Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Question about time - Answered

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 time - Answered
Date Posted: 1/1/2010 10:26 AM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2007
Posts: 213
Back To Top


I have been a member for years, and this is something I have not seen before.

Do requests normally time out when they are supposed to? I had received an offer for a WL book before Christmas, and I accepted it. The poster accepted and selected the last possible mailing day (yesterday) but did not print the wrapper.  The time to mail came and went, but my request did not time out. 43 minutes after the deadline, the sender printed the wrapper and marked it “Mailed” - at 11:43 PM ET on New Year’s Eve (Umm, really? ;) )

I was hoping the request would time out and move on to the next poster. I know that folks have reasons for picking the last possible day, but honestly, in my experience, about 50% of the time these are the requests that are never mailed or end up with postmarks 2 weeks AFTER they were “marked mailed” (especially when the request is marked mailed at the last possible second). I really don't want to start 2010 off with a problem request ;( (crossing my fingers).

So, the reason for my post. I live in the Eastern Time Zone, so there was no confusion on the time. Any thoughts as to why my request did NOT time out when it was supposed to? Am I missing something? I can see if it takes the system some time to update the status and all, but why was the sender able to access the request after the deadline? Seems odd to me.

Last Edited on: 1/2/10 4:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 1/1/2010 10:29 AM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
Back To Top

I think, no matter what, you get until midnight of the last day - or maybe even later. I get the feeling there's a job that runs overnight every night to time people out.

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 10:31 AM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,334
Back To Top


You have 48 hours after the date you agreed to mail to mark the transaction mailed.  So if they selected the latest possible date (5 days), they would have two more days "grace period" to mark mailed.

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 10:49 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
Back To Top

Here's the doc info...


Swapping Deadlines

Here is a list of deadlines associated with the PBS swapping process:

  • A sender has 5 days to respond to a request.
  • After accepting a request by clicking "I can mail in the next 2 days", a sender has 5 days to mark the book mailed. The deadline is at the end of the fifth day.


  • After accepting a request by clicking "I can mail later" and choosing an alternate mailing date, a sender has 2 days beyond the alternate mailing date to mark the book mailed. The deadline is at the end of the second day.

A requestor has 48 hours to respond to an offer of a book from her Wish List.

A book has 26 days from the "mailed" date to get to its destination before it is declared "lost in the mail" at PBS.

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 11:09 AM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2007
Posts: 213
Back To Top

Well, the "original" deadline was 12/29, and the "grace period" ended at 11:00 PM ET on 12/31 (request was accepted on 12/24).

I think Rick must be right that the system defaults to midnight even though an earlier time is listed as the deadline. That makes sense I guess, but then PBS should just say that, no?

Rick, a PBS Team on Kiva? Ooooh. I didn't know. I almost have enough credit for another loan, so I'll go join the Team now!

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 11:14 AM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,334
Back To Top

All PBS transactions roll-over at 3am ET.

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 11:57 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

It's not 3 am for all transactions.

If you post a WL books and they don't respond it rolls over at the next full hour. So if you post the book as 10:15 in the morning it rolls it over at 11 am 2 days later. 

So that may have been the case-it would have timed out at Midnight-the next full hour if they hadn't marked it mailed. 

I have a request now where the time is actually before my mail by date. I picked a 1/3 mail by date and its going to time out on 1/2.  I sent in feedback.  They said to mark it mailed early and they would figure out what happened. 

I would give them the benefit of the doubt-they could have just gotten busy with the Holidays. 

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2007
Posts: 213
Back To Top

Ok, that does make sense.

But if that's the case, then shouldn't the "This book must be Marked Mailed by 12/31/2009 11:00 PM ET " message read 12:00 instead? Seems like a simple programming change to round up to the next hour.

I apologize for over-analyzing (I'm an engineer, and I'm not sure I can help it :).) 

I guess I was thinking this might be a "glitch" and possible opportunity for improvement, but it really doesn't matter much so I will stop thinking about it now.

( Maybe it didn't time out because... <sigh> I'm like a dog with a bone.)


New Year's Resolution - "Less over-analyzing."

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,204
Back To Top

Nicole - I would suggest sending in feedback and asking them what happened.  It could be that they need to reword the front page, or it could be that there was a system glitch that they need to look into. If we don't let them know about problems, they can't fix them.

Last Edited on: 1/1/10 6:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/2/2010 4:23 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2007
Posts: 213
Back To Top

Well, I asked and was answered:

Dear Nicole,

The system actions each day take place when the servers are least stressed - around 3 AM ET.  So the cancellations happen then.

We hope this information is helpful. Have a great day!

The PaperBackSwap Team

So it seems that the 11:00 PM "deadline" wass not a true deadline after all.