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Topic: Receiving magazines

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Subject: Receiving magazines
Date Posted: 12/11/2007 9:02 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2006
Posts: 87
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I ordered what I thought was a cookbook but received a periodical by Pillsbury. It's not that I don't appreciate what I received, because I do. It's just that I thought I was going to receive a book (the "book's" page was nearly blank and there was no picture). However, I obviously cannot put this back into the system to get my credit back.

There's no ISBN (just a UPC), and there is a date on the front cover and advertising within the publication.

Should I eat the credit (like I said, I cannot put it back into the system like I eventually do for all books I receive) or report this? If so, what is the procedure?


Date Posted: 12/11/2007 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2006
Posts: 1,956
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What you received was a booklet, and booklets like you described are not allowed. You should report it as received with a problem and request your credit back in the area provided to contact the sender when you report the book as received with a problem.

 From the help center (I've added the bolding):

Not allowed:

  • Anything that is not a book
  • Anything that contains advertising
  • Advance Reader Copies (also known as ARC s, Review Copies or Uncorrected Proofs--these are not the final versions of books)
  • CD-ROM books/e-books (books that must be read on a computer)
  • Burned copies of audio books
  • Xerox or otherwise unoriginal copies of books
  • Unbound pages
  • leaflets or pamphlets or booklets* without ISBNs (other members complain at spending a credit for these)

Last Edited on: 12/11/07 9:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/11/2007 9:54 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 729
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I agree with Danielle - repart received with a problem and ask for your credit back.  It should have never been posted in the first place.  If that package was sent Media Mail and was opened for inspection, it would have been sent on to you with postage due.

Date Posted: 12/12/2007 4:41 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Actually, this has been discussed recently, (Pillsbury booklets in particular) and a couple rules changed.

From the Help Center:  Is my book okay to post here?

  • Pamphlets/Booklets/leaflets without ISBNs: NO
    • These sometimes contain advertising; members also complain at having to pay a credit for these.
    • Leaflet/pamphlets/booklets with ISBNs may be posted: if so, the number of pages must be included in the item description. * (leaflets/pamphlets  have less than 20 pages; booklets have less than 50 pages.)



From the Help Center: What can be swapped here?

  • Not allowed:
    • Anything that contains advertising


From the Help Center: The pop-up for leaflet/pamphlet/booklets, now says the following     --(the bolding is not mine, it is exactly as is in the HC:

  • A leaflet or pamphlet is an item with fewer than 20 pages. A booklet is an item with between 20 and 50 pages.
  • Leaflets/pamphlets/booklets without ISBNs are not permitted to be posted to PBS for swapping.
  • Leaflet/pamphlets/booklets with ISBN may be posted: if so,
    • the number of pages must be included in the item description
    • the item needs to be clearly described in the listing with regard to its brief length/small size


So, to figure out if what you received was eligible for posting:

It depends on:

  1. If it contains advertising (regardless of ISBN or not)
    • Stop here if it has ads. It was not postable.  Because PBS said so. Media Mail/1st class not considered.
  2. How many pages it has, if it is a non ISBN item.
    • It must have 50 pgs or it is a booklet, and booklets without ISBNs are not postable.
  3. If it has an ISBN, no ads, and it meets the description of a book (not cards, etc) it is postable.

Last Edited on: 12/12/07 4:46 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/12/2007 4:52 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,371
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Sherry is a master at explaining things clearly.  :-)

Nicole, you said "the "book's page was nearly blank" so it sounds as if, even if it was postable,  it may not have met the criteria Sherry listed:

  • the number of pages must be included in the item description
  • the item needs to be clearly described in the listing with regard to its brief length/small size
  • Date Posted: 12/12/2007 5:42 AM ET
    Member Since: 11/14/2005
    Posts: 6,421
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    Looking back at your original post, Nicole, it doesn't matter whether they described it or it had more than 50 pgs. It had advertising. That's a single unquestionable rule now. It used to be that if you didn't use media mail then you could argue the advertising issue, but now the rules just flat say "no advertising" so it is totally unpostable.

    Unfortunately, for them, they may have posted it before the more difinitive rules were changed, but that's not your fault. I'd be upset if I'd posted something that then turned to a non-postable, but I guess that's the breaks sometimes.

    (The only possibility were that could have happened, would be if the item had an ISBN with under 50 pgs, didn't have ads, and they didn't update the listing description, because they didn't know the rules had changed.) The under 50 pgs was always there, and the previous rule on advertising was there too, but it was arguable that if you didn't use media mail it could be done, since that was the reason given for no advertising. Now, it says simply that ads are not allowed.

    Careful, Patty, you're gonna give me a big head!  :)

    Date Posted: 12/12/2007 8:16 AM ET
    Member Since: 8/27/2005
    Posts: 4,136
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    So to condense it even further,

    1.  ANYTHING (book, leaflet, booklet, etc.) with advertising is not postable, ever.

    2.  Anything under 50 pages is postable if it has an ISBN and includes number of pages in the description.

    This brings up a couple of questions--what about those paperbacks that have a cardstock page in the center with an ad for other books from the same publisher--not postable because it's advertising?  And if so, can you remove that page since it's not required to read the book?

    Also, is a booklet still a booklet (and postable) if it's in the format of a magazine (large glossy pages) as long as it has an ISBN and no advertising?  

    I don't have any booklets to post, I'm just wondering.  I have had a few of the books with the cardstock ads in them, though, I never thought about them before.

    Date Posted: 12/12/2007 9:19 AM ET
    Member Since: 11/14/2005
    Posts: 6,421
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    1 & 2 are exactly right. I didn't condense it, as I needed to post the references to the Help Center. Thank you for doing so :)

    The card in the middle is not advertising that cannot be mailed, as it has to do with the book itself. The PO doesn't restrict it in anyway, so neither does PBS. You can certainly remove it, but I never have because I figure my luck it will weaken the glue for the binding ;)

    Doesn't matter what you want to call it, if it has an ISBN and no ads, it's postable. As long as it meets the description of a book.  No cards, journals, etc.  Has to have a cover, pages, binding, and be something to read (etc audios, of course :)

    (Btw, for those with the next question about kiddie books under 20 pgs, we all know those are postable, they are not what is being discussed at all. Post the kiddie books :)

    Also, the under 50 items must include more than just the number of pages. It says:

    "the item needs to be clearly described in the listing with regard to its brief length/small size"

    Date Posted: 12/12/2007 9:41 AM ET
    Member Since: 8/27/2005
    Posts: 4,136
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    Thanks Sherry, I've mailed out some books with those cards but never thought of them as advertising until now.  I know it's a long shot, but knowing me that would be the one package that was inspected and sent on to the receiver postage due!

    Shortly after becoming a member I ordered a "dummies" book, and it turned out to be one of those four by five inch versions that you would find at the checkout.  I just chalked it up to my not paying enough attention to the description, but I was disappointed because I would have assumed something so insubstantial wouldn't be postable.  I guess we all have to pay attention when we order.