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Topic: Have had problems with 5 out of 53 books requested since joining.

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Subject: Have had problems with 5 out of 53 books requested since joining.
Date Posted: 6/19/2009 11:52 AM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2009
Posts: 258
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Is this about the average number or am I just really unlucky? I've only been a member for a few months but so far, I've had 2 books be lost in the mail, 2 damaged by seller and 1 where the wrong book was sent. How many problems have you guys had?

Date Posted: 6/19/2009 11:58 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 1,564
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I've received 114 so far and 3 have been RWAP for damage.  So far, none lost or wrong book.  Maybe you just had a run of bad luck?

Date Posted: 6/19/2009 12:02 PM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2009
Posts: 258
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We joined around the same time! Dang you've got a lot of books. I thought 53 was bad! :P

Date Posted: 6/19/2009 12:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Well I wouldn't count lost books necessarily as a problem because as the requestor you got your credits back and can reorder the book. Lost books do happen.  

I've received about 400 books and I've had problems with around 11 of them and most of those were resolved by the other person. 

Twice (including my very first requested book) I've gotten the completely wrong book. Both times the sender refunded credits and helped get the books to the right person. 

Once I received the wrong binding but I didn't even notice until I went to repost the book. I got a tradesize and the listing said MMP but the ISBN matched.  (one reason why I always repost by ISBN and not from my TBR).  No biggy I enjoyed the book and just reposted it without an ISBN and it was ordered within a day.

I've marked, hmm maybe 5 books as RWP.  I got my credit back on all but 2.  So can't repost them but I can still read them and now that person has a double mark agaisnt them because I marked it as unresolved.

I've never had a book I sent go lost and I don't use DC on a regular basis. Only for game books and bulk orders or if I'm too busy to go to the PO.

I had one person mark a book I sent as RWP for wrong binding but when I pointed out it was their mistake they corrected that.  I sent the right book they misordered.

I've had 3 books go lost enroute to me.  Got my credits back and after a few wks reordered the books.  If they happen to show up well then I'll just mark them received and repost them. 


Last Edited on: 6/19/09 12:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/19/2009 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Also keep in mind (it even says this in the help docs somewhere) that every book eventually gets to it's last person as a postable book and sometimes that might be you.  So you might get books that are borderline and maybe you wouldn't have posted but technically, just barely meet the posting requirments-or did when they were wrapped and mailed and just got beat up enroute to you. 

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 6/19/2009 12:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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Reading the forums here, you'd think that your 5 bad books out of 53 wasn't a bad total, or that it was average.  But, the forum posts are where people go to complain mostly, and you do not hear here about too many of the really good swaps or about the normal average everyday swap.  And forum posters are only a small minority of the membership total.  So they aren't a true reflection of the club. 

In reality, it sounds like you've had a run of bad luck.  MOST of the transactions here are good ones or average, uneventful, goes-as-planned swaps.  In my case, I've had over 300 books sent and over 300 books received, and almost all of them have been uneventful.  I've had a couple of lost books happen, and I've had to receive some from my transaction archive when they arrived late, but most everything has been in great condition, right book, etc.

(I always use Prepaid Postage, so I never have my sent out books going "lost" lose me a credit, so my experience may be slightly skewed.  However, books going lost isn't very common, and I don't believe any of mine have actually gone lost.  I do know of one that was marked as Lost, but then was received after all, just after the 26 day time frame.)  I've had more frequently have books coming to me go "Lost" and often, as previously mentioned, they do get here after all, just not within the 26 day allotted travel period.  For some reason, books coming to me seem to get held an awful long time at a central postal hub in Brea, CA before being delivered to me.

Date Posted: 6/19/2009 12:32 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,223
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I've swapped over 1500 books (both sending and receiving). I've had one lost book (coming to me) and  one lost books going out. I've had one book coming to me that was damaged by the post office. Maybe 4 or so coming to me that I would consider unpostable due to the sender. I've never sent an unpostable out.

My daughter has been on here as long as I have. I think she's only received one unpostable book. 

Mostly you hear about the bad things on this forum so i'd say no, your experience is not average by any means.  

Last Edited on: 6/19/09 12:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 6/19/2009 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
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I'd say you're unlucky. I've receive 53 books, with 3 bad ones (2 just didn't follow the rules for what's postable, one didn't realize one tape was missing in an audio book but was very nice). If you count book bazaar with freebies I've had a couple other bad ones, but they don't really count.

None have gone lost. None damaged in the mail. You might have a bad local post office.

Date Posted: 6/19/2009 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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I've received 63 books since joining, six of which have been RWAP, and four of which were lost in the mail (they were all sent at once, so it was really only one package that went missing). Maybe we are both unlucky.
Date Posted: 6/19/2009 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 1,564
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We joined around the same time! Dang you've got a lot of books. I thought 53 was bad! :P


Oops, I'm all embarrassed now!  LOL  Its an addiction!  I can't help it!

Last Edited on: 6/19/09 12:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/19/2009 1:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 129
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Have received 118 books with one former library book with the pages falling out that should never have been listed, one lost in the mail and one I suspicion lost as it hasn't been received yet and when checking the details claims it was mailed on the 1st of June yet the label was printed on the 15th of June!

Have received at least 2-3 books that should not have been sent due to stains and/or water damage that is not allowed. 


Have also received some books where a decal was cut out of the cover (leaving a hole).

As such, I ended up putting Requestor Conditions (which basically if the book is repostable, does not have holes cut into the covers, and is not stained damaged and includes a dust jacket if hard back, it is acceptable).  However, today I had a refusal to accept a request stating "too many conditions, did not even check the book."

Fine by me.  Odds are it does not meet, but they do not want to state that because that means the book most likely shouldn't be posted to begin with. 

Otherwise, for the most part, no problems.

Date Posted: 6/19/2009 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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You may find this thread from a week or so ago interesting:  http://www.paperbackswap.com/forum/topic.php?t=167065&l=25

I've had very few problems as well.

Date Posted: 6/19/2009 3:51 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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I've had one book that was RWAP for condition (and one for wrong ISBN), out of several dozen trades. If "10" is hot-off-the-presses pristine condition, I'd say my average of received books has been roughly an 8 or so - I think the worst (except the one mentioned) was about a 5 or 6.

Date Posted: 6/19/2009 4:14 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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I've had 15 out of 233 books.

I just marked my 15th book as RWAP a few moments ago. I've also had 4 or 5 go lost. 3 of those I suspect were never mailed, but one of them made it all the way to Jersey City (according to DC scans) then disappeared.

Most of my problems have been water damage.

Last Edited on: 6/19/09 4:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1

Date Posted: 6/19/2009 4:17 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I've had over 300 books sent to me.  There have been problems, but they were not a huge number of them.  I tend to get them in bunches.  It's sort of like WL books.  They go in cycles.  You go for a long time without getting any WL books and then suddenly they are coming every day.  the same happens with the bad transactions - not nearly as many, but they do come in bunches.  So maybe you've just gotten your quota over with early!!   Really, the vast majority do come out well.


Date Posted: 6/19/2009 5:29 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2009
Posts: 2,402
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That's a pretty high percentage! Hopefully you've gotten all of your bad apple senders out of the way for a while and things will even out soon.

As far as my transactions go, I've received 133 books. None have gone lost, 4 have been so blatantly unpostable I requested my credit back, and 4-5 more were definitely in the grey area between postable and unpostable and leaning heavily toward unpostable. The vast majority of transactions here have been great, though, so I really can't complain.   : )

ETA: Only the 4 blatantly unpostable were marked RWAP. 

Last Edited on: 6/19/09 5:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/19/2009 7:02 PM ET
Member Since: 12/16/2007
Posts: 148
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I'm happy to say I can count myself amoung the lucky.  With about 200 transactions I only had a slight issue with 3. One was "lost," but did eventually find it's way. One never showed up, but the remains of the shredded wrapping accompanied with a letter from the postoffice did make it's appearance.  The third was sent to another and I received their book, but all was resolved and each ended up with what we ordered.

Hope you have better luck in the future.  I really believe that most PBSers want everyone to have nothing but great experiences here.

Date Posted: 6/19/2009 9:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 80
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I have had one that simply did arrive and we got the credit back. Otherwise, my only problems have been people who refused to send and gave non-answers as to why. PBS is a great place to get books - I love it.

vic8 -
Date Posted: 6/19/2009 10:22 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 71
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Been a member since February; something like 70 books. Two with stains and three lost in the mail. Oddly enough, one title was lost in the mail and when I reordered that book, the second copy was also lost. Anyway, I'm 5 for 70 in 4 months.
Date Posted: 6/20/2009 1:01 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I seem to have the home where all the stained books come to die. :-\  Just got one with what looks like mold. Honestly, this happens so often I'm starting to wonder if my definition of "stained" is different from the PBS community at large, if maybe we're not supposed to count stains on the edges of the pages or something.  On the bright side, this is only the second out of hundreds of books that actually made my skin crawl to touch it. :-\

Last Edited on: 6/20/09 1:02 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/20/2009 1:13 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,293
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I've received just under 200 ....

1 was so disgusting that I threw it away when I received it ... the bottom inch of the book looked like it has soaked in water for quite a while ... had stuff growing on it. Ugh! (it was a rare book (well, rare on PBS anyway), I was sad cause I don't think it is likely to be re-posted any time soon).

maybe 2-3 more that were water damaged,  2 with underlining on text pages.

So, that's 5 RWAPS.

Then, I've received one empty wrapper (sender lost 3 books on that one, taped with (what else?) scotch tape)

Also, one wrapper that should have contained 2 books, but one fell out on the way (also taped with scotch tape). PO put rubber bands all around it to hold wrapper to remaining book.

2 others just "lost". Of those, I suspect one was never mailed.

So, 6 lost and 5 RWAPS. Wow, that's a lot of lost books. Hope I don't get in trouble! :)

Last Edited on: 6/20/09 1:20 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/20/2009 6:21 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2006
Posts: 136
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I've received well over 300 books. I've had only two RWPs and two go lost before they got to me.

One thing I've noticed lately is that the quality of books has improved. When I joined back in 2006 most of the books I received  were "used" in the strict sense of the word, much like any book you would pick up in a USB or at the FOL sales. Now I'm glad to say that most of the books I receive look like they were never read. I find myself treating them with kid gloves so that I can repost them in the same condition.

I used to love reading in the tub or while I'm eating, but no more! (I'm ashamed to admit that I still do that with library books, though.)