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Topic: How Long Does It Take to Ship a Book!!

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Subject: How Long Does It Take to Ship a Book!!
Date Posted: 12/28/2013 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2007
Posts: 63
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I'm so upset at the moment!!  I ordered a book on this site on Dec. 21, 11 am,  The book is finally accepted on 12-25  10:40 am  and yet it still has not been shipped.  I feel the shipper should be required to have an ordered book in the mail no later then 5 days after the order was placed.  I know I am going to get static about this!  What's your opinion on this matter!!!  Tks

Date Posted: 12/28/2013 10:34 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2010
Posts: 5,700
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I actually agree with you.  Between the time given to accept a request, then the time given to mail the requested book, then the grace period and media mail, you could be looking at, potentially, more than a month to recieve the book.  

That said, life happens, and I admit that I've waited until the last minute to confirm I can send a book, and used every bit of time I was allowed to mail the thing.  As I said, life happens.

Patience, as several others are about to tell you...  ;)

Date Posted: 12/28/2013 11:20 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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I feel the shipper should be required to have an ordered book in the mail no later then 5 days after the order was placed.

No, I think the way the site works now is for the best.

This isn't a store, and the members aren't employees. Members don't do this for a living. They're just regular people who have full lives and trade books in the background. Life happens, emergencies come up. Sometimes paydays have to arrive before people have postage money. We've got a lot of people right now without power. They may not even be at a point to even get to a P.O. or get on-line to mark a book mailed that's already dropped off.

For some, five days from when you asked for the book just isn't going to be enough. You've been a member since 2007, I'm sure you've seen that patience is the key to ordering anything from here and that lots of things get in the way of well-intended people. And that if people find trading a PITA, they just won't bother posting books anymore when this is really just a hobby, not a livelihood.

So I don't see the sight tightening the order times. It's been working pretty well so far.

Date Posted: 12/28/2013 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 3,531
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As long as the sender is following the site guidelines for accepting a request which is 5 days and mails within the time frame for mailing I don't see an issue. With it being a busy time of year I am sure members are more focused on time with their families like they should be.

I get a little frustrated when I post a wishlisted book and they just rolloever to the next and the next wisher. But it is just the way it is and helps get rid of some of the abandon accounts.

I typically post a few books at the same time. If one accepts right away and the other doesn't I wait until both have accepted to make one trip to drop them off at the post office.

Date Posted: 12/28/2013 12:31 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2009
Posts: 96
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Please keep in mind that it is the holidays. Many people have extra time with families due to the holidays and vacation time and mailing a book may not be on the top of their to-do list. I usually ship next day after a request, but since it's quality time with my family, I put that I would mail requests at the last possible date. The site gives us extra time to mail things out because not everyone can mail every day. So unless the sender is mailing later than site guidelines, you'll have to be patient.

Date Posted: 12/28/2013 12:41 PM ET
Member Since: 9/18/2007
Posts: 2,534
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It has only been a few days since it was accepted.

Date Posted: 12/28/2013 12:51 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Keep in mind also the weather outside in some places if HORRID. Maybe they cant even get to the post office and just chose the latest mail by date just in case!

I'd rather a book get to me alittle slower then chance getting wet/damaged by a storm.

Date Posted: 12/28/2013 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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PBS is not the place if you are in a hurry to get a book. 

Date Posted: 12/28/2013 5:25 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2009
Posts: 962
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First, it was a holiday. I think you're expecting too much to have it shipped immediately anyway. Second, the site gives deadlines for a reason. As long as they are in that timeline, then the sender is fine. Third, I agree with Mary L. If you want it fast, buy it from a store or website and have it shipped overnight. Because even a website won't have it as fast as you want it unless you pay extra.  Relax. Enjoy your holiday as the sender is. Then enjoy your book when it arrives.

Date Posted: 12/29/2013 1:11 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,387
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I feel very different when I know a book weights over 13 oz.   That requires another level of patience, as so many post offices have reduced hours due to the budget.  

Date Posted: 12/29/2013 9:02 AM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 613
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No static from me, David.  I agree with you.  But as long people operate within the site guidelines, it's permissible.  Still, when I get a request, I try to mail the same day or next, because that's the way I would want to be treated.  That's about all you can do.

Date Posted: 12/29/2013 9:28 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
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You could always write an RC that "an ordered book should be in the mail no later then 5 days after the order was placed."  Somehow I don't think that would speed up your getting the book, though.

Date Posted: 12/29/2013 10:43 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2010
Posts: 5,700
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You could always write an RC that "an ordered book should be in the mail no later then 5 days after the order was placed."  Somehow I don't think that would speed up your getting the book, though.

And might, in fact, lead to a lot of people declining the request, thus making you wait even longer for a book you'd like to read.

Date Posted: 12/29/2013 11:12 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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And might, in fact, lead to a lot of people declining the request, thus making you wait even longer for a book you'd like to read.

Yeah, this.

I'd once made a huge trip with books to the P.O. on a Saturday, and on the next day got an order where the RC said the book had to be shipped withing 24 hours of acceptance. I declined it because I wasn't planning another P.O. trip until the next Saturday. We don't have blue boxes in our area, so all drop-off have to be in front of the P.O., which means a special trip out even if you print postage on-line. Plus, just because I post it quickly doesn't mean that media mail won't take weeks for it to get there anyway.

And people using the RC will have to be careful not to get upset at senders if it rolls over to the next person and they don't catch it. The second (or third, or fourth) person in line won't know when the original order was placed. So the requestor would have to be careful not to get upset at the wrong person.

When people send media mail, and around the holidays, there is no real way to guarentee quick shipping here even if you did shorten the shipping time. That's why if it's important to me and I'm on a time schedule, I order from someplace else and pay for the faster shipping. Otherwise, it gets here when it gets here and I have to be okay with that.

Date Posted: 12/29/2013 6:36 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 613
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"You could always write an RC that "an ordered book should be in the mail no later then 5 days after the order was placed."  Somehow I don't think that would speed up your getting the book, though."

Actually, that would kind of be an interesting experiment, though.  I wonder what the decline rate would be. 

Date Posted: 12/29/2013 7:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,359
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A lot of people here like me also have chronic illnesses and health issues. I simply don't feel up to getting out and about every day. I also am poor due to my health issues so try to go to the post office just once a week when running errands. I don't think anyone following the rules should be frowned upon.
Date Posted: 12/30/2013 3:44 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2013
Posts: 741
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You know, the shipper may be on vacation for the holidays.  He/she might have borrowed a relative's computer to check their mail, and accepted the request, marking to ship at a later date.  Being on vacation, I accepted a request but could not ship until I returned several days later.  When I'm home I ship within two days.  But do you expect someone to put their life on hold because your desire for the book is more important?  Yes, everyone should make every effort to get the book out ASAP.  But I've gotten books three weeks after I ordered and never gotten upset because I realize this isn't their job.  PBS isn't Amazon Prime.  And not everyone will ship within two days.  You can't change people, you can only change your reaction to them.

Scott (scalta) - ,
Date Posted: 12/30/2013 4:49 AM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2010
Posts: 723
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Media mail is about the most unpredictable of mailing options.  Just because a media mail package is at the post office within 24 hours, doesn't mean it will be delivered in less than 3 weeks.  There is a reason that PBS allows 4 weeks for delivery before the package is declared lost.

Date Posted: 12/30/2013 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,322
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from the Help Center:

Swapping Deadlines

Here is a list of deadlines associated with the PBS swapping process:

  • A sender has 5 days* to respond to a request.
    • After accepting a request by clicking "I can mail in the next 2 days", a sender has 5 days to mark the book mailed. The deadline is at the end of the fifth day.
     
    • After accepting a request by clicking "I can mail later" and choosing an alternate mailing date, a sender has 2 days beyond the alternate mailing date to mark the book mailed. The deadline is at the end of the second day.
  • A requestor has 48 hours to respond to an offer of a book from her Wish List.
  • A book has 26 days from the "mailed" date to get to its destination within the contiguous US before it is declared "lost in the mail" at PBS.
  • A book sent from or to outside the contiguous US (AK, HI, GU, VI, PR, APO/FPO/DPO, etc)  has 35 days from the "mailed' date to get to its destination.

 *The PBS system works on calendar --not business-- days. Members need to keep postal holidays and their own schedules in mind when accepting a request and choosing the mail-by date.

Date Posted: 12/31/2013 1:06 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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I think you agreed to the shipping deadlines in the Help Center when you joined. This isn't a business, this is people mailing when their own life allows. If you want to expect books to be shipped in half the time PBS allows, you might want to rethink things. Often books are mailed within 5 days, but it really shouldn't be expected.

You ordered just days before Christmas; most of the membership won't go near the post office that close to Christmas because it could mean hours in line to mail the book. That isn't going to be an example of the norm for books being mailed, but there are members who use the mailing dates to get to days off, pay days, etc and will go to the full 10-12 days allowed.

Date Posted: 12/31/2013 6:48 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2010
Posts: 754
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Every book you order could take the maximum allowed time of 12 days total to get it mailed.  That's 5 days to accept, 5 days + 2 days grace period to mail.  

The way I look at it, if I am NOT OK with the total 12 days to mail, then I need to order my books from somewhere else-- like amazon.   

It may happen sooner than 12 days.  If it doesn't, there is nothing wrong with that as far as the PBS guidelines.  

Date Posted: 1/2/2014 8:56 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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"Patience Padawan"

Date Posted: 1/4/2014 2:05 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2006
Posts: 229
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I usually mail books by the next business day (if not sooner) because I use printable postage, but to each his own.  I have such a large TBR pile that the wait for a sender to mail a book (if within PBS guidelines) is only a problem for my book club books.  I just order those from Amazon so I can get them in time.