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Topic: How to PM someone that requests from you with RCs

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Subject: How to PM someone that requests from you with RCs
Date Posted: 5/22/2011 10:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2007
Posts: 94
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Ok, so someone requested a book from me and they have a requester condition that I need to PM them about to make sure that it meets their condition.  But how can I PM them?  I'd hate to cancel it/mark it as does not meet their condition when it actually does.

Date Posted: 5/22/2011 10:21 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2006
Posts: 35,125
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The only way to send a PM to the requester is to accept the request, then you'll be able to send them a PM.

Date Posted: 5/22/2011 10:33 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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Keep in mind that people are not supposed to be asking for PMs in requestor conditions.

Help doc about setting up RCs:

Type your text into the text box: 

  • Please be very clear
  • Your conditions should be easily interpretable and should NOT require (or ask for!) further clarification in Personal Messages.   If a sender is confused, she or he may decline your request.  The sender will NOT be able to contact you before accepting the book, so the RC text should be clear.

I personally would just decline and explain their error in the comment box. There's always the next person in line.

If you are forced to accept the request just so you can ask them what the heck they want, you'll have to go through the whole process of exchanging PMs, waiting for responses, them deciding if your book is good enough for them, on and on and on...

Last Edited on: 5/22/11 10:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/22/2011 10:46 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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If the requester does not include their contact info in the RC, just decline and move on to the next wisher. 

Over my better judgement, I accepted one of these recently.  When I accepted and suggested the other member add her contact information, she got a bit snippy and said I should (do what she and her friends do) and just 'accept first and pm later'.  Obviously forgetting that the sender looses their FIFO spot if we cancel the transaction after accepting.  Now DC shows the book was delivered 6 days ago and she still hasn't logged it in as received.  I'm trying to think positive, but she's beginning to appear all-around inconsiderate.

IMO save yourself a potential headache and just decline now, the guidelines are in your favor.  Thanks Lisa, I'm quoting next time I find myself in this situation.

Last Edited on: 5/22/11 11:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/22/2011 10:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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If an RC isn't clear enough that I can't tell if my book meets it-then I decline and move on to the next requestor.  If you do PM, be prepared to cancelt he transaction if you don't get a response and to lose your place in the FIFO line if it's an availalbe book.  Not a big deal with some but if it's a book that's been on your shelf for months and months-it'll be there that much or longer again. 

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 5/24/2011 4:11 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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If a member has an RC that requests the Sender to contact them, they should also have their contact information listed in the RC.  Otherwise, I would decline the RC stating that I was unable to contact them since the contact info wasn't included.

If an RC asks me to please contact and includes contact info, I am usually quite happy to comply.

ETA: Denise, if a Requestor has an RC that asks you to contact them, and you accept only to find they don't want your book, THEY should be the one to cancel the request, not you.  Since it has become a regular transaction decline instead of an RC decline, and THEY are the one deciding they no longer want the book after contact from you as they requested.  The Help Center says:


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

ETA 2:  Lisa, even though the Help Center does discourage members from asking for contact with RCs, it does NOT prohibit it and even includes provisions to allow for it.  In fact the same section you quoted says next:

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."

and that's exactly what this Requestor was expecting. 

Personally, however, I think it is asking a favor of a Sender to PM me regarding RCs so I try to make it as painless as possible and include my contact info in my RC.  And if other members don't extend the same courtesy, I decline due to RCs.

Last Edited on: 5/24/11 4:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 5/24/2011 4:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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What Sianeka saidyes

With the exception that if someone writes an RC that does not tell me what they want, but tells me that I need to contact them to find out, they will get denied 100% of the time because that is a misuse of RCs. The RCs should tell the sender what is wanted and a PM should only be needed for clarification (Help Center says " ...If you are unsure whether or not your book meets these conditions,.." ))))))))) ) RCs are not a manner for a member to make senders help them decide on each book what they might be willing to accept, all requirements should be layed out in the RC where the sender accepts or declines, not in a PM.

Asking or allowing for PMs is not prohibited from RCs, it is discouraged because it makes the simple process much more complicated and adds time to the books getting sent.

Date Posted: 5/24/2011 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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Huh, thanks for posting that. It's something I never saw before. Probably because the rules I posted that it should not be done are as far as I ever bothered reading on this point. I'll chalk it up to yet another confusing mixed message.

I would never ever accept a request and PM someone because of a confusing RC. That just sets the stage for waiting, confusion, non-response from the requestor, more waiting, requestor or sender declines the trade, more waiting, who cancels the transaction, arguments ensue, etc. 

It in no way benefits the sender to waste their time in this way. 


I get it now:

No RC other than to tell someone to contact so they can decide at leisure if they want your book = unacceptable

Having RCs and asking for a PM if the sender is unsure or needs clarification = acceptable

Last Edited on: 5/24/11 5:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/24/2011 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,602
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Declining RCs that ask for PM or clarification is part of my KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) method of dealing with requests, and not having to deal with snippy people, misinterpretation of a fuzzy RC and things like that has greatly enhanced my enjoyment of PBS.


Date Posted: 5/24/2011 11:17 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 1,516
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I agree with the others.  RCs aren't supposed to be used in that way and the rules clearly state they shouldn't ask the sender to pm the person.  I would decline it and show her where it says this in the help documents. 

Date Posted: 5/25/2011 2:35 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Sianeka, my first impulse is to decline anything other than just basic, short, & easy to understand RC's.  I was attempting to broaden my horizons (and attitude) a bit, but frankly the entire transaction was an excercise in frustration.  After over a week, I finally had to pm the requester and ask if the book had been received or if it was time to contact the PO (DC showed it delivered on the 16th)...and duh, it had arrived & she just hadn't bothered to log it in (te-he, not).

KISS - think I'll borrow your motto spuddie!

Last Edited on: 5/25/11 2:36 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/25/2011 10:04 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
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I love the whole idea of papebackswap, but it is not for everyone and everything.  People who have very particular "requirements"--so complicated that they cannot be expressed in a simple RC such as "Pet-free homes only, please", or "Hardcovers issued with dust jackets should have the dust jackets" should probably be getting their books elsewhere.