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Topic: The logistics of offering book deals

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Subject: The logistics of offering book deals
Date Posted: 2/10/2009 12:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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How exactly does it work to offer deals on the books on your PBS shelf?  For instance, I've seen people offer 2 for 1 deals where they ask the requestor to request the first book, then PM the sender with the 2nd book that they want (the freebie).  What could happen here is that before the sender accepts, and presumably removes the requested freebie from their shelf, a 2nd requestor could request the book that is intended to be the first requestor's freebie.  Does this happen often?

Date Posted: 2/10/2009 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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This can happen, you are right, although it hasn't happened to me yet.  It is probably more likely to happen to you if you have a small shelf.  It helps if you run a deal on a day when you can be near your computer a lot, so you can immediately remove the freebies from your shelf.  If this happens, what I would do is honor the book request that went through the system and PM the first sender and ask if they would like a different freebie.  I can't think of any other way to handle it.

Date Posted: 2/10/2009 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2008
Posts: 1,673
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It does happen but not often.  That was one of my anxieties when I first used the BB.  But so many people do book deals now that, when and if, that happens the requester certainly understands!

Date Posted: 2/10/2009 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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How I avoid it is usually just by advertising my deals in my sig rather than doing a lot of Book Bazaar advertising.  Then you just run the deals longer than the usual blue light special kind of deals you see in the BB.  A lot of those may run 24hrs to just a couple of days, and I'll run them over a weekend, a week, or indefinitely, and change or drop them by changing my sig, rather than posting that the offer is closed.  And if I post an ad in the BB, I usually don't bump them either.  This way seems to keep orders from my shelf steady, but not so excessive that I'm scrambling to keep my shelf updated.  I've only had problems with duplicate requests when I ran an ad and then bumped it daily, but you can do that without a lot of problems if you just commit to staying online or checking in frequently & updating your shelf for the duration of your deal.  If I run a BB ad and someone does happen to order something that has been requested, I honor the first request in line - and it has to be made via an inbox & not just posted on the deal thread - and ask the person who ordered to cancel.  I don't imagine anyone would refuse to do that, but if they did, I'd cancel it myself:P  Any way you go runs the risk of upsetting someone, but I try to keep my focus on honoring my initial commitment.

Date Posted: 2/10/2009 2:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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It never happened to me the few times I ran a deal.  If people post in the thread what books they want as freebies that usually helps prevent it from happening.  HOwever there is the worry of an order coming in through FIFO. 

Do it on a day when you can update your shelf frequently if needed. Don't post the deal and then not check it all day. 

I've started doing what Kim does and just running a deal in my signature. But this really only works if you hang out on the boards and post alot.  Otherwise no ones sees the offer.  It was definately easier to manage when it was in my signature instead of a BB thread.  I would get one or two orders a week with the signature deal instead several in one day. 

Date Posted: 2/10/2009 2:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
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Just do keep in mind that putting it in your signature means you want to try to post in a variety of the forums to 'get the word out' and also that some folks (myself included) have all signatures blocked from showing up so not everyone will see them. (It's nothing personal, just that some folks have really long signatures or lots of the flashing blinky things that I find annoying to look at over and over again.)

I have participated in a couple of deals from the 'orderer' perspective (but this was a couple of years ago) and had some issues with them. The first time, the person took several days to get back to me after I'd pm'd her with my choice and said sorry, someone else got the freebie I wanted. Another time I had a 3 for 1 deal and the two free books were basically garbage--totally unpostable! Ever since then it's soured me from participating in any more deals, especially when you read in the forums about other folks having similar (and worse!) problems. I have such a huge TBR now that I really don't need to be enlarging it much--my wishlist pretty much does my PBS shopping for me now, the exception being an occasional series book that I need to order from what's available already.

I've never felt compelled to run deals from my own shelf--usually it gets enough activity that I have between 25-50 credits available at any given time, which is plenty. I have a few unpostables and ARCs that I have listed on my profile in a Notebook entry as freebies with an order, but aside from that, I live in a deal-free zone. :-D

Cheryl

Date Posted: 2/10/2009 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,154
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Also, people who have signatures turned off (like me) will never see your deals! :-)

Date Posted: 2/10/2009 2:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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One thing that helped me is to never start a deal soon after I posted a lot of new books.  I would wait a few days for the "regular" orders to weed out any "hot" books. 

Then I would post the deal and ask them to PM me and also post to the my deal thread so that other would see what they ordered.

I also tried to go in and remove freebie books from the shelf as quick as I could.  The biggest thing to help keep duplicate orders down is asking them to post to the deal thread.  That allows others to see which book have already been taken.

There is the outside change that a non-forum user will randomly order a book that someone else has asked for as a freebie.  In that case, I would generlly let the "real" order stand and respond to the deal requestor that someone had ordered that one before I could get it off my shelf.  I would also offer them an extra freebie.... so, they missed out one one book, but got two books to replace it.

Date Posted: 2/10/2009 3:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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Thanks,  This has been helpful.

Date Posted: 2/10/2009 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I had the signature lines shut off for a long time because of the blinking pictures.  But I turned them back on and I think I was able to keep the blinking things shut off because now I see the signature lines with offers but no pictures.  Look into your settings again - it may have been a new change.

Ruth

Date Posted: 2/10/2009 7:32 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,496
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You can turn off signature images and blinkies without turning off text signatures.  I can't take the blinkies so I have those turned off.  Plain old text signatures are fine with me and I like seeing them.

Date Posted: 2/10/2009 11:44 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2006
Posts: 532
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Let me start by saying that I found this thread because I have "situation" in the Book Bazaar forum. I ordered some books in a four for one deal, posted in the thread and then sent a PM. About an hour later, someone else requested one of the books I had asked for as a freebie and asked for another of the books I had asked for as "his" freebie (he apparently didn't read the thread he posted to). A little later someone else requested as a freebie another of the books I asked for and so on.

I have a sinking feeling that tomorrow I'll be getting a message along the lines of "sorry, someone else requested one of the books you wanted, could you please choose another...blah, blah"

I'm "really" shocked that so many people seem to think that right thing for the person offering the deal to do is to honor the request of someone who came along "after" a book was requested as a freebie (and was clearly designated such by a post in the deal thread). Isn't "first-come-first-served" the honorable way of things?

I've gotten some great deals in the Bazaar, but these type of shananigans are souring my outlook a bit.

 

Date Posted: 2/11/2009 12:51 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Once again we see that members like the first come first served concept.  I like it ,too.

I have no idea what you will get as an answer to your situation.  I don't personally like posting deals in the Book Bazaar.  It's too chaotic for me.  I look for deals by individuals' signature lines.  I have been known to ask for a deal and to grant a deal to someone who asked me for one.  It's okay as long as you are polite and willing to negotiate.  And some people won't consider it if you ask which is okay, too.  No harm in asking.

Did you post to that thread as well as PM the OP?  If you didn't post to the thread then the others didn't know about your PM.  And the OP should have been on top of things by being available to monitor his offer in the BB.  Much depends on how new the OP is or how experienced the OP is.  Don't count yourself out just yet.

Ruth

Date Posted: 2/11/2009 11:14 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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I'm "really" shocked that so many people seem to think that right thing for the person offering the deal to do is to honor the request of someone who came along "after" a book was requested as a freebie (and was clearly designated such by a post in the deal thread). Isn't "first-come-first-served" the honorable way of things?

I guess I never thought about it this way, like first come first serve.  I was just thinking that most people probably order the book they want most and then ask for the freebie for their second choice book and might easily be able to find another book they like as well.  That way everyone wins.  I know that this is not always the case, but that's what I was thinking at the time I wrote my post above.

Date Posted: 2/11/2009 11:49 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I'm "really" shocked that so many people seem to think that right thing for the person offering the deal to do is to honor the request of someone who came along "after" a book was requested as a freebie (and was clearly designated such by a post in the deal thread). Isn't "first-come-first-served" the honorable way of things?

I've gotten some great deals in the Bazaar, but these type of shananigans are souring my outlook a bit.

I agree with you, Mary, first come first served is the honorable way to do things.  IMO, I gave my word to people that I'd do things a certain way, and I think the right thing to do is to ask the person who ordered the book after it was already requested to cancel.  I've actually seen people say that they have to give a for credit request precedence over a freebie request because that's a guranteed credit for that book, and a freebie is just giving it away:P  More likely, IMO, they just don't want to hassle with asking someone to cancel, and risk upsetting that person, but if that's the case, I think if you need a credit for every book, you shouldn't be offering deals in the first place.  Or better yet, hold your "hot" books that you don't want to give away before you run your deal & then repost them when it ends.  I think requestors need to do what they can from their end to check the lists of books already requested, which should always be posted in the deals thread, and do the right thing & not just up and order something they know someone has already asked for.  And sometimes those orders can come FIFO, especially if your books are rare in the system, but again, you can always put them on hold for the duration of the deal. 

I actually ordered a book FIFO once that had been freebie requested just minutes before I put in my request, so the sender really couldn't have had time to pull the book from her inventory before it went on request hold.  She inboxed me right away & told me what happened, and I believe she had even had to accept my request to be able to message me, but I understood & cancelled the request, and then reordered my book after she'd had time to pull her copy.  I told her next time she should just click on the "I cannot mail this book" tab, because if it's done that quickly, the requestor isn't likely to even know that their request rolled over to the next person in the FIFO line anyway.  It's only rollovers that people don't act on for a couple of days that cause  requests to sit for days & days before being accepted, and that is when things start to get frustrating for a requestor.  If someone is ordering from a BB deal though, as long as you have clearly stated that ALL orders & requests need to be posted in the deal thread and have an accompanying inbox message, you can head these off much more quickly, and let those people know they need to cancel the order.  You read all of your related inboxes before responding to any of them, & in the order received, and if you have any duplicate requests, or someone has ordered a book that's been freebie requested, you let them know they'll need to cancel that one, and if they still want to order from you, they'll have to reorder something that's still available.  I agree that nobody has to run deals and it's gracious of them to do so, but I think we should also keep in mind that people don't often request freebies just to get any old thing you might happen to have.  Many shop deals threads with their Reminder Lists in hand, and they are specifically looking for everything they asked for and not just the books they spend a credit on.  More than once, I wouldn't have ordered from a deal at all, if I couldn't get exactly the books I requested, and I would have just waited until I found a better deal elsewhere.  I'm sure I'm not the only person to ever do that.

Oh, and ETA:  I'm not wagging a finger at anybody.  Mine is just a different POV that I think should be considered:)



Last Edited on: 2/11/09 11:51 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/11/2009 2:43 PM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2008
Posts: 397
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I think the 1st person to ask for a book should be the 1st to get it regardless of if they ordered it or asked for it as their freebie, but maybe tat's just me.  I did have one time where I asked for a book as my freebie & someone had beaten me to it (the other person had PM'd but not posted to the thread, so I couldn't have known) & the person with the offer replied that it had ben taken already- well in that instance they only 2 books I wanted from their shelf were the 2 I requested so I ended up canceling the other book & getting it in another deal.