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Topic: How strict are these postable rules anyway?

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tistru -
Subject: How strict are these postable rules anyway?
Date Posted: 6/17/2013 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 5/24/2013
Posts: 38
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I am a new memeber and I am trying to understand the rules for sending out books. (I really miss swaptree, where I could write/see notes on every book!)

I have received 4 books so far. 2 of them were in good used condition, exactly what I was expecting. They didn't look new, they had a lot of spine creasings, but were perfectly readable.

1 arrived on Saturday with yellow liquid stains that I'm not sure I want indentified. It is still readable, but kind of yucky IMO and not something I am willing to repost. I noted there was an issue when I marked it received.

1 arrived today that looks almost like new, except for a tiny 1 inch tear about 1/8 of an inch above the bottom edge of the first page. This doesn't bother me AT ALL. It's the teaser page, doesn't even come close to words. I slapped a bit of tape on it and called it good. But is it repostable? I repeat, I am going to read and enjoy this book, and I'm not complaining about the condition. I am only questioning how strict the rules are, since I seem to have had iffy luck. Is this something a long time user would report as having a tear in it? It seems a shame, as the rest of the book is like new.

After reading some of the posts here, I even pulled one of my books that had been requested because while I was leafing through it for the final time I found a dirty fingerprint in the margin on 2 pages. Am I holding my books to too high of a standard?f

Date Posted: 6/17/2013 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,269
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The postability guidelines are found in the Help Center but I am including them below. In the one book you mentioned with the 1" tear on the opening page, it sounds as tho that is not a text page, which is the key. Tears in text pages are not allowed, but the "teaser" page, as you call it, is not considered a text page. People will often cut their name off that page if it had their name in it, used book stores sometimes will cut the corner of that page, etc. If you have certain requirements for the books you receive, consider setting up Requestor Conditions (RCs) and the details can be found in the help center.

When you Post a book, you are asked to confirm that the book is "in good condition, and not excessively worn".  It is impossible to list all of the ways in which a book might be considered excessively worn, but the criteria below are as comprehensive as we have been able to make them.

If you feel your book falls into a "grey area", you can either post the book and send a Personal Message to the requestor, or not post the book.  We have delineated what we can, and we expect members to follow these rules, and use their common sense in cases that are unclear.  If you would not mind "paying" a credit for a book you are considering posting, then it is probably okay to post.  However, book condition can be a subjective matter.  Keep in mind that a pattern of sending out poor-condition or inappropriate books will jeopardize a sender's membership.

These Guidelines are not suggestions.  They are criteria to which all books Posted here MUST comply.

All of the information below apply both to swapping for credits and Box-O-Books swapping.

General remarks:

  • This is a used-book swapping site; books are not expected to be in like-new condition.
    • Older books may have some page yellowing or spine-creasing or dogeared pages; these are all OKAY.
    • Decirculated library books may have various markings and/or stamps inside or outside or on the page edges of the book; this is OKAY.  These may not obscure text.
    • BookCrossing books may have stickers or stamps or markings on the outside or inside covers or page edges of the book; this is OKAY. These may not obscure text.
    • Hardbacks do NOT have to include their dustjackets.
    • Audiobooks MUST be the original cassettes/CDs, but do NOT have to include the outer "box" that held the set.
    • Audiobooks must be playable and have all the CDs/cassettes.
    • Books that require batteries to work do NOT have to have working batteries.
    • "Playaway" books must include working headphones.
    • Since this is a used-book swap, members should not expect to receive non-Media items with the books.
    • There is an exception to general condition guidelines for textbooks; see below.
    • There is an exception to general condition guidelines for cookbooks; see below.
    • There is an exception to general condition guidelines for travel guides; see below.
  • We do NOT have a place for members to describe the condition of a particular copy of a book.
    • ALL books on PBS are expected to be in "good, not excessively worn" condition
    • Books are requested in FIFO (first-in, first-out) order
  • If you would like your books to be in "better-than-PBS" condition :
    • You are responsible for setting Requestor Conditions on your account.

Guidelines:                                                                                                                                       

Overall Condition:

  • No damage at all from water or other liquid
  • Not soiled
  • No stains (exception for cookbooks--see below)
  • No mold
  • no highlighting, underlining or writing on text pages (exception for Textbooks/Workbooks and travel guidebooks --see below)

Dust Jacket:

  • The DUST JACKET (this is not the same as the cover of a book) does not have to be included with a book at all, unless the requestor had this in their Requestor Conditions. 
  • So DUST JACKET condition cannot be considered as part of the condition of a book, unless there were Requestor Conditions on the request specifying that the dust jacket be included.
  • If the Dust Jacket was to be included as specified in the Requestor Conditions on the request, the Dust Jacket must meet the same conditions as defined for the cover, below.

Cover:

  • Must both be present (front and back)
    • note that a paperback missing its front cover is  usually an illegal, unsold copy
    • "cover" does not = dust jacket.  Hardcovers do not need to include their dust jackets to be swapped here.
  • Cover not water damaged (there may be no water damage to any part of the book)
  • Cover not torn or chewed/gnawed
    • some used book stores cut out a small part of the cover; if the amount missing is less than 1 square inch, this is OKAY
    • a small rip (less than 1 inch) in the cover is OKAY
    • yes, that does say "chewed/gnawed" above.  That means no pet-chewed (or human-chewed) books.
  • A bookplate inside the cover or on the flyleaf is OKAY

Binding:

  • 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
  • Small amount of fraying or denting at top or bottom is OKAY

Pages:

  • No torn or chewed/gnawed pages
    • yes, that does say "chewed/gnawed".  That means no pet-chewed (or human-chewed) books.
  • No loose or missing text pages
    • for travel guide books - maps if designed to be detachable may be detached, but must be included.
  • Cover not water damaged (there may be no water damage to any part of the book)
  • No writing or highlighting or underlining on text pages
    • a signature or note on the flyleaf or inside front or back cover is OKAY
    • an author's signature on the title page is OKAY
    • writing or highlighting or underlining on the text pages is NOT OKAY
      • Exception: if it is a textbook or workbook, these are expected to have highlighting/underlining/writing
        • if you post a textbook/workbook, the condition must be described to the requestor in a Personal Message
        • AND the described condition MUST BE AGREED TO in a reply PM before the book is sent
        • You can use the PM button on the request on your My Account page to send a message
        • This is the one of the ONLY three cases in which a PM exchange about a book is required before the book can be sent (the others are for travel guidebooks and cookbooks--see below).
      • Exception: if it is a travel guide (not a picture book but a guide, such as Fodor's or Lonely Planet), some writing on text pages could be expected.  All maps must be present and included with the book - if detachable it is OK if they are detached, but they must not be missing.
        • if you post a travel guide that has writing in it, the condition must be described to the requestor in a Personal Message
        • AND the described condition MUST BE AGREED TO in a reply PM before the book is sent
        • You can use the PM button on the request on your My Account page to send a message
        • This is the one of the ONLY three cases in which a PM exchange about a book is required before the book can be sent (the others are for textbooks/workbooks and cookbooks--see above and below).
    • No staining

      • Exception: Cookbooks may have some mild staining, since these are used in the kitchen and while cooking, and some minor degree of staining could be expected in a used cookbook.  Also a small amount of writing in cookbooks could be expected
        • HOWEVER, if you post a cookbook and it is stained and/or written-in, the condition must be described to the requestor in a Personal Message
        • AND the described condition MUST BE AGREED TO in a reply PM before the book is sent
        • You can use the PM button on the request on your My Account page to send a message
        • This is the one of the ONLY three cases in which a PM exchange about a book is required before the book can be sent (the others are for travel guidebooks and textbooks/workbooks--see above).
    • this exception applies to the covers of cookbooks also.
  • Page edges: remainder marks are OK.  A name written on the page edges is okay (if it does not bleed in and obscure text on the text pages)

Audiobooks

  • Audiobooks must be originals--not copies!
    • Copies are illegal.  Swapping illegal materials here will get you expelled from the club.
    • burned audio downloads are not permitted on the site--these could be legal (being the only copies you made), but since there is no way to verify this, they are not permitted.
  • Audiobooks do NOT have to include the box that enclosed the individual cassettes/CDs
    • The audiobooks should be packaged well if the box is missing, to prevent damage by USPS en route
    • Audio CDs must be shipped in a way that will protect them from scratching (CD cases/DVD cases work well), if the original box is missing
  • Audiobooks must be playable to be swapped here, without more than three (minor) skips.
  • "Playaway" audio books must include the headphones (batteries do NOT have to be included).

Ex-library Books

  • The posting member must check that the library book has been withdrawn/decirculated from the library collection . This is easy to do:
    • Check the pages/cover for "WITHDRAWN" stamps or the equivalent.
    • If no stamps or notations are visible, contact the library (you can find the telephone number using a Google search for the library), provide the number on the book (they'll tell you where to find it on the book) and they can confirm its status.

Interactive Books

  • These include popup and lift-the-flap books and children's books that have interactive functions (LEDs, sounds, etc).
    • The functions must be working (popups/flaps not torn or missing, sounds/lights functional etc).
    • If these items have replaceable batteries, these do NOT have to be included. Each item must be tested and verified that it is working before it is posted though.

Supplementary/Accompanying Materials:

  • Books that originally came with supplementary Media materials may be posted -  the supplementary Media materials MUST be included.

    • supplementary Media materials include CD(s)/CD-ROMs/DVD(s)/VHS tape(s)
    • if the book originally included supplementary Media materials, the supplementary materials must accompany the book for the book to be postable.
    • The supplementary materials cannot be posted alone - both the book and the supplementary media must be included in the posting.  
    • These combination listings are valued at 1 credit.
  • Books that require non-Media supplementary materials MAY NOT be posted

    • an example would be a book that requires a decoder or craft materials
    • these items cannot be sent MediaMail
    • These items cannot be posted here - because a used book cannot be expected to have original accompanying NON-media items, and if the book is not usable without the non-media items, the book must not be posted.
  • Books that originally had accompanying non-Media materials that are not required to read the book (ie, jewelry) MAY be posted.
    • The extra material does not have to be included, and if it is included, the book must not be sent using Media mail rate.
    • Since this is a used-book swap, members should not expect to receive non-Media items with their books.
  • Books that require batteries to work do NOT have to include the batteries, but the books MUST be in working condition.
  • The member who sends a book that requires batteries must test the book before posting it, and again before sending it.  The batteries do not have to be included when it is shipped (although they can be), but the item must have been tested and working before the item is sent.

 

tistru -
Date Posted: 6/17/2013 3:04 PM ET
Member Since: 5/24/2013
Posts: 38
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Thank you for clearing that up. I had read through the guidelines before, but I must have missed where it said tears were okay if not on a text page. Like I said, I think the book is fine, but I don't want to repost it if it didn't meet the guidelines. :)

Date Posted: 6/17/2013 3:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,781
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Hi! Welcome to PBS.

The postability rules are very clear, and for the most part, I think you will find that books arrive that are clearly postable. That's been my experience with the site. Every once in a while, you may get an unpostable book or one that is questionably postable.

Most people DO follow the rules, and most people WILL complain if they receive a book that they feel is unpostable.

The book with yellow stains on it .... yellowing from age or from the sun is OK to post. Yellowing from stains is absolutely not allowed. If you receive anything like that, you should mark it "Damaged by Sender" when you receive it, and request a credit refund of your credit. You will be prompted to write a message to the sender where you can expalin how you feel the book is damaged.

Regarding the rip in the page ... torn pages are NOT allowed anywhere in the book (covers may be ripped up to 1 inch and remain postable).  However, the rule about missing pages in books specifically says "no missing text pages". Which many of us interpret to mean ... non-text pages can be missing. Following that logic, the teaser page is a non-text (non-story) page, and therefore can be missing from the book altogether and the book can reamin postable. So, my own opinion of that particular case is that neatly removing the teaser page with the rip in it, restores the book to 100% complete postability. 

Fingerprints are stains and are not allowed.



Last Edited on: 6/17/13 3:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/17/2013 3:59 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
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Frankly, I'd rather get a book with a 1" rip in the teaser page, than a book with the teaser page ripped out.  My opinion (which I admit conflicts with the rules) is to leave the page in and if the recipient doesn't like the rip, *they* can remove it.

Date Posted: 6/17/2013 8:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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<<I must have missed where it said tears were okay if not on a text page>>

You didn't miss it -- that statement doesn't exist.  The rule is no torn pages, period.  Tape does not make a tear postable.

I'm sorry you received an icky, yellow-stained book.  I hope you marked it as damaged and requested your credit be refunded.  If it is helpful, I alsp write "UP" (for "unpostable" inside the front cover of books I get like that, so I don't inadvertantly post them again myself.

Date Posted: 6/18/2013 12:46 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Nothing to add to your question.  Just wanted to add my own 'Welcome to PBS!'

Date Posted: 6/18/2013 9:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,187
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Thank you for clearing that up. I had read through the guidelines before, but I must have missed where it said tears were okay if not on a text page.

It doesn't say that. It says "No torn or chewed/gnawed pages". It is some members interpretation that it means text pages only because non-text pages can be missing so they believe that if you can remove a page then it is ok for it to be torn. This CAN cause you to get a swap marked as a Problem if you send it to a member that does not interpret the rule that way. I believe if the site meant to say text pages they would have said text pages like they did in other rules. It is best to swap any books like this in the Book Bazaar Forum where you can explain the issue and the receiver knows what they are getting. Removing a non-text page in an attempt to make a book postable gets risky because if the book appears to have pages missing and the receiver doesn't know what was on the page, they may ding you for a missing page. Its best to be up front and remove books from the system that make you question them. You can still ask for a credit for the book in the Bazaar.

Sounds like you are doing things right, sorry you got an icky yellow book and I'm glad you marked it as a problem and I hope you get your credit back. Happy Swapping!

 

tistru -
Date Posted: 6/20/2013 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 5/24/2013
Posts: 38
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Thanks for the replies. I think I've got the hang of it now. :)