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Topic: Problems - How to Handle Them?

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Subject: Problems - How to Handle Them?
Date Posted: 8/17/2007 6:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/30/2007
Posts: 3
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I've had a few problems during my brief history with Paperback Swap and wonder if what I'm experiencing is the norm and how to handle it.

The first situation involved receiving a book that was heavilly marked and in poor condition.  I reported the problem using the PBS tools available within the book receipt area and the sender graciously offered a credit to my account, noting that she had not reviewed the book thoroughly before sending.

The second incidence involved receiving a book that had a completely different ISBN than the one I requested with a publication date 20+ years earlier.  The condition was also poor - yellowed and quite musty smelling.

I suppose part of the problem is that I carefully read the PBS standards and expect others do too.  I only select the books in my collection that are in like-new condition to post.  If they have any noticeable wear, I donate them to my local charities.

Is having problems common or am I just unlucky? 

Date Posted: 8/17/2007 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,414
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It's hard to say.  You do see a lot of posts on the forums about problems but how many PBS users are really on the forums?  Only a fraction, I'm sure.

I've only been here a short time too.  I've only had one book that I didn't think was in postable condition sent to me but it was marginal.  I could see how the other person might think, yeah, it is postable.  We did communicate about it and I decided that the book was worth the credit.

All you can do is keep reporting the problem books so those users get their accounts flagged.  Enough complaints and the owners do step in.  Most people are truly sorry when they send an unpostable book and will give you your credit back.  We are all human and sometimes don't check over the books as carefully as we should before we send them.

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 8/17/2007 6:51 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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I think you just got a run of bad luck.  But most of the books you get here will not be in "like-new" condition.  Most will show wear and have minor flaws.  FWIW, I have received over 650 books, and have a "bad book" rate around 6%, which is high.  I simply had a run of water damaged books for a while - which eventually stopped.  My "excellent" book rate is probably double my "bad" book rate.  By and large the books I have received have been in "good used" condition or better.  Stick around - I think in the long run, you will be happy.

 

 

Date Posted: 8/17/2007 7:00 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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you should list any books that are in good condition, not just the like new ones.  this is a used book site and many just want it to be in good condition, not falling apart or having writing or highlighting in them.  I know my only request is that they don't come from a smoking household.  I don't mind the musty smelling ones (some of mine are good condition but musty smells from being stored away for awhile)

Date Posted: 8/17/2007 7:16 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2006
Posts: 5,065
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Gwen, I'm sorry you're having problems. I guess I've been very lucky. Of the 110 books I've received since joining PBS almost 15 months ago I have not had one problem with a book I received.

I've requested many older books and always expect that the pages will be yellowed and probably musty smelling. Paper retains a lot of odors. I just place the books out in my garage and prop them open with something and then let them air out for a week or so. It helps to air out a lot of the odors.

Date Posted: 8/17/2007 10:08 PM ET
Member Since: 5/30/2007
Posts: 3
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Thank you everyone for the advice, insight, and kind words!

I do LOVE this resource and appreciate all the effort that I know is behind keeping this wonderful site running. 

I'll keep swapping and make sure any special requests are listed on my profile.

Gwen

Date Posted: 8/18/2007 12:11 AM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2007
Posts: 652
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The dialogue exchange above is classic PBS - polite, thoughtful advice given by patient oldtimers to an uneasy new swapper.  The exchange gave rise to her understanding and reassurance that it is worthwhile to continue to swap at PBS.    Awesome.

Date Posted: 8/18/2007 2:07 AM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 880
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Last Edited on: 7/3/10 12:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/18/2007 12:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2006
Posts: 989
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-The second incidence involved receiving a book that had a completely different ISBN than the one I requested with a publication date 20+ years earlier.  The condition was also poor - yellowed and quite musty smelling.

Yellowed and musty is acceptable conditions for books that old.  The only problem here is that it didn't match what you ordered.  All you can do is use the tools and you did.  But rest assured, I think if you stick with it you will get more great books than you will get problem books.  I've ordered over 100 so far and only one had a problem and was unpostable(water damage), but since it was a keeper for me anyway I didn't even complain that time.  I've stated at one time or another in the forums that I would take most wishlist books in most conditions so I didn't care.

Date Posted: 8/18/2007 12:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,534
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Out of 141 books I've received, there have only been 8 "bad" books (1 was the wrong book).  I've also received many brand new and like-new books that have definitely made up for the few problems.  

Hang in there! 

Date Posted: 8/19/2007 3:30 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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"I'll keep swapping and make sure any special requests are listed on my profile."

Gwen, people don't look in your profile before sending you a book. If you want to make special requests, you must use Requestor Conditions. Putting notes in your profile is totally useless except in rare cases.

Also, be aware that some people will not send books to those with non-health related RCs. They feel this is a used book site, and that if you want books that are in better than average condition, you should go buy them, and are unwilling to chance that you will not find their books suitable.

Not saying it happens a lot, nor that it's fair, just that it does happen and some are very open about it.

Date Posted: 8/19/2007 3:56 PM ET
Member Since: 11/26/2006
Posts: 221
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Sherry said   - "Also, be aware that some people will not send books to those with non-health related RCs. They feel this is a used book site, and that if you want books that are in better than average condition, you should go buy them, and are unwilling to chance that you will not find their books suitable."

I agree 100% with this.