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Topic: Smoke-free home, recipient says book smells like smoke (question)

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Subject: Smoke-free home, recipient says book smells like smoke (question)
Date Posted: 1/10/2016 4:19 AM ET
Member Since: 9/12/2015
Posts: 2
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I have swapped 50+ books, and for the second time a recipient is requesting their credit back because the book smells like smoke. I feel like I am losing my mind. No one in my apartment ever smokes (I am actually quite sensitive to the stuff),  and I was the original owner of the book in both cases. Both books were a little musty, but in good shape and nowhere near smoke - ever. I occasionally burn candles in the apartment, but it is not in my book room. 

So, my questions are... Is this something that happens? What could be causing it? Am I (and I hate to even consider this) being taken advantage of? 

I am now afraid to swap to people who have smoke-related conditions. :( 

Date Posted: 1/10/2016 7:45 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 3,000
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I'm not up on the rules but don't you have to have requester conditions about smoke for that to be a problem?

Date Posted: 1/10/2016 8:39 AM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 621
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That happened to me once, and it's why I no longer accept ANY scent RC's.

I suppose it's possible that someone could mistake mustiness as smokiness.  But in both cases, if they RWAP'd the book and you're confident that it didn't smell of smoke, you can decline to return their credit. 

Date Posted: 1/10/2016 9:33 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2014
Posts: 860
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Last Edited on: 5/10/16 8:47 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/10/2016 10:37 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,272
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I've had that happen too, it's very frustrating. For the same reason I will decline "no smoky smells" RCs. As you have discovered, they are too subjective. All books have a scent and some people perceive any scent on a book as smoke. It is all right to turn those RCs down, especially since it means your book is at the top of the FIFO line and it will be requested next. There is no obligation to return the credit, especially as you were the original owner of the book and a non-smoker. Don't worry about it and move on.

Date Posted: 1/10/2016 1:04 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,476
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I have a smoke RC. Because this is such a grey issue, I will mark a book as smoky to get back on the WL. But I won't ask for the credit.

I have received books that I'm unable to read. I have also found library books like that.

Not everyone has a sense of smell. Not everyone is the same level of sensitive.

Date Posted: 1/10/2016 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 545
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Did they have a smoke smell RC? If not, I would politely refuse to return their point. Even if they did, I might still politely refuse to return their point, especially if the RC was a subjective one. Something like "no books currently in a smoking home" is easy to know one way or the other, but used books do accumulate smells from where they've been, and as Emily says, everyone's sensitivity to smells is different. I'm aware of the needs of those with allergies and sensitivities, but ultimately they need to recognize that since they're trading used books, they occasionally might get a book that they can't keep, through no fault of the person they're swapping with.

Date Posted: 1/10/2016 1:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 797
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Easiest solution is to decline Any and All RC's. There is just to much room for problems.



Last Edited on: 1/10/16 6:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 1/10/2016 1:54 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 36,271
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That's why I decline smell related RC's

Date Posted: 1/10/2016 1:57 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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 I have a question retains to this smoking RC question and another thread with the smoking

RC question. 

I think I will make a new thread with my question. ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Date Posted: 1/10/2016 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 9/12/2015
Posts: 2
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Thank you everyone. I had a feeling this was a covered elsewhere, but when I did a forum search for "smoke," it returned a bunch of books with "smoke" in the title. I was in panic-mode and didn't feel like digging.

I am going to just deny all scent RCs from this point onward. It seems way too subjective.

Date Posted: 1/11/2016 2:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,951
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If no one in your home smokes then politely decline to refund the credit, tell the book requestor that you purchased it new and nobody in your home smokes and that's the end of it.

Although I would start wondering if maybe there is something going on,  if that's the second complaint that you have out of only 50 books, and it's the same complaint. Perhaps your books smell more like candle smoke than you realize?

I've mailed more than 1600 books out, I fulfill all RCs that my books meet, and I've never had a single complaint about smell or smoke (and my books are mostly average used books from many different places, not all like-new or anything). So I generally tend NOT to believe that there are tons of members out there trying to scam other members.

 

Date Posted: 1/11/2016 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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If this is your second problem, it may be a situation at your local post office or sorting center.  Do you wrap your books in plastic?  This would protect your books from the possibility of picking up odors enroute.

I recently received a book (ebay) with a strong odor.  May have picked it up enroute tho, because I aired it out for a few days in a dry well ventilated area and the odor seems to be gone.  Due to my allergies, it was unreadable as received.

Date Posted: 1/11/2016 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,750
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after receiving several smoky smelling books (I have a no-smoking smell RC) I discovered the smoking area at my area PO is where smoke can contaminate the packages since they keep the doors open and the rolling bins with the packages sit right next to the door.  So I couldn't prove the smell wasn't caused by the PO and I didn't get my credits back.  Also I've wondered if any PO personnel smoke in the vehicles with the packages, especially since some of our deliveries are done by people in their POVs. Again, wouldn't support getting credit back from sender.

Date Posted: 1/11/2016 7:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,476
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It is my understanding that the USPS trucks are required to be smoke free, but the contract trucks are not. Many routes are done by contract employees rather than USPS staff.

Date Posted: 1/11/2016 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 4,415
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Until this past year, our mail carriers were required to provide their own vehicles.  Fortunately, our carrier (and his regular sub) do not smoke. But I've seen some of the other carriers in our postal zone smoking in their vehicles...

Date Posted: 2/13/2016 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2008
Posts: 170
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This just happened to me today.  The requestor claims that the book reeks of smoke. My books are not exposed to cigarettes, candles, etc. I did buy it at a used book store and did not notice that it reeked when I read it. But, I do not have a sensitive nose. Would you return the the credit? I hate to start turning down all RC's, but I will from now on.

Date Posted: 2/13/2016 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 3,000
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I have been getting a lot of no smoke related rc requests lately. I have started rejecting all of them. I write 'uncertain' in the box where we are supposed to comment. I am beginning to wonder if some of the rc requests are scams. There sure are a lot of them.

Date Posted: 2/13/2016 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2008
Posts: 170
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The requestor now claims she had to throw the book away. I am wondering if it's a scam. Even if it was exposed to smoke by a previous owner, would it still reek? I don't have a sensitive nose, but still.........

Date Posted: 2/13/2016 4:46 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2008
Posts: 170
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Would any of you return the credit?

Date Posted: 2/13/2016 6:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 797
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Absolutely not!

Date Posted: 2/13/2016 8:31 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 621
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Sarah, did the requestor have an RC?

Date Posted: 2/13/2016 8:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2009
Posts: 857
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I wouldn't.  You don't smoke.  RC or not , you did not do anything wrong.

zeke68 -
Date Posted: 2/13/2016 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2008
Posts: 2,810
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RC or no RC, if your home is currently non-smoking, then I wouldn't return the credit.  

There are ways to remove cigarette smoke from books.  Throwing the book away, if she actually did, is just a way to make you feel bad.

Do not return the credit.

Date Posted: 2/13/2016 9:48 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 621
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I agree... Don't return the credit.  I was just curious to know if there was an RC because I had someone try to pull that stunt on me when they didn't even have one. 

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