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Topic: Just received 1st book...disappointed!

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Subject: Just received 1st book...disappointed!
Date Posted: 8/5/2008 11:37 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2008
Posts: 5
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I have just recently started PBS and have sent out many books in excellent condition and have just received my first request..I thought that it was supposed to be in better condition.  The front cover is quite scuffed up w/ many creases and there is tape on the binding. It is an ex-library copy. Is this the norm or just happens occasionally. Or was I just thinking they had to be in better condition than they really do? Please let me know if I need to lower my standards and expectations or was this person wrong to send it.


Date Posted: 8/5/2008 11:44 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,212
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Tape on the binding of a library book is common. Scuffing and creases can be within the guidelines. What I look at is if the sum total of all the defects makes the book "excessively worn". Then the book shouldn't have been posted.  Most books I have gotten here have been on wonderful shape. Some have belonged in the garbage. Hopefully you just hit one bad one and the rest you get will be wonderful. It is a used book site so you will get books that look used, not all will be in excellent condition, but most of us look at a book and decide "would I want to receive it for a $3.45?" If not, we don't post.

I do think some people see "ex-library books are OK" and think it is a free pass to send overly worn books. The only books I have received that I thought went beyond the excessively worn were ex- library.


Date Posted: 8/5/2008 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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As Melanie said, libraries often reinforce the bindings of their books with tape, so that's not a problem. A book can be pretty worn and still meet the step-by-step criteria for posting a book. Out of the 50+ books I've received I've had one that was pretty worn. Almost all of the ones I've receivd have been in such good condition that the few that were older ended up with kind of a "skewed' view, if you know what I mean. :)

If you're not sure, check the book condition guidelines and compare your book step-by-step. In the end, I think you'll find that many of the books you receive will be in great shape! I know that mine have been! :)

Date Posted: 8/5/2008 12:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/2/2008
Posts: 199
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My first book was in impecable condition and didn't even look read! I think it's part luck and part having specific requestor conditions. If you want books that are used but not "well loved" make a specification like "I would only like books that are in giftable or like new condition".

When you have requestor conditions you may get turned down by some users, but if a user agrees that their book meets those conditions, and it doesn't you are not stuck with a bad book.

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 8/5/2008 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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It's so weird.  I have received over 600 books and never received an ex-lib that was taped.  I have received them with contact paper over the cover (whio\ch is a good diea, I think) but never a taped spine.


Date Posted: 8/5/2008 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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Don't give up hope.  It sounds like you got a "barely" postable book on your first rattle out the bag.  Most of the books you will get will be in very good shape, but you can have runs of bad luck.  When in doubt you can double check against the posting guildlines if you get a book that you think has issues.

I would say 90% of the books I have received were in GREAT shape, some even like new.

Happy swapping!!

Subject: If it makes you feel better
Date Posted: 8/5/2008 12:43 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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With 1 being a dud transaction and 5 being mint condition, my books have averaged at least a 4 to date.

Date Posted: 8/5/2008 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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I just got 3 books in a 3 for 1 deal in the bazaar and they all look nearly new.  I got 3 (very clearly) postables for one credit.  What you got is not the norm, and I'm sorry it happened.  Keep trying, you'll see that the majority of folks here send as good as they would like to get. 

Date Posted: 8/5/2008 1:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2008
Posts: 5
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Thanks so much for al the feedback! That really gives me a better idea. I'm also going to set some conditions. I hope to swap many many more books!

Thanks again!

Date Posted: 8/5/2008 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/17/2008
Posts: 626
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That sucks.. your first swap shouldn't have been a bad one.  I agree.. it sounds like you got a bearly postable book and that you may be the "end of the line" for it. I have to say, I don't think this normally happens...most of my books have been in excellent condition.

I have seen the library books with reinforced spines... particularly if they don't redo the binding (where they take a paperback and put it into a hardback condition), I actually used to help out occasionally at my school library and our jobs were to reinforce the binding of paperbacks with clear packing tape. 

Date Posted: 8/5/2008 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 345
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I think it's almost a rite of passage that you have to start with a few books you're disappointed with!  LOL!  It *does* get better!  Honest! 


I don't have any requestor conditions (some people reject a request without even reading them) and don't mind ex-library books.  I got one the other day that looked pretty "well loved" but seemed fine when I flipped through it.  OOPS!  As soon as I opened it to actually read it, the pages started falling out.  That one's back on my wishlist and the old soldier has been "retired."  ;-)


On the other hand, quite a high percentage of the books I've received are in such great condition, they could be new! 


Hang in there!  You're going to be pleasantly surprised when you get books that are above and beyond what you might expect.  :-) 

Date Posted: 8/5/2008 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2007
Posts: 453
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It's totally up to you, but I would think twice about putting in a RC reading anything along the lines of "like new" etc.  You're going to get turned down often because that's quite subjective and since it's a used book site most people won't think it's reasonable.  Not saying you can't because it's up to you completely but be aware.

You might consider doing a few more requests and see if what you're getting overall meets your needs...maybe you were just the last posting of this one and you'll be happy with the others you get.  I really think overall the books I receive are in good shape, every once in awhile you get one that's a little disappointing (not unpostable though) and then there are the real duds that shouldn't have been posted.  I don't find that happens often.

Welcome to PBS and happy reading!


Subject: Another vote against "like new"
Date Posted: 8/5/2008 5:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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You've heard now from many folks that most books are in great condition - "like new" is a red flag for some people ..."Forget it - she's going to complain about some tiny flaw!" or "If she wants a new book, she should buy one - I'm refusing on principle to send her my (great shape) copy!"

Date Posted: 8/5/2008 5:56 PM ET
Member Since: 6/6/2006
Posts: 356
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Sorry to hear that the first book you received was questionable. I gifted you a credit to make up for it!

Date Posted: 8/6/2008 1:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,135
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Jessie, what a nice thing to do!

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 8/6/2008 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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Another opinion about the requestor conditions:

There are some people that will turn you down just because you have conditions, no matter what they are.  So you will lose book opportunities from those people.  Then you will lose further opportunities as noted above if you use a "like new and/or giftable" condition from those people who think your expectations are too high or who think that these conditions are too subjective.

I personally use conditions.  I have conditions listed regarding ex-library, bookcrossing, and hardcovers without dustjackets.  I request the potential sender to PM me first, and list my name and nickname in my conditions so that they can PM me before they accept/decline the request.  Note, however, that this isn't foolproof either, it's come to my attention that there are a LOT of people on the site that do not want to or will not send PM before sending a book.

That being said, I haven't had very many turndowns/rejections due to conditions. *knock on wood*

In summary, adding conditions of any type can lessen your chances of getting the book you want.  However, some of us feel the slightly increased risk of a turndown because of conditions are worth it to hopefully end up with the type and minimum quality of book we want.