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Topic: New here

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Subject: New here
Date Posted: 12/8/2013 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/5/2013
Posts: 6
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I just joined the other day and feel like I'm in over my head already.  I'm curious about a special request (not sure what the term is) specifying that they would only accept books from a non-smoking home and in good condition.  I understand the smoking part, but the second line seemed odd, given that this is a used book site.  Is this a typical request?  I'll probably not send the book, since it has a small tear in the dj and I wouldn't want to offend someone who might be overly picky when I'm so new. 

 

Date Posted: 12/8/2013 9:03 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,446
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In my experience, no, Requestor Conditions are not typical.  I have rarely run into them in my years here.

In good condition can be subjective.  What's good condition to you may not be good condition to me.  You certainly can not send your book to them if you want.

It takes some time to feel your way around the site.  Also, it's easy to get overwhelmed, especially if you post a lot of highly wishlisted books.  Newbies sometimes end up sending out a gazillion books right away.  Definitely check to see if your books are wishlisted before you post them so you're not hit with a flood of requests right away.  Do it all at your own pace and as your postage budget allows.

Welcome to PBS!

Date Posted: 12/8/2013 9:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
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Hi Eileeen,
First or all, welcome to the site! 

The rules for posting books on PBS site state that books must be in good condition. This does not mean they need to be in perfect condition. We are a used book site and normal wear from reading can be expected. The term "good condition" is basically common sense -- books should not be falling apart or have loose or missing pages; covers should be intact; books should not have writing or underlining on text pages (an owner's name or inscription on the first page or two inside the front cover is generally acceptable); they should have no water damage; etc.

To read the site's Help Center for details about what can be swapped here, place your cursor over the Help Center tab in the silver grey bar near the top of any PBS web page and select Browse Help Docs. Then click on the yellow Posting Books tab at the left. There are several topics listed there that are relevant to your question, including "Is my book okay to post here?",  "What can be posted here for swapping here?", and "Book Condition Criteria for 'swappability' at PBS".

In addition, members are also allowed to create Requestor Conditions to specify what may or may not be acceptable to them regarding book condition. If your book does not meet the requestor conditions then you should not accept the request. If you are uncertain whether your book meets the specified conditions, you can either not accept the request or you can accept the request then send the requestor to describe your book and ask if it is acceptable. If it is, then all is good and you may send the book. If not, then you should cancel the request.

You can read more about Requestor Conditions in the Help Center. As above, select Browse Help Docs from the Help Center tab near the top of any PBS web page and enter "requestor conditions" in the Search Terms box. This will give you a list of topics related to requestor conditions.

You may occasionally come across members whom you think are being overly picky. If so, then don't accept their requests for books. But again, this is a used book site and members do not expect books to be in perfect condition and most of us do not have Requestor Conditions. It is recommended, however, that new members read the relevant Help Docs regarding swappability before posting and sending books.

 

 



Last Edited on: 12/8/13 9:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 12/8/2013 9:42 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,387
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I generally won't send to the "good condition" RCs.  Face it, it is too subjective.  In addition, I'm mailing almost everything by media mail.   What leaves my house in good condition can often have dented corners after the sorting machines toss the book around.  

The RC system is set up to be private, the other member will not know who you are until you commit to sending the book.  Feel free to turn down anything you are not comfortable about, without any guilt.  

My theory is that the RC is not the place to vent about past trades.  It is hard to write a good RC.  It needs to be short, clear and polite.  

Chris mentions contacting the member to see if your book is okay.  I won't do that.  Not again.  If the RC is not clear, or if I'm unsure, I turn down the RC.  I feel it is the responsibility of the RC writer to be clear about what they mean. 



Last Edited on: 12/8/13 9:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/8/2013 9:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
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I agree with Emily that RCs should be written clearly. If you are uncertain about an RC, then it is probably best to turn it down. I have sent PMs to members in only a few cases when it was a hard to find book and the 'defect' was very minor. RCs are often subjective and can lead to problems if the requestor is unhappy with a book received. So, it is generally better to err on the side of caution.



Last Edited on: 12/8/13 10:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/9/2013 2:21 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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Welcome Eileen!  Good advice already posted, so I'll just sumarize that you are not obligated to accept any Requester Conditions that make you uncomfortable.  Feel free to decline, if the system prompts you for a reason merely say 'does not meet conditions'.  Your book will be offered to the next wisher.

I second the advice to not attempt to contact the requester, as many do not respond within the time you must accept or decline...then what do you do?  Trying to do the nice thing in this circumstance often opens a can of worms that is not winnable for you.

As you may already know, dust jackets are optional and unless the requester has an RC to include the DJ it is not necessary.  Many requesters would prefer a slightly unpostable DJ rather than none at all, so feel free to send it along with the book.

 

Date Posted: 12/9/2013 9:00 AM ET
Member Since: 12/5/2013
Posts: 6
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Thanks for all the help.  Before I listed any books I thought I had done a lot of reading about how to navigate the site but I sure wish I had known this before I listed books

Definitely check to see if your books are wishlisted before you post them so you're not hit with a flood of requests right away

I posted a bunch of books and then left for the day.  It was almost comical - the number of requests I had by the end of the day was overwhelming.  I quickly put myself on vacation hold until I can get it all sorted out.  I've sold books casually on Amazon so I'm not panicking (yet) but I am taking off all the huge hardbacks now that I see how much it costs to mail them! 

Date Posted: 12/9/2013 12:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,359
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Eileen, I recommend checking the wishlists of anyone you're already sending a book to, as you may have more books you can send to them giving yourself a better credit/shipping cost ratio.  You probably already know it doesn't cost much more to send a second or third book.  I also recommend checking out the Wishlist Multiples thread in the book bazaar.  It's the only way I send out wishlisted books, as I'm just too poor to send out a bunch of single books.  And finally, if you end up with too many credits, you can sell the excess in the book bazaar forum to help cover shipping costs.  Happy swapping!

Date Posted: 12/9/2013 3:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2013
Posts: 65
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To all newbies, start slow and learn the process for a while before going hog wild with lots of books. Only post the minimun 10 to start and try to get the hang of it. In the beginning I would have probably declined the vague "in good condition" request.  Now, maybe I would consider it. Maybe, I would PM.

But the problem is some people are picky but are not very detailed or good at articulating exactly what they want. If you PM them they might expalin in a way in which they leave a lot of stuff out thinking some of it goes without saying. So, you send it and they are still not happy. Like someone else said it can be a can of worms.

I had an RC that started out simple but through experince getting some books with holes, tape and some in generally ratty condition, I added  to, took out and generally modified my RC to where it is very clear now. Most people are cool with it or are willing to PM me about it, but only because of the way it is currently worded. It's a little wordy but isn't really that long, but every once in a while I get a decline by someone who seems to thank "a few more words than the typical RC = a lot of complicated conditions and it gives them a headache thinking about it" or some such silly comment. But I'm cool with it and have no regrets. They are almost always nice about it (only had 2 declines out of about 60 + books that had jerko comments). Anyway, You can't please everyone, and everyone can't please you.

So, bottom line, start out slow and decline most of what you don't understand. You'll get better at deciding what to do. "Try" your best to perfect things as you go but don't ever expect anything to be perfect (if that makes any sense to you) !

 

Date Posted: 12/9/2013 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,387
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And patience.  Wish lists take time.  Media mail takes time.  At the beginning I checked the progress of every book every day.  I do not recommend it.  Sit back and when a book shows up, have surprised delight rather than frustration over the amount of time.

Date Posted: 12/9/2013 7:56 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,446
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Yes, newbies can get overwhlemed easily with the book requests.  And then you've spent a bunch of money on postage and have all these credits and then have to wait out the wishlist line for stuff you want.  It's a very common complaint.  I second the patience thing.  Sit back and relax and let the system work for you.  And it does work, just takes some time.

Date Posted: 12/9/2013 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,322
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Welcome, and FYI, the vacation hold won't affect transactions that had already begun before you placed the hold.

Date Posted: 12/9/2013 9:50 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,387
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Oh.  Select the "I can mail later" option, and select the last possible date.  This gives our newbies time to get used to wrapping the books.  You can always mail early and click the Mailed Book button.  (It is VERY important to click that Mailed button.)

PBS lets us reprint wrappers as many times as we need.  Just be sure to not change ANYTHING.  If we change the wrapper settings, we may be charged another fee for the postage options.

Date Posted: 12/19/2013 10:58 PM ET
Member Since: 12/14/2013
Posts: 1
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I'm a new member since Dec. 3rd and already I'm getting discouraged and impatient.  I heard all these great things and so far haven't gotten any feedback.  I have 20 books listed and only 2 of them have been requested.  I  was hoping more would go so I COULD GET SOME BOOKS, I have found lots of books that I want.  I got my two credits for posting 10 books, but now I want more!   I know I am sounding greedy and don't mean to, but I thought things would move a little faster.

mistie -
Date Posted: 12/20/2013 1:08 AM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,017
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Susie, if you choose you can purchase credits to use to request books from others. You can either buy them direct from PBS via the Kiosk, of from other members (the cheaper option) via posts in the Book Bazaar forum. Currently members are offering credits around $2.20 each, which is actaully cheaper than what is will usually cost you to "earn" a credit via mailing a book to another member.

Date Posted: 12/20/2013 1:20 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,387
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There are also the linked DVD and CD sites.  We can transfer credits, once we use the free ones.

Date Posted: 12/20/2013 9:25 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Susie: Looks like the books you posted are mostly commonly posted ones.  Those can take longer to move.  You'd think books by super popular authors would move super quick, but once they've been out for a while, because they are so popular, their books can be found anywhere cheap and sometimes several hundred, even thousands end up being posted here.  Doesn't mean they don't get requested, it just means they'll probably stay on your shelf longer. For example from your shelf: King of Torts & the Painted House both have over 1,000 posted just for that edition, Killer Dreams has over 400, Perfect Storm over 600 etc.., Sometimes you have to offer a deal to move the heavily posted books quickly.

eta: you can see how many books are posted by putting a book on your reminder list. 



Last Edited on: 12/20/13 9:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 12/20/2013 7:38 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 2,944
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Sometimes RCs can be a bit vague. I recently turned down a request for a book I have that I would be very happy to receive, due to its excellent condition. But the request included a "no spine creases" condition. The RC also said if I thought the book was in 'good condition' I should contact the requester anyway. I thought that was somewhat contradictory.

My book looks like it doesn't have any spine creases, until you turn it just so to the light. Then two very faint spine creases show up.  Since "no spine creases" goes far beyond 'good condition' I denied the request. Best to always play it safe with vague or contradictory RCs.

My RC states "Sorry, but due to a severe allergy, I cannot accept books with a tobacco order."  This is my choice, as I do have a severe allergy to tobacco order, and I will be the first to admit that my RC can be a bit vague also.  I have had a number of members turn down my requests for various reasons. Some examples are "I got this at a garage sale and don't know if it was in a smoking household," or "My spouse didn't read the book but he/she smokes." I would rather forgo a book then have to leave it for weeks out on the back porch to air out.

Despite that, my 830+ books shipped and my 630+ books received obviously indicates that I am very happy to be a member of PBS.



Last Edited on: 12/20/13 7:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 3