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Topic: New User: Going Broke $$ Please Help!

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Subject: New User: Going Broke $$ Please Help!
Date Posted: 8/6/2011 5:39 AM ET
Member Since: 8/4/2011
Posts: 11
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Hi. I just signed up for paperbackswap.com yesterday and listed a box of books I have. Most of my books are in new condition (no blemishes, bending, dogeared pages) if they are personal books, and good condition for leftover college books I had. However, last night I had 10 requests, and this morning I had another 1. I am now out more than $30.00 in the postage and online fees.  I had hoped to get rid of books, but not to go broke doing so! Should I consider a different venue like half.com or ebay.com where I would have slower results? My wife will kill me if I exchange the credits for more books, but there's no buyback program it looks like! Help!



Date Posted: 8/6/2011 3:56 PM ET
Member Since: 5/24/2011
Posts: 8
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You can put your account on vacation hold and you won't receive any requests. If your sole purpose was to make money you will have better luck  selling them at a garage sale or ebay. If you just want to get rid of them with receiving no books in return, give the to somebody else or the library.

Subject: Newbie tips
Date Posted: 8/7/2011 8:53 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2005
Posts: 219
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Welcome, Benn! I hope you find the value of PBS. I have been a member for a long time and gotten lots of good deals on hard-to-find books and multiple book orders. Check the Discussion forums for lots more tips.

Add your books to the Reminder list. That allows you to see how many are in the system. If they are wishlisted, the reminder list will show 0 and you can also see that on the book's listing (Members wishing: #) . Those will go fast!

One way of sending highly wished books is in the Book Bazaar where you can offer wishlisted books in multiples and so save on postage by sending more than one book in a package.

You can also sell credits in the Book Bazaar - current going rate is about $2.50 which is about what it costs to send one paperback. No savings there!

Your other option is selling books on Amazon - they take about 25% but you can get cash - Amazon gift cards which can be spent on lots of things, including books!

Hope that helps. Gabriele


Subject: Hi Benn
Date Posted: 8/8/2011 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2011
Posts: 1
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I'm glad you brought up this subject because I too just joined and all but 1 of my books were requested within 2 days!!! I have mailed all but 1 and find myself out of pocket money for lunch with my girlfriends.  I thought about removing myself from this club and decided to give it another few weeks.  I have little time to view the available book list and those that I want to  read are NOT on this site. At this point I believe I am going to come up losing $$$  The incentive at this point for me is that while I stay on the program, my books will reach someone else for their enjoyment.

Subject: Hi, Ida!
Date Posted: 8/8/2011 7:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2005
Posts: 219
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Welcome, Ida!

The trick is to send more than one book in a package. Two or three almost ship for the same postage as one. Check the Discussion forums:

the Book Bazaar has the Multiples thread for wishlisted books; there are the genre threads also that have lots of wishlisted books. Those won't be on anyone's bookshelf.  You need to put the books you want on YOUR wishlist, then you get in line to receive them when they become available.

When you post a book, it tells you if there are wishers for it. Those just tend to go quickly - getting you credits to swap for others.

I hope you try it a while longer - it should be worth it! I have gotten hardbacks, trade size paperbacks and 2-for-1 deals for just ONE credit.

Date Posted: 8/14/2011 9:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/4/2011
Posts: 11
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But if you ship your books 2 for 1.. do you get 2 credits to spend? Or just the one? I feel like I am getting shafted. I have mailed 20 books already!!! That equates to just about 66.75 so far in postage alone :(

Date Posted: 8/15/2011 12:05 AM ET
Member Since: 10/8/2006
Posts: 145
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Ben and Ida,

          It is not unusual that you have sent out a lot of books since joining.  That usually happens.  You will then discover that after the first couple of days your books will go out at  a much slower rate.  I have about 500 books on our shelves and we send out 3 or 4 a week and there are weeks we do not send out any.  For books not available add them to your wish list and put them on auto request. You will be surprised at what you can get!!! If you go to the book bazaar you can get books at a deal.  You can then get more than one book for a credit.  I have gotten some great deals that way. Everyone in my family now tells me what they want and I send them Christmas presents all year long.  Also, if you do not want more books join the sister sites and turn your paperback credits into dvds or cds. You can transfer credits from one site to another.  So if you want some great movies join swapaDVD and use your paperback credits.  You can get tv seasons on there!!!!!!  Also,  something that I do if someone orders one book off my shelf. I send them a personal message and I tell them that I am running a deal on my shelf and that I am doing 5 books for 3 credits.. They will order 3 books and send me a pm with the 2 they want for free. I then delete the 2 free ones from my shelf.  A lot of the time they will take me up on it. Then I have mailed multiple books but have not spent much more in postage but I then have more credits to spend.

  If you send your books 2 for 1 you are only getting 1 credit but sending 2 books. Which is why I do the 5 for 3. A lot of people do the 4 books for 2 credits, in which case you will get 2 credits.  But if you get books at a 2 for 1 you get a deal!!!! It is a super site!! I have been here almost 5 years.  I hope you both stick with it you will love it!!!!!! It is my favorite site!!!!!!!! I hope this helps. Feel free to send me a personal message. I do not get back to this part of the site often.

Also, I have discovered it helps are whole family sort their books. I tell them if they want more books they have to sort their old ones. It has been a huge help!


Last Edited on: 8/15/11 3:13 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/15/2011 3:37 AM ET
Member Since: 11/12/2008
Posts: 1,328
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I agree with the others. This is a great site once you learn how it all works. I have 570 books posted and usually only get one or two requests a week. I always offer 5 books for 3 credits and 3 books for 2 credits to save on postage. I need credits right now so take a look at my shelf and if I have any books you want I will give you a good deal. Peggy

Date Posted: 8/15/2011 10:03 AM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2011
Posts: 634
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Also make sure you are sending the books out media mail and not first class.  Media Mail is the cheapest way to send a book.  You don't have to buy postage or DC from the site.  You can take your package to the local Post Office to weigh and buy postage.  I have been trading on several sites for a few years and I think in all that time 1 book went lost by the mail system.  I don't spend money on Delivery confirmations.


Hope that helps a bit.


Date Posted: 8/15/2011 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,378
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Yes, if there are books you want but are not currently available--put them on your wish list!

The thing I really like about this club (as opposed to other book swap sites I have tried) is I can put stuff on my WL and then ignore the site. I don't have to watch the recently posted like a hawk.  I can just let the WL do the work for me.

If you aren't as picky as I am (I have too many books so I'm not interested in picking some up 'just to try'), you can visit the book bazaar or genre forums and find people offereing multiple books per credit or recommending books they liked.

Date Posted: 8/17/2011 3:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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My wife will kill me if I exchange the credits for more books, but there's no buyback program it looks like! Help!

I don't think you can make much more than pocket change by selling your credits here. The prices on the Bazaar are very low. In the long run, not really worth it to just break even considering you need to figure in postage, wrapping tape and your time to get them wrapped and in the mail.

Can you let your wife pick out some books with your credits? You'll have about 11 coming in, and maybe she will find something she wants and get hooked. Then you'd be set. smiley

I am now out more than $30.00 in the postage and online fees

You don't have to pay any online fees if it'd save you money/time. I don't buy Delivery Confirmation, for instance. I just print out the one-page address label without the postage. Also, beware that the weight of the books isn't always right. You could be paying too much or too little on weight on the books. The site gets that info from other sources, and it's been really, really wrong for some books. Weight them yourself, and you can go online to see which is cheaper, media mail or First class. Sometimes First Class is the same or cheaper and they travel faster.

In the 910 books I've sent out, 1 has been lost. If I'd bought DC from PBS for all 910 books, I'd have spent $418.60 extra. Try to figure out how many books you'd have to lose if you wanted to break even on the DC cost. For me, doesn't make any sense to buy it. So I save right there by not buying it.

But if you ship your books 2 for 1.. do you get 2 credits to spend?

A 2 for 1 deal means 2 books for one credit. With media mail it usually doesn't cost much more to mail one than it does two, and people do that to get their books moving. (A book going out is better than it sitting on the shelf! ;  )

It won't help if you don't want any books coming back in, though. But it's a good deal for newbies, as they can stretch their credits out and get more books, and the sender gets their books moving and credits coming in.

If you just want someone to have use of your books, and don't want any more coming in, I'd add to the recommendation that you donate them, or try to sell them on eBay, or trade them into a used book store for books you do want. Some places will buy books online if its what they're looking for, like Amazon tradein, but for you this may be an awful lot of work for no real return.

Good luck with what ever you decide, though!




Subject: Be patient...
Date Posted: 8/23/2011 9:10 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2010
Posts: 3,479
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Depending on the genre you enjoy, the wishlists can move you into position quickly for some very good books. I realized quite soon after joining that the best books were not posted, and I would have to wait. So I wait, sometimes months, but eventually I am 1st in line for the hardcover bestsellers, esoteric selections, and such.

If you aren't a reader, I would agree that this isn't the right place to put your books, unless you want music or videos for them.

Good luck!



Date Posted: 8/23/2011 10:58 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2006
Posts: 68
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if u are listing college books i would try a buyback site like cash for books dot com......    there are several and they buy alot of the more current college textbooks.... 

Date Posted: 10/7/2011 8:08 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2008
Posts: 206
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You can always transfer your credits to CDSwap or DVDSwap!  Open accounts on the sister sites, and you can transfer credits over to there so you can get music or movies, or tv shows, if that is more your taste.  Just a thought.



Date Posted: 10/16/2011 4:39 PM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2011
Posts: 25
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I just started, but when I set up my bookshelf, I gave the system the 10 it was asking for.  As my husband and I don't have a lot of money for shipping and handling right now, I intend to keep my book shelf limited to only 10 books at any one time.  That way I don't have to try to figure out where to come up with a lot of money on the spot.

I'm having the opposite problem, though.  I've had all of one person answer for a book and I've been a member for 9 days now.  I have no credits to order books for the moment because I already used the 2 free credits your given when you register for an account, and the book I sent won't be delivered until approximately Thursday.

That's my two cents worth!

mistie -
Date Posted: 10/16/2011 8:58 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,024
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If you only keep 10 books on your bookshelf (and they are books with multiple copies in the system, your reuqests will be few and far between. You could list more books, then if you start getting more requests than you are comfortable with, you can put your shelf on "vacation hold". This means your books will keep moving up the FIFO list, but you won't get any requests until you "return' from vacation hold.

If you want more credits to spend, you will find members selling them in the book bazaar forum ($2.50 each is common).

Just as an observation, if you are sending a book - average postage cost $2.41 -  in reality, it is more cost efficient simply to purchase credits.

Last Edited on: 10/16/11 9:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Kim (Mistry) -
Date Posted: 10/31/2011 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 4,120
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One of the things you can do when you are adding books is to add them to you TBR pile first. This will show automatically if it is WishListed or not. If it is, WL, you can hold off on posting that book until you have the $$ for postage. When I started, I posted 24 books and 13 were WL books! If only I'd known!!  I panicked and had to scrounge up the $$ to pay for postage.   I do this even now with ALL books that I get at the store, library sales, etc.  It helps me keep track of what books I have yet to read, but also what I may want to read first if I want to make some credits and post a WL book.


Date Posted: 11/14/2011 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2005
Posts: 31
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Once you start getting your wish list books, you'll feel better.  

Sometimes I put "wishes" on my list to get for a friend or family member, too.  It makes me feel good to give to them, too.

Date Posted: 12/18/2011 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 9/10/2009
Posts: 1
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I think you misinterpreded the purpose of this club, this is a swap venue, you mail a book out (pay the postage),earn a credit, which entitles you to order a book if it is available.

The basic premise is ONE-OUT. ONE-IN, which gives you DIFFERENT  books  to read at the cost of postage on the ONE-OUT.

What mades this Club work is readers can get books that they want to read at a  cost of around $3.00 per. (Postage cost per book). Also shopping on-line at-home from the huge selection available is a big plus

The only cheaper outlets that I know of are Flea-markets. Garage/Lawn sales.or charity outlets that resell books to raise money, and you have to lucky to find a novel you want to read.

I think E-BAY is you best shot , GOOD LUCK


Date Posted: 3/27/2012 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 4/24/2008
Posts: 310
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The thing is to start out slow.  I started out listing 10 books and only 1 or 2 were heavily wish listed.  That made it easier and better on the pocketbook if you don't have to mail out a bunch at one time.  When I post books I can see on the reminder list how many are in the system.  I can also check to see it a book is wishlisted and see how many people are wishing for that book.  I exercise control on how fast I want to mail out books by posting what I want and when I want.

Date Posted: 4/16/2012 10:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2010
Posts: 1,540
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When you have that many wished for books, use the WISH LIST MULTIPLES in the Bazaar area of the Community Forums.

That way, you can send out several.

As for needing more books, I get a lot of books as gifts for friends or family who aren't on here and want to read certain stuff.  It is cheap when you think of it that way!

Date Posted: 8/10/2012 12:17 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2012
Posts: 6
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I'm a newbie also, still figuring this out.  However, my husband just gave me his textbooks from last sememster and they were snatched up as soon as I listed them.  We got his book list for this semester up on my wish list asap lol

Have yet to get one but I kinda enjoy sending out a needed textbook to a student :)

Also, if we are able to get just ONE of his books for this semester it will save us $67-$178 dollars...easily worth the $20 shipping I've had to put out so far.  Besides, if we DON'T then I get to use the credit ;)

Course, I really hope we do get his books here, that would be amazing!

Date Posted: 9/18/2012 11:46 AM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2012
Posts: 1
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I feel your pain.  I listed 20 books when i signed up, didnt expect them to go out immediatly.  All but 5 were requested same day..i quickly deleted those 5 before they were also requested lol  45 dollar dent in my budget is rough.  Shoulda just listed a few books at a time to start i guess.


I know it all evens out but still ...surprise

Last Edited on: 9/18/12 11:47 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/25/2012 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2012
Posts: 13
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To help control my shipping, my method is on the time consuming side, but it works:

First I decide on my budget. On average with tracking it costs me 2.80-ish to ship out a book. So if My budget for the week is 20.00 I can ship roughly 7 or 8 books safely within my budget.

Next the research:  I run the isbn through the search bar as if I were looking for the book.
Then I check to see if there are copies available to order. If any are wishlisted or zero inventory, then I know they will go very fast and I set them in a seperate pile from the rest of my tradeable books.
I then click "post this book' and go through those steps.

I stop on wishlisted and non inventory books at about half my shipping budget (which for the 20.00 is about 3 to 4), then I post about 5 to 10 books that others have copies available before me. While it does not guarantee I wont go over budget, I do not get slammed with the surprise of having 15 wishlisted books requested at once. I can break those 15 down into multiple budgeted periods.

Once I hit my budget in orders, (which hasnt happened just yet but I do plan for it), I hit vacation hold until I have more shipping funds to work with.


Date Posted: 9/25/2012 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2010
Posts: 14
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There is the option to mark "i can ship this later"  if your budget doesnt fit...

have a definate target point, me i use pay day, and if the estimated outlay is more than you budget, kick any others to the payday after the one that you are already spending.

This allows you to let the network know what is going on... while at the same time keeping the things flowing smoothly