Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Needing to Vent

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Needing to Vent
Date Posted: 4/2/2009 9:52 PM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2007
Posts: 308
Back To Top

I've been waiting for a hardback copy of a favorite book of mine (I have a paperback copy already), and I was offered it 2 days ago.  I have gotten in the habit of pm'ing members first if I'm offered a wish list book that I really want a nice copy of for my keeper shelf.  Well, I pm'd her just a couple of hours after it was offered to ask about the condition and make sure it was indeed a hardcover, as I've had people post paperbacks as hardcovers before.  Anyway, she didn't answer, and time was running out on the 48-hour offer, so I went ahead and ordered it.  I figured that she would write me back once she received the order but before accepting it and let me know about the condition.  But no, she mailed it before pm'ing me about the condition.  And of course she said it wasn't in the best of shape since it's an ex-library book.  Ugh...I'm so upset.  I just figured it would make sense to her to write me back first.  I used to have RCs, but I had so many wish listed books rejected because of them, I decided that I would turn them off and just rely on the pm's instead.  I can never win it seems.

Anyway, just had to vent.  Thanks for listening.

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 10:07 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2009
Posts: 112
Back To Top

Hi Angie,

    I understand the need to vent!  I myself just submitted a post about a problem I am currently having with a WL book.  I truly do not understand members who don't respond to PM's.   In my opinion that member was wrong to not let you know about the condition of the book prior to mailing.   I am so sorry the book you will be getting is not in very good condition.  I, myself, received an ex library copy this week, and it is definitely on the worn side.  If I'm not being too nosy, what kind of RC's did you use to have?    I have one about preferring books from a non-smoking home and so far I think I have only had 1 request cancelled due to that.    I wonder what can be done to encourage members to respond to PM's in a timely manner?  

Hang in there!

Andrea 

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 10:19 PM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2007
Posts: 308
Back To Top

I'm sorry that you've been having trouble, too, Andrea.  Thank you for responding to my post.

I don't remember exactly what my RCs said, but I did mention not wanting anything that was excessively worn (I did use those exact words actually) so people shouldn't have even been posting them in the first place.  I guess by putting that on there, I was hoping that the person would take a second and check out the condition and make sure that it wasn't too badly worn or at least let me know what the problems were.  I also requested no ex-library books, but I have actually gotten ex-library books since then that were in excellent condition. 

I've heard some people say that they don't read RCs, they just cancel the book immediately, so I guess maybe that's one reason I got rid of them.  I don't know what the right answer is.

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 10:23 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2009
Posts: 52
Back To Top

Is there some kind of a rating system on PBS?   Or some way to mark people as your favorites to do business with?  That way when you were looking for a book you could just PM those people and say hey do you have this book?  Then you would know it would arrive in a timely manner and be in good condition etc.  Just wondering....Kim S

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 10:27 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
Back To Top

I'm sorry you were disappointed.   Personally, I wouldn't have replied to the the PM either.   If you want books in a certain condition it needs to be in your RCs.      I don't want everyone I get an order from to PM me with their particular wants and needs.     I understand your need to vent - but I disagree with the way you are trying to order.  My books meet the guidelines of PBS - if someone wants more that's what RCs are for.   BTW - I always read RC's and send my book if they fit.

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 10:28 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 6,729
Back To Top

What book? I'll keep an eye out:)

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 10:28 PM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2007
Posts: 308
Back To Top

I do pm people a lot when I'm looking for a certain book.  I always ask the condition of books before ordering, unless it's part of a deal.  But this was a wish list book, so I hated to pass it up if it was in good condition.  Also, I'm not clear on whether I would go back to #1 on the wish list if I had turned down the offer.  Anyone know?  I just assumed that she would answer my pm before she mailed the book, since she did know that I had a question about the condition.  That would obviously mean that I wasn't willing to accept something in any condition, well obvious to me, but not to her, I guess.

I know that I'm just out of luck, but it still bugged me.



Last Edited on: 4/2/09 10:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/2/2009 10:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2009
Posts: 112
Back To Top

It doesn't sound to me like your RC's were too picky at all.  I have actually only received one RC and it very plainly stated that the member would not accept books from a smoking home.  I had no problem with that since the book was coming directly off my own personal bookshelf and we are not smokers in our home.  As I stated before, I received an ex library copy this week which some might have marked RWAP.  However, I just let it go, but did put comments for PBS about the condition of the book.  I really would have been hesitant to re-post it.  I was afraid a few of the pages at the front might come out since the spine appeared to have some damage.   I remember I had a book posted once that someone requested and when I took a second look I found I had underlined several passages in it from my college days.  I was horrified!  I immediately PM'ed her and explaining about the underlining and how I would be unable to send it to her.  She was super nice about it.  That taught me a lesson about re-checking the condition of the book before sending it out.  

Hope you feel better!

Andrea

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 10:39 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2005
Posts: 147
Back To Top

I am sorry you are disappointed.  I guess my view is that this is a used trading/swapping site and it is expecting alot to get a new book and a pleasant surprise when it happens!   I recently had someone who wanted a new book and it really irritated me.  Even though my copy of the book was "pretty dang new" I just thought it was unreasonable expectation so I declined to send it based on the RCs.  I didn't think it would be fair to me to send out a good book, in what I consider great shape, and then to quibble about it meeting conditions because it wasn't new enough.

I know what you mean about wanting a nice copy for your keeper shelf - but sometimes you just have to go buy it I guess.

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 10:50 PM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2007
Posts: 308
Back To Top

I understand exactly what you're saying.  I only put it on my wish list because I hoped to get a really nice copy, and there are many brand new books posted here all the time, so I knew I wasn't having unreasonable expectations in thinking that I could get a nice copy of this book for my keeper shelf.  If I was just going to get a so-so copy, then I could make due with the paperback copy that I have.  I would have been fine letting the next person in line have the not-so-great copy, and I could have waited for the next copy to become available.  That's why if I'm not dying for the book, I pm the person and ask about the condition.  I just didn't realize it's such an inconvenience for others.  I wouldn't mind telling someone what shape my books are in if they are looking for an extra nice copy.



Last Edited on: 4/2/09 10:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/2/2009 10:51 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
Back To Top

What I don't understand Angie is why this wasn't in your RC's and just turned on for this book?      That's the way most people do it if they have certain books that they want in special condition.

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 11:03 PM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2007
Posts: 308
Back To Top

I thought about turning on the RCs, but I guess I'm no good at coming up with what to put.  They never worked for me in the past.  I used to say no library books, but some library books are in great condition.  If I say no excessively worn books, they are always afraid that I won't like the condition no matter what - I've had some pm's saying they cancelled because the book had some cover wear, things like that.  

Even with RCs I've gotten books with loose pages, cleaved spines, one with a computer generated cover taped onto the book where the old cover had been torn off.  So I really like knowing what I'm getting in advance now.

I will take any suggestions so that I can stop getting a bunch of bad books.

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 11:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
Back To Top

I also don't like getting PMs about books. As Cozi said, every book I post meets PBS guidelines, and anything more needs to be specified by the requestor in RCs right up front so I can decide whether to accept the order or not. Plus, I often will accept an order and print the label immediately, and I use PBS postage (no refunds on that), so if I don't notice the PM first, or if I get a PM a few minutes or hours later, sorry...it's a done deal.

If you don't have RCs and after a game of back-and-forth PMs, someone decides to cancel, it ends up being a mess. If you cancel, you lose your spot in the WL line. If she cancels, when she posts the book again the book would just be offered to you again, because there was no "official" decline due to RCs. Now, if you had a RC and she declined based on that, then her copy of the book could be offered to the next in line and you wouldn't lose your place in line either. Everyone wins.

I'm sorry you've had such a problem with bad books. My experience has been vastly different so I really don't know what to tell you. I have had a book that was the 'wrong' book--I had the hardcover wishlisted to get for my keeper shelf, like you had already read the paperback so didn't want it--and got the paperback. Totally different ISBN. So...I marked RWAP, wrong book and that was that, and tried to educate the sender that they can't just post a book by the title/author but must use the ISBN. Frustrating as it can be, there's not much else to be done. I did get the book eventually and there was no hurry since I'd read the book already.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 11:42 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,200
Back To Top

Sorry you weren't happy with the book you received, but you really do need to put any conditions on books that are above and beyond PBS postable in an RC. That is what that system is for. Sorry, but you don't get to avoid the side effects of RCs, but still apply them by PMing people with your conditions. It isn't fair to the sender and it doesn't protect you at all against getting books that merely meet the guidelines.  What would you have done if she had told her that you didn't want it? You cancel the order you lose your place. If she cancels she has to wait on you to get the RC in place to repost and get past you. Had you had your conditions where they belong, in an RC, she could have marked that it didn't meet them and moved on.

Since you give yourself time to PM them, I assume you have all your WL books on 48 hr hold. Just take that time to adapt your RCs to meet the requirements of that specific book.

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 11:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2007
Posts: 308
Back To Top

Okay, I will try to get some RCs in place again.  Hopefully they will work better the next time I use them. 

Kate -
Date Posted: 4/3/2009 12:14 AM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2008
Posts: 534
Back To Top

I wonder if your problem before was the phrase "excessively worn". I know PBS uses that same wording, but "excessive" is still subjective, and any subjective phrases in an RC set off alarm bells for me. I don't automatically turn down RCs, but I might turn that one down unless it was a brand new book. Maybe you could be more specific about what you don't want? For example "No dogeared pages, no more than 2 or 3 spine creases, and no ex-library books, because this particular book is a special one for my keeper shelf. Thanks!" You'll probably still get turned down sometimes, but the less subjective your wording is, the better.

Date Posted: 4/3/2009 12:38 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2006
Posts: 1,464
Back To Top

Kim S., no there is not a rating system for members because this site uses a FIFO ordering system.  And the ower has said he will not put one in place. You simply have to track those you don't want to order from, and check the name once you have a book coming to you.  Prior to the person printing the label, you can click on the PM button and see who it is.   Now, in the box-o-books, you can rate the member/transaction, as you are picking who you are ordering from, and it's a fee based option here at PBS.

Date Posted: 4/3/2009 6:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,133
Back To Top

As far as who cancels when you've exchanged PMs on Requestor's Conditions, the help center says that the person who requests or initiates the PMs is the one who has to cancel if they decide they don't want the book.  This means you might lose your place in the wishlist or FIFO line.  This is probably to encourage people to make their RCs as clear as possible.

Date Posted: 4/3/2009 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
Back To Top

Angie- why not post your RC here and get others to help reword it.  I have seen others do this many times with much sucess.  I also do not check my PMs if I have a book waiting to be mailed that comes first.

Subject: Requestor conditions
Date Posted: 4/3/2009 6:48 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,428
Back To Top

I also think that "excessively worn" is very subjective. I don't think I have ever turned down an RC. All og my books meet the PBS posting guide lines- and some are all but new.  I personally have never had the need for an RC. But if you have requests over and above  the posting guidelines, you need to have RC in place all the time.

Date Posted: 4/3/2009 7:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,357
Back To Top

If you cancel, you'd have lost your place. If she canceled she'd have been unable to post a postable book because you'd just get the offer again.

With an RC if she declined b/c it did not meet your RC, then you'd stay in first place and her book would be offered to the next person in line. That's the nice thing about RCs.

I also would turn down "excessively worn" since I don't trust your opinion and mine would match on what that means. It's subjective and I have no way to test for it.   Similar, anyone who "prefers" something in their RCs I tend to turn down if there is any question that mine doesn't meet the preference. If I accept and send a PM and they don't want it, then it's going to be a debate over who should cancel and I don't care to lose my spot because of unclear RCs.

Set a WL to 48 hour hold, then turn on & off the RCs for books it is relevant for.

Date Posted: 4/3/2009 7:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2007
Posts: 308
Back To Top

This isn't what I had before, but I've tried to make it better than.  It probably still sounds bad.  Any suggestions on how to make it sound better would be appreciated.  Thanks.

"If this is a wish list book - I would prefer no ex-library books unless they are in very good or better condition.  I would like dust jackets with each hardback book if a dust jacket was issued.  Also, if there is more than minimal wear to the book or any rips or tears (unless they are small) in the dust jacket, I would rather decline the offer.  If you are uncertain, please pm me before declining if that's possible.  Thanks."

Should I leave out the last part about pm'ing me?  If there is any uncertainty, I would really love to talk with them about it though.  I wouldn't mind doing it if someone had pm'd me, but I guess not everyone is willing to take that time.  They'd just rather pass it on to the next person probably.  Anyway, what should I change or make clearer?

 

 

Kate -
Date Posted: 4/3/2009 8:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2008
Posts: 534
Back To Top


Last Edited on: 5/12/09 6:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/3/2009 8:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 167
Back To Top

Angie

I think you're still being too vague, there are too many "well, maybe I would be okay with X" in the RC. The easiest, and in my opinion the clearest, RCs can be answered with a "yes" or a "no". Example: Please decline this book if it comes from a home with cats.

For you perhaps something like this would help:

"This book is for my keeper shelf, please decline this request if your book is an ex-library book or is missing the dust jacket. Thank you."

I am just guessing here but I think if a book still has it's dust jacket  the book is likely to be in better than average condition. The dust jacket tends to be the first thing to go "bad" on a hardcover book. (Plus you can often mend a dust jacket.)  Anyone else have thoughts on this theory?

Hopes this helps Angie, good luck.

 ETA: of course this is an RC you would only turn on for specific books, not as a general RC



Last Edited on: 4/3/09 8:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/3/2009 9:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

I would turn those down.  I don't PM either my books meets your RCS or not. I would be worried that my version of excessively worn and yours would be different.  I would also worry that a book I sent with a nice dust jacket wouldn't be nice enough for you. All the books I post are in PBS postable condition so I don't negotiate. If you PM'd me about the books condition that would send a big old red flag to me that you would complain about a perfectly postable book. I could cancel the transaction and wait to repost the book or find someone else on the WL to post it to so I wouldn't have to wait.  PBS to me is a fun activity and haggling back and forth over a books condition makes it too much like work.

Page: