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Topic: RCs Too Strict?

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Subject: RCs Too Strict?
Date Posted: 2/8/2009 1:16 AM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2009
Posts: 2,680
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Hey all,

I'm hoping you all can give me your opinions on this. I just had a book request (from a book on  my WL) turned down because they weren't sure if the book met my 'strict requirements'. That's fine, because I have more than enough TBR books even now that I don't mind being passed over sometimes, but it started me wondering whether or not my RCs ARE too strict. I've made several requests, and had good luck with them for the most part. But could you please tell me if these sound too strict to you? I'm not really all that picky. Out of the several who contacted me, I've only turned down one, and most seem to accept without feeling the need to contact me at all. Anyway, these are my RCs, so please let me know how they sound to you:

I prefer my books to be in at least Amazon.com's Very Good condition or better. So, a minimum amount of wear, creasing to the spine, or dogearing to the pages is preferable. I like my hardbacks to have dustjackets, with the exception of rare, hard to find or out-of-print titles, in which case I'd understand if there isn't one.

I do have certain sensitivities, so I require that all books come from a currently smoke-free environment.

If your book is borderline, or you simply aren't sure whether it meets my conditions, then please PM me using the nickname tiffanyak to check. This can be done by using the member directory, or after accepting my request, whichever is easier for you. You can describe your book in detail and I'll get back to you soon. Thank you.

Date Posted: 2/8/2009 1:37 AM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2008
Posts: 836
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Hi Tiffany,

Since you're asking for opinions...here's mine  :)

First thing that jumped out was "Amazon.coms" standards.....since this is PBS....It's not likely that people want to go to another site to see if their book meets those standards....

The third paragraph re: if borderline.....Too many directions....    Could make the same point with  "If your book is borderline, please PM me, Thanks!"

The line in the middle re: sensitivities looks good!!

 

Date Posted: 2/8/2009 1:56 AM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2009
Posts: 2,680
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Cool. Thanks. See, sometimes it's hard to spot this sort of thing on your own. Some extra pairs of eyes can help a lot. I knew it could be phrased better, but for some reason I was having trouble figuring out how to do so.

As far as Amazon's very good condition goes, I tried to define it within the paragraph. Should I just take the reference to Amazon out altogether and just say 'I prefer my books to be in Very Good condition or better. So, a minimum amount etc...'? What do you all think?



Last Edited on: 2/8/09 2:03 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/8/2009 2:00 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Hi, Tiffany- I think the problem with your RCs isn't that they are too strict, but that they seem a little unclear.  I don't know what Amazon's standards are, but in the world of book collecting the term "very good" is standardized (regardless of the age of the book). I would take off the mention of Amazon, as it probably just confuses people.  Also people's definitions of "rare" and "hard to find" differ.  I don't think they are too strict, as they are your preferences, but as they are stricter then PBS's you should expect to be turned down now and then.  To be honest, unless the book I was planning on posting to you was near fine, I would probably pass.

Date Posted: 2/8/2009 2:09 AM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2009
Posts: 2,680
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Yeah, I realize I'll sometimes be turned down. I just don't want it to be because I'm too unclear, long-winded, or anything else. If I'm turned down, I want it to be because someone is sure that their book doesn't meet my conditions (or they just don't accept RC's).

Okay, here's what I have now:

I prefer my books to be in Very Good condition or better. So, a minimum amount of wear, creasing to the spine, or dogearing to the pages is preferable. I like my hardbacks to have dustjackets, with the exception of rare, hard to find or out-of-print titles, in which case I'd understand if there isn't one.

I do have certain sensitivities, so I require that all books come from a currently smoke-free environment.

If your book is borderline, or you simply aren't sure whether it meets my conditions, then please PM me using the nickname tiffanyak to check. Thank you.

The problem is that it's impossible to be so clear in my descriptions that everybody will understand with absolute certainty. That's why I put my name in it for people to PM me.

Anyone else have any suggestions for how I could be clearer or phrase it better? With 'rare' and 'hard to find', I'm not really sure there's a way to phrase it better, even though they do mean different things to different people.



Last Edited on: 2/8/09 2:16 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/8/2009 2:58 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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Since the guidelines for RC's say they should be perfectly clear and not require a PM, I would pass.   Also, I dont' buy used books from Amazon so I have NO idea what their standards are. 

I don't think they are too strict if they are what you want.   Anyone is allowed to have any RC's they choose.

I read and if my book falls into your RC's I will send it.   However - I will NOT PM you about it and I would NOT try to figure out what Amazon's standards are.  JMO

Date Posted: 2/8/2009 4:08 AM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
Posts: 1,924
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Plus amazon itself does not stick to it's own standards. I got two used books from Amazon, their own used area not a person selling through them, and they are in poor shape actually!   -grumbles-

Date Posted: 2/8/2009 4:30 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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As I see it, one of the main difficulties with RCs is that often they are very subjective, and that causes uncertainty.  If people are uncertain they then tend to hesitate or simply refrain from dealing with it at all by declining..

 

In the case of your RCs Tiffany, I'd probably be a little hesitant to send you a book.  My thoughts would be along the lines of:

  • "Does my definition of 'marginal wear' match hers?"
  • "She 'likes' her hardcovers to have jackets, but does that mean she'll RWAP if I send one without?"
  • "She 'prefers' that books be 'very good', but does that mean a RWAP if it's not?"

My suggestion would be to make you RCs less ambiguous by losing the words "prefers" and "likes".

 

I also think it's great that members have started to ask for opinions on their RCs, and that other members are so willing to give constructive criticism and suggestions in this manner.



Last Edited on: 2/8/09 4:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/8/2009 7:30 AM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 3,308
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I think your RC is probably clear enough, and if you expect to get turned down a fair amount I think it's fine.  You should get books in the condition you want.  There just aren't as many of them. 

I know that I would err on the side of caution, especially for a wl book, and turn this down unless my book was almost "Like New", but this would give you a book in the condition you want it.  This means that 85% or more of the time I'd pass on this one.  I also wouldn't pm about a wl book that I could send to someone else with less worry.  I might send a pm for a less requested book. 

Best of Luck!

 

Date Posted: 2/8/2009 8:20 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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Yeah, I realize I'll sometimes be turned down. I just don't want it to be because I'm too unclear, long-winded, or anything else.

Honestly, I would expect you to receive a lot of declines, for the reasons you mentioned in addition to the PM bit.  Most members will not PM ; like Karen said, if it's a WL book, why bother with it when you know it will go to the next person who will likely accept it w/o hassle?

I prefer my books to be in Very Good condition or better. So, a minimum amount of wear, creasing to the spine, or dogearing to the pages is preferable

IMO, this is far too subjective.  My first thought was the response that I would never send but know others have gotten and think you could possibly get:  most books swapped here are used and are likely to show it, so if you want VG or better condition, you are better off buying them new.  

 

Date Posted: 2/8/2009 9:39 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I wouldn't accept them either.  IF I can't tell by your RCS if my book meets them then your RCS are too confusing or vague and I'm not going back and forth to discuss it-especially if it's a WL book.  My books all meet PBS posting guidelines so if you want above that you need to be clearer then "very good condition" because my version of very good might be different then yours.

Date Posted: 2/8/2009 11:05 AM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,146
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Many people (like me) pass as soon as they see a request to "please PM me." It's an extra step that's NOT required by PBS, and causes a lot of headache. This could be part of the issue as well.

Date Posted: 2/8/2009 11:36 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,465
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Yes, I feel your RCs are too subjective too and I wouldn't PM back and forth discussing book condition when I can decline and someone else will take the book.

I have no idea if a book is rare, hard to find or out of print or what you would consider a rare or hard to find book.  I can see you'd get turned down a lot if people are posting hardbacks without a dust jacket because they wouldn't be sure if it was rare, hard to find or out of print.  Maybe list the titles you are willing to take without a dust jacket so people can clearly know if their HC without the dust jacket is one you'd want.

Date Posted: 2/8/2009 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2009
Posts: 2,680
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Wow, now I'm really glad I asked this question. It's good to get people's opinions and all, so hopefully my RCs will sound better after I take people's advice as much as possible and edit them a bit. Constructive criticism is useful that way. Maybe if I completely take out the part about PMing me? Do you think that would help? But then, what if someone does have a question and would PM me? Is there a way to phrase it better so it doesn't sound like I'm requiring a PM, but my name is there in case they do want to contact me? Also, I use the word 'prefer' on purpose. I wouldn't RWAP a received book if it didn't meet my perceptions of 'very good' or 'rare' or whatever, unless it very obviously couldn't have. For instance, if it's just borderline acceptable for PBS, it clearly couldn't be perceived as being 'very good'. Is there a way to make that clear? I actually have the requirements I do for a very good reason, but I certainly can't afford to buy the books new. So, turning off the RCs altogether isn't really an option for me. So, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Date Posted: 2/8/2009 1:49 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I think the suggestion about not using words like "prefer" is very good.  As I understand it, RCs are more about what you would accept, rather then what you would like best.  As it is worded, that is very unclear.  Words like "minimal" are also open to interpretation, whereas "No creasing of the spine" is clear. I think anything requiring a judgment call is what would be troubling to me, as well as many others. 

Date Posted: 2/8/2009 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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Yes, judgement calls make people nervous, because they don't want to have a big hassle later if their judgement is different than yours.

I think you need to decide whether these really are absolute conditions for you or not.  If you are truly "not really all that picky" as you say in your original message, why are you asking for books that are the next thing to brand new? If you really want books like that, well, you are picky.

There's nothing wrong with being picky, if that's your choice and you're willing to get turned down fairly often, but you can't reasonably ask people to somehow guess if this is a book you're picky about or go through email exchanges with you to figure it out. 

So, are these conditions or preferences? If they're only preferences, we really don't have the apropriate set-up to cope with that here at PBS.



Last Edited on: 2/8/09 2:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/8/2009 2:24 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2008
Posts: 66
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After reading your RC's, I would pass every time. Way too subjective, and I don't want to bother becoming entangled in a RWAP over a difference of opinion. I know my books meet PBS guidelines every time, but will they meet yours? I shouldn't have to figure out somebody else's opinions on a trade, that's what the guidelines are for. Pass.

What you are asking for is basically brand new condition on a used book site. I can't help but think this will cause a large percentage of your possible swaps to be declined.

I agree with Willa above... you would probably be better off just buying new.

 

Date Posted: 2/8/2009 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 9/15/10 12:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/8/2009 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2009
Posts: 2,680
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Thanks Cindy. Your post is especially helpful to me, since it suggests ways to amend my statement, rather than just saying my statement is too uncertain. I'll definitely use your suggestions, and see if I can make my RCs more clear that way. I do understand I'll likely be turned down sometimes, possibly quite frequently, but as I said earlier, I have the requirements I do for a very good reason. Fortunately, I also have patience.

And thank you to everyone else for your feedback. I appreciate it all and find it very helpful.



Last Edited on: 2/8/09 3:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/8/2009 4:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 9/15/10 12:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/8/2009 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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"Is there a way to phrase it better so it doesn't sound like I'm requiring a PM, but my name is there in case they do want to contact me?"

 

Easy... just end it with:

"My club name is tiffanyak and I thank you for reading these conditions."

 

Short, polite, and lets people know who you are in case they want to contact you.

Date Posted: 2/8/2009 4:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2009
Posts: 2,680
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Duh. -slams forehead against desk- Thanks Bernhard. I feel like an idiot now, but I was having a bit of a brain block and nothing was coming to me for some reason.

Date Posted: 2/8/2009 9:56 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,690
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Wanted to see if I could give you some ideas on a rewrite...you might have already fixed them though...

1.)  Books need to be in Very Good condition or better meaning no shelf wear, only a couple spine creases, no dogearing of the pages. 

2.)  Hardback books need to have dustjackets. (Exception: *here you list the one's that fit the HTF, OOP books*)

3.)  Due to sensitivities no books from currently smoke-free environment.

Thank you

Tiffany K (tiffanyak)

Date Posted: 2/8/2009 11:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2009
Posts: 2,680
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Thanks Christy. I did use part of your rewrite. I appreciate the help.

Date Posted: 2/9/2009 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2008
Posts: 150
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I like Cindy's. It is short and to the point. Except please don't use bold. I think it looks rude and I refuse anything rude. Bullets keep it looking clean and simple. I also refuse anything that isn't exact. I would be willing to pm a person however, so leave it in. As a matter of fact, I was annoyed to decline someone once because I couldn't just pm them, I would just say:

If you would like to pm me about the condition, I am tiffanyak and can be found in the member directory. I will happily clarify any of these conditions. However contacting me is not required.

 

Good Luck!

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