Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Would you look at my RCs?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Would you look at my RCs?
Date Posted: 6/18/2009 3:43 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 80
Back To Top

Would you look at my RCs and tell me if there is a better way to word any of these?

Here they are:

We (Tim & Barb) are heavy readers who have books in every room of our house. We do have some standards about what we want to add to our home library.

First,  Barb is allergic to cigarette smoke, and has found that books from a smoker's household exacerbate the allergy. So we're not willing to accept books that come from a smoker's home or that smell strongly of smoke. 

Second, we are not willing to accept any books that have any highlighting, underlining or other writing in the text pages of the book. 

Third, please see the PBS Guidelines for what can be posted here. This is in the Help Center - search under What Can Be Swapped.

Those three are the only deal-breakers. If you meet those three, please accept our request.

Please do not send us "snarky" comments if your book fails to meet those conditions - just politely say why you cannot send the book, please !

Before you ship the book, please PM us if the book is a hardback without a dust jacket (or if the dust jacket is in bad shape); OR if it is a paperback with damaged or ripped covers; OR if it is an ex-library book; OR if the book has stickers wrapped around the spine or covering a good bit of the front or back covers (a few minor stickers are not an issue). These are generally NOT deal breakers - we just want to avoid surprises when the book arrives, ok?

(Yes, we know these are used books -- we just want to have books that make us happy to add them to our collection. - Grin.)

 -updated 18 June 2009/tag

 --------

I updated them and posted the new version as the last message on this topic.

 



Last Edited on: 6/19/09 12:02 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/18/2009 4:04 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 4,960
Back To Top

Hi Tim & Barb,

I am not trying to be snarky, but you have a huge RC that might turn some senders off enough that they won't even read it. They would just decline you request.

This is my suggestion. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point.

* Due to allergies, if my request comes from a smoking home, please decline this request.

* If my request is a hardcover book, my RC is that it has its dust jacket.

* If my request is a library book, please decline my request.

You can use one, two, or all three.

 

Thanks.

All the other stuff you wrote is already in the PBS rules, which all members should be aware of anyway.

 



Last Edited on: 6/18/09 4:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/18/2009 4:06 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 243
Back To Top
Your RC is way too long, and senders cannot PM you without first accepting your request so you may get turned down quite a bit because they won't know who to PM (this, I think is a fault of the PBS system... for RCs there should be a "PM member explaining condition" button or something).

Also, it's generally considered "insulting" to restate PBS guidelines... if you get a book that doesn't meet the guidelines, mark it RWAP.
Date Posted: 6/18/2009 4:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
Back To Top

IMO they are way, way too wordy, people don't really need a long explanation, they just need to know what you will and won't accept.   Again, IMO, there seem to be a lot of circumstances that require a PM for you to be happy, and I think people might be concerned about words like "minor".  My minor mght be your major. I would suggest choosing your battles and deciding what you will accept, and what you will not. That last paragraph would be an absolute deal breaker for me.  Additionally, if you would like people to PM you, you must include your nickname in you RC, otherwise they will have no way of getting in contact with you.

Might I suggest the following:

  • Please do not send if your book is currently in a smoking environment
  • Also, please decline if the book has highlighting, underlining or any writing on text pages.
  • Thank you!

Additionally, in my experience, requesting people lay off the snark tends to backfire and make the snark increase.

Date Posted: 6/18/2009 4:12 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
Back To Top

This is WAY WAY too wordy.  I do not object to people having RCs, but yours would give me pause, because it is so long . I'm not sure I'd want to spend the time reading all of that.  You definitely need to condense this.  On the smoking issue, just a simple "Please, no books that are currently in a home with smokers, due to allergies" should suffice.

On the second and third items, I would leave them out.  They are aleady stated in the PBS guidelines.  If someone sends a book that does not meet PBS minimum standards, then you can mark RWAP anyway- a RC is not going to make a difference in the end.  Then you are just choosing between "RWAP- RC not met" and "RWAP-damaged by sender".

The whole business of PMing you for an extensive list of conditions would frankly put me off, and probably a lot of others too.  If you don't want ex-library books, book crossing books, torn or missing dust jackets, then you need a RC that states you don't want any of that, period.  But you can't expect people to PM you for those conditions- they would have to accept the order first in order to do that.  If they decline your request and state that it is an ex-library book, for example, then you can re-request the book with your conditions turned off, unless it is a WL book, in which case it will be offered to the next person in line, so that's a risk that you're taking by having a RC.  I think you just need to make a decision about whether you'll take those books or not, and if not, then put on the RC and accept that you are going to miss out on some books, because people will not want to PM you.  For what it's worth, in 2+ years of being here and around 200 books sent and received, I have never received a book that is an ex-library book, has stickers on it, or is missing a dust jacket.  You should really consider whether having the RC for these things is worth it for the extreme few that you might receive.

I'm not trying to be harsh, but I saw your post in another thread about having a request declined due to your RC that there was "a dust mote on page 274", and honestly, I can see why some might find your RCs very picky.  Brevity is the best way to go with a RC if you feel that you have to have one.  Honestly, the only one I'd keep is the smoking one, or if you feel really strongly about ex-library books, etc., that one too.  Also, the bit about the snarky comments is likely just going to invite snarky comments, rather than prevent them, so I'd recommend removing that.

Bottom line- the shorter the better.  Hope this helps, and good luck!

Date Posted: 6/18/2009 4:16 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 2,800
Back To Top

I agree with the others. You lost me at describing how many books you have in the house. Please keep it short, sweet, and exact. If I have to guess about something, I'll decline b/c I don't want to be the sender of a RWAP book, especially if it is due to a difference of opinion about a subjective RC.

After all of that, you sound like nice people and I'm glad you are here at PBS!

Susan

Date Posted: 6/18/2009 4:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
Back To Top


  • Please do not send if your book is currently in a smoking environment
  • Also, please decline if the book has highlighting, underlining or any writing on text pages.

This is short and concise and I recommend going with it.

Date Posted: 6/18/2009 4:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
Back To Top

I'm not trying to be harsh, but I saw your post in another thread about having a request declined due to your RC that there was "a dust mote on page 274", and honestly, I can see why some might find your RCs very picky.

I apologize to the OP, but - I LOL.  And honestly, I do not mean to be harsh either, but I really do understand why the above RCs elicited that response. 

"Brevity is the soul of wit. And RCs." - Oscar Wilde (with an assist from Caviglia)

Subject: You really have only one request. The rest is redundancy.
Date Posted: 6/18/2009 4:50 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
Back To Top

 

Hello Fellow PBS Member,

If your book comes from a smoking environment, please cancel this request.

Thank you for understanding,

Tim and Barb

 

 

 

ETA: Decide whether you want library and bookcrossing books. Also decide whether you'll accept books w/o dust jackets and then put it in bullet statements.



Last Edited on: 6/18/09 4:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/18/2009 4:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
Back To Top

As everyone else said, they need to be much shorter.  No one needs to know the details, and you telling them that the book is being added to a personal library vs being swapped back into the system isn't going to encourage them to go to any extra effort to give you the book.

Also, IMO RCs are for deal breakers. Mights and maybes do not belong in RCs, either you want them, or you don't. You need to make that decision when writing your RC, or make sure to edit the RC with you requirements on each order, you shouldn't put additional work on the sender to determine what you want and what you don't.. A sender should be able to read your RC quickly and easily determine if their book can be sent or not.

Regarding the snark comment: Yes, it is annoying to get those, but insulting the sender before they ever accept the order is not recommended.

 

*Please do not send a book that is in a current smoking environment [or if there is an obvious smoke smell to it. If there is no smoking your home or you cannot smell anything, please send the book.] (the second part can be added if you want to avoid second hand books that smell bad)

*If you have not read the posting conditions for Paperback Swap, please consult the Help Center and confirm your book meets the minimum conditions for the site. If there is any writing or highlighting on the text pages of the book, no need to PM us as the rules state, we cannot accept the book, please deny these conditions.  If you are familar with the posting guidelines and have confirmed your book meets them, thank you! I look forward to this book.

Date Posted: 6/18/2009 5:03 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 7,331
Back To Top

WOW...  I am just being honest, but I would not read a WORD of all of that... not a word...  you would totally be declined...  I find it beyond insulting to be asked to re-read the swapping guidelines...  and the honest truth is if you're that picky, you need to just go to a bookstore and buy the books....  I have found that RC's have gotten so ridiculous that I don't accept most any of them...  this confirms my choice...  my books that I send out are typically books that I have been the ONLY reader...  I don't dog ear... I always use a bookmark... never get them wet... NOTHING...  no smoking or anything in my home... 2 hypoallergenic dogs...  so I know my books would meet conditions... but that just comes across as completely insulting.... 

Date Posted: 6/18/2009 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,709
Back To Top

As others have stated, you should put only the deal-breaker conditions in your RCs.

Any other thing that bothers you, if it is NOT a deal-breaker, then just repost the book when you get it and order another copy (and maybe for that copy only, have more specific RCs.)

Also, remember, you can turn your RCs on and off for each request (except WL books on auto-request). Your smoking request may apply to all book requests, but do all of these conditions apply to each and every book? You can have more specific RCs for those books for which you want a nicer copy, and turn them off for those requests for which you really only want to read the book and repost it.

I am not sure how it helps you to know about these things in advance anyway? If you are willing to accept a book with stickers if someone tells you in advance, are you then unwilling to accept the exact same book if you see the stickers when you open the package? And, why? I'm not being sarcastic, really don't understand how it makes a difference?

I do send out lots of ex-library books, etc, and I try either to comply with RCs or decline them, but I probably wouldn't PM you beforehand, especially about things that PBS says are allowed specifically (and that you say you will accept in your RCs). 



Last Edited on: 6/18/09 5:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/18/2009 5:24 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
Back To Top

"I am not sure how it helps you to know about these things in advance anyway? If you are willing to accept a book with stickers if someone tells you in advance, are you then unwilling to accept the exact same book if you see the stickers when you open the package? And, why?"

They don't like surprises.

Date Posted: 6/18/2009 5:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,709
Back To Top

See, now, I like surprises! :)

I order most books without RCs, and I have to say, overall, the ratio of very nice books is much higher than the ratio of crappy-but-postable ones.

 OK, I will take a stab at the end part of your RC:

"We happily accept ex-library books, hardcovers without dustjackets, dustjackets in older condition, and books with stickers. However, we would really appreciate a PM telling us about these conditions in advance. If your book has these conditions, please accept our request, and then  PM (your_name_here)  just to let us know. Again, we happily accept these books. Thank you very much!"

How's that?



Last Edited on: 6/18/09 5:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Amy
Date Posted: 6/18/2009 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
Back To Top

I think another thing for people to remember when wording their RCs is the reason you have one is irrelevant (allergies, etc) and the sender is most likely not going to care, anyway. Bottom line, you have an RC and that's just the way it is, no need to explain yourself.

Date Posted: 6/18/2009 5:56 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
Back To Top

Nice try Sara. Much shorter and still very friendly.

To be honest. I'd never ever comply with that request no matter how nice it's worded.

 

Date Posted: 6/18/2009 5:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
Back To Top

 

WOW...  I am just being honest, but I would not read a WORD of all of that... not a word...  you would totally be declined...  I find it beyond insulting to be asked to re-read the swapping guidelines...  and the honest truth is if you're that picky, you need to just go to a bookstore and buy the books....  I have found that RC's have gotten so ridiculous that I don't accept most any of them...  this confirms my choice...  my books that I send out are typically books that I have been the ONLY reader...  I don't dog ear... I always use a bookmark... never get them wet... NOTHING...  no smoking or anything in my home... 2 hypoallergenic dogs...  so I know my books would meet conditions... but that just comes across as completely insulting....

Wow... If you take RCs that personally, you really shouldn't read them at all and just decline them.  I certainly wouldn't want my RCs to ever upset someone that much just because I didn't want a book smoked on, or like the OP, just wanted people follow the rules. Do you feel insulted that the pilot reminds you to not smoke in the airplane and to turn off your cell phone before takeoff too? Life's to short to read insult in things that are meant to insult.



Last Edited on: 6/18/09 5:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/18/2009 6:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,709
Back To Top

Tim,

I'm curious, are you getting a lot of declines of your RCs as they are now, or do most people accept them? As you know, most PBSers don't hang out in the forums, so trying to see what most PBSers would do when faced with these is hard to judge just based on forum posters, who mostly feel strongly about it one way or the other. I am wondering what kind of accpetance ratio you have with these?

Also, curious, was there a time when you didn't have RCs and have gotten bad books? Everyone gets a few, but even without RCs on most of my books, I get very few problem books.

Would like to help you ... is your goal to get more acceptances with some different version of these RCs in their (more or less) entirety? Or to keep a few of the most important conditions and get more acceptances overall?

Date Posted: 6/18/2009 6:16 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
Back To Top

I agree it is to long - but also in your face and maybe it is why some of the comments are snarky.  I am sorry but I wouldn't accept the way you have it phrased and to be honest I stopped reading your post on the Third RC.

I agree with Dawn M phrasing

Personally I feel that RCs should be "it is" or "it isn't"  but not prefer ..... when you say you prefer it that way - you are asking for someone's  perception.  Their perception may be totally different from yours and that could result in a book that is RWAP which is unfair to the sender.  I would accept an RC if it was phrased like Dawn M phrased above ....if it met the criteria. 

The smoking is really tricky and I understand, I have asthma that is set off from smoke smells, but I do not have an RC on mine.  These are used books and I assume unless purchased new they have been in a smoking home.  Also swapping - a home I rec'd it from may be smoking and I wouldn't know for sure.  If there is a smoke smell I put it in dryer sheets in a box for a few days and that usually does the trick for me. 

Good Luck.

Date Posted: 6/18/2009 6:17 PM ET
Member Since: 1/26/2006
Posts: 318
Back To Top

Beautifully written....BUT, I would probably be asleep by the time I finished reading and would probably just decline for that reason.

Short and sweet is much better received :)

Date Posted: 6/18/2009 6:24 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
Back To Top

Sara - those are all very good questions.  I do feel as if I have been especially lucky, as I've had very few problems with the books I've received, but I can understand how getting a run of unpostables would be extremely frustrating.  I would also be curious to know if the bulk of the OP's problems with books received have been because they are not postable as per PBS guidelines, or rather, if they have not been what Tim and his wife would find acceptable.  Let me state also, I have absolutely no problem with people having RCs, I just beg for clarity.

Recently, I encountered an RC that had a "NO underlining or highlighting of any sort!" clause.  I read it as something that sprung from frustration.  I sent the book (as it had no underlining or highlighting), and the person with the RC sent me the nicest note when she received the book.  I don't think most people with RCs are being intentionally difficult, they just want books that they will be pleased with.

I will say, and I'll probably get slammed for it, that I do get a little tired of people making self congratualtory statements about how pristine the books they send out are.  I mean, that's wonderful, but all the site requires is that they adhere to the Guidelines, and no one should feel frightened of sending out a book that falls squarely within the Guidelines, but is not "good as new".

Date Posted: 6/18/2009 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 7,331
Back To Top

Melanie...  What I was trying to say is that if I saw a novella of RC's I'd just click that I couldn't meet it....  exactly what you suggested that I should do...  and I don't look for insult in everything, but since this person asked for an assessment and assistance with their RC's, I gave my honest opinion....  but I do find it insulting when asked to apply with conditions again that I have already agreed to comply with when posting the book in the first place....  I am more than aware that there are plenty of people that don't comply in the first place because I have personally recieved books that I had to mark RWAP on a couple of occasions....  but that's what RWAP is for....  restating it on your RC's is not going to increase compliance for people that are going to be non-compliant in the first place....  but I have also seen an RC that stated they only wanted books that were in brand new condition....  when people have RC's that are so insane or millions of different little things, I just feel they are trying to get something for nothing....  the OP stated that they are keeping books for their personal library and are very picky for that, and I feel if that is the case they should buy them new....  I just don't prefer the risk of losing my credit over so many subjective things... I think that lots of people forget that this is a USED book swap...  I have received some books that meet guidelines above and beyond and look brand new.... and I have received others that while they technically meet guidelines, they are at the end of the road....  it's just the way the system works....

Date Posted: 6/18/2009 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
Back To Top

Tim, you and Barb are probably very nice people in real life, but your RCs can potentially come across as demanding and condescending. I think your RCs are so long because you like to explain yourself and have others explain things to you. (from the "Being a jerk about RCs! thread" and the wording of the RC.) Nothing wrong with that, except as others have noted they are turned off by the length. I'm just trying to be helpful, and really mean no offense.   

My line edit & reasoning (trying to adapt the pov of someone who is easily offended):

We (Tim & Barb) are heavy readers who have books in every room of our house. We do have some standards about what we want to add to our home library.

Others don't care if you are heavy readers or not. The line "we do have some standards"  sounds very condescending. In truth, everyone has standards. PBS has standards -- you make it sound like everyone else might not have standards, or those are subpar. I think there might exist a small percentage of people who might not want to send you books because they are for your keeper shelf because they believe books should be passed on in the book club.

First,  Barb is allergic to cigarette smoke, and has found that books from a smoker's household exacerbate the allergy. So we're not willing to accept Please no books that come from a home which currently has smokers or that smell strongly of smoke. 

Again, the reason why you have this RC isn't relevant. The "we're not willing to accept"  has a condescending connotation. Smell is subjective--for example, I have virtually no sense of smell. All that prospective senders can objectively guarantee is that their book is not currently around smokers.

Second, we are not willing to accept any  please no books that have any highlighting, underlining or other writing in on the text pages (including textbooks and cookbooks)  of the book. 

I added the paretheses to make it sound less like a rehash of PBS guidelines, which some find insulting.

Third, please see the PBS Guidelines for what can be posted here. This is in the Help Center - search under What Can Be Swapped.

The third request is doubly insulting. Some people are insulted to be asked to review the guidelines. And to point out where they are? Perhaps a better way is to build the link into the text of the RC.

Those three are the only deal-breakers. If youR BOOK meet those three, please accept our request.

All RCs are deal-breakers. Your stating this (and text below) suggest that you have other minor non-deal-breaking conditions to be sorted out by PM. Someone just might not want to go through the effort of sorting these out with you. Also, I think it's more neutral to ask if the BOOK meets these conditions, as someone might take "you meet those three"  to mean you are judging him or her.

Please do not send us "snarky" comments if your book fails to meet those conditions - just politely say why you cannot send the book, please !

This is just asking for trouble. I don't remember what the text box that pops up when you decline an RC--does it say you must give a reason? I interpret this to mean you want a detailed explanation for why the book doesn't meet the RCs. Some people--myself included--might not feel I owe an explanation more than "Sorry, I am not confident that my book meets your conditions."

Before you ship the book, please PM us INSERT YOUR PBS NAME if the book is a

hardback without a dust jacket (or if the dust jacket is in bad shape);  having an RC for dust jackets  would require the DJ's condition to be the same as for the cover. "Bad shape" is subjective.

OR if it is a paperback with damaged or ripped covers;  partial re-hash of PBS guidelines, or do you want rips less than 1 inch to be reported?

OR if it is an ex-library book; (just pointing this out, on your profile you write some of your posted books are ex-library)  

OR if the book has stickers wrapped around the spine or covering a good bit of the front or back covers (a few minor stickers are not an issue). A "good bit" and "minor" are subjective.

These are generally NOT deal breakers - we just want to avoid surprises when the book arrives, ok?

Please decide if these things really matter to you that much. If so they need to become "deal breaker RCs" under your definition. Even though you state that you want to avoid surprises,  I am suspicious that you might want to cancel the order if it's a book you "kinda want" but would accept if it's a book you "really want." Otherwise, while it's okay for you to ask to be informed ahead of time, the book's condition can not improve. Please realize that you are asking the sender to do extra work (i.e. check the book very carefully, draft a PM to you, wait for a response -- and wonder "should I send or not" if you don't respond right away) for something that you claim is merely to satisfy your curiosity earlier. Many people might not want to deal with the hassle, and would decline for that reason.  

(Yes, we know these are used books -- we just want to have books that make us happy to add them to our collection. - Grin.)

Date Posted: 6/18/2009 10:25 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
Back To Top

Well, Tim, I guess you can tell that most PBS members here have the opinion of "no one cares why".  And really it isn't their business.  Not to beat you over the head again, but "short and sweet" rules the day.  Make it as clear as glass - no vagueness at all.   Any interpretation that might be needed is likely to be misinterpreted.   And if you do get snarky replies, well, that's their problem and not really yours.  Don't give them an opportunity to feel like they've been insulted even if you didn't insult them. 

Ruth

Date Posted: 6/18/2009 10:32 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2006
Posts: 2,346
Back To Top

I wouldn't read past a couple lines -- Keep it very brief and simple-

Page: