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Topic: Requestor conditions and a positive PBS experience

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Subject: Requestor conditions and a positive PBS experience
Date Posted: 12/28/2010 10:51 PM ET
Member Since: 12/17/2010
Posts: 51
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Let me preface this by saying I am new to PBS, so please don't bite my head off. What is the deal with requestor conditions? I have mailed two books to people who have had some pretty particular requirements on the books that they want. For example, "book must be in like new condition" or "no writing in or on the book anywhere!" Both of my books met the conditions, but it left a bad taste in my mouth so to speak. If I get a book with a bend or a crease, I don't care! The words are still there! I am interested in reading the book...not what it looks like visually. What do you think about requestor conditions? On the last one I almost said the book didn't meet the conditions requested even though it did....something about giving away a book I enjoyed to a person that won't be grateful for it makes me not want to give or trade, shall I say.

 

On a positive note, I had a great experience with a swap recently. I ordered a book that was part of a trilogy. The lady sent me two of the books she had in the trilogy, even though I only requested the one. She even included a not that said "I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did." Wow. How sweet!

Date Posted: 12/28/2010 11:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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Why do you assume they won't be grateful just because they have conditions? Many people who have set conditions like that just got sick of people sending unpostables and its a last ditch effort to stop someone from sending something truly nasty.

Some people get books from PBS for gifts; some collect them for libraries they help with. Who could be more grateful thnt a child finding a book to read in their school library?

Some people are distracted by writing.

I don't like reading books without dustcovers. I know the book reads the same, but they never interest me as much and usually end up at the bottom of my TBR stack forever.

The best way to approach RCs is to not take them personally and not assume the reasoning behind the request or that they are picky or are going to be problem swappers. If your book meets it send the book, if not deny the request. If you don't feel comfortable with one, deny it and move on with you day. The only way an RC becomes a negative experience is if you make it. I have never had a problem sending a book to someone with conditions in all my trades here.



Last Edited on: 12/28/10 11:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/28/2010 11:22 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
Posts: 1,206
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Welcome to PBS!

I am sorry you got 2 RC's right at the start.  I really don't see that many on the books I send.  I agree that you can't take it personally.  I would rather know that they might be picky before I send the book, rather than have them complain after they get it.

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 12:01 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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....something about giving away a book I enjoyed to a person that won't be grateful for it makes me not want to give or trade, shall I say.

I wouldn't characterize it as "giving away." The person who requested the book did something to earn that credit with which (s)he is requesting your book -- usually by sending a book, buying it, referring another person to PBS, winning a contest, (or speaking up in a forum asking for it -- but credit begging is technically not allowed)

That makes it easier for me to accept RCs. People want to spend their hard-earned credits as they see fit.  Except for the "PM me first" RCs which are rapidly becoming my very public pet peeve.  

Welcome to PBS, Nancy. smiley

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 1:41 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2009
Posts: 1,652
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RC's are always a hot button issue here.  On the one hand, many people need them.  It's nice to be able to get a giftable condition book or be able to tell people that the smell of smoke will send you to the hospital because of your allergies and asthma.  Those are totally understandable (and the most frequent type of RC that you will see).

The RC's that get me are the ones that restate the posting guidlines (that's where the writing one comes in...writing is not postable to begin with).  I understand that people have been burned.  Some PBSers don't take the time to read the rules before they start mailing books out.  But it irritates me to no end to be reminded of the guidelines that I am well aware of.

RC's are a just a fact of life here.  Some people won't accept them no matter what while others will happily try to work with them as long as their book meets the conditions.  You are perfectly within your rights to do as you please with them.  I try to work with RCs as long as they aren't overly subjective (ones describing smell) or overly picky (I won't take the time to count the number of white lines on the spine of a book I'm mailing out nor will I PM a requestor to describe every smudge in the ink and dog-eared page).

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 1:47 AM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,978
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Welcome Nancy!

You'll find that not that many requests you'll get have RCs attached... they seem to come in cycles, but it's just luck of the draw.  I'm personally of the mindset to send if I can and if not deny and move on.  I have an RC attached to my own account (like Melanie, it bugs me to read books without dust jackets) so it doesn't bother me to get RCs from other people. 

The RC issue is brought up all the time, so if you stick around the forums for a few weeks, you'll see a lot of discussions about them. 

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 1:47 AM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2010
Posts: 868
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I have to agree with the PP, most RC's are just that, people's preferences.  Some people refuse to deal with them at all.  Most of the RC's I've encountered were very straight forward and easy to tell wether or not I could send.  If you have any doubts, just decline. It's not marked against you if you decline them.  I do have to agree with the PM requests. I recently tried one of those and got burned.  Do what you feel is best for your credits.

mistie -
Date Posted: 12/29/2010 2:51 AM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,017
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Requestor Conditions are so frequently discussed here on the forums, yet, personally, I see so few on books requested from me.

Out of the 73 books I've sent, only 4 requests have had RC's. Maybe I've been lucky - or, maybe the forums distort the problem.

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 4:58 AM ET
Member Since: 12/17/2010
Posts: 51
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PM requests? I am not understanding...

On the like new condition requests for popular books, I have to wonder if the requestor isn't turning around and selling the book on amazon....

 

I have no problem whatsoever with pet free/smoke free as I live with a severely allergic husband...that was't the issue for me. It was the nitpicky requirements!

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 7:20 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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PM requests? I am not understanding...

Some RCs say: PM me (send me a personal message) to discuss the condition of the book. As you can imagine, this can cause delays in the swap (you PM the person, then wait to PM you back, they have a question etc.) so most people just decline those. Also, some people put those RCs without realizing there's no way to PM them without them mentioning their nickname.

Requestor Conditions are so frequently discussed here on the forums, yet, personally, I see so few on books requested from me.

You must be lucky Mistie. Once I had 5 RCs in a ROW for the SAME BOOK. The first 3 were health related so I was conservative and declined them, the 4th was 'like new' (which I always decline unless I bought the book new myself in the bookstore and read it once) and the last one was to wrap in plastic, which I accepted.

Subject: No Problem
Date Posted: 12/29/2010 8:30 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,456
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 I have no problem w/ RC's about pets or smoking; but like you Nancy , I am leary of "like new" requests simply because they are subjective. I don't worry about the resale value. For me the 1 credit per book is what I am willing to accept  or give per book. It all equals out in the end. I am sure there are some book sellers in the crowd, but the majority are book  readers.

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2010
Posts: 388
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I had a request once for "like new" condition but with an explanation.  He was donating the book to a charitable organization.  I was very happy to comply.

 

And sometimes people just want  "like new" books.  It's all right with me.  Most of the books I receive are "like new."

I'm just happy to get the credits because then I can order some more books.  Try not to over analyze what people might do.  You're just sending the book out into the world and someone wants it.  Give it your blessing and then move on.

Welcome to the site!  : )

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 10:23 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I doubt there are many people using PBS to acquire books for resale.  I'm sure it happens here and there.  But really, most of the books traded here aren't worth much more than the cost of the credit.  Then you don't know the condition the book will arrive in, how long it will take etc..,  The RC asking for like new doesnt mean the book will come in that condition and that the credit will be refunded if it doesn't. 

I just decline any RCS that ask for PMs, seem to picky,demanding or vague.

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 10:37 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2006
Posts: 34,879
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<<The words are still there! I am interested in reading the book...not what it looks like visually>>

Please keep in mind, there is a difference between a book being readable and a book being postable.  I think the Posting Criteria on PBS is just one of the great elements that sets PBS apart from other book swapping sites and helps to maintain the quality of the books swapped.

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 10:53 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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This is my view on Requestor Conditions:

  1. The site allows any and all RC's - so none of them are "wrong"
  2. I do not need to know the WHY of the RC.
  3. I will carefully read the RC and will send my book if it meets the RC.
  4. I will NOT however, spend my time swapping personal messages about their RC.
  5. It took me some time but I realize that the RC has nothing to do with ME - it has to do with the requestor.
  6. I do not care what someone does with the book I send them - resale it (not allowed by site rules), gift it, read it or throw it in the trash.  NOT my problem!
Date Posted: 12/29/2010 11:57 AM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2010
Posts: 47
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My first trade here had a RC that said "like new". I admit it left a bad taste in my mouth. The book was brand new. I had only read a chapter before I realized I didn't want it. So, I sent it.  However, I was worried that everytime I was asked for a book I would see people requesting "like new". Luckily,  since that very first trade it has never came up again. I have only had three other RC and both were for non-smoking.

 

You can always decline a RC if you don't feel comfortable with the request.

 

I hope you enjoy it here.

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 12:07 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2010
Posts: 238
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You're making this harder than it needs to be.  Either accept an RC or don't.

That's it.

No, really...that's it.

Anyway, I'm glad you have had such a positive experience with the trilogy sender - bonus! 

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I think the 'like new' requests are for books they want as 'keepers' or are going as gifts to friends/family. 

I just read the R/Cs, see if my book meets what they are asking for, if I feel it meets the request without any wiggly room for misunderstanding, I send it.

The like new request I usually decline because that is subjective.

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 6/17/2006
Posts: 563
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I got a request for a book about 2 weeks ago with a lot of "persnickety" RCs.  I hesitated in sending it, but I finally did because book was in really great shape for a 30 year old book.  I got a nice thank you when the book was received saying how nice the condition was.  It made me smile!

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 2:21 PM ET
Member Since: 12/17/2010
Posts: 51
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Thanks for all the answers. So far, I have sent the books to the people with RCs...here's hoping they are happy with the books!

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 2:46 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,664
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Just this morning I got two book requests, both with RCs. I accepted them both, but on one of them I ended up sending an additional message to the requestor so that I could make sure she was happy with the book. Because I believe that my book DOES meet the RC, I am planning on mailing it whether or not she answers. (her RC was all about the spine of the book, my book has a perfect spine but its older and the covers are starting to yellow. So, I sent her a note about the covers, willing to cancel if she doesn't want the book, but on the other hand, planning to send it anyway if she doesn't respond. Which I also told her in the message.).

I have never had a single probem sending a book to a person with a RC. And I accept all of the ones that I can. (And, in the above situation, if I was to get a RWAP, doesn't really bother me. I have no intention of refunding a credit for a book that clearly meets the RC that was in place. And it would not bother me to say so.)

I think the attitude of the sender colors how they feel about RCs.

I feel that people who are requesting my books ARE DOING ME A FAVOR by taking my books.  Therefore, I do my best to accomodate what they want, and RCs do not bother me.

Other people feel that THEY ARE DOING A FAVOR for the requestor by mailing the book.  Therefore, they are annoyed at RCs.

As you can see these are diametrically opposite attitudes. And we have both in the forums pretty much equally from what I can tell.

Date Posted: 12/29/2010 8:53 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2008
Posts: 1,110
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I have one book that has been requested three times by the same person with the same RC. I finally accepted, then PM'd them to let them know the book didn't meet their RC, and if they wanted it, they should PM me to say the conditions didn't apply to this book. They got angry with me and sent a nasty PM saying the RC applied to all books, and they would keep requesting this one until they got it.

Since it's the only copy in the system, this requestor is going to get rejected a whole lot of times if they keep that up.

Date Posted: 12/30/2010 7:45 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,442
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Erica, when you got the request, did you respond "Does not meet requestor conditions"?  If you did, and the book is STILL being ordered by the same person with the same conditions, it may be a glitch and you should contact the PBS team. 

If you accepted the requestor conditions and then clicked "Cannot mail" or "Cancel", then the request goes back to the first person in line - in this case the same requestor.

Date Posted: 12/30/2010 8:10 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2010
Posts: 754
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I think the attitude of the sender colors how they feel about RCs.

I feel that people who are requesting my books ARE DOING ME A FAVOR by taking my books.  Therefore, I do my best to accomodate what they want, and RCs do not bother me.

Other people feel that THEY ARE DOING A FAVOR for the requestor by mailing the book.  Therefore, they are annoyed at RCs.

As you can see these are diametrically opposite attitudes. And we have both in the forums pretty much equally from what I can tell.

 
Hmmmm.  I think you have hit the nail on the head.    I think I need to work on more on the thought of them doing ME a favor, and not begrudge RC's.  I like the way you think!!smiley
Date Posted: 1/1/2011 2:08 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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The only RC that really gets under my skin is the one that implies that the requested condition should be the standard for any book swapped (e.g., "I only send out books in 'like new' condition and expect other swappers to do the same").  A request with that condition was the only request I've every declined outright without even considering whether my book satisfied the condition.

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