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Topic: Please help me clarify my RCs

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Subject: Please help me clarify my RCs
Date Posted: 5/30/2009 7:01 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2009
Posts: 2,402
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Help! I don't know what I can do to make my RCs any clearer, but I need to do something.  This is what my RC says:

"I have a few very basic requests that I hope aren't too much of a burden.

*Please wrap book in some form of plastic (grocery sack, newspaper delivery bag, ziplock, etc..) as my postman often leaves packages in the rain. It won't change the weight substantially but it will help keep books from getting ruined in transit during our rainy season.

*No ex-library books please. 

* For Hardcovers Only:  I do not wish to receive hardcover books that do not have a dust jacket if the book originally had a dust jacket. If it never had a dust cover, such as a book with a pictoral cover, this condition does not apply.  

Thank you!"

I've only had two books turned down because of my RCs, but lately I've had a string of problem transactions. Most were because books were shipped without any plastic at all and arrived sopping wet and ruined while others were clearly ex-library books with stickers, stamps, etc everywhere--not something I'm interested in for my permanent collection. Any ideas on how the wording could be changed or what else I can do to make the message clearer?

Thanks!

Date Posted: 5/30/2009 7:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I don't see how you can be any clearer then "please wrap in plastic" and "no ex-library books". 

 

Date Posted: 5/30/2009 7:12 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I don't think they are remembering the RC's when they mail.  I don't remember the RC's being available to me once I've accepted a request.  So I'm not sure what more you can do. 

Ruth

Date Posted: 5/30/2009 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2009
Posts: 2,402
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I thought they were clear, but I just can't figure out why else I had so many books show up in violation. I feel like I need to do something, but darned if I know what. I'm just frusterated, I guess, with having my book anticipation ruined so often when the book arrives.

Date Posted: 5/30/2009 7:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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It happens for the same reason that anyone sends a bad book-people are reminded about the posting guidelines when they post a book and they just ingore them and send out bad books.  You've just had people ignore your RCS.

I really think they need to come up with a way to make RCS still show while a request is pending.  I had 15 book requests about 2wks ago and several had RCS.  I always verify that my book meets RCS before I accept.  Most of the RCS were for no-smoking and a couple were for only unabridged audiobooks which I varified before accepted-but I was thinking later when I noticed there was no way to reread the RCS-that this could have turned into a problem for me if I had some other more detailed RCS and had to remember which book had which one. 

Date Posted: 5/30/2009 7:21 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Where does your mai carrier leave the books?  Is there a way you can make an agreed arrangement with him/her to put these books somewhere they'll be protected?  If all else fails could you get a PO Box or private mailbox through a service to send the books to?   I know that dealing with an uncooperative mail carrier is very frustrating and next to impossible to make them do something they don't want to do, but this isn't good.

Ruth

Date Posted: 5/30/2009 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2009
Posts: 2,402
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I'm seriously considering PMing senders in the future just to double-check that the book isn't ex-library or, if applicable, missing the dust jacket and to politely request plastic in the packaging. As a sender, would you be offended? I don't want to irritate senders or come across as picky because I'm really not, but I also have the RCs for a reason.  

Date Posted: 5/30/2009 7:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2009
Posts: 2,402
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If they don't fit in the mailbox, packages are either dumped on the ground at the base of the mailbox or left on the (uncovered) porch. Unfortunately, my subdivision has standardized mailboxes, so I can't just get a bigger one. I've tried talking to both the mail carrier and to the post master several times and bought a storage bin to leave on the porch fr packages--nothing has changed. Unfortunately, it's not possible for me to get a PO Box right now.

Date Posted: 5/30/2009 7:32 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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I'll be perfectly honest.   I don't care WHY you need them in plastic.   I'd be more inclinded to read them if they read like this:

Books wrapped in plastic - newspaper bag, grocery bag, ziplock or whatever works for you.

No ex-library books.

* For Hardcovers Only:  I do not wish to receive hardcover books that do not have a dust jacket if the book originally had a dust jacket. If it never had a dust cover, such as a book with a pictoral cover, this condition does not apply.  (Even this is iffy, in my opinion.  How am I supposed to know what the orginal book had or didn't have?)

I don't want to spend my time reading about your weather or what your postman does.   I don't need to know you only have a few request - I can see that without you telling me.

I guess I like the RC's short and simple and easy to understand.

Date Posted: 5/30/2009 7:38 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Well, the good thing about PM-ing a sender is that at least they can keep it for reference - assuming they'll refer to it.  It won't disappear immediately if they don't delete it.  And you could say that you are PM-ing because the RC's notice isn't available to them once they accept.  It wouldn't bother me.  I'd appreciate it because it would mean less chance of me getting it wrong.  But that's just me.

Ruth

Date Posted: 5/30/2009 7:51 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2009
Posts: 2,402
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Thank you all for your help! You've given me quite a bit to consider.

Date Posted: 5/30/2009 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2008
Posts: 3,374
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i would be annoyed if you pm'ed me to remind me about your RC.  i accepted because i know that my book meets the conditions -- but then, i usually wrap my books right then and there.

i also agree with cozi -- sweet and simple is the best way to write your RC.

Please wrap in plastic before mailing.

No ex-library books.

i also would only add the hardcover RC if you were ordering a hardcover, as a lot of people will turn down a hardcover RC even if the request is for a paperback.  i also wouldn't know if a book originally came with a dust jacket or not, so i would probably decline based on that knowledge.

if a sender forgets what the RC's are, they can PM you to ask.  if i had a bunch of requests come in at one time, and i forgot about an RC, i would pm and ask.  since people can mark RWAP for not meeting RC's, i would NEVER send a book if i wasn't sure.

but then, i'm a good swapper.  :D

Date Posted: 5/30/2009 9:19 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2008
Posts: 42
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Personally, if I accepted your request with your RC, and then got PM'd by you to re-state your terms, I'd write you off as a nut job and cancel the transaction.

I think it's fine to state, "please wrap in plastic" - and I agree that I don't want to read the whole thing about your postal delivery problems.  Because my next thought is, why don't you do something to solve the problem?  So I'd leave all the "why's" out.

The thing about the hardbacks and dust covers... if I've gotten a book secondhand, I don't know if it originally had a dustcover or not, and I'm not going to go online and research it.  I'm offering the book and want to send it to someone who would like to read it.  I don't want to spend extra time online to determine if my offer of the book is acceptable to someone.

No ex-library books is simple and clear and seems fine in an RC.

Date Posted: 5/30/2009 9:26 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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The problem is that most people don't wrap the books right then.  The RC's aren't there to be seen, so the sender might not remember who had RC's or even if there were RC's.  At the minimum - it would be nice if there was a marker that stayed with the request and "Books to Mail" that indicated that there were RC's for that book even if the RC's weren't preserved there.

Ruth

Date Posted: 5/30/2009 10:05 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2009
Posts: 2,402
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It sounds like PMing would be offensive to a lot of people, so I guess I'll nix that idea. No point in causing unnecessary problems.

Subject: Keep it short, simple, and easy to read
Date Posted: 5/31/2009 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Hello Fellow PBS Member,

  • Please wrap the book in plastic (any kind) to protect it from the elements
  • Please, no ex-library books

RE: Hardcover book requests:  

  • Send hardcover book with its dust jacket if it originally came with one
  • This condition does not apply if the book was never published with a DJ

Thank you for help,

Your name

 

It's not fool-proof, but I hope this helps some.

 

Date Posted: 5/31/2009 11:27 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 8,598
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I agree with the people who asked how anyone could know if a book they got used ever had a dust jacket. I don't know how you could write an RC to cover all possibilities for that issue.  Other than that, the following is short, simple, and unambiguous

  • Please wrap the book in plastic (any kind) to protect it from the elements
  • Please, no ex-library books
Date Posted: 6/1/2009 7:58 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I agree, too wordy. We don't need to know why you want what you want, just that you do. I like Nora's--short and to the point.

RE: the DJ requirement--unless you order a LOT of hardcovers, I would just leave that off and modify your RC to include it IF the book you're ordering is a hardcover.  Too many people don't read clearly and would see the DJ requirement (even if it said 'for HC only') and decline if it's a paperback--how often have we seen people bemoaning that fact here in the forums? Also, as Nora said, I would leave the part off about "if it was published with a dust jacket" or "originally had one." Expecting  people to know that information is a bit much--lots of folks get them used at bookstores, thrift shops, etc. Just say you want HCs with DJ's and leave it there.

Your RCs should be clear enough to understand without additional PMs. And yes, a PM 'checking up' after the request was accepted would be annoying. If you get the book and it doesn't meet your RCs, mark it RWAP and ask for the credit back. Not much else to be done about it in any case.

I would also find out where the division hub of the postal service is in your area. If the local mailman AND the postmaster in your town aren't willing to do anything, go higher up. Leaving packages in the rain when you've provided a waterproof tub to put them in is inexcusable.

Cheryl