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Topic: Just need reassurance...

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Subject: Just need reassurance...
Date Posted: 9/28/2010 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2010
Posts: 8
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Okay so this may come off as a bit strange, but I am honestly looking for reassurance here. I joined this website last night, after hearing about it somewhere on the internet, and posted my 10 books. I then went home and posted some more from my shelf, about 20 total.

My worry is this: Within less than 24 hours since joining, just about every single book I have posted was requested. Many within minutes. I suppose I expected it to take a while or maybe have a few days between requests, and this response of "send out all 20 books in 2 days" seems fishy to me. I may feel better when I get one of the books that I have requested, but right now it just seems very odd that there were people waiting for nearly every book I posted.

Is this normal? Shall I expect any books I put up to be snatched up within minutes? I am fine with this, and will simply not put up so many books at once if this is the case, but right now it looks like I am about to spend 50.00 at the post office, and have nothing to show for it. I have an underlying worry here that I am throwing this money away, and wont ever see a book come in the mail. Just tell me that I'm crazy...

Secondly, and unrelated: Does everyone actually wrap their books in the printer paper? Many of the books I have are thick or non-standard size, and wrapping it in printer paper just seems strange, awkward and unprotected. Thoughts?

Date Posted: 9/28/2010 5:54 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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You have some popular books!

I got slammed with dozens of requests when I first joined. Like most people, I didn't bother to check to see if my books had wishers first. This happens to a lot of new members that suddenly post a whole slew of books.

Everything is on the up and up.

And there are many ways to wrap your books. I almost always use kraft paper. It's tough enough to protect most types of books. People also like to use padded mailers.

Date Posted: 9/28/2010 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2010
Posts: 8
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I guess you must be right! I honestly don't know how to check the "wish list" books, I haven't found that yet. Between posting this thread and this post, I have already gotten 2 more email requests!

Date Posted: 9/28/2010 6:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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If you're overwhelmed, you can put your account on vacation hold. It'll give you time to get the first group of books in the mail without getting more requests. It's on the top-left of your "my account" page. Or you can just put your bookshelf on hold.

Last Edited on: 9/28/10 6:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/28/2010 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2010
Posts: 8
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Thanks a lot for the help. I just wont post any books for a few days, and send these out asap. I just found the wisher area, and under the genre I mostly read, I have 11 out of the first 30 wishlisted on my shelf at home. Good to know!

Date Posted: 9/28/2010 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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Joanna - Welcome to PBS.

I assure you this site is legitimate and what happened to you is perfectly normal. Most likely, the books you posted were already wishlisted. When books are wishlisted, people are inline for them and when you post one, the system automatically sends your request to the first person who is wishing for it. Think of it as people waiting in line for World Series tickets...they are patiently waiting for the tickets sale office to open and once it does, people start snatching the tickets up without delay. Something similar happened with your books. :)

And if you request books, you'll ge them in the mail. :) This site has hundreds of thousands of members and it works very well. Just like you mailed the books you requested, most people do the same. Now and then a books goes lost or somebody doesn't send the book like they're supposed to, but in that case, you get your credit back after a suitable time.

And yes, a lot of people wrap their books in the wrapper but mostly mass market paperback (the small paperbacks.) Most people use envelopes for bigger size books. 

Last Edited on: 9/28/10 6:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/28/2010 6:04 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,247
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First, Welcome to PBS!

Is this normal?

This is completely normal. it is very common for new members to find that they are posting recently published books which may be on other member's Wish Lists. You can tell which books are wish Listed before you post them in a couple of different ways ... you can search the book by ISBN, for example, and then when you look at the book listing, the information at the top includes a line about whether or not the book is Wish Listed. (Also, the book will have an "order" button if it is available to be ordered (already has copies in the system at PBS)) ... but the "Order" button will be missing if the book is Wish Listed, or is not wish listed but has 0 copies in the system. You can also post books to your "TBR" list instead of to your bookshelf ... and when you do that, you will see a red or green "W" next to the book if it is Wish Listed. You can post the Wish Listed books from your TBR list as you have money to mail them out.

Shall I expect any books I put up to be snatched up within minutes?

Nope. Just books that are Wish Listed.

I am fine with this, and will simply not put up so many books at once if this is the case, but right now it looks like I am about to spend 50.00 at the post office, and have nothing to show for it. I have an underlying worry here that I am throwing this money away, and wont ever see a book come in the mail. Just tell me that I'm crazy...

If the postal budget is too much all at once, you can cancel some of the book orders. Contact PBS (via the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page) just to let them know why you are cancelling a bunch of book orders ... so that they understand what happened and won't flag your account.

Don't worry about getting books in return. PBS is not a scam .. .there are 4.7 million books available to be ordered right now, and there are very few problems that arise. I've ordered and sent more than 700 books in the time I've been a member here ... with more than 99% of transactions going just fine.

As far as the wrapper goes ... I've mailed most of those books out in the printer paper wrapper. Most people appreciate some type of waterproofing around the book (under the paper wrapper), as well ... I use plastic wrap because I find it to be very economical ... but people also use recycled plastic grocery bags, newspaper bags, etc. My personal wrapping method is: 1. layer of plastic wrap, 2. paper mailing wrapper, 3. tape all seams securely with packing tape, as well as tape over the address (I also make sure that I have a length of tape around the book in both directions (length and height). Out of more than 700, I have only had one reported as arriving damaged.

The secret to wrapping the packages is 1. wrap the book tightly in whatever you choose to wrap it in, 2. don't stint on the packing tape. (Books wrapped loosly (like just stuck in a bubble envelope) tend to have holes punctured in them from the post office equipement, as well as the book bangs around inside the wrapper and can poke holes into it from the inside.)

Last Edited on: 9/28/10 6:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/28/2010 6:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Welcome to PBS!

Yikes.  The ordering frenzy happens to a lot of new members (it happened to me).  What happened was that you posted a stack of books that currently have no copies in the system that people have wishlisted.  When you posted them, their accounts were immediatey notified, hence the frenzy.  Going forward, it might be helpful to search for the book to see if it is wishlisted before posting, that way you can control your sending a little better.  If a book you wish to post s currently in the system, you can see how many copies are posted by adding it to your Reminder List. 

Rest assured, books will come in the mail.  For some of us, far, far too many books!

I almost never wrap in the PBS wrappers unless the book is very small.  I either reuse packaging from books people have sent me, or plastic envelopes I've bought in bulk via ebay.


Date Posted: 9/28/2010 6:09 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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I just found the wisher area, and under the genre I mostly read, I have 11 out of the first 30 wishlisted on my shelf at home.

If these are the kind of books you have, no wonder they are getting snatched up so quickly! I'm sure you will be making a lot of people happy. :)

When you post a book, just make sure it matches the book listing in 4 ways: ISBN, Title, Author and Book Type (whether is hardcover or softcover.) Sometimes books are wishlisted in a particular ISBN and not in others.

I suggest you check out the Help Documents so you learn how PBS works. Almost 99% of everything you need to know about PBS you can find there. :)


And if you can't find an answer to your question there, you can post your question here or PM anybody with the TG icon (like mine.) That means we are volunteer Tour Guides and we can help out with any questions you have.

Last Edited on: 9/28/10 6:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/28/2010 6:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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Joanna, I just want to lend my voice to the chorus that's welcoming you to PBS.

Everyone pretty much explained why you are getting such a request frenzy, so I'll just write about how I package books. 

I totally agree with Sara P.'s advice about (1) making sure that the book doesn't move around in its packaging and (2) use packaging tape (not Scotch) liberally. 

I tend to wrap books in recycled plastic (eg the bags that the newspaper comes in) and then make custom-sized boxes out of recycled manila file folders. For hardcovers I put some cardboard around the corners to protect them before wrapping in the manila file folders. Once you get books coming to you, you can reuse bubble mailers etc that the books come in. 

The site is pretty stable. I have no qualms about spending my credits slowly, only on WL books. There's a lady who has a 400 credit stash. The forum posters / members are in generally very nice, especially when compared to another swap site which is going through some changes right now.

Best of luck and enjoy yourself here. smiley

Date Posted: 9/28/2010 6:45 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
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Welcome to PBS!


I sent out 30 books in my first week that I joined PBS.  I don't send that many now! :-)


You've gotten some good advice. 


Date Posted: 9/28/2010 7:16 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,720
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It must be that you posted some pretty recent books or you have some obscure and rarely posted books.

I was mainly a romance reader when I joined PBS.  Posted about 20 books right away and it was about 3 weeks before I got any requests from my shelf.

Welcome to PBS!  Now find some books to request with your credits so you've got something coming in as well.

Subject: Wrapping books
Date Posted: 9/28/2010 7:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,593
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I save plastic from electronics , and then I wrap with grocery bags cut open or any other sturdy paper. Sometimes I can find the right size box to us and padded envelopes are popular too. You will get books and it looks like you will have plenty of credits to order some good reads. Welcome to the group ( addiction)LOL

Date Posted: 9/28/2010 11:47 PM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2008
Posts: 1,869
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Welcome to PBS!  Honestly, people are going to envy your upcoming stockpile of credits when all your books arrive at their new homes. 

Subject: Same thing happened to me
Date Posted: 9/29/2010 9:43 AM ET
Member Since: 5/24/2010
Posts: 288
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All 10 that I posted when I joined went the same day. Now I post in much smaller batches, one book at a time when I know I have the postage money available. I'll check the wish list status before posting a book because most of what I have to be posted does have a number of people waiting on the book.

The bummer is I have 5 credits sitting in my account. I got the books my son needed for his high school summer reading and then put a few books that I wanted to read on wishlist. My wishlist is in limbo. One of them, a Stephen King, I've been in the #2 spot for 3 weeks now and haven't moved any. It shows one copy mailed out last week, but I didn't move up to #1 sadly. As of today, it's now telling me that the waiting time is unknown or whatever wordage it uses. Frustrating when last week it was telling me a week. Another book, I gave up waiting when I reached position 5 and sat there for over a month. I ended up buying a used copy off Amazon instead.

Date Posted: 9/29/2010 10:35 AM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 3,308
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I had a mix of romance and paranormal and others when I joined.  I went crazy posting a lot and like 30 requests in the first 2 weeks.  It has since leveled off, and now I have a sense of how quickly something is likely to go when I post it, and I check to see if it's wishlisted.    Welcome :)

Date Posted: 9/29/2010 10:38 AM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 2,290
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Welcome aboard!  Some good advice here and you should see things die down after this initial rush.  If it is a popular book then it will most likely be snapped up right away.  This is a good thing because then you have credit(s) to go get a book that you want!

As far as wrapping I save the plastic sleeves that my newpaper is delivered in.  I wrap it in that first and then use regular printer paper and have never had a problem.  It is is a hardcover book then I try to put it in a bubble envelope that I have recycled. 

Date Posted: 9/29/2010 12:25 PM ET
Member Since: 12/8/2007
Posts: 1,011
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It is tough on you right now, but I guarantee you that when you start looking around at people's wishlists and the Search button, you will find tons of books you want to order or put on your wishlist. Then you will be super-glad to have all those credits! 

The money for postage is not lost- this is a legit site and you WILL use those credits. There is no "hoodoo" here- I can testify to this because I now have ordered/received and sent out tons of books in the few years I have been here. If you use patience, even those books you wishlist that have 100 people in front of you eventually get posted to you. I have been blessed to get and re-share many new releases thru here.

As far as wrapping, always use packing tape! I then reuse bubble mailers, brown paper grocery bags, buy the large rolls of brown paper at the Dollar Tree, and even reuse the heavy plastic polybags that my medications come in from the mail-pharmacy.  

Date Posted: 10/8/2010 10:53 PM ET
Member Since: 10/5/2010
Posts: 11
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I'm so glad I found this thread! I'm kind of in the same situation where I just joined and have already plunked down $50+ at the post office to mail 24 books. I have to wait for them to be received before getting any credit and I've been kind of panicking over all of these horror stories about books not arriving, etc, etc. I'm relieved to hear that the massive initial thing is normal (and lost books are rare). I DID wrap everything (even massive hardbacks) in printer-type paper without printing straight from the site though. Next time, I'm definitely tracking down a printer to use the reduced-cost tracking though. I think it would take care of a lot of these worries.

Date Posted: 10/8/2010 11:18 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,720
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Hannah, remember that the forums tend to draw the problem transactions.  You don't hear about the thousands of transactions daily that are without a problem.

In my 3 1/2 years here, I've only ever had 3 books go lost that were coming to me and only one lost that I sent out.  It happens but it's certainly not the norm.

Date Posted: 10/9/2010 9:49 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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I understand your concerns as I felt the same when I joined -- that was 3-1/2 years ago and I've requested/received over 2200 books with only a small handful having any problems. For more reassurance check out another thread in this forum:

PBS works! What fun!

Last Edited on: 10/9/10 9:49 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/9/2010 10:57 AM ET
Member Since: 6/12/2010
Posts: 56
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As far as wrapping books go- the best way I have found is to wrap a book in saran wrap (as tight as you can get it) and then wrap in a brown bag (the kind from the grocery stores).  I then tape the wrapper (lots of tape!) to the outside of this.  I know many people have many creative ways to do it, but this is what I have found works for me and I always have those materials on hand!



Date Posted: 10/9/2010 3:31 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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Sorry if this has already been suggested, but I recommend typing the isbn number into the search bar before posting it, that way you can know ahead of time if a book is wishlisted or not. 

Subject: Checking Wish lists?
Date Posted: 10/9/2010 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2010
Posts: 284
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Ok, I've read the thread, and maybe I missed it, but how does one "check the wish lists" to see what books are being looked for?





Date Posted: 10/9/2010 5:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,357
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For an individual book, you'd type the ISBN into the search window as mentioned above.  But to get an idea of what's moving fastest, look at "Top 50s" under the Community menu.  (You can sort the listings there in various ways.)

And when I first joined, I spent time going through the "Club Wish List" (on the Search menu) and I populated my wish list from that.  It's absolutely huge -- it contains all the books on anyone's wish list -- but I'm the kind of odd duck who finds that kind of list interesting.