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Topic: What do people not understand about posting by IBSN?

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Subject: What do people not understand about posting by IBSN?
Date Posted: 10/29/2015 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 11/25/2007
Posts: 137
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I recently got two books that were not posted under the right IBSN, which was a big deal in one case because of the notes and afterword in one of them that was only in that edition. (One was so old it didn't have an IBSN, the other was a completly different edition.) When I wrote about the book without the IBSN to the sender, they got upset with me and said that I was asking too much since I hadn't said anything bad about the other books sent to me (all under the right IBSNs). I pointed out that not only is it PBS rules to post by IBSN, my personal RC specifically states that the IBSN should match. I don't always want a specific edition, but if I do want one I don't want to get some other one. Said member then complained that I was being petty and they'd never had a problem before and I'd have to send the book back for the credit.

I think that I've gotten more RWAPs from wrong IBSNs then almost anything else, even my RC (the number one reason is writing and water damage). Are the rules really that hard to follow?

Date Posted: 10/29/2015 10:07 PM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2006
Posts: 3,435
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It is when they don't bother to read them in the first place or they think the rules don't apply to them. Sorry you're having such a problem.


Date Posted: 10/30/2015 1:51 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
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[Note: The abbreviation for book numbers is ISBN - International Standard Book Number - not IBSN.]

Books that you receive that were posted under a wrong ISBN should be marked RWAP - wrong book. On the other hand, it is more difficult with books that were posted without an ISBN because it is harder to know if the book is indeed a wrong edition. A book you receive that was posted without an ISBN should match the pertinent data in the PBS listing (ie., title, author, publisher if listed, edition if listed, etc.). If it doesn't, then the book could be marked RWAP - wrong book. Note, however, that covers of books you receive do not need to match the cover images in the PBS listings, so do not rely on images in listings to indicate a specific edition.

Last Edited on: 10/30/15 1:54 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/30/2015 5:20 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2014
Posts: 889
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Annie,  Here's a helpful link that you can copy & paste when you email the sender:


-- Jill

Some important parts from there:

"Wrong Book - Wrong Binding/Version

  • This means that title/author DO match the listing you used, but the book does not match the listing's ISBN and/or binding type and/or it was listed as Large Print and the book is not Large Print. Note that cover image does NOT have to match the listing.  Inappropriate items - ARCs, pamphlets or leaflets without ISBNs, unbound pages, etc - also fall into this category.
  • To resolve this: Go to your Transaction Archive and look at the listing you used for the book. If the listing says "paperback" and your book is hardcover, or the listing says Large Print and the book you sent is not Large Print, then you Posted the book incorrectly and you should refund credit."
    • Remember that the requestor is not required to send a problem book back at his or her expense.   The sender of a problem book does risk losing credit, book and postage; this is the incentive not to send problem books. 
      • If you want a problem book back you can provide a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the requestor by snail mail (or you can give the requestor an extra Book Credit to compensate for postage, if both of you agree on that).
      • Refund and postage compensation must be completed first - before the requestor returns the book (= it is not OK to wait to refund credit until getting a problem book back in the mail, or to expect the requestor to send the book back before getting postage compensation as described above).
Date Posted: 10/30/2015 9:02 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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I think what happens 90% of the time when this happens is that people have posted a book from their bookshelf -- it was a book that was originally posted under the wrong ISBN, sent on to them, they did not notice that the ISBN was a different one than what they requested, they read the book and then post it from their bookshelf, never noticing that it does not match. Then they are completely baffled when the receiving member RWAPs them because the ISBN doesn't match because they never checked when they received it. They unknowingly perpetuate the problem. I think if it looks like the book they are expecting they are happy, but that causes a problem for those of us who are requesting a particular edition for our own unique reasons. The cure for this? Never post a book from your bookshelf -- enter the ISBN # to post the book to make sure it is the correct one. I realize I am preaching to the choir here, that most of the people who come to the forums already know this but I always hope that someone who doesn't know it will realize that they perhaps have been guilty of posting the wrong book through ignorance.

Date Posted: 10/30/2015 10:14 AM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2010
Posts: 3,051
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I think some people like that posting from the Bookshelf lets PBS show how far a book has travelled. I don't personally care, but I'll post books from my bookshelf. I always type the ISBN for the book on my actual shelf in and see if PBS says it's on my bookshelf. My bookshelf (even the on hold portion) is pretty small, so if it matches I can safely post the Bookshelf copy since it's the one I have and the PBS map tracking can continue on.

Date Posted: 10/30/2015 3:19 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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I never post from my bookshelf, entering instead the ISBN when reposting a book. As long as the ISBN is the same as the book on my bookshelf, all the passport info remains intact, so that people can continue to see where it's been.

Date Posted: 10/30/2015 3:25 PM ET
Member Since: 11/25/2007
Posts: 137
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What gets to me is that they admit I am right and the ISBN isn't the same as the book they sent me, yet somehow I'm being petty and don't deserve a credit back.

Date Posted: 10/30/2015 4:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 10,710
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I never check ISBN's when I receive books, only when I post them. I would notice obvious something like hardcover was the one that I was offered from my WL but then a p/b sent was, but I never notice ISBN's. I never even thought to look.

Date Posted: 10/31/2015 5:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 556
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I recently accidentally sent a softcover version of a book to someone who wanted the hardcover - it was a UK/commonwealth version of the book, so I'm assuming that the UK publisher reused the ISBN from the hardcover US release. They RWAPed and obviously I returned their point. But it's the kind of thing that does make the ISBN thing trickier than it should be. I never check ISBNs when receiving either, unless the binding is wrong. I don't keep received books in my TBR, but I know others do and then repost from there so that may be where the mismatch occurs.

There are an astonishingly (to me) large percentage of people who participate in PBS but don't understand the basic rules of listing, sending, and receiving books. I've had to explain the ISBN thing, the highlighting/textbook exemption and how you are required to PM first, the fact that dust jackets are not required unless you have an RC, you name it...

For my own sanity, I try not to speculate on why people didn't read the help docs when they joined the site or why they don't check them when there's a problem. I simply state the facts, provide a link to the rules/help docs, and try to mentally move on.

Date Posted: 11/2/2015 9:13 AM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 5,007
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What gets to me is that they admit I am right and the ISBN isn't the same as the book they sent me, yet somehow I'm being petty and don't deserve a credit back.

While I know that TPTB generally do not get involved in RWAP transactions, I have read numerous times here in the forums that if you let them know that a member admitted to knowingly breaking the rules, they will get involved. I suggest contacting TPTB, quoting the PM and seeing if they'll do anything to help you out.

I will admit that I rarely if ever check the ISBN of my incoming books, so if I received the wrong ISBN, I'd likely never know it. This is also why I do not add my incoming books to my bookshelf and post each book using the ISBN once I'm ready to part with it.

Date Posted: 11/2/2015 10:43 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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It has been my experience too that if a member admits that they know they sent you something other than what you requested, ie. different ISBN or an ARC, and you forward that admission to PBS, they have gotten involved...returning my credit to me as well as sanctions against the offending member, such as closing their account...but I am sure that it varies from situation to situation. Always worth a try. PBS tends to take people who flaunt the rules very seriously if you ask them to get involved.

Date Posted: 11/2/2015 10:58 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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Not to excuse but the sender is likely thinking " The book is the same title and author right.  Who cares about the ISBN.  What's the problem?" 

I know the ISBN is important and must match.

Like others have mentioned they likely received a book listed with incorrect ISBN, they did not check, know or care. 

Later they posted from their shelf and do not see/understand what's wrong.  

They're not trying to cheat anyone just unclear of the finer points.  

Last Edited on: 11/2/15 10:58 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/2/2015 2:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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What gets to me is that they admit I am right and the ISBN isn't the same as the book they sent me, yet somehow I'm being petty and don't deserve a credit back.

If they continue to refuse to return your credit OR insist you send the book back, contact PBS.  One time they will get involved when when someone has admitted wrong doing but refuses to do the right thing.

Date Posted: 11/2/2015 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 11/25/2007
Posts: 137
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Thanks so much for telling me to contact the site - I got my credit back.

I understand making a mistake with the ISBN or something like that - there's things that happen. I do not understand being told the rules and then saying that it's not their fault they made a mistake.

I've gotten over a thousand books through this site and the vast majority are great; there's only an occasional problem.