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Topic: What to do if Receiver complains about the condition of a good - but used -

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Subject: What to do if Receiver complains about the condition of a good - but used -
Date Posted: 3/9/2010 11:40 AM ET
Member Since: 3/2/2010
Posts: 80
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I'm in a quandry.  I posted a used paperback that was published in 200 and had been read more than once but was otherwise fine (no tears, no markings, no stains).  The Requestor specified only no smoke or mold, neither of which the book had.  I sent it off and received a nasty-toned PM about how I never should have sent out a book in such poor condition.  The PM also noted that the receiver frequently gets books from this site that have to thrown away.   The recipint did not ask to return the book or for credit.  Should I have offered?  I don't feel as if I misrepresented the book.  This is a used-book site, correct?  Is a 10-year-old book supposed to be in brand-new condition?  I'm rather dismayed about the response especially since it was the first book I mailed out. 

Date Posted: 3/9/2010 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Nope.  Ignore it.  If you know that the book was in postable condition and there were no specific RCs on the book, chalk it up to the receiver having a bad day.

Having said that, welcome to PBS!  This is truly a wonderful site!  You will send and receive dozens, maybe hundreds of books bringing joy to yourself and others!

As for book condition, be sure to read the help documents about this topic.  Use yourself as a barometer.  Would you be pleased to receive the book that you are about to send out?  If so, it is probably just fine.  I would caution you to check carefully for water/liquid damage but regular shelf wear on a ten year old book is just fine.

Date Posted: 3/9/2010 12:38 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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Welcome to PBS Joanne!

I'm sorry you had such an experience in the first book you sent out. As LeeAnne said, you don't have to return the credit. After all, the book was postable. If the sender wants to get 'like new' books, she needs to put a requestor condition.

Date Posted: 3/9/2010 12:42 PM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2008
Posts: 1,869
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JoAnne, I sure hope that you don't take this first experience as typical of this community.  I usually get the most kind and friendly reports from people that receive my books.  I've gotten older books that I know have been around the block a few times and have little life left in them.  But, they are USED books. I just enjoy reading them and appreciate someone sending ithem  to me.  I would hope that they comply with the conditions of the site, but I do realize that they are older books.  My Hubby is harder on books than I am, so his books that I send out are more battered.  I check them to make sure they are postable, but they are going to be more beat up than mine unless mine are used to begin with.  May you have many happy swaps in the future.

Date Posted: 3/9/2010 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 5,751
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I'm so sorry that this was your first experience at PBS.  A 10 year old book is not going to look new and since you obviously took the time to reveiw the Book Conditions guidelines and followed them, there is nothing more you could have done. It is not typical! Just let it go and I hope all your other trasnactions go much smoother.

Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 3/9/2010 1:02 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
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Joanne - welcome. The only question about condition I have that you didn't specify was the binding - was the book coming apart?

If you're sure it was postable, though, then like everyone else said. You did right.

Date Posted: 3/9/2010 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Is a 10-year-old book supposed to be in brand-new condition? 

Nope. It's supposed to be in postable condition which allows for some shelf wear. That is...unless...the requestor had an RC stating she only wanted like new books.

 The PM also noted that the receiver frequently gets books from this site that have to thrown away.

This is irrelevant info from her. Who cares, it's not your problem.

I'm rather dismayed about the response especially since it was the first book I mailed out. 

You'll meet all kinds of personalities at this site. The weird, the rude, the sassy, the jerks, the rule abider, the rule breakers, the naive, the scammers, the manipulators, the complainers,  the super generous, the uproariously funny, the super smart, future good friends, and more.

Sorry you had to encounter a complainer on your first try. Don't let it get you down and DON"T REFUND THE CREDIT. Keep on swappin'.

Last Edited on: 3/9/10 1:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/9/2010 1:14 PM ET
Member Since: 3/2/2010
Posts: 80
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Thank you all for you kind replies.  I didn't think I did anything wrong.  No, the binding wasn't coming apart.  I'm going to chalk this one up to one of those people who are never happy and let it go.  I am going to remember this person's name though and steer clear in the future.

Overall, I'm just happy to have found a place full of other avid readers.  Thanks again.

Date Posted: 3/9/2010 1:31 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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I am going to remember this person's name though and steer clear in the future.

You probably won't run into this person again anyway.

Date Posted: 3/9/2010 1:38 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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Hi JoAnne, welcome to PBS!

Sorry you had such an unpleasant early transaction. Did the person just write you a PM, or did they actually marked the book Received with a Problem (RWAP)? You can check this by going to My Accounts > Transaction Archive.

If the person marked it RWAP, you have to respond in some way, within a week. It's against club rules to ignore a RWAP.

If you are sure the book is in postable condition, a short note saying something like "I"m sorry you are not satisfied with the book you received." You do not have to offer a credit refund; if the recipient wants one then she needs to ask for it. No rewarding passive-aggressive behavior necessary.


Date Posted: 3/9/2010 2:37 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 16
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I'm sorry that your first swap was like that! Welcome. The fact she said she has to frequently throw bad books away makes me think she has way higher standards than the club requires and probably really wants new books. Of the 300 books I have received over the years only a handful were given to me unpostable or borderline. Most people follow the general guidelines.

Date Posted: 3/9/2010 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome to PBS JoAnne.  No worries, PBS is a large communty and you are unlikely to run across Ms. Cranky again.

Date Posted: 3/9/2010 3:45 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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Loved your post TomeTrader!

Last Edited on: 3/9/10 3:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/9/2010 7:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2010
Posts: 400
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Hi JoAnne,

From one newbie to another, glad to meet you. 

I agree with the others, as long as you meet the requirements you are not in the wrong, and DO NOT return the credit.  I visited the Help Doc area and read the guidelines and then searched here on the forums to find out a lot of info here (just as you are doing) to learn about the swapping of books.

It sounds to me like the person is wanting to get new books and if so she should go to Amazon or another book store.  This is a used book area and books are going to have wear and tear on them.  Yellowed pages on older books, some creases on the spines, some wearing of edges of covers, a crease in covers (back or front) which show that the book has been enjoyed as it was meant to be-- read.

As long as you read the tequestor's conditions (RC) and meet them, the book is in good shape and, as someone else said, go with the shape of book in what you would want to received, then you should be okay.

Everyone here is great to help and answer questions. 

I will add one suggestion though, wrap the book in plastic if you can.  Many of us live in areas where there can be wet nasty weather and have mud/water puddles in front of our mailboxes, or those who have leaky mailboxes that landlords won't replace/fix.  This can lead to books being dropped in water, or being exposed to the weather and plastic helps to protect the book in case the other wrapping gets wet.  The single sheet of paper that is printed out doesn't protect a book much.

As I have noted in my RC, I don't care if it comes in a bread bag (and one did, LOL) as long as it is wrapped in plastic to protect it.

You don't have to do this unless it is part of a RC, but it is a nice thing to do for the person who is receiving the book.

Again, welcome and ask away any question you have,


Date Posted: 3/9/2010 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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The single sheet of paper that is printed out doesn't protect a book much.

It should actually be wrapped in two sheets of printer paper. I don't know if it's exactly against the rules to use just one sheet, but definitely not recommended.

Gavia -
Date Posted: 3/9/2010 9:21 PM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2009
Posts: 198
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Depending on the size of the book, even two sheets doesn't necessarily cover it.  So I always wrap books in plastic, even when it's not specifically requested.  I use the plastic sleeves my newspapers come in.  I get two papers every day, so it's a great way to recycle the plastic.

Date Posted: 3/11/2010 12:51 AM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2009
Posts: 287
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At the least, I would have ignored them, and knowing me given them a nasty response. On another note about older books being 'new' I had someone request a book from me that was published in 1969. In their conditions they said they wanted "NEW books only". Yeah, good luck finding a new book from 1969 without a time machine.

Date Posted: 3/12/2010 1:46 PM ET
Member Since: 3/24/2006
Posts: 223
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I think something we all tend to forget is that eventually a book will come to the end of its "postability" . (may it rest in peace).  I got one of those the day before yesterday.  The sender (a new member) is insisting it was in "perfect condition" when mailed and any damage had to be by the USPS.  It does have  some wavy pages that could have happened in transit b/c it wasn't protected by plastic and was wrapped only in one page of paper.  The rest is normal wear and tear......and should have been "retired". It is readable and I will read it, but I won't be reposting it.  I like your advise., LeeAnn.... to use yourself as a barometer. Don't post anything you wouldn't want to receive.  In my 4 and a half years at PBS I have only had to mark 3 RWAP transactions!  And all so far were resolved with no problem.  This really is a wonderful site ,JoAnne. Welcome and enjoy



Date Posted: 3/15/2010 2:40 AM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2007
Posts: 831
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I think I sent a book to that same person.  I know that the book was in good condition because I had checked it carefully before I sent it, especially as it had a corner of the cover missing.  I looked in Help and found that it was within the guidelines, so I sent it.  Ther requestor told me that they never would have posted such a piece of trash, and they were upset to have spent a credit on something that they could not repost.  And they weren't that nice about it.  (I did send a book once that had a flaw and refunded the credit, so that happens occasionally, too.)  I've sent out 280 books and only had one or maybe two requests where the member treated me as you were just treated. 

So, sometimes you just have to trust your judgement, and if you are uncertain, look in help and ask the tour guides for assistance.  I wish  you happier times with PBS, and I'm sure that you will find that the type of person that you just encountered is in a very small minority. 

Kim -
Date Posted: 3/20/2010 11:52 AM ET
Member Since: 8/8/2009
Posts: 41
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Ahhhh, Linda.  I ran into that person yesterday.  His PM called my book "a piece of crap" and said I "should be ashamed" of myself (among other things).  It wasn't, and I'm not.  In 7.5 months here, this is the first negative experience I've had.  After looking at the majority of his book reviews here, I've just chalked it up to a very troubled mind that was off its meds.  :)