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Topic: Do you REALLY think THAT many books go missing?

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Subject: Do you REALLY think THAT many books go missing?
Date Posted: 2/25/2008 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 760
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I have a book that I've really been wanting that was supposedly sent at the end of January.  When I got the first message from PBS checking to see if it had been rec'd, I PM'd the sender.  I was really nice and was just asking if  maybe mailing it had slipped through the cracks.  I told her that I didn't care about that and if it had been mailed late, no big deal.  I never got a response at all, not even a rude one.

she has very few books on her shelf and even fewer on her WL.  She has her sent/rec'd books hidden (I know it's the default now) so I can't see if she's even been active lately. 

I know it's possible for books to go missing, but seriously, this is like the 4th one I've had go missing in the last 4 months.  It's really ticking me off. (and yeah, I know this isn't a new problem here and I'm not the only one it's happened to.  I just needed to get it off my fingertips...lol)

Date Posted: 2/25/2008 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Ive had a pretty high number of books go lost and I worried about it for a while until someone pointed out to me that the people who sent them may never have sent them at all. So I went back and checked the accounts sure enough about half of them are no longer members.

I know it doesnt cut the frustration of having them go lost in the first place but it did make me feel better cause I was starting to think I lived near a postal worm hole or something.

Date Posted: 2/25/2008 4:50 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 5,062
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I'm still waiting for a box of books that was supposedly mailed on 2/8.  But I've also had 3 book shipments arrive in damaged packaging--manila envelopes and bubble envelopes torn open (thankfully the books were still inside), and brown kraft paper torn--so I think there's something going on at the mail facility that processes my mail. 

Date Posted: 2/25/2008 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2006
Posts: 547
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My guess would be that at least 50% of all books that go lost were never sent in the first place.


Date Posted: 2/25/2008 6:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 760
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Kerry - I think you're onto something there.

Date Posted: 2/25/2008 6:53 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 5,091
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You inspired me to go check my transactions.  I've 6 books go missing, and 2 of the senders are no longer members.  Too small for a statistically valid sample, but that's still 33%.

Date Posted: 2/25/2008 7:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Kari of the 12 Ive had go lost on their way to me 7 are no longer account holders.

Date Posted: 2/25/2008 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 3/2/10 6:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/25/2008 8:05 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2005
Posts: 574
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Melani - sorry to hear you are having a problem with lost books.  Sometimes they show up WAY late.

I mailed some HC books, actually 8 of them in a good size box, around Christmas time and used DC.  I could track the books as far as Bell, CA where they were checked in on 12/29 and then Poof!!! nothing.  They just seemed to  disappear into Postal Heaven (?) or where ever they go.  Well, thru some perserverance on the part of the receiver and through good communication between both of us, the books were eventually traced by the PO and the requestor got them on Feb. 16th.  I know that they had to go cross country but they seemed to have taken the long, LONG route.  I am very happy that neither of us got burnt on that transaction. The requestor was honest (went into her transactions and marked them all received) and very helpful on her end, however, I think that next time I ship 8 HC books out to any ONE person, I'm insuring them.

Date Posted: 2/25/2008 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2005
Posts: 884
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I've only sent 4 books that went lost (all hardcover--3 to one person, in one package).  I didn't use DC, and it really ticks me off because they were VHTF BCE of a Debbie Macomber series.  At that time (November), I had 3 different packages going to 3 different people, all in the same state.  I PM'd them all, and got responses from each.  Only one of the 3 packages ever arrived. 

I've had a few books go lost enroute to me.  I once discovered that I never marked a book received when I was cleaning up my wish/reminder lists, and my neice said that she did have the one book.  I immediately marked it received and sent a PM to the sender appologizing for not marking it received (as it was an oversight).  They were happy to be getting that credit finally.



Date Posted: 2/25/2008 9:07 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 25
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I've had two so far since I started listing a few months ago. One I sent out and one sent to me.

Date Posted: 2/25/2008 9:25 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2005
Posts: 12,167
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I've had three books go lost on their way to me.  One was (admittedly) never mailed.  One was from a member who was a non-member soon thereafter.  The third I don't know about. 

So far, I haven't had a book that I mailed go lost.  I'm sure it will happen eventually, but I've mailed over 450 books and received about 350, so I have to agree with Kerry that the "lost" numbers are likely inflated by books never mailed.

Date Posted: 2/25/2008 9:38 PM ET
Member Since: 12/6/2007
Posts: 40
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last month i had a book go lost.  The person who was supposed to send it was new, so i figured that maybe they were just confused about something (at one point they PM'd me for my address and i had to advise them of the steps). 

I ordered another copy and now that has not shown up either and it was mailed over 2.5 weeks ago.  after reading some other PBS'rs advice i PM'd the sender to nicely inquire about when the book was sent.  the Sender responded nicely and said they had sent it a long time ago, but that they have also had some books go lost lately as well.  If this book goes lost (in about a week) i'm giving up on the book for a while and i'll just work on my TBR pile before i order it again... *sigh* 


Date Posted: 2/25/2008 10:28 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 5,062
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Well, some good news...that box of 3 that was mailed Feb 8 finally arrived today!!!!  Of course, I had gotten antsy, and when I found some of the same books at a local FOL sale for 25 to 50 cents each I bought them, so some of the books I received were immediately posted to my account.  Oh well.  The extra $1.25 I spent that went to the library went to a good cause...

Date Posted: 2/25/2008 11:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2006
Posts: 2,246
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My wife and I have had 4 books lost, out of perhaps 200 incoming books. I am pretty sure that 3 of the 4 were never mailed, and all 4 senders were no longer members within a couple months of the initial transaction. [ETA: The last lost book was in October 2006, so I'm not anticipating that it will turn up - ever.] We have not had an out-going book be lost ... yet. Again, just over 200 books sent out. I know one will be lost someday, matter of odds.

OTOH, we did have a book order from Amazon that never showed up.

Last Edited on: 2/26/08 5:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
patticom - ,
Date Posted: 2/26/2008 5:57 AM ET
Member Since: 11/3/2007
Posts: 416
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Up until a week ago I had two books go "lost"... one was just late in coming, the 2nd the sender actually PM'd me when she got the "lost in mail" notice to tell me that she forgot to mail it!!  She did send it then though, and I marked it received when it finally came. 

This week I had 4 books declared "lost," but it's due to the snow on the east coast U.S. cancelling and delaying flights over here (or so we are told).  I haven't received anything media mail for a couple of weeks now, only Priority or First Class.  They should come through eventually, though.  I don't really count it lost until it's been longer than 3 months; but then I've been at an APO for a long time.  :)

Date Posted: 2/26/2008 7:33 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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It's been awhile since I checked my 'stats' and here's what mine say: I've been a member since August 2005. I have sent 1,044 books and of those, four went lost. (So yeah, books DO go lost--I did indeed send all the books I marked mailed. LOL)

I've received 1,026 books and have a total of 17 lost books out there right now...of those, 9 of them were sent by people who are "no longer an account holder." No idea why they aren't an account holde anymore, but I think Kerry is probably right and at least some of them had their accounts cancelled for never mailing books.

That said, over the years I have had many other books on the way to me go lost only to show up a week or two late because they were actually sent weeks after they were marked mailed. WEEKS! I know life happens and sometimes people can't get things mailed, but a PM goes a long way in that case. Have gotten two copies of several books--some were wishlisted and I went to the front of the line when it went lost and had another copy posted, often a couple of days before the other one arrived so I couldn't get it off the WL in time. At least I can list those right away and get another credit for it. But I never re-order a non-wishlisted book that goes lost until at least a month after the lost date...because I would say 9 times out of 10 the first book does show up...mailed late.


Date Posted: 2/26/2008 7:51 AM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2006
Posts: 547
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I did just check my own trasactions.  1,400 books have come or gone from this house.  11 have gone lost.  4 were from, and each one that went lost had something different about them.  Like a different way of wrapping or mailed from a different post office or blue box.

7 have gone lost coming here.  3 from people that are currently not members.  The other 4 people seem to be active and mailing.

So I am willing to conceed my 50% might be high, but someone else mentioned 33% and I think that is a very realistic number.


Date Posted: 2/26/2008 9:48 AM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2007
Posts: 399
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I've been a member since September. I have recieved 44 books, and one of the books I requested was lost in the mail. That's about 2% which, judging by this thread is pretty good.

Date Posted: 2/26/2008 12:27 PM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 2,329
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Since I joined in July '07, I've had a total of 7 (all are active members) books to/from me go lost.  (208 received/252 sent)

2 sent by me (I use PBS DC)

    One said it was delivered by obviously was not delivered properly to the recipient

    Second's DC said "Enroute to , " and no further scans.  Bad PO!

5 on their way to me

    One was returned to the sender for some reason whom we then agreed to have it sent back out, but she never            sent it again.

    One I had received the wrong book - discourse with the sender was that the correct one was being sent to me,            only it never arrived. 

    The other three were just random disappearances.

I have had books take their time getting to me and getting to their destination as well.  Happy people on both sides to get the missing book.  :D 


Of course, most of my data is with my old address in Delaware.  I moved the beginning of last month, so we'll have to see if I have any troubles with the POs here now.

Date Posted: 2/26/2008 12:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/4/2008
Posts: 5,639
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Wow I have been lucky --  I just joined, but I haven't had  any lost in either direction.

Date Posted: 2/26/2008 1:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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I've been trading for about a year and have 107 total transactions with no books lost. The closest I came to a lost book was someone who forgot to mark the book mailed before the deadline. Fortunately, I did not have another copy posted to me (it was a WL book).

Now I've done it! I've gone and cursed myself.... (Off to drown my sorrows in a margarita.)

Date Posted: 2/26/2008 3:35 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 1
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I am a relatively new member and I am finding that people are saying books are sent but they actually dont mail them until weeks afterwards!  I mean for those who go to the post office for postage- the proof is right there.  I use the PBS prepaid postage, yes it may be a few more cents but the person requesting my books get them within the week!  I don't understand why most of my books are taking so long to receive. 

Date Posted: 2/26/2008 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 345
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I have sent one book that has been declared lost and, frankly, I'd be more inclined to actually believe that if the recipient would communicate with me.


ETA:  Because of the nasty weather we've been having the whole month of February, I've had to mark quite a few books "mailed" before they actually were, because I've been snowed in a total of fifteen days!  But -- as of now, anyway -- all of them are off to their respective destinations! 


If people would just request books *before* the storms come . . .  sheesh.  ;-)

Last Edited on: 2/26/08 3:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/26/2008 3:53 PM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2007
Posts: 1,313
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I've had 4 lost already (all on their way to me) and I've always assumed they were never sent in the first place.  Glad to see that I'm not the only one who thinks so.  I like to give people the benefit of the doubt but it just seems strange that none of the books I've sent have gone lost - only those coming to me.  It definitely makes me go hmmmmm..., espcecially when months later those members are gone.  I have another one about to go lost - I'll be shocked if it actually shows up.