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Topic: What does 'very nice condition' mean to you?

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Subject: What does 'very nice condition' mean to you?
Date Posted: 1/1/2010 5:35 AM ET
Member Since: 9/7/2008
Posts: 72
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Received a request for a book where the requestor's conditions stated that she was looking for books by this author as a late Xmas present for her hubby.  She wanted books in 'very nice condition' so that her hubby could take these book to signings by this author and have the book signed since he'd seen the author several times already and never had any books for her to sign. 

The paperback book I had had a few minor spine creases, but nothing major nor really noticeable to me.  Except for the spine, the covers were bright, clean and completely undamaged and it had crisp white pages.  I considered the book to be in 'very nice condition'.  I re-read the conditions before accepting to make sure the requestor didn't want a 'mint' or 'pristine' book, or I would have cancelled the request. 

I mailed it off and the receiver sent me this message today:

"Wow, that's a lot of spine creases! You came really close to an RWAP. Pretty much my husband saying that it could be a reading copy was all that saved you."

It seems that what this requstor really wanted a 'mint' or 'pristine' book like she'd get from a book store.  The book I sent to her was in dramatically better condition than 'reading copy' condition as she calls it.   

My question is, what does 'very nice condition' mean in general? 

I know condition can be subjective and vary widely, but I'm wondering if my view of this book's condition is the norm....or the exception?


Date Posted: 1/1/2010 6:59 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,173
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IMO, noticable spine creases, isn't "very nice condition" anymore. Although, without an RC, certainly your books sounds completely 100% postable.

A lot of people seem to be able to read books without creasing them at all. Not me, usually, but others seem to do it.

I would probably have turned down that RC unless my book was like new, just because "very nice condition" is extremely vague and people can have lots of different interpretations, like what happened to you.

Glas she didn't RWAP you, though!

Subject: I won't deal with people who list all sorts of conditions for the books. I
Date Posted: 1/1/2010 7:34 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2006
Posts: 1,138
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Date Posted: 1/1/2010 7:48 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,602
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I take each request on its own merit, but generally the only time I will accept those types of stringent RCs is if the book is one I bought new myself and am listing it. Anything that comes from a used book store, FOL sale, or PBS I would decline the request.

Actually, I might decline that request anyway, because it is very subjective and vague. Depends on my mood at the time.


Date Posted: 1/1/2010 8:22 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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I would consider very nice to be equivalent to very good. One of the differences between good and very good is spine creasing, according to book rating guidelines on Amazon: 

  • Very Good: A copy that has been read, but remains in excellent condition. Pages are intact and are not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
  • Good: A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact (including dust cover, if applicable). The spine may show signs of wear. Pages can include limited notes and highlighting, and the copy can include "From the library of" labels.

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 8:30 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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if in doubt, I'd decline.  You're definition of "very nice" varied from the receiver's, and in the future I'd only send to people whose conditions I KNEW I could meet.  She should have been more specific.

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 9:29 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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IMO that RC is too subjective.   Apparently her definition equals "like new", so she should state such.  

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,926
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Although I dislike declining, I do when the RCs are subjective. It's too easy for unclear "definitions" not to be in accord. In fact, I buy a lot of books from an online UBS and the definition there of  "very good, a wonderful copy" sometimes results in books that are unpostable here.

I agree with Dawn, if you want "like new" your RC should clearly state it.

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 10:00 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 663
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I'm always wary when someone says the book is for a gift. If the book requested was in new, unread condition (and a lot of the books I have are in that condition), then I'd send it. But otherwise, no.

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 10:18 AM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,397
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"Very nice condition" is extremely subjective, but given she said he wanted them to get them signed, I would have gone on the higher end of that spectrum and only sent it if it was like new, near mint.  Honestly, I wouldn't have sent it at all because if her husband wants collectable condition books, then they need to buy them not expect to be getting them as a swap.  Depending upon who the author is, several authors have copies of books available for sale at signings and then you're actually supporting the author as well.

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 10:21 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 2,667
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Last Edited on: 2/8/12 2:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/1/2010 10:34 AM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
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"Very nice condition" is too subjective for me.  I would have turned it down.

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 12:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Your story is exactly why so many people turn down RCS asking for "new condition, mint conditon or very good condition" etc.., 

I just want a book that meets PBS posting guidelines when it arrives. I get that sometimes I will have to be the one to retire a book from being postable.  As long as it's not nasty or falling apart it's in good conditon to me.

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 12:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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... if her husband wants collectable condition books, then they need to buy them not expect to be getting them as a swap.  Why??? Lots of us gladly send collectable condition books. How do you know the book is not OOP and the requester can't get the book new? This site is used by people with a lot of different needs and wants, accepting a book in base postable condition is NOT a requirement or the site would not allow RCs that are meant for situations exactly like this person's.

I agree with those that spine creases would not be "in very nice condition" and would have turned the RC down if my book had them. If there were only a few copies in the system, I would probably put the condition in the answer and let them know my user name so that if the condition was OK and they didn't get a copy from someone else, they could come back and order my copy again as long as the let me know in writing that the spine creases were OK.

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 12:55 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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If the author is doing active book signings, I sincerely doubt the book is out-of-print!

Let him buy the book (or her buy for him) at one of these events. If, as I suspect, she's looking towards the signature for its market value, let her buty a new copy as part of the "investment"!

Last Edited on: 1/1/10 2:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/1/2010 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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If I received a request like that, I would PM the requestor and let them know about the spine creases and ask if they still wanted the book.

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 2:25 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2008
Posts: 9,884
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I wouldn't have accepted the request for two reasons.

a.) "Very nice" is subjective.

2.) The creased spine means the book isn't in a "giftable" condition.

It is nice that the author will sign books without the customer providing a receipt.  I've heard of book signings where the author requires that the customers buy a book for that particular signing and then they will only sign that particular book.

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 1/1/2010 4:50 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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I'd have turned that RC down.  As others said too subjective for my taste.  And, I'm one who will try to meet RCs since I have one myself. 

I had one not long ago that asked with the RC for me to PM.  There's quite a few people here who will not do that.  I did though and the person accepted the book and thanked me profusly when it was received.

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 1,194
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"Very nice condition" means very close to Like New. I would have turned down the RC simply because it is too subjective. 

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 6:50 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,397
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" if her husband wants collectable condition books, then they need to buy them not expect to be getting them as a swap.  Why???  Lots of us gladly send collectable condition books."

This is simply how I feel.  I've posted several collectable condition books including signed editions.  However, I really don't think that PBS is the place to be expecting those kind of books.  If you get them, awesome.  Realistically, in all the books I've received, maybe 15% have been in "very nice condition".  Was I upset about the other 85%?  No, because they, for the most part, still held to the PBS standards which are quite a bit higher than some of the quality I've seen at used book stores.

I simply think that if you like an author enough to want to have signed editions, you should like them enough to make attempts to *support* them by purchasing the book new so they receive profit for the sale.  If an item is out of print, there are specialty book sellers and several websites available to purchase those books in a specific condition.

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 6:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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If I received a request like that, I would PM the requestor and let them know about the spine creases and ask if they still wanted the book.

The requesting member cannot be PM'd though until/unless the request is accepted, unless the RC includes the requester's nickname.  It tends not to be worth the hassle of a directory search or accepting, sending a PM and losing one's place in FIFO.




Date Posted: 1/1/2010 7:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I also agree with the if you like an author enough to go see them in person that many times and want a signed book that badly-you should buy it new.  A new paperback should only be 7.99 or around that. Maybe $20 if it's Tradesize. 

I also think that it's anyone's right to have RCS asking for new or like-new books-I'm just not going to send one of mine and risk getting nit-picked.  My books all meet PBS posting guidelines. I never had a shortage of credits.  So I'm OK waiting for the next person.

And no I am not one of those that declines all RCS.  The last 10 requests I had had RCS on them that I accepted.  But none of them were asking for new books or had unclear RCS. Just simple "please wrap in plastic" and "no smoking environment" RCS. 

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 9:24 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,926
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Just as an aside, I said earlier I would have declined, but if he's going to see the author at a place which doesn't mandate purchasing a new book there, what's wrong with taking a book that it looks like you read and enjoyed?!

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 9:38 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I am with Jodi.. I've met one author and at the time it was very short notice..LOL (like 3mins to get my ass next door to hear his speech). All I could find on my way in was an exlibrary copy on the FOL sale table.  I got him to sign it and he commented about how its nice to see books recycled and not thrown away.  It was a beat up copy to be sure, well read and sits on my coworkers desk now because she loves his work..
Someone wanting a brand new book to be signed, does seem to come across as them wanting a copy for its value rather then personal reasons.
If I met J K Rowling or Stephen King I can tell you I would not care if the book was one my cat has chewed, I'd get them to sign it because I love their work. :)

Like new, very good, lightly worn etc are very subjective things and something I would decline unless I knew the book was brand new.

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 11:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
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Although "very nice condition" is subjective and vague, personally, I would not expect a book with spine creases to be "very nice".

When in doubt about whether a book meets Requestor Conditions, it is ok to accept the request and then PM the requestor to give details about your copy and ask if it is acceptable. If so, go ahead with the transaction. If not, however, then you (the sender) should cancel the request. When the sender cancels a request the requestor will not lose his/her place if the book is on their wish list.

Second, regarding the earlier comment that "If the author is doing active book signings, I sincerely doubt the book is out-of-print!"

This is not necessarily true. Although this would surely apply to the current book for which the author is on tour and signing, I have been to many signings where authors will also gladly sign copies of earlier books they have written and that may be out of print.