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Topic: Has interest fallen?

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Subject: Has interest fallen?
Date Posted: 12/10/2015 10:07 AM ET
Member Since: 9/17/2008
Posts: 463
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I've been looking at some of the posts and I get the feeling that interest is lacking? Used to be you could get some good deals here but I don't see that many anymore.  Has interest fallen off on the book sites? I belong to others and they too seem to be falling off, no one wanting anything.  I don't have any books listed anymore since the last deals I offered didn't generate attention so I gave them to the library and charity. Has the charging of a yearly fee put everyone off? or is it the cost of mailing a book? Just curious as this was the best swap site I found and now seems to not generate the passing of books very often.

Probaby put this in the wrong category but oh well----

Date Posted: 12/10/2015 10:31 AM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2010
Posts: 525
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I find lack of interest too.....when offering deals, not much interest.   The cost of sending out one book, of any size, for 2.72,,,,maybe 2.74

adds up quickly, and the credits slowly, at one apiece.....   anyone else getting same result??


Date Posted: 12/10/2015 12:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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I have not been here that long but it seems to me most deals are small shelves and few deals are big shelves with lots of choices.  

I wonder if there are less deals because they don't need credits?  Not really sure.  

Yes, I know postage cost is a major factor.  


Last Edited on: 12/10/15 12:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/10/2015 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2009
Posts: 709
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I have a large shelf, and I offer deals all the time just to help offset the cost of mailing. I can't afford to send single books out right now, so I've got my shelf on hold for a few months. I tried selling credits for $2.20 to help with the shipping cost, but no one wants to pay more than $2 for a credit. That really doesn't help much when it's $2.74 to send 1 book. I've noticed that it's the same few members that offer deals, too. I guess most of the members don't mind the high cost of mailing books one at a time.

I love this site and have found many books I need to complete sets, so I hope people will stay.

Date Posted: 12/10/2015 3:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,446
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Posting has definitely slowed down here, but I haven't experienced anything else slowing down. It's always been slow and steady here for me. I rarely buy books except the occasional audio book on CD found cheap at a thrift store or library sale.  I have just slowly been posting the books my kids left behind when they grew up and moved out and the books that have been sitting on my bookshelf for years that I no longer feel the need to keep. Whenever I get an order for a single book, I PM the requester offering them my standard ongoing deals: 4 for 2 on all of my paperbacks, religious books, and kids' books; 4 for 3 on all hardcovers; and order 2 get 1 free on all audio books. I also check the requester's WL and see if I have any I can offer them. I don't post my WL books or books that have no copies in the system on a regular basis. I use the WL Multiples thread and keep a WL Multiples book list accessible from my profile. I also scan the Book Bazaar for people looking for deals and let them know when I have what they're looking for. I regularly have people take me up on my deals. The more books you have to choose from, the more likely you are to get orders. Being disabled and on an extremely limited fixed income, I couldn't participate here if I wasn't breaking even.

Date Posted: 12/10/2015 3:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,329
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When the fees first started things slowed down for me, but then picked up and I mail several books a week, and receive several each month. I posted in the multiple WL group (haven't in a couple of months), and things have slowed down there. Have to wonder if a lot of ala carte people visited that and can no longer do so.

I think this time of year things do slow down though as people are busy with the holidays. Pat

Subject: Not enough Active members on the book bazaar at this time -
Date Posted: 12/10/2015 4:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2007
Posts: 988
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Yes indeed - it used to be:

You could post a deal early in the morning and before the end of the day your deal had been 'pushed off' to page 2 - if you wanted to keep it on page 1 you would have to 'bump' it.

Now your deal will stay on page 1 for about a week or so before it moves to page 2 and it'll stay on page 2 for at least a week if not longer. 

Not having the ALC members being able to respond directly to any book bazaar deals has drastly reduced ones ability to continously do deals here - oh well.

From the Membership directory: 65,000+ members listed - I would estimate that at least 10% of those members now have a 'hold' on their accounts for various reasons...perhaps making active membership at 50,000 to 60,000. If you do a 'rough' look at the ratio of Standard and Limited members to all the members listed it comes out to (roughly) 8 subscribing members with the ability to use the Book Bazaar per 100 total members...I think this is also why even deals to sell credits @ $2.50 or less per credit stays on the Bazaar for a longer time as well. The ALC members who are trying to save 'money' are unable to take advantage of those deals as well as the good book deals being offered. 

Seems the only way to reach them is to send each a PM with either a book deal or a credits to buy deal directly, and that's not really feasible. 

I've had pretty good luck like sasssy25 has in that if you do get a book request you let the requestor know about your deals and they can respond to your PM (accepting or not accepting) for deals. Anyone have any ideals on how we can interact with the ALC members in a way that is favorable to both sets of members???

I like it when I can mail out 10, 20 or 30 books at a wack! It makes everyone happy.

As an aside - it used to ne that you were given up to 100 Wish Listed items - then for a small fee (I think it was $8) you could 'buy' an additional 100 Wish Listed spots making it 200. It's nice that for the Standard Members to get 500 Wish Listed spots as p/o their package - I would gladly have paid $20/year just for the 500 Wish List spots alone! And, I would even pay more money to have an even more expanded Wish List allocation. I'm always maxed out in my Wish List and have to use my Reminders List (now in excess of 7,000 titles) as a poor-mans unofficial Wish List - How about it PBS, could you offer for sale an additional 500 Wish List spots for $$$? - I would be game for that.

Last Edited on: 12/19/15 5:29 AM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 12/10/2015 4:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 812
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Yes, I think it is much less active than it was and I think is is a combination of reasons. Increased postage, ebook and the disasterous rollout of PBS fees. Not the fees. Members would have donated. PBS chose to raise funds in the most offensive way; needlessly creating classes of memberships and disinfranchising so many.

Last Edited on: 12/10/15 11:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/10/2015 9:31 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2009
Posts: 411
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I have enough credits for now so in no hurry to mail out books.  I had to go past the post office on Saturday & the parking lot was packed so I am kind of hoping to not mail anything till after the holidays.  Seems like mid-January things normally pick up with Christmas gift books getting put into the system.  With renewal of the memberships happening in Februrary though who knows what to expect.

Date Posted: 12/11/2015 12:57 AM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2005
Posts: 723
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I have been here from almost the begining and I can tell you I don't check the book bazaar nearly as often as I used to because it is filled with people selling credits and not offering deals.  I agree with Sassy I have more luck offering people who are already ordering books from my shelf a deal then I have ever had in posting the same deal in the book bazaar.  I really like the new referal program.  I think that could help to keep people.   Personally I don't like the wish list multiple because those of us who have been waiting forever keep waiting.  I just keep listing books. I discover often if it a series either someone will take a deal or that person has more than one on their wish list and are first in line.  With all this being said. I love this site and will continue to list and send books.  My daughter just got a couple of her text books here! Talk about a huge saving. I love the friends that I have made here as well.  I keep telling people about the site. It is harder for people to try it with a fee.   Maybe because things move slower on here I check it less often as well. I am more likely to think about deals than I did when I first started because I have a lot of books to read, because of this site.  So not really needing more books I only look at amazing deals. I still believe it is the best site ever. Jean

Date Posted: 12/11/2015 2:17 AM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2009
Posts: 202
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I've been active for several years. It's definitely slowed down.

When I first started, I signed up for Box-of-Books and did a LOT of big lot trading. My approach was to generate a list of authors I liked, their complete series (http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/ is the best source of this information), and work to fill complete series before I began reading. I did a lot of browsing throuigh the Book Bazaar looking for great deals. My goal was to broaden my horizons and try different books, genres, and authors I didn't know. When I could get them at even trade in boxes, or 5 or 6 for 1 credit, I loaded up. I, also, made offers of deals for others and got lots of orders.

The Book Bazaar is fundamental in generating interest. I think that without the ability of the alc members to search it there can be NO interest. What I've seen over this last year is a real drying up of people looking because they can't. Okay, that should be an incentive for alc members to upgrade. But, at the same time, the only ones browsing are the longer term, more active, and experienced members. Unfortunately, since they aren't finding the deals they used to find, they are deciding to sell their credits and get out. I see a failing model of business that needs repair before it goes under. There should be incentives for upgrades, but don't kill the goose laying the golden egg (Book Bazaar) in the process.

As for finding deals outside of the Book Bazaar, I use the understanding of how PBS works. If there are already 10 books the same as yours in the system your book will NOT come up on anyones browser search until the other 10 have been taken first. You can actually post books to your Reminder List and see how many are in front of each of your books. I'd venture to say that at most about 5% of all your posted books actually currently show up anywhere. So, I look for specific titles, then check out ALL those actually listed by that member to see what else the seller's have. Doing that gets them greater visibility. In that process I make offers for as many books on their shelf as I want at good 3, 4, or 5 books per 1 credit. I explain Media Mail rates, shipping weights, and make sure I'm giving them the benefit of ordering at least 2 books to give them a benefit. I find that once people understand about 70% accept my offers. I think it's due to their lack of getting orders that makes it possible. I created a copy and paste email I send that simplifies this process.


Date Posted: 12/11/2015 12:24 PM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2006
Posts: 4,724
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Not many members can beat Ken's current offer in the Book Bazaar.  smiley  I run offers many times for 3/1 or 8/2 or as many books a member wants as long as the credits cover the cost of mailing.  However, my bookshelf is small and mostly romance; not enough variety for most members. 

Date Posted: 12/11/2015 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2009
Posts: 709
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I also PM members who are ordering 1 from me to see if they'd be interested in a deal, and about 1/2 the time they are.

I've noticed that's it the same group of people offering deals. I wish more people would be open to offering deals. Maybe we could get some more trading going on. If I see several I'm interested in on someone's shelf, I'll usually PM them to ask if they'd be willing to offer a deal, and a lot of times they do. I'm very appreciative of those offers. It helps me to find series I'm looking for, and I know it's helps them with postage.

Danny N (listed above) runs amazing offers, too! I've gotten a lot of nice books from him, and I'll be a repeat customer.

Date Posted: 12/11/2015 6:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,209
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The boards in general are slower so the the Bazaar is going to be slower. People don't need to be on the boards to be actively swapping, they will just be doing it through the FIFO system.

Val C. (vcat) - ,
Date Posted: 12/12/2015 11:29 AM ET
Member Since: 7/11/2012
Posts: 321
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I have seen a pretty steep decline also in book deals offered.  I actually have a fairly good size bookshelf but it's split between summer and winter locations so my "posted" stays limited.  Space is limited also and when I need to empty quickly, i'll sometimes offer deals first to members who have ordered from me before. That way i'm able to "target" those who I know read the same style or authors that interest me.

Date Posted: 12/12/2015 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 9/17/2008
Posts: 463
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Wow this was a great feedback and it was good to know that there are others that feel the same. I think this is the best book site I've found and I've enjoyed it over the years I've belonged, I too joined the box o books for 2 years then it slacked off and I dropped it on the next renewal, but I got some good deals from that option. It will be interesting to know at the next renewal of the fees if there will be others that will drop out, don't know how we'll know that happens but it wouldn't surprise me. My wish list books were coming quick in the beginning of the fee charge but now it has slacked off too and now I do more ordering through the library where it just cost me a dollar to get them through the inter-library loan system, it takes up to two weeks sometimes but who cares and sometimes you have the option to keep them for a month instead of just the two weeks, that is a good way to try an author I don't know.

I haven't listed books here lately because there is isn't any interest and the last couple deals I offered I had no takers so I opted out of listing books and gave them away, no room to keep storing them. Media mail has gone up nearly a $1 since I joined and after you buy a book for $5 and then pay to mail it then that book costs goes up to $6-$7 and that is too much to invest in a book you're not keeping, on the BFS site the receiver pays the postage and it has slowed down too, maybe it is the holidays?

Date Posted: 12/12/2015 4:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2010
Posts: 101
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If someone orders just one book, check out their Wish List and see if you have anything they want. Then you can at least send out two pbs for the same as one.

Date Posted: 12/12/2015 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 812
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Think FIFO is pretty much dead. I have been #1 on the list for several books for at least a month and sometimes 2, and each week PBS indicates 1 or 2 posted in the last week. Clearly, all these posting are to friends, so being #1 really has no meaning, Do not fault anyone from bypassing FIFO. PBS failed to cull accounts, enable the ability to screen for RCs, or auto requests etc.. The decision to post to friends which PBS totally supports and enables makes this most reasonable from a senders view. Not good for me and maybe not good for PBS. It is becomming a much smaller venue where only friends exchange books among themselves.Anyone considering a new membership should be aware.

Last Edited on: 12/12/15 4:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: I agree with what Mary said about FIFO, So true!
Date Posted: 12/14/2015 2:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2009
Posts: 875
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Date Posted: 12/14/2015 7:08 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2011
Posts: 200
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Last Edited on: 12/14/15 7:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/16/2015 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 11/26/2005
Posts: 271
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I don't have a problem with the Paperbackswap fee at all, but they did raise rates a bit for media mail.  I try to mail books when I can, but it seems like I've been reading a lot of good books lately that I'd rather keep.  I sure appreciate others who have been mailing books!

Date Posted: 12/18/2015 9:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2014
Posts: 849
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I'm the opposite I typically am low on credits BC I can't afford to buy a lot but I plan to buy some first of month. :) 

Last Edited on: 12/20/15 1:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/20/2015 12:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,446
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FIFO isn't dead. I have received several I was #1 on the list for, and I've received them all from strangers.

Date Posted: 12/20/2015 2:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2006
Posts: 468
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I find I don't use it as much because I usually can't find anything I really want. FIFO really used to work for me, but not so much anymore. I'm not sure what's changed. Does most swapping happen on the boards now? 

Ann B. (ahbab) - ,
Date Posted: 12/20/2015 8:36 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2010
Posts: 422
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I find that people can't answer their PMs. 

Last Edited on: 12/20/15 9:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 1