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Topic: What makes a book unpostable?

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Subject: What makes a book unpostable?
Date Posted: 8/20/2008 2:39 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2005
Posts: 2
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I know what the rules say and I understand them, but I just got a reply from someone I sent a book to telling me it was unpostable. I saw absolutely nothing wrong with the book when I sent it. I read the book in 2 days and reposted it as it was one that many have on their wish list. I had gotten it from someone else.The person I sent it to said there was a coffee stain on the edge. I don't even drink coffee and had I seen something that was terrible and made the book unreadable I would never have sent it. Are people looking for "perfect" books? I understand that books will show wear from people reading them and as long as I can read them with no problem I am happy. I gave her the credit because I didn't want to fight with her. I still maintain there was nothing wrong with the book besides it had been read. I have received books with a tiny tear on the side and never say a thing to the person who sent it as it doesn't effect the reading of the book. Now, does that mean I cannot resend that book out again because it is not "perfect"? I am at a loss here.... BTW I have been a member for 3 years and this hasn't happened before except someone once wrote there was a smudge on the side *rolls eyes*

 

Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 8/20/2008 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
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Well, the guidelines do say "no stains."

I understand - I could easily not notice a stain on the edge. But you did the right thing refunding the credit. Once every three years, that's not so bad, is it?

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 8/20/2008 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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No one should be expecting books in Perfect condition here - it is a USED book site.

But, on the other hand, the fact that it is a used book site should not be an excuse to send out disgusting or non-postable books.

Everyone should be expecting books that meet the guidelines, and sending out books that meet the guidelines.  Simple, eh?

I'm sorry you ended up with such a picky person, and that you were accused (unfairly) of sending out unpostable books.  You are generous and kind.  I would've maintained that the book was fully postable and not refunded the credit.  Or first asked for picture to show what recipient was claiming as damage to see if it matched what I remembered about the book...

Date Posted: 8/20/2008 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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I am kinda oblivious about stains unless they are profound.  Every now and then I have to cancel and order and remove a book from my shelf when I do my "eagle eye" inspection before I wrap a book.  There are things I would NEVER notice when reading a book but become obvious when I am checking it to send to someone.  

Most likely a lot of us would let a little stain go...just because we wouldn't notice it when we received it... I know I have missed some stuff like lthat on books I have received.  I just put it in my freebie list after I read it if I notice the damage.

I wouldn't worry about it... sure.. its frustrating to be out postage.... but I suspect that this will be few and far between for you.

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 8/20/2008 6:35 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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"No liquid damage" means no liquid damage.  "No stains" means no stains.  It doesn't matter if the book is "readable" or not.  There are certain standards that a book must meet to be posted here.  If you don't believe the book was damaged, ask for a photo.  That will clear things up.  Good luck!

 

Date Posted: 8/20/2008 7:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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I understand that books will show wear from people reading them and as long as I can read them with no problem I am happy.

It has nothing to do with what makes you happy, or if a book is 'readable' or not. The rules say no liquid damage for good reasons. I don't want moldy books in my house, and liquid damage can grow into mold that can spread to my other books. And I have no idea what kind of allergies they can trigger in people, some I've heard can be really bad. Plus, old food and coffee stains are just gross. If you can even be sure they're coffee. (One lady thinks her stains looked like dried blood. Ick!)

And it's getting really frustrating to get damaged books.  It's one thing to get a book you can tell the PO damaged in some way. It happens. But it's really, really annoying to get a well wrapped book, with a clean, pristine wrapper, and find that last 1/4 of the book is water damaged. Is it still readable? Yeah. Against the rules? Yeah. But I got one anyway. (And a refund, after they tried to 'guilt' me for even complaining.) I now have the joy of tossing a book that someone else should have thrown out, plus have to wait another month for another copy. No joy for me there.

If you don't mind books that are more worn that the site requires, then that's fine. But if it really doesn't meet site guidelines, then don't post it. It's not worth the hassle or cost to refund a credit later, either to you or the other person. It'll just be a huge hassle and a big waste of time for you both, and won't look good on your record if you rack up too many complaints. Only send the books you know will go over well. Saves a lot of headaches later, and you're more likely to remember going over the book before you mailed it. So if you know there was nothing wrong with it when you mailed it you can say so with certainty.

I have received books with a tiny tear on the side and never say a thing to the person who sent it as it doesn't effect the reading of the book. Now, does that mean I cannot resend that book out again because it is not "perfect"? I am at a loss here....

The rules about tears are all in the docs. Easily searchable. If you haven't read it yet, you should.

 

 

 

 



Last Edited on: 8/20/08 7:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/20/2008 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2005
Posts: 2
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There was NO  mold... she claimed there was a coffee stain on the edge of the pages... I never saw that nor do I even drink coffee.  Your reply is quite sharp.. perhaps you have been burned often. I don''t have too many complaints.. and as I said I have sent out hundreds of books.. I merely asked a question. I was wondering if perhaps I had been too lax in accepting books myself that have had much worse wear and tear. I have taken quite a few books out of circulation because "I" would not send them back out. Had I seen such a stain I would not have sent the book out... *sighs softly and decides this wasn't worth asking to just get flamed*

Date Posted: 8/20/2008 8:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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There was NO  mold...

You don't have to see mold to have mold. That's why there's a rule about no liquid damage.

I was wondering if perhaps I had been too lax in accepting books myself that have had much worse wear and tear.

You asked if a small tear meant that you couldn't send the book back out. That's already covered in the help docs. There shouldn't be any confusion about that.

As for accepting books, as I said, if it doesn't bother you, then that's fine. If you got a book you have no complaint about, then you and the sender are both happy, right?

But if you know that a book doesnt' meet site rules, even if you were happy receiving, then don't post it.

I'm not flaming you. I'm just pointing out that if there is a stain, the receiver has every right to complain and ask for a credit back. Even if you didn't see it, and were happy with the book when you received it.

 

 

 

 

Subject: But at some point people should be grateful for free
Date Posted: 8/20/2008 10:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/7/2007
Posts: 1
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I found this forum and posting because for the first time I had two book requests where the posters were really explicit about in how perfect condition the book should be. Both books (and most of the books I send out) were in new/very good condition so it was no problem, but I was a bit put out by the implication I'd be sending out thrashed books, especially when I'm sending out near-new ones at my expense.

I understand the disappointment at getting an unreadable book, and that should get the credit returned, but I wouldn't have complained about a little coffee stain. Mostly I've received beautiful books via this service; some books were more than a little worn, but still serviceable, and I have no complaints-. it was free!  When you're getting book for free (plus a cost to the sender), it's a bit insulting to also insist to the giver that the book be pristine, too.

As for bad eggs, maybe it would help to have people add comments on books they've received. I'd love to praise some of my givers. And if there is someone sending out books that were apparently pulled out off the ocean floor or completely scribbled over, there'd not only be credit given, but requestors could _then_ send requests reiterating the paperbackswap posting guidelines.

I'm going to stick with paperbackswap for a while, but a friend just turned me on to Bookmooch, and I'm going to give that a go. But if people are going to gripy about free books, I'd be just as well go back to posting them on Amazon and getting paid, and giving the unsaleables to my library.

Date Posted: 8/20/2008 11:15 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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When you're getting book for free (plus a cost to the sender)

That's just it though THESE BOOKS ARE NOT FREE.

But if people are going to gripy about free books

Each of the credits I have, except for the one credit I got for posting my first 10 books, represents money that I shelled out to ship my books to people. Explain to me how these books are free. Your post office may mail things for free, mine doesn't.

Date Posted: 8/20/2008 11:24 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2007
Posts: 527
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Last Edited on: 3/26/09 12:36 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 8/20/2008 11:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2007
Posts: 6,567
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I've learned some people seem more picky than others.

I also give a good "eagle" eye inspection when I post a book & also when I take it off the shelf I'll look it over again. If I see something that I'm worried about I'll email the person and let them know.

I've been a member for over a year and mailed tons of books too. I've only had one complaint and I was worried I had done something very wrong. I had mailed a book out and after I think 2wks I hadn't heard back from the person. I one day got a book in the mail and this person had RETURNED the book to me. I was puzzled and opened the book to find a note. The note said something like "I had to send this book back to you so you could see the damage to it." I looked the book over and opened it, flipped through it & the only thing I could see was very light shelf wear on the corners of the hardback book. I kept looking & looking for any other problems, but it was in like new condition. The only other thing could think of was a very light pencil line on the inside cover of the book.

None of this was against the site rules so I posted a message here on the forums and asked what I could have done wrong. I gave great detail about the shape of the book and everything. Most people were shocked as I was about this and assured me I did nothing wrong, yet I felt bad.

When my husband came home I handed him the book asking to find something wrong with the book. He stood there confused as I was and shrugged. He laughed when I showed him the note.

I contacted the woman telling her I was sorry, in my own defence I pointed her to the forum where I asked others what they thought and returned her credit.

She in turn sent it back saying something like "I don't know what to say."

Honestly I still wonder about this and feel bad she didn't want it. I reposted it, sent it to someone else and they were happy. (shrug)

So sadly some people are more picky than others.

When posting books I always ask myself - Would you want this book? only after I make sure it meets the PBS site rules.

Posting rules are pretty much common sense too. No one wants a dirty book, no one wants a book with underlining in it and no one wants one where the pages are falling out.

Again this is a used book site and some people want books who are like new and forget that.

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 8/21/2008 3:01 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Liesl wrote: That's just it though THESE BOOKS ARE NOT FREE.

That's exactly right.  And PBS assesses the value of a book swapped here at $3.45.  I'm sorry, but when I can get HCs for $1.00 and PBs for $0.50 at my local FOL sales, I'm not going to accept a book from here that is clearly unpostable - especially ones with stains.  I have received over 730 books here.  Even if I conservatively assess the cost to me for each one of those books at $2.50, that means I have spent over $1825.00 for books here.  That's definitely not "free".

 

Subject: there will always be some complainers
Date Posted: 8/22/2008 12:27 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2007
Posts: 5
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Some people just seem to live for something to nitpick about, and have too much time on their hands. I've never had a complaint about a posted book, but I'm sure it is just a matter of time, because this is just human nature. If I thought the book met pbs guidelines, I'd respond to that effect and ignore any further communications.