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Topic: RWAP streak

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Subject: RWAP streak
Date Posted: 5/4/2012 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 4/10/2008
Posts: 169
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Out of the last 7 books I've requested in the past year, 3 of them have been RWAP at the fault of the sender. Water damage, big tears, highlighting and marking throughout, late postmark... *sigh*

Is it just me, or are more members listing books in unpostable conditions? PBS has done such a great job making their posting conditions so OBVIOUS. I only have 3 more credits to spend and I hope my luck gets better.

Date Posted: 5/4/2012 1:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,364
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My string of water-damaged books came my first or second year here.  I haven't received any unpostable books in the last 2 or 3 years that I can recall.  Maybe the fates chose you this year.  Hopefully by now you've served your time as their target, and the good books will start flowing again.

Date Posted: 5/4/2012 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2010
Posts: 22
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I have been on the swap for a little over a year.  I have received 62 books in that time. A few were questionable books, with one or two that were pretty bad, but half or more were in excellent condition. 

I never reported the bad books, but in the future I will.  I think that is the only way that people will stop posting them.  In the end, though, I always keep in mind that these are used books. 

I hope you get better books in the future!




Date Posted: 5/4/2012 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Yes, I've noticed an increase in unpostable books swapped.  Dunno if it's because my requests have changed, or membership has changed.  I've been ordering a number of classics & literature books to donate to a local school.  Many of these have arrived damaged and/or minus the proper textbook (underlining) protocol.  For the most part, my usual genre seem to be arriving in postable condition as usual.

Frustrating...but please do RWAP books that do not meet PBS swappability guidelines.  In the long run, it's better for everyone...regardless if it makes us feel over picky or unfriendly.

Subject: Bookshelf Deals
Date Posted: 5/4/2012 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2010
Posts: 399
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I have also noticed sometimes when I order off of people's shelves when they have a deal (through the Book Bazaar) that some of the books are definitely questionable.  Just because there's a deal on the books, does not mean the quality of the books should go down!!  :-(  If it's on their shelf, it should be postable - DEAL OR NO DEAL!  Oh, well.  I've had a whole lot more "good" books then "bad" so I can't complain too much.  I've only ever RWAP'ed once.

Date Posted: 5/4/2012 7:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
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These things go in spurts for me.  I have a string of RWAPs and a string of pristine books.  I see no reason for either.

If I could come up with the formula for pristine books, or the one to avoid RWAPs, I'd be very happy.

Date Posted: 5/4/2012 11:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2011
Posts: 634
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What I have noticed is the following pattern. This is my pattern only; I am not saying this is site wide.

YA Fiction- 2 out of 3 books arrive with an issue

Christian Fiction 1 out of 10 arrive with an issue

Theological  / Bible Commentaires--no issues to date

General Fiction 1 out of 10 arrives with an issue

Classical Fiction 1 out of 5 arrives with an issue


The issue being something I would RWAP and not damaged by PO. 


Date Posted: 5/5/2012 12:38 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2010
Posts: 4,337
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I had to RWAP one tonight, but it wasn't because the book was unpostable.  The problem was that it was the wrong binding, but it still bugged me because the book I wanted was a newer edition paperback & what I got was an older edition hardcover. The one I wanted was wish listed, but this one wasn't.

I have gotten a few "bad" books at times, especially with people posting deals like Bill mentioned.  For the most part though, I've gotten good books & even a few that were in excellent and/or almost new condition.  I suppose the good ones balance out the bad ones.

Date Posted: 5/5/2012 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2007
Posts: 552
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I've officially received 840 books which don't include those I've received through various deals since early 2007 when I joined PBS. PBS states that the books should be wrapped in something waterproofed before sending. I had ordered 3 paperback and one audio book from someone who didn't do that. On the day they arrived we'd had a horrible storm and while I was at work the books sat in my mailbox all day as the wind blew the rain everywhere. By the time I got home the paperbacks were soaked. I gave her credit for the audio book but felt that since PBS recommends the protective covering I was within my rights to mark them RWAP. Those are the only books I've ever marked RWAP. I have received a number that are questionable, but I feel that I wanted to read them so I accept them as is (that's my personal choice). If I feel they're too bad I add them to my unpostable listing. 

Date Posted: 5/5/2012 2:01 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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Nancy, PBS does not require people to wrap with plastic. It is mentioned as a suggestion only. If a person wants their books wrapped in plastic, they have the option of requiring it by setting up an RC.

Most of the books I receive are not wrapped in plastic (yes a few got wet enroute), and I only use it myself sporadically depending on what I'm using as an outer wrapper and/or if I feel like doing it. Unless I get an RC asking for plastic, it's hit-or-miss.



General Guidelines for Wrapping:

  • Your book(s) must be completely enclosed in the wrapping

  • Use plenty of tape (2" shipping tape, not Scotch)
    • especially at the corners and seams.
    • You can get shipping tape at any store that sells stationery or shipping supplies.
    • Do not apply tape directly to the book! This can damage the book when the package is opened.
      • If you apply tape directly to the book and it is then damaged when the package is opened, you will not receive a credit.
    • Do not tape over the postage (USPS does not accept this)
    • Do not apply postage to tape (it can fall off)
    • It is okay to apply clear tape over the DC barcode if you are sending a package with PBS-DC or Printable Postage
      • If you do this, avoid wrinkles in the tape that can interfere with barcode scanning
  • Make sure that all flaps and folds, on whatever type of wrapping you use, are secured tightly to your package.
    • It is easy for flaps or folds that are not secured to get snagged by sorting machines in the USPS system, and this can cause damage to (or loss of) your book.
  • Consider using an inner layer of plastic
    • You can use Saran Wrap, or clean plastic grocery bags, or any kind of clean plastic material
    • please do not use "Press and Seal". This product contains some type of glue that sticks to the books.
      • If you wrap your book in this and it is then damaged when the package is opened, you will not receive a credit.
      • If you get a book that was wrapped using Press-and-Seal, a little rubbing alcohol will remove the residue from the book cover.
Date Posted: 5/5/2012 2:08 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2008
Posts: 903
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Overall the quality of books I've received through PBS has been great.  The few problem books I've received have been on the questionable end of the acceptable spectrum so I generally let them go.  Lately it seems that more and more of these borderline books have been coming my way and it's started to get a bit annoying. 

Last week I received a book that had water damage and that was the last straw for me.  I marked it RWAP and indicated that I wanted my credit back.  The sender did refund my credit but I had to laugh at her response.  It's like there's a script that they all have and follow:

"The book was perfectly fine when I sent it". 

Really?  How amazing that the book sustained water damage in transit yet neither the other book you sent nor the wrapping did! That crazy postal service did it again.

"The book is perfectly readable."

Yes, I read it just fine but it still has water damage and that makes it unpostable.  Big difference.

"You must be nitpicky"

Actually, no, I'm not but I'm very tired of spending my credits by ordering unpostable books from people who don't think they have to follow the rules. 

"I'm grudgingly returning your credit"

Fine.  Thank you.


Date Posted: 5/5/2012 2:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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Were those your actual responses, or just wishful thinking? lol

I have lots of good retorts for people like this, but I (usually) manage to keep them to myself. No sense in getting my own butt reported by a disgruntled sender.

Date Posted: 5/5/2012 2:43 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2008
Posts: 903
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No, I limited myself to a "thank you for returning my credit" and left it at that!  cool  I was just happy to have my credit returned without much fuss. 


Date Posted: 5/11/2012 12:34 PM ET
Member Since: 4/10/2008
Posts: 169
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This last person didn't submit any response to my RWAP email. She just gave me a credit. That was nice!

I've only had one person refuse to do anything to resolve the problem. She contradicted everything I tried to tell her about the problem swap -- wouldn't believe anything I said. She actually thanked me for being so understanding. How did she get that impression? I ended up marking that RWAP unresolved.

mistie -
Date Posted: 5/11/2012 3:13 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,024
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When I first joined I let quite a few non-postable books slide - since they were readable & I was feeling non-confrontational. However, now if it's clearly unpostable, I'll RWAP it - I don't let myself get stressed about the responses, after all, it's only a $2.50 or so credit, - and if gets problematic I'm fine with marking it unresolved and letting it go. but, I think it is important for the overall quality of books here  that sending unpostable books have some consequence.

Last Edited on: 5/11/12 7:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/11/2012 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 2,328
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When I stick within my preferred genres (Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Manga), I've noticed that I've received very few unpostables.

It's when I venture outside into other genres where I have a problem. 

Out of over  600 requests:

  • Sci-Fi/Fantasy Unpostables:  5
  • Non SFF Unpostables:  13

This doesn't count the ones that I did not inspect too closely or found food or something stuck inside while reading it.

Some of the nons are technically postable, however, they fell under cookbook or textbook clause and I never received a PM.  [The book that had been urinated on does not count...] 

I'm having the hardest time with books on medieval topics and cookbooks.  The medievals arrive with extensive highlighting and margin notes, which make it difficult for me to read.  The cookbooks I would not mind so much had the poster followed the freaking rules and contacted me so I could make my own judgement call, instead of them assuming it would "Be ok, it's a cookbook".  Many of the cookbooks I do not mark for credit refund.

Responses I have received include:

Denial Ranges from "The book I sent had no damage" to "I check my books with pride and I'd never send out a book like that". 

M's Note:  My mental thought is always "Ok, so someone at the PO opened the package, set the book down next to their overly sweating drink, then repackaged it perfectly and sent it on its way?  Yeah right."   These are 50/50

Outright Lies and Threats: (please note, what she's said is not possible to know)

I am going to decline returning your credit due to the excessive requests you have made for refunded credits and due to the fact that the book I sent you was in very good condition, certainly with no water damage. I have been in contact with the paperbackswap moderators and suggested that they create a way to block certain members due to this problem. It's not fair to those of us who participate in the system justly. Please do not request any more books from my account. Thanks.  

M's Note:  The book appeared to been set in a puddle and someone had written notes inside of it.  It was obvious and it was extensive.

It's The Person I Got It From's Fault and I failed to check the book then, so I won't refund yours until I get mine back.

M's Note:  I never got my credit back.  But no big surprise there.

It's a great book someone would be happy to have sorry it wasn't what you were hoping for.

M's note:  Credit was refunded, but my husband keeps rescuing the book.  It had some sort of orange chemical residue on it that bugs my asthma when I'm near it.

I thought you might damage a book so I contacted PBS to ask. 

M's note:  This one still boggles me...


The other RWAPs are generally hassle-free or I never get a response.

They do often come in spurts because the slow moving WL lines seem to all come to me at the same time.  :D

Date Posted: 5/12/2012 12:26 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 10,359
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I'm in a spurt right now with RWAPs and it's driving me nuts. I've had everything from several pkgs never arriving--no arguements from "senders' which makes me think they never mailed them, one pkg containing 3 books arrived empty--PO took complaint then never responded after promising to check the lost n found facility at Tampa, plus 6 pkgs recently arrived smelling smoky-- several senders returned my credits since I have a "no smoking" RC, but I now suspect my postal carrier is smoking in the vehicle as other senders said they don't smoke and don't believe books smelled before they sent them.   Agggghhhhhhhh

Subject: RWAP
Date Posted: 5/14/2012 11:59 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,448
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I don't want to hex my self BUT ...knocking on wood..i have been a member since 2005 and have received one, count'em..one RWAP. The person  offered a credit in return but i said it was ok....it was PB with several of the pages cut out. There are other copies in the system and can get another copy if i ever want to.

Date Posted: 5/15/2012 1:15 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I've received a bunch this year (already), but to be fair they have mostly been from the classic/literature genre.  Probably used as textbooks, they arrive with writing, underlining, and/or notes in the margin (no forewarning) and sometimes liquid damage.  I'm more than a bit tired of 'oops, I forgot to check' and 'the book is still readable, I'm sure your teen can use it anyway.' 

All my other books/genre tend to arrive in postable condition.