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Topic: Requests

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Robin S. - ,
Subject: Requests
Date Posted: 6/21/2011 4:16 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2011
Posts: 2
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I'm very new to this site. After posting a few books I received requests that stated the books be in new condition before they would accept it. I could overlook it happening once, but it was twice from two different requestors. That left a bad taste in my mouth for this site... obviously the requestors intend to sell the book rather than read it. Is there a place to state the condition of the book as "used condition" so I can avoid getting these need-to-be-like-new-condition requests? I wanted to swap books with other readers, not persnickity book vendors.

Date Posted: 6/21/2011 4:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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Hi and welcome to PBS!

No, there's nowhere to state condition, since your books only need to be in postable condition according to the site's posting guidelines.

I know that peoples' requester conditions can sometimes be annoying, but they have a right to them and you are perfectly within your rights to decline them any time you wish. Just because they're asking for like-new doesn't mean they're going to resell. In fact, there's no profit in it for most of the books traded here unless what you have is extremely rare. Most likely, they want to give them as gifts or want a nice copy to display on their bookshelf. You're fine just declining RCs and letting the book roll over to the next person.

I've been accused of the same because I have an RC for dustjackets. I just like them, I don't want to sell them.

ETA: I turn down all requests for new-condition books. Most of the books I send out are in excellent-new condition but I am not going to set myself up for a complaint because the receiver finds a faint fingerprint on page 218. Besides, all books are technically used here. I owned it first, therefore the receiver is getting a second-hand book, no matter how nice it looks.

Last Edited on: 6/21/11 4:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/21/2011 4:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,342
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Lisa explained it very well.  Sometimes when I post a wish list book, the first few requestors I run into have requestor conditions that are hard to meet.  As Lisa said, I just decline them, and my offer is passed on to the next wisher.  Maximum 48 hours.

Here is what I think happens.  Let's say that 30 people add the book to their wish lists, and the people with "difficult" requestor conditions (the book must be new, and signed by President Truman) are numbers 5, 10, and 15 in the line.   The first 4 people get their books, then guy with the difficult condition is first in line.  He gets skipped over by people who are posting books that are not signed by an ex-president.  Pretty soon the second person with a "like new" requestor condition is 2nd in line.  So the next sender's book has to go through both difficult RCs before getting to someone to whom he can mail the book. Some more normal requests are filled, and then all three difficult RCs are sitting at the top of the wish list.  Percentage-wise, there aren't that many difficult RCs, but gradually, the difficult RCs collect at the top of the wish list line, so it can seem like a lot.

Like Lisa, if I can meet an RC, I mail the book.  If I can't, I just click "does not meet RC", and my book is offered to the next wisher in line.  Eventually, I figure the folks with the difficult RCs will either get the book in the condition they want, realize that a used book site might not be the place for them, or adjust their RCs so they'll get more books.  Whatever works for them is fine with me.  I'm grateful that it's so easy to decline an RC if I can't meet it.  And sometimes I do post a "like new" book, and I'm able to accept a "like new" RC.

Date Posted: 6/21/2011 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2008
Posts: 1,996
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Like Lisa said, just because a requestor has an RC stating that they want a "like-new" book doesn't mean that he or she is a reseller.  They may want to give the book as a gift, or they may just want that particular book for a series that they are collecting. 

Every member here has the right to have RCs, and every member has the right to decline RCs.  Don't take it personally.

Date Posted: 6/21/2011 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,988
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I just want to reiterate what Lisa said.

If you are not comfortable sending a book to someone who is asking for a "like-new" book, then you are free to decline! Many people do. I usually accept them, if my books are in what I think is like-new condition. Some people believe that "like-new" is subjective. To me, it is just common sense, I know what new books look like, after all.  I've never had a problem accepting a RC.

Lisa is also correct that is unlikely to be a reseller who is looking for the book, though. Unless the book is brand new and hardcover, or rare and out-of-print, there is really no money to be made for most used books. Remember, books are not free to obtain at PBS ... you must use a credit, and a credit is either the cost of postage you have paid previously, or the cost of a credit purchased from someone else. So, what with books costing about $2.40 to "buy" at PBS, and many paperbacks selling for 1 cents on Amazon .... you can see that there is no profit to be made, even if the book is almost new.

People who are resellers of books must obtain their stock more cheaply than PBS allows for. Like garage sales or thrift stores, or friends of the library sales, where it is not uncommon to purchase a whole bag of books for $1 or $2.

The point of PBS is to trade books that you do not want for new ones that you do want. Many people don't worry much over what the receiver does with the books they send ... it is a book that you no longer want, after all, and you must not want to go to the trouble of selling it yourself (or else you probably would). I have mailed out plenty of paperbacks that are out of print (although not rare) and I could have sold them for a dollar or two, maybe even three or four,  ... but it is not worth the trouble to me, quite honestly. The half hour that I might spend on listing a book on the internet and then checking emails, wrapping the book, going to the post office, etc ... is not worth $3 to me. That's not even minimum wage.

Last Edited on: 6/21/11 5:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/21/2011 5:02 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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I never thought of that Patty. RCs collecting at the top of the list over time does make perfect sense. You are a genius.

Robin S. - ,
Date Posted: 6/21/2011 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2011
Posts: 2
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Thank you for explaining, it all makes perfect sense. I'll just decline those requests and find the people who aren't as picky.

Date Posted: 6/21/2011 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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Don't worry Robin. You'll have fun here, and will probably end up as addicted as the rest of us.

Just try not to take RCs personally. The people that use them have their own reasons for doing so, and are perfectly aware that they are going to get some refusals because of them.

Some of us like to come in here and talk (joke, laugh, scratch out heads) about the stranger RCs we get. We get some real whoppers sometimes. Oh, we could go on for hours...

Date Posted: 6/21/2011 6:22 PM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2005
Posts: 905
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Conditions are AOK with me.  The majority of them are meaningful to the requestor, anyway, like no cats/smoke/mold etc., and they are easy to starin out or fulfill---those are the requestor's business.    The ones that are VERY subjective, though, like "near-new" I will sometimes refusre if I can't tell exactly what they want---I put in the reason for refusing that I can't evaluate whether my book will satisfy their condition or not, so they get rejected.  (BTW, Dollar Tree stores have HB's that are overstocks and are indeed new books for $1 each, and I will go there sometimes and write down ISBN#'s to see if some are "wished" )   Those would even satisfy the pickiest person who wants them.

Date Posted: 6/21/2011 6:41 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2010
Posts: 1
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I'm glad I ran into this conversation! I'm paranoid to the point I refuse just about any condition because I'm not going to take a chance. Most of my experiences here have been great, and I'm excited to be a part of it all!

Date Posted: 6/22/2011 10:50 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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Welcome to PBS, Robin.

I once posted a book where I had to decline the first 5 RCs (which happened to be all different) but was able to accept #6. It's happened to me only once and I've been a PBS member for over 4 years so it's not very common. :)

Subject: "Special Conditions" in requests
Date Posted: 6/22/2011 12:10 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2007
Posts: 3
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I like the new format, with the button in the notification e-mail that lets you "click" to accept the request.   Would LOVE IT if special conditions from requestor (non-smoking environment, no pets, etc.) could also be contained in the e-mail, with perhaps another button.    Or, barring that, if there was a way I could let members know that my books are not in new, pristine condiiton, rather, they are usually books I received from another member, and have been read several times, with unknown previous living environments!

Date Posted: 6/22/2011 3:16 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 1,262
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I just wanted to put my 2 cents in here and say, that although many of the posts here are about RCs, which makes it seem like every request comes with one, I've found that of the 815 books I've mailed out, less than 2% of those requests had an RC.  And of those, I've never had another member ask for a like-new book.

My point is, there are lots and lots of other members that will be thrilled with the books you send out and not to get discouraged.  You got your percentage of RCs at the beginning and hopefully the next set of requests will be RC free.  :)

Date Posted: 6/22/2011 10:53 PM ET
Member Since: 12/4/2005
Posts: 2,320
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I hadn't thought about how over time declined RC's would all gather at the head of the WL line and the newer PBS members first posting their books would most likely be the ones who run into all of them.  I know when I joined most of the books I had were WL books (fortunately there weren't as many RC's back then:lol:)

No harm no foul in declining any you don't feel comfortable with.   I will mention my funniest one...requestor didn't want any books with vampires in them (scared her) and sometimes the book titles, descriptions and covers don't make it clear if there are vamps so please check and let her know if you're declining due to vampire content.  LOL    She was a really nice lady--and no vamps in my book:)