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Topic: Ideas on how to increase trades/swaps?

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Subject: Ideas on how to increase trades/swaps?
Date Posted: 8/25/2013 7:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2013
Posts: 22
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What is a good way to get more traffic to your bookshelf? 

Date Posted: 8/25/2013 7:37 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,585
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The first things that come to mind: post in the forums, put information/links  in your signature line, do deals in the book bazaar, get friends, join gold key. 

Last Edited on: 8/25/13 7:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/25/2013 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2005
Posts: 1,592
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I read your profile and I have a couple of suggestions........

Change your statement that you try your "best" to make sure a book is in great condition but sometimes a problem will pop up......

Makes me run away from your shelf. The books should be postable per guidelines not subject to your idea of great condition with an occasional problem. I might have to use RWAP for the book you send and then ask for my credit back, wait to see if you agree, send a picture whatever. Too much trouble.

I also would never ask a member to PM me before turning down a book............makes me have to wait until you read the PM, reply to the PM, I have to decide to order a book that may be unpostable........ again, too much trouble.

All my requests are auto wishlisted and I have a credit to cover the order.....no trouble, no hassle, no wait.

Only list the books that are postable and you will be successful. Offer deals in the bazaar, read the forums and get to know some members so you can request and be a friend.

Good luck!

Date Posted: 8/25/2013 7:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2013
Posts: 22
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Linda R., what does Gold Key offer in regards to increased traffic?


Thanks Toni B., your info helped alot. 

Date Posted: 8/25/2013 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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You've started by coming to the forums, that is one way to get more visibility on your Bookshelf. Here is a Help Center doc with some suggestions:

How to get your books requested!

Requests are unpredictable--you can get several in a week, and then none for weeks after that.  It depends on how many books you have Posted, and how in-demand the books you have are, how many copies of those books are already in the system, and how visible your bookshelf is to other members.

  • Strategies to increase your bookshelf visibility:

    • Make a PBS Profile
      • Having a public profile means you are searchable in the Member Directory and can easily be added to another member's Friends--Friends often keep an eye on each other's bookshelves.
      • To make a public profile, Click Settings under My Account in the toolbar at the top of the site and then click the link to Profile Settings.  Don't forget to click  when you are done!
    • Get involved in the Discussion Forums.
      • Members who see your posts can click on your posts and look at what you have to swap.
      • The more members who get to see your bookshelf, the more likely your books are to be ordered.
      • Members can order directly from you by clicking  next to any title on your shelf (this bypasses FIFO!).
      • The Book Bazaar Forum is a good place to advertise your books.
        • Start a topic decribing the contents of your bookshelf: 'Gothic Romances!' for example, or 'Mystery/Thrillers and How-To Books!' In the messsage area in your Post, you can 'spotlight' particular titles with descriptions and reviews. You can also start topics offering 2-for-1 deals or more creative 'specials,' if you like.
      • Or try the Hidden Gems Forum, where members discuss favorite authors or titles.
        • Members whose tastes match yours will click on your post to browse your books.
      • You can get to the Discussion Forums by clicking "Discussion Forums" under Community in the toolbar at the top of any page on the site.
    • Post more books!
      • When book orders slow down, most members recommend posting more books.
      • Whenever someone clicks ,  there is the opportunity to order more books from the same member.
      • This means that if you post a title that catches someone's eye (in the Books Posted Today, for example), that person might add one of your earlier-posted books to their order.
    • Join Box-O-Books
      • Boxers can swap multiple books directly with each other without using credits (this is the only way that direct book-for-book swapping allowed on the site) and can search each other's bookshelves by genre or author, etc.  So a Boxer might order several books from you at once if you have the type of books he or she wants to swap.
  • Remember, FIFO is always working for you.

    • Because of the FIFO (first-in, first-out) principle that governs swapping at PBS, the books that have been waiting the longest to be requested may be the next to go! 

As our membership grows, each new member brings a new set of interests and 2 initial credits to spend. You may have just the books she is looking for!


Date Posted: 8/25/2013 8:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2010
Posts: 16,593
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Hi Red, I don't see a friends list on your profile. This is one feature of gold key that increases traffice both to your bookshelf and to your wishlist. The gold key makes it much easaier for friends to post to your WL and for you to post to theirs. Of course this works best if you have a lot of friends. I first took the gold key to expand my WL to 300 but also sought out gold key friends plus other friends. These days I get about 5 WL offers each week and usually mail out 5 to 7 books each week. Last week I mailed 10.

Also as Linda suggested, start posting in the forums, CMT is the most active. Others will get to know you and take a look at your bookshelf and offer you WL books when they post them. You might start by asking for friends in CMT. Just title your subject line containing the word 'friends'  and see what happens.

Welcome to PBS.

Date Posted: 8/25/2013 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Posting WL books regulary can increase your bookshelf orders.  Most of my bookshelf orders come from people using the Order More From Member button when I post a WL book. I think a lot of people wait to order the more heavily posted books until they see it on the shelf of someone sending them a WL book. 

Date Posted: 8/25/2013 9:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,408
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Another thing you might do is make sure that all or most of the books you post have a 'book description."  Nothing worse than going through someone's list and finding an interesting title and then finding there's no description.  Some people will hunt down the description if they're interested enough, but many won't and you've lost a possible request.  Good luck.  Pat

Date Posted: 8/26/2013 12:09 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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I have seen people ask for friend requests, usually associated with Gold Key, in this forum (Questions about PBS). I personally don't want to see CMT cluttered with everybody asking for friend requests, especially just for the purpose of increasing shelf traffic. 

Someone once posted about making sure all your books have their genres listed, in addition to the book description. This will help people using the search function pull up that particular title, although usually the order will go through FIFO (first in, first out), thus helping your copy inch up one spot. 

This was the thread with some discussion and direction on how to do it (third post): http://www.paperbackswap.com/Non-Fiction-Books-Moving-Check/topic/277634/

Also, consider offering a deal in the Book Bazaar. Deals involving more than 1 credit (e.g. 3 books for 2 credits, or better) usually don't cost much more in postage and your cost per credit earned might even be lower than mailing out books in singles. 

Good luck!


Date Posted: 8/26/2013 10:18 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I have to say in all my time on PBS, my shelf has never been particularly active. The sweeping majority of my trades are in wish list books.

Date Posted: 8/26/2013 10:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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It took me about a year to figure out what was in demand.  And what I should just take to the Friends of Library donation bin.  I watched the Daily Wish List for a while.  (Under Settings.)

I will clean my shelf a couple of times a year.  Will offer a deal in the Book Bazaar, then donate books. 

I personally don't like to browse shelves that are over three pages.  So I keep mine small.

The most sucessful thing I found is to post a Wish List book.  Then members will often add another book.


Date Posted: 8/27/2013 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2010
Posts: 134
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Offering deals in the book Bazaar is a great way to increase traffic, as is posting more books.  Often when I want to get more traffic I will search my local thrift stores and look for books I know are popular and in high demand on the site to post, at just .25 - .50 a book it's well worth getting them to post, and especially worth if I want to read the book first!  Children's books go especially fast for me, as do any type of homeschooler or education books.

Date Posted: 8/27/2013 3:09 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 10,198
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All I had to do to get a big increase in traffic was post more books.......once I got my shelf above 150 books, I regularly got requests. I do deals only on kids books in a series and got rid of almost 100 books that way.  Now I mostly post WL books and books in mystery series.

I joined the Gold Key the first year as soon as they offered it and DID NOT get more requests. So I discontinued that paid membership when my year was up.

Date Posted: 8/27/2013 11:55 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2009
Posts: 3,429
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I post a lot of Wish List books, and I regularly offer 2-for-1 deals...I don't necessarily advertise it, but if people click on my bookshelf they will see my 2-for-1 offer, and many folks have taken me up on it.

I also have my Friends set to auto-accept...more friends equals the chance that one of them will browse your bookshelf.

And like the others said, post a lot in the forums, and people will see your profile and will click on your bookshelf to see what you've got.

Be patient when looking for books on your wish list; have books set to auto-accept so you don't miss any offers.