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Topic: WL books accepted then the PM comes

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Subject: WL books accepted then the PM comes
Date Posted: 1/29/2008 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 47
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Several times I have had a book on my WL accepted by a member and then I get a pm from them explaining a situation with the book - my son spilled a little water, there's a little writing in the back , no dust jacket etc. They ask if I still want the book.  I've always said yes and most of the time it is no big deal.  But, the water story looked more like a drop in the toilet and the no dust jacket had a warped front cover and something spilled on it.  I can't post these books so I put them on the book bazar, explain the situation and hope someone will want them enough to give me a credit.  My question is - if I tell them no I don't want the book will I lose my place in line?  Is there a better way to handle these situations?  Thanks for any advice.

Date Posted: 1/29/2008 2:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2006
Posts: 51
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If you have them mark that they can't mail the book then you don't loose your place in line.  You can't cancel the transaction they have to. 

Date Posted: 1/29/2008 2:36 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2005
Posts: 12,167
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Gloria, in that situation, you should tell them that you don't want the book and THEY need to cancel the transaction.  If they cancel, you don't lose your place in line. 

If you cancel from your end, you would, so it's a good thing to be aware of. 

Date Posted: 1/29/2008 2:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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If I get a message like those, my response will be: "A book with water damage is not postable. Offer it as a freebie at the book bazaar." Then report the incident to R&R by the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of the page.

NEVER pay a credit for an unpostable book. It's NOT OK for someone to offer their damaged books for credit, just because they're wishlisted. Period.

Date Posted: 1/29/2008 2:38 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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What people are doing to you is against PBS policy (unless the "situation" happened in between the time you ordered the book and the time they went to mail it).  People should never post an unpostable book and then PM you about the condition.  If that happens to you again - THEY are to cancel it, not you, so you don't lose your place in line.

My advice is to never, ever accept a damaged unpostable book in exchange for a credit.  That person should receive a PM back with the posting requirements and asking them to cancel the transaction.

ETA:  AND, if they get snarky with you in response, report them to R&R who can respond to repeat offenders.  This sort of thing really irks me as you can probably tell! 



Last Edited on: 1/29/08 2:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/29/2008 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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Lisa, I don't think we should just report if there's a snarky response. I would report it regardless. It's a blatant violation of the rules, and who knows if that member does this regularly? No way to know unless it's reported, ya' know.

Date Posted: 1/29/2008 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 760
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I've had a couple of books that I've sent out - harbacks that don't have the dust jacket.  When someone requests the book, I always let them know what the situation is.  The books have all been postable, just no dust jacket.  I had one woman get really angry about it, so my policy has been to forewarn the requestor.

But if I get a book that's unpostable, I report them.

Date Posted: 1/29/2008 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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Melani, members who want the DJ with their HB's need to have a requestor condition saying so. A HB without DJ is a postable book, and a PM shouldn't be sent to confirm the condition of the book. If the book meets PBS conditions, send it out. If the book does not meet PBS conditions, it should not be posted.

The only books that require a PM to confirm condition are cookbooks and textbooks, and those are only necessary if the book doesn't meet PBS conditions because of writing or stains. If the book meets PBS conditions, no PM confirmation is necessary.

Date Posted: 1/29/2008 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 760
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Jane, I really don't mind sending a PM about the book and so far, no one has been upset about getting it.  I've had only one person say they didn't want the book and I suggested they include the dust jacket requirement in their user conditions.

Of course, after being in the forums lately I see that there are plenty of people who somehow get offended by getting a PM.  Oh well.

Date Posted: 1/29/2008 3:19 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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OK, I'm going to play Devil's Advocate here.    Let's face it, there are some situations in which a book is definitely unpostable (rips in the cover over 1", cleaved spines, obvious water damage or stains) and some situations when the book's condition falls into a grey area (degree of wear, etc.)

In those situations where condition falls into a grey area, the Help Center tells members that it is OK to post the book and then PM the requestor about it.   If I had a wishlist book that fell into that grey area, I would definitely post it and give the requester a choice.  If they didn't want it, then I would cancel the order.

So I would make sure the book is unpostable before telling R&R about the PM.

Date Posted: 1/29/2008 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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It's not about getting offended. It's just that by sending confirmation PM's, it makes the transaction more difficult than it has to be. There are other sites where people can list the conditions of their books. Here, it just needs to meet or exceed PBS posting guidelines. And those guidelines are really pretty solid and will get us all good books in readable condition.

I'm not angry with you or anything, you can do this if you want. But if someone sent me a PM about a book that meets PBS posting guidelines, I'd respond with a "Why'd you PM me? It meets PBS guidelines! Why didn't you just mail it?" message (but it would be worded much more politely than that). :)

Date Posted: 1/29/2008 3:25 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,357
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The problem with you sending PMs about no dust jackets is if someone decides that DJs are the norm and they should get a PM if there isn't one.

Then someone like me, who doesn't PM about things that aren't against listing requirements, sends them a book without a DJ.

Now they are mad at me, and I didn't do anything wrong!

Date Posted: 1/29/2008 3:28 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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Kayote, you can cut and past from the help docs where it says that HB don't have to have the dust jacket and if they want DJ they need to put that in their requestor conditions. 

don't let them get you down, they obviously don't know the rules if they are mad!

Date Posted: 1/29/2008 3:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Nevermind I found it.

Anywho this is from the November newsletter:

And above all, the most important thing to remember--Don't offer a "bad book" to another member./Don't post books that don't meet the guidelines for Book Condition/It's not okay to post and then send a PM description!/If the book doesn't measure up, you can't put it on your shelf--instead/You can offer the book in the Book Bazaar Damaged Book thread!



Last Edited on: 1/29/08 3:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/29/2008 3:37 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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Chris - click on the "guidelines" link in your post.  The info Lynne is referring to is there.

Date Posted: 1/29/2008 3:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Yeah I found it two seconds after I posted that.

Date Posted: 1/29/2008 3:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,336
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Leslie:

  • This is a used-book swapping site; books are not expected to be in like-new condition.
    • Older books may have some page yellowing or spine-creasing or dogeared pages; these are all OKAY.
    • Decirculated library books may have various markings and/or stamps inside or outside or on the page edges of the book; this is OKAY.
    • BookCrossing books may have stickers or stamps or markings on the outside or inside covers or page edges of the book; this is OKAY.
    • Hardbacks do NOT have to include their dustjackets.
    • Audiobooks MUST be the original cassettes/CDs, but do NOT have to include the outer "box" that held the set.
    • Audiobooks must be playable.
    • There is an exception to general condition guidelines for textbooks; see below.
    • There is an exception to general condition guidelines for cookbooks; see below.

and

Requestor Conditions allow you to specify what kinds of books you are NOT willing to receive from other members.   The specifications you write will appear verbatim on every request you submit.  You can set your Requestor Conditions in your Account Settings, from the Settings tab in My Account.

Why use Requestor Conditions?

  • This is the only way to request a book in "better-than-PBS-requires" condition. 
  • You may want to use Requestor Conditions because of health issues (allergies) or personal preferences (you like dust jackets with your hardcovers, or you prefer mass-market paperback size to Trade size paperbacks)
  • You can get a book that matches your requirements without losing your place in a Wish List line.
Date Posted: 1/29/2008 3:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2005
Posts: 12,167
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Lynne makes a good point - I got a PM about a "gray zone" book a week or so ago.  The book has a weird crease in the cover and probably had a near miss with a PO sorting machine.  It just didn't quite fall into normal wear and tear, but also didn't fall into any of the unpostable categories. 

I appreciated the PM, accepted the book, completely agreed with the sender's assessment when it arrived, and will probably do the same thing when I repost it. 

That being said, I think the gray zone books are relatively uncommon.  

Date Posted: 1/29/2008 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 760
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I've had at least one person get very upset about the dust jacket.  Even though *I* know the rules, there are plenty who misinterpret the rules or just don't pay attention..  Most likely, if I got a snarky response from someone about my PM, I'd likely cancel the request.

Date Posted: 1/29/2008 4:39 PM ET
Member Since: 10/1/2006
Posts: 13
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We list PBS guidelines as our requestor conditions. Why? Because I've received 3 books so far that didn't meet PBS guidelines, and the senders claimed ignorance of the guidelines or of their book's condition. This way, I figure they have to acknowledge that their book at least meets PBS guidelines, and they have no excuse if it doesn't. I know it's an extra step for the sender to go through, but there are some people who just don't like to follow a community's guidelines.

Mike (Cindy's husband)

Date Posted: 1/29/2008 5:21 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 47
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Thanks for all of the responses.  I've decided to include a gentle reminder in my requestor conditions to follow the PBS Guidelines, even though it shouldn't be necessary.  (Thanks Mike) I may miss a few books that would have been okay but they will come around again eventually -I hope.