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Topic: Reverse Postage ?

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Subject: Reverse Postage ?
Date Posted: 3/22/2010 12:42 PM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2010
Posts: 4
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I'm still very new here but I was wondering if there is a way to do reverse postage? I have tons of books which are newer and on many others Wish List but I haven't posted them because I don't want to pay to send them all out when right now there is nothing on that I want to recieve and I also still have credits. I bet I'm not the only one like this either. I've had to decline one request on a book I had posted because I didn't have extra money to send it out right at that moment. I love that PBS actually bases the shipping cost on the real weight of the book instead of a very high standard rate for everything but I guess I would rather pay to receive than send in some situations. Any ideas or suggestions?

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 706
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Put your bookshelf on hold when you don't happen to have funds for postage.  Then you won't have to decline requests.

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 1:02 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,984
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What Diane said. When you decline a request it will send you to the back of the FIFO line, although that isn't a problem with a WL book.  Too many cancellations on your account though can potentially get your account flagged by the system as well.  Putting the shelf on hold will eliminate the need to cancel requests. 

As far as your other question, I'm a little confused about what you mean by reverse postage.  Are you saying that since you haven't sent books out you don't have any credits to request books with and therefore are wanting to request books, but pay the sender the postage required to send it out instead of a credit?

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 1:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,246
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You are, in effect, "pre-paying" for the books that you want to receive, by gathering credits, not paying at the time you want to place a book order.

It can be very difficult to guess when you will have a book order from your shelf, (unless you post Wish List books) ... but we have members on tight budgets who use the full mailing timeframes to help budget their book mailings. For example, you have 5 days to respond to a book request, and then you can have up to 5 days after you respond to mail the book out. Plus 48 hours after that to actually get the book in the mail. These 12 days is enough time for many members to time their book mailing for a time when they have received a paycheck.  

If you don't think it would be possible to use those allowed timeframes to your advantage, then it might be best to put your shelf in hold as others have suggested.

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,984
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I forgot to mention earlier that if you're out of credits and wanting to request a book you can purchase credits from the PBS Kiosk and sometimes in the Book Bazaar as well. 

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,447
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I usually sell my credits to cover postage costs.  Not sure if that is what you mean by "reverse postage".

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 1:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I don't understand what you mean by reverse postage either.  If you can't afford to mail out books and there aren't any books you want to order with your credits-then put your shelf on vacation.  Autorequest your WL books and don't send anymore out until you need credits. That's what I do. 

If you have a lot of credits built up you can sell credits to other PBS members.  PBS will not buy back credits from you if that's what you are asking.

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2009
Posts: 10,215
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I believe she means sending the books COD so the requester pays the postage instead of the sender.  Not an economical way to mail as COD's inccur extra costs. 

Lisa N. (LDN) - ,
Date Posted: 3/22/2010 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 11,941
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I think "no" is the short answer to your question.  I understand your question to be something like this:

"I have lots of WL'd books, but I don't have the money for the postage to send them to others and I don't really need the credits.  Is there a way for the receiver of the book to pay the postage?"

First, PBS doesn't work like that and very few people would be interested in paying the postage rather than using a credit they already earned by sending books themselves.  Second, it wouldn't really be fair to you either because you won't have the credit to get something you want when you want it.

If you just want to get rid of the books, as opposed to swapping them, you could always post them as 'lots' on eBay.  Then the winner would pay the shipping and handling.

Last Edited on: 3/22/10 2:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
M.E. (ryenke) -
Date Posted: 3/22/2010 3:42 PM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2009
Posts: 625
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Actually, I think it is a fantastic idea for a swap site - someone smarter than I would have to figure out the details of how to hold the sending trader accountable, but If I wanted a book, paid for printable postage from the bookswapsite - and the wrapper pdf was sent to the sending trader ...... that really does sound like a workable somehow.  Again, I can think of a number of things that would have to be worked out, but it is a good idea.

However, I can't think of anyway it would fit in here at PBS at all.  I don't think it would mix well with the credit system PBS has.


Last Edited on: 3/22/10 3:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/22/2010 3:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Actually, I think it is a fantastic idea for a swap site

Then what would the sender get? The chance to order a COD book? Because if they still get a credit, then the receiver has paid for the book twice, once with a credit then again with the postage. Otherwise, the sender actually gets nothing in return.

To me, it makes no sense to do it that way. The receiver still has to pay the postage cost before they even know if they've gotten a book that meets requirements. And then what do they do for someone who sends out bad books? They've not gotten a credit to refund to the receiver.

Sounds easier to just buy used books from someplace, as you want them, or just buy credits here as you need them and not send any books out at all.

And if you're just wanting to get rid of them, sell your credits here for postage money. Or give them away in Bazaar deals.

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 4:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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Goodreads started a program where the recipient pays shipping.

I don't think the sender gets anything except extra shelf space.


Date Posted: 3/22/2010 4:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,136
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Goodreads started a program where the recipient pays shipping

Interesting program, but where do the "free books" come from (when you send 10).

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,905
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Collect on Delivery (COD) is used to collect payment for the merchandise being sent and postage. The sender pays fees for the service. It would cost more to use (COD) than media mail as the fees start at $5.50 for the sender.

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 6:28 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 2,585
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If the sender sends 10 books, they get to order a book at no cost.  I believe the free book would come as any book that they have available to be swapped.

From what I read, the only restriction on the free book was that it couldn't be part of a bundle.


So, if you were ordering three books from someone, you wouldn't be able to get one of those for free.

Last Edited on: 3/22/10 6:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/22/2010 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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I've sent a book on Goodreads.  I printed the wrapper, put the book in a blue box, and then got...nothing.  If I wanted a book, I could pay Goodreads for the privilege of receiving one.

For a variety of reasons, it's not the swapping site for me (but I love Goodreads in other regards).

Date Posted: 3/26/2010 11:14 AM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2010
Posts: 4
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Thank you all for your replies. Yes I think Lisa rephrased it better.

My issue is just that I don't want to keep paying to send out books when every book I look for that I want is either not listed at all or has 60-70 people on the waiting list already. I'm not seeing the benefit to me in doing that. At the same time, like I said, I have several more newer books I would love to post for someone else to enjoy but again I don't want to have to decline request due to shipping cost.

I was not refering to true COD, yes is a wast of extra money. I was more asking if since PBS figures the postage on book weight anyway, if there is a way the receiver can pay for it rather than the sender, I guess then credits could be reversed on that transaction as well (the sender pay 1 credit the receiver gets 1). I was just thinking of it as an option. Since there are no books I am wanting that are on right now my credits are just sitting there.

Date Posted: 3/26/2010 11:39 AM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,136
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Susan, you just have to think of it like a savings account.  If you send out some books now and accumulate a few credits, they will be there when books you want become available on the wishlist.  If you are interested in new, popular books, the wishlist can move quite quickly and you could have those book in a few weeks to months.  Plus, if you read the genre forums and lists here, you no doubt will find more books and authors you're interested in, so will probably want to order other books as time goes on.  You're investing some postage money now but will be able to order books a little later on.

Date Posted: 3/26/2010 11:52 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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The best thing for you to do right now, Susan, is just put your account on vacation hold.  You can put any WL books you know you will automatically accept on auto-request, so there's no problem with getting those, and you can still request any books you want that are already available in the system while your account is on hold.  Once you receive more books & things start to balance out better in terms of the number of books you've sent compared to how many you've received, then you can unhold your account accept however many requests you're comfortable with, and then put it back on hold again.  And you can do this as frequently as you like.  I do it myself when I have a large surplus of credits & I'm not ordering anything aside from WL books for long periods of time, just so I'm not spending a fortune on postage each month & not really ordering any books myself.

Date Posted: 3/26/2010 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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I think you'll be surprized at how quickly you will get books with only 60-70 wishers.  Also a hint for you - you have Water For Elephants on your wish list.  Unless you want only that particular version of the paperback, look for other editions of the book.  There are hardbacks, audios, and maybe even other paperbacks that might have a shorter wish list. I found about 10 different versions. You do NOT want to wish for the ones with a short ISBN.  Those will not become listed probably.  You can wish for any you want!  Popular books like this move pretty quickly!

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 3/26/2010 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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Susan, like you, when I first joined up, I sent out many books and none of the ones I wanted were immediately available.  I, too, was a bit frustrated.  But, sticking with the club, I've now received  over 500 books  and MOST of them were from my WishList (meaning they weren't immediately available).  Also, once I had a book where I was #367 in the WishList line,and I got a BEAUTIFUL copy in two months.  And one time, a very kind member sent me a book that was selling for hundreds of dollars on eBay!  (also on my WishList!)

Patience is the key, but PBS really does work well!  You truly -can- get the books you want!  If you are only willing to wait a little bit...

Last Edited on: 3/26/10 1:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 3/26/2010 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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At the same time, like I said, I have several more newer books I would love to post for someone else to enjoy but again I don't want to have to decline request due to shipping cost.

You can just wait to post these until you have more money and/or need the credits. That's what I do. I have a box of around 20-25 wish listed books that I could post now, but don't need to because I have credits and am at the front of the FIFO line for several of the books that have been on my shelf for a while. I think I've had more activity in these first few months this year than in all of last year. Sure it would be nice for others to enjoy the books now, but it's just not necessary for me to post them right now. Do what's best for you, you'll enjoy the club much more if you do. :)

Like Sianeka, most of the books I've received have been WL books. You just have to be patient and the books you want will become available. And you might end up getting a recommendation or hearing about a book that is available here. I seem to add books to my WL or Reminder List at least once a week! You never know when you'll end up using those credits. ;)

Date Posted: 3/26/2010 2:37 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Interesting concept M.E., to have requesters pay for postage instead of sender.  But the bookkeeping would be a nightmare, and PBS would almost certainly have to charge a membership fee to cover the additional expenses the site would incur.  What if you paid postage and the book never arrived, would PBS have to refund your postage money instead of just a credit?  Trixy, complex, and costly.

Date Posted: 3/26/2010 3:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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When I have credits built up and don't want to build anymore up: I either sell some to recoup my postage costs or I put my bookshelf on hold, stop posting WL books and then just autorequest my WL.

I took a look at your WL and I don't see anything on there that should take a long time to come unless some aren't out yet.  But it's not your WL is loaded with super expensive rarely posted books. 

There is absolutely no books posted into the system that you would be interested in reading?  Not a single one?  Then I would just stop sending out books until you get some WL offers. They don't take as long as you think they do.  A listing on your WL might say 2 copies posted last week and a 35 week estimate to get to you. But that doesn't take into account all the people who end up finding the book at a thrift store, get the book as a gift, get it from the library, buy it new and inactive accounts.  So the lines move faster than people think they do.  And any super mega high selling release wil move actually pretty quickly.  Some books go from having a 400 WL to a year later having 1,000 copies in the system. 

I'm suprised Water For Elephants in still WL because I see that book in thrift stores all the time.  I don't have the budget to buy WL books just to post anymore so I just leave them there.

Last Edited on: 3/27/10 12:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/26/2010 5:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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The thing about receivers paying for postage on certain occasions - It has to be one or the other, but both would be a nightmare.  A sender makes an initial investment of a book and the shipping costs to mail it, and gets a credit (which they can use it to order another book free of charge) as the return on that investment.  Senders will always have to be the ones affixing postage & mailing the books out, and if that was shifted to receivers paying the cost of postage, PBS would have to have some way of securing that shipping cost from receivers and then transferring it to the senders so they can mail the books, which I'm pretty sure they can't do for all kinds of reasons - legal, programming issues, etc.  The way it is now is by far the simplest and most efficient, and doesn't require PBS to third party handle any actual money.  If a sender doesn't have the money to ship books, they need to hold their accounts, and PBS doesn't have to get actively involved in the process due the FIFO system.  In other words, if you can't afford to ship something right now, you can decline the request & it will roll over in FIFO to someone who can.  Obviously you don't want to decline too many requests, which is why you hold your account.