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Topic: Would you PM the member about this?

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Subject: Would you PM the member about this?
Date Posted: 6/24/2011 10:13 AM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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I requested a book from FIFO, and it was the only copy in the system.  I also found another book on the member's bookshelf that I wanted, so ordered both books.  This morning, I got a message that the first book cannot be mailed.  The reason given: "my sister is reading it right now.  It will be available again in about 2 weeks."  She accepted the order for the other book.

OK, beyond my irritation that this was the only copy in the system and now I have to wait for another copy to be posted, I am understanding about the situation- stuff happens.  But this appears to be a new member.  No profile, and all books on her shelf have been there for less than a month.  Perhaps she has not had time to read the TOU.  My main concern is that she may not understand how other aspects of the site work, and that she will mail me the first book in 2 weeks, possibly after I have already ordered another copy.  Would you PM her, and if so, what would you say?  I feel like I am making a lot of assumptions about what she may or may not understand about the site, and I don't want to offend her, but at the same time, if she knew the TOU of this site, she'd know that it's a big no-no to give that kind of excuse for not mailing a book that was requested.  I'm torn- part of me wants to help her understand, and the other part just wants to let it go and let the chips fall where they may.  WWYD?

Date Posted: 6/24/2011 10:33 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,264
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I would PM her and explain that you ordered the second book because you were ordering the 1st book that now is not available and that you are cancelling the 2nd book requested because of that reason and explain that you will request them again when they are both available.

Date Posted: 6/24/2011 10:41 AM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Well..I do still want the 2nd book.  I just wanted the first book more.

Date Posted: 6/24/2011 11:23 AM ET
Member Since: 10/1/2006
Posts: 846
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I know how frustrating it is to have to wait for a book you really want, but I must confess that I did what that member did -- once.  I got a request for a book that had been hanging around our house forever and a family members saw it and claimed that they had no idea I had that book and that they were desperate to read it. I'm guessing that's what probably happened to her.

I would PM her and say something like: "I hope you do repost [First Book]. I am very eager to read it. I am going to cancel the order for [Second Book] and reorder it when you repost [First Book] so you can mail them together and save on postage."



Last Edited on: 6/24/11 5:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/24/2011 11:25 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,264
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Then forget about it...if she does send you the first book in two weeks and you have already ordered another one, then  you don't have to give her credit and she will learn. If you want to email her just to educate her -- well, as you said in your original posting, you are making a lot of assumptions and personally, at this point I would just leave it alone. But that's just me...

Date Posted: 6/24/2011 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,727
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I dislike PMs whose only purpose is to inform me of something I already know.

For example, back at the beginning of the year I was offering a deal and the person who wanted the deal PM'd out of the blue to tell me not to put it in a Priority Mail box. So I was a little annoyed at that. I mean, I understood why she told me (cause apparently someone else sent her books in a Priority Mail box) ... but I had no plans to do so, and I already knew that it was against Post Office regulations too.

I've also gotten a PM from a lady who mails out a reminder to mark books received when she mails the book out, apparently.

So, in the absence of the other member actually doing something that shows she does not know the rules, I would let it be.

Yes, it's disappointing that she cancelled your book, but that is NOT against the rules, it is in fact what the cancel button is for.

Date Posted: 6/24/2011 1:04 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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I understand, Sara.  I would not want to get PMs about basic functioning of this site either, when I have already been a member for over 4 years and have hundreds of swaps under my belt.  However, this is a new member, less than a month at the site, so it's likely she does not know the TOU.  And, actually, according to the TOU, what she did IS agains the rules.  This is copy/pasted directly from the TOU in section 4, Exchanged Materials, under Listing and Posting:

By posting or listing an item for exchange with the Site, you agree to ship the item when requested. The posting or listing of items without the intention of exchanging them when requested is expressly prohibited and may constitute wire or mail fraud in violation of U.S. and state law. The listing or posting of items for exchange that you do not have in your physical possession is expressly prohibited. 

Bolding is mine for emphasis.  I have used the cancel button myself before, but only in cases where I discovered damage that I did not notice before.  Also, once when I received an order for a book that I did not have and had not posted to my bookshelf- some kind of glitch.  If I have a book on my bookshelf and I loan it out, I put it on hold.  Isn't that how it's supposed to be done?  What if everyone at this site posted books that they are not prepared to mail out when they are requested?  There are rules for reasons, and when rules are not followed, the system does not function well.

I am annoyed, and as I am big on following rules, it rubs me the wrong way when rules are not followed, and I feel compelled to help people understand what the rules are.  But I don't want to offend anyone either.  I guess I will just let it go.  I suppose if this person makes a habit out of not accepting requests for books that they have posted on their bookshelf, the team will contact them.

Date Posted: 6/24/2011 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,442
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I can understand your frustration and disappointment at not getting the book you wanted. I agree with the above who said that you could send her a PM and tell her you will order both books when she posts [first book] again. 

I would not assume she blatanly disregarded the rules, however.  Giving the sender the benefit of the doubt, this also might have happened: She had [your first book] in her room or on her physical bookshelf.  She listed it in PBS.  Her sister took the book without sender knowing it, and started reading it.  Sender gets request for the book and goes to her shelf to look for it.  Lo and behold, her sister is in the middle of reading it.  

Date Posted: 6/24/2011 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,727
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The posting or listing of items without the intention of exchanging them when requested is expressly prohibited and may constitute wire or mail fraud in violation of U.S. and state law.

Yes, this means that at the time you posted it, you must intend to mail it out. Not that you can't cancel a request for any reason under the sun.

mistie -
Date Posted: 6/24/2011 2:01 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,017
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I would just let this go - if she mails the book on time- great, if she doesn't - well, worry about it then. As for the cancellation - life happens! Put it on your wishlist, If she reposts if, re-order it then - if someone else hasn't posted a copy in the meantime.  The main benefit in order two books from one person is saving the sender money - if she isn;t overly concerned about that, IMHO you shouldn't be - on her behalf.

If you do chose to PM here now - she may well get the impression that this site is full of "nitty-picking" people hung up on rules.

Date Posted: 6/24/2011 2:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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"nitty-picking" people hung up on rules- yeah, I guess that is me, LOL!  I admit to being a card-carrying obsessive rule-follower who gets annoyed that not everyone else is too. I know life happens, and I have already decided to let it go.  Life's too short.  It's just a book after all.