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Topic: Newbie questions

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Subject: Newbie questions
Date Posted: 12/22/2010 12:38 AM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2010
Posts: 1
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I'm sure this has been asked before but I just barely made it through the first page of posts and kept getting sidetracked with everyone's posts to keep looking. :)


The first thing I am wondering is it okay to send hardback books?

Secondly, what happens if a person fails to mark a book recieved?  Do you put delivery confirmation on your books for proof of delivery?

This site says to wrap the books in two sheets of paper and mail it off, being a long time ebayer I already know better than this (imagine a book wrapped in two pieces of paper then laminated with tape due to paranoia of losing the label...)

I think that's all for now!

Date Posted: 12/22/2010 1:03 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,484
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Hardbacks are fine. But you get only one credit for them. You will need to think about the weight of the book if you are watching the budget.

The two sheets of paper do work on the small paperbacks. (A layer of plastic underneath helps.) Does not work on the larger books.

The person who fails to mark a book received will get an email the week before the book goes lost. Then another email when the book is declared lost. (26 days?)

If you need credits right away or if you are sending more than one book, then I'd recommend using PBS eDC. I do not use it regularly as the cost does not out balance the benefit for me.

(This error of the system adding "?" all the time is a recent quirk. PBS has been told.)

Oh. Welcome to PBS.

Last Edited on: 12/22/10 1:06 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/22/2010 1:21 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2009
Posts: 20,210
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Welcome to PBS Maicie!

The first thing I am wondering is it okay to send hardback books?

Yes, and dust jackets are not required. If a DJ is a must have for the receiver, they need to make a RC saying so (RC = Requester Conditions). Whether it's a paperback or a hard cover it's 1 credit = 1 book. Audio books are also allowed. With audio books, no matter how many discs  or cassettes, they are 2 credits

Secondly, what happens if a person fails to mark a book recieved?? Do you put delivery confirmation on your books for proof of delivery?

Books do go lost, but not often. If you use DC, use it through PBS. DC through the post office does not work for a guaranteed credit here. This is because PBS has no way of knowing if the package you mailed is really the book you said you mailed.

There are two different kinds of DC through PBS.

You can buy just DC. When your book is scanned by the PO you get your credit with this option

You can buy postage with DC through PBS. When you do this, you get your credit as soon as you mark the book mailed.

Or you can choose to do neither and just use the regular wrapper. If you book goes lost in the mail and you didn't use DC of any kind through PBS you do not get a credit for the book. Many people use this option and don't have any problems. Books don't go lost often enough for most people to justify paying the extra cost. If the reciever doesn't mark it received (and you mailed w/o PBS DC) you do not get the credit. You can always fill out a lost items form with the post office if this happens, but the book may never be found.

I do recommend using DC for anything going to a APO address.

This site says to wrap the books in two sheets of paper and mail it off, being a long time ebayer I already know better than this (imagine a book wrapped in two pieces of paper then laminated with tape due to paranoia of losing the label...)

As long as you tape both ends completely, it works out fine. You are more then welcome to use bubble wrappers if it makes you feel better. You wouldn't believe some of the things I've had books arrive in :) As far as books mummified in tape, try a seam cutter. They always work great (for most people lol)



Last Edited on: 12/22/10 1:24 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/22/2010 3:15 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,484
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Oh yea. I suggest using PBS eDC or PBS postage for media rate books that travel over water. The media rate books to HI, AK, GU, PR and APOs can take forever. It is worth the extra money to get your credit quick. The media rate seems to go by slow boat.

Date Posted: 12/22/2010 7:02 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2010
Posts: 754
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I am a new member, and I have found out the hard way that just wrapping the books in paper does not work.   You may get lucky that some of them get there, but be prepared for a good percentage of them to have problems: book never made it, only the wrapper made it and book fell out, PO tapes up books, books get switched at PO (?? I know, I know.).

If you want to make sure your book gets there and without any RWAPs (received with a problem) I would strongly suggest using a real mailer.


I signed up, and then right away the first week had sent out at least 20 books.  I then started getting messages with problems and I immediately felt embarrassed that I should have known better to NOT just wrap them in paper.  I have since then went out and bought the appropriate mailers.  


I have also ordered a bunch of books, and I can say that the vast majority of folks do NOT just wrap them in paper.   Most of them are mailers, and I'd say even half of them are real heavy duty waterproof ones, that takes me 10 minutes to unwrap.  LOL, I don't mind that at all, because them I know my book is going to be found in good condition.

Last Edited on: 12/22/10 7:03 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Welcome to PBS
Date Posted: 12/22/2010 8:01 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,540
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It doesn't take long to get comfortable here, once you start trading. I use all kinds of right size boxes (ie:cracker boxes,etc) and brown paper bags to wrap books . I like to add the layer of plastic, but it is not required. Congrats for finding the forums so quickly,many people never do.

Date Posted: 12/22/2010 8:02 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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The PBS wrapper is find for mass market paperbacks.  They really shouldn't be used for trades and hardcovers.  If you know you did a good job wrapping your books in the wrapper, as in you used mailing tape and not scotch tape, you taped it up really well and maybe even wrapped the book in plastic (not required) then you don't owe a credit if something happens to the book in transit.

If you are just slappingon the PBS wrapper and using scotch (present wrapping) tape then you should refund a credit because common sense would say that's not good enough.

Once you start requesting books you'll start getting a supply of bubble and various types of mailers that you can reuse.  I haven't bought anything but tape in a couple of years.  I reuse those tiny boxes Amazon sends books in-great for hardcovers and audio books.  I've also used cereal boxes and similar.  Just don't use anything that once contained something flammable-that's a post office rule.

Date Posted: 12/22/2010 8:07 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I only use DC on multiple credit orders and game books.  The cost of the DC quickly adds up to more than what a lost book would cost.  Some people think the DC makes it less likely that the book will go lost. But in 3 doing 3 trading sites, lots of PBS games and being a Boxer for a while-I've sent out probably 2,000 books and the only 1 that went lost happened to be one of hte rare ones I used DC for-it was an audio worth 2 credits.  Even buying it cheaper through PBS-the DC fees on 20 books is over $8.00 which would buy you a few credits from someone in the book bazaar.  The fee PBS charges does help support the site. But there are other ways to do that. 

The PBS postage is really convenient ifyou don't have time to go to the post office.  Although I just use stamps if the book is under 13oz.

Date Posted: 12/22/2010 8:57 AM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
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Welcome to PBS!

I also will always use the 2 sheets of printer paper for mass market paperbacks (in fact, I'm about to print out right now!).  As long as the ends/seamed are taped, I've never had a problem and I've received literally hundreds wrapped like this with no problem.

It's actually pretty rare for the other member to not mark a book received.  My percentages for lost books are very small (less than 1%).


Date Posted: 12/22/2010 11:07 AM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
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A different Newb viewpoint

As for what books are packed in. The majority of mine (not those in bulk orders or large HB's), I wrapped in 3-6 sheets of magazine paper w/ a plastic grocery bag (dependent upon destination state). In fact in the first set of books I mailed I only put them in 1 sheet of printing paper and only one of those arrived with wrapper damage (although I was cautioned by the requestor). I also have been keeping what few bubble wrappers, etc have come to me (unless they were too beat up) for re-use.

As for the books I received, the majority were mailed in what was on hand (although I might believe this could be dependent upon genre, people who read the same material, tend to think in the same circles), mostly in brown paper or printing paper (had one recent one in christmas wrapping paper, but it was 1st class, I'd be leary of that in MM). The only bought products I've seen were for some of the HB's I ordered and the one bulk order I had (5 500pg+ MassPB's), and even with these half or more of the bubble mailers, etc were obviously in their second or more use.

From reading the forums, it appears that the primary concern is to wrap them tightly regardless of using bubble mailer or just paper.

I have also had one book go lost (out of the 100 transactions I see in my profile). Personally I wouldn't spend the extra money on DC unless sending non-mainland or to Wisconsin (all media mail going to Wisconsin currently is being inspected which has resulted in significant loses, at least from reading the forums), but I also notice that several of the members who have sent to me have paid for this.

Last Edited on: 12/22/10 11:08 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Tina D. (tinad) - ,
Date Posted: 12/22/2010 12:46 PM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2009
Posts: 350
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If I am sending out a single, regular sized paperback, I use the PBS printed wrapper (2 sheets of paper).  I always wrap the book first in plastic and as long as you've wrapped it tightly around the book and have the ends and seams taped  well (using packing tape), there shouldn't be a problem.

I have yet to have anyone contact me with a problem due to the wrapping and of the hundreds I've received, I haven't had a problem either.


Date Posted: 12/22/2010 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,045
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Regarding wrapping books in paper ... I have mailed out mostly paperbacks, almost all in the paper wrapper ... and out of almost 800 books mailed, I have had exactly 1 go lost in the mail, and exactly 1 get marked damaged by post office.

So, I feel that the paper wrapper is perfectly sufficient for paperbacks .. and in fact, is superior to mailers because most mailers are larger than the book size, and as the book package gets tossed aroud, the book can break open the packaging from the inside. Also, loose wrappers of any type are frequently ripped, torn, or punctured by mailing machinery.

Having also received more than 750 books, i can also say that about 50% of senders seem to use the paper wrappers. I have never had a paper wrapper book arrive damaged at my house, either. But I have seen plenty of punctured and ripped mailers (of those, almost all the books arrived undamaged, but that was due to luck, not the speriority of the packing method). Also, the only empty wrappers that I have received were either brown paper wrappers or bubble mailers.

Regarding using DC, our members seem to be split roughly in half ... I receive probably slightly less than half of my packages with DC. I do not use it myself except for a multi-book package.  I have had only one book go lost ... but if I had used DC on all of my books ... it would have cost me an extra $368, whcih is obviously enough money to replace the one lost book 50 times over. However, some people like the peace of mind that DC gives them ... so my advice is, you could perhaps try it out at first if it makes you feel better ... but I suspect as you come to see how well PBS works and how few problems there are, you might decide that you don't really need to use it.

The most important thing to do with your book packages is to make sure that 1. the wrapper is tight around the book, and 2. use strips of packing tape that completely encircles the package, and 3. tape all seams.

Welcome to PBS!

Date Posted: 12/22/2010 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,484
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If you use an envelope, be sure that it is folded to be a tight fit. The mailing machines eat the edges of loose envelopes, ripping them open. Always use mailing tape, not scotch tape. (But scotch tape is great for taping a plastic under layer.)

I put a piece of tape over the address label. I have an inkjet printer. The ink just disappears near any moisture.

I use old maps. Had too many damaged brown paper bag wrappers arrive at my door to trust bags. Brown Kraft paper is sturdier than paper bags.

Date Posted: 12/22/2010 2:21 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome to PBS Maicie!

Yes, hardbacks are fine and are covered under the 1 book = 1 credit rule. Just enter them by ISBN and double check to make sure the binding, title, and author are all a match.

DC as already mentioned, varies alot by individuals. I use PBS DC and purchase USPS counter postage. I find this to be the least stressful method for myself, other members have different preferences. 

I have become a big fan of plastic underwrap, and when combined with two sheets of printer paper (and packing tape) find it to be very adequate for mailing 1 or 2 mmpb.  Other books require different packaging to safely navigate Media Mail.

I also tape over the mailing label for added protection, and insert the PBS 'second sheet' under the plastic wrap as an emergency address (circled in bright marker) JIC there's a postal problem. IMO gift wrap is often brittle and needs to be mummified (another controversial PBS topic) to travel safely.  Brown paper comes in a variety of weights, some are great for mailing and some are as brittle as gift wrap. Unpadded manilla mailers must be folded down snug to the book and taped firmly or they are at greater risk to arrive damaged.  Padded envelopes are more forgiving, but too much excess envelope can still be a problem.

Date Posted: 12/24/2010 3:17 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,343
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I use PBS postage (which includes delivery confirmation) on any package that weights over 13 ounces.  There's a Homeland Security rule that packages 13 ounces and over have to be handed to a postal clerk.  Electronic postage is exempt from this rule, because the package can be traced to you via Paypal or your credit card. My Post Office has long lines, and I've saved loads of time by using PBS postage on my heavier books -- I drop them in a blue mail box 1/2 a block away.

If you are going to print your postage out on the wrapper, you have to have a way of weighing your books -- a postal scale or kitchen scale work just fine -- and then you adjust the weight on the wrapper page so that the postage is accurate.

Date Posted: 12/24/2010 1:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,484
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Patty made a very good point.  Check the weight.  Especially on books that do not get posted often, such as hardcover nonfiction. 

Date Posted: 1/2/2011 3:22 AM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2010
Posts: 2
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Hi, I'm a new member and I have a paperback book I wish to send that has a colored paper jacket. I was wondering how I should package this paper jacket to keep it from being damaged in the mail.

Date Posted: 1/2/2011 4:27 AM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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Does the paper jacket fit snugly around the book and is it made of sturdy or thick paper? If so, I would just leave it around the book and wrap them together. 

Date Posted: 1/2/2011 1:41 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2010
Posts: 2
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The paper is a bit bigger than the book itself and is not made out of sturdy paper. The requestor sugguested me send it in a large envelop. Thank you though. ^^

Date Posted: 1/2/2011 1:50 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,484
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Please do not put books loose in a large envelope.  Fold the envelope tight around the book and tape down the sides.  Books will slide around if there is space.  The sorting machines catch the corners.

And welcome to PBS!

Last Edited on: 1/2/11 1:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/2/2011 7:48 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2009
Posts: 61
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I find it much easier to put them in a padded  mailer. You can get bulk mailers from the dollar tree and I also use media mail. All the people I  send to have never  been upset or complained when I use media mail.  Have fun you will love it here. The website for the dollar tree is  www.dollartree.com

Last Edited on: 1/2/11 7:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/2/2011 10:51 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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May I suggest to the new members that you take 1/2 hour or so and read all the help topics!  You'll be amazed at the amount of information that is in the help center.  It doesn't, of course, give opinions via paper or mailer, but it gives you what can be swapped.  What can be marked received with a problem is another topic covered.  You will understand the site soooooooooooo much better if you, especially since you are readers already, read the Help Center!

This is just a beginnning of the info!

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