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Topic: Time Frame to accept and Mail books - Too Long?

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Subject: Time Frame to accept and Mail books - Too Long?
Date Posted: 6/5/2008 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 9/10/2007
Posts: 15
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I would like to ask others if they feel the same way or is it just me - when requesting a book the sender has 5 days to accept or decline - then up 5 days to mail the book if it's accepted then when it's mailed it's at least 5-10 days to receive it . This could mean a total of at least 15 days to get a book.  Now there are over 2,194,100 books listed on PBS (that' a lot of books and a lot of members) can't they up the time frame to say 3 days to respond and 3 days to mail. (there could of course be a box for special conditions).  But I'd like to see a shorter timeframe, let's get these books moving!

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 6:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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I have only one day I can get to the post office and that's on a Saturday--and that's only if I can get there in the morning because they are only open from 9 to 12.. If I'm lucky, someone else in my family (my parents are both retired) will run the errand for me during the work week. So for me, if I get an order on a weeken after noon--or if I have somewhere else to be on Saturday morning, the time frame is good. Most times, I will do my utmost best to get a book out as soon as possible, but Ithere are times it's not possible. Some folks only have internet services through their public library and can only check their accounts once or twice a week.

Yeah, it's nice to get books quickly but I've learned to just wait things out and then when I get the books it's always a nice surprise.

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 7:01 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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My feeling is that everyone has a life.  Some of us are here daily or visit the post office daily - other's don't.   I'm not in that big a hurry to get a book that I can't wait 15 days!    So no - I don't think it needs to be shorter.

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 7:04 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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I don't have a problem with the current time frames of PBS...if I happen to get a request say on Wednesday evening after I've just been to the post office it will be at least the next Wednesday before I get back there again so, I personally need that time frame.  With the cost of fuel these days trips to town and to the post office are limited.  I have plenty to read so, the books get here when they get here...

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 7:20 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2008
Posts: 515
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I think it's that long so that people who have to be away from their computers or can only get to the post office on certain days can still respond. I try to mail books out as fast as possible, but I use printable postage, so I can just leave the books in my mailbox instead of going to the post office. I get impatient when waiting for books too though... or when waiting for someone to accept an offer, since I just ordered three books in the past couple of weeks that didn't get responded to (luckily, there were other copies of two of them in the system)...

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I do think that they should cut it down to the same amount of time a requestor has to accept the book.  Ok yes, a requestor can put the book on autorequest but if they don't have credits it would pass them by and not give them chance to borrow or buy a credit.

I do understand that people have a life but most people check their email at least every few days.  If you have books posted, make an effort to check your email every other day to see if you have an email saying that someone requested one of your books and then log in and accept or decline or whatever.

If you can't do that, put your account on vacation hold

I don't have a problem with people taking the 5 days to mail because I understand not being able to get to the post office but if you cut down the acceptance time it at least moves the books along a little faster

Last Edited on: 6/5/08 9:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/5/2008 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 142
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Actually, I do think it's too long.  The five day timeline can really be more like a six day timeline if you ordered your book in the morning, since it won't time out until 3:00am PST at the end of the fifth day.  When the book gets passed from member to member, "timing out", this process can get frustrating.  I also understand that some people don't always have time to mail a book within two to three days of receiving the request...I know I sometimes mark "I can mail later" when I know I have a busy week ahead.  Now that I've discovered the joy (and ease!) of printable postage, if I know I'm going to be busy, I just print out the postage with delivery confirmation and leave it in my mailbox for my postal delivery person to take to the post office for me.  Very convienient!!!  That being said, I think it would be terrific if a person from whom a book was requested, needed to reply "yeah" or "nay" to being able to send the book in a 3 day time period and then have the up to five days to send if needed.  It's waiting out both the five days for a response and then five days for it to be mailed that seems to drag for so long.

Subject: time frame
Date Posted: 6/5/2008 10:23 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2007
Posts: 97
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There is a way around this most of the time, use PBS postage, then you don't have to go to the Post Office.....or get stamps.  If a book is going to take several days, give the customer the option of getting the book from someone else.  I notice on Box of Books many do not mail until I mail, I usually mail the same or next day so it is not a problem, of course over the weekend there is a couple of day delay.  Overall I have no problem with the amt of days we have now, surely we have books to read while waiting for one to be delivered.  This is supposed to be fun!

Hugs Pat

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 10:24 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,695
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well, then you are going to have to Make Sure that the 48 hours is an actual 48 hours because I've had it only hold mine for 1 day and 12 hours...by my calculation that is only 36 hours....AND sometimes I need that entire 10 days to be able to get my books to the post office so...they don't need to change it...

example of why:

Request received  Wednesday after 10am...

Mail run for the week made at 9am...

Only day off the next week is Thursday....(that is 9 days)...

so, without the current system the book would be mailed late...

PBS postage is not an option for me...I live on a rural route and mail service pickup is IFFY at best so, mail has to go to the post office.

Last Edited on: 6/5/08 10:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 6/5/2008 10:52 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2008
Posts: 91
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I admit to being very impatient after I've clicked "Order this book" and in that moment, I wish the waiting time was shorter. But overall, it doesn't bother me too much because the lag time is very helpful for many other PBSers, without whom we would have fewer books available to order. My greed for more books trumps my impatience every time! :D

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 11:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 189
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My opinion is that people do (and should!) have a life outside of paperbackswap, and therefore the timeline to mail books is perfectly fine. If it were lifesavingdrugswap, I might feel differently! :-)

I know this wasn't the question, but I think the 48-hour hold for WL books is not long enough. It is not enough to last through a weekend, when people may not have internet access. If I were in charge, people would have 5 days to respond to WL holds too...

Last Edited on: 6/6/08 10:03 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Changing the timeframe
Date Posted: 6/5/2008 11:42 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,445
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I think it works just finethe way it is.  If you can and want to get the book in th mail sooner, great.  But if you happen to be one that can't get to the PO  as often, for what ever reason, then you have the option of extra days.  Like Cozi said, we all have a life and I'm willing to bet we all have something we can read while we are waiting for our new reads.

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 11:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Some people also have to wait for payday and so they let requests sit until the last day before accepting to buy them more time. 

I only get frustrated when it times out on multiple people before being accepted-same with a WL book.  When people hit decline pretty quickly so it goes to the next person that's not annoying (unless several people in a row decline).  It's when it times out on several people and you've held up mailing other books so you can mail the WL one at the same time. 

Also the printed postage fee adds up after a while.  So someone on a really tight budget might let them sit for a few days so they can take multiple requests to the PO to save that printed postage fee. I bought a bunch stamps in various denominations and use that for mailing the smaller books. I got a cheap scale to verify the weight.  I use the printed postage for audio cds(2 credits at risk) and packages over 13oz. 

I wish there was a way to report possibly inactive accounts.  I belong to another book trading site (PBS is my fave and primary trading site).  On that site it'll say the last time the person was logged in and put up a warning that the account might be inactive if they haven't signed on in a while.  That would be an awesome feature here. So you could flag someone's account if they haven't logged in for a month or something.  Or maybe they could put it so that if you don't log in once every 2 wks then your account goes on automatic vacation hold until you log in and take it off hold.  That would probably take care of a lot of dormant accounts.

Last Edited on: 6/5/08 11:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/5/2008 11:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2006
Posts: 387
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I don't mind the time. My TBR is huge, so I always have lots of things to read.

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 1:48 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2005
Posts: 1,594
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I think it takes too long to mark it accepted

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 2:26 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2007
Posts: 2,550
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I like the time we have now.  Sometimes I need every last minute.

But then sometimes when I am waiting on a wish list book that I  have wanted for a long time,  I want it now LOL!


Date Posted: 6/6/2008 12:17 PM ET
Member Since: 2/14/2005
Posts: 1,075
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I think the timelines are fine.    I order & don't give it much thought until I mark the book received.   I have plenty of patience... and books to be read.  :)

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 12:38 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2008
Posts: 797
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 Or maybe they could put it so that if you don't log in once every 2 wks then your account goes on automatic vacation hold until you log in and take it off hold.  That would probably take care of a lot of dormant accounts.

That's an awesome idea!  I don't know if it's possible with the system, but have you suggested it to the higher ups? 

As far as the time, I agree its good the way it is.  It would be nice to have 36 hours at least on WL holds, but for the regular requests, I try to get them accepted and mailed ASAP, but sometimes I'm not working by a PO and once or twice I have had to wait for pay day!

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 10:07 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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It was only through discussions such as this that I learned that some postal carriers will not pick up outgoing mail.  So some people do have to go to the P.O., even if they use printable postage.  For that reason, I'm fine with the time frames as they are.

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 10:21 PM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2006
Posts: 1,760
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I used to be very upset at how long some people take to mail something or even respond but after reading the really good reasons some people have for needing that amount of time I am now happy with the timelines. This was an eyeopener for me. Thanks to everyone who explained the reasons why the time frames are just fine. I now agree!!

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 10:33 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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I find myself impatient as a requester but as a sender the deadlines are perfect so I accept the current format almost completely.  My only problem is when I've ordered a book of which there are only 2 in the system and the first requester seems to no longer be actively involved in the Swap.  I worry all five or six days that the last copy will get requested by someone else before the system times out my first request and moves it on to the next (and last) book in the FIFO.  Fortunately this has yet to happen, but I still find myself nail-biting to the deadline.  Looking at it now it's more of a complaint about people who just abandon their shelves instead of closing their Swap accounts, but I don't suppose there's much more to be done about that than PBS already does.

Date Posted: 6/7/2008 1:48 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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This is the only site of swaps that I use.  I don't think I could handle it if I were on more!  I like the way it's set up here and I don't mind the wait times.  I can understand worrying about the problem JimiJam talks about - now I'll worry about that, too!  ;D  But I don't trust my mail carrier to pick up mail.  I don't trust them to deliver mail, for that matter, because they've lost books and not shut the mailbox so books got completely soaked by rain before I could get to it (rural mailbox).   I do like the idea of automatic vacation hold if they haven't logged on within a certain amount of time. Otherwise, I'm happy.   Just wish my PO were better.

Date Posted: 6/7/2008 7:57 AM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2008
Posts: 515
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Or maybe they could put it so that if you don't log in once every 2 wks then your account goes on automatic vacation hold until you log in and take it off hold.  That would probably take care of a lot of dormant accounts.

That could be a good idea; I think if the site were to do that, though, it should send you some sort of warning if your account is about to be put on hold. I might not log in regularly if people haven't been requesting books from me and I haven't gotten any WL offers, but I'll still send out a book if it's requested from me, or request a WL book if it's offered. The people who won't respond to repeated emails asking them to accept a request also probably wouldn't respond to an email asking them to log in.

Last Edited on: 6/7/08 7:57 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/7/2008 8:32 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Actually accounts that are inactive are held. I dunno how long they have to be inactive. I dont think TPTB have ever stated how long it has to be but they do hold and shut down inactive accounts.

Since Ive been a member people have been asking this same question and suggestiong the same thing (shortening the time frame) but its never been done so I gotta think that TPTB think its a sufficient time frame. Patience is the name of the game around here.

Date Posted: 6/7/2008 8:48 AM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,136
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"If it were lifesavingdrugswap, I might feel differently! :-) "

Funny, Michelle!  Of course, some of us feel that books ARE our lifesaving drugs.  I used to be impatient when I first joined (I think we were all spoiled by mail-order retailers that ship the next day) but I've learned to just wait it out.  It's true that I have a ton of other books to read in the meantime.  I DO like the idea of putting inactive accounts on vacatio hold though.  If PBS does that now, they must wait a really long time to do it--or, they don't do it until a few books time out on someone's account.