, is to spring clean your DVDs.  Credits can be transferred between PBS and our sister site SwapaDVD (see link at top of page), IIRC 2 DVD credits transfers as 3 PBS credits?  Somebody please correct me if I'm mistaken.  SwapaCD credits will also transfer to PBS.

Date Posted: 12/30/2010 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,274
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I agree that the more books you have on your bookshelf the more requests you get. So add books! Lots of friends & relatives have books they no longer want...go to church rummage sales, they are usually very cheap...try thrift stores for inexpensive books, estate sales, garage sales, etc.

Under the Community tab at the top of the page, go to "Top 50s" and it will show you what books are most requested as well as the most listed books -- the ones you do not want to add to your shelf because there are already hundreds or even thousands listed.

And last but not least, learn the posting requirments to make sure books you add meet the standards here -- you do not want to spend the time, money and energy sending out books  that do not meet the minimum posting standards here and then have the receiving members asking for their credits back because your book is considered "unpostable".

Good luck and welcome!

Date Posted: 1/1/2011 1:37 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2010
Posts: 19
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I've had the same issue - I think I have very marketable books, but it's been weeks with no requests!  I'd be interested in hearing more about 'deals'.  How does that work in the Book Bazaar?

Date Posted: 1/1/2011 1:49 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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Hi Janet et al.

You can read the red sticky thread at the top of the Book Bazaar entitled "How to use this forum--please read before posting here"

Basically, you decide for yourself what kind of deal you are willing to offer. You can start a thread stating that offer, and occasionally bump it up so it stays towards the top of the board. There are rules about how many threads you can start and how many times you can bump per day.

There are also what I call "common" threads such has "Multiple books by the same author" or "Wish List Multiples" or "Only copy in the system" where multiple people post their on-topic books.

There are also people posting In Search of (ISO) threads which you can respond to if you have the relevant books.

Good luck!