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Topic: Very Disappointed in PBS Market

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Subject: Very Disappointed in PBS Market
Date Posted: 7/21/2011 11:04 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 598
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I posted this in another thread, but I think it deserves its own thread. And I did send my feedback to the PBS team. I know they are not the ones shipping the books, but they should seriously reconsider who they are contracting with as it's their reputation on the line.

I ordered two Super Seller books a few weeks ago. Purchased 6/23 at 4:01am, mailed 7/13, which is definitely more than 10 business days. Arrived at my PO on 7/19 which is fine, I have no problem with media mail being used. 

But that's not what got me. What got me is these two, brand new, rather pricey hardbacks which are definitely keeper books for me, were shipped loose in a padded envelope. They arrived OK, but rather banged up around the edges :( What I might expect when receiving a book via trade, but not when shelling out real money for new books that I want to keep.

I just can't justify using the service. It's slow as heck and they're not even taking care when shipping the books. For $1 more (and no PBS credits, so really cheaper), I could have received the same books from Amazon in only a few days and received in a box, so they still would have looked new when I got them. 

I think I'll just be sticking to trading books from here on! 

 
Date Posted: 7/21/2011 11:28 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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I agree that they have been slow when I have ordered and I think the 20 days they took to ship yours is unacceptable. Why on earth should it take 3 weeks to process an order, that is NOT good business practice at all. My packages have been tightly packed though, in a bubble mailer not a box, but it was tightly wrapped. I haven't ordered from them in a while since I got a rather large B&N gift card about a year ago so I haven't ordered since they move the one warehouse,  wonder if that made it worse?

Date Posted: 7/21/2011 12:25 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,696
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If they are using the company I think they are (and I have good reason to believe this), I'd have to tell you I'm not surprised. We get books from them at our store as well, and they just throw the merchandise haphazardly into boxes with no care taken and no packing materials and about 20% of our merchandise shows up damaged. And yes, their shipping times are terrible. We are a big buyer of their stuff (usually thousands of items at a time) and the orders still tend to show up as much as 10 days later than we were told at time of order and they often get the orders wrong as well.  They'll tell us they didn't ship one item because it was out of stock, so they replaced it with total crap that they can't get rid of otherwise to make up the balance of the order. As far as packing is concerned, they seem to get their shipping materials the same way they get their books - overstocks and leftovers from companies that have gone out of business. They don't even have their own shipping boxes - we've had orders arrive in anything from Xerox paper boxes to Walgreens drug boxes.



Last Edited on: 7/21/11 12:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/21/2011 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 1,516
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I've only ordered from there one time.  The packing wasn't excellent, but the books did arrive in good shape.  The time it took to receive them, however, was very long.  Not quite as long as the OP, but still much longer then it should have taken.

Date Posted: 7/21/2011 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 598
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Oh yes, I was also surprised to see this note in the email I got saying the order had shipped: 

 

 

We're writing to tell you that some items from your order (#****) have shipped.
To ensure the fastest possible delivery, sometimes items are shipped separately.  You will not incur
additional shipping charges and you will be notified of further shipments as they are sent out.
It is also possible  that some items from your order could not be fulfilled.  If this is the case, you will receive notification
of cancelation and be refunded your purchase and shipping price for those items.
 
I was like... umm... what??? But I did receive everything I ordered. 
Date Posted: 7/21/2011 7:30 PM ET
Member Since: 9/4/2009
Posts: 291
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Were the books which you ordered shipped by media mail?  I was looking at shipping costs last night and they seemed really high for just one or two books...$5 and $8 depending on how many.  Did I miss something? (I hope, I hope...)

Date Posted: 7/21/2011 7:35 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 598
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Yes, the books were shipped media mail. They were shipped 7/13 and arrived at my PO on 7/19. 

Date Posted: 7/21/2011 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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Were the books which you ordered shipped by media mail?  I was looking at shipping costs last night and they seemed really high for just one or two books...$5 and $8 depending on how many.  Did I miss something? (I hope, I hope...)

This does seem off. It is supposed to be like 3.99 for the first book from a location and 0.50 or 0.99 for additional books from the same location. One book shouldn't be costing $5, 2 books could cost $8 if they are coming from different warehouses.

 

 

 

Date Posted: 7/21/2011 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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Wow, I understand your disappointment. That shipping time is much longer than most (and really seems excessive), especially for an online order, and poorly packaged, resulting in a less than new looking book is sort of tacky as well.

Date Posted: 7/22/2011 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
Posts: 382
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Shipping and handling is not just the postage price, though. It also includes $$ for packing materials and to pay the people who package and mail the items.

Date Posted: 7/23/2011 12:40 AM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
Posts: 1,924
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  I agree, disappointing and the shipping price might not be so bad if the packaging was good and the handling time was reasonable.



Last Edited on: 7/23/11 12:42 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/23/2011 4:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2008
Posts: 1,362
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I guess I just got lucky with the audio book I ordered.  It was going for $36 on Amazon, and I got it for $7 plus a credit on the marketplace (that was the total price, shipping included).  I've been on the WL for it for two years and I just gave in when I saw it come up when I logged in.  It arrived packed in a double layer of bubble mailers and was in great condition.  After reading about everyone else's experiences, I'll think twice before ordering again. 

Date Posted: 7/23/2011 5:03 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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I am surprised.  I have ordered  several times from the market place.   I didn't pay attention to speed, they are sent media mail and media mail can take up to 26 days!  The books were tightly wrapped, padded and "like new".  I was extremely satisifed with the condition and delivery.   I guess for me (my opinion) it doesn't bother  me  that it takes the same amount of time it does when I request a book, especially when the purchase will help avoid a membership fee.

I am wondering if they were out of stock and that is why it took longer to arrive.  I would definately let PBS know  about the poor packaging and send a email to market@paperbackswap.com. 

I am sorry for the bad experience, but with any business, there will be times when things do not go well.  I am not condeming the PBS Market for one small issue posted in a forum or even a few.  My experience has been vastly different and I have been extremely satisifed. 

Remember you can return the books if you are not satisfied...

What is your return policy?  We hope that you are completely satisfied with your purchase. PaperbackSwap stands behind the quality of our products. If there is a problem with your order we will refund the purchase amount excluding shipping and handling costs. If you want to return an item, please contact our customer service department with any questions regarding returns at market@paperbackswap.com.   Items must be returned within 30 days of receipt by the customer. To ensure that your order is returned, it is suggested that you use a shipping method that has a tracking number. Items must be returned in unopened or original conditi

I hope you give them a try again and not have one bad experience sour you on the PBS Market.

ETA:   Removed part about postage, since I am now paying postage through the order I just placed with the Market.  This thread got me thinking about ordering some books.  I am meeting a  friend at Borders tomorrow and it was a smack to the head...PBS Market instead of Borders.

Depending if you purchased new or overstock it can take a longer to ship. I ordered 6 books and I am paying only $10 shipping and handling.

This is the message that appeared on my confirmation screen.

Your PBS Market Overstock book(s) will be shipped within 3 business days of your purchase. Your PBS Market Super Seller book(s) will be shipped 7-10 business days after your purchase. You will receive an e-mail when your order ships.  Books are mailed via USPS Media Mail and typically take 4 to 14 business days to arrive.  So shipping at the most cn be  24  days delays within USPS.

*Fee to support site operating costs

 



Last Edited on: 7/24/11 12:17 AM ET - Total times edited: 5
Date Posted: 7/23/2011 11:01 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,718
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I am glad you let the Team know about your displeasure. I just wonder about your posting here instead of giving them a chance to make it right or to at least have a chance to look into this for you.

And I hope you will share that part of your experience here with us when they do have their chance.

We all know what hard work goes into making this site work for all of us, and the money that they bring in on these book sales help support the site.

While it would be wonderful if the books were less expensive than other places, and the delivery was within a day or two, I usually approach purchases through the market with the support of PBS in mind.

Sometimes cheapest isnt bestest.

These may not be popular opinions, but they are my opinions, and I wanted to add them.

Date Posted: 7/24/2011 11:06 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 598
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The folks at PBS were nice about it and offered to send me new copies of the books. I won't take them up on that... I was disappointed in the condition they arrived in, but it wasn't awful enough to warrant re-sending them and I don't want to hurt the site's bottom line. Plus I'm not confident they would arrive in any better shape than these ones did! But they did say they would consider using boxes for shipments to the west coast. The bubble mailer would have been fine if it had been taped tightly around the books, but it was too loose and I'm sure that's a major reason they were damaged. 

As far as the lengthy processing time, they used the 4th of July holiday as an excuse. I think it's terribly poor customer service to take so long to process an order, I can't think of any other website I've ever ordered from that has been even close to being so slow. 

I placed the order on 6/23 at 4am. For the sake of being nice, we won't count that day, maybe they generate reports in the evening or something for the next day. If we also exclude the 4th of July, that still gives us 12 business days and then it was shipped on the 13 business day (21 days total). If there were going to be extra delays, I should have been notified. 

Oh well, whatever. I think PBS is the customer of the company shipping these books, and they should hold them accountable to keep their end of the deal. I don't think _PBS_ is to blame here, but they are the ones who have to deal with the consequences, unfortunately. 

There have been many message board threads about the slow processing time on the super seller books. I think that's good, people need to know what they are getting into and have realistic expectations. Unfortunately for me, I had ordered from them before, thought I knew what I was getting into, but still ended up being disappointed! 

Date Posted: 7/25/2011 1:00 AM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
Posts: 1,924
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 Thanks for posting, specially about the PBS follow up on this. I think it is important to have such open dialog here about things, no one should feel alone having these issues and clearly your not alone.

 I know it has nothing to do with not supporting PBS, there are other ways to do that still, and maybe if this does not seem to work for more than most PBS will try and work with another company. We love PBS, but the market is a disappointment to some and that is valid.

 

 

Date Posted: 7/25/2011 9:47 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,696
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As far as the lengthy processing time, they used the 4th of July holiday as an excuse. I think it's terribly poor customer service to take so long to process an order, I can't think of any other website I've ever ordered from that has been even close to being so slow.

In the store where I work, only the manager is allowed to process our orders that come through Amazon. If he is on vacation or on a business trip, it could be up to 2 weeks before an order might be processed. It is poor customer service, there's no reason that someone else couldn't handle those orders, but that's how corporate wants them done so there's not much we can do about it. The first time he went away, he put our Amazon account on hold, but corporate told him that would lose us sales so not to do it again! And what is really dumb is that all our stores participate in Amazon sales, and we all have the same stock, so we are competing with each other for sales of the same books! Why they don't just do our online sales out of the main warehouse is beyond me.