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Topic: Requestor Problems

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Subject: Requestor Problems
Date Posted: 3/21/2012 11:17 AM ET
Member Since: 12/1/2005
Posts: 18
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I know that former library books are acceptable under the PBS rules, but when I get a book from the library book sale (that was not in circulation, just donated and sold but has a library stamp in it) I always PM first because the majority of the PBSers I've had contact with seem to expect pristine, new books with no creasing, etc.  I've had several cancellations because PBSers don't seem to want used books with a stamp in them.  That just seems silly to me.  And just plain rude.  I mean, hello!, it's a USED book site.  It seems like if people want a new book they should just go out and buy it.

On the other hand, I've had several some great experiences with other PBSers, but they seem to be in the minority.  I'm so angry and saddened by people's meanness that I'm tempted to just take a break from PBS again.  I had to take a break for several months before because of demanding and outright rude requestors but I decided to give it one more try.  I think it was a mistake. 

I've used BookMooch for ages and had wonderful experiences with them - the users there seem to be much more laid back about library books in particular.

How do you deal with snotty requestors who expect brand new books?  Is there a way to put notes about the condition of your book?  It seems a shame that someone nice may miss out on a WL book if I don't post it because it came from the library book sale.

Date Posted: 3/21/2012 11:20 AM ET
Member Since: 4/24/2008
Posts: 310
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I don't mind library books if it is book I've been wanting forever to get, especially non-fiction which tends to move more slowly.  I don't expect books to be in pristine like new condition but I do expect the books to be in re-postable condition in particular fiction which I always post back on the site.

Date Posted: 3/21/2012 11:23 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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No there is no way to make condition notes on a book, it wouldn't well work with the FIFO system PBS has set up. I would suggest that you stop PMing people about perfectly postable conditions. The site has minimum guidelines that books have to meet. If your book meets them then send it. If a requester doesn't what a book with a library stamp on it, then they need a Requester Condition to say so.

I do find it odd that a library would stamp a donated book that was never circulated. Are you sure they aren't ex-library books? Many decirculated library books are only identified that way now by a remaining stamp. The barcodes are pulled off and the stamp is all that remains. With the stamp on them I would not send them to anyone with an ex-library Requester Condition, but if the person doesn't have an RC regarding stamps or library books, just send the book don't create more trouble for yourself.

Date Posted: 3/21/2012 11:40 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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First, if the book meets the posting guidelines, I wouldn't PM people about it's condition. Mail it and if someone complains about a used book store stamp or library markings and they didnt' have an RC about them-don't refund their credit. Don't make extra work for yourself when you don't have to

I send out a lot of books with UBS & library markings and haven't had a single complaint. I never PM about books before I mail.  I don't PM to clarify RCS, I'm not sure, I decline. I don't PM with the book's condition first.

I also do Bookmooch.  The only wish list books I get from there are ones that are already available here. They're usually ones that dont' meet the site guidelines here.  I don't do much trading there anymore for this reason.  With all the extra pts they give out they set up a system that can't handle the number of points floating around.  So people who have built up a lot of points stop mailing books out until they get some WL books. Almost every book I look up there is WL.

Date Posted: 3/21/2012 12:03 PM ET
Member Since: 12/1/2005
Posts: 18
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Thanks everyone!

The thing is, I have sent out books without PMing before and gotten horrible, nasty messages from people even though the books are perfectly acceptable under PBS guidelines.  I always make sure that the books I get are in good or better condition and would never, ever send out a book that could not be reposted after reading. 

And yes, I'm positive that the used book sale books have never been in circulation.  They're donated, and stamped with a library ink stamp, and then put on a special bookshelf where you can buy them.  I think they're stamped so there's no mixup with someone's personally owned book or a book sale book.

It's sad that I've been a member here since 2005 yet I'm still scared of mean requestors!  I know it sounds silly, but some users can be really, really nasty!  I don't want to have to deal with RWAP if I send out a book with a used book store or library stamp and then get banned by PBS.  I guess I'm just being too paranoid.

Date Posted: 3/21/2012 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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"...I would suggest that you stop PMing people about perfectly postable conditions. The site has minimum guidelines that books have to meet. If your book meets them then send it. If a requester doesn't what a book with a library stamp on it, then they need a Requester Condition to say so."  yes

Actually, I agree with everything posted above.  Ex-library books are specifically postable per PBS guidelines.  I'd be happy to receive one! 

Last Edited on: 3/21/12 12:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/21/2012 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Hmm. I never get nasty messages from anyone here about book requests. (well not about anything really although there were a couple related to the message boards and a couple from people who sent me nasty brown stained books and then got mad when I marked it RWP). 

If you are sending out books that meet the guidelines and not ignoring people's RCs and someone makes a nasty complaint then report them to PBS. 

Date Posted: 3/21/2012 12:22 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2009
Posts: 794
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I completely agree.  If it's a book I really want to read I don't mind a library stamp.  I would put it in my RC if I did.  I think you're talking about a minority of trades. If it is more than that there must be something else wrong.  If you do PM the person about it though I think you should be prepared for them to decline the offer.  I agree don't PM unless the RC make you question whether it might be acceptable or not.

Last Edited on: 3/21/12 12:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/21/2012 12:26 PM ET
Member Since: 12/1/2005
Posts: 18
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"Ex-library books are specifically postable per PBS guidelines.  I'd be happy to receive one!"

Sigh.  If only all PBSers felt like you (and me!)!  Thanks though. 

And I never ignore RCs.  Actually most of the time I have to reject them since I can't be positive that a used book I buy or have from a previous trade has never been in contact with an animal or smoke or wool or whatever. 

If you do PM the person about it though I think you should be prepared for them to decline the offer.

I'm okay with them declining - it's their decision - it's just how they do it that is the problem.  There's no need to be nasty when declining, you know?  Common decency seems to have gone away with some people.

I'll attempt to just send book sale and used book store books and hope for the best.

Last Edited on: 3/21/12 12:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/21/2012 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,283
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I also advise not PMing about things that are postable. I never do, and I purchase and post many ex-library books. The only time I PM first is if someone has a RC, and I am pretty sure my book is OK, but I might want to ask about their RC anyway. But that's it. If there is no RC, and the book is postable, there is no PM.

If people have special conditions about creases or book store stamps, etc ... they need to have a RC. That's the way the PBS system works.

Most people do not have a RC. I assume from that that they don't care about anything else except receiving a postable book.

I can also say that I have never had a nasty response to either a book I've mailed, or anything else, for that matter. Sometimes the answers are brusque, which I guess could be read as "rude" if I was inclined to do so, but I don't read them that way.

And, I have had a lot of transactions, more than 1000 mailed out, and about 1000 received.

I do check books over very carefully before I mail them, though.

Date Posted: 3/21/2012 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,451
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I send out ex-library books all the time, and the only complaint (and really wasn't a complaint) was from someone who made a comment that she wished it hadn't been an ex-library book, but had no RCs about it.  I tend to only send out ex-library books that are hard cover though, as most of the paperbacks are barely postable.  However, those I get at the FOL are in very good shape, so no problem there.  Good luck.  Pat

Date Posted: 3/21/2012 12:53 PM ET
Member Since: 12/1/2005
Posts: 18
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However, those I get at the FOL are in very good shape, so no problem there.

Oh!  Maybe I should have clarified!  That's what I meant by the paperbacks I was posting - they're not ex-library but donations for the FOL sale.  They've never been circulated and are in good or better condition.  Most of the time they look hardly read!

Date Posted: 3/21/2012 1:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,283
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I've found that I have to check donated books very carefully .... I can't tell you how many times I have purcahsed donated paperbacks that look really good from the outside (and with a brief flip through) only to find when I am reading them that they have a food fingerprint somewhere inside them. Or something else that makes the book unpostable to PBS when I am done with it.

I've been fooled more than once .... and, it always seems to be food fingerprints on the inside.


Luckily, I read most of the donations that I buy before I post them here ... and the ones that I don't read I check over even more carefully once I have them at home.

It's so disappointing to have what looks like a practically new book only to find that cheeto fingerprint in it.

Date Posted: 3/21/2012 2:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,365
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A confession:


I don't get many unkind messages here, even as a tour guide.  When I read one that strikes me as rude, I try reading it aloud with a silly, perky smile.  (I'm not a perky person, so it's quite something to watch.)  If sounds okay when read that way, I give the sender the benefit of the doubt.

I try to do the reverse with messages I send.  If I suspect it may sound brusk, even though I don't mean it that way, I read it through with a frown.  Then I go back and edit it.

Date Posted: 3/21/2012 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 460
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I once had someone grouse about my sending them an ex-library book.  It was in very good condition.  The requestor had no RC at all,  so I pointed out that the book was postable by PBS rules, and that there was no reason she couldn't repost it.  I suggested - nicely! - that she read the club information regarding what is postable and how to use requestor conditions.

She responded that she hadn't bothered to read these rules before becoming a member!  Sigh...


Date Posted: 3/21/2012 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
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I do tend to PM if it's an ex-library book.  I've had a few people say they didn't want it and that's fine, but most were fine with it. 

Date Posted: 3/21/2012 5:56 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
Posts: 439
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I agree that if someone does get really nasty over PM, you should report them to PBS. Even if they think someone screwed them out of a credit (which you did not do in these cases), there is no reason to get nasty and the only thing that might stop them is a talking to from TPTB.

Subject: ex-library books
Date Posted: 3/21/2012 6:08 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,448
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I have sent several ex library books without issue. I wouldn't PM anyone who requested one of my books that happened to be an ex library book. I have one en route to its new house even now....

Last Edited on: 3/27/12 11:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/21/2012 9:22 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2011
Posts: 634
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I am one who has an RC about library books.  I just don't like them; I don't want stamps or barcodes or mylar covers on my books.  I do not expect to get brand new books but books that other people don't want anymore.  I know  I have been passed by a few times on WL books but I am not worried; eventually I will get the book. 

I was also on Bookmooch for several years but the lack of books finally made me quit.  I took my points from there; found books in decent condiiton and got them either to give to friends for their kids or the local library store. A friend who is on both; told me BM was down for the past several days due to a hard drive failure on the server (yes they only have 1).  I am glad I am here now with muliple servers and a great selection of books!  I have way to many books I want to order but not the points or the $ to buy them right now :)



Date Posted: 3/22/2012 1:23 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2011
Posts: 551
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I have no problem with getting former library books.

I just took a look at Bookmooch. I looked for a few popular books and they had none of them. It doesn't look like it has anywhere near the number of books available here.

Date Posted: 3/22/2012 9:31 PM ET
Member Since: 3/2/2009
Posts: 296
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I've been on Bookmooch and they have absolutly nothing in the way of books-even the more popular ones. I have one book I requested that someone is taking over a month to send me. I'm thinking about closing my account since I hardly use it, and would rather have PBS credits, even if I have to make a deal, as opposed to dealing with BM.

Subject: Ex-library books in good condition?
Date Posted: 3/26/2012 9:54 PM ET
Member Since: 4/29/2008
Posts: 30
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I agree with zoeyeve, I just don't like ex-library books much either. I think it depends on the type of book you are getting -- if it is a reference book or cookbook that mainly sat on the reference shelves, it might be in good condition. The few ex-library novels I have received have been in less than good condition, mosly with excessive wear, and while they were technically postable here I would never re-post them because they just aren't in good enough shape to pass on. I don't like PMing about the condition of a book every time I get an offer, so I just decided they are too much of a risk for me and I put "Please, no ex-library books" in my RC. I have had people respond rudely to my RC (along the lines of "I won't even send to a requestor who has RCs! If you want a perfect book, go to a book store!"), but it's better than getting books I don't feel happy about passing along.

Date Posted: 3/26/2012 10:02 PM ET
Member Since: 12/1/2005
Posts: 18
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Obviously, I wasn't clear. I am NOT posting former library books. These are paperbacks from the Friends of the Library book sale. I said nothing about a library book encased in plastic, etc. these are just regular used paperbacks with a couple ink stamps in them. I don't appreciate the implications that I am in the wrong for posting them. I don't understand how this got turned around on and became about how I'm wrong to be posting icky, questionable former library books when that is not the case. Clearly, I was right and that unless the book is brand new or doesn't look read, most users here would prefer not to receive it, even though it states in the rules that it is okay. I give up.
Date Posted: 3/26/2012 10:17 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
Posts: 6
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I have a lot of RCs, I think. Each of them came from a bad experience. Library books didn't bother me, so I didn't care even if they had a sticker that covered text. Then I got a high school library book that the person took off the labels, front and back, and the residual sticky was so bad it made my hands sticky. Then the spine was broken, too. And there was highlighting. That was enough to cause an RC. I wasn't nasty about it, but I didn't give the credit, just stated the above. I think a lot of the RCs come about from situations like this. I have gotten books that barely pass the rules, ones I would not send. But as long as they meet the rules, I accept them.
Date Posted: 3/26/2012 11:20 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Highlighting is not postable Renda, that book should have been RWAP'd.   The book could have been posted under the Textbook Clause, but if that rule is followed there are no mailbox surprises b/c both members are aware of the book condition and the receiver has approved that condition before the book is mailed.

Frankly RC's probably will not cure senders determined to ignore the swappability guidelines, and harping and restating the rules in your RC will probably just annoy members that send postable books.