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Topic: Not sure if this is against PBS rules

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Subject: Not sure if this is against PBS rules
Date Posted: 8/31/2009 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2009
Posts: 326
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I had a WL book granted and then the sender replied that the book was too heavy and she did not want to send it.  Is it allowable for me to offer to give her an extra credit to cover the cost of the extra postage?  I really wanted this book and it's not a book that is readily posted. I am willing to pay 2 credits for this book, but I don't know if that's against the rules.


Date Posted: 8/31/2009 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 10/28/2008
Posts: 3,529
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why should you have to???? It is 1 books for 1 credit if she didn't want to send for the one credit she should not have listed the book

Date Posted: 8/31/2009 11:35 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2009
Posts: 301
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I think it's against the rules for her to refuse to send it based on weight!  Why did she even post it to begin with?

Date Posted: 8/31/2009 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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Hi Rosina,

I'm afraid it is against the rules.  From the HC: Can I offer/ask more credits (more than PBS 'price') for a book?


  • A bound book "costs" 1 credit at PBS (no exceptions)

  • An audiobook "costs" 2 credits at PBS 

    • some "children's-length" audiocassette items cost 1 credit each

Offering to "pay" (or asking a requestor to "pay"--see below) more than "PBS price" for a book is not permitted. 


  • If the book is Wishlisted, offering more than the PBS "price" for the book may allow members to leapfrog over others in the Wish List for the book. This obviously is not fair.

  • Even if the book is not Wish Listed, a "free market" system could lead to "bidding" for a book, and auctions are NOT permitted on PBS.
  • One reason is that auctions are subject to state laws, and as PBS members belong to various states, this could be illegal.
  • The other reason is that we want all members to have a fair chance to get books on PBS.  Pitting those who have lots of credits to spare against those who don't have a lot of credits at the time goes against the very spirit of PBS--the fair sharing of books. Everybody equal.

Asking for more than "PBS price" for a book is considered bookselling

  • Bookselling is not permitted at PBS

  • If you feel that your book is too valuable (or too costly to ship) to be swapped for "PBS price", you should not Post it here.
  • If this is a matter of postage cost (your book is heavy), remember that you can also request a "heavy" book with the credit you get for sending yours--so it all evens out.
Date Posted: 8/31/2009 11:42 AM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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I know this happens sometimes, but technically refusing to send a postable book violates the Terms of Use for the site:


You agree to respond to all valid requests to ship posted items in a timely manner. Failure to promptly ship posted items may result in a forfeiture of Book Credits for future exchanges. You agree to ship all items at your own expense.

Rosina, if the other member actually asks for a second credit (I'm not really getting that impression, but JIC) please contact the PBS Team and let them know.

Date Posted: 8/31/2009 11:50 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2009
Posts: 326
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Last Edited on: 9/24/10 8:44 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/31/2009 12:00 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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Rosina, I would look up the media mail cost and send it to the person.  There are a few CENTS difference between a book under one pound and one under two pounds and a book under three pounds is less than a dollar more.

0 to 1 pound $2.38
1 to 2 pounds $2.77
2 to 3 pounds $3.16

Date Posted: 8/31/2009 12:20 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2009
Posts: 326
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Last Edited on: 9/24/10 8:43 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 8/31/2009 12:26 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 924
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I think Cozi meant you should send the person a PM with those prices in it and tell them that heavier isn't that much more expensive when sending with Media Mail.

I hope you get the book! There's no reason for them to post a book here if they're not willing to mail it. :(

Date Posted: 8/31/2009 12:29 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2009
Posts: 326
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Last Edited on: 9/24/10 8:43 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/31/2009 12:29 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,509
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Rosina, I think Cozette was pointing out that you could let the other person know that the difference from pound to pound in postage going by MM is negligable.  How heavy is the book after all?

ETA: Oops, didn't post quickly enough!

Last Edited on: 8/31/09 12:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/31/2009 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2008
Posts: 533
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The cost of shipping a heavy book is often offset by the lesser costs of shipping lightweight books.  So it all evens out.

Ronda (RONDA) - ,
Date Posted: 8/31/2009 12:56 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2009
Posts: 415
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Maybe that person has something else on their shelf that you could also order that would make the shipping cost seem less of an issue to that person.   Orders of multiple books are encouraged, so that shouldn't cause any problems with the rules.

But,  a sender can't require this multiple book order thing, so maybe you want to avoid giving this person the idea that it is OK to expect this.

Date Posted: 8/31/2009 1:00 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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I wouldn't want to swap with this person anyway. Seriously! Post a book and reneg because of shipping? Of all the cheapskate things to do.

Date Posted: 8/31/2009 1:01 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,484
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Also have the sender check the weight.  There are alot of books that have too high of a weight.  This is really true for the rarely posted books.  I think you can see the estimated weight on the edit book page.

Date Posted: 8/31/2009 1:03 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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Right, the estimated postage cost in the system is wrong a lot of the time! 

Date Posted: 8/31/2009 1:08 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 5,005
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Rosina, don't give her any more credits. Like the others have replied, she shouldn't have posted it in the first place. A while back, I received a WL book order that I had waited for a very long time. The sender asked me for another credit to help cover the heavy weight cost. I did send her another credit. The book's postage ended up being a little over $3.00. That was a mistake on my part as a credit here on PBS cost $3.45. So, I know now that the sender took advantage of me, especially knowing her book was a WL book. It ended up costing me $6.90 for the book(counting the 2 credits at PBS costs). I will never play that game again, and of course soon found out it's against PBS rules anyway.

Date Posted: 8/31/2009 1:13 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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I'd give it one more shot along the lines of ...

Dear Member,

I'm writing regarding the book (name here) that you posted (twice?) and would not send ("refused" sounds hostile to me) after I accepted it. Were you looking at the First Class price? Media Mail postage costs less than $1 extra to mail heavier books such as this one (include rates up to 3 lbs). I have really been looking forward to this book for a while, and am disappointed that it was posted, knowing the weight of the book at the time, and then withdrawn. I hope you'll reconsider, at least this once.




My instinct would be that she wouldn't care about getting an extra credit, it's strictly financial for her. I'm going to bet it turns out that she was looking at the FC rate. If she responds with anything less than "thanks - I was looking at the FC rate, please explain about how Media Mail rate works", I'd drop it and assume she'd be a problem transaction in the long run.



Date Posted: 8/31/2009 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Occassionally, members buddy an extra credit for upgraded shipping.  Say to cover the difference if requesting the sender use first class instead of media mail.

Date Posted: 8/31/2009 4:36 PM ET
Member Since: 4/10/2006
Posts: 882
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 8:35 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/31/2009 9:20 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I had this happen to me. The sender was brand new here and when he found out the cost of mailing the books he PM-ed me saying he couldn't afford it because he was unemployed.  I let him out of it saying that if that was the case, he needed to put his shelf on hold until he could afford the costs.  He did put his shelf on hold.  I don't regret letting him out of it since I don't know if he would have mailed it otherwise anyway.   Itdoesn't matter that much to me.  But I make sure I weigh all my books here at home so I don't get surprised.


Date Posted: 8/31/2009 11:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/29/2009
Posts: 9
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The person who did that to you is a nit.

If they didn't want to pay the postage to mail the book, they shouldn't put it on their bookshelf. How else do they intend on swapping the book? I would have asked them that question.

Date Posted: 9/1/2009 2:02 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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One of the 2 books I was expecting to timeout has been canceled by the sender. The reason given - "insufficient funds"...  this came through the PBS club communications.  So this thing does happen, and sadly, I think it's happening more and more.   I hope that PBS is telling these members to put their shelves on hold until they can afford it....but this member's shelf is still open.  Oh, well.


Date Posted: 9/1/2009 2:08 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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That is very disappointing Ruth.  It would never occur to me NOT to put my bookshelf on hold if I couldn't send a book - may it be funds or other reasons.  A book I am requesting will time out soon.  I ordered the 3rd book from another member - ordered Bk2 and the member only had Bk1 so I went and put a FIFO in for Bk3.  That member already sent the book.  I sent a PM if he would be ok with me requesting Bk2 from him as well - but aware postage may be a issue.   I didn't feel comfortable cancelling the first request so I could get both from the same member.   Gut said cancel - mind said not fair....going with the gut next time.

Date Posted: 9/1/2009 2:12 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I just sent the cancelling member a PM about putting her shelf on hold and why it would be a good idea.  I hope she isn't insulted, but I'd hate to see others wait for a book she can't afford to send out and possibly miss a WL book they could have gotten otherwise.   It's all I could think to do.