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Topic: Why is postage put on the sender?

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Subject: Why is postage put on the sender?
Date Posted: 11/11/2009 3:49 AM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 1
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It seems to me that Paperback Swap would be a dramatically improved service if the person ordering the book had to pay for the postage instead of the person shipping the book. I have several hundred books that I would love to post for trade, but I don't because I'm afraid that I'll have to spend hundreds of dollars mailing them off. If the responsibility of the postage was swapped, I'm sure that Paperback Swap would offer a greatly increased selection of books. The only downside to this would be the inability to use conventional stamps, but I don't think this would be much of a loss, and the benefits would be clear.


Why is Paperback Swap set up like this?

Date Posted: 11/11/2009 5:33 AM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2008
Posts: 4,470
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Last Edited on: 4/1/11 3:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 5
Date Posted: 11/11/2009 6:49 AM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,926
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A book for a book is the easiest, hands-off way to facilitate trading. Postage is a variable, a book for a book is not. This allows for exchanges without variables and without alot (or often, any) communication/delay. This site is based on the premise that you want books in exchange for your books. If you want to sell them, half, ebay, amazon, abe are options - however all require more interaction/time. If you want to trade them in on a less than 1 to 1 basis, your local UBS is an option.

Date Posted: 11/11/2009 7:18 AM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2008
Posts: 4,470
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BTW, I noticed you actually joined in April 2008. The books PBS has gotten for swapping has risen by a million and a half, during that time alone.

Last Edited on: 11/11/09 7:19 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/11/2009 7:23 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,602
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Well, first of all, there's the logistics of it. How would I, as the person ordering the book, pay for postage on a package I'm not mailing???

Secondly, it evens out. You pay postage on a book you send, get a credit and order a book. The person sending you that book pays the postage on the book you ordered. Easy peasy. It must be working well--when I joined in August 2005, there were 64,000 books available. Look at the number available now!


Date Posted: 11/11/2009 7:47 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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People do pay for the postage for the books they receive.  They pay with a credit. THey get the credit by paying for postage to mail a book out. 

You can also sell credits to cover postage if you have more books to send out than you want to redeem for other books. If you aren't looking for other books than maybe Ebay would be better for you.  I do PBS because I want to trade my credits for other books. Although I have sold some credits before to cover postage costs.  I have a huge TBR so I can do that.  If I didn't have so many book I would spend more credits. 

When I joined just over 2 yrs ago we hadn't even hit the 2million book mark.  I also think memberships has double or tripled since then.  Maybe even more.

Last Edited on: 11/11/09 7:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/11/2009 7:50 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Also post books as you need the credits.  When you find some books you want and use up some credits-post a few more books. Then your postage is controlled.  I have over 100 WL books here.  When I get low on credits I read a few and post them.  I couldn't afford to read them all at once and send them out.  I also make an effort to find people I can post more than 1 book to at a time to save on postage.  Frequently mailing an extra WL book to someone only ups the postage by .25 but it gets me an extra credit.

Last Edited on: 11/11/09 7:51 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/11/2009 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 8,411
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That's the beauty of PBS.  You can post or not post whatever books you want.  If you think they will be too expensive to send, don't post them.  Although, most books don't weigh that much. 

Last Edited on: 11/11/09 12:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/11/2009 1:07 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,741
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Also if PBS required that the recipient pay the postage, people who for one reason or another don't have a credit card to charge the postage to would not be able to become members. There are still people out there with neither credit cards or Paypal accounts and I'm sure some of them are members here.

Date Posted: 11/11/2009 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,891
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ditto! donate them to the library bookstore.

Date Posted: 11/11/2009 2:24 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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As already stated, the logistics would be an organizational nightmare.  Member A has a book I want, I pay postage and she doesn't send...now what?  The current method is much more simple, when I pay for the postage on books I mail .... if there's a problem PBS merely transfers a credit, can't imagine the difficulties of moving actual money from member to member   ;(

ETA - an interesting idea, but in very workable.

Last Edited on: 11/11/09 2:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/11/2009 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 5,050
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This might make it much harder for some people to use PBS DC.  I, for one, do not use DC on the books I send out because only 1 book has ever gotten lost.  The cost of putting DC on all of my books far exceeeds the cost of that 1 lost credit, so for me it's uneconomical to use DC.  Many others here avidly use the service, and I think it's wonderful that it's there for others to use.  BUT--I certainly don't want to be required to pay for DC if someone sending a book to me chooses to use DC. 

I like the site the way it is, and I knew what I was signing up for when I joined.

Last Edited on: 11/11/09 2:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/11/2009 4:28 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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And with numbers like 4,000,000+ books, and 80,000+ members, I don't think their way of doing things is proving to be a bad idea. That'a a lot of books, and a lot of people. Check the PULSE OF PBS under the Company column at the bottom of any page. It gives several kinds of statistics that back up their method of doing business for us.

ETA: Btw, and this compliment on the method of PBS comes from someone that thru individual credit orders, and Box-of-Books orders has traded over 2,000 books in the last 4 years. So, it's certainly proven a good method for me and my family.

Last Edited on: 11/11/09 4:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1