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Topic: Paperback swap favors new members?

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Subject: Paperback swap favors new members?
Date Posted: 9/14/2008 5:29 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2007
Posts: 12
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I've been a member for a long time now.  When I first joined I had a bunch of activity.  As time went on, less and less activity.  I haven't had any requests for books in months and months.  Does Paperbackswap favor new members?

Would it help if I closed my account and re-opened a new one?


Date Posted: 9/14/2008 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2007
Posts: 881
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PBS operates on the First-in-first-out system so no. It does not favor new members.

I looked at your shelf and it seems the books remaining on it are very heavily posted.

Date Posted: 9/14/2008 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 2,288
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It seems I can go a few weeks without any requests and then sometimes I get 3-4 requests a week. 

PBS doesn't favor new members though.  The chat rooms and discussions are always good places to meet people that have books in common with you.  You never know if then they will turn around and find something on your bookshelf to request. 

Date Posted: 9/14/2008 5:41 PM ET
Member Since: 12/4/2005
Posts: 2,320
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You may want to put some of your books from your shelf on your Reminder List to help get an idea of how many of those particular books are in the system.   Even when I worked at a used book store in the late 80's-early 90's both Stephan King and John Grisham were authors we generally had to turn down--simply too many copies in circulation.  The big names get huge numbers of books released when they go to mass market.   You may want to offer deals or maybe trade them out at a used book store.   I've even left a note on the message board at work that if anyone had books to get ride of to contact me. 

Date Posted: 9/14/2008 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I think it seems like it favors new members because that's when you post a lot of books at once  and most likely have a lot of WL and not posted books that get ordered right away.  Then people check out your shelf and add another book to their order.  Then what's left is the common in PBS books that tend to sit for a while. 

Try running a deal or becoming a BOXER.  I was recently able to trade 3 books that over 100 posted in BOB deals.  All of the books I got for them are pretty common in PBS, but I haven't read them yet.  So it was like doing a credit exchange for them because I traded them book for book instead of having to give them away 3 for 1. 

I also find that visiting the boards regularly helps.  I tend to look at the shelves and WL of people I see on here often before I go through FIFO.  1: I like seeing them here so giving them an order or offering them a WL book makes me happy and 2: I know they're on here regularly and aren't going to let a book request or offer just sit and sit. 


Date Posted: 9/14/2008 6:46 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2006
Posts: 4,110
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I pick up books at thrift stores or garage sales when I see them, mostly I end up posting books I've recently read as they tend to be WL books.  Also when I am wondering about what to read I look at my TBR list here and see what has a red or green W next to it, red means it is a WL book, green means it is also autorequested, so it usually gets accepted fast.  I see very little movement on my actual shelf, I think I jget one or two every couple months, but sometimes I've gone as long as 4 months with out a nibble from the FIFO system.

Take heart, some good suggestions here, also I find posting on the forums helps, people tend to look at your shelf if you're around a bit.

Date Posted: 9/14/2008 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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What will happen if you close your account and re-open it is...your books will go back to the end of the line!  So, no, you don't want to do that!  Just exercise patience and keep your eye out for book sales in your area to pick up cheap books to add to your shelf.

Date Posted: 9/14/2008 7:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
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Yeah, it's just that your books are common.  I have The Green Mile books, plus some Koontz, Grisham, and others that have been on my shelf since July of 2006 :-O  I'd love to know if I'm even close to the top of the line yet :)

Being a BOB member helped me move a LOT of books, and also running specials here and there in the book bazaar.  Plus I'm always posting books to my shelf (books from thrift stores, that I've read, etc.).

Date Posted: 9/14/2008 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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I'm going to speak as someone who is likely to order some of those more "common" books when I manage to reduce my TBR pile a lot more. Since I've been a member I've used this site to get some very common books that I never got around to reading such as The Da Vinci Code. Yeah, everyone else had read it when it came out. Me, I'm getting around to only putting it on my TBR pile :) Same as for some of the more common romance authors. So I'd say hang in there. Someone is going to most likely want your book sometime!

Kim (Mistry) -
Date Posted: 9/14/2008 7:26 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 4,106
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Yard sales, thrift shops and especially library sales are a great way to get more books for your shelf for cheap.  You can also print out the Top 50's of the Club to give you an idea what books are heavily wishlisted.  Also, cozy mysteries, paranormals, vampire/werewolf books and erotica are big WL books right now.  Craft books and cook books also go quickly. 

Date Posted: 9/14/2008 7:28 PM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2007
Posts: 76
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Don't feel bad, Dawn, I'm suffering the same fate as well.  I've managed to clean some out by doing some 3 for 1 and 2 for 1 deals but that still leaves a bunch that are just (apparently) common.  Thanks for asking the question though, because I was starting to wonder if people just didn't like me. :(  I'm hoping that's not the reason...hehehe.....


Date Posted: 9/14/2008 8:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I get so few orders off my shelf that I put it on hold for months at a time sometimes to hold off on the WL book offers and to get some of my TBR read. 

Lately the only orders I actually get from my shelf are when I post a WL book and someone orders and extra one.  Otherwise I get my credits from WL offers and trade my shelf books in BOBS. 

I had better luck with putting a 2 for 1 offer in my signature and just posting in the forums then I did with a running a deal in the bazaar.  There was no thread to have to keep up with and updated and the orders came spaced enough to make them easy to handle. 


Last Edited on: 9/14/08 8:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/14/2008 8:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2008
Posts: 204
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yard sales, thrift shops, and library sales are precisely the reason why some member's inventory isn't moving. Those books tend to be very common...why else are they being sold at a dime each. Years ago, I did a few experiments where I bought bags of books at various  libraries for $1 per bag (it amounted to over 70 books for $5). I posted them for 8 months....3 were actually on wishlists (3 out of 70+). In 8 months, 4 more were requested (7 total). I eventually took down the rest and donated to a local reading program.

Books wear out their welcome. Too many thrift shop books ruin dilute a swap site's over-all inventory with low quality. Libraries can't get people to read their old books for free, do we really think there's going to be a huge demand for those same books on PBS?

The worst are the older women who buy bundles of Harlequin romance books at a nickle each and post them all at once causing us to scroll through 5 pages of H.R. I don't see that much here...thank God. But it's common practice on another site I peruse


Date Posted: 9/14/2008 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2007
Posts: 881
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I have been fortunate enough to discover a thrift shop "sweet spot". I always find WL books everytime I go. I haven't been in a while as I am not in dire need of credits but it's nice to know I can stop by and get some when I need them.

Date Posted: 9/14/2008 9:38 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2008
Posts: 515
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I had a bunch of activity when I first joined too, but that was because I was posting a lot of books and many of them were wishlisted. I get a lot fewer requests than I used to, now that I'm not adding as many books to my shelf. I don't know if that has anything to do with why you're not getting as many requests as before, though :/

Last Edited on: 9/14/08 9:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/15/2008 12:11 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,223
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Mike - It really depends on if you know what you're buying. Buying nonsense "bags" of books generally aren't going to yield anything, you're right. However taking your time, knowing what's wishlisted and knowing what to buy goes a long way. FYI, FOL and library sales are largely made up of publically donated books in many areas - not simply donated old library books. Also, libraries get rid of overstock also - they don't simply get rid of books that have run their course. So experiment or no, your hypotheses for many of us is dead wrong.

Dawn: I've been on here about as long as you have and I don't see the favortism. I'm just as busy now as I was then - actually busier.

Part of why I'm so busy I think is because I rotate my stock frequently (adding more books), I'm involved on the genre forums and  also in the Book Bazaar.  I am able to add books on a regular basis because I volunteer weekly at a large FOL and we receive masses of books every day so I have my pick of some great books. I also haunt the other FOL and library sales from Sacramento to San Francisco. I find and post lots of wishlisted books. But I don't simply "grab" books off the shelves - I've done my homework and know which authors move fast and which genres are more popular.

For the most part, I stay away from authors like John Grisham, Nora Roberts and Danielle Steele where there are thousands in the system. I'm an avid paranormal, fantasy and cozy mystery  reader and that helps because most of those books area already heavily requested.


Date Posted: 9/15/2008 12:52 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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Orders do seem to come in streaks, I've noticed.  I'll get a bunch at a time, then nothing for awhile. Posting some new books often brings orders in.

I've had very good luck with library sales, btw. Sure, there's lots of junk, but there are also sometimes like-new WL books. It helps to have a sense of what's new or popular in a particular genre... I can usually guess right with romance, science/fiction fantasy, and children/YA, but other genres I usually pass up because I just don't know what might be popular.

Date Posted: 9/15/2008 1:16 AM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2008
Posts: 54
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When my library has books 4/$1 I pick up the ones I think are popular, walk over to the computers and sign on to paperbackswap to see if any of them are wished for. :)
Date Posted: 9/15/2008 1:23 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,223
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When my library has books 4/$1 I pick up the ones I think are popular, walk over to the computers and sign on to paperbackswap to see if any of them are wished for. :)

Now THAT is a good idea. Wonder why I never thought of that! lol I will be doing that from now on!

patticom - ,
Date Posted: 9/15/2008 4:52 AM ET
Member Since: 11/3/2007
Posts: 416
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I just have to say that your shelf would move a lot faster if you would list all the books *I* want!!  ;)-  Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!

Can't really add much to the others--be patient or rotate your shelf.  :)  I "reminder list" every book on my shelf, and every so often go through and remove anything with more than a certain number of books in the system (usually 30 or 40), regardless of where I may be on the FIFO (because we aren't able to check that).  Non-ISBN books I'll leave for 6 months or more and then remove them too... I have limited storage space for PBS books, and I like to keep it filled with books that have a good chance of being requested in time to earn me credits before my next WL book comes up.  ;) 

When I first joined and had gobs of books I offered deals in the bazaar... and keep in mind those don't always have to be multiples-for-single-credit types!!  Recently I posted some old Playstation games as free with order, and got rid of several books that way, all but one books with MORE copies in the system, so that was nice.  :)

Date Posted: 9/15/2008 8:01 AM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2006
Posts: 547
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I just wanted to say that I do NOT run sales and I am NOT a boxer.  I've been here two years and I'm one of the top 50 senders.  PBS doesn't favor new members.  PBS favors those who have patiences and who post a lot.  Yes, the more you post, the more you send.  Especially, if you are posting wishlist books.  I do this simply by reading.  I've posted 4 books in 3 days, 3 of them wishlist books.  All that I read from the TBR pile.  But I also don't really remove books from my bookshelf.  As long as they aren't spilling all over everywhere, I have no problem waiting for a book to be requested.  I know that I haven't got any of the original books on my bookshelf any more.  I might have one or two left from my first 6 months here, but that's when I stopped buying books just to beef up my bookshelf.  Since then, I've been posting from my household with the occasional random book picked up at Goodwill.

I do think that posting in the forums does help your orders and I'm beginning to wonder if being on the lists also helps.  Though I wouldn't recommend purposely trying to get on the Top 50 lists.  Wrapping all those books in a short period of time will drive you nuts.  :)


Date Posted: 9/15/2008 8:35 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 550
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I've been here two months longer than you, and my shelf goes thru spurts - sometimes I can't keep up and sometimes things just sit.  I try to keep active in the boards and I also run sales once in awhile, especially when I've had a run of wish list books come in and need credits.  Try adding some books to your shelf, or like others have said go to the book bazaar and hilight your shelf - or run a deal.

Date Posted: 9/15/2008 9:06 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,602
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Agree with what everyone else has said. What happened is that the books that didn't have many copies in the system and were more 'wanted' got selected and now your bookshelf is stuck with the ones that have a zillion copies already in the system and that many people have already read. From the looks of your shelf, you haven't posted any new books to it since the end of 2007. If you are patient, it's likely those books will eventually get chosen, but if you want more credits now, do as others have suggested--peruse people's wishlists, look at what's in the top 50 wishlisted books, and pick up a few cheap copies and post them. Even if you spend a dollar on a used mass mkt paperback (which I've found a few of at Half-Price Books bargain racks) and send it out, it's still cheaper than buying a credit.

My bookshelf has dwindled a lot--used to be over 200 and what's left now is mostly stuff that will be there awhile. That doesn't mean I'm not sending out books on a regular basis, though--many of the books I do post are wishlisted, so those get posted, requested and sent without ever showing up on my shelf. My annual FOL sale is coming up in November and I'm really looking forward to picking up a few books to infuse my shelf with some more 'interesting' stuff. :)

Good luck to you!


Date Posted: 9/15/2008 9:53 AM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,208
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Just a quick question I've wondered about- I often see people say they "have to get rid" of book and must take them off their bookshelf list here on PBS. Is that because PBS limits bookshelf size? Or is it just because your "real" shelves at home are overwhelmed? I didn't think it was because of PBS- I've seen members with 600+ books listed. So I'm just plainly curious if it's just like, "Man, I have eyeballed that stack of books six feet high and it's bugging me" or if members truly must make room for more books. I'm nowhere near busting my PBS bookshelf limits (though please feel free to look) but would ilke to know if there's a limit on the books you can post. thanks, and happy Monday reading friends.

Date Posted: 9/15/2008 10:00 AM ET
Member Since: 4/3/2008
Posts: 541
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i joined the same month you did.

In the beginning, I had the same issues.  I find that the more book you have listed, the more you send out.   So yeah, thrift stores, etc. will probably work.  What I did, though,was buy credits from other members to keep rolling through my WL.  I only keep about half of the books I order, so increasing the amount of books I read also increases the number I have posted.   I get 1 or 2 WL books each week now.  Since they're WL books, I also know that when I get around to reading and reposting them, there won't be a lot of copies in the system.

I still don't send out as many as I get in, but the numbers are getting closer.