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Topic: Very angry - PBS member is selling books!

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Subject: Very angry - PBS member is selling books!
Date Posted: 2/18/2010 11:09 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2007
Posts: 31
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Hi all-

I don't post much, but I'm very angry right now.  Within a week or so of my sending a book to another member, it shows up on eBay.  How do I know it's the same book?  It was published only by our local Historical Society, so it's not widely available.  It doesn't even show up on Amazon.com, so it's quite hard-to-find.

I'M USING MY OWN NAME HERE FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES:

The person I sent it to I know only as "Larry L".  The ebay seller is known as "AcmeBooks" (that's a made-up name, also).  "Larry L" has a Twitter account with the name "AcmeBooks".   "AcmeBooks" maintains online stores on ebay sites in England, Ireland, Australia, Canada, Spain, Malaysia, India, Singapore, and the Phillippines.  Such commercial sales of PBS-obtained books are clearly against the rules.

I probably can't do anything about it, but I needed to vent.  I'm so angry!!!  Thanks for listening.

Larry



Last Edited on: 2/18/10 11:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/18/2010 11:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2005
Posts: 1,586
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You may want to edit out all the details here and copy this post to the feedback area I don't think you can post people's screen names on here and all , I think it is against the rules just as it is to get a ton of books ONLY to sell......How do you know this wasn't the only book from PBS this person sold? I am not bustin' your chops but want to help you not get in trouble yourself with this post.

Date Posted: 2/18/2010 11:21 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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Sandy's right, you really should edit your post.  Whether or not your allegations are true, PBS would frown upon the inclusion of specifics (like name, nickname) in your post.  This is something that should be taken directly to PBS through the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page. 

Date Posted: 2/18/2010 11:26 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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I'm sorry you are angry, but...is it really against the rules?? And how would they ever begin to be enforced? Books I've mailed to others I consider to be their property - and thus, they can do whatever they want with it. Repost it, give it away, keep it, or yes, even sell it. There is no requirement here to relist the book on PBS.  And, if you no longer wanted the book and listed it here to trade for a book that presumably you wanted more rather than marketing it yourself...why are you "following" it so closely?

I can see you would be frustrated, but they could have sold it to a local collector, or even traded it at the ubs, and those sales would be unknown to you (or anyone else).

I'm not being snarky, but truly am confused a bit by your wrath...

Date Posted: 2/18/2010 11:31 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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Actually, Jodi, it is against the rules.  From the relevant Help Doc:

Can members resell books received from PBS?

  • PBS may not be used to obtain books for the purpose of resale.  Commercial use of the site is prohibited.
  • When you receive a book you requested, it does belong to you, and you can do whatever you would like with it after you have read it.   An occasional resale of an item obtained here for personal use is OK.
    • Of course we would like to see you repost your books on this site when you are finished with them, because it makes more books available for our many members to choose from.
    • Again, the occasional PBS book that is obtained for personal use, and then ends up being sold elsewhere, is perfectly okay. However, any systematic attempt to obtain books for resale (instead of personal use) will jeopardize your membership, and may lead to criminal prosecution.
    • That means: if you obtain books to read, and sell an occasional one, that is fine. If you request a book not to read, but in order to re-sell it, that is NOT fine.
  • We do have some booksellers who belong to the club.
    • They contribute a lot of books here, and booksellers are usually avid readers too!
    • Booksellers per se are not prohibited from membership.
    • But if there is a pattern to a bookseller's (or any member's account) of systematically obtaining books for resale, or if it becomes clear that a bookseller is attempting to use PBS to stock his or her (online or brick-and-mortar) bookstore, we will close his or her membership permanently, and legal prosecution may ensue. Again, commercial activity is prohibited at PBS.

eta: I should say, however, that I do agree.  As much as I am a stickler for rules, I don't necessarily understand the "very angry" part of the Op's thread title.  It upsets me to find people trying to cheat a system, wherever it may be, but I don't know that my concern would remotely resemble anger.  Again, the personal information in the original post needs removed, and the issue needs brought to the attention of PBS through feedback, not a post in the Question's thread.



Last Edited on: 2/18/10 11:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/18/2010 11:37 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2006
Posts: 34,914
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Along the same lines, this is from the TOS:

Commercial Use Prohibited

This Site and the associated service are to be used for non-commercial purposes only. Commercial use of the Site or associated service is absolutely prohibited and constitutes a breach of this contract, giving rise to substantial damages. Commercial use includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Any systematic effort to resell ordered items online or in person

But Larry, you really do need to edit out the personal information in your post.

Subject: Commercial sales are prohibited
Date Posted: 2/18/2010 11:38 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2007
Posts: 31
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Your points on mentioning specific identifying information are well-taken.  But this person is in the business of selling books, postcards, and other ephemera.  PBS rules clearly stipulate that although occasional individual sales are OK, commercial businesses are not permitted.  This person maintains ebay websites in - at least - the U.S., England, Ireland, Spain, India, Singapore, Canada, Australia, and the Phillippines.  By joining PBS, we agree to abide by the rules.  If we can break the rules whenever we want, what's the point of having them?

And as far as my "following" it so closely, I came upon it by happenstance, nothing more.  Twice a month I search ebay for items relating to my hometown to add to my collection.  On my last search, this book showed up.  I don't consider that "following it closely".

Date Posted: 2/18/2010 11:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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James, thanks. Ah, sytematically obtaining books for resale. That thought didn't cross my mind - didn't quite understand the furor over a single book.



Last Edited on: 2/18/10 11:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/18/2010 11:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 10,317
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I understand your frustration, I really do.  It sucks when you think that someone is working the system and getting away with it.  But, the other posters are right, it would be best to leave out the personal info and contact the Team.  You can post about the situation, but it is best to leave out any identifying info so the situation can be investigated fairly.

Date Posted: 2/18/2010 11:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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Using PBS to get books to sell chaps my hinny too, but we DO have booksellers as members and they are allowed to have personal accounts here. The existance of their Ebay store does not in itself break any rules. Most of the booksellers are great members and provide quite a bit of inventory on PBS. This could be the only book obtained here that the member has ever sold. Maybe it wasn't to their liking and they decided to dump it. That would not violate the TofU here. Letting the Team know about the member and their account will help them track it down and make sure the member isn't violating the TofU. The Team does not take that lightly and they will look into.

Date Posted: 2/18/2010 11:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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I completely understand your grievance, Larry, honestly, but the fact remains that while they may be breaking the rules it still doesn't warrant calling them out onto the carpet publicly and subjected to your accusations, however accurate they may be.  It's bad forum etiquette, and genuinely discouraged by PBS.  You're more than welcome to find that out from them, if you'd like to include it in your feedback.



Last Edited on: 2/18/10 11:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: personal information has been removed.
Date Posted: 2/18/2010 11:46 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2007
Posts: 31
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Thanks for the heads-up on this, everyone.  As they used to say on Dragnet, "the names have been changed to protect the innocent".

Larry

Date Posted: 2/18/2010 11:55 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2006
Posts: 34,914
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Thanks for editing Larry.   No need to get yourself in hot water too. 

Date Posted: 2/19/2010 12:09 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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This could be the only book obtained here that the member has ever sold. Maybe it wasn't to their liking and they decided to dump it. That would not violate the TofU here. Letting the Team know about the member and their account will help them track it down and make sure the member isn't violating the TofU.

This is what I was thinking.  Just because they sell postcards and other memorabilia and this one book doesn't necessarily mean they are systematically selling books from PBS on Ebay.  I might be annoyed in these particular circumstances too, but the evidence seems a little incomplete.

Date Posted: 2/19/2010 1:04 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2007
Posts: 2,534
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Larry,  Sorry someone sold your book.  Even though the occasional booksale is allowed, it sucks! 

 

Date Posted: 2/19/2010 6:54 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Anything rare, or with a high enough resale value to make it profitable, runs a risk of ending up in the hands of a reseller, so once you let them go, it's best to not look back.  This isn't a good source for obtaining inventory for resale, but there are exceptions, and resellers get books everywhere they can.  FOL sales, UBS's, estate sales, yard sales, and yes, occasionally PBS too, I have no doubt.  The selling portion is only part of it.  But the key here is the "pattern of systematically obtaining books for resale", and are they attempting to use PBS to stock their stores.  With the cost of a credit & shipping, there aren't enough books available in the system that would have a high enough profit margin on resale to use PBS "systematically".  Most of those books are going to have a WL, and then there's the issue of condition - which affects resale value.   You don't know what that is until you get it.  It's doable, in the sense that if I were reselling, it would be stupid of me to be a member here & not have books that I could resell for big profits on my WL.  But there's no guarantee that I'd ever get them, or if I did, that they'd be in good enough condition to make much money off of.

Date Posted: 2/19/2010 10:38 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Larry,  Sorry someone sold your book.  Even though the occasional booksale is allowed, it sucks! 

While agree that not allowing commercial resale is a good idea, people need to get over the idea that it's still 'their book' once it goes out. Unless the OP knew that the receiver was selling more than one book from here on eBay, I don't see that they have a reason to complain let alone get upset over it.

They're not our books any longer, and IMHO, no longer any of our business where they end up.

If people think someone is selling commercially, (and one book isn't going to be 'proof' of anything), then contact TPTB privately. Let them worry about it and keep track if there's anything to keep track of.

But to come here, make accusations and get upset over it? Way over reaction over something that's no longer theirs.

You can't feel like you're sending out your children here. Don't post anything here if you can't let it go, mentally or physically. Otherwise you'll just drive yourself crazy over nothing.

 

 

 



Last Edited on: 2/19/10 10:38 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/19/2010 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2009
Posts: 1,370
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We recently discussed this over in the Club Members Thoughts forum .

Can't get the linky to work, old thread here http://www.paperbackswap.com/forum/topic.php?t=196340



Last Edited on: 2/19/10 1:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Subject: the real issue
Date Posted: 2/19/2010 5:55 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2007
Posts: 31
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The issue is NOT whether it's the recipient's book to use as he/she pleases, and I don't still consider it "my book".  The issue is that clearly stated rules are being ignored, and PBS is being used for personal profit.  The person in question actually listed the book on ebay BEFORE she marked it received on PBS.  I can't believe anyone honestly thinks this is the only book this person has sold.  Others may want to let it slide, but rules exist for a reason.  And when we joined PBS, we agreed to abide by the rules.

Larry

Date Posted: 2/19/2010 6:24 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,690
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Well Larry...the only thing you can do is send the information to TPTB and then you need to let it go as there is nothing more you can do.

Date Posted: 2/19/2010 7:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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The issue is that clearly stated rules are being ignored, and PBS is being used for personal profit.

No, it's not.

People are allowed to sell their books, on eBay or anywhere else. They can't make a business of using this site to supply their stores, but they certainly can sell the books they get here.

As posted above...

When you receive a book you requested, it does belong to you, and you can do whatever you would like with it after you have read it.   An occasional resale of an item obtained here for personal use is OK.

So one book isn't an issue. Only a pattern of it is.

And listing a book on eBay before it's one has been received also isn't proof of anything. I've gotten rid of books from my collections, here, on Ebay and at UBS, because I've gotten better replacements from here.

What you do it report it to TPTB and let them deal with it. Calling them out on a public forum was uncalled for.

Date Posted: 2/20/2010 8:45 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 2,584
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And listing a book on eBay before it's one has been received also isn't proof of anything. I've gotten rid of books from my collections, here, on Ebay and at UBS, because I've gotten better replacements from here.

 

Seconding this.  There have been a few times when I got a book from a series through here, liked the series enough to want to read the rest of it, purchased the rest of the series - Then, at a later date if my tastes changed, sold off the full series.

I don't consider this cheating PBS.  I think I've done this twice, in my entire membership life, and I've been a member since 2006. 

Date Posted: 2/20/2010 10:43 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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The issue is that clearly stated rules are being ignored, and PBS is being used for personal profit.  The person in question actually listed the book on ebay BEFORE she marked it received on PBS.  I can't believe anyone honestly thinks this is the only book this person has sold.  Others may want to let it slide, but rules exist for a reason.  And when we joined PBS, we agreed to abide by the rules.

I don't think anyone was saying you should let it slide, and it may not be the only book she got from PBS and then sold on ebay, but it happens that this is the only one you know about.  There is no question of what the rules state & that we all agreed to them.  When you see a situation like this, yes, you should certainly bring it to the attention of the PBS team and let them figure out if there's a pattern or not, and decide how it should be dealt with.  What you can't do is take matters into your own hands and publically out someone for breaking the rules.

Date Posted: 2/20/2010 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2010
Posts: 400
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I have some questions, and it for my education purpose, to understand the rules here on PBS, not a complaint on what has been said here.

Larry, in his first  post, stated that he was using his name and a factious business. 

Why is that wrong to do?   If he had said the person true name, the name of their bookstore or whatever it is called I can see there being a problem.  Want to understand why, not griping, but why the using of his name and a fake business not allowed?

Is it possible to find out who requested the book from someone?  Again, this is for me to understand if it is possible, not if someone did.  Is it possible for anyone to check my transactions and find out who requested books from me and who I sent books too? 

From his original post, it seems that he just wanted to vent.

And I guess I am also wondering what did I miss; where did he stated that he wanted PBS to take immediate action?  I didn't see where he wanted to create a mob with tar and feathers to track down the individual.  

As a side note, on his level of anger, frustration, I am sure that all of us have something that we see as special and others think we are being silly to have such an attachment.  Put yourself in his shoes and see it from his perspective, not your own.

Janette

Date Posted: 2/20/2010 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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Larry, in his first  post, stated that he was using his name and a factious business. 

Why is that wrong to do?   If he had said the person true name, the name of their bookstore or whatever it is called I can see there being a problem.  Want to understand why, not griping, but why the using of his name and a fake business not allowed?

I'm pretty sure he didn't originally. Several people said they were glad he changed the names in his first post. I didn't see it before it was edited so I'm just assuming this based on the other posts mentioning that he did change it.



Last Edited on: 2/20/10 1:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
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