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Topic: Question re: accruing credits

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Subject: Question re: accruing credits
Date Posted: 5/1/2010 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2010
Posts: 44
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I'm a BookMoocher turned PaperBackSwapper. And any of you who are familiar with BM also know how easy it is to accrue credits there. So, I've had quite the culture shock coming here and having to fight for any credit whatsoever.

My question is, are there any tips to actually being able to get credits? That sounds so stupid, but really.... I'm just overwhelmed. I'm getting notifications about books on my WL, but I'm having to deny them all because I have no credits.

So, from a newbie to all of you seasoned PBSers, what do I need to do to get my books out the door and into someone else's hands? Is success seeming to revolve around community involvement (forum participation) or is it just luck of the draw.... or is there some other magical formula out there I'm totally missing?laugh

Please note: I'm not credit begging, and I'm not being sarcastic. I guess I'm just overwhelmed at the huge difference and am looking for some encouragement to keep going, because things just aren't moving quite like I'd expected from such a big site.

Date Posted: 5/1/2010 1:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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I'm getting notifications about books on my WL, but I'm having to deny them all because I have no credits.

You are aware that you can buy credits at the Kiosk, or buy them at the Bazaar? Kiosk runs about $3.45 a credit IIRC, and it was down to $2.50 or so a credit at the bazaar when buying from private individuals. Most will take Paypal, but some will work with other forms of payment.

what do I need to do to get my books out the door and into someone else's hands? Is success seeming to revolve around community involvement (forum participation) or is it just luck of the draw....

The site works on the FIFO system. First In, First Out, so you can post your books and they'll be in line until thier turns comes up to be ordered. Sometimes posting on the forums works, as you can list books or deal in your signature line. (But not everyone sees them, I have Sigs turned off.) Just be careful of trying to 'sell' books off your shelf in forums where it'd be off topic.

You can go to the bazaar and offer multiple books for fewer credits. That usually will get books moving, gets you orders on books that might not move in a while, and you save on postage money by being able to mail the books in bulk. (It's really not that much more to add a second book to a media mail package.)

You can pick up cheap, postable books elsewhere to build up a small bookshelf. Nineteen books isn't a lot to chose from. Garage sales, thrift stores, Freecycle, and Friends of the Library will have cheaper books that you can pick up to post. Just be careful that you're not spending so much on the books and postage that it'd be cheaper to buy a credit here.

Join Box-of-Books (Under the "Community" tab) I think it's about $8 a year, but then you'll be able to make book-for-book trades with other members and not have to use any credits at all.

There are games and other contests/virual trades you can participate in the games forums. I've not done any of them yet, but you might get to read more books that way.

Date Posted: 5/1/2010 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Also think about putting books on your wish list on hold.  This is a great feature for when we are low in credits.  You can individually mark the books on hold.  Or the whole page.  You will continue to move up the line, but you are not offered the book until you mark it to be un-held.  This is really great for a series,  You do not get book 3 until after you get book 2.

Wish list hold is different than bookshelf hold.  You do not want to use individual book shelf hold, only vacation hold.  Book shelf hold puts you at the end of the list.

Also note that you can post DVDs and CDs for credit at the linked sites.  We can transfer credits between the three sites.

Date Posted: 5/1/2010 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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When I first joined here, I started haunting rummage sales, estate sales, thrift stores, etc. for books that people were wishing for. (Go to the "Top 50" under "Community" to see the most requested as well as the most listed books in the system. ) and I quickly had more credits than I knew what to do with. Just today I went to a bag sale at a rummage sale -- fill a grocery bag with anything you can find for $3 -- I picked up a dozen books, amongst other things and half of those books were on wishlists -- voila! A quick 6 credits! Do a little homework and you will quickly get a sense of what people are requesting. Best tip? Go with trade size books over mass market paperbacks and stay away from people like Nora Roberts, Dan Brown, John Grishom -- basically anyone of the "most listed" list under the Top 50's.

Good luck!

Date Posted: 5/1/2010 1:30 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2010
Posts: 44
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Thanks so much for your comments! I'll look into your suggestions, Cindy. And Emily, I'll definitely look into the DVD/CD options too. smiley

Date Posted: 5/1/2010 2:19 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome to PBS Jami, we hope you enjoy yourself here!!

Date Posted: 5/1/2010 4:45 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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Hi Jami! Welcome to PBS!

Something else you can do is prioritize the wish listed books in your TBR (to be read pile): read those first so you can post them and get credits.

When I first started, I bought credits and that helped me out to build my stash of books to read and post. Now I'm almost never without credits. :)

Date Posted: 5/1/2010 5:05 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I would definitely recommend that you book your bookshelf on hold.  That way, you won't lose your place in the FIFO line when you get some credits to spend.

I bought 10 credits when I first started swapping here.  That gave me plenty of cushion to accept the books that were offered to me as I worked to mail out books to gain credits.

Check the "books for sale" at your local library.  I usually pick up three or four books for a buck apiece everytime I go to the library.  I simply scan the books on the shelf and pull the titles I think will be on the WL.  Then I go to a computer and pull up PBS to check the ISBNs.  If the book is on the WL, I post it (after CAREFULLY checking it for stains, water damage, writing/underlining!) and pay on my way out.  Easy schmeasy.  I find that most of the books that I post are romance books since people tend to buy them as they are published and then get rid of them.  Cool beans for me!

Date Posted: 5/1/2010 5:21 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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My eyes are bigger than my ability to read quickly.  I've bought 2 to 1 credits in my stay here.  But then I can't get out to look for books. You can bet I would if I could.  I think that would be part of the fun.  It would be "the thrill of the hunt". 

Good luck and welcome to PBS!


Date Posted: 5/1/2010 6:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2005
Posts: 1,328
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I'd put your wishlist on hold until you have credits, not your bookshelf or your account.

Paperbackswap gives a credit for each new member referral, so if you know people who might be interested, give them your link and ask them to sign up under you.

Edited to add referral information: Go to "Spread the Word" page at PBS (under Community)

Last Edited on: 5/1/10 6:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/1/2010 7:03 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2010
Posts: 44
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Thanks to everyone for your tips!! I appreciate it!

I have definitely put my wishlist on hold. I have also done some referring, but unfortunately no one I know is truly interested in swapping books! How awful is that?! 

Thanks to everyone for the tips and especially the warm welcomes.heart

Subject: Helpful hints
Date Posted: 5/1/2010 8:24 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,448
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All of the suggestions are good ones.  All of us at one time or another were new and just waiting for that first requst.  I looked at your bookshelf and  I wouls say try to expand the genre of books available.  If you can't talk someone into joining so you can get a credit, then ask friends and rellies if they have any books in good shape they want to get rid of...offer to take them off their hands.  Hit rummage sale, theSalvation Army, Goodwill, Friends of the Library sales. And I also would put the WL on hold.

Last Edited on: 5/1/10 8:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/1/2010 8:49 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,715
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A quick glance at your shelf shows you have mainly harlequin/silhouette category romances.  Let me tell you that those won't move much except at a 3 book for 1 credit deal.  Or better.  That's mainly the kind of books I started out posting.  Heck, I STILL have a ton to post.  I got rid of a bunch by running 3 for 1 or 4 for 1 or 5 for 1 deals.  I put it on my bookshelf header, in my profile, in my forum signature, and I'd post in the Book Bazaar every now and again.

You can mail 3 or 4 of those books for under 1lb and really save yourself on postage.

Date Posted: 5/1/2010 9:26 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 5:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/1/2010 10:56 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 5,770
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Yes , I agree with the ladies who said to put a deal into the book bazaar. That will get people looking at your self. and hopefully ordering.

and welcome!

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 12:28 AM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2007
Posts: 52
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I find new books at Dollar Tree and SO many are on wishlists....have bought several copies if they are...and make lots of people happy! And I build up my credits :)

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 1:08 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Jami, If your friends and family don't want to join but do have books, offer to take them off their hands. 

Also if you do emailing very much you can put a link into your emails about joining PBS and your ID is embedded so it someone does join by using the link you'll get a credit once they list their first 10 books.

I believe you can find the info about the link in the Spread the Word about PBS under the Community tab.


Date Posted: 5/2/2010 2:14 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 37,900
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Date Posted: 5/2/2010 8:51 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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Welcome, Jami! Yes, newbies suffer most because PBS is based on FIFO--which really is the fairest way to do things. The person who posted their copy of a given book first gets it requested first and so on. Unfortunately, if you post books that have a lot of copies in the system, it means playing a waiting game. If you have popular or wishlisted books to post, it's not so bad.

When I was new, I bought credits. I would still do that today if I needed to, although at the moment I'm 'comfortably well off' in the credit department. You can offer deals if you wish in the Bazaar, or post in the thread to call attention to your bookshelf so people can order directly from you. Visit local FOL (Friends of Library) sales or thrift shops to find cheap books to post, if you're inclined to do that. Most of the books I post are what I got here but twice a year I do a FOL sale run to beef up my shelf a little. Read those wishlisted books and get them re-posted. After awhile you get into a rhythm.

I would use the individual wishlist hold on books that you are approaching #1 in line for, if you don't have the credits available and don't want to purchase them. Putting your whole shelf on hold hides it so that if someone wanted to click on it to see what you have and possibly order something directly, they couldn't do that.

Anyway, welcome and I hope things pick up for you soon!


Date Posted: 5/2/2010 9:43 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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Hey Jami, I just ordered a book from you.  Got to help out a fellow Kentuckian!

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 10:27 AM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2010
Posts: 44
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Thanks for the tip about the book bazaar! I'll have to look into doing something like that soon! I definitely want to get the ball rolling, so to speak! I do check out library sales quite often, so I'll have to see what gems I can find to post here. And our Goodwill does have some great books every once in a while. Thanks so much for the suggestions. I've done a bit of reading on the forums; I just have to figure out how to step in there (learn the ropes) and participate. lol

Dawn, thanks for ordering! A fellow Kentuckian! Woot!cheeky

Date Posted: 5/2/2010 12:02 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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I have been here about 8 months now and rarely get requests for the paperback books I have posted since most of them are heavily posted and I am way back in the FIFO line.  The way I ended up with over 30 credits (for me that's a lot), is that I cleared out my book shelves of craft, cooking and gardening books I rarely look at.  I have to say that the credits were rather expensive (as opposed to a credit for a paperback) because most of the books cost over $3.00 to mail.  But, I also got the satisfaction of knowing that those books found a good home and that I made a lot of people very happy.

Another added benefit of getting rid of those books is that on several occasions the person ordering my craft book also ordered a couple of paperback books from my shelf.  I also saw an uptick in the number of paperback books I sent after I posted the craft and cookbooks.  I think it's because I had more people viewing my bookshelf and because I advertised the posting of my craft and cookbooks on the relevant blogs here.