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Topic: Is This Typical

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Subject: Is This Typical
Date Posted: 9/30/2009 2:49 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2009
Posts: 4
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So, for the second month in a row I have requested a book that I need for book club.  For the second month in a row, I am still waiting over three weeks for members to decide to send me the book.  Mostly I've had people just not respond and let the 5 days expire (I think 5 days is way too long to begin with), but twice now I've had people say they will send the book but don't.  This last one was supposed to send my book on the 27th, but didn't, and it only got put to another mbr as a requested book this morning at 3am.  Why did it not roll to another mbr immediately on the 28th? 

Is this typical because if it is, I'll just go back to half.com for my books because I really need them.  I'm beyond frustrated right now.  The first one, even after three people ignored my requested, and I cancelled it and bought the book for lack of time, I figured it was a fluke...but now, the second time around, I'm no longer feeling like it is a fluke. 

Date Posted: 9/30/2009 2:56 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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It sounds like the books you are looking for are pretty heavily posted. I reccomend looking through the shelves of people you see on the forums and ordering directly from them. It might take a bit, but at least you know they are active on the site and will probably send out the book quickly.

Date Posted: 9/30/2009 3:16 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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I wouldn't say that it's typical, but I'm not totally surprised that it happened the way that you say it did.

Getting books from PBS through the FIFO system requires patience.  Yes, someone could accept your order right away, wrap it and send it and you would have it withiin days.  Many orders do go that fast.  BUT the PBS system actually allows a sender almost two weeks max time to get your book order in the mail (5 days to accept the order, 7 days to mark it mailed, and another day beyond that to actually get the book into the mail).   And that's assuming that the first person in the FIFO line is an active member - otherwise it will take five days to time out and roll to the next member as you have found.

I used to get my bookclub books here also, and I got just as frustrated as you do because I wasn't allowing enough time for the PBS system to work.  Luckily, my bookclub chooses it's books way in advance, so I started ordering further in advance.  I allow at least a month, but usually get the books in about two weeks or less.   If your bookclub doesn't choose its books more than a month in advance, PBS FIFO might not be the best way for you to get them.

If the book that you are looking for is one that is heavily posted  - or at least not wishlisted - then your best bet may be to post a thread in the Book Bazaar saying that you are looking for a copy of that book and need to get it relatively fast.

Last Edited on: 9/30/09 9:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/30/2009 3:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I don't get any books here that I need quickly unless I ask on the boards first and find a regular poster that can send it out ASAP.  Even if someone responds right away, if they take the full week to mail (5 day mail by date and 2 day grace period) with media mail it can still take a month. 

All the books I've ordered that have had repeated time outs have all been fairly heavily posted books.  Whenever I order a book that only has a couple of copies it gets picked up by the 1st person. But those heavily posted books seem to time out on at least 1 person.  (which is why I will frequently check the shelves of buddies or ask in teh genre forum is someone has the book on their shelf). 

I think it's because people join PBS half-heartedly.  Oh this looks like fun-then they have nothing but heavily posted books that don't get ordered.  So by the time they work their way up FIFO they've lost interest in PBS. They either ignore the PMS or don't have that email anymore.  Who knows.

Date Posted: 9/30/2009 6:04 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
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I've had that happen a couple of times.  It seems like Murphy's Law has a special affinity for this place.  The books I want most & quickly tend to be the slowest to arrive.  I even had one case this spring where I wanted a book.  The first was unpostable and I ended up seeing a nice copy at the UBS while the second copy was on its way.  I bought the UBS copy because I just knew that the 2nd PBS book was going to be a dud.  Nope.  It was a great copy.  So, now I have 2.  Thanks for the reminder, I need to post the 2nd copy now that the 1st is gone.

Date Posted: 9/30/2009 8:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2005
Posts: 2,317
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What book(s)?  Maybe someone who reads the boards and actually mails books has it / them?

Last Edited on: 9/30/09 8:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/1/2009 9:31 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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As others say, I wouldn't say it's typical, but it does happen, especially if you're requesting books that have a lot of copies in the system. People who post primarily those types of books often drift away from PBS because their books don't get requested quick enough so they lose interest and don't check in anymore. But they leave their bookshelves intact so their copies still appear in the system. PBS is now weeding those folks out by deactivating their accounts if they have a couple of requests that go unresponded to, but it takes the patience of our members waiting through those lack of responses to cause that to happen.

Any book that I needed quickly, I would not rely on PBS to provide. Most of the time, books are accepted and sent in a timely manner, but you know how Murphys Law works--those ones you need soon, it will take ages!