Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Question about "condition requirements"

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Question about "condition requirements"
Date Posted: 11/14/2011 10:00 AM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2010
Posts: 1
Back To Top

I've received several requests for books requiring specific conditions. 

I'm fine with a "smoke free" environment - that could easily mean someone is very allergic (and as a non-smoker myself, I'd rather not read a book with that smell anyway!)

But, I often get requests that say things like "dust jacket must be included" ,  "absolutely no writing", or "no creases in cover".

My books are almost always nearly new.....but these requests make me hesitate to share my books!  It seems like these people might be re-sellers.  I'm here to share with like-minded people, not to help someone make a buck.   Any thoughts? 

Date Posted: 11/14/2011 10:09 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

There wouldn't be much profit in people using PBS to acquire books for reselling.  Unless you are posting rare out of print books-they aren't worth much money.  Any books worth any real money are likely to have a waitlist and not be posted very often.  Then there's books that go lost, books sent already damaged, books damaged by the post office-having to purchase credits or mail books out to earn credits. Not profitable.

Some people are just picky. Some people want to give it as a gift. Some people are collectors who want a book that looks pretty on their shelf. Some people have just received 1 too many bad books and so put up conditions.

Last Edited on: 11/14/11 10:13 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/14/2011 10:13 AM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 2,311
Back To Top

Reselling is actually very rare here and with the "cost" of a credit isn't really profitable except in rare cases.

Many people request the DJ because they enjoy the artwork, enjoy DJs, or wish to keep the book.

No Writing is one of the guidelines for postability, however people tend to disregard it nearly as much as the no liquiid damage guideline.  [Sure people can send a PM for writing under the textbook clause, but none of the books I've received with writing came with a PM.]

Again, people may be wanting to keep the book, or enjoy a clean copy, or want to make sure they're not receiving a book where the spine is so creased it's basically white.

What it boils down to is ...People with RCs are allowed to have whatever they want as their conditions.  If you can't/won't/etc meet the RC, just decline and move on.  Most people with RCs understand that it may take longer to get the book(s).  Trying to speculate as to why someone has those conditions isn't really worth the bother.  [Unless it's a really crazy one, then it's fun to speculate.]

Date Posted: 11/14/2011 10:25 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
Back To Top

What everyone else has said. Don't take it personally and know that if you turn the request down because you are not comfortable with their conditions, know that your book will be the next one to be requested.

Date Posted: 11/14/2011 10:30 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
Back To Top

If you don't want to fulfill the request, just don't.  "Does not fit requester's condition" is all you need to say in the response.  You don't need to feel guilty about it because it's more of a business transaction than anything. 

Date Posted: 11/14/2011 11:25 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
Back To Top

People have conditions like that because the site allows them.  Allowing conditions helps ensure that everyone gets a book that pleases them. 

Just read the conditions - then it's up to you to send your book or not. If you feel uncomfortable with the RC then send your book to the next person.  Nothing to fret over.

Date Posted: 11/14/2011 11:59 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,173
Back To Top

As to dust jackets, I won't even take free books without dustjackets. (Well, I will, but they go straight to the library as donations. Which sells them for 25 cents (when most hardcovers go for a dollar or two) because many other people won't buy them without dustjackets, either)). I prefer that hardcovers have a dustjacket. Just like I prefer paperbacks to have covers. I won't read it if it doesn't.

As to reselling, there is not really an opportunity to make very much money reselling books that you obtain here at PBS. Most fiction sells for  extremely low prices at Amazon, unless it is brand new, or out-of-print. "Buying" a book on PBS costs a credit which costs $2.41 (more or less) .... so by the time you have paid that cost to obtain a book, and then paid the listing fees, and then paid to ship it to the next buyer .... you would have to be reselling it for a lot more in order to make a profit reselling it.

So, book resellers are the ones scooping up good books at FOTL sales, where the books usually cost much less than $2.41, or at garage sales, or at thrift stores. Or for free from Craigslist, or Freecycle.

Even if people are reselling books from PBS ... remember, the books you are offering here at PBS are books that you do not want anymore. And that you don't want to go thru the bother of selling yourself. So, why worry about what other people might do with them?

Date Posted: 11/14/2011 2:06 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 2,585
Back To Top

I'm one of those folks with a RC for a dust jacket - mainly because my Wishlisted books will go on my keeper shelf, and I want them to look pretty.  I'm also guilty of using the dustjacket flaps as a bookmark.  So, yes, I want my dustjacket!

Date Posted: 11/14/2011 3:07 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 626
Back To Top

PBS allows members to put any parameters they choose on their requests, but you can always decline those requests.  Personally, since I know people have certain condition restrictions because they plan on keeping a book permanently, I'll decline those requests because I'd rather my books be passed hand-to-hand. 

Date Posted: 11/14/2011 4:20 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
Back To Top

Here's another dust jacket person. I just like 'em and they look nice in my bookcase, so I ask in my RC that they be included and in good condition.

It's sometimes hard to not take a requester's RC personally. Especially the snotty, demanding, and condescending ones I sometimes come accross. The person does has a right to request anything they like in their RC, and you have a right to turn it down for any reason you like. If it's a WL book then there's always the next person in line, if it's on your bookshelf then someone else will come along. smiley

Date Posted: 11/14/2011 6:30 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
Posts: 1,328
Back To Top

I seldom request hardcover here, I usually wait for the paperback and if I can't wait, I'll purchase it new. But the few times I do request hardcovers through pbs, I add a dust jacket RC. I don't think I've ever kept a hardcover I requested here, I just like the jacket. To me, a book doesn't feel complete without a DJ or cover art, or without the blurb inside the flap or on the back cover.

As others have said, go ahead and decline if you're not comfortable with an RC. You'll probably get another request for the book and the requester will probably get another offer. Members with RCs understand (or will eventually understand) that there are those who can't or won't accept them. On the other hand, there are plenty of members who do accept RCs when their book meets them.

Date Posted: 11/14/2011 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,397
Back To Top

Another DJ RC here.  I do really prefer how they look on a bookshelf for my keepers; however, I probably only keep 10% of the ones I request.  But, I keep the RC in place for all HCs as it's easier to reswap if it has the DJ.

Date Posted: 11/14/2011 7:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
Back To Top

I used to have an RC for dust jackets because like others who have posted I just want my book to have a dust jacket.  Hardcovers just look "nekkid" without them.  But, awhile ago, I decided to delete my RC.  I don't think I've gotten any hardcover books without dustjackets since then, although I have gotten a couple with torn dust jackets.  Which since I don't have a dust jacket RC are perfectly acceptable.  And actually I'd much rather have a torn dust jacket than no dust jacket.

I also agree that I don't think resellers would use this site to get books for resale.  Just seems like it would be too much work for too little profit to me.  And the way I  look at it--if they want to resell my book that's their business.  I got my credit for the book, so I'm happy.

Date Posted: 11/14/2011 10:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2010
Posts: 1,540
Back To Top

When on my shelf, I find HC without dustjackets ofen make the title very difficult to read.  Some of them are embossed, or sunk in, or faded, etc.   As I got older, I just can't find what i'm looking for on my shelf if the DJ isn't on there.

I don't have an RC though, since I rarely order HC.

Date Posted: 11/14/2011 11:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2010
Posts: 1,540
Back To Top

<<<Unless you are posting rare out of print books-they aren't worth much money<<<<

and even if they are out of print or rare, they pretty much would have to be in pristine condition in order to have any value.

When I was in the publishing biz I used to go to all the antiquarian/rare book fairs in NYC.  You have to have something pretty special for collectors to be interested in. 

I once had a 1st edition, in near fine condition, of Faulkner's A Light in August. This particular copy there was only 1500 copies printed, so it was pretty valuable............  But even then, buyers are not interested unless the thing is in almost museum qualilty condition.    

So, I know a lot about the antiquarian market, or at least, I did many years ago.

However, if you're talking Amazon or something........surely you're joking about anyone making a buck off you? smiley I can get just about any used book I want there for 0.01.   :)   Then I still have to pay $3.99 in postage.    

For sellers there, in their TOS, Amazon keeps about 25% of the sale in various fees.  .  So, by they time the seller pays postage (figure about $3.01 for a hardcover), then pays Amazon their 25% in fees, and then they have to pay for a padded mailer, printer ink, tape, printer paper/labels, and gasoline to deliver to post office, I can't imagine why anyone would think most sellers make much of a profit.   To even break even, I figure they would have to charge at least $15 for a book to get back $5 bucks ?

My neighbor is disabled and sells on there.  I give him a lot of my books.   I took a look at his account because he asked me to.   The way he makes $$ is he sends out the book w/out DC.  That means $2.41.   Since amazon gives him about ONE DOLLAR more than that for shipping reimbursement, that is his profit.   but it really isn't a profit, when you figure in the otehr stuff I mentioned above.

I just don't have the heart to tell him that, at least it keeps him busy and he enjoys mailing out books.  :)

Date Posted: 11/15/2011 11:45 AM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
Posts: 1,924
Back To Top

 There have been resellers here before so I will not discount your worry. 

If you don't want to accept an RC, don't. There is nothing wrong with declining them all even if you wanted to. Doesn't make you a bad community member even. When I post books they are normally wishlisted and near new as well and I decline the picky RC's that want giftable books because I just rather give my books to some randome person on the in/out system who is not expecting a book that looks new.  -shrug- No big deal. 

mistie -
Date Posted: 11/15/2011 2:14 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,024
Back To Top

If you don't want to accept an RC, don't. There is nothing wrong with declining them all even if you wanted to. Doesn't make you a bad community member even. When I post books they are normally wishlisted and near new as well and I decline the picky RC's that want giftable books because I just rather give my books to some randome person on the in/out system who is not expecting a book that looks new.  -shrug- No big deal.

 I was going to type a response, but, Kim said it so well :-)