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Topic: How do you handle ambiguous RCs?

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Subject: How do you handle ambiguous RCs?
Date Posted: 1/29/2011 7:08 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2007
Posts: 31
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Hi all;

I'm just being curious today.  How does everyone handle RCs that just aren't very clear?  For example, today I got an RC saying they would only accept books that have no odors whatsoever, and are in "almost like new" condition.  I accepted the request, then sent a PM saying that although I could smell nothing myself, I wanted confirmation they would accept the book.  So while I'm waiting for their reply, how do other PBS members handle such RCs?



Laura M. (LMM) - ,
Date Posted: 1/29/2011 7:11 PM ET
Member Since: 12/12/2005
Posts: 524
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I turn them down....

Last Edited on: 1/29/11 7:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/29/2011 7:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,220
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If they are too ambiguous, you can just turn them down and move on. I myself wouldn't have a problem with "almost like new", I just wouldn't send a book that looked used, but some people refuse to try to interpret the receiver's opinion of what that means, and that's fine too.

I would have a problem with "no odors whatsoever". I have a very sensitive nose and everything has an odor to me. That one will cause that member to not get a lot of books IMO. Even I (who almost always accepts RCs) would have a hard time with sending a book with a "no odor whatsoever" because there's no telling what the receiver can smell and what the book will run into along the way.

Last Edited on: 1/29/11 9:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/29/2011 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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If the RC is not clear and understandable to you Lawrence, you should decline. 

Date Posted: 1/29/2011 7:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,125
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Yup, all books smell to me. Even though I generally accept all RCs if I can, I might decline that one.

Date Posted: 1/29/2011 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 10,059
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I'm with Melanie, I think new books "have an odor" !   --just like a new car does til it wears off!  LOL

And asking for an "almost like new"  book means they can RWAP your book for almost anything once they get it!

Last Edited on: 1/29/11 7:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/29/2011 7:43 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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I would turn them down and put in the comment section "does not meet RC's"  - you don't have to explain anything.

Date Posted: 1/29/2011 8:22 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Even the ink has a light odor, so yes all books have some type of smell even the brand new ones.

Date Posted: 1/29/2011 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,671
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I don't worry aobut it.  I just click "doesn't meet RC" and move on.  If people can't be clear about their extra conditions, then I'm not going to take the time to figure out if they'll accept my book or not.

Date Posted: 1/29/2011 9:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,392
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I got one a while back about 'no odors'.  As all books have some kind of odor I turned it down.  Pat

Date Posted: 1/29/2011 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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I think the OP might have already accepted the RC (unless the requestor put some sort of contact detail in the RC text) since he is waiting for a PM back.

I might even cancel at this time and move on.

Date Posted: 1/29/2011 9:17 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,394
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my standard is to decline anything i'm uncomfortable with and leave the generic "does not meet conditions" reason as i'm seriously not about to get in a debate over it.  most of the time i post wish list books so there is another person waiting that i might be able to accommodate.

Date Posted: 1/29/2011 9:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I don't PM over postable books. I decline any RC that asks for PMs or is unclear. 

Now you are stuck with the decision of what to do if they don't respond.  If it's a book that's been on your shelf for awhile and you cancel then you have to wait for it to go back through the line again. If it's a WL book it'll be easier, you cancel, repost and then decline the RC this time so it gets offered to the next person.

And how do you describe the smell of a book through PMs?

Date Posted: 1/29/2011 9:31 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
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What Mary said.


Date Posted: 1/29/2011 9:54 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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Don't feel bad about declining anything that makes you uncomfortable or confused. There's always the next person.

Everything has an odor. I decline all "no odor" requests. Everybody has a different level of sensitivity to smells. I may not smell anything, but they might.


"Dear requester, I gave the book a good sniff and I detected a definite odor of paper, so I must decline."

Date Posted: 1/29/2011 10:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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I just put in "too vague" or "too subjective".  The RC system is set up so we can turn them down without guilt.  If I feel like I need to PM about a RC, then it gets turned down.  It is their responsibility to be very clear and brief.  It is not my role to read their minds.

Date Posted: 1/30/2011 11:49 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 460
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Something that ambiguous, I'd turn it down.

Mary in KY

Date Posted: 1/30/2011 2:21 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2008
Posts: 370
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The "no orders" is easy.  I just grabbed a book that was sitting next to me and smelled it.  No order.  "Almost like new" is to vague for me.  I would turn it down because I really don't know what people mean by that.  To my mind, any book that is postable is "almost like new".  But I have a funny feeling, that's not what the RC means. 

Date Posted: 1/30/2011 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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I never PM to discuss condition anymore. When I was a new member I would, especially on the RCs saying "Please contact me before turning down this request" and half the time I was left hanging because I did not hear back. You have to accept the RC before you can contact a member and if they say "Nope, don't want your book" they you have to cancel and you lose your place in the FIFO line. No odors? Too subjective -- some people's sense of smell is far keener than others and just because I don't smell anything doesn't mean they won't smell anything.

I can deal with requests like no spine creasing or dog-earred pages, but odors? like new?...just decline and walk away and remember, it is not personal.

Date Posted: 1/31/2011 8:31 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I turn down any that are vague or ask me to make subjective judgments--even 'no odors' could be a problem. My nose is not that sensitive, so I might not smell anything, but they might have an uber-sensitive nose and find fault. It's easier just to decline unclear RCs and move on.

PM'ing only leads to wasted time and more complicated situations--if the person doesn't want it after reading your PM, who cancels? If it's a wishlisted book and you cancel and repost, it will go right back to her...you will need to decline for not meeting RC in order for it to pass to the next in line. If she cancels, she loses her spot in the wishlist queue.  If it's not a wishlisted book but many copies are in the system, if she cancels and reorders, the order comes back to you again. If you cancel, you lose your spot in the FIFO queue and end up having to wait to get to the front of the queue.

So much easier if you just decline for RCs...both people stay in the queue at the same spot and perhaps she will realize if she gets enough refusals that she needs to clarify her RC.


Date Posted: 1/31/2011 9:06 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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Just Say No.


Subject: "Smells"
Date Posted: 2/2/2011 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2011
Posts: 12
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I was looking for a post just like this one as I got an RC about no odors and from a pet free home. It's a brand new book and I currently don't have any pets but I am leary about the RC, so I think I will not accept it and go from there. Like some of you posted, even new books have a certain smell.

Thanks for posting this, I am relatively new to this site and am really enjoying it so far.


Date Posted: 2/2/2011 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,125
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The rules are actually pretty clear about how PMing and RCs should be handled in terms of "who cancels" (somehow the text I pasted lost the formatting ... but this is copied from the rules):



If you want the sender to communicate with you about the book, you should phrase this "If you are unsure whether or not your book meets these conditions, please ACCEPT this request and then send me a Personal Message about the book." If the sender does this, though, YOU will need to cancel the request if you decide that the book does not meet your conditions. The sender would have to repost the book after cancelling it, so if YOU ask the sender to contact you to discuss the book, YOU must be the one to cancel the request if the sender contacts you and you don't want the book. The exceptions to the above are: a sender who accepts and then sends a message about an unpostable book a sender who accepts and sends a message about a book that clearly does not meet your Requestor Conditions (no further communication or clarification was needed) A sender who accepts and sends a message when your Conditions did not ask to be contacted to discuss your Conditions

Last Edited on: 2/2/11 9:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1