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Topic: It's a question of trust

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Subject: It's a question of trust
Date Posted: 3/7/2011 12:43 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2010
Posts: 154
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I just read this part of a blog on another book swapping site. (Posted a month ago)

"[This site} is a community of trust, not of suspicion, and this policy sends a very clear message of trust. PBS, I feel, is a much more untrusting, suspicious place, and from what I read, the number of trades per day is much lower for most users, because of their approach."

I always had a nagging feeling that was true, but I always chalked it up to the fact that I read the forums (especially this one).

But now I wonder: is it them (The Team), or us that makes this a "much more untrusting, suspicious place"?

Here, especially in this forum, I see many people reacting to a post about a problem with another member by immediately assuming that the "other" (unseen) person is at fault. I see members copying and pasting from the 'Help Files' and presenting them as second only to the Ten Commandments as worthy of our complete obedience. (I see very few "this is a rule" statements in the Help Files - I assume for a reason).

Granted, the site itself presents a persona different than that other site. We are bombarded with ways to send money to the site (even to the point is messes up the sort on our wish lists). That in itself, rightly or wrongly fosters distrust since EVERYBODY is out to get our money these days. But still, it’s just a web site. In order to survive it must earn money to stay around (or have a very rich owner who doesn’t care…Bill Gates???)

I still come down to Pogo’s observation: “We have met the enemy, he his is us.” Perhaps it is up to us to make this a kinder, gentler, trusting place.

 

Think so?

 

wc

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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What other site is this? 

The others I've been a part of or know of have never seemed anymore trusting than PBS. Unless you mean you have to trust that the person will send your book in a reasonable time even though there are zero deadlines or consequences for not doing so.

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 1:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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I don't agree at all. The Team stresses trust quite a bit. If a sender says they mailed a book that arrives without a postmark on time, it is expected to believe them. If a receiver says they don't have the book, you should trust that they don't. The site trusts the sender to do the right thing and return a credit on a RWAP when warranted instead of just taking it away.  Your example actually shows a level of trust to me. If someone complains in the forums about something, most trust they are telling the truth.

We do have a much tighter set of rules on condition of books and some people don't like that at all, they'd rather they be able to use their own measure of acceptable on what they send.

 And this "...and from what I read, the number of trades per day is much lower for most users,"  I am pretty certain is wrong. I don't believe any other trading site has near the volume as PBS does.

And you must have just overlooked it in the Posting Criteria section, but it states right at the beginning:

These Guidelines are not suggestions.  They are criteria to which all books Posted here MUST comply.



Last Edited on: 3/7/11 1:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/7/2011 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,450
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I find that an increasing number of members expect books to be practically new. They not only expect buy demand that books shipped to them exceed the written rules for book condition. I have even read their posts where they openly exulted that they just found, on their very close page by page inspection, that a book had an unidentifiable foreign item around the middle of the book and that it left a small mark that they decided must be water damage. Therefore they had marked it WRAP and were so pleased that this was their second "free" book within a week. I find (based on reading threads) that this attitude has gotten to be pretty common.

Unfortunately, (it seems to me) the person receiving the book holds all the aces. If there is an argument over the WRAP, they are declared the winner.

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 1:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,980
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I'd have to say that I agree with Melanie.  I've participated in two other swapping sites and PBS is by far the superior experience.  As far as forums go, I've only been in the Swap.com forums other than here at PBS, and those people are NASTY to each other! 

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2010
Posts: 154
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What other site is this? 

Probably in bad taste to advertise another site. In any case I was not saying it is a BETTER site, just a DIFFERENT site.  Hint: BM

And this "...and from what I read, the number of trades per day is much lower for most users,"  I am pretty certain is wrong. I don't believe any other trading site has near the volume as PBS does.

Since PBS has so many more users that any other site, I find it possible that the number of trades PER USER is lower here - I don't have the stats that the blogger did, so I can't comment.

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 12/1/2009
Posts: 105
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I agree with the discussion of everyone wanting brand new books. A lot of people here want someone great for literally nothing. This is a big trust issue as confusing RCs with excessive subjectiveness make it possible for a sender to file a problem and get free books. This has gotten me to the point where i do not trust most of the requests that come with an RC. For every non-RC request, ive never had a problem.
Date Posted: 3/7/2011 1:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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A quick Google with the partial quote would let you know which book swap site the OP is referring to.

I don't think that PBS is very untrusting at all. It would seem that way based on the biased sample in this forum.

Here, especially in this forum, I see many people reacting to a post about a problem with another member by immediately assuming that the "other" (unseen) person is at fault. I see members copying and pasting from the 'Help Files' and presenting them as second only to the Ten Commandments as worthy of our complete obedience. (I see very few "this is a rule" statements in the Help Files - I assume for a reason).

I see this as an example of members being "too" trusting of the posters, without considering the unheard side. There are times when I refrain from posting because I don't want to strike a discordant chord. I cut and paste from the Help Docs because I assume that people would want documentation for what I am saying, i.e. I'm not pulling it out of my ***, in an academic reference-citing way. 

There are people who give away credits and people who've asked for loans in the correct forum usually get them. Do these examples show trust?

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 1:36 PM ET
Member Since: 12/1/2009
Posts: 105
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Personally, I prefer people who give advice to copy from the help docs. That's how I know for certain it is a rule and not an offered opinion.
Date Posted: 3/7/2011 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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I so completely disagree with that statement.

We see a tiny, tiny portion of PBS on the threads.  Of that tiny, tiny portion, we get a few who complain about books, about others.  How many complaints do you really see a week? a month?

I find this the friendliest, most caring site period.   I feel we show a lot of trust by sending and receiving books with no rating of either the books or the person.  I see the good deeds done in Share and Care, and ROAK forums and am at times amazed!

I see the caring of sending books to soldiers, of honoring members who have passed away by giving books to schools and many other ways.  This site is about more than books.

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 1:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I do that other site and read that post. That site is having lots of problems because of it's lack of rules.  People accept book requests and then let them sit for months without mailing. They load up their WL and then don't mooch books when they're posted.  There is a huge surplus of pts there and people are afraid to post books and mail them because they they can't get any books in return and their pts just keep piling up.  I get 3 times as many WL books here, in a timely fashion with few problems and that's with most of my WL on hold. 

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2009
Posts: 112
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I have to say I disagree with the OP as to there being an issue of mistrust associated with PBS.  I have been a member here for about 2 years and consider it a great site with people who love books as much as I do.  Yes, you have to trust that the person is going to send you the book you requested, but you also are held accountable when you say you will send a book. Additionally you have to trust that the other people are reading the posting guidelines and adhering by them.   As for the comment about everyone wanting a brand new book, I disagree.  Maybe I've just been lucky with the RCs I've gotten.  Most of them are just the basic "no books from a smoking environment."  I find that most of the books I receive do seem to be in extremely good shape, with some appearing as new.  I always try to send books that I myself would want to receive, and if I think there could even be the slightest suspicion about one I just keep it for my own use.  I also don't think some people are just looking to RWAP in order to receive a free book.  We have to trust that if the person marks it that way there is a legitimate reason behind it.  I have had to RWAP a few times due to issues with water damage or there being a cleaved spine.  Neither of these are allowed in the posting requirements.  I was not looking for a free book any of those times.  I was just looking for a book that met the posting rules. 

I also find that the people who post in this forum are very friendly and helpful especially when newbies have a question.  I love this site and consider it to have greatly enriched my life.  This site gives me the opportunity to share my love of books and reading with like minded people.  Thanks to everyone who supports PBS!

 



Last Edited on: 3/7/11 2:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/7/2011 2:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
Posts: 1,924
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 I find this site to respectful, compassionate, and wonderful.

Posting of the rules is clear, and respectful to one another. Not commandmants, those are optional, but rules and those are how we keep faith between one another and stay on the same page. 

I consider how people react here to those who feel they are wronged as first educated, taking in the facts and applying them to the rules and then compassion if the person was actually wronged and educated if they are not clear on the rules.

 I find the other site to be ify at best and sloppy and dissapointing, and a waist at worst. There is nothing worse than blind trust.

 If the team didn't not trust in the site, in us, then they would not expect us to be able to clear up our issues on our own! We would not trust eachother to follow the rules and then correct if they don't for some reason.

 As for being sold things, you are right, the site needs to be supported, someone has to pay to keep the lights on and it is a lot of work. How dare anyone want to be paid for the work they do right?!? Come now, do you actually know the financials of this site or how much Bill Gates gives to charity?

 After your post I feel like I would not be comfortable getting a book from you, you don't seem to like the site or the rules. Alas, the system trusts you and so if you had a book in the first in and first out line it would be sent to me and I would trust it was what it would be, look it over and mark it as it should be marked, no matter who sent it!

  You can trust I will follow the rules. Now that is trust.

   Blessings.

   Kim

Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 3/7/2011 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
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But now I wonder: is it them (The Team), or us that makes this a "much more untrusting, suspicious place"?

That assumes the assertion is correct, which I disagree with. I've buddied strangers credits that they said they would (and did) return, people have sent me unpostable books that they said I could have and then decide if they were worth a credit. I trust people here.

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
Posts: 1,924
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Since PBS has so many more users that any other site, I find it possible that the number of trades PER USER is lower here - I don't have the stats that the blogger did, so I can't comment.

If the other site is much more trust worthy and wonderful one would think they would have more users....

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 2:34 PM ET
Member Since: 12/1/2009
Posts: 105
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I don't feel as though I am "bombarded" with ways to send money to the site. I do occasionally buy a credit or two but that's about all. I think if PBS were trying to make us send them so much money, it wouldn't be allowed for people to sell their credits to others for a discount in the forums, or there would be no limit on the amount of credits you can buy from PBS.
Date Posted: 3/7/2011 2:57 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2010
Posts: 754
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I've only been a member here for a couple months.  But I have bought credits from people in the book bazaar probably about 10 different times.  Every time I sent them money, they sent me the credits I asked for.   You have to have some level of trust to send someone money and expect them to friend you the credits in return.  

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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As for the money thing-would you rather they imput a mandatory yearly or monthly fee?  Or give people the option of when and how they want to contribute to PBS?

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I've had deals on the Book Bazaar, which is pretty much trusting the other person to uphold their word. I've never had anyone not send me books from one of those deals. I've not had any real issues with any of the books I have recieved or sent and I only use the PBS posting rules for my requests.  Of the books I have sent, hrmm maybe 3 RCs in them, for smoking or pets. Never the in brand new condition type Rcs.

I dont agree with the OPs comments because what is posted on here is such a tiny slice of what goes on in transactions each day.

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 3:08 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,331
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Hmmmm....given that the other site is open internationally it should be thriving and in much better shape than this US only site.  However, the site in question continues to be incredibly un-user friendly with absolutely no rules.  Obviously their numbers are a bit skewed as far as trading activity.  For myself there I've sent 190 books & received 205 (of course 75% of those are magazines for a craft project as there is very rarely a book I want).  Here, I've sent 1822 received 1155.  Yeah, that other one is sooooo much better and more active </end sarcasm>.

Yes, PBS offers items for sale to generate revenue for the site which in my opinion is about 100 times better than any other trading site available.  I will gladly help support a site that is functional because I really enjoy a search actually be relevant instead of bringing up complete nonsense like the other.

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 3:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,127
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copying and pasting from the 'Help Files' and presenting them as second only to the Ten Commandments as worthy of our complete obedience.

Well, this may be a clue.  I usually find that the people who are the most unhappy with PBS are the ones who haven't followed the site rules and have been called on it.  The rules in the help center should be "obeyed", since joining this site is voluntary and you're asked to sign the Terms of Use agreement when you join.  People that don't like PBS are welcome to join a different swap site, fortunately there are alternatives for anyone not comfortable here.

Diane

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,728
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I just read this part of a blog on another book swapping site. (Posted a month ago)

"[This site} is a community of trust, not of suspicion, and this policy sends a very clear message of trust. PBS, I feel, is a much more untrusting, suspicious place, and from what I read, the number of trades per day is much lower for most users, because of their approach."

I always had a nagging feeling that was true, but I always chalked it up to the fact that I read the forums (especially this one).

But now I wonder: is it them (The Team), or us that makes this a "much more untrusting, suspicious place"?

I completely disagree with this premise. Although I have been a member here less than 2 years, I am a very active member for both mailing and ordering books, and I do not see any evidence that this is a suspicious, untrusting place. I follow the site rules, I trust that everyone else is making a good faith effort to follow the site rules, and to be honest, I have very very few issues with books or anything else here.

Here, especially in this forum, I see many people reacting to a post about a problem with another member by immediately assuming that the "other" (unseen) person is at fault. I see members copying and pasting from the 'Help Files' and presenting them as second only to the Ten Commandments as worthy of our complete obedience. (I see very few "this is a rule" statements in the Help Files - I assume for a reason).

Of course we do. Most people here take someone who opens a topic at face value. We are trusting that they are presenting their side of the transaction in some kind of accurate way, at least according to their viewpoint of it. Why on earth would you do otherwise? If something seems off about the OP, people will speak up and (hopefully) gently let them know of the rules.

I cut and paste rules because that way, someone can see that the issue that they are asking about really is in the rules.

As to site rules being worthy of complete obedience .... I don't necessarily agree completely with each and every site rule but I follow them and I encourage others to follow them because at least, they give a baseline of behavior that you can expect all members to be following.  And, whether or not I agree with each and every rule, I like knowing exactly what to expect from my transactions here. And I am happy to follow the rules myself because I give others the same courtesy that they give me. What would be the point of a site like this having less rules? I have a lot of nice books that I am willing to trade because I know (or trust) that I will be getting nice books in return.  I can trust in this basic fact. Without rules, I would be hesitant to spend so much money sending out books in advance of receiving something in return, since without any rules, there would be plenty of members taking advantage by sending out books that should have been trashed long ago.

Granted, the site itself presents a persona different than that other site. We are bombarded with ways to send money to the site (even to the point is messes up the sort on our wish lists). That in itself, rightly or wrongly fosters distrust since EVERYBODY is out to get our money these days. But still, it’s just a web site. In order to survive it must earn money to stay around (or have a very rich owner who doesn’t care…Bill Gates???)

I have no issues with the site doing what it can to earn money. I would be willing to pay a fee to use it, in fact. Why should the site designers not be compensated for not only their ongoing work in designing the site, but the ongoing work and expense of running the site itself? Servers and databases are not free, and do not run or maintain themselves, last time I looked. Our money not only has to pay for the site itself, it has to pay the salaries of the people who work to maintain it.

I still come down to Pogo’s observation: “We have met the enemy, he his is us.” Perhaps it is up to us to make this a kinder, gentler, trusting place.

I actually find that this site works extremely well because of the trust I have in the overall site design, the owners of PBS, and the other members to be doing the things that they should be doing. The site rules actually work to foster trust in the site and its members. Not the other way around.

And, to leave the book world for a monent ... where do you send your kids to play? The house down the street where the kids run around and do whatever they want and seem to have no rules? Or the house down the street where you see the kids following rules similar to the ones in your own house?

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 9/9/2007
Posts: 9,898
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I just read this part of a blog on another book swapping site. (Posted a month ago)

"[This site} is a community of trust, not of suspicion, and this policy sends a very clear message of trust. PBS, I feel, is a much more untrusting, suspicious place, and from what I read, the number of trades per day is much lower for most users, because of their approach."

I always had a nagging feeling that was true, but I always chalked it up to the fact that I read the forums (especially this one).

But now I wonder: is it them (The Team), or us that makes this a "much more untrusting, suspicious place"?

Here, especially in this forum, I see many people reacting to a post about a problem with another member by immediately assuming that the "other" (unseen) person is at fault. I see members copying and pasting from the 'Help Files' and presenting them as second only to the Ten Commandments as worthy of our complete obedience. (I see very few "this is a rule" statements in the Help Files - I assume for a reason).

Granted, the site itself presents a persona different than that other site. We are bombarded with ways to send money to the site (even to the point is messes up the sort on our wish lists). That in itself, rightly or wrongly fosters distrust since EVERYBODY is out to get our money these days. But still, it’s just a web site. In order to survive it must earn money to stay around (or have a very rich owner who doesn’t care…Bill Gates???)

I still come down to Pogo’s observation: “We have met the enemy, he his is us.” Perhaps it is up to us to make this a kinder, gentler, trusting place. 

My question to you OP is  if it is TPTB that make this a "more untrusting, suspicious place" as you say, please provide concrete examples. 

You say that people reacting to another members problem immediately assume the unseen person is at fault.  To this I say "No Sir".  Depending on the information provided by the OP member reactions can go for or against the OP.  Many, many times people try to obtain more information in order to help this person either fix their problem or see the error of their ways.  It seems to me that you are only seeing some of the posts in this particular forum. Before you make generalizations review ALL of the forums and all of the posts.  There are thousands of trades that happen everyday most with no problems at all.  Personally, I have mailed 612 books and received 468 books and have had no problems. 

Copying and pasting Help Center docs is the perfect way to provide information regarding how the site operates.  How would you suggest this information be conveyed?  Proper information is much more helpful than hearsay.  The help center doc information may not say rule but it is assumed that as adults we understand that this is the way it should be.  TPTB realize that as adults we don't need to be told they are the rules - they just are.  And as for being second only to the Ten Commandments - you bet they are.  That is the only way this site can run efficiently and not be a complete free for all.

You appear to be a bit peeved that the site offers opportunities for members to keep it up and running but then turn around and say well all websites have to operate.  So which is it?  Personally, as an adult I know nothing is free and what I get from this site is certainly worth the 50 cents here or there or credit donation that I 'give back'.  If it isn't worth it to you then perhaps this isn't the place for you.

Lastly, of course it's up to us to make this site a warm and wonderful place and I think most of us acheive that. Who else do you think is going to do that?  A village is only as good as it's people. 

Date Posted: 3/7/2011 3:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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Isn't it kind of silly to ask such a question here? I mean...obviously people here like PBS or we wouldn't BE here, right? (Except for those few who hang around to stir the pot and poke sticks in people's eyes.)

Trust? Let me put it this way: I've been here for 5 1/2 years and sent (and received) hundreds and hundreds of books. About 1600 in each direction. Problem transactions? I can count them on one hand. I send a book, and I "trust" that it's going to get to where it's going and that it will be marked received. I order a book, and I "trust" that it's going to come to me in a timely fashion and in good shape. 99.5% of the time, that happens. Can't think of any other place where I'm likely to be that satisfied.

Cheryl

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 3/7/2011 3:51 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,124
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Unfortunately, (it seems to me) the person receiving the book holds all the aces. If there is an argument over the WRAP, they are declared the winner.

You know, I occasionally see people say this, and I truly don't get it. If you send a problem book, you still get a credit. It's up to you to decide whether or not to refund it. The one and only thing the other member can do is mark the problem "not resolved". This will not hurt you unless you have several such problems.
 
By default, the transaction is completed in such a way that the sender gets the credit and the requester gets the book (problem or not). Only the sender can change that outcome, so exactly what aces does the person receiving the book hold?


Last Edited on: 3/7/11 3:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
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