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Topic: Why such a LONG wait after requesting a book?

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Subject: Why such a LONG wait after requesting a book?
Date Posted: 8/27/2008 11:07 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2008
Posts: 1
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As a brand new member, I've tried requesting two books. The requests seem to sit there for 2 days or more with no response. So far, I haven't had another member actually respond to one of my book requests.

On the flip side, I've responded immediately to requests from my bookshelf, and have already sent out 10 books.

Is it normal for requests to take so long?


Date Posted: 8/27/2008 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2008
Posts: 3,898
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A sender has 5 days to respond to a book request. I know it can be annoying to have to wait sometimes but this "grace period" is in place for those member who are not at PBS everyday (unlike some of us - me). Just be patient.........  if the sender doesn't respond, it will be passed to the next person that has the book. You will get your book eventually.

Date Posted: 8/27/2008 11:16 AM ET
Member Since: 7/20/2007
Posts: 1,046
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It also gives some of us a little time to be prepared to mail out a book. I know i don't always have ready cash to mail... sometimes i am hanging on to my last 20 bucks for gas money lately.

Date Posted: 8/27/2008 11:19 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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Some people don't have the internet at home - so can only respond during the work week.   Some people are in the midst of a tropical strom.   Some people have sick spouses or children.   This site is good for learning to wait.    As you get more books and have plenty on hand to read you'll be less in a hurry for the next one.  Life happens and this site allows for that.


Date Posted: 8/27/2008 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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It happens. I requested a DVD over at swapadvd on the 22nd, as of today I still have not heard if I will actually get it or not. Knowing that I have sometimes needed to wait to accept a book request for many different reasons, I try not to let it bother me when other people do the same thing.

Date Posted: 8/27/2008 12:14 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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Welcome to PBS!

The time period is there because life happens.

I wouldn't worry about the user not accepting your request right away. I usually wait to accept until a day or two anyway, to give the requestor some time to peruse my shelf and see if they want another book or two.

I also don't have the opportunity to go to the post office, I have to use printable postage.

It's a process when someone requests a book from me.

  1. Find the book, double check postable status.
  2. Give about 24-36 hours to accept to give the requestor time to review my shelf.
  3. Accept the request and, depending on the day, select the proper mailing date.
  4. Take the book(s) with me to work to weigh it on the postage scale in the office.
  5. Take it home and wrap it.
  6. Drop in the in office mail the next day.

In essence, I'm giving myself approximately 6-8 days to actually mail the book that was requested from me.

The person you've requested the books from is most likely doing something similar to this process. You also have to remember that they could have 12 pending requests and they're trying to get to each one as they were received. Your's might be at the bottom of list.

My main point here is that you have to be patient, those books will get to you eventually.

Again, welcome to PBS. I'm sure you'll grow to love it here. =)

Date Posted: 8/27/2008 2:58 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2006
Posts: 2,303
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Before I respond I go find the book and make sure it is (still) in postable condition. Sometimes life slows those steps down.

Date Posted: 8/27/2008 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 6/17/2008
Posts: 626
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Welcome to PBS! 

I know exactly how you feel... when I first joined, I responded immediately, I was on the site all the time, and would get annoyed when other members took time time respond- actually one of my first request ended up timing out!  But as the other members here said, the time is allowed so that when issues do come up you don't necessarily need to worry about whether or not you need to respond right away to a request.  Now that the newness has worn off I have more frequent requests, it generally takes me a full week to send a book out (I only make one trip to the PO per week now instead of worrying about heading there every day).  Believe me, as your request build up you will be happy for the grace period! :)

Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 8/27/2008 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
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"PBS - The P stands for patience."

Date Posted: 8/27/2008 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I have a DVD request sitting unanswered now.  I moved recently and I need to dig through the 4 boxes of DVDS to find it before I accept.  It just came in today.  I hate to make them wait but that's life sometimes.


Also are you cancelling those book requests after 2 days because of no response? If you are and then reordering the book-it's just giving the request to the same person.  It's best to just let it run it's course and timeout.  The time outs help get rid of innactive accounts.

Date Posted: 8/27/2008 6:06 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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The wait time teaches us all patience. I am one of those who typically mails books the same day they are requested, or at least within 24 hours. I just put a book in the mail that was requested three hours ago. That me, though. I know that others don't have the freedom to do that. Eh. **shrugs** The book gets here eventually!
Date Posted: 8/27/2008 6:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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Yep, I remember the early days when it drove me nuts to wait for a book. Now my TBR is so darned huge it doesn't bother me at all! I've got so many books here to read, the sender could take 2 years to send the darned book and I'd still have plenty of other stuff to occupy my time. LOL

Whatever you do, though, don't cancel your request. If you do that, and re-order it, the order goes back to that same person who hadn't yet answered your request the first time. If you let the order "time out" (go the full five days) that book is then automatically pulled from the system and from that person's shelf and your request moves on to the next person in the FIFO line. And hopefully THEY will be someone who's still active on the site and wants to earn a credit!


Date Posted: 8/27/2008 8:19 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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I let 2 books sit on my account page.  I am in Florida and we had tropical storm Fay here.  I knew she would be gone in time for me to mail the books, but I just didn't know exactly when, so I waited a few days to accept the requests.  There could be any number of reasons.

Date Posted: 8/27/2008 8:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2005
Posts: 4,469
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After 5 days of no response, the request to that sender times out and goes on to the next person who has the book posted--then the 5 day response time starts over.  Some people are just faster about responding and sending books than others.  I've had pretty good luck with most of my requests, but every once in a while you wonder if anyone's ever going to respond


ETA correct wait times

Last Edited on: 8/27/08 8:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/28/2008 6:48 AM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 2,835
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One request I had went through FIVE people before one accepted it.

Date Posted: 8/28/2008 9:32 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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Yep, that can happen sometimes, I think especially if it's a more 'popular' book that has dozens or hundreds of books in the system. People who post those type of books exclusively and don't get any orders when they're first joining probably tend to get more discouraged and 'wander away' from PBS...so that a few months later when the books they posted DO start getting ordered, they're nowhere to be found. It's unfortunate but seems to be a fact of PBS life.

People keep talking about how PBS makes accounts inactive if there's no activity, but I honestly don't think that really happens given the number of times I've had books time out like that. I *wish* that's what would happen...if someone doesn't login for a month or lets more than two requests go by unresponded to, put their bookshelf and wishlist on hold....send them a couple of e-mails asking them to please respond, to remove books from their bookshelf that they don't intend to actually send, and if they don't, just remove their account. There's a lot of deadwood in the system I think, but I don't think that is likely to happen.


Date Posted: 8/28/2008 9:55 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2005
Posts: 1,165
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Welcome to PBS!

Everyone mentioned all the great reason it takes so long. I used to be one of the ones who only had internet at work. So if I got a request on a Sat. , I couldn't do anything with it until Monday.

Also, alot of folks onsite are caregivers, kids, parents and so on. So they may not  have all the time to check the site.

I remember being new and thinking that folks should reply to my request quickly. It drove me nuts having to wait, because it was all so new. But now, like Spuddie, my TBR pile is so big, I can wait.  That will happen for you too. :)

Date Posted: 8/28/2008 10:02 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 13,147
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Cheryl has a great point! I wish there was some way to get that to happen.

Date Posted: 8/29/2008 10:12 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 345
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I haven't been here that long, but I did get over the "in a hurry thing."  But this one book I've been trying to get is really testing my resolve.  There are about 50 in the system, but two months after first requesting it, I still haven't received it.  The request timed out on several people, and the one person who said they mailed it?  Well, either they didn't, or it's out there somewhere, because it went lost three days ago -- and no response to a friendly PM asking if it might be under the seat in the car, which has happened to me!  Now, we're going through the waiting game again. 


I wouldn't mind SO much if I thought I truly was helping to weed out people who are no longer here.  But more and more, I just don't think that's the case.  I requested a book a couple of weeks ago from someone who hasn't posted any books in quite awhile, only has three books left on their shelf -- as I expected, the request timed out (and this time it was the only one in the system), but the account is still active.  Sometimes when I'm bored, I do go back later to take a peek at profiles of people that have had requests time out -- they're still here.  Yes, life happens and that's perfectly understandable -- but if they aren't even here anymore?  I don't mind waiting five days for someone -- heck I don't mind waiting a month for someone -- who is dealing with "life."  But it is irritating to wait five days for a ghost. 


I was particularly curious about one account.  This guy posted a book that was on my wish list -- as luck would have it -- when we were away for the weekend and, of course, it timed out before I got home.  So I checked and the book was still there, so I requested it and sent him a PM that I did want the book, but I was gone, and thanks for posting it.  I was struck by the fact that he was a new member, but had posted about 1300 books!  Well, my request to HIM timed out and when I went back to his profile, he was no longer a member.  I wondered if he thought he got two credits for every ten books posted?  I dunno -- but he's gone now.