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Topic: New here and not so sure now...

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Subject: New here and not so sure now...
Date Posted: 1/21/2015 5:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2015
Posts: 14
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Hi all!  I'm pretty new here, and was excited to find a place where I could trade in all the books that I no longer want or need for books I DO want.  So far, I've dished out over $75 to mail many of mine out, with 132 books in my wish list, and no hint in sight that any of my "paying it forward" will come back.  Are my tastes just so eclectic that I'll have to wait longer, or is this normal?  I've reassured my husband that this is money well spent, since he was not happy that I had spent so much within the span of a week.  However, I feel like I'm going to be eating those words later with a hard lesson learned.   Any reassurances?  I have the auto request on for all of them, and have 22 credits so far.  I refuse to post any more books until I feel like it's going to give back.


Last Edited on: 1/22/15 3:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 1/21/2015 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,585
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Hi Erin, welcome to PBS!

One of the things about swapping is that it just takes time/patience and you've only been a member for a week or so; please give it time. There have been times when I've not had a wish granted in months. But I've been a member for quite some time and lately my WL has been moving so quickly I have tons to read. The thing is, it has taken persistence to get to this point. I just keep coming back because I love trading my already-read books for new-to-me books. My books get re-posted, too, so when I get a wish granted, I in turn eventually can grant someone else's wish.

Thanks for sending out so many books to members, it's what keeps the WLs moving and makes PBS so great. New members are often overwhelmed because of how many books they post seem to be ordered so fast. A way to keep it under control is to put your shelf on vacation hold and your WL books on auto-request. That way you won't have to send more books out until you're ready, but books you want will be posted to you as soon as you come to the No. 1 spot. 

You can also check out the WL  multiples in the Book Bazaar forum to see if anyone has listed books on your WL. You can work with other members to get some of your WL and start enjoying why this club is so great. Another way to get books you want is to participate in the Games forum and I'm sure the game moderators would be happy to show you how to play.

There are many forums that discuss different genres and maybe you can find books that you can order right away, instead of having to wait for your WL. In my case, the more books I read, the more books I discover I want to read, based on the 'similar books' listed sections and other members' recommendations. Some of those I've found I had to put on my WL, but there are simply millions that are available/posted, so I've been able to place plenty of regular orders as well as be able to do deals (check out the Book Bazaar for people offering deals on their shelves). 

We love to answer questions here in the forums, too, so feel free to ask for guidance any time you like.

Date Posted: 1/21/2015 5:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2010
Posts: 2,422
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Welcome Erin,

I can see you are a really new member. It's hardly been 2 weeks since you joined. HOO-BOY 22 books already, looks like you have books that are in high demand. Conversly the books on your wish list are likley to be in high demand also which will probably mean a nice long wait for them. But let me assure you they will come in and the savings will be worth it.

I had exactly the same problem when i signed up - a nice stack of credits and a long wait for my wl titles to come up. It took a couple months for my wl titles to start coming in but now I have a nice library to choose from that didn't break the bank to obtain. My advise is to stick it out you have already earned the credits give them a chance to pay you dividends. Your wl is already on auto-request. Think about putting your account on vactation hold so your books keep their place but you don't have to mail any out till you want to want to earn more credits. then check out the bazarr for wl multiple deals. Maybe someone has books you already want and is offering them there.

Date Posted: 1/21/2015 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 3/30/2007
Posts: 9,887
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Hi Erin and Welcome!

You do have an exclusive wish list. (I do too). Some times it takes a little bit of time to get those books in. I have been here almost 8 years, some months are really good and some are not. We all appreciate you posting books that got grabbed up so quickly! You have awesome taste! Keep looking in the Book Bazaar and the Genre Forums. I am always out foraging for books to post here, I will write down a few of yours and see what I can find. I don't promise anything. 

Date Posted: 1/21/2015 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Be sure to check if there is another version of your Wish Listed books. Paperback, hardcover, and book club often each have their own ISBN.  Depending on the publisher.

Date Posted: 1/22/2015 10:09 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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For marital harmony I would not mail any more books.  I think speciality, unique books may get posted in months or years.  You never know how long.  You're in for the long haul so in the meantime look at what is available to you here and other sources.  I figure it will take awhile for me to get a wl offer. That's okay I have plenty to read at home.  Patience is part of the wishlist. 

Last Edited on: 1/22/15 10:10 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Finding books to request
Date Posted: 1/22/2015 11:08 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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Hello Erin, and welcome to PBS -

It's true that many of your wish-list books are uncommon and will take quite awhile to show up, but some, like those by authors Erich Von Daniken, Zecharia Stitchin, Edgar Cayce, and Immanuel Velikovsky, have been published in many different editions. So unless you particularly want only the edition that's now on your wish list, you may be able to find other editions by clicking on the link on the right side of your wish-list pages, just below each book title, that says something like 'other versions' or 'other editions.' This will let you list others. Or you could do a PBS search by putting each author's name in the search blank at the upper right of every screen. This will bring up an unbelievable number of books and different editions of them by your authors. One way to sort them out is to go across to the upper left side of the screen that lists the book-search results  and change the choice to Posted Books. This will let you know which are available right now, which I'd guess would be several, in most cases, for these authors. The same would work for the Egyptian Book of the Dead and The Tibetan Book of the Dead, which have been published in several different editions, with different translators listed. For these, put each book's title in the PBS search blank, in quotation marks, and you should see quite a lot of different editions for each of them.

Forgive me if this is all old news and hasn't worked for you. It took me quite awhile after I'd joined to figure out all the ways to find books here. For some of the really uncommon titles on my wish list, I've been first in line for several years - but then every now and again, one turns up to surprise me.

Happy book-hunting at PBS.

Somewhat later: I took my own advice and was surprised to find so few books by your authors (two copies  for Erich Von Daniken, and not the book you have wish-listed), and a single copy of one edition of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. So much for overconfidence.

Last Edited on: 1/22/15 11:55 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/22/2015 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2009
Posts: 794
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Hi Erin, Soon you will probably find books here as there are over 4 million posted that you never even knew you wanted!  LOL!  I have this book on my shelf, although published in 1965, sounds like ones you're interested in.  Includes some Edgar Cayce.  The Supernatural
Author: Douglas Hill and Pat Williams.

Date Posted: 1/22/2015 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 11,915
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I'm pretty new here myself, under a year but I think patience is the key. Many of the books I requested had several copies in the system. I do get some WL books but I don't get many offers. I do know on my WL, some books haven't been posted since 2009 so I think I'm in for a long wait :-)  

Sometimes there will be disappointments; I've had a few WL offers, accepted immediately and then the offer times out. (The other person never responded and after 5 days I went back to my place in line)..but this is a fun site. I like knowing that here is another place I can try and get a hard for me to find book plus I've discovered some new to me authors and some fun people to talk with about what I'm reading or an author or something.

Give it some time and patience, I'm pretty sure it will pan out :-)  

Date Posted: 1/22/2015 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I looked at your WL and I think you might have to wait a bit for some but don't give up hope of never receiving any.  I have received more than a few hard to find, out of print, special interest books here including a large,expensive book about castles. 

I definitely agree with not mailing any more books out until you can spend some credits.

Date Posted: 1/22/2015 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2010
Posts: 262
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I think you're right not to post any more books right now. In fact, if I were you I'd put my bookshelf on hold rather than risk mailing more books out for now. (Ask here to find out how to put the books on hold without losing their place in line, though—I think there are different methods that work differently, I'm just not an expert at that part of it.) You've invested a lot, and you don't know whether your books will show up often enough to justify the money you've already laid out.

We can't tell you for sure that your investment will pay off. We can tell you, however, that even the worst case scenario isn't too bad. You may be able to find books that someone else wants (your husband? your nephew? your grandmother?) and get them a good number of books for your $75. Or you can sell your credits (you'll have to investigate to see how that is done). Selling them, you wouldn't get the whole $75 back but you would at least get something, in addition to the knowledge that you've helped some people out.

But I wouldn't give up yet. With less common—and sometimes more expensive—books on your wishlist, it can take a long time before someone posts the books you're interested in. But you're likely to get some of your books, at some point. I also wish for uncommon books. Years can go by, and suddenly I'll get a book I never thought I'd get. Just last month I got a textbook that had been on my list for years. I have been very pleased with my membership here—I don't know whether it's saved me money exactly, but it's been a low-risk way to try out some books that I never would have found any other way.

I wish you the best as you explore more around here!

Date Posted: 1/22/2015 3:27 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2015
Posts: 14
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Thanks everyone!  I feel better now!  I do love reading everything supernatural and unexplained...that's my weakness, I guess!  I will just remain patient, and pace myself with the book postings.  I guess I should just look at it as "making room".  I have so many more to get rid of that are just sitting here collecting dust.  I estimate I can easily spend another $200 just mailing them out.

Also, how do I go about getting something added in the system?  I tried to list a few items that wouldn't be accepted.  (I'm sorry for asking that here, as I'm sure the answer is hidden here somewhere, but this is so much quicker.)

Last, how do you guys save money on shipping?  Currently, I'm purchasing the postage on the site, but the extra fees really add up quickly.  I don't know how all the gold and silver icons work, as I haven't dug that far into the system yet, but I got the feeling that this is connected somehow.  Should I continue purchasing through the site until I earn a "medal"?  (Or am I just lost in the sauce and have NO IDEA what I talking about?  LOL!) 

Thanks for all the help!  




Date Posted: 1/22/2015 5:14 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,585
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Also, how do I go about getting something added in the system?

If you enter the ISBN and it’s not coming up, then try just doing a search for it, especially if the ISBN is available on Amazon or other websites. It should eventually show up at PBS. If your book does not have an ISBN then you will need use the ‘post a book without an ISBN’ and enter the data specific to your book. This will make a unique item in the PBS system for your book. To save time, though, if the book (under a different ISBN) is available here or at some other website, you can copy/paste the description, image, etc. to your unique copy.

Last, how do you guys save money on shipping?

Personally, I just print my own postage with the basic media mail rates(my husband has a Dymo postage printer and we buy postage through Endicia, there are no fees) and I’ve rarely used delivery confirmation and have never used PBS postage.  You can also go to a PO and buy postage at the automated machine in the various MM increments (the machine will let you weigh the package and you choose your own postage amount) or you can buy it at the counter. It’s okay to use stamps, too, but if the package is over 13 ounces you HAVE to hand it over the counter at the PO, rather than just dropping it in a mailbox. You can also save on shipping by sending out more than one book to a person at a time. For instance, one PB book is $2.67 to mail, but two of them, if it’s still under 1 pound, are still only $2.67 to mail. If you look in the Book Bazaar forum you will see where people offer deals, such as WL multiples, to be able to do this.

I don't know how all the gold and silver icons work, as I haven't dug that far into the system yet, but I got the feeling that this is connected somehow.

The gold and silver coins indicate that members have donated credits to the PBS system. You can find a link to the Donation tab/Friends of PBS under the ‘Community’ tab at the top of the page.



Date Posted: 1/22/2015 6:08 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,774
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Last, how do you guys save money on shipping?  Currently, I'm purchasing the postage on the site, but the extra fees really add up quickly.  I don't know how all the gold and silver icons work, as I haven't dug that far into the system yet, but I got the feeling that this is connected somehow.  Should I continue purchasing through the site until I earn a "medal"?  (Or am I just lost in the sauce and have NO IDEA what I talking about?  LOL!)

If you want to keep using PBS Postage, make sure you buy a large enough amount of PBS Money so that you don't pay the transaction fee each time.

Also, make sure you weigh the package before printing postage as the PBS estimates are generally off. I've had really light books say they should weigh 3 pounds before.

There is also the Gold Key membership that will give you an expanded wishlist of 300, and one free PBS postage transaction a month among other perks.

Some people use the Paypal postage as that doesn't have the extra fees. It was more of a hassle for me so I just use the PBS Postage. Yes, it costs more but it is worth it to me to avoid my awful post office.

Welcome to PBS!

Date Posted: 1/22/2015 9:55 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
Posts: 11,922
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Be sure and look in the Book Bazaar.  In future, you can post your highly WLed books under multiples there in the Book Bazaar where you can ask for orders of two, three or whatever books only  at the same time.  Easier and cheaper to mail a few books to one member.  Spend some time on the site and familiarize yourself with all the options and rules. 

Date Posted: 1/23/2015 8:50 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 3,384
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when I ship a lot of books and build up a lot of credits I go to the the bazaar and sell a few credits so I can get back a little of the money I've spent.

Date Posted: 1/23/2015 9:49 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I just use stamps but I don't mail out many heavy books.  When I do have a heavier book and know I won't have time to go to the post office then I use paypal.  I've only had 1 book that I sent go lost out of 992 so I don't feel the need to pay for the credit assurance.  I do use PBS postage when I ship multiple books to one person. 


Date Posted: 1/23/2015 9:55 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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I used "DC only with quick credit" on the DVD sister site.  "DC only"  stopped working over a year ago.  Now I use Paypal shipping.  It's easy, first class is discounted and best of all DC is free for first class, about 22¢ for media mail.  I mail packages from my mailbox.  I rarely go to the PO. 

You need a scale to weigh packages for online postage. 

Last Edited on: 1/23/15 9:57 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/23/2015 10:28 AM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 11,915
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I think you should pay for tracking of sorts. In my case a good 75% of folks don't mark received until I send an email that says tracking shows delivered on this date, could you please check and see if it arrived? I'd appreciate it very much...( I send a week before it's marked lost..usually tracking shows it's been delivered by about 2 weeks then)

This also shows PBS I did mail it when I said and it did arrive. I worry that some folks would never mark it received and I don't receive the credit. 

Date Posted: 1/23/2015 11:20 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2015
Posts: 14
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I've looked all over this site, and unless I'm just blind and missing it, I can't find the Bazaar.  What and where is it?  Also, I really appreciate all of the advice and help.  Unfortunately, I'm lost with the acronyms, and have no idea what some of you are talking about!  LOL!  Oh, and would anyone be so kind to explain the Paypal thing a bit better?  I paid for PBS postage through Paypal...is that what everyone is mentioning, or is it something different?  If different, where is it located?



Last Edited on: 1/23/15 11:23 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/23/2015 12:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,175
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In my case a good 75% of folks don't mark received until I send an email that says tracking shows delivered on this date, could you please check and see if it arrived?

That's very unusual. I've mailed about 1700 books out and I've had less than 10 people "forget" or not mark a book received, and out of those, after I sent a PM, only 2 were never marked received. (I think they were really lost by the PO).

The Book Bazaar is here (It's just a different forum):



Date Posted: 1/23/2015 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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I sent this how to to somebody about a year ago. You do not have to use WORD like I mention,  that was for a fellow gamer. DC rates have changed since I made these instructions.  

DC is Delivery Confirmation. USPS gives you a tracking number to look on their website to "track the progress of the package including delivery.  Every time they scan the barcode they send info to the website. 

How to buy electronic postage from PayPal


FYI and Prep

Must have a PayPal account and setup method of payment

Need a scale to get weight of packages. I use Happy DVD as my test weight. Happy Feet (new and sealed) weighs exactly 3 oz. on the scales at the post office

Copy and paste the address into Word if you want to copy and paste into PayPal. You can type the address in PayPal if you prefer 

You can import from a file but I don't know how 

DC is required by Law on electronic postage 

DC is free with first class postage, except it might say 20¢ on screen with a lower postage cost but on receipt will show no fee. Anyway you wind up with Free DC. 

DC is 20¢ with Media Mail

Magic Number for Media Mail (9oz - 1 lb)

USPS wants you to mail the SAME DAY as the date on the postage. If you want to mail tomorrow, change the date before you print. It all depends on if your local post office will give you any hassles. 

You change the date before you print the postage. Sometimes your own firewall will block you from doing so. 


Have address and package ready. 

Weigh the package 

Login to PayPal 

From "My Account" tab go to far right of screen

Click Multi-Order Shipping under My account tools

Wait for popup "Getting Started" to load

Create New Orders

Click Create 

Click Shipping details

Service Type/ Package click the little divit icon 


First Class Mail Parcel
Package/Thick Envelope - I use this one!
Large Package


Media Mail 
Package/Thick Envelope - I use this one! DC 20¢
Large Package

Weight, click correct weight
Magic Number for Media Mail (9oz - 1 lb)

Click Ship to address
Type address or copy and paste from WORD

Click from Address, enter your address 1 time, then it's ready every time you buy postage

Now you done with that part 
I think you click save and close

You will be at a new screen

Click green box to review address and postage rate

If correct click print, (printer icon)

NOW is your chance to change date if needed
Right side click Mailing Date 

When ready click pay and print (should be a drop down this time)

Wait for tracking to load

Several packing slips and lists pop up
I copy and paste DC from first popup to WORD 
close popups do you can get to your label
Print label if it's correct

This is how to make 1 label. You can make several labels. I think after you enter the address you can make another order from the file or edit menu. 

cut and tape label to package and put in mailbox or blue box or hand to PO worker and say "this is ready to go". 






Last Edited on: 1/23/15 1:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/23/2015 2:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 565
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Just some more anecdata: I've never used PBS tracking or insurance (I use USPS tracking for the one virtual box I participate in here on the forums, since it's required). I (gasp) go to the post office and get my postage there. I rarely have books go lost and almost all recipients mark them received before they time out. For me, paying the extra for tracking and/or instant credit is not worth it. And I don't want to have money tied up in the PBS money system.

Erin, it's the nature of the beast that the books you joined with will get snapped up when you join, if they have no copies in the system. Other people have had them wishlisted and been waiting for them, maybe for a long time. It's totally OK to take a break from sending out any more books until you get a chance to move up on the wishlist on the books you're looking for, and use some of your credits. Once you're here a while you'll likely have more of a balance between books in and books out. I've done my big culls of books in the past and I don't have any books listed here at the moment. Whenever I finish something wishlisted and I need a credit, I'll list it. My wishlist is maxed out but if I want to read something right away, I get it from the library or buy it from a bookstore. My PBS wishlist is more for books I want as keepers that I've read already from the library, or books that I'm not in a rush for. My TBR bookcase is three shelves and overflowing, so it's not like I don't have anything to read!

As recent posts on this forum illustrate, everyone has different priorities and budget, and everyone uses PBS differently. As long as you follow the rules you're welcome to approach it any way you want.

Date Posted: 1/23/2015 2:24 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 11,915
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I don't know Sara, I've read that this is why people use PBS postage. If I mail out 4 books, oftentimes 2-3 of them I have to contact. I've never had a book lost to me or from me..just people not marking them until a few days before going lost. Another thing that happens sometimes is that a book comes up on my WL and then it just times out. The person that posted it just lets it time out. I think that might happen to me again but we'll see. I don't think these are unusual but probably not the standard either. Either way, I love it here...good site with good people and I have sent and received books which is fun :-)
Date Posted: 1/23/2015 2:38 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2010
Posts: 2,422
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Erin the bazaar is in the same place you found "questions about paperback swap". Just go the the top of the screen and click on the words discussion forum then scroll down a little bit it's only a few lines lower