Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Ugh, newbie problem...

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Ugh, newbie problem...
Date Posted: 1/27/2009 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2005
Posts: 87
Back To Top

Ok, really I do appreciate when new people join, but my only beef is that some absolutely do not read the help documents about posting guidlines.  I received a book today with extensive underlining and writing, which was not agreed upon by me.  It is for my son's history curriculum and the writing is just too distracting.  I did ask for my credit back, but the response I got was that it was their first book sent and they didn't know. 

Would you continue to press for the credit back.  I just can't think of how many times I have let the credit go because the person was new.  But TBH, with the economy and my having to cut back, I just can't keep doing it.  What would you do?



Last Edited on: 1/27/09 11:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/27/2009 9:27 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
Back To Top

I would copy and paste the section of the Help Center about what can and can not be posted here and ask again that they return the credit. Everyone, new or old, agrees to the posting guidelines when posting books. They pop right up and must be agreed to before the book can be posted. Here is what the popup says:

Please remember our club is based on honesty and integrity about our books. Books swapped at PaperBackSwap must be in good condition. In order to post this book it must meet the conditions below:

  1. My book is not missing its cover.
  2. My book is not an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC).
  3. My book has no water damage of any kind.
  4. My book has no writing, underlining or highlighting on text pages.
    (There is a textbook exception.)
  5. My book is not excessively worn, and it is in good condition.

And right below it there are two buttons, one says "I should not post this book" and the other says "I am able to post this book"

So, I didnt know is not an excuse. I would not let it go. By letting it go, we allow members to continue to not be responsible. The first book sent is as good a time to learn what can and can not be done here, as the 100th book.

When I was a new member, I mailed 2 books to the wrong address. I had mixed up the wrappers. I sent each a credit (that I had to purchase) to cover the cost of postage and asked if they would send the books to each other. Then I sent them each back their credits when they marked the books as received. It was a great way to learn to pay attention when I was wrapping books.

Date Posted: 1/27/2009 9:55 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
Back To Top

Yes, I would continue to ask for my credit back. I know this site can be overwhelming at first, but the help documents are very clear about what condition the books need to be in, especially when it comes to textbooks and highlighting. I don't think being new is an excuse.

Date Posted: 1/27/2009 10:02 PM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2008
Posts: 836
Back To Top

I too, would ask for the credit.

Date Posted: 1/27/2009 10:08 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,733
Back To Top

I'd ask for the credit too.  We were all new once but, still, she made a mistake and she needs to make it right.

Date Posted: 1/27/2009 10:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2007
Posts: 6,567
Back To Top

I'd ask for my credit back. I mean it is just common sense that someone would not want a book like that. It is very hard to read a book with underlining and highlighting.


Date Posted: 1/27/2009 10:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 69
Back To Top

I'm not saying that you shoudln't ask for the credit back (you should), but about those rules poping up when you post - If you post multiple books at a time, that screen doesn't actually pop up, so for people like me who tried to post our first ten books in a rush, you don't see those rules unless you go hunting through the Help section.

Date Posted: 1/27/2009 11:07 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 10,282
Back To Top


Last Edited on: 2/2/15 2:10 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/27/2009 11:34 PM ET
Member Since: 12/20/2008
Posts: 1,417
Back To Top

Well, if the book if for a history curriculum, might the sender have used it for his/her schooling and therefore posted it thinking it qualified as a textbook?

Not taking sides, just offering another perspective.

Date Posted: 1/27/2009 11:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2005
Posts: 87
Back To Top

Yeah, Becki, you are right.  I do know that probably the majority of new people read the help docs.  Most of my problem swaps have always been new people who always say the same thing..."I didn't know."  I think I will continue to ask for my credit back, I just feel so darned bad because I know that mistakes happen, especially when you are new.

Date Posted: 1/27/2009 11:39 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2007
Posts: 453
Back To Top

They might have thought that Melissa- but even then they still didn't follow the rules.  In the case of a textbook, the sender must contact the receiver to let them know about the underlining/highlighting and the requestor must agree to accept it.  Either way they screwed up.

Date Posted: 1/28/2009 12:09 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 10,282
Back To Top


Last Edited on: 2/2/15 2:31 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 1/28/2009 12:27 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 294
Back To Top

I agree with the other folks, Tricia, that you should mush on and keep asking for your credit back. And Cheryl's idea of cutting and pasting the text from the pop-up with the line about "honesty and integrity" (maybe highlight that?), and then the five conditions, is a good one.

You could also tell this newbie person that you raised this question on a Swap forum (describe it in a way that sounds authoritative <grin>), just to be meticulously fair and everything, and that the people who responded were fully in support of your asking for the credit back. That's why our replies, here, are not just me-too's: they're countable votes of confidence.

One question, though: I don't know what the deal is with the "textbook exception." Is there any chance that the person who mailed you the book thought that it fell under that exception and could be messier for that reason? Just wondering...

Another point: Tricia, this is just advice from a stranger, but don't let this sort of thing make you lose your cool. Your opening salvo--with its statement that newbies on Swap "absolutely do not read the help documents about posting guidlines"--is way out of line. I agree with Becki B. that those are "sweeping generalizations" that "paint all newbies as irresponsible." <cough cough>  I'm a newbie myself. I just joined on the 5th of this month.

I got off track there. What I wanted to say is, I have a lot of sympathy for how frustrated you must be, Tricia, a frustration, indeed exasperation, that shows in the first line of your posting.  Just don't let this thing, or sort of thing, bug you anymore. Figure out your course of action with this dimwitted loser--saying things like "dimwitted loser," or something much more creatively colorful, may help <grin>-- and let the chips fall where they may. If you get the credit back, fine; if you don't get it back, it's a chance to look over your strategy, and fine-tune it for next time.

I wouldn't be saying all this, if you hadn't said that it's a bigger problem than this one time:  "I just can't think of how many times I have let the credit go because the person was new.  But TBH, with the economy and my having to cut back, I just can't keep doing it."

Again, this is just what-I-would-do stuff, and I'm a newbie, but in these sorts of situations before, I've relied on boilerplate--i.e., pre-composed letters or parts of letters I have filed away until I need them. When do you write the boilerplate? When you're relaxed, in a good mood, and *not* in a kerfluffle over one of these dirty-book dweebs.

For example: you could write Polite Letter #1 for when you get the unacceptably messy book --> tell them why it's unacceptable, not quoting the rules, instead giving them the benefit of the doubt, and asking for your credit back; then Polite Letter #2 for when the person gives a lame excuse --> now you quote the rules, explain again why the book they sent is against the rules, and ask for your credit back (since it's best if you don't address the excuse anyway, it doesn't need to be tailored to fit the circumstance); and finally, Polite (even *pleasant*) Letter #3 is leaner and less specific, and can be re-used multiple times, tweaked just a bit so as to seem spontaneous, as needed --> basically says those are the rules and asks for your credit back. Never engage with the other person's lame-ass wheedling. Just send your Miss Manners letters, friendly but firm, unwavering re. the rules and re. your credit, and never give it another thought.

So when it happens again, and some clueless noob shafts you, you don't have to suffer: just blast them with your boilerplate and wear them down with politeness. More often than not, works for me. And it's a *ton* less wear and tear on the ol' psyche-a-roony.

                                                        --long-windedly yours,


Date Posted: 1/28/2009 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 6,396
Back To Top

As a newbie myself who spent A LOT of time reading through the help documents, I understand that there are a lot of rules and things you may not know about how this site works (I don't post textbooks so don't know the first thing about how those rules work) - but that is no reason not to give the credit back, so I agree with everyone else here that you should ask for it.

Date Posted: 1/28/2009 12:26 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2005
Posts: 87
Back To Top

Hey Becky, you do not owe me an apology.  I changed it because, it really was a blanket statement, and i felt it was unfair.  :-)  Chaulk it up to the heat of the moment when I was a little miffed about the situation.  <grin>.  I am much more relaxed about it now and realize that in the grand scheme of all my trades here(and there have been a fair number of  bad, but mostly good) in general, if I am nice to a newbie that maybe didn't understand the rules, it will give me good karma, and keep them here as valuable members.

Fiona, I appreciate your candidness as a "newbie".  I definitely was a little miffed when I originally got the book and posted a message.  I so need to learn to let things settle (especially my feelings) before jumping into things.  I really honestly think that this person did not know and in no way did it intentionally.  I am definitely going to be as nice as I can.  The person mentioned it was their first ever book being traded and I don't want them to be upset about it for sure.  I appreciate all your thoughts.  Mainly I think I was wondering if people let newbies slide a little more than the seasoned trader.  I know I do.

Thanks again to everyone for all of your thoughts.


Date Posted: 1/28/2009 12:27 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2005
Posts: 87
Back To Top

Oh and to everyone who is new who responded, WELCOME TO PBS!!!  :-)

Date Posted: 1/28/2009 7:50 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 10,282
Back To Top


Last Edited on: 2/2/15 2:39 AM ET - Total times edited: 2