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Topic: Received unpostable (?) from someone with instant credit

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Subject: Received unpostable (?) from someone with instant credit
Date Posted: 5/4/2010 2:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2008
Posts: 33
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Hardly ever receive unpostables, but I've encountered a new problem... I received what should be a RWAP from a person who gets instant credit once the book is marked as sent (as do I, for that matter: don't want to badmouth this convenient service). 

In such cases, I always want to PM the sender first before I do a RWAP, because I feel like that's a bit more friendly and tactful.  However, when I e-mailed the person initially, they were like, "Yeah, I probably shouldn't have posted it, though I did receive it through paperbackswap.com."  So I e-mailed them back and said (politely) that I'd like my credit back.  No response.  I feel like since the person has already received "instant" credit, they don't have any motivation to work this out.  By the way, the RWAP problem this book has isn't mentioned explicitly in the "violations,"  but surely the book is unpostable.  This paperback copy I received was at some point at a bookstore or discount shop where a good portion of the cover was sliced off and the part of the title page that's exposed has a black stamp that says, "Not for resale."  The stamp doesn't bother me -- only to the extent that the reason you can see it is that part of the cover has been sliced off (about a one-inch vertical strip going down the whole front cover).  Thus, the book was "ruined" on purpose.

Do people here tend to RWAP right away, or do they contact the person, or...?  I suppose it's obvious now that I need to do RWAP for this book, but I was wondering about etiquette.  And also, if other people have had problems when instant credit has been used.



Date Posted: 5/4/2010 2:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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When you mark a book that didn't use PBS-DC they still get the credit. So I don't see why a book havign PBS-DC would incline you to not mark it RWP. It is always up the sender whether or not to return the credit.  PBS never holds it once a book has been marked received.  The insant-credit has absolutely nothing to do with the RWP.  I do mark bad books RWP instead of PMing.  RWP's are the only way to get rid of bad senders. If it was a one time mistake-then your RWP won't hurt their account. But if this person does this on a regular basis-your RWP could be the one that gets them off PBS.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 5/4/2010 2:35 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,151
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The other member will not have the Give Refund button until after you mark the book received, and if they are going to give you a refund, they really should use that button so the transaction is recorded properly. So I think you should mark the book received before asking for your refund.

Date Posted: 5/4/2010 2:35 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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As soon as you mark a book recieved, even with RWAP, the sender gets their credit.  So, I don't see how the quick credit has any influence at all.

IF this person admitted that sent out an unpostable book you need to send that PM to the site owners, using the contact us link below.  They do not get involved in problem swaps but they do want to do when people are admitting to sending out books that do not meet the site guidelines.

She owes you the credit back PERIOD.   She would owe it back if she got the quick credit or if she got the credit when you marked it received.

Date Posted: 5/4/2010 2:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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You should RWAP the book and whether they used one of the guaranteed credit services or not, the situation is the same, they need to return the credit. There shouldn't be any more motivation to take care of the problem by people who didn't use credit guarantee unless you are threatening to not mark the book received or something (which would be a direct violation of the rules also).

I do not agree with the practice of working things out and not marking  books are RWAP, that doesn't allow the system to gather the information about members who are swapping bad books. This book is making it through multiple members because no one is willing to do what they should, mark the thing as RWAP and get it out of circulation. (BTW - the Not For Resale stamp is perfectly fine. The cut away part is specifically mentioned in the postability condtions and would be ok if it was only 1 inch X 1 inch, not the whole length of the book)

eta: Help Center doc:


  • Must both be present (front and back)
    • note that a paperback missing its front cover is  usually an illegal, unsold copy
    • "cover" does not = dust jacket.  Hardcovers do not need to include their dust jackets to be swapped here.
  • Cover not water damaged (there may be no water damage to any part of the book)
  • Cover not torn or chewed/gnawed
    • some used book stores cut out a small part of the cover; if the amount missing is less than 1 square inch, this is OKAY
    • a small rip (less than 1 inch) in the cover is OKAY
    • yes, that does say "chewed/gnawed" above.  That means no pet-chewed (or human-chewed) books.

Last Edited on: 5/4/10 2:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/4/2010 2:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,242
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Personally, if someone was to contact me in advance of marking my book received somehow (and thus giving me the credit for it), I would not respond, except to let them know they must first mark the book received in some way.

The incentive to fix RWAP issues with books is to receive a "Resolved" status on the RWAP. A "Unresolved" status counts as a double black mark against their membership, where a "Resolved" is just a single black mark.

Whether or not they sent a postable book, you are required to mark it received or your membership would be in danger. You are not allowed to hold their credit hostage until they fix the issue (which is arguably what you do if you contact people in advance of marking the book received.)

Date Posted: 5/4/2010 2:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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I agree...you need to mark the book RWAP first, so the sender can use the proper procedure to refund a credit (if she's going to.)  Look at it from the sender's perspective.  If they refund you a credit before you mark the book received, they have no guarantee that you won't mark the book RWAP and leaving it unresolved even though they've already refunded you the credit.  (Of course, I'm not saying that you would do this, but they have no way of knowing.)

Date Posted: 5/4/2010 3:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,357
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I'm on the bandwagon here -- mark it RWAP, include the request for a credit refund in the message to sender box on the RWAP page.  You can also say that if you receive the credit within a week, you'll submit feedback that it was resolved by sender.  Then give it a week.  If you don't hear back, mark it "unresolved by sender" and contact the Admin Team.  Include the previous PM exchange where he said he probably shouldn't have posted the book.

Now that we have the opportunity to mark a problem swap resolved, there's no reason to PM a sender to negotiate before marking a book RWAP.

Subject: Thank you!
Date Posted: 5/4/2010 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2008
Posts: 33
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Thank you to all!  This is great advice!  I will mark the book RWAP. 


Date Posted: 5/4/2010 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Good choice Kate.  Mark it RWAP, and give the sender a chance to do the right thing (a couple days).  If they choose not to correct the problem, send it to the attention of PBS admin with a copy of the admission sender knew it was unpostable.

Last Edited on: 5/4/10 8:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1