Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Should I RWAP this one?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Should I RWAP this one?
Date Posted: 8/18/2010 2:55 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2009
Posts: 32
Back To Top

I just received a book that upon opening, smells very bad of serious Febreeze or something like that - problem is that my requestor conditions state no cigarette smelling books or mildew smelling books due to allergies.  I immediately took the book outside to air it out, I don't think it will help.  I have the empty envelope sitting next to my desk and it's stinking up the whole room.  I can tell that it definietly had mildew damage at some point, and can faintly smell it underneath the cover-up odor. 

Also, it has a lot of pen underlining, but it's a textbook. Not too upset with that, but aren't they supposed to PM before sending?  RWAP or not?

Date Posted: 8/18/2010 3:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
Back To Top

If you can smell mildew under the Febreeze, then I'd mark it RWAP.

IMHO, trying to hide existing smoke or mildew oders to me is still violating the RC. The book shouldn't have been sent to you if it ever had either smell.

Covering up the problem does not erase the problem. Nor should we expect to get books doused in chemicals. They don't come from the store that way and they shouldn't get passed around that way.

Date Posted: 8/18/2010 3:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2010
Posts: 52
Back To Top

What does RWAP stand for exactly? I'm new, but obviously I caught on that you either want a refund or at least an explanation....

If you specified no smoke or mold/mildrew due to allergies (I set up the same conditions as well, for the same reason!), to my understanding, you are entitled to a refund....But, how is that taken care of? Do you have to ship it back? (Probably pointless since the shipping may be more if it's a heavier text.) Or, does "PaperBackSwap" refund your credit???

I know I have barely answered your question, for I asked a series of my own questions! Sorry; just curious myself! ;)

Date Posted: 8/18/2010 3:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2010
Posts: 52
Back To Top

p.s. I agree with Cindy. The extra chemicals from Febreez might also trigger allergies, let alone the odors that are merely masked underneath, which can cause allergic reactions all on their own...

Date Posted: 8/18/2010 3:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
Back To Top

You could not even touch the smell issue and mark it RWAP - damaged by sender since writing in a book is not allowed UNLESS it is approved by the requester in PMs PRIOR to sending the book.

You say that the book has obvious signs of mildew - what do you mean by that? Mold is not allowed. If it is obvious signs of previous water damage that is clearly RWAP. If it is staining due to mildew or mold, that is also RWAP.

Otherwise I would approach the smell something like this: "Unfortunately the mildew smell is too strong for me to be able to use the book despite the efforts you made to clean up the smell. Please return my credit so that I can request a different copy that I am able use." I would be short and to the point.

Smell RCs are hard. Most of the time if a book has picked up the smell of its surroundings (like smoke and mustiness) the person sending the book is so used to the smell that they don't realize its there. The Frebeeze could be used to hide something they knew would be a problem, or it could be someone with a bad nose attempting to be "safe".

Date Posted: 8/18/2010 3:12 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2009
Posts: 32
Back To Top

Good questions Rochelle!

RWAP = Recieved With a Problem 

I don't know if I will have to send it back.  It was a heavy book, I think I'd just as soon eat the credit then.  This is my first one since I've been on Paperback Swap and I feel terrible for doing it - I just want to make sure it's not my fault I didn't write Febreeze/chemical smells, etc. in my conditions. 

Just took the envelope out to the garage - I was getting queasy - it smells like a horrible combination of mothballs and some sort of Febreeze product.  Febreeze alone couldn't smell that awful! frown

Date Posted: 8/18/2010 3:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
Back To Top

Rochelle - for good information on what happens in a RWAP situation you can read the Help Center Docs The receiver says there a problem with a book I sent! or There is a problem with a book I received!

Date Posted: 8/18/2010 3:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
Back To Top

RWAP = Received with a Problem.

to my understanding, you are entitled to a refund....But, how is that taken care of?

The sender has to voluntarily return the credit. Unless they admit in PM's that they knew the book violated the RC, the site owners/volunteers won't get involved. If the sender doesn't want to return the credit, then they just don't. But you can mark the transaction "Unresolved" and that leave a mark on their record.

You can read more at....

http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/search.php?terms=Received+with+a+problem

And you don't have to return the book that you mark as damaged. You can if you want to, but the sender should first refund you two credits. 1) For the damaged book to return your original credit and 2) to pay for postage. (or you can agree to have them send you postage costs a different way.) You certainly don't have to agree to send the book back on your dime, since you did nothing wrong.

But if you take the second credit for the return of the book, then you have to return it. So don't offer to do something you're not really willing to do.

And when filing a RWAP, you need to ask for the credit back on the form, so that they get official notice that you do want the credit returned. (Sometimes, people will mark a book RWAP, but use the form to send info to the sender while not asking for a credit back.) If the sender doesn't answer the RWAP notice and your request in a week, you can then contact TPTB (The Powers That Be = Site owner/PBS Team) and they'll send them a message that they have to respond. They may say 'No Refund', but they can't ignore you.

 

Date Posted: 8/18/2010 3:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
Back To Top

You don't have to send it back unless they give you 2 credits. One for the refund, and one for the shipping cost. If you don't want to send it back at all, even with the extra credit, you don't have to. Just ask for a credit refund so you can order another copy. If they want it back, let them know you'd rather not. Hopefully at that point they'll have refunded your initial credit and it won't be a big deal when you tell them you don't want to send it back.

Date Posted: 8/18/2010 3:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2009
Posts: 32
Back To Top

You say that the book has obvious signs of mildew - what do you mean by that?

The top half of the front cover is covered with little mildew spots and water stains.  I just hope I'm not being overly fussy - the book is 40 something years old, and I wouldn't mind the stains, but the smell -  P-U!

Date Posted: 8/18/2010 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
Back To Top

You never have to send a RWAP book back unless you wish to, and only if the sender provides postage.

From the help docs:

  • A requestor does NOT have to return the item in a "problem" transaction
    • if the sender wants the item back, he or she should send postage or a credit to pay for its return.
Date Posted: 8/18/2010 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,852
Back To Top

Well, I wouldn't assume that the sender is the one who Febreezed it. They may have gotten it that way. But, yes, if you can smell mildew you shoudl RWAP it. Like Melanie said, smells are tough, though. The sender may not have been able to smell the mildew. Now, the writing is another issue ... they are required to PM first and get your acceptance of the writing first. So, you could also RWAP on that issue.

Rochelle,

When you mark a book "Received with a Problem" you can request a credit refund from the sender. You must write them a message (PM) and explain the issues with the book and specifically request your crdit back. The sender returns the credit at their discretion. You are not obligated to return the book to the sender. Once you have the book, it is yours.  However, if the sender wants the book back AND if they compensate you for the postage back to them (either by giving you a second credit or by mailing you stamps (or some other mutually acceptable way) ... then it is considered polite to mail it back. But you are under no obligation to do so. Paperbackswap will not get involved in transaction disputes. (They do not have the book and cannot see the condition). They will get involved if the other member does not respond to your messages or is rude about it. (You would have to report that). But, they will not refund your credit or force a credit refund. (There have been limited exceptions to this in cases where the sender blatently admits sending an unpostable book in writing but refuses to refund the credit).  In general,, though, they will not get involved in a book condition dispute.

Date Posted: 8/18/2010 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,852
Back To Top

Regarding the "mildew spots" ... are you sure that is not foxing?

Foxing is a natural aging process that paper undergoes when it is old ... you may see it as yellow to dark gold or brownish "spots" that start to appear. In my books that are old, it usually appears as pinpricks of spots ... although they do start to get larger as the book ages even more. In some of my books, they start to become more splotches than pinpricks.

Old books also often smell musty. I would not consider that to be mildew damage.

Foxing is postable.



Last Edited on: 8/18/10 3:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/18/2010 3:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
Back To Top

The top half of the front cover is covered with little mildew spots and water stains

Liquid stains of any kind are not allowed unless the book was a cookbook. Even then, they have to tell you ahead of time of the stains.

http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/search.php?terms=liquid+damage

Overall Condition:

  • No damage at all from water or other liquid
  • Not soiled
  • No stains (exception for cookbooks--see below)
  • No mold
  • no highlighting, underlining or writing on text pages (exception for Textbooks/Workbooks and travel guidebooks --see below)

So you have two seperate complaints with this book. While you may have trouble finding some elderly books in good condition, they can't be sent unless the sender lets everyone know ahead of time of the defects. They can offer them at the Bazaar with full disclosure, but they can't just list them and send them out without your okay first.

Date Posted: 8/18/2010 3:28 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2009
Posts: 32
Back To Top

Now, the writing is another issue ... they are required to PM first and get your acceptance of the writing first. So, you could also RWAP on that issue.

Do they have to PM even though this was a text book?

Regarding the "mildew spots" ... are you sure that is not foxing? 

Sara, that's a good question...the spots have that "dusty" sort of feel, and combined with the water stains, I'm probably just assuming it was mildew.  There is not other foxing anywhere on the book. 

Date Posted: 8/18/2010 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
Back To Top

Do they have to PM even though this was a text book?

They do.  And they cannot send the book unless they receive a clear okay from the recipient.

Date Posted: 8/18/2010 3:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
Back To Top

The top half of the front cover is covered with little mildew spots and water stains.  I just hope I'm not being overly fussy - the book is 40 something years old, and I wouldn't mind the stains, but the smell -  P-U!

If there are water stains on the book, please mark it RWAP, no water stains at all should be on a posted book.

Foxing is usually more prevelent on the page edges, not half of the cover and it wouldn't be accompanied by water stains, just little spots so that doesn't sound like foxing to me.

Date Posted: 8/18/2010 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,852
Back To Top

Yup, water stains automatically make the book unpostable, too, so there is your third reason.

On my really old paperbacks, although I agree that foxong usually seems to start on the page edges, I do get foxing on the covers particularly. Sometimes portions of the cover even "dissolve" (get so yellowed and aged that they start to disappear) from the outside edges of the cover in. (These are books that have never been water damaged or stored in a basement. They are just old.)

Date Posted: 8/18/2010 8:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 599
Back To Top

I would RWAP it for the underlining alone! But you might as well mention the smell and the water spots as well. 

I supposed if you RWAP for not meeting RCs, the sender could try to argue with you that it smelled fine to them. But the underlining is a very clear violation of postability, as well as the stains!

DEFINITELY RWAP this one. The sender might be sending out crappy books to other people as well.