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Topic: Unrequested book received with requested book. What to do?

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Subject: Unrequested book received with requested book. What to do?
Date Posted: 9/9/2016 3:20 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 613
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This is a new one for me.  I received a requested book the other day.  In the same package was a book that I HADN'T requested.  Both books were wrapped (individually) in plastic, so the sender put some effort into mailing.  I have no idea why I received this book.  It didn't look like a book I would ever read, but I doublechecked my wish list.  Nope, not there.  I looked at the title in the system -- there are 54 copies available.  I asked the sender (who has a very large bookshelf) if the book was supposed to go to someone else, but haven't heard back. 

How long would be reasonable to hang on to this book before posting it?  As I said, it's not a book I would ever read, but if somone is sitting there twiddling their thumbs thinking it's on its way, I do't want to post it. 

Date Posted: 9/9/2016 3:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,661
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is this what they call looking a gift horse in the mouth?

Date Posted: 9/9/2016 4:44 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 613
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"is this what they call looking a gift horse in the mouth?"

Wow, that's a bit harsh (and, if I may say, unhelpful).  I wasn't complaining; I asked a simple question. I wouldn't presume that it was a gift... There was no note in the package to indicate such.  I don't know that the sender didn't make a mistake and that somebody else isn't waiting for it.  The sender hasn't answered my message about it... I'm not even sure that she's read the message.  I was just looking for guidance on a reasonable amount of time to wait. 

Date Posted: 9/9/2016 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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BookwormKath,  you're doing what you can.  When I include a free movie I put a note on the movie saying "I thought you might like this bonus movie"!  So either they forget to include a note or they sent you someone else's book.  If it's a mistake you might hear from them in 3-4 weeks if not sooner.  

Date Posted: 9/9/2016 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,714
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I've gotten extra books before. Not often, but it has happened.

If there is no note, then I just send a PM that says somethign along the lines of "Thank you for including the extra book, blah blah blah. Just in case this was mailed accidentally, now you know what happened to it. Thanks again!"

You can go ahead and post it. You are not obligated to save it for some other receiver, who may or may not exist.

If it was sent to you in error after all, AND you still have it AND you want to work out the correct mailing with the sender, that's OK, but if you don't want to, and just want to post it yourself, that's OK too. The other transaction will just get canceled and the other orderer will either get the next FIFO book from someone else, or be the first wisher in line if it was a Wish Listed book.



Last Edited on: 9/9/16 5:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/9/2016 7:49 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,260
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I've gotten those with no note or anything to indicate it's a freebie. You've done what you can and should....ask the member about it. If you haven't heard within 5 days, I would consider it free to do what you want with. I know some members consider it a kindness to include a free book...myself, I find it an annoyance since it's never anything I would have chosen, I have to PM to see if it was sent to the wrong person, and then I have to dispose of it. 

Date Posted: 9/9/2016 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
Posts: 389
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If the sender did mean for it to go to someone else and they let you know that, you can offer to send the book on to the right person. You are not obligated to do so, but it doesn't have to be a big hassle. The sender can purchase PBS postage, save the resulting PDF and email it to you for printing. This will cost you the ink, paper, envelope and tape, plus the time to put the package in the mail. I once made a similar mistake and the person who got the extra wrong book was kind enough to do this for me. I was very grateful. Also I find "Ignore this member" pretty convenient for people who are not helpful and just want to make wisecracks.

Date Posted: 9/9/2016 9:41 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 613
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Thank you, ladies.  I'll sit on it for a few weeks just to make sure it wasn't an error.  I'm happy to mail it on if it was.  I feel a little weird about posting something that was a freebie...  Maybe I'll donate it somewhere. 

Thanks again for your guidance. 

Date Posted: 9/10/2016 8:37 AM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2010
Posts: 15,291
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I don't see why you should feel uncomfortable posting a bonus book. Waiting a fortnight or so should certainly be adequate time to clear up any mistake made by the sender. After that you should have no qualms about posting it.

Date Posted: 9/10/2016 8:39 AM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 1,397
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Kath, you said there are 54 copies in the system already, you could probably go ahead and post it now (if you're going to) and start working up the queue, it will probably be weeks or months before it is requested anyway.  Also, since there are 54 other copies in the system, even if it was meant for someone else, there are plenty more copies of that book available for that person to order (their credit will be returned on this one anyway) - it's not like you would be keeping someone's long-awaited WL book. 

I wouldn't feel at all weird about posting a freebie book.   It's yours to do as you see fit and if you have no interest in reading it, post away.  You shouldn't feel "guilty" about not wanting to read a book just because (perhaps) someone who doesn't even know you thought you would. 



Last Edited on: 9/10/16 8:40 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/11/2016 4:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,714
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I feel a little weird about posting something that was a freebie

Why? Someone sent you something they don't want anymore. In fact, all books (ordered or not) that people send out on PBS are books they don't want anymore, and have no interest in keeping in their own home.

You don't want it either, right? So post it. No need to worry overmuch about the feelings of a stranger who mailed you something you didn't ask for and don't want to keep. They certainly didn't want it either.

Date Posted: 9/11/2016 4:37 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 613
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"Why? Someone sent you something they don't want anymore."

I guess it just feels wrong to earn a credit for something that didn't cost me a credit.  I'm guilty of overthinking things.  indecision

I finally heard from the sender with the message "just keep it," so I guess it wasn't sent in error.  I'm glad to know someone isn't waiting for it. 

Date Posted: 9/11/2016 5:49 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,260
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A note included with a free book would go a long way to avoid confusion over why one is getting a book one didn't request!

Date Posted: 9/11/2016 6:11 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 613
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"A note included with a free book would go a long way to avoid confusion over why one is getting a book one didn't request!"

It really would, especially for worrywarts like me. 

Date Posted: 9/11/2016 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,457
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I always send a note if I include a freebie book with an order.  I also make sure it's something on the other person's WL.

Date Posted: 9/12/2016 11:00 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,661
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the few times I have sent an extra book it has always been a book by the same author as the request. I haven't yet sent a note about it but there doesn't seem to be any confusion.

Date Posted: 9/13/2016 10:25 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2008
Posts: 8,378
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This situation is a great example that sending an unexplained, unrequested book is usually not welcomed by the recipient.  The sender may intend to do a kindness, but often the recipient has any number of negative reactions to getting the book.  Hopefully the sender had good intentions rather than dumping a highly-available book on an unsuspecting member.

Date Posted: 9/13/2016 10:35 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,260
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Gotta agree 100% with VolunteerVal! I do not mind someone offering me a freebie, but I resent having it dumped on me as a surprise, not knowing whether it is a mistake or what. I am trying so hard to not bring in things to my home that I do not need. I know some members probably are thinking, "What's the big deal? Just donate it"...but why should I have to do that? If it is a book you no longer want, perhaps I don't either, and perhaps the sender is the one who should think about donating it.

Date Posted: 9/13/2016 1:05 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 613
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You both make a good point.  I certainly don't mind donating the book, but the sender went to the trouble to individually wrap it and the additional expense to mail it.  A quick PM to ask if I had wanted it would have saved her the effort and cost (and prevented the confusion on my end at receiving it).  She could have accomplished the same thing by donating it on her end.