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Topic: Does shipping cost affect your decision on how much you request?

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Subject: Does shipping cost affect your decision on how much you request?
Date Posted: 3/2/2009 8:45 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2006
Posts: 22
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Date Posted: 3/2/2009 8:49 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2006
Posts: 22
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My husband had to run a couple books to the post office for me this weekend. I usually ship (on average) 2 books a week through PBS. He did the math and asked why I ship and recieve books through here when I can get them for free from the library. It has got me thinking. I love the convenience of getting like new books in the mail, reading them at my leisure, and then the joy of passing them on. But, we are trying to economize in every other way so can I justify this expense? What do you guys do when the shipping costs add up? Not to mention the gas expense if you aren't making a trip out? I hate to give up PBS but I am all about being thrifty so is it worth it?

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 8:57 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 5,751
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There are many people who go on a vacation hold on weeks when they don't want to get any requests to ship out. They will order books and then go on hold. That way when you have a few extra dollars, you can go off hold and ship out a book or two for credits and the rest of the time you can stay on hold.

Ellie (EllieW) - ,
Date Posted: 3/2/2009 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 3/5/2007
Posts: 1,479
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I only request books that my library doesn't carry, so to me it's definitely worth it. I'd pay more at a used book store than it costs to ship a book. And way more if I bought them new.

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 9:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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I'll schedule my mailing of books with other errands.  Think about when I'll be near a PO before I mark the will ship by date.

I also check the library for books before ordering.  I'm so glad the library catalog is on line. 

But used books are such a bargain compared to other entertainment.  Movie costs?  Dinner out?  Prepackaged food?  Those got cut first.

Also, once I get into a bookstore?  I go crazy and buy way too much.

Last Edited on: 3/2/09 9:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/2/2009 9:42 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Where I live the library and I do not like each other. They are very sloppy about their check-ins and have tried to charge me more than once for a book I turned in but they say I didn't.  So we've parted ways.  I can buy a lot of PBS shiping for what they want me to pay for books I don't owe them.  And then there's the fact that they don't have quite the inventory of books that I like to read.  I will go there for FOL sales when possible - and that's not been often.  But PBS is my link to reading material.


Date Posted: 3/2/2009 9:44 PM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2008
Posts: 232
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I am ONLY looking for books here:

1.which  I cannot get for free from the library OR

2. for which I want a permanent hard copy and I can't find it through the local used book store and for a cheap used price on Amazon.


Otherwise, IMHO, it does NOT make sense to spend money to read a book I could read for free at the library. 


Unfortunately for me, my library has gone to buying only bestsellers and books from jobbers, so if you don't want mainstream books, you're out of luck. Equally unfortunate, since I am not really a bestseller/Oprah's book club type of reader, the books I want don't seem to come up here very often (if ever) either so I do feel like I've wasted money sending books out at this point.   

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 10:22 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 10,282
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Last Edited on: 2/2/15 1:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/2/2009 10:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 73
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I've often wondered the same thing myself!  For me, though, the library isn't always the answer since some of the books on my want list are, well, let's just say they're "unusual."  Plus, I like to have a book shelf full of books to choose from, rather than having to drive (in my case, quite a long ways) to the library. And a lot of my books are reference books or "keepers."

Having mailed out more than 460 books so far, I don't even want to think about the money I've spent on postage. In fact, for a while I actually just bought credits since they cost about the same as mailing one larger book and that way I didn't have to mail anything and I used the book for trade credit at my local used book store.

But the fact is, I really enjoy "swapping" books.  I love it when I go to post a book and see that it's on another member's wish list, or "browse" their inventory and find other books of interest that I'd never known about. I enjoy emailing others when I get a neat book from them and even making friends with some of them. The social aspect of the site makes it far superior than just checking it out of the library.

However, with money getting tighter, I don't know how much longer I'll be able to justify the expense either, particularly with postage costs going up again this May.  Then again, I might choose to give up ice cream instead (notice that I did NOT say chocolate. That's never gonna happen!)


Subject: Definitely -- So Promotions are Great!
Date Posted: 3/2/2009 10:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 227
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Good question! Definitely! I live in a small town with a small library so I can't get much from the library.  I do factor in shipping costs.  Whenever I see a book I want I ask myself if I'd pay $2.23-$2.58 (the average cost for me to mail out one of my books = the cost of 1 credit) for it if I saw it at a thift store.  If I answer, "Yes" I'll get it.  I love deals (3-for-1 or better) on books and will frequently get books I wouldn't get otherwise because now I only have to think if I'd pay $.75 or less per book.   


Date Posted: 3/2/2009 10:50 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 798
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I have a set amount that I spend on shipping in a month...I buy that much of PBS postage and put my account on hold after it runs out (and then my WL books I'm close to #1 on auto request). It's cheap hobby...and I don't have time during the day to go to the library, especially this time of the year, when I'm working on Saturdays, too.

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 10:50 PM ET
Member Since: 12/6/2008
Posts: 142
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I'm with a lot of the other posters - I always check the library first.  I actually frequent two libraries.  One in the town where I work, and then another that I can see from my living room window.  (It is actually part of a 6 branch library system, so if any of the other branches have a book, I can request it to be brought to the library by my house and check it out there.)

The reason I joined PBS, though, is that there were several books that I wanted to read that neither library had.  PBS was actually the cheaper alternative - my only other option was to buy them online from Amazon or eBay, and that would have been more expensive than just coming here.

So my first try is always the library, but I still run into cases where the library doesn't have it . . . or has a waiting list 20 people deep and I don't feel like waiting - that's when I come here.  PBS is like the largest library in the world, with no due dates, and usually way more than one copy to go around.  :)

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 10:58 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2005
Posts: 7,609
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I have library issues, LOL.  I don't enjoy feeling pressured to read a book in an allotted amount of time.  I want to be able to twirl spaghetti near my book or read it in the tub, or in the hammock during the summer where I might get suntan lotion on it.   Yeah, books from the library are free, but I feel like I have to be extra careful with them, which takes away much of the pleasure of reading them.

Two of my vices are this site and sending books and packages to deployed troops.  I've cut back in other areas so I can continue to do both.  So far, I haven't missed what I've cut back on at all.  :)

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 11:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I wanted to add another thought to this - I am greedy when it comes to books.  I love to read. It's my greatest pleasure in life.  I hate to spend money and when I do I want to get the most I can for my money.  So since my library can't come through for me and I can't get around too well to go to UBS which are 25 mi. away, this is the best venue for me.  It's a better deal because I don't like to keep all the books I read and I can't afford $8 for new PB's.  The cheapest the UBS is $4.75 plus the gas to get there.  Before I joined PBS I would spend at least $85.00 after I traded in my books at the UBS when I could get someone to take me there.  This is way cheaper and much more satisfying in that there is some community here, and I have no local friends.  I can take all the time I need to choose which books I would like to read.  And not all books are available in all parts of the country.  All things considered - I think this is the best deal going.  I could definitely cut down on my spending here.  It would probably be a good thing.  But it's one of the few entertainments left that I can indulge in.  So I do.  I certainly have a lot of material to keep me busy and entertained that doesn't cost me anything more than to mail it out.  If and when I think it is too much - then I will decide on an "allowance" and keep to it.  Until then - I'll keep on doing it.


Date Posted: 3/2/2009 11:04 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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My local library is a 20 minute drive from here, with very restricted parking.  Besides, most of the books I get are "keepers" for me.

As to shipping, the only expense is the postage and mailing supplies, since my letter carrier will pickup from my mailbox.

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 1:42 AM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 928
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It is difficult for me to get to the library and even more difficult for me to read a book before it is due. I like having books around for when I can read them (I tend to read in spurts).

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 8:20 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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We have a wonderful library system where I live, and the nearest branch is only a mile or so from my house. But I just love books, have a houseful of them--always have and always will, most likely. I love being surrounded by books, and gee--the library makes you give them back! LOL Books are my one vice, and I'm going to acquire them one way or another. PBS is a MUCH better option for me than buying new--which I rarely do these days, only for a few favored authors. I don't mind trading off most books when I'm done readng them, but there are some I want for Keepers, and the library tends to frown on borrowers becoming owners. :-D

I do utilize my library system too--very extensively for audio downloads to listen to, and for the occasional book I can't find here or for wishlisted books that aren't moving or new series to try out. Oh, and for their twice yearly FOL sale to restock my PBS shelf too. :-D. But I look at the cost of a book here as negligable compared to what I'd pay even from a UBS. And I can find a lot of books here that even my great library system doesn't have.

Of course we all gotta do what we gotta do and each person has to decide what's in their financial best interest.



Date Posted: 3/3/2009 8:31 AM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
Posts: 1,619
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Between my son and I we are in the local library at least once a week.  I check their catalog before I request from here but there are a lot of books they don't have.  And there is a post office a couple of blocks from where I work so mailing isn't a problem.  Right now money isn't as tight as it has been in the past but if it becomes an issue I'll just put my account on hold temporarily.

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 8:31 AM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 3,308
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I'm with everyone else.  I like our library, but they don't often have what I want.  Our local library is teeny tiny, and it has essentially the same books as when I was in high school.  The main branch is a 20 minute drive  away, and I'm not the best at remembering to return books on time, so I end up paying for books I don't get to keep.  I like having the option of keeping a book if I really like it, since I'm a "read again" kind of reader, or sending it away if I don't.  I do try to offer deals if people order more than one credit's worth of books, so I save on postage.  Also, I put Box of Books on hold because the postage got to be too much, especially considering the pile of books I haven't read.

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 8:35 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2009
Posts: 227
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I have wanted to ask a similiar question.  I am new to this and at this point I have more money out (in postage) than I have received in books.   But, its fun and addicting right now so, no worries.

My library only allows you to have a book for 2 weeks and one opportunity to renew for another 2 weeks.  That is pressure and doesn't allow for reading slumps.  So, before paperback swap, I just bought at Amazon or B&N.  I am still doing that but, using this site to catch up with some older books and try new authors.  Therefore, I am receiving books that won't be flying off my shelf.  Its the ones I pay good money for that go.  So where is the return if I continue on this path?  A path that is easier and more fun than having all my credits tied up in WL books.

I wonder about the book bazaar....people offering to send 3 books for 1 credit (or similar).  How do they benefit? 

Again, I am new so, I may not be seeing the full benefit yet. Just the fun and addicting part.

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 9:32 AM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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I'm a library lover too.  The majority of books I've ordered from PBS are actually books I've read before, but liked so much that I want a keeper copy for myself or son.  Others have been books that our library doesn't have, or just looked intriquing to me.  Most of the books I've posted have been ones that I bought new.  I used to buy too many books before I rediscovered the library.  A number of the books I sent out were in mint condition, especially the last one, which I read very quickly for a book club deadline, but didn't like.  It was snatched up the day I posted it.  I love that what I don't want someone else does, and what they don't want I do.  (Almost like one man's trash is another man's treaure - except that books are never trash, unless they are moldy).

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 9:43 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 1,564
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My library carries very little of the books I like to read, so I have to buy them somewhere and this seems like the best place to trade :)

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 9:46 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2006
Posts: 1,826
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The title says does shipping costs affect how much you request, I don't pay the shipping on the books I request, I pay a credit.  So really... no.  My credits affect how much I request.  Though I'll check someone's shelf to see if there's anything else I might enjoy.

Does shipping costs affect how much I send or post?  Yes.  I'll sometimes either delay posting books until I'm sure I'm not going to get a bunch of requests all in the same week if they're all wishlisted.

I don't have a decent library near me so... PBS fills that void somewhat.

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 10:18 AM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
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When I'm out of postage money, I put my account on vacation hold and the must-haves on my wishlist wishlist on auto-request.

I use the library but there are lots of books that my library does not have,  and some books that I know will be keepers, or are for the kids, or will take me a long time to finish.   Then there are the books that I'd like to have around for when I'm in the mood for them.  PBS is an excellent complement to my library system.

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 12:28 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,774
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Our library is open very short hours (4 hours a day, 3 days a week) mostly at times I can't get down there. On top of that, they are very small and mostly have bestsellers and children's books. My main interests are not well reflected in what they stock there, especially since a lot of what I am looking for is out of print non fiction. Plus a lot of my books I consider "keepers" so the library isn't much help there.

I have a specific book budget every month, I count my PBS shipping money into that. When I run out, I put my account on hold.