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Topic: How many credits is too many credits?

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Subject: How many credits is too many credits?
Date Posted: 5/9/2013 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2009
Posts: 279
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I know PBS doesn't like its members to build up a big supply of credits because it creates a liability on their books (or something like that). But what does PBS consider to be too many credits?

Date Posted: 5/9/2013 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,125
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I've never heard of anything like that.

I think that for them to have the best situation, every credit needs to be backed with a book. So, I think what they really don't want is for too many people to purchase credits directly from PBS from the kiosk to get books. Because those credits are credits that PBS "makes up". So, too many of those would be bad.

They suck credits out of the site with donation programs and the like.

There is no limit that I am aware of, of individual credits that an be obtained by mailing books. I've had more than 100 at various times, and I've been keeping my balance between 40-70 for the past few years. I have 68 today.

Last Edited on: 5/9/13 1:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/9/2013 2:12 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2010
Posts: 4,320
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I've never heard of anything like that either.  I don't believe I've ever had more than 40-45 credits at one time.

Date Posted: 5/9/2013 3:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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I don't think they've ever cared how many each member has. As Sara mentions, I think they have to do more work when selling credits and having to make sure the new credits are backed up by books for tax reasons.

For each person, too many is when you decide you have too many. I don't order as often anymore, and don't post as many books, so my needs are small. (That, and many of my WL'd books probably will be few and far between.) So I only have about 20 at a time at most. Some people are happy with hundreds.

Not that I think there's any problem, but ask yourself how many you can afford to lose if the site went down. How many are you comfortable keeping on the books?

Date Posted: 5/9/2013 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 12/5/2009
Posts: 1,114
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I like to keep 10 on hand for any Wish List books that come up. I also have around  100 books to read that are wishlisted. If I get low I read one or post  one I have already read. I used to post them immediately but that gets too expensive when I do not need credits.

Date Posted: 5/9/2013 4:24 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,668
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I use to keep 20-30 credits but when my wishlisted books slowed down and I started buying most of the books I read from Amazon and other sites, I just keep 5 to 8 credits now. I'd say keep as many credits as you are comfortable with. 

Date Posted: 5/9/2013 4:35 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 10,066
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I like to have about 30 on hand as I've had weeks where I got offered 8 WL books, but it seems every time I get down to 20 or so I get a rush of orders and the balance comes back up to around 30.  I too have really reduced my activity on the site as I have over 200 on my TBR list with over 20 of those being WL by others.

Date Posted: 5/9/2013 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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It is better for their bookkeeping if there isn't a big built up of credits. But PBS has never asked us to get rid of them.

I've heard there is a limit of how many credits we can transfer between sites.

PBS does do the donations to help lower the number of credits. If they wanted us to get rid of more, then they could offer more donation programs. (Hint hint. Isn't it time for a military donation program?)

Date Posted: 5/9/2013 7:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,393
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I admit it.  I have too many credits!!!  I donate them back to PBS, I give to the military program (when they have it), I give to the school program, and sometimes I just give credits away. I also sell a few. Pat

Date Posted: 5/9/2013 7:59 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,671
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I think like Cindy.  If the site were to go bellyup tomorrow, how many credits would I be willing to lose?  Each credit is a book I've sent out so I'd be losing books.

I used to keep around 15 credits.  I don't think I've ever had more than 20 at one time.  Lately, I hover between 5 and 10 credits.  I feel rich right now, I have 9 credits.

Date Posted: 5/9/2013 8:08 PM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2008
Posts: 31
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Pardon my ignorance, but I've always had a hard time understanding the whole credit thing when it comes to PBS' liability.  

Earlier in the thread, Cindy R. mentioned that the number of new credits should be backed up with books for tax reasons.  Does PBS get taxed on credits?  If so, why is this?  

Also, I've heard that PBS loses money with Instant Credit when a book goes missing (and the sender still gets the credit).  Why is this, when it's the sender who has to pay for postage?  

I've always wondered these things :)


Date Posted: 5/9/2013 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Part of this is where PBS fits into the tax law.  I know my former, now closed, used bookstore had to fit the pawn shop tax laws due to their buying and giving credit for used books.  So there was some tax laws that did not quite fit their business that they had to follow.

The instant credit would be that the credit is applied before the book arrives.  So PBS is out the cost of the credit, rather than the sender eating it.

Date Posted: 5/9/2013 9:27 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,671
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Also, I've heard that PBS loses money with Instant Credit when a book goes missing (and the sender still gets the credit).  Why is this, when it's the sender who has to pay for postage?

When someone uses PBS postage or custom DC, they get their credit as soon as the Delivery Confirmation is scanned at the PO.  This could be as soon as they take the package to the PO.  If the counter clerk scans it into the system, then then sender gets their credit right away.  If the book never gets mark received by the other party, then it's considered lost in the mail and the requestor's credit is returned to them.  So, PBS is out a credit.  They've given the sender their credit already and had to return the receiver's credit to them as well since the book never arrived.

Date Posted: 5/10/2013 9:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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With the instant credit thing, PBS charges a fee for that and that fee is what covers the lost credits.  I don't know the site wide book loss percentage, but if I go by my own stats, if I had bought PBS DC on all of them I would have paid PBS $400+ in fees to cover the 1 audio-book I sent that went lost.  (this is why I don't really bother with DC-not financially worth it and I don't let myself stress out about books I've mailed).  Not that I think PBS is raking in lots of money on the DC.  Just saying that it's a percentages thing. They obviously collect enough in DC fees for books that get marked received to cover the cost of the lost ones or they'd up the fee.

It was explained on the boards at one time but so long ago that I don't remember it all. I think it was explained back when they started limiting the #'s of credits people can buy direct from PBS.  They have to have either the books or the cash equivilant to cover the cost of the credits they sold if there's suddenly a run on the site or hte site closes.  I really don't htink  they have to cover the credits people earn by sending out books.  It's just teh credits that PBS generates by selling direct without a book being sent to earn the credit.  It's really cheaper and more benefitial to the club to buy credits from other members as those were earned by somebody mailing something.




Date Posted: 5/10/2013 9:05 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I don't think PBS cares enough about people hoarding credtis to make a limit of any kind.  Obviously they want you to spend them because book trading is what keeps the site going. But they aren't going to penalize someone who keeps a large stash of credits. 

But I look at it like Cindy and Sarah.  While I don't think PBS is going to just up and close, it has happened with other trading sites.  If I use $2.50 as a credit value,  why would anyone want to $250 tied up as a 100 book credits just sitting here?  While I'm not poor, I certainly dont' have that kind of money.  I have 10 credits now and I feel like that's too many but my WL has been going no where for months now.  (I know it's because I wish more for non-fiction & more obscure fiction than before, not because PBS is in trouble).

Date Posted: 5/11/2013 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2010
Posts: 154
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I wonder what would happen if every member of PBS went on line sometime tomorrow and spent all their credits. Given that PBS sells credits that have no book backing them up, and many books that do have credits attached to them are sent out "free" (as part of a 2/1 deal or something), and credits get spent on new and MAB books: I would guess that PBS would run out of books before everyone spent all their credits. To make it short that are MORE CREDITS around than there are BOOKS.

I would imagine then that PBS would love you if you kept a goodly number of credits in reserve. 

Gee, I wonder if they would start rewarding us for keeping credits...probably not with free credits!



Date Posted: 5/11/2013 5:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I'm sure what they prefer is that people mail out books ot earn credits more than buying them.  Although buying them from another member should mean that a book was sent ouf for that credit.  But people send out DVDs for cheap and then dump credits here because you get 3 book credits for every 2 DVD credits.

Last Edited on: 5/11/13 5:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/11/2013 6:21 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Just wanted to make the offer, if anyone feels they have too many credits on hand, I'll be happy to spend them for you. devil