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Topic: What are the condition specs for hardback books?

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Subject: What are the condition specs for hardback books?
Date Posted: 3/26/2011 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2009
Posts: 3
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I ordered and received a hardcover copy of Huckleberry Finn and while I knew the book was older and expected it to have some wear, I didn't expect the front and back covers to be nearly detatched from the spine and part of the spine torn. The front and back cover are still attached but only by the inner layer of paper. I'm really not pleased with the condition of the book and would like to know if it was even acceptable for the sender to list a book in this condition.



Date Posted: 3/26/2011 6:45 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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The conditions for hardbacks are the same as paperbacks IE pages cannot be seperated from the spine which sounds like this book is with the torn spine.
The Help Docs will have all the information you need too.

I'd RWAP the book and ask for the credit back. 

Date Posted: 3/26/2011 8:39 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2008
Posts: 1,996
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That would be a definite RWAP.

Date Posted: 3/26/2011 10:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,343
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Here are the Book condition criteria

which include this info:


  • Must both be present (front and back)
    • note that a paperback missing its front cover is  usually an illegal, unsold copy
    • "cover" does not = dust jacket.  Hardcovers do not need to include their dust jackets to be swapped here.
  • Cover not water damaged (there may be no water damage to any part of the book)
  • Cover not torn or chewed/gnawed
    • some used book stores cut out a small part of the cover; if the amount missing is less than 1 square inch, this is OKAY
    • a small rip (less than 1 inch) in the cover is OKAY
    • yes, that does say "chewed/gnawed" above.  That means no pet-chewed (or human-chewed) books.
  • A bookplate inside the cover or on the flyleaf is OKAY


  • Must be intact, with no separation on the inside or outside of the book
  • If the book tends to open at a particular page, this is OKAY
  • Small amount of fraying or denting at top or bottom is OKAY
Date Posted: 3/27/2011 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2009
Posts: 3
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Thank you, I've contacted the member. She will return my credit and I will return her book.

Date Posted: 3/27/2011 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,037
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You are NOT required to return the book at your own expense when there is a problem transaction. IF the other member wants the book back, they should offer you a SECOND credit to cover the cost of postage back to them. (or, perhaps mail you money or stamps to cover the postage, whatever resolution is mutually acceptable).

Both credits should be given to you in advance of mailing back.

This is outlined in the PBS rules.

  • A requestor does NOT have to return the item in a "problem" transaction
    • if the sender wants the item back, he or she should send postage or a credit to pay for its return.

Last Edited on: 3/27/11 1:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/28/2011 5:23 AM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2010
Posts: 33
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A bit off topic, but was this supposed to be some sort of "rare" edition of Huckleberry Finn or something?