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Topic: ISO decent copies--don't flame me

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Subject: ISO decent copies--don't flame me
Date Posted: 11/19/2009 12:25 PM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2009
Posts: 125
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My first two freebies arrived in so-so condition, fully readable and acceptable by the swap standards, but the pages are yellowed and the books are obviously "old" copies, not "pretties."   I will read them, but these are not keepers for me.  I received an order and mailed out a perfectly new book, which cost me nearly $3 in postage to mail.  In trade, if i order anything, will I be getting more old, yellowed copies?  To me, that's not a fair trade off.  With the exception of one older copy the books I have listed are good copies in near-new condition.  I made one deal in the bazaar for several copies of obviously older titles and fully expected yellowy pages, and was very happy with those copies.  I am now in search of another title, but would REALLY like to know the condition of the book before I order it.  I see several copies in the system--is there a way to contact owners about the condition?  I'd really like to know.  The book is The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Bk 1. 

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2009
Posts: 852
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I am sorry to hear that your first experience was not what you expected.

I have had quite a few swaps and sent out many books myself, and know from experience that you may get all kinds of books.  You may get new or like-new books and some really old yellowed books and even some books in unpostable conditions with underlining, water-damage etc.

I have sent out new books and never got as much as a special thank-you and have sent out 20-year old books in good condition but yellowed pages.

Of course you can do a requestor condition of asking for like-new books, but you should be prepared to be turned down by quite a few members if you do so.

My advise is to  see what kind of books you will get with the next 10 swaps and then decide if you want to do an RC.

Happy swapping!

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 1,192
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Gloria -

If you are looking for a specific book in  "keeper" quality, you could try posting a message in the book bazaar and order from a particular members shelf. 

I'll second Jerry in that sometimes you get like new copies of books and sometimes not.

Kerry

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 12:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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My first two freebies arrived in so-so condition, fully readable and acceptable by the swap standards, but the pages are yellowed and the books are obviously "old" copies, not "pretties."

Before ordering, did you check the publication date listed for the book you were looking to order? That info is usually in the info on the books here and other places. If you know what particular edition you want you can do a search by ISBN and order that way, to make sure you get the edition you want.

Also, because publishers use different grades of paper, some editions can yellow faster than others. Book quality varies from publisher to publisher, and that's not something that posters can control.

This site works on the FIFO system, so the person who's had the book on their shelf longest will be the next in line to send it out. Since the system doesn't let you know who that is until you order, you'd have to order the book first and then PM the sender. Some will be happy to help, other's won't be. (Can you imagine if you have a large shelf, getting dozens of queries and trying to keep them all straight?)

So the best thing to do, if you want only certain types of copies, is to create a Requestor Condition.

http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/search.php?terms=requestor+conditions

An RC will give the sender the message about what your personal conditions are and they have to agree before they can accept the order. If they don't, it'll roll to the next person in line. But be aware that many people don't like RC's, and especially decline those that sound at all 'nit-picky' even if they think their book qualifies. The sender can decline for any reason, so you may find your order getting passed along to a lot of people, and getting declined a lot.

The trick, for me, on using the site is to realize that I'm sending a book I no longer want, so I don't really care how great a condition it's in. I don't want it. And I do want the books I'm ordering, as long as they meet site guidelines. So 'fair' isn't based on the book condition, or size, but that I'm going to be happy getting a book I want that meets the rules.

All in all, I've gotten a lot more really good books than not. So I've been very happy.

 

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 202
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I am surprised how good most of the books I receive  are. For instance, we have received 9 of "#1 Ladies Detective Agency" and ALL of them looked brand new. In fact, I've seem thumbed books at Barnes & Noble that don't look as good as 90% of the onrs I've received.

With that being said, this is a USED book club and you must expect some that are not as good. Some of these books have passed through a dozen hands. As long as they meet PBS criteria that is okay with me.

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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I second the motion to check for the publication date of the book you are ordering. Many books have been reissued and of course, the later date increases the odds of a receiving a "pretty" book, although it's certainly not failproof. On the other hand, I have many old/older books on my shelf, and put in my profile that if a book is ordered that is 20 - 50 years old, some tanning or faxing is possible. They may not be the "prettiest" books on the site, but then again, they aren't easy to find either.
Date Posted: 11/19/2009 2:04 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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First, Welcome to PBS - your new addiction.

Ditto on checking the pub date that I agree.  My books are new and older that I have sent and received.  I have also sent 5lb books for 1 credit which was over $4.00 to send...and have yet to ordered one that heavy.   I do not look at what I mail out will and want the same quality in return.  I want them to meet PBS posting guidelines.  If I want better than that then you need to add a RC.

There are some options:

1) go to the genre forum (in some not all) they may have a thread that is something like "Is this on your bookshelf" not all have that thread so if they do not, then you need to post your request at the top.

2) the second is to check out the boxers.  Click on Community and then box of books.  You can then type in the title,author,isbn.  A list of members that have matching information appears.  You can click on their name and view the bookshelf.  Since you have their name (nickname or name) you can search them in the members directory and go to their bookshelf and PM if they have what you are looking to swap.  I don't think you can PM directly from the boxer page - but someone will correct me if I am wrong.  Maybe if you are a boxer also then you have that feature, but I do not see the option.

Also remember this is a used books site and sometimes the books journey will end with you.  However, this is meant in the most respectful way - but just because you receive a book in a certain condition, doesn't mean you can then send it out again.  You have to determine if it is time to retire the book.  

You will have fun here - give it some time. 

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 2:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Personally: I turn down RCS that ask for books in like-new condition even if I bought the book new and read it once.  It's just a pet-peeve of mine-this is used book trading site. Just my 2 cents.  You are perfectly welcome to add that RC but don't be surprised if you get turned down regularly.  My books are all postable by PBS posting guidelines.  (and no I don't turn down all rcs-just ones I decide are too picky or I can't meet). 

I would do the book bazaar thing.  I know I wouldn't answer a request like that because I just don't need credits that badly to send a book to someone that sounds like they might take a magnifying glass to the book.

I would also suggest you pay attention to publication date.  If you are ordering a book that's been out a few years than search for a newer ISBN before you order.  I've had books that are only a couple years old have yellowing and books that are 20yrs old have no yellowing.  But the older the publication date the more likely the book is to have yellowing.

I'm like Jubhead.  I don't think about the conditon of the books I've sent out vs what I've received.  I've sent out brand new books that I just read once or decided not to read and I've sent out yellowing books that were well read but still postable. I've sent out never used cookbooks that would cost $30 brand new and used the credits to order a mass market paperback that's been read a few times.  I send out the book because I don't want it anymore adn I get a book that I do want.  I just ask that the books is postable.  And sometimes like Jub says-a book will leave the sender as postable but by the time it goes through the postal system and you read it-it won't be postable anymore.

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 3:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Your only option, aside from asking in the BB or only swapping with buddies who you know will send you books in the condtion that you require, is requestor conditions.  And as RCs go, fair warning that "new or like new books" is about the most commonly refused RC out there.  Most people tend to view it as a "nitpicky" condition, and given that this is a used book swap, it tends to be a fairly widespread pet peeve.  I'm not lecturing, but just FYI - if you put that in your RC, be prepared to be refused frequently, and you'll doubtless be treated to the unvarnished views of those doing the refusing regarding your "pickiness":P  I personally give all RCs equal treatment, but that one makes me more cautious than most, & it really depends on how it's worded as to whether I'll accept it or not.  And it wouldn't help much for the requestor to tell me that they only send out books in that condition themselves.  I'd be thinking "Well goody for you." right before I turned it down:P  If you're going to put that in an RC, I'd say stick to the facts, like you're looking for nice copies for your keeper shelf, and you'd like them in gently used to like new condition.  As for finding out the condition in advance, no, it isn't possible, unless you're ordering it from a specific someone's shelf (rather than FIFO), and you can communicate with them in advance about what you're looking for.  Hope this helps:)

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 3:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,911
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Just another point of view here .... I receive a lot of books in what I consider to be "like new" condition. I appreciate that some people can send books in such good condition. BUT ... getting a book in "like new" condition is not in any way special to me. Sure, its nice .... but so what? By the time I have read it and its been tossed around inside my purse for a while, it is not "like new" anymore. I am not more careful with like-new books than with any other book I am reading.

I also send out a good number of books that are "like-new". Again, so what? They are books that I don't want in my house, and PBS is the best way to get a book that I do want in trade.

And, also keep in mind that just because you sent a nice new book out to "Member X" ... that is not really any incentive for me to send to you a nice new book (above and beyond what PBS requires). "Member X" might want to send yu a nice new book, but PBS is not set up to facilitate person-to-person book trading, where you can trade directly with other people who have books in the same condition as yours (unless you want to trade books directly with another member, which is what the Boxing feature is for.)

PBS is a site where all the books available conform to one set of guidelines, and you can then feel safe ordering any book from anybody.

If it bothers you that much, you probably need an RC about only receiving "like-new" books. You will get turned down on some book requests. Some people will tell you that they never accept these RCs .... but lots of other people just quietly accept them and send the book, if it is in the requested condition. Myself included. I don't care what a person is requesting, or why, if I can read and understand what they want, and my book meets the conditions, then I send it. So do lots of other people.

So, don't be afraid to use an RC if that's what you need.

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 5:43 PM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 1,680
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Most of the books I order have publication dates in the 2000's.   I have received some really ratty older books that I had to throw away because of mold and mildew.   I now have an RC requesting books that pages have not turned "brown" and smell of mold or mildew.

There is one book on my WL that's been there for a really long time because its a classic and I want that particular publication date.   I'm constantly notified by PBS of similar books being posted, but I never order them.

I've received many "like-new books" and I've sent many "like-new books".  "Like new" is not my RC.   I just want books that I can read and not have to discard upon receipt.   If I get a book that has "traveled the globe", is still readable, but most-likely will not be postable when I'm done with it, I just think about all the good books I've received and sent on and remind myself the reason I joined PBS is my love of reading.

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 12:18 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 66
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Sara P.... I can answer that question for you, why some people want a "new" looking book. Now, I am not super picky about my books from here, because I mainly request out of print books I wouldn't be able to purchase new anyway. However, I am both a book collector and a "gentle" reader, my books that I purchase new still look pretty much new after I read them, and I love to display my collection of nice shiny books on my shelf. For this reason if a book is still in print I will generally purchase a new copy.

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,133
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Just a note of caution about checking the publication dates of the books you are are ordering--some publishers use the same ISBN number for earlier and for later printings--and when posting a book, the publication date does not have to match.  So, you could order a book correctly by ISBN shown with a later publication date but get an earlier copy--and it's not considered a "wrong book", you could not ask for a credit return.  If you want a particular publication date, you would have to PM the sender to doublecheck.

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,911
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Oh, I totally understand why other people want new looking books. There are some that I collect also, and I either use an RC for those or I just go buy them new myself. Although those aren't usually paperbacks anyway.

I just don't understand why they think anyone else cares about the fact that they send them out on PBS that way. I send out "like-new" books, too,  but I don't expect other people to send me like-new books based on that.

I also find it strange that many people would rather send a "like-new" book to me, (who doesn't care about it and has no RCs), rather than send their like-new book to someone who actually wants it in that condition (and has an RC for it). (I'm talking about all the people who say they refuse the "like-new" RC automatically, even if their book is "like-new".)

I accept that RC if my book is, in fact, in like-new condition.



Last Edited on: 11/20/09 1:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject:
Date Posted: 11/20/2009 2:59 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 9,520
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I also find it strange that many people would rather send a "like-new" book to me, (who doesn't care about it and has no RCs), rather than send their like-new book to someone who actually wants it in that condition (and has an RC for it). (I'm talking about all the people who say they refuse the "like-new" RC automatically, even if their book is "like-new".)

I can answer this one. I decline any RC's that ask for "like new" even if the book IS 'like new' (and most of my books are in very good to excellent condition). Why? Because someone who asks for a 'like new' book on a used book web site is inevitably going to find something wrong with the book I sent. I don't want to take that chance. I have one RWAP in 2.5 years (and over 600 books sent) and it was an oversight on my part that I resolved. I won't make that mistake again.. Someone who wants to read the book will not be upset if the book is used and meets PBS requirements and will be pleasantly surprised with the condition of the book I sent.

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 4:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I decliner for the reasons Nellie put.  I've seen way too many posts on here from people saying they had someone RWP a book on them for something perfectly postable (like no dust jacket or a few dog earred pages or something stupid).  I had someone RWP me for sending them the wrong book when I sent the right book.  I don't want to deal with someone nitpicking the perfectly postable book I sent.  And since most of the books I post are WL-I would just rather pass it on to the next person with no RC-or an RC I accept like no smoking or no cats.

ETA: it also depends on how it's worded to me.  If it says they are say looking for nice copies for a school library or a gift for their poor Aunt in the nursing home-then they'll get my book if it meets their conditons. But just the "I only want like new books". That just sounds picky to me.



Last Edited on: 11/20/09 4:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/20/2009 4:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Why? Because someone who asks for a 'like new' book on a used book web site is inevitably going to find something wrong with the book I sent.

Not true for me!

I've always been happy to fill any RC that I can, as long as I'm comfortable with the condition of the book. I've picked up some books at the thrift store that were so new looking that they probably had never been opened! Beautiful books. And a couple I bought accidently not realizing I already had that one. I've had no trouble with sending those along to even the more vague 'Like New' request.

And I've not once been dinged with a RWAP on an RC. In fact, some RC users have sent me the nicest, sweetest 'Thank You's' to me that I've gotten from the site. They were very grateful to get the book. So we were both happy.

I think it's sad to assign negative attitudes to people you don't even know, just because you assume they'll cause problems. They could send you the nicest "Thank You's" you'd ever get.

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,911
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Yes, I agree too ... I have never had a RC request that went bad. And, they do often send you the "Thank you" notes that are especially nice.

I've mailed almost 500 books out, I accept every RC (if I can), and I've never had a problem.

Also, I am not afraid to get a RWAP. I don't worry about it in the least. I have gotten 2, one was probably valid, one I suspect wasn't valid, and I just refunded both credits and was done with the whole matter. Not a big deal.

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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And I've not once been dinged with a RWAP on an RC. In fact, some RC users have sent me the nicest, sweetest 'Thank You's' to me that I've gotten from the site.

I have to say this has been my experience, too. 

The only ones I reflexively shy away from are either unclear, or have enless laundry lists of requirements.  Those do send up red flags for me.

To the OP - I definitely advocate writing a clear, concise and friendly RC.  If you have any questions about wording or clarity, people here are usually glad to help.



Last Edited on: 11/20/09 5:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/20/2009 7:38 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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Someone may have already said this....but publication date does *not* have to match the listing.  Only ISBN, Author, Title and Binding have to match exactly.

From the Help Center:

This means that the book did not match the listing for the item in one or more of the four necessary aspects: ISBN, Title, Author and Booktype.   Nothing else about a listing needs to match: cover image does not have to match; publisher does not have to match; publication date does not have to match

 

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I think it's sad to assign negative attitudes to people you don't even know, just because you assume they'll cause problems.

I don't think it's fair to assume that everyone who turns down that RC is assigning anything to someone they don't know, or assuming they'll cause problems.  I think a lot of people don't view that RC as "picky" so much as they acknowledge that "good copies in near new condition" can be highly subjective, that this represents to them a heightened risk of having a book marked RWAP, if the requestor's idea of "good" or "like new" turns out to be somewhat different from their own.  It's just not worth it to them to assume that risk, and they have every right to decline any RCs they don't feel comfortable with, just as people have every right to use RCs to begin with.  I do think it's pointless to get annoyed with people about their RCs and how realistic they may or may not be.  They just are what they are & people want what they want. You can either give them that or you can't, and if you aren't sure, you should decline the RC.

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 8:07 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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I agree with Kim's statement  (just above). 

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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I don't think it's fair to assume that everyone who turns down that RC is assigning anything to someone they don't know, or assuming they'll cause problems. 

I didn't say everyone.  But was responding to the quote below.

Kathy W. wrote...

Because someone who asks for a 'like new' book on a used book web site is inevitably going to find something wrong with the book I sent.

 

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 10:22 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 9,520
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I think a lot of people don't view that RC as "picky" so much as they acknowledge that "good copies in near new condition" can be highly subjective, that this represents to them a heightened risk of having a book marked RWAP, if the requestor's idea of "good" or "like new" turns out to be somewhat different from their own.  It's just not worth it to them to assume that risk, and they have every right to decline any RCs they don't feel comfortable with, just as people have every right to use RCs to begin with. 

This is what I meant, only Kim put it more eloquently than I did.

I have no-smoke RC's and have been declined-they didn't smoke, but didn't know if the book had been exposed to smoke, and didn't want to take that risk with my RC. I understand and expect that. I simply am not willing to take the risk when the word 'new' is used in an RC here.

Date Posted: 11/20/2009 11:45 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome to PBS Gloria!  Looks like you have received an interesting variety of answers to your original post  :)

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