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Topic: How picky is everyone about book conditions?

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Subject: How picky is everyone about book conditions?
Date Posted: 6/7/2008 12:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 2,039
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In the past month,  6 books I have ordered, 5 of which are WLed are what i consider to be unpostable.  I am beginning to wonder if my standards are too high. 

The posting guidelines states "no stains".   One book that I just opened has what appears to be small coffee stains, maybe 1/2" in diameter, but they are on every single page of the book.  I don't think this is right, but the sender thinks it's okay.

Most book problems I see are when a paperback is split to the spine.  I think that is blatantly wrong, but the senders don't think so since pages aren't falling out.

Am I wrong here?

Date Posted: 6/7/2008 12:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Stains are a no no no matter how big or small. Mark them RWAP every time. It may seem mean but if they are sending these books out knowingly then they will have a pattern. Marking it RWAP will help establish that pattern.

With the spine seperation if you can see the spine through the crack in the pages then it is not postable. That too needs to be marked RWAP.

Im not picky at all but I do mark books that dont meet basic PBS guidelines as RWAP.

Date Posted: 6/7/2008 1:05 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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See I think there is some gray area in whether or not a book is stained.  Yes, stained books aren't allowed, but what is a stain?   Is discoloration in a book always a stain?

In the example you gave, it sounds like an obvious liquid stain though, and therefore unpostable for several reasons.

As for "when a paperback is split to the spine".   Are you saying that there is separation between the pages so that you can see the inside of the spine?  If that is the case, then the book definitely isn't postable per the following PBS posting rules:

  • Must be intact, with no separation on the inside or outside of the book
  • If the book tends to open at a particular page, this is OKAY
  • Sounds like you've been having some bad luck with WL books!

    Date Posted: 6/7/2008 3:02 PM ET
    Member Since: 8/18/2005
    Posts: 7,977
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    Last Edited on: 2/3/10 9:22 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
    Date Posted: 6/7/2008 3:13 PM ET
    Member Since: 12/9/2007
    Posts: 9,601
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    The books I've gotten - so far - that are unpostable are from the USPS treatment of them. Of course, one of  the books could have withstood the bad treatment had they used an inner wrapper of plastic.  It was drenched and torn.   I'm not picky...I don't consider the books I receive to be an "investment" for future gain.  I do expect them to be readable.  There are books I've had that were new that because of error or circumstance end up being unpostable.  I don't get upset that I can't then trade them.  I think the guidelines are fair and people shouldn't  try to ignore them.  I know I don't want mold and mildew inroduced into my house - so neither does anyone else.  I don't like paying the $7 or $6 or $9 dollars a paperback either - but it's a good amount for the entertainment or knowledge that it gives me...postablility is just icing on the cake. ;D

    L. G. (L)
    Date Posted: 6/7/2008 5:25 PM ET
    Member Since: 9/5/2005
    Posts: 12,412
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    No stains is no stains.  No water or liquid damage is no water or liquid damage.  Those rules are not subjective.

    Discoloration due to age is not staining.

     

    Date Posted: 6/7/2008 5:38 PM ET
    Member Since: 6/21/2007
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    Last Edited on: 2/2/15 11:50 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
    Date Posted: 6/7/2008 5:43 PM ET
    Member Since: 3/23/2008
    Posts: 65
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    I would love for them to be repostable but Im happy if they are readable. I have gotten very few books that werent repostable. covered in stickers from being sold more then once and some that smelled like the books themselves were chain smokers. I try no to complain though because in the end with all the great books and deals Ive gotten I have lost nothing.

    Date Posted: 6/7/2008 5:52 PM ET
    Member Since: 8/1/2007
    Posts: 2,039
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    Thanks for your input everyone!  I realize that there are some gray areas when posting a book, but I feel that stains are stains, and broken books are broken books and it's nice to know that I'm not being overly picky!  I am a non-confrontational person, and I HATE telling someone that they are in the wrong for posting damaged books and it's even harder for me when they argue.  But in most instances, the posting guidelines are very clear.

    I have joined a damaged book virtual box over in the game area, so I at least know that the unpostables I receive can be passed on for others to enjoy.

    Oh - I have yet to get a book damaged by the PO.  Knock on wood.

    Date Posted: 6/7/2008 7:33 PM ET
    Member Since: 4/29/2008
    Posts: 3,961
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    I think that some of the requester conditions are getting out of hand.  This is a place to trade USED books,  not new ones.  I got a request last month for a book and the RC's were a mile long and quite snooty.  Luckily the book was new and in absolutely perfect condition, so I was able to send.  I double wrapped the book in bubble wrap and also double wrapped it in packaging paper.  Plus I used a ton of tape.  I think the book could have been ran over by a tank and still be fine.  Well, I know the book was delivered,  well over a week ago, and she still has not marked it recieved.  I sent a PM yesterday, so maybe she will respond soon, who knows.  But it does leave a bad taste when someone can be so picky, and yet rude.   I know, maybe she is on vacation or sick, thats possible.

    I enjoy the books I recieve and to me a book that is a little tussled and well read only makes it that much more special.  Like getting a handmade gift.   I do make sure that the books I send are in good shape to exchange here.  I know not everyone loves a well loved book like I do.

    Date Posted: 6/7/2008 7:50 PM ET
    Member Since: 7/20/2007
    Posts: 1,046
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    What i hate is being so paranoid about a book that i usually PM the person requesting the condition before sending it out.

    I can't tell the differnce between foxing, a drop that hit the top pages 20 years ago that left nothing beyond a discoloration, or a plain old yellowing spot half the time. So i just PM them. If they don't want a book with one yellowish-brown spot on the top of the pages that doesn't touch or affect the pages inside of the book in any manner whatsoever... then they can cancel their request.

    But i agree. I signed up to trade books. I buy myself books to read all the time at yard sales or at thrift stores that may not pass muster of some of the people here all the time. Makes me wonder how snooty they are when buying a book at such a place. I don't post anything that falls under unpostable guidelines if i am sure it does, but sometimes, i'm not sure. And if it's something absolutely inconsequential to the book, i just give a friendly heads-up.

    Date Posted: 6/7/2008 7:59 PM ET
    Member Since: 8/9/2005
    Posts: 20,024
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    There are very good reasons behind most of the guidelines. No water damage is to protect your other books. Water damage can carry mold spores. Even if you dont see them they could be there. Then you put the book on your shelf three months later you come back and that shelf is infested with mold. You also shouldnt put a book that is just slightly molded on your shelf because the mold will spread. The cleaved spine is easy, once the spine is visible the next step is pages falling out.

    As for requestor conditions I dont care what the person asks for in their condition. They could have a list a mile long if I can meet them I do if I cant I dont. Its NBD. TPTB have given us the right and ability to set requestor conditions for whatever we see fit. They dont seem to wanna change that since this another of the things that have been talked about since not long after I joined. I dont undestand the annoying factor that some people get from them. This is not directed at anyone here but it seems as if some people look at RCs ad a personal attack on their books. Its not as if the requestor can see the books they are ordering and Im sure these people are just as picky when they go out shopping for used books IRL.

    Date Posted: 6/7/2008 8:10 PM ET
    Member Since: 3/17/2008
    Posts: 19
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    I agree with you that these are used books.  If they want perfect books, it is best to buy them at the bookstore.   The last book I traded was a little worn, but certainly readable.  The receiver claimed it had water damage.  I read the entire book myself and never saw anything I considered damaged.  I am getting paranoid to post any of my books, because I don't want to get a reputation of sending "damaged books".  I figure if I can read it without it falling apart or not full of messy stains, it is fine.  Maybe I am not picky enough! 

    I love to see that these books travel all over the country and have been read from Maine to California, of course it will be a little worn, but it's nice to know I share the love of books with so many people.  I have learned my lesson over the past few weeks and will only send on the perfect ones through Paperback Swap.  The well loved books I will have to swap with my hometown book friends!

     

     

     

    Date Posted: 6/7/2008 8:18 PM ET
    Member Since: 7/20/2007
    Posts: 1,046
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    I examine each book thoroughly before i post it. I don't see RC's as a personal attack, and i am not one of those who just won't send to someone with an RC. I've actually gotten very few orders from people with conditions set. Most of what i have seen are pretty reasonable.

    You are right, Chris, it's not as if they can see the books and know what they look like. And probably they do want all their books to be in good condition whether or not they buy them in person or not. When i see a book i want to read on a thrift store shelf, however (just my personal input) i don't not buy it because it's worn or often-read. I just think 'Hey i want to read that!' Of course, if it's in really crappy condition, i don't buy it. I always have someone in the family and friends arena who will enjoy a much-loved book instead of worrying about posting it here. =)

    Date Posted: 6/7/2008 8:21 PM ET
    Member Since: 9/4/2005
    Posts: 12
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    I have a minor request for my books. Like jacket on hardcover and good clean condition.

    I've gotten some that should have been trashed! Don't even post those books.

    It's the ones that want  "no smoking, no pets" All my books are from library, yard sales, etc. How the heck do I know what the previous owner did or didn't do.

    I usually just cancel those request, I feel no matter what you send they may find a reason to say book is no good.

    Date Posted: 6/7/2008 8:33 PM ET
    Member Since: 8/9/2005
    Posts: 20,024
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    I buy some pretty worn down books at thrift and yard sales too but I dont pay $3.45 for them. Thats how much a credit is worth. These are not free books. The service is free and you dont exchange money with the site for books but you do spend money on getting them. Think about the worth of the book itself then factor in the packaging, ink to print the label, and postage and you have spent about $3.50 (or more) for that credit.

    As for no smoking and pets (I can't accept either cause we smoke and have critters) if the conditions says no smoking or pets then thats pretty subjective and your call. If however it says not currently in a smoking or pet house then you should be in the clear.

    Date Posted: 6/7/2008 8:40 PM ET
    Member Since: 7/20/2007
    Posts: 1,046
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    I guess i never looked at it that way, Chris.

    I can see how a lot of people would see it that way.

    As for me, i don't see it as 'I paid 3.45 for this book, that rocks, half-price bonanza!'

    I view it as everyone is paying to send out these books. So it all pretty much evens out.

    But yes, i guess if i were going to spend 4 bucks on a book, i'd want it to be in great condition.

    But that is why if i have so much as a niggling sort of doubt in my head, i PM a person to make sure that the tiny flaw is ok by them. I don't want to step on anyone's toes or lose a credit because i thought 'Oh well they won't mind that!'

    =)

    Date Posted: 6/7/2008 8:53 PM ET
    Member Since: 8/9/2005
    Posts: 20,024
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    As long as it meets the PBS guidelines then your ok and shouldnt have to pm the person. Its totally your prerogative that you do but its not even close to required. If a ton of people do that it sets up an expectation that its how it should be done here and it isnt. Your books should meet requirements and if a requestor wants better than that its their responsibility to ask in a RC.

    Also if the book is not up to PBS par and you post and pm then that is not ok. Even if its slightly not up to par its not ok. (not saying you do this but its frequently suggested in this forum)

    Date Posted: 6/7/2008 9:00 PM ET
    Member Since: 8/18/2005
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    Last Edited on: 2/3/10 9:22 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
    Date Posted: 6/7/2008 9:00 PM ET
    Member Since: 7/20/2007
    Posts: 1,046
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    Well, i am not trying to set a new standard for how things are done, but i just want to make sure something is cool. I don't want a brownish discoloration on the very top of the pages (that does not impact so much as a single page of the book) to be a reason why someone comes back at me bitching about how i need to give a credit back, either. Books sit on shelves... they don't always touch the top of a shelf, and even not being water damage, since i don't know what it is, or what happened, i play it safe.

    I'm not sure if it's an age spot or what. To my knowledge, it's nothing against PBS guidelines. But does that mean it's going to be okay with everyone here? Does it mean someone wouldn't cry 'water damage' because they don't know what it is either? You just never know.

    Date Posted: 6/7/2008 9:07 PM ET
    Member Since: 6/21/2007
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    Last Edited on: 2/2/15 6:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
    Date Posted: 6/7/2008 9:13 PM ET
    Member Since: 8/9/2005
    Posts: 20,024
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    Im not clear on what you mean. Is it tanning (aging of the book can make the pages brown or yellow) is it a stain? If its just aging then its ok by PBS standards and if the requestor doesnt like it then they need to have RCs stating that. If they don't then its their fault that they got a book they dont want. Unless your sending out a ton of books that are in less than PBS standard condition a few people marking them RWAP will not effect your account.

    Ive had two marked as RWAP one I had just read and the sender was claiming damage I knew was not there. I told em too bad so sad Im not giving you the credit back. Just because they complain about it does not mean you have to give the credit back. If they continually harass you about it then that is something that should be reported.

    ETA those were not my exact words I was polite but firm that I wouldnt refund the credit.



    Last Edited on: 6/7/08 9:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
    Date Posted: 6/7/2008 9:15 PM ET
    Member Since: 7/20/2007
    Posts: 1,046
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    Wow i would be peeved at that, Jeri!

    I agree that some people take posting bokos to unfortunate extremes. I hope you report her or get some credits back. Geeze, talk about a rude deal!

    Date Posted: 6/7/2008 9:15 PM ET
    Member Since: 8/9/2005
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    If those were books that were listed on their shelf then you should have informed them that they were not up to PBS standard. Even though it was in a deal if they were posted then they could have gone out as a single order and a person would lose a credit over that book.

    Date Posted: 6/7/2008 9:21 PM ET
    Member Since: 8/18/2005
    Posts: 7,977
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    Last Edited on: 2/3/10 9:21 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
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