Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: People Sitting on Books

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: People Sitting on Books
Date Posted: 11/2/2007 10:23 AM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2007
Posts: 11
Back To Top

 

I'm quite new to PBS, having only been a member for a few weeks now.  So far, I am liking it, and am still pretty happy with how it works. 

One of the few problems I am seeing with this system, is inactive (or nearly inactive) people with books online slowing everything down.  The very first book I ordered sat until the last day the owner of the book could accept the request.  They then accepted, and then sat on the order until it was canceled by the system yesterday.  That person did not respond to my PMs at all.  Now I have two other books (after earning some more credits) that are sitting for just less then a week with no response.  I am really hoping for these books, but I am not entirely confident they are going to actually be sent.

Am I just having bad luck, or is taking a week or two to send out a book common.  The most I have waited is about 3 days to send out a book, and usually I have been getting my books sent next day. 

Oh well, in the meantime I am building up credits in case any of the books on my wishlist every come in.

Jonathan

 

 

Date Posted: 11/2/2007 10:31 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
Back To Top

I see a mix of responses.   Sometimes they get mailed the VERy same day I order.. and others sit and time out.  I would say on the whole its about 50%.  50% get accepted and mailed within 2 days and the other 50% take longer.

Date Posted: 11/2/2007 10:40 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 2,039
Back To Top

My results so far have been higher than that, about 80% are mailed the next day, I think you're having a bit of bad luck, just hang in there!

Date Posted: 11/2/2007 10:54 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
Back To Top


Last Edited on: 5/10/12 4:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/2/2007 11:13 AM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2007
Posts: 11
Back To Top

Thanks for your responses.  I'm going to keep up at it, as I really think this site is a great idea.  I guess for a newbie, it is a little frustrating shipping out book after book, and watching my own requests not go anywhere.  I do get that there are a lot of circumstances that prevent people from sending stuff out right away.  I am lucky that I work across the street from a post-office.  It makes sending stuff out very easy for me :)

Jonathan

 

 

 

Date Posted: 11/2/2007 11:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2005
Posts: 705
Back To Top

I like to do my ordering from the people on the forums when I can - I know it goes around the FIFO but if I'm really wanting the book then I know I'm ordering from an active member.  Going to check out your list now, Jonathan!

Date Posted: 11/2/2007 11:41 AM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
Back To Top

Just may be some bad luck - my requests seem to get a response pretty quickly.  And I think most members will mail within a few days. 

Date Posted: 11/2/2007 11:41 AM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 510
Back To Top

It is also quite normal for new members to be impatient.  After you have built up a few hundred books on your to-be-read (TBR) pile, I think you will find yourself not worrying so much.

Angie -
Date Posted: 11/2/2007 11:43 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 3,299
Back To Top

Yep, check out the book bazaar and people's shelves from the forums if you can -especially if the books you are wanting have multiple copies in the system- (you can find out how many copies in the system by putting it on your reminder list) just because in general these people tend to be more active. Also, you can look for the books from boxers and so you at least get to select who you order the book from. I know this defeats the FIFO system, but there are a lot of inactive members that are also defeating the FIFO system.

Hope you get your books soon!

Date Posted: 11/2/2007 11:46 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

Well so far I've been lucky and have had my requests handled right away. But I have one now that's going on day 5 with no response. I saw it last night at the UBS. I almost bought it and canceled the order. But I have a ton of credits and there's no real urgency for me to have the book right now. 

Date Posted: 11/2/2007 11:49 AM ET
Member Since: 12/17/2006
Posts: 730
Back To Top

I agree that it sounds like a bad stretch.  We all run into them from time to time. Hopefully things will pick-up soon! (I know that, while I always accept Requests right away, it can take a few days to mail them. It is a bit of a trek to the PO, especially with a little one in tow, so I only go once or twice a week. ;) )

Date Posted: 11/2/2007 12:17 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
Back To Top

It is frustrating when it takes so many days for some to mail the books.   I have noticed a higher proportion of books that I've requested taking forever to even get into the mail.  Personally, I don't care how many books I have in my TBR pile - I have a low tolerance for unfinished business.   There's a whole world of things that can be forgotten in the 10-12 days that some people wait to get a book in the mail.  I generally cancel the request when someone takes too long to accept and mail, since I figure there's a higher likelihood that it won't be mailed at all.

I also tend to be skeptical of excuses like "I can't afford $2.13 in postage until payday" and "I can't walk out to my mailbox to mail this book until 10 days from now."  That's one of the things that vacation hold is for.  Show a little class, and let the request go to someone who is prepared to mail it.

Date Posted: 11/2/2007 12:41 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 729
Back To Top

I don't use PBS postage (no credit cards) so I have to take my books to the PO.  I get several orders a week and I wait to take them all together so I don't have to make multiple trips.  Gas is expensive right now ($3.09) and I'd rather spend the money to ship books to others than use it for gas going to the PO several times a week.  I have to budget my money very carefully - I'm trying to get disability and have very little to spend right now.

Date Posted: 11/2/2007 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/17/2006
Posts: 730
Back To Top

"I can't walk out to my mailbox to mail this book until 10 days from now." 

Show a little class, and let the request go to someone who is prepared to mail it.

Not everyone opts for PBS postage. I don't, for a variety of reasons ... cost being the biggest fact. We have 5 days to mail a book. I think that's reasonable given the cost of gas, busy schedules, etc. I don't think it is a sign of "low class" if someone doesn't mail a book by the next day. Obviously, if the Requester doesn't like it, they can cancel.

Date Posted: 11/2/2007 1:01 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 2,243
Back To Top

I live in a town so small that we don't have home mail delivery. Everybody has a PO box. Usually, I walk to the PO everyday to get and send my mail. So I don't use PBS postage. (BTW: They aren't always right. Sometimes it's actually cheaper!) Anyway, I am usually able to send the next day. However, sometimes events out of my control can delay that. Example: We had an electrical storm come through on Mon. that wiped out phone service for 3 days. No internet. Can't get addresses or accept requests if I can't get on the internet! Even tried the web on my cell, and for some reason it wouldn't work there... However, once I was back on I PM'd all concerned to let them know the reason for the delay and apologize.

Date Posted: 11/2/2007 1:04 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
Back To Top

I have 33 requests since I joined in February (well, I joined in January but didn't start trading until 6 weeks later!). Three of them are non-response books (as in timed out and went to another member), and two of those was the same book back-to-back.

You'll probably find this more often on books with many copies posted. But I just let the system do its job, and do my part to weed out the inactives. If we all just used the FIFO whenever we are looking for a book, we'd have many fewer inactive accounts still set active, because the timeouts would be flagged and it would be noted in the system.

Date Posted: 11/2/2007 2:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
Back To Top

I agree, if you (general) can't mail a book out in the time you agreed to when you joined PBS, put your shelf on hold.  It's not the walking to the mailbox or getting it out the very next day, that's a "class" issue (ok, let's just use that word since it's already been introduced), it's the fact that if you can't follow thru, don't participate.  There's plenty of other's who will.  I'm not trying to come down hard on folks that need to wait for a paycheck or a ride.  I've had to wait for funds myself.  Just saying that if that is the case, use the hold option.  It's just the fair thing to do.  Of course "acts of god" and things out of your control and not the bone of contention here, for me.   

Date Posted: 11/2/2007 2:49 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
Back To Top

You only have to take the book to the PO if it's over 13 ounces, and most paperbacks aren't - trust me - I weigh all of mine.   A wrapped and stamped book will go just fine in your own mailbox.

Date Posted: 11/2/2007 3:07 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,173
Back To Top

I've had very good luck since I've been on here but one of my initial books did nearly what you described. Waited for ever to accept the book, then waited forever to mark it sent and then it never arrived.

After that I learned -

when I order a book from someone as an FIFO (meaning not a deal from the forums or from somebody's shelf that I know participates in the forums) I turn right around and hit the PM button to find out who they are. From there I go to their shelf to see if they keep their shelf updated. If they don't I cancel the order and either go buy the book or wait until it comes through the Friends of Library store where I volunteer. If their shelf is updated, which is usually the case, then I keep the order intact.

I've had really good luck since then. So my advice is to click on the shelves of who you order from and make sure they're current. If not cancel the order. You can either go buy it like I do or wait awhile for that copy to be kicked out of the system but if you try to order the book again by the title you'll keep getting the same book.

If the book has more than one ISBN # then you can order a book with a different ISBN I believe and you'll get a different copy - I've never done it that way though.



Last Edited on: 11/2/07 3:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/2/2007 3:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 38,893
Back To Top

Hi Jonathan!

I usually give 2 days, maybe 3 days tops if I really want the book for the person i'm ordering the book from to accept my request.  You can always cancel your order then reorder it from someone else.  I feel it isn't fair for me to have to wait that long for someone to come back to me about if they accept it or not.  Just my way of dealing with it, I haven't had any complaints yet of doing it this way.

Keri

Date Posted: 11/2/2007 4:17 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
Back To Top

 

 



Last Edited on: 5/10/12 4:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/2/2007 5:00 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,629
Back To Top

I don't see what the problem is if people are using the system appropriately.  If you accept a request within the allowable time frame, and then mail it by the date that you said you would, then the only person who has the problem is the person who is too impatient to wait for it.  There is no guarantee on PBS that your book order will processed and shipped the day after you order it.  The allowable times are spelled out in the help section.  Unless someone is not following them, then I don't see what the fuss is about.  If you want your books faster, order them new and have them shipped overnight.  A person should not have to put their account on hold because some impatient people want their books today and are not interested in the system guidelines.  That is a very childish idea.  And frankly, it's really not anyone's business why it take someone 1 day or 5 days to mail a book.  Considering that the majority of them are going media mail, there's no gaurantee that the one mailed first will get to you first anyway.  I just think it is so ridiculous when I see people complaining about other people who are using the system CORRECTLY.

To the original poster, I apologize, my rant was not directed at your question/comments.  I was just disturbed at some of the attitudes I saw in some of the replies here.  I find that most people tend to respond pretty quickly to book requests, although mailing times vary for me.  I very rarely have anyone mail their book later than they are supposed to.

Date Posted: 11/2/2007 5:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
Back To Top

I get a little loopy by Friday afternoons and the post struck me as funny... and I pictured people literallly sitting on books.

Date Posted: 11/2/2007 7:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2005
Posts: 4,469
Back To Top

I'm on my second person, about to time out with one of my requested books(last one in a series, I got most of them from one very awesome sender).   Oh well, there's 33 in the system, surely someone will send it.

 

 

Date Posted: 11/2/2007 11:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,587
Back To Top

PBS allows a certain time frame for people to accept and get books mailed, and I personally think anything that falls within those guidelines should be respected. People who take 4 days to accept a book request and another 4 days to mail it are not doing anything wrong! People have different lifestyles, different priorities and the frequency that they can get online varies. We can only see things from our own viewpoint ("why can't they ________? like I do!") and that viewpoint is often short-sighted and narrow. We know nothing of the circumstances of other people's lives.

That said, i do wish the site had some automated way to put people's accounts on hold who repeatedly don't respond to requests or who haven't logged in within a given time frame. I think there are indeed a lot of inactive accounts here--people who sign up, post some books, get their free credits and then lose interest and instead of deleting the books or putting their account on hold, they just drift away--and right now, the only way of getting rid of those 'deadwood' books is to allow the system to cancel the order for non-response which happens during the night after the 5th day of the request. The system cancels the order, deletes the book from that person's shelf and moves your request automatically to the next person in line who has the book. If you have the patience to wait it out, you're also helping your fellow PBS members, because the next person who orders that book won't have to wait the five days for that person to not respond.

Also, unless you know someone here who has the book you want on their bookshelf to order directly from, cancelling an order does no good...if you cancel and reorder it again, the order goes right back to that same person again, because they are the next in the FIFO line, and then you begin your wait all over again.

Cheryl

Page: