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Topic: Personal messages to say thank you

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Subject: Personal messages to say thank you
Date Posted: 12/3/2009 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2006
Posts: 830
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Why do people bother sending a message when they receive a book and everything is fine?  I get single word "thanks" messages all the time.  I used to like getting them, but now they're more of an annoyance I think.  I could just delete them without reading, but then I might miss if there is a problem, so I have to open every message to find out if it's the standard "Thanks" message or if there is something more. 


Or maybe I'm just feeling a little cranky today since I lost a single CD from an audio book. 

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 10:24 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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This is a hot topic on PBS. Some people are offended when they don't get Thank You PMs and when they don't get a thank you for the thank you PM.  I don't send them unless I got a deal from them or they posted multiple WL books for me.  I would prefer not to get them but they don't really bother me. Well they annoy me less now that I'm not on dial up anymore.  But I still have an ancient very slow computer and it does take it 2 or 3 minutes sometimes to bring up the PM page, open the PM and then delete it.  So I'd prefer no TY PM's.  To me the credit was the thank you.  (and yes I do say thank you when I'm doing transactions face to face-I just don't feel it's necessary with online book trading)

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 10:37 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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I say thanks most of the time.  I add a note about the packaging or the book sometimes.  While the people on these forums seem to be split on this question, it is the only place I've ever seen that being polite is considered a burden.   ANY thanks I say, here or in WalMart or the grocery store, is sincerely meant and not just rote.

M.E. (ryenke) -
Date Posted: 12/3/2009 10:41 AM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2009
Posts: 625
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I always say thank you and more when the book comes with a layer of plastic.  I'm hoping to do my small part to encourage that type of wrapping.  Otherwise, I generally only send thank you when I have something else to say.  I can see why could be considered an annoyance, but people are trying to be polite, so I take it as they intended it.

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 10:53 AM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2008
Posts: 3,291
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I always say thank you.  One reason I send thanks is because someone gave me something and the polite response is to thank them for it.  Also whenever this topic comes up it seems that more people want to get Thank yous than people getting annoyed by thank yous so I send Thank yous.  I know that I might annoy some people and I am sorry about that but I feel safer saying thanks then not saying anything at all.

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 10:59 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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I always send a thank you and appreciate receiving same. I do include additional comments like, "book looks new!" or "packaged well", etc. I think this encourages people to continue taking extra care in packaging. It is discouraging when you go to extra effort and then don't even receive a thank you...:(

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2008
Posts: 118
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I like receiving Thank You's.  I will run a 2 for 1 book deal about twice a year but I will only send it out to the people who have thanked me or people who have offered me a deal.  I have had only 2 or 3 problem transactions and I have now sent out over 300 books.  I would rather send out and receive Thank You's.   The books are coming from real people who went to the trouble to post, package and mail a book that I would like to read.  The least I can do is thank them.  I also comment if the packing is good or the book is in fabulous condition.  If I want impersonal I can go to Amazon.

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 2:02 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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I always send them when I receive a deal. I feel it's only courteous when someone has gone over and above the usual PBS transaction.  I sometimes send them if it was a FIFO order and the book is especially nice or packaged exceptionally well. I appreciate people sharing their books and offering deals. It has on occasion led to a "relationship" where one of us either will offer the other a book rather than listing it FIFO, especially look for books the other is interested in, and/or offer an "anytime" deal.  

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 2:05 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,508
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 could just delete them without reading, but then I might miss if there is a problem, so I have to open every message to find out if it's the standard "Thanks" message or if there is something more. 

I'm a thanker too, but I just wanted to comment that you should be getting your PMs emailed to you, so that you can peruse what it says in your email instead of having to log onto PBS and read it.

I love that feature.

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 4:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I never check my email for PBS stuff.  I hate email.  I'm always on PBS.  Thank you PM"s don't annoy me, but I understand why it might others.  I do tend to send them with every transaction, but I may just start sending them to newer members.   Older members already know their efforts and books are appreciated.  newer members might like being encouraged and it might help keep them interested.  I always thank people who go out of their way or who seem to need some help in the wrapping department.


Date Posted: 12/3/2009 5:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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I say thanks, but I also comment on the swap.  If the book is in great condition, fast mailing, wrapping, once I had a book that was inspected by the USPS (media mail) I let them know if their books were taking longer, it may be why.  Yes she is from WI.  

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 6
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In a world that I find getting more rude by the minute (or perhaps it's the area that I live in) I always appreciate a thank you and I often send a word of thanks when I receive a book.  To be honest, I chuckled and then shook my head at this post (or perhaps I'm tired after working late) but I never heard of being annoyed with an simple thank you...that's new to me.


I'm going to continue to say thanks as this often sparked small conversations of the books that I requested in cyberspace and that's just cool to me :-)

Date Posted: 12/4/2009 12:30 AM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 4,998
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I always thank the sender. I usually comment on the condition of the book and wrapping. I think the sender appreciates hearing that their book is in great or super condition. Also, not everyone wraps books in plastic and I like to comment to those who do on my appreciation of doing that. I know it's not required but it is nice when they do especially during the snowy months.

I thanked one person once who wrote me back and told me that he appreciated my thanking him. He said that noone had ever done that before. I found that to be sad. I guess we tend to take things for granted. I think we need to say thanks more often than not.

Date Posted: 12/4/2009 9:03 AM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2005
Posts: 1,103
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I think few people get seriously annoyed by being thanked, but the one word "thanks" seems unnecessary to many of us.  It's fun communicating in the forums and definitely there are some PBS members I've gotten to know. But most of the orders are simply transactions. You place an order, the software chooses a supplier, you pay a credit, and and the supplier fills the order.  It's not a personal interaction. And I'd wager the vast majority of members don't participate in the forums and don't see this personal side of PBS.

Like many others, I don't consider it a question of being rude or polite. If the person were standing in front of me (like a clerk in a store), of course, I'd thank them as I left.  But when I order from Amazon or some other online place, I don't later send a thanks unless there's something beyond the usual.

If there's anything special about the transaction, book, wrapping or if I have something meaningful to say about the book, then I'll drop a note. But I do try to avoid the one word "thanks".  If I don't have something subtantive to say, I say nothing.

Last Edited on: 12/4/09 9:12 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/4/2009 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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As others have said, this is indeed a hot topic. I don't send thanks as a general rule and would rather not get them if "thanks" is all it says, but it doesn't annoy me anymore. It *used* to a few years ago, when there was no way to turn off the e-mail associated with every PM you got...I trade a lot of books so finding 15 emails in one day and then get to PBS and see 15 PMs that said nothing but "thanks" got old really fast, especially if I were really busy and time was limited. But now it's much easier to deal with them since I just don't get the e-mails notifying me of a PM, and once here, I look at the PM and hit delete. (Surely a 'you're welcome' isn't expected?? Where would it end?)

My own thoughts are that my (and your) PBS "job" is sending someone a book in good condition. I don't need a "thank you" for doing what's expected of me--if I expected that in all areas of life, I would be sadly disappointed much of the time. And let's face it...really, how sincere are those one-word "thanks?" To me it seems more like habit than sincere appreciation. Kind of like the rote 'niceties' we practice among strangers and acquaintances like 'have a nice day!' and 'how are you?' when in reality you don't know me, you don't *really* care how I am (would you be willing to listen for ten minutes if I were to actually tell you?) or if I have a nice day or not! Not saying you wish me ill...just that if I don't have a nice day, it won't really matter to you.

When I do send a thank you, it has some real meaning. For example, "Thanks so much for this book--it's been on my wishlist for almost 3 years and I wondered if I'd ever get it!" or "Thanks for sending this--just had to let you know I love your packaging..where do you get the...(etc)." or "Thanks so much for the book--this author is one I love but they aren't very well known and I've had to get most of this series from the library as they're rarely posted here. Are you also a fan?"

Anyhoo, I respect everyone's right to thank or not thank as they see fit. I don't think more or less of anyone because they do or don't.


Date Posted: 12/5/2009 1:38 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 2,585
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I'm really indifferent when it comes to receiving/sending thanks on here.  It doesn't bother me when people do it, but I only will do it if it's something above and beyond a regular transaction.

What does tend to get me a bit miffed, is people ignoring PM's when I'm trying to ask about a transaction, or want to make sure there are no complaints/confusion.

For example.  I always send out my books with printable postage,   Last time, I forgot to check the weight, and trusted PBS when they said it was light enough to go first class mail.

After I dropped it in the blue bin, I started to second guess the weight, and sent off a PM to the requester explaining that if it did arrive postage due, I would make good on it/return the credit.

And then, crickets....


Date Posted: 12/5/2009 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2007
Posts: 3,430
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I usually say thanks & comment on the wrapping, how quickly I received it, or just that I'm looking forward to reading the book.  I don't usually respond to thank you PMs and I don't expect anyone to respond to my thank you PMs. 

Date Posted: 12/5/2009 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2009
Posts: 326
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It doesn't bother me to get a thank you and I usually send a thank you when I receive a book.   It never occurred to me that this would annoy someone.  It makes me want to think twice now before sending a thank you.

Date Posted: 12/5/2009 7:30 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 8,624
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I have usually sent a thank-you message but I think I won't anymore.  I can understand that someone with a slow computer might find it burdensome.

Date Posted: 12/5/2009 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,718
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I don't usually care if I get a thank you or not, but it is kind of annoying to send out a book that is hard to find or expensive and not get any PM about it. I've sent out several costly coffee table books and it does kind of peeve me that people can't say thank you when you send them something both with reasonable value and well over normal shipping costs.

Date Posted: 12/5/2009 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 5/17/2009
Posts: 71
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I don't always say thank you. Just depends on if I'm busy or if I get a book in great condition. I also don't mind getting thank yous. If you dont like them you can just hit delete!

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 1:56 PM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2009
Posts: 1,684
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I always say thank-you for a recieved book.  I am just so appreciative of getting the book.  It takes time to go mail and wrap a book(s).  Just so grateful to get the book(s).  :)

Date Posted: 1/31/2010 7:18 AM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2008
Posts: 64
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I've kind of agonized over this question. In a way, it seems rude not to acknowledge the receipt of a book by thanking the sender.  On the other hand, many people get a large volume of emails they have to deal with.  I'm figuring that people on Paperback Swap may also be active in other forums and sites where there's much back-and-forth.  So I've decided that, on balance, it is better not to add to people's email burden than to send a "thank you" for every transaction.  I do send a PM if I've gotten a book I've especially been wanting, or if someone has devised a particularly clever or spiffy wrapper. 

Date Posted: 1/31/2010 9:04 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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As a TG and a games participant/hostess I get a LOT of PMs daily...and I still like to get the thanks yous...mostly because it tells me 'that book arrived well.' I don't check the 'Books I've Mailed' tabs often (as soon as I mail the book, I sort of forget about it) so when I don't get a thank you, it takes me a day or two to figure out the book was received. That said, I tried to say something about the book 'great condition' 'nice wrapping,' 'I've been waiting this for a while' etc.

Date Posted: 1/31/2010 9:21 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,481
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You can set your account that the thank you messages go to your PM file, but you do not get the emails announcing that you have one.

I personally like them.  (I'm also on Swap-a-CD.  And no one over there seems to do it.)

Last Edited on: 1/31/10 10:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1