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Topic: How do you know if a book is a textbook or not?

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Subject: How do you know if a book is a textbook or not?
Date Posted: 11/11/2010 9:31 PM ET
Member Since: 10/18/2010
Posts: 110
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I have a book I used in grad school - I would classify it as a textbook (it has a soft cover, price was $49.95). 

It does have some highlighting and underlining (minor, which I know is OK for a textbook).

How can I be sure this book is classified as a textbook? I want to make sure the buyer knows it is a textbook and there is underlining/highlighting.  How do I contact the buyer to make sure we are on the "same page".  (I don't want a complaint after the transaction).

Thanks - this may be a really stupid question, but I am new here!

Date Posted: 11/11/2010 9:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,200
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Welcome to PBS Jennifer! Its great that you are looking into the details on posting the textbooks. Any book can be posted under the textbook/workbook exception. The key is that the sender must send a PM detailing the highlighting/writing and must get an acceptance before sending. Once you accept a request, there will be a PM button that you can click on and let the requester know of the underlining/highlighting.

From the Help Center:

What is the definition of a textbook?

Actually, the way the system and rules are designed, it does not matter what the "objective definition" of a textbook is.  The club members decide this - as long as the rules in the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS are followed.  See the explanation and examples below.

If a member considers her book a textbook she may Post it with underlining/highlighting/writing on text pages, according to the "textbook exception" in the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS; BUT since the textbook exception in the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS require her to contact the requestor and obtain PM consent to the book's condition, she won't be in the position of sending a "stealth textbook" to someone who doesn't expect to receive one.

Examples/further explanation:

  • Member A posts an Economics 101 textbook - something that most people would clearly consider a textbook.   
  • Following the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS textbook exception rules, she sends a Personal Message to the requestor when she gets a request, describing the book's condition.
  • Chances are good that she will get PM consent from the requestor to send the book with highlighting/etc. 
  • Member B posts a novel (fiction) that she used in a class - something that most people would NOT consider a textbook.
    • Following the Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS textbook exception rules, she sends a Personal Message to the requestor when she gets a request, describing the book's condition.
    • Chances are good that she will NOT get PM consent from the requestor to send the book with highlighting/etc.
    • If the requestor declines the book in its condition, Member B will have to cancel the request and repost her book.  It will go to the 'back of the line' for requests.  (If it is a Wish Listed book, it will be offered to the same wisher and the sender will again have to cancel.  She will have to wait for the wishing member to get a copy of this book from someone else before Member B can post her copy again.)

So, the farther the book is from a 'textbook' in common perception, the more likely it will be difficult to get consent to its condition.  Members in Member B's situation may encounter several declines, and will eventually realize that the book is not likely to be acceptable to the club in its condition.  Member B will stop trying to offer it as a "textbook"  and will consider it instead an unpostable/damaged book.

In this way, the club defines "textbook" on a case-by-case basis, and no one who is following the rules will be able to "surprise" another person with a highlighted/written-in/underlined book.

Date Posted: 11/11/2010 9:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/18/2010
Posts: 110
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Thanks so much for the quick response.  This makes complete sense! 

Date Posted: 11/11/2010 10:32 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome Jennifer, if you used the book as a textbook then it's a textbook.  If it has writing or underlining on text pages (sounds like it does) you must post it per the Textbook Exception Melanie posted above.  Basically the sender is required to contact requester, disclose exact book condition, and do not send unless requester approves book condition.