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Topic: The Pulse of PBS needs updating

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Subject: The Pulse of PBS needs updating
Date Posted: 7/6/2009 9:03 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2006
Posts: 534
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The old postal rates are reflected in the 2008 - today area at the bottom. I like my PBS, but unless someone stops the madness at USPS, I may no longer find it financially beneficial to mail books. We need a lobbyist!


Date Posted: 7/6/2009 10:05 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I agree!!!  I've been upset because of the price they've kept for UBS prices.  Around here they charge more than that!  Maybe it's just my area??  What are used books prices at UBS in your areas??


Date Posted: 7/7/2009 12:38 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,484
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Half the cover for paperbacks.  Which makes PBS look pretty good.  But the FOL has lower prices AND gives money to the library system.  Now you know where I get books to post. 

Date Posted: 7/7/2009 2:22 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 262
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I seldom go to my UBS any more.  I have over $100 credit there, and have taken in some pretty new books (in my "before PBS" days).  They allow you to use 1/2 credits and 1/2 cash to pay for a book.  It still ends up being more expensive than this site.   If a book is in very high demand, like the DaVinci Code was awhile back, they will RENT it to you for a week!  Geez, you can borrow it free at the library!!!     To me, the beauty of this site is the discovery of books and authors I never knew I'd want to read - just mouse over them and viiola' - a description appears that tickles your curiosity and it's all a go from there.   Much more fun, IMHO.     :)    D.

Date Posted: 7/7/2009 2:24 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 262
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Surprisingly enough, thrift stores also have books in excellent condition to post here.  And some support charities as well.     :)     D.

Date Posted: 7/7/2009 6:46 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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Well, at my UBS it's just half the cover price. What isn't accurate anymore is the cost of a PBS credit. When I first joined it was something like $2.25. I think they are still basing their "savings" on that price, not on the current $3.45. Since many MMP are now %7.99 new, (some are more, some a bit less) generally they are $4 at a half-price books, which isn't a huge savings anymore over a PBS credit. But I get lots of books at FOL sales, where they are 50 cents for any paperback including nice trade paperbacks and hardcovers for a dollar each--until the last day when they're $3 for a grocery sack stuffed full regardless of what type of book.

To me, that "amount saved" number is a hoot and just a "fun number." According to their calculations, I've saved $5, 890.00 since joining. I really highly doubt that. Certainly the amount of new books or even books I get at the UBS has gone way down since joining PBS. But when you add in all the money I've spent on postage, packaging supplies, ink and paper for the printer, etc. I really don't think it's anywhere near that. I also look at the fact that a lot of books I get through here, I would have never actually gone out to buy new.

I'm not sure there really is a truly accurate way of saying "you've saved $xx.xx" because there are so many other factors.



Date Posted: 7/7/2009 8:04 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Oh, I agree that the "savings" is just like that little truck - a guess.  But here back when I was able to get out on my own and go to the UBS 25 mi. away, I had to pay at least $4.75 a book (that was in 2005) and I know they are higher now.   I can't get out any more to look around, but that's okay.  I'm quite happy and overflowing with books from PBS.  In fact - since I put my WL on auto request, they are coming at me by the bunch.  Who knew??  Now I'm alarmed that I'm going to run out of credits!!


Date Posted: 7/7/2009 8:24 PM ET
Member Since: 11/23/2008
Posts: 329
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I can't remember the last time I was in our local used book store.  I used to go often, ususally to browse, but their prices are ridiculous!  I don't know how they stay in business.  I drive by there often since it's on our main street, and I notice they have added selling artwork.  The people who work there would also "follow" you around the store and try to carry on a conversation,very friendly but annoying and  hard to do when all you want to do is read the back covers of books. 

Anyway, since finding this site I don't need to go back there really.  Always had a funky smell in there, too.


Date Posted: 7/7/2009 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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The best way to reach TPTB with suggestions is to use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of any PBS page.  They don't read every topic in the forums :-)



Date Posted: 7/7/2009 9:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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There's only 2 UBS around here and they are both very expensive.  They were charing $3-$4 for old common mmps and $7-10 for tradesize and hardcovers even if they weren't in good shape.

But I have several thrift stores and 5 libraries around here that sell mmps for .25, trades for .50 and hardcovers for $1.00.  That's where I go.

I don't pay attention to the savings amount listed. 

Also keep in mind that PBS is a free site and Richard and his team do the best they can to keep up with it while not earning a salary from this.  They probably all have real jobs they have to go to everyday. So be patient with them if it takes them time to update some areas. 

I still find spending $2.38 to mail a book much cheaper then buying a new book or many used books. There are a lot of cheap books around here but only occassionally do I find a WL book.  Most of my WL books are tradesize books that cost $10-$20 new so gettng them from PBS is a good deal to me. 

I only buy a book just to post if it's .50 or less.  All the others I read first and so the money I paid for the book covered the entertainment value I got from it. The cost of hte postage to send it is what I "pay" for the credit to get another book.

Date Posted: 7/8/2009 1:12 AM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2007
Posts: 115
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Well, we don't have a UBS in our town and I have to drive to the next (big) town to shop. It is owned and operated by a husband/wife team, very nice people too but some books are "un-tradeable" (I was told they buy some new and they don't allow trades on new ones - ok, I get that) and the used books are half the retail price. They have a fairly good selection of both paperbacks and hardcover books but it is way too easy for me to spend too much money there.  I will take a bunch of books in there and get very little credit for them (maybe 1/4 the cover price? not sure) and it is not unusual for me to spend $50 over the credit I have!  I can't do that any more with everything going up in price.  I really like the owners and would love to continue patronizing their store but we have to watch our pennies and dimes, you know?  About 20 miles away is a Half Price Books store and they do have books for a $1 or less outside the store. I have bought quite a few books that way but the same thing applies there as the first store I mentioned.  I spend too much money - on top of books, they sell software, calendars, stationery, etc.  Gets me in big trouble. lol  I don't even think about the "money saved" thing since there are many factors for me.  Printing postage at my desk is great so I don't have to stand in line at the post office and many times my hubby drops the books off at USPS for me.  I am disabled so not having to stand in line is important to me.  As another poster, there are other factors besides postage!

Date Posted: 7/8/2009 1:22 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I used to live in Dallas, TX, and there was a Half-Price bookstore in my area.  Boy, did I miss that store (until I found PBS).  I never liked what they gave me in credit for books I brought in, but I loved the selection they had.  I could spend loads of hours there and loads of $$, too!   But all is well since I saw the light and joined PBS.


Date Posted: 7/9/2009 1:31 AM ET
Member Since: 3/30/2009
Posts: 101
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I also love this site because it exposes me to books I never would have seen otherwise.  It works out great if the books are older and not wishlisted.

But newer titles are a different story - the wishlist can take a very long time.  So I have rediscovered the public library.  In my area, the public libraries of 5 counties are linked and I can request a book and they will deliver to a library 1 block away for free.  Can't beat that.

I still like this site for books I might want to keep or that the kids need for school.  So much cheaper than buying from textbook companies.

Subject: Used Book Superstore
Date Posted: 7/9/2009 10:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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If anyone here lives in eastern Massachusetts: when I was there in the Spring, my brother took me to an incredible UBS named Used Book Superstore, with branches in Burlington, Danvers and Saugus. Hardbacks were 10% of the original cover price and I can't remember how much paperbacks were, but cheap enough so my brother had to mail several book boxes to me because if I'd put all my loot in my luggage, I woudn't have been able to lift it. Much cheaper than my local UBS, which charges 25% of cover price for mmpbs and 1/3 to 1/2 of cover price for hardbacks.