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Topic: Just wanted to make sure I understand how this system works and what your e

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Sharon -
Subject: Just wanted to make sure I understand how this system works and what your e
Date Posted: 3/9/2009 10:04 AM ET
Member Since: 12/5/2008
Posts: 58
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I have three minor problems/questions.....

First, the postal system says one of my books sent mailed on Feb. 24 was delivered Feb. 28. When the book was not marked received, I sent two polite pms inquiring about whether it was actually delivered.   I haven't heard back yet. 

I know delivery confirmation can be wrong.  Plus requestors can have computer problems that prevent them from getting an email. It is two weeks from the deadline and the person may well respond by then.  But I want to make sure I understand the general policy:  the only way to guarantee book credit is to send it through the pbswap system with pbswp postage and include a pbswap delivery confirmation.  If a person does not check a book received and/or does not respond to pms, there is no way to get credit for the book, even though the post office indicates delivery.  Is that right? 

Because I have access to a metered online system that includes delivery confirmation, I've been using that to send books.  That way I don't have to shlep to the post office with heavy books and delivery confirmation only costs 18 cents.  I have over 300 books listed and more to go, and I am getting requests every day (Yeah!) so postal cost is a factor. Still I am wondering if I had better use the online pbswap system to make sure I get credit beforehand. 

How often do people have a problem with books not marked received?   Is there a way to check a requestor's profile to see if they've been regularly sending or getting books?  Maybe if a person is a newbie or hasn't been active in a while, it might be wise to use the pbspostage/confirmation to minimize the chance of things messing up.  (Not that things can't mess up for anyone given the vagaries of life!)

Secondly, I order a lot of "academic" books--not actual textbooks but books used in college classes (especially history).  I've had two people ask me before posting if highlighting is ok, which I appreciated. The other day I got a book with underlining on about a third of the pages and no advance warning. I reported a problem upon receipt and wrote the person reminding them they should at least have checked with me prior to mailing.  Again, I want to understand the policy....there is no way to get my credit back unless I "negotiate" with the sender and persuade them to do so.  Is that right? 

Thirdly, if the book I am sending is ex-library, should I tell the requestor before posting it?

BTW, despite this grouching post, I really love this site.  I am able to request a ton of books that I would not have otherwise.  Some of those university press books are very pricey or hard to find.  I can only get them by interlibrary loan.  Very, very pleased overall!



Last Edited on: 3/9/09 10:09 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/9/2009 10:49 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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the only way to guarantee book credit is to send it through the pbswap system with pbswp postage and include a pbswap delivery confirmation.  If a person does not check a book received and/or does not respond to pms, there is no way to get credit for the book, even though the post office indicates delivery.  Is that right? 

This is mostly right...the only thing is that if the person does not respond to PMs, you should contact the site's owners using the "contact us" link at the bottom of this page.  Failure to respond to PMs is a big no-no here.

You may want to consider using PBS-DC rather than the one through your office, as PBS-DC is the only form of DC that guarantees your credit, even if the book goes lost.

The other day I got a book with underlining on about a third of the pages and no advance warning. I reported a problem upon receipt and wrote the person reminding them they should at least have checked with me prior to mailing.  Again, I want to understand the policy....there is no way to get my credit back unless I "negotiate" with the sender and persuade them to do so.  Is that right? 

This is correct.

if the book I am sending is ex-library, should I tell the requestor before posting it?

No - posting ex-library books are just fine, no need to alert the requestor.

Date Posted: 3/9/2009 10:52 AM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2008
Posts: 397
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#1-Yes the only way to "guarantee" you're credit is to use PBS postage, however I've been sending books for over a year & have never used PBS postage, I've never had a book go missing & stay missing (and I don't use DC unless it's for a swap/game & is required to play).

#2- From the help docs regarding textbooks-

  • No writing or highlighting or underlining on text pages
    • a signature or note on the flyleaf or inside front or back cover is OKAY
    • an author's signature on the title page is OKAY
    • writing or highlighting on the text pages is NOT OKAY
      • Exception: if it is a textbook or workbook, these are expected to have highlighting/underlining/writing
        • if you post a textbook/workbook, the condition must be described to the requestor in a Personal Message
        • AND the described condition MUST BE AGREED TO before the book is sent
        • This is the one of the ONLY two cases in which a PM exchange about a book is required before the book can be sent(the other is for cookbooks--see below).
  • The sender of that text book should have PM'd you about te underlining & waited for you to agree to it or cancel the request from them BEFORE sending the book.  If they did not they should return your credit (you are under no obligation to return the book to them as it is their fault for not following the guidelines).  I would send them a polite PM including the PBS guidelines regarding text books & asking for your credit back by X date -giving a deadline will help promt a response.

    #3- Ex-library books are allowed here & no PM's are needed before sending them out.  If you receive a request with RC's stating no library books then of course you should decline if it is one, but otherwise they are prefectly acceptable (assuming of course they meet the other guidelines).

    Date Posted: 3/9/2009 10:58 AM ET
    Member Since: 8/19/2007
    Posts: 4,236
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    You don't have to use PBS postage to get the automatic credit - just PBS delivery confirmation.  I use postal postage and PBS DC when I think it might be needed, and I make sure that the PO scans the DC while I'm standing there.  Pat

    Sharon -
    Date Posted: 3/9/2009 11:27 AM ET
    Member Since: 12/5/2008
    Posts: 58
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    Thanks much!  Your help is appreciated.

    Date Posted: 3/9/2009 12:20 PM ET
    Member Since: 2/5/2007
    Posts: 30,800
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    I have sent out over 300 books and one went lost in the mail.   So to me, it doesn't make financial sense to use the DC method.  

    Date Posted: 3/9/2009 1:27 PM ET
    Member Since: 8/23/2007
    Posts: 26,510
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    The DC/credit quarentee doesn't make financial sense to me either.  I figured it out recently and if I had used just the PBS DC on all the books I"ve sent then I'd have spent around $150.  Way more than the cost of a lost book and credit.  Just not financial sense to me. I'd rather support the site by donating credits and being a boxer.  I have yet to have a book that I've sent go lost.  I have 2 that I sent last month that are a few days from going lost. I"m hoping they make it there but if not their collective cost is much less then $150.  

    Also if the system deems an accoutn inactive then it'll automaticall mark the book received.  So if someone hasn't logged on or has had requests time out-you'll get your credit. 

    And the DC isn't always accurate.  They books could have been misdelivered. I had a book enroute me to go lost that says it was delivered on 1/8.  I have never seen thisbook. 

    If someone doesn't want ex-library books then they need an RC asking for no ex library.  PMing people about book conditions before sending just causes trouble.  What do you do if they don't respond?  Do you sen dit anyway?  IF they don't want it-who cancels.  If you cancel then you lose your place in the FIFO line. If it's a WL book and they cancel then they lose their place.  Trouble.  This is what RCS are for and if people can't be bothered to add them then they should be happy with any postable book they receive.

    Date Posted: 3/9/2009 1:59 PM ET
    Member Since: 8/10/2005
    Posts: 4,599
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    I do use the PBS postage but I do so for convenience and to support the site. The extra .27 for PBS' fee I don't mind paying just to support the site--doing my bit to keep the site free, but I don't do it at all for the credit guarantee as I just don't think it's needed.

    I've sent over 1200 books and also received about as many, and the number of books that have actually gone lost are very, very small. Most of the time when I've had a book go lost, it turns up eventually and was late because it was sent much later than the person said it was mailed.

    Cheryl

    Date Posted: 3/9/2009 2:36 PM ET
    Member Since: 10/6/2005
    Posts: 10,707
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    #1 I wouldn't worry too much about the book not marked received yet. The person may be on vacation, they may have no power due to the recent storms, they may have a PO box they don't check more than once a week, they may have gotten a pickup notice in their mailbox and not been able to go get it yet. The fact that they are not responding to your PM suggests to me that they might not have PC access right now. Have you checked to see if their account is on hold? I've had books marked received as much as 2 weeks after the DC shows them as delivered.

    #2 Highliting has to be approved in advance between the sender and the receiver. If it isn't, the sender needs to give the credit back. If they do not, you need to go to your transaction history and mark the problem as not resolved.

    #3 Ex-library books are fine as long as none of the library markings obscure the text of the book, or unless the requester has conditions which state no ex-library books. Also, if a library book does not have an official mark stating that it is withdrawn or decirculated, the site "recommends" that you contact the library prior to posting the book, to make sure that it is really an EX library book and not a LOST library book in which case it needs to be returned to the library.

    Yes, decirculated library books may be swapped at PBS.

    • Ex-library books often have stamps inside or on the binding: this is fine.  

    If you receive an ex-library book that is not clearly marked "withdrawn" (not all libraries do this), you should contact the library to ask them if this book is still part of their collection.

    • If the book is still part of the library's active collection, you should contact us.

    If you do not wish to receive ex-library books, you should put this into your Requestor Conditions in your Account Settings.



    Last Edited on: 3/9/09 2:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
    Date Posted: 3/9/2009 2:38 PM ET
    Member Since: 12/9/2007
    Posts: 9,601
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    I use both the PBS postage and DC because I don't mail my own books - I have to rely on family members to do so.  They go out verious post offices and some are much better than others here.  I've recently had one book go lost and stay that way - it went (or was supposed to) to upstate NY about the time of the first really bad snow storm in the area.  No word on it since I mailed it and confirmed that my DH mailed it.  I also use the PBS postage to support PBS because it's a way to easily and fairly painlessly - to me - help out.  But I do now weigh my own books and use my weight for the postage requirement.  That sometimes more than makes up for the 27 cents. 

    Please do contact PBS about your concerns with the delivery of this book.  We all want the dead accounts and deadbeats to leave the system ASAP.  It's a help to us all.

    Ruth

    Date Posted: 3/9/2009 3:57 PM ET
    Member Since: 1/29/2006
    Posts: 54,837
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    Sharon, you've gotten great advice so I'm just going to add my personal experiences on mailing.  I've sent 740 books and only had 1 go lost.  Clearly using PBS DC or Printable Postage would have cost more than losing one book (that I had bought new, which just figures, lol).  That said, I do still use it sometimes.  I like to use it on audiobooks and multi-book orders; the risk is simply bigger.  I do use PBS Custom DC for all my other mailings (gifts, game swap books, etc).  It is convenient and does support the site a bit, both good things!  So, it really is a personal choice, but Lost books are truly the exception and not the rule.