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Topic: Wish List Flake-Outs

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Subject: Wish List Flake-Outs
Date Posted: 4/1/2009 8:31 AM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 63
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I’ve been using (and loving) PBS for about 6 weeks. I’ve noticed that about half of the books that pop up under my “Wish List Holds” tab wind up not being requested, either because they time out or get cancelled.

 

Could the more experienced swappers here tell me whether this is unusual? Or is this something I should get used to? Do you predict that the new Wish List system will result in more flake-outs or fewer? Just curious.

Date Posted: 4/1/2009 8:40 AM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2007
Posts: 304
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It could be lots of things. People are busy and can't get to a computer. They are away, working, bought the book while waiting and then forgot to take it off their list, don't have daily internet access. Or, it could be they don't have the credit(s) for the book and can't spare the cash to buy some. *shrug* There are so many different things that is could be. I accept it as a part of PBS I don't like but the scales tip greatly in favor of the things I do like that it has because a small price to pay. I hope things go better for you. It can be frustrating but hopefully the scales will tip for you soon as well.

 

Welcome!

Date Posted: 4/1/2009 8:40 AM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 510
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That seems roughly normal to me (for newly posted books that go on wishlist hold).

Date Posted: 4/1/2009 8:46 AM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2006
Posts: 547
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I have fewer time outs and cancelations than I have stress free transactions.  Sometimes, if you are posting books with long wishlists, the frequency will be higher, because people forget they bought the book for themselves or they have abandoned their account.  Sometimes, if you are posting auto request wishlist books, you will find that you have even fewer problem books.  This is just the nature of the beast.

The most important thing to learn with PBS is patience.  That and always do what you wish others would do.  Like keep your wishlist up to date and wrap your books nicely. 

As for the new wishlist, is that really happening?  Did I miss something in the last two weeks?  If you couldn't guess, this has been a long time coming.  At this point, I don't think anyone can really predict if the new wishlist will change anything.  It is suppose to put all books on autorequest, which should decrease some of the time outs and cancelations, but at this point, seeing is believing.  I hold my judgement until after it happens.

Kerry

Date Posted: 4/1/2009 8:51 AM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,258
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I've also found that if there's only one person on the WL and it times out (for whatever reason), it doesn't stay long on my BL.  Usually someone will request it in a day or so.  Hang in there.  I've had more WLd books accepted than timed out, but it is frustrating to have to wait to see what someone is going to do.   Pat

Date Posted: 4/1/2009 9:02 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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Yes, that's pretty normal. Love the auto-request feature, but not everyone uses it, and not everyone reviews their wishlist regularly to weed out stuff they don't want. It is one of those minor annoyances about PBS, but overall it's a great place!

I noticed that PBS put a reminder for folks in the NewsWire yesterday to 1) check bookshelves and make sure what's there is still in your possession and still in postable condition and 2) review wishlists and remove those you really don't want.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 4/1/2009 12:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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I was quily of once getting offered a WishList book that I had already bought.  I bought it as it was clear that I was not going to get ithe book via PBS in time for the book club we were reading it for.

Originally I left the book on my WL on purpose as I thought I might want to get the book as a gift for a friend.  I could of sworn that I was in over 100th place for that book, so I had some time to decide whehter to leave the book on of remove it from my WL.

I was suprised to be offered the book, and immediately turned it down and apologized to the person who would have been sending it.  I felt especially bad as I thought she must have offered it directly to me.  She said she didn't post it to me, that I must have reached there via FIFO (I still don't know how).  Anyway she was very nice and said she appreciated me letting her know so promptly.

I think the key is that if you goof and are offered a book you no longer want, turn down the offer immediately rather than letting it time out, so the offer can go quickly to the next person on the list.

 

Date Posted: 4/1/2009 12:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I also find that it seems to happen more with books that have long WL lines or slow moving WL lines. A lot of people join PBS and then just abandon their account. They don't take the time to come in and close it out.  So they work their way up to the top of a long or slow moving WL line and then don't respond.  I find the same thing with heavily posted books. They posted the books so long ago and have abandoned their accounts by the time the line works it way up to them. 

I also find that if a book had a short WL and it' times out on all of them and ends up on my shelf that it's ordered quickly. 

It is annoying though when you have other books to mail and that one WL book just won't be accepted.

 

Date Posted: 4/1/2009 1:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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Someone said above that there will be a new WL with books only on auto-request. Is this true? I know some people dislike flake-outs, but what about if we don't have the credits but could have bought one? On auto-request if I don't have the credit won't it just skip over me and offer to someone else?

I personally don't mind the flake-outs. Maybe it's because I flake sometimes. People change their minds, no big deal. I always decline the offer instead of letting it time out though.

Date Posted: 4/1/2009 2:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 63
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I do mind the flake-outs - rejection is always painful - but I'm not really complaining. I was just wondering if this is normal behavior or if I'm having a run of bad luck. I can certainly live with the flake-outs since, as Miranda says above, the good stuff on PBS vastly outweighs the bad.

When a book appeared under "WL Holds," I'd add it to a special "pending" pile. From now on I think I'll just  wait for the books to appear under the Requested From Me tab before digging them out.

The WL tab will still be useful, though. Whenever I post a new batch of books, I always try to guess which ones will pop up on the "WL Holds". I'm always wrong.

 

Date Posted: 4/1/2009 9:55 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 663
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I have most of my wishlist on auto-request. The exceptions are mostly where I have several different versions of slow-moving books requested. Generally one of those books will come through and I'll cancel the other versions with no one the wiser. But twice, two different versions of a book have been posted within days of each other, and I cancelled the second one.

As for books that I post to my shelf, it's been my experience that if the WL hold shows only one person wishing for the book, it usually is not taken. Sometimes when that happens, after the book is declined or times out, I'll delete it from my shelf and then immediately repost. That way it shows up as available for order right away, and many times gets requested fairly quickly.

Pam

 

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 6:32 AM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 63
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Great tip - thanks! I'd say that  90% of the books I've sent were requested within 1 or 2 days of being posted, so re-posting timed-out books is a great idea.

On the whole, I support the idea of the WL default becoming Auto-Request. It will probably discourage flake-outs.

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 7:42 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,270
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I have noticed that if a wishlist book is not requested within the first 24 hours, then odds are that it will time out. It is very frustrating when you know that people are waiting for that book. It is also frustrating when you post a wishlist book with several wishers and while I wait for it to time out and roll over to the next member several other copies are posted and accepted and then it is no longer a wishlist book. Yes, it usually is requested shortly after that but still I hate waiting while it times out. I am an advocate for a shorter time to accept books -- like perhaps 36 hours instead of 48 hours., And hopefully having all books on auto-request  will help.

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 12:58 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,354
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I'd like to see it set to 72 hours, so people who only have net at work can accept a WL book that was posted over the weekend.

I'd rather see a cut back in how long someone has to accept a requested book. I don't mind if they increase the time options for mailing it after accepting, but I'd like a response faster.  Combine the two--make it 8 days to accept & mail.  Delay accepting, less time to mail after accepting.  A full week should be enough--better than the 5 days now b/c if you can only mail once, I used to have to ignore requests for a day or so to be able to mail them on Saturday and still be within time.

I have noticed a higher WL decline rate recently, but not too bad.  I just maintain the attitude I'm cleaning up the WL.

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 3:12 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Kayote - I agree with you.  It would help those of us who have to depend on others who either mail out on one day of the week or those of us (me) who have to depend on others to mail out at all.  It can get tricky around here to find a family member who is going by (and will stop) the PO or even a blue box.  I always try to make it so there's more than one going out - but these days I'm not getting so many requests.  I need to read more faster.

Ruth

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 3:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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I sincerely hope the WL doesn't become auto-request. For people like Ruth and for people who may need the time to purchase a credit because they don't have an excess in credits. Or someone who accidentally forgot to remove the WL book after obtaining a copy elsewhere. There are a lot of scenarios where an auto-request WL would be more hindering than helpful. Also, wouldn't you rather having someone decline the book because they decided they didn't want to read it anymore and the book going on to a member who truly wants it?

Flake-outs may annoy you but your book will get requested eventually. Just like if you request a book, you will eventually receive it even if you have to go through multiple members before the request finds an active account. We just have to be patient about sending and receiving books. If we want instant gratification we should be buying e-books.

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2006
Posts: 1,756
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Amee you don't have to worry about the WL becoming all auto-request. TPTB explain that they will both still be available. What will change is that the default will change to AR and we will all have to change the ones we don't want on auto request. There are many, many reasons that people don't use AR. In my particular case, as a fulltime RVer I move around a lot and thus change where I have my books sent. I also order books for my mom and grandkids and of course want them sent to their addresses, not mine.

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I think if it went to 72hrs for a WL offer to be accepted more and more people would bypass FIFO. I know I would. I've had books with fairly short WL sit almost a week waitng to be accepted. Doubling that time would be really frustrating. Especially if you have a vacation coming up.  I hang otu the boards regularly but I still post most of my books to FIFO. I'd offer them all up on the "Is This on Your WL threads" on the various boards before I put them to FIFO if it went up to 72hrs.  I keep credits handy to cover WL offers.  A credit doesn't have to spent as soon as it's earned.  If someone isn't earning any credits at all they must not be entering any WL books into the system to help keep the lines moving.  I like getting WL books too but I also realize they I have to put some in as well. WL books can be put on autorequest and accounts can be put on hold if you are going to be away from your computer for more than a day or two.  I'm going away this week and will have computer access-but my account is going on hold because I won't be home to deal with mailing books out. 

I do like the idea of shortening the time to accept book requests and extending the mail by time. Give people maybe 3 days to come on and accept or decline and then give maybe a week to choose your mail by date. 

I think all the lines would move much faster if they just required a once a month log in to PBS.  All those inactive people who are ignoring PBS emails for WL offers and book requests would be weeded out of the system and no longer clogging the lines.  People who still want their PBS account but only come on when they have an email telling them there's activity can just log in for 2 minutes once a month and that's that. An automated email can be sent once a month saying "please check in to keep your account active' or something like that.

 



Last Edited on: 4/2/09 5:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/2/2009 5:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2009
Posts: 404
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I am right now on my 3rd person for a WL book I posted Sunday night.  I posted 2 WL books and one was accepted right away.  Rather than mailing within 2 days I extended it hoping I could just do one trip to the Post Office.  My wife agreed to go today & mail the one and hopefully the other will finally get accepted & I can mail it tomorrow.  I understand waiting, but just the best laid plans thing.

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 10:49 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2005
Posts: 147
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I think it runs in spurts.  I was out of credits so dug out some books that I thought would go fast and posted 10 books.  A couple were on WL and were taken right away.  Another 5 or 6 were requested within a day or two.  I had 8 books total taken in a short time - no cancels.

PBS does sometimes require a bit of patience, but it is my experience that it works great. You just have to keep a backlog of books to read so you are not always on edge about how long it takes to send or recieve books.

 

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 11:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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Thank you Elaine! I was beginning to be worried this was something new looming in the future.

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 11:45 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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I agree with those who suggested a shorter accept-this-request period and a longer mail-by period. I don't think I need 5 days to decide whether I can mail a book. Can other people comment on this (because I want to take your situations into account too)? A shorter accept-this-request time would help the people further back on the WL line as well as the person whose wish is up by speeding the process up in case it takes multiple requesters to get a book mailed. A longer mail-time does not hurt those further back in line, only potentially the person who is actually going to get that copy. I personally can live with waiting longer if I know someone has agreed to sending a copy to me. Any thoughts?
Date Posted: 4/3/2009 1:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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I don't see what the point would be (other than the inactive accounts would be gone through faster in the request line) in a shorter accept-this-request period. So they have to accept it sooner but then they still have the same number of days to mail it as if they waited until day 5 to accept the request. The wait times will remain the same. Besides, things happen. What if someone only has access at work but they have a three day weekend. They'd just miss out on accepting the request because they weren't at work to accept it? It seems silly to put your account on hold for a simple 3-day weekend and miss out on a credit. I think 5 days is fair. I also think some people just assume because they have easy and quick access, everyone does. We can't be too exclusive. It's about sharing books and a love for reading, not getting what you want as fast as possible.

 

Date Posted: 4/3/2009 3:24 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I wouldn't mind (just for my situation) a shorter "accept by" period.  I only wait so that some members might order more from me at the same time...but delaying printing would do the same thing.  I try to accept as soon as I find the book and check out it's current condition.  (I seem to have a bad habit of putting books down and not remembering where I left them!)  So the "accept by" period being shortened might force me to be more organized with all the books "decorating" my house.    As for the 48 hr request period - I always accept right away.  I try to keep my WL up to date.  If I didn't want it - then it shouldn't be on my WL. 

Ruth

Date Posted: 4/4/2009 1:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,258
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I use the maximum time to mail a book (I go to the PO on Monday and Thursday so don't really need it) because one time they were working on the board, and I'd used the "I can mail in 2 days - which I did), but then couldn't post that I had for a couple of days as I couldn't get in (and I'd sent out 21 books), so since then I go as far out as I can.  Pat

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