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Topic: membership and fees

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Subject: membership and fees
Date Posted: 2/1/2015 12:37 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 9,955
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I'm in, I love this site and hope to continue sending and receiving books. What does everyone speculate about membership? Do you think many will leave?
Date Posted: 2/1/2015 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 3/29/2010
Posts: 3
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I have always paid to have an extended wish list so the gets me 500 instead of 300 wishes.
Date Posted: 2/1/2015 12:46 PM ET
Member Since: 4/19/2009
Posts: 10
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I think membership will decrease greatly. A lot of people on small budgets (that's why they're on PBS right now), aren't going to want to pay. Also new users aren't going to be interested in paying a fee to a site they've never used before. It'll be easier for people who've been around for awhile to see the benefits of paying.

Date Posted: 2/1/2015 1:00 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
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I'm staying around but going a la carte, because I don't find enough books to warrant even a limited membership.  (And I rely somewhat on getting credits here and using them on the DVD Swap site, so I'm even less likely to use 24 credits here.)

I should add I'm also less likely to accumulate a lot of credits, meaning I won't be posting stuff I have that's wish-listed by others.

And since a la carte members will not be allowed to post in the forums, I'll say good-bye now (even though I'll be around for another couple of weeks, I guess.)

Date Posted: 2/1/2015 1:07 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,180
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My questions are answered :-)



Last Edited on: 2/1/15 2:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 5
Date Posted: 2/1/2015 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 4/19/2009
Posts: 10
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Evelyn, also going A la carte means you only get 100 books for your wishlist.

Date Posted: 2/1/2015 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2010
Posts: 288
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I definitely find enough books for a membership, especially the Early Bird version. The new approach basically adds 50 cents per book to the swap, less than the postage-printing fee (and you get one of those free per month, so that saves $6 from the membership). If the P.O. raised the Media Mail price of mailing a book by 50 cents (on the first 36  books I mailed in a year), I wouldn't consider leaving PBS. 

I also think it should weed out those members with little commitment to knowing the rules, sending books that meet requirements and marking them received when they get them. Paying for any type of membership shows some commitment. I just hope it doesn't turn off too many people. It maybe be harder to get new members to sign up, unless they give a trial membership, as I think the benefits become more apparent the longer you belong. That would be a shame.

It's not a good thing, but when I think about what the cost really is, and how much time I'll save by not having to weed out the slow movers from my Wish List every so often, and probably receiving fewer books that never should have been mailed, I think it'll be worth it.

 

Date Posted: 2/1/2015 1:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2011
Posts: 398
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Where did everybody read about this?  I heard some people got an email but I haven't received anything.  I'd like to read about it.

Date Posted: 2/1/2015 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 4/19/2009
Posts: 10
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Here is the email:

 

Dear Members,

Happy February! 

We are proud that we have been able to provide PaperBackSwap to you for Free for the past 10 years. However, we have stated from the beginning that there may come a time when we would need to charge a nominal fee in order to support the club's growth and to offer new services.

In order to maintain the service levels that you have come to expect, PaperBackSwap needs to begin charging membership fees beginning on February 15th, 2015. We encourage you to purchase an annual membership at $20 that will allow you to keep the same level of service that you have enjoyed over the years and some new features (including a larger Wish List!).  Additionally, there are other options that you may wish to consider, that we have outlined below. 

2015 will be our eleventh year of providing this club for book lovers all over the country. It’s been a decade of fabulous growth, in which we’ve overseen the exchange of nearly 20 million books; by any calculation, our members have saved millions of dollars.  Through the years, our site has sustained itself with optional services (such as Printed Postage fees and new-book sales).  We’d like to do more with the club - fix things that aren’t working well, enhance others, and introduce new features (such as a mobile app, and continuing to investigate ebook swapping).  We really can’t do that without some “elbow room” from revenue.

Beginning February 15, 2015, as a member in Good Standing at PaperBackSwap, you can select:

  • Standard Membership at $20 per year ($18 for early subscribers), that includes unlimited swapping, new features, and a 500-item Wish List.  Best Value!
  • Limited Membership at $12 per year, where you'll get the ability to request 30 books without paying swap fees, some new features, and your Wish List limit will stay at 200 items.
  • For those who don’t swap often or who don't want to commit to an annual membership, there is an “A la Carte” option at 49 cents per book request, with a Wish List limit of 100 items.
  • And finally, Printable Postage users will be glad to learn that each printing with PBS Postage will earn 1 free Swap fee.

We’ve loved providing a totally free club for as long as we could. We’re happy about the solution we’ve come up with - there’s a plan available for you, no matter how often you swap! You can read more about memberships and read an FAQ in the Help Center, and you can pre-purchase membership(which will start on February 15th, 2015) by clicking the button below:

We’re excited about the future of PaperBackSwap, and we hope you are too.

We’re very glad to have you in the club, and hope that you will continue to read, swap and save with us!

Richard and
The PaperBackSwap Team

Date Posted: 2/1/2015 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,756
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I don't need the 500 WL, not even full on regular 200 (why I only did one year of Gold Key), but thought I would pass on paying for membership, but then someone pointed out it's only 5 cents a day (with discounted $18 rate right now) and the friendships, forum discussions, coupon swaps, and Raok participation here is well worth that, even if I'm not swapping many books in the future.

Date Posted: 2/1/2015 1:28 PM ET
Member Since: 2/18/2006
Posts: 58
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I don't think I will be staying  I am a charter member.  I belong to a book trading site because of budget issues.  Paying postage for each book is about all I can afford.  I thought about staying ala carte but then I have to get rid of half my wish list!  I think I will be deleting the books I have posted in the next few days.  I have several books on my TBR that are on people's wishlists.  Those won't get posted.  I need to spend the credits I have right now which is hard because I mainly have been going with audio books as I have a difficult time reading a physical book due to health issues.  I might save a few credits and leave a couple of wish list items that I have been waiting forever on.  I think they will lose a lot of members and the selection will go way down as a result.  As someone else said people are not going to be willing to pay to join a site they are not sure of.  I have credits sitting on the DVD and CD site that I need to transfer over to here as I never order there since they went to a fee.

Date Posted: 2/1/2015 1:29 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2013
Posts: 10
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It's not worth it to me to pay an extra 49 cents per request. I'm already paying more on PBS than at my local used book shops after shipping, so I'm going to blow through my credits this week and I'm out. I don't see enough here in the genres I like to justify an account.

It's been fun!

Date Posted: 2/1/2015 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2007
Posts: 53
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I've already purchased the $20 membership.  We have some very good used bookstores around here (at least 3 that I frequent), but I still have to remember what that book was that I wanted and hope they have that title in stock.  In many cases, it's quicker just to come here and click "order."  Plus, it's fun for me to pick up obscure wish-listed books to post. 

Date Posted: 2/1/2015 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
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I can live with a smaller wish list because almost everything on my wish list has me "1 of 1" wishing.  I actually end up using more credits on "spur-of-the-moment" requests than things I'm wishing for.  (E.g., my book discussion group decided to do MALGUDI DAYS for the next meeting.  I got it here rather than try to get it from the library.  Or I want tour books for our next vacation--I'm only going to get what's available then, now stuff I have to wait for.)

Besides, apparently I get to keep everything on my wish list until it drops below 100.  Considering everything, that could be years. (Actually, I guess that also means I can't add even one book to my list without throwing out 100, which is a bit of a bummer.  But I actually maintaina list of searches for stuff that doesn't fit now, so it will just get larger, I guess.)



Last Edited on: 2/1/15 1:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/1/2015 1:38 PM ET
Member Since: 2/18/2006
Posts: 58
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I do wish they had given more than 2 weeks notice of fees.  I am going to have a hard time spending 43 credits in that short amount of time.  UGH

 

Date Posted: 2/1/2015 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2009
Posts: 4
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I am sad to see the membership fee since I post quite a few newer books on here, and I am unwilling to pay a membership + the cost of mailing + the cost of the newer book that I am giving away.  I would rather just box up my unwanted books and donate them all a couple of times a year. Plus, I have not been finding as many of the books that I am interested in as I used to.  In the beginning, this was a great place to find mid-series books that I was missing. Now, I rarely find what I need, and when I do, it takes a long time for the member to respond to my request.

Also, I don't print wrappers or postage because I use a tablet device that is not compatible with my old printer. So, the "Print Postage" deal wouldn't work for me. :(

I have transferred my credits to Books for Schools. Good luck to everyone!



Last Edited on: 2/1/15 2:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/1/2015 1:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,251
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Angela,

We're sorry to see you go, but we understand.  You can sell your credits, gift them to a friend, gift them to Books for Schools or Gift them back to PBS.

Date Posted: 2/1/2015 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2009
Posts: 4
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Mary,

I had forgotten about Books for Schools. Thank you!

Date Posted: 2/1/2015 1:54 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,180
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A good way to use up credits is to visit the Wishlisted Books thread(s) in the BB! You can even find deals there! :-)

Date Posted: 2/1/2015 2:18 PM ET
Member Since: 11/27/2010
Posts: 10
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anyone know what happens to the books on my wish list if the list is bigger than 100 and i don't "enroll" in a paid membership?  will they let us know in advance, or will they just chop it off after #100?

 

i've probably mailed out about 20 times the number of books i have received, so i have been on the losing end if this deal already. but i transfer the credits to Swapacd so that i can receive CDs. one can only read so many books, but i have tons of books to give away -- (many not even posted yet).  this has been quite costly for me -- it is a lot more expensive to mail a book than a CD.

 

i will stay a la carte, but i don't understand the limited wish list option. i'm wondering if this site is committing suicide with the enrollment fees.



Last Edited on: 2/1/15 2:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/1/2015 2:25 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 9,955
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I have the opposite issue..long reminder list and not enough credits! I need to post more books as soon as I read through my tbr pile. There's a series on my reminder list for my niece too.. I hope PBS retains a lot of the members, I don't find a lot of what I'm looking for at the used bookstore.
Date Posted: 2/1/2015 2:27 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,180
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Glass half full, baby! If all these people quit as they say, I'm expecting myself to rocket up the WL on many of my books. That will make me VERY happy. I'm actually going the opposite way of those jettisoning credits. While I realize I am not going to be offered anywhere near 500 WL books at a time (a girl can dream), I want to have a lot just in case. See my post in the WL thread if you're looking to spend ;-)

Date Posted: 2/1/2015 3:00 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2011
Posts: 32
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I always use printable postage because I am too lazy to go to the post office. So for me the only effective change really is the loss of 100 wish list spots, which is going to hurt. I suspect there are a lot of people like me. I feel it would have been more civil to retain the 200 spot list for a la carte members and make the Limited membership 300. I have a lot of oddball eccentric tastes and 200 is not enough since I have slow turnover. I imagine that as my wishlist slowly dwindles I will simply become less engaged with the site as none of my requests will ever come up. I also presume this will reduce the value of credits purchased in the bazaar since additional fees must now be paid on top. But probably the market force will just reduce the price.

I think this new pricing structure will have a relatively minor effect on current members but will seriously discourage new members. "Free" has a powerful psychological effect. I have traded hundreds of books over several years and it has been a great experience. But I can honestly say, looking back, if there had been a $.50/book fee advertised at the outset, I probably never would have joined and found out how great the service is. If PBS wants to continue to attract new members they are going to have to launch a big push to demystify the process and make it seem like an attractive value proposition. It is going to need to use this money to create a refined and more professional web interface, a legitimate mobile app, and generally convince people it is worth it before they have used it, because now it is no longer "free."

Just my humble opinion.

 

Date Posted: 2/1/2015 3:07 PM ET
Member Since: 9/1/2012
Posts: 115
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I just renewed my gold key membership in December! Will this amount get credited towards the new membership fees?  I'm on a budget as well, it was hard for me to pay the first time (which I only did because I didn't want to lose my 300 wish list), I can't afford to basically pay twice :( 

Date Posted: 2/1/2015 3:07 PM ET
Member Since: 9/1/2012
Posts: 115
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I just renewed my gold key membership in December! Will this amount get credited towards the new membership fees?  I'm on a budget as well, it was hard for me to pay the first time (which I only did because I didn't want to lose my 300 wish list), I can't afford to basically pay twice :( 

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