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Topic: Ratings, Halos, Pitchforks, Feedback on ideas please

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Subject: Ratings, Halos, Pitchforks, Feedback on ideas please
Date Posted: 9/1/2014 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 10/18/2010
Posts: 1
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I've been a member for quite a few years and am happy, sometimes even thrilled at the condition of the books I've received. Most swaps go great. Recently though, despite my conditions that books are in good enough condition to be allowable by PBS standards, I got one book with exactly 91 pages highlighted and or written on with a missing cd and fresh glue from whence it came that ripped a page; plus someone wanting to swap another book with writing in the margins. Over the years there have been a few book dumpers such as these who blatantly disregard PBS criteria, and I hope that PBS will consider implementing a rating scale of perhaps halos and pitchforks so that we can more easily discern a possible problem in the midst of most of the angels here. I don't know what the penalty is on posting books that are unpostable by club rules, but I would hope for a big pitchfork rating for the first infraction, and that the rifraf get booted from the site for a few months at least for the second occurance, something like that, and those who provide a great book can accumulate halos that work towards credits or PBS money.  What do the rest of you panelists think of a these ideas? Thanks ahead for feedback.

Date Posted: 9/1/2014 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 537
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With the FIFO structure, having ratings on swappers wouldn't really help that much. You're not choosing between people when you request a book, the system does that for you. And often it's simple ignorance of the rules: I got a heavily highlighted book the other day without being contacted beforehand re the textbook exemption, and the sender was perfectly lovely in their PMs and returned my point, but it was pretty obvious that they didn't know about the writing in books rules, or didn't bother to check. As far as the books I've RWAPed, the vast majority have been ignorance or negligence, not actively trying to game the system. I'm not sure that a rating system would help that at all; in fact, it might just drive people to leave the site or never join because the rules have gotten even more byzantine.

I've always read that the PBS PTB prefer to keep their metrics for what counts as abuse private, so that people won't go just to the edge but not over, as far as number of books RWAPed, etc.



Last Edited on: 9/1/14 2:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/1/2014 4:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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As Laura says, you'd never see it with the FIFO system.

And I do agree that mostly problems happen because people don't understand, or don't read, the guidelines. I think it's much quicker for the receiver to send a polite note and request their credit back than for TPTB to have to wait until they reach a certain number of black marks to send a scolding email. 

For people who care, it will just take the one complaint to jog them into taking more care, and the next person they send to will be happier. For those who don't care, then TPTB will catch up to them eventually, after they've already made too many people unhappy.

It's faster to police ourselves, since we're going to be asking a credit back for the bad trades anyway.

Date Posted: 9/1/2014 4:08 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2013
Posts: 1,022
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The problem with your conditions is they aren't specific enough. "Pbs rules" to a lot of people mean "readable". Some people think a book in six different parts is readable, therefore postable. And you'll always get the "well I ordered it through pbs so I should be allowed to repost it". 

I'd try to keep your conditions as short as possible but list the things that are most important to you. But you shouldn't need a RQ to not get books with writing in over half the book or with missing cd's. 

I like the idea of ratings similar to ebay but as mentioned, it wouldn't be effective on the system we use here. 

Date Posted: 9/1/2014 6:59 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,400
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I disagree with the ignorance argument.  There is the pop up PBS conditions that you have to agree to when posting a book.  They have to manually click that.  Negligence, that I can agree to. 

It is our responsibility to mark these books as RWAP.  We do not need to ask for the credit, but marking the problems is an important step.  PBS cannot find these members without the statistics that we provide.

Date Posted: 9/2/2014 9:14 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
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"For people who care, it will just take the one complaint to jog them into taking more care, and the next person they send to will be happier. For those who don't care, then TPTB will catch up to them eventually, after they've already made too many people unhappy."

The problem is that if everyone sends a polite note to the sender, TPTB never knows that the sender is making people unhappy.  (Unless they are tracking returned credits, but I'm not sure how they could be easily distinguished by other credit transfers.

Date Posted: 9/2/2014 9:22 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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If it's done by marking a book RWP then PBS has that on record.   A high number of RWPs will flag an account and PBS will investigate. 

A rating system is useless when going through a FIFO system. Mark books RWP and let the system do the work for you.

 



Last Edited on: 9/2/14 9:23 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/2/2014 10:49 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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The problem is that if everyone sends a polite note to the sender, TPTB never knows that the sender is making people unhappy. 

Like Mary says, all you have to do is mark the transaction RWAP, and send them a note from there. Then it's on record.

 

Date Posted: 9/2/2014 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,725
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Over the years there have been a few book dumpers such as these who blatantly disregard PBS criteria, and I hope that PBS will consider implementing a rating scale of perhaps halos and pitchforks so that we can more easily discern a possible problem in the midst of most of the angels here.

Well, here's the problem. Counting infractions doesn't make any sense as a way to ding people. If someone mails out 2 books and they are both bad, that's something. If someone mails out 1000 books and 2 are bad, that's something different.

And that's why there is no rating system.

Not to mention, if you spend any time listening to eBay sellers and buyers complaining, you will find that it's very common for buyers to blackmail sellers into giving them what they want by threatening them with a bad review. And, eBay eliminated their rating system on buyers because sellers were doing the same.

And that's also why there is no rating system.

Problems with books are, many times, in the eye of the beholder. Sometimes books are blatantly unpostable, other times there is a gray area where one person thinks it's postable and another one doesn't. I know it's certainly possible for two people to look at the same book and see it differently.

People who mail bad books get a RWAP, and usually a request to return the credit that they received.

I don't know abut other people, but I've never requested a credit back and not gotten it back.

Date Posted: 9/2/2014 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,327
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A note: there is a rule here about no writing/highlighting/underlining on text pages, but there is an exception to this if the sender considers the book to be a textbook/cookbook/travel guide.  The sender can post the book, but then when the book is requested, he has to send a PM to the requestor and describe the condition, and cannot mail the book unless the requestor writes back, giving him the okay.  It sounds as if the member in the OP who offered the book with writing in the margins may have been following this rule.

ETA: I'm guessing this because she said "plus someone wanting to swap another book with writing in the margins."  (It sounds as if he wrote to her, and she said no thanks.)  But of course that's just a guess.



Last Edited on: 9/3/14 2:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/2/2014 3:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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 It sounds as if the member in the OP who offered the book with writing in the margins may have been following this rule.

Since the OP was complaining about the book, I doubt the sender PM'd her to get permission to send the book. Or that she gave her okay.

Date Posted: 9/3/2014 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 537
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Sara, I've requested points back and not gotten them, several times. I'd say that it ends up about 50-50. I could do better about being prompt about following up, and marking transactions as unresolved, however. I'm not that great at initiating conflict, even if it's justified.

Date Posted: 9/4/2014 1:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
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I can understand the frustration of having received an unpostable book and wanting to flag the sender as well as wanting to reward members who send good books. But a system of halos and pitchforks would not work well on this site. Awarding halos and pitchforks is much too subjective and would be divisive, confrontational, and not result in creating a better trading environment. In addition there is no way for the system to verify one member's word or opinion against another's.

The best way to handle receiving unpostable or problem books is to mark them RWAP. This will send "pitchforks" to the system and members who accumulate these will be contacted by TPTB and will jeopardize their account. And members who send books in good condition should not be acknowledged with a special reward system simply for following the basic rules regarding posting and sending books that we all agree to. The reward is in earning credits and contributing to a congenial trading environment.

Date Posted: 9/5/2014 7:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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A feedback system would not work with FIFO and it only is as good as the Feedback. If people aren't reading the rules, then the Feedback will reflect that too. Too many members think that hard covers must have a DJ or they should get a PM, that ex-library books aren't swappable. And it does appear that you aren't aware of the Textbook Exception ("plus someone wanting to swap another book with writing in the margins.") and would ding someone who was properly following that by PMing you about margin notes before sending a book.

The RWAP system is a good feedback system. It tells the site about problem swappers and they can see if the problem really is a problem. Bad swappers are booted. Keeps it behind the scenes so members can't take out petty, or incorrect, complaints out on other members in public.

Date Posted: 9/11/2014 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2007
Posts: 108
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One way to have smileys (if not pitchforks) is that I try to friend anyone that I've had a good transaction with. (I'm not 100% on this, so if you've sent me a book and I haven't friended you, please don't worry!) Then I use the Gold Key feature to search my friends' shelves for books that I want. I don't always find them, but when I do, I know I'm swapping with someone who has a good history (with me) of sending acceptable books.