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Topic: Wrong version/binding ?

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Subject: Wrong version/binding ?
Date Posted: 7/15/2013 4:55 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 829
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I only list books that have ISBN numbers. (I just don't have the patience to deal with older books that don't have them.)

Anyway, I recently listed a book by its ISBN.  I didn't notice that the book I had was a sample reader and had well short of the 894 pages the full copy has. Of course, the requestor has RWAP'ed the transaction and has asked for her credit back. On the one hand, I fully understand her wanting this, but on the other hand, I also don't believe that *I* should bear the loss of a credit. The item I listed and sent had the correct ISBN, even if it wasn't for the full version. I know that the ethical thing to do is to refund her credit, but I'm upset that I have to bear the brunt of this.

Anyone else ever deal with this, and is it possible to get PBS to either give her a credit or me a credit after I refund hers?

Date Posted: 7/15/2013 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,343
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When we post a book here, we have to check the ISBN, the title, the book type (hardcover/paperback/CD, etc), and the author.  We also have to check "large print", if that is mentioned, and we have to be sure the book is not an Advanced Reader Copy, Review Copy, or Uncorrected Proof.  We don't have to check the number of pages, publisher, cover image, etc.

Also, in this help doc, under "not allowed", it says,

"Brochures/Promotional "first chapters" of books - these are not complete books, even if they have an ISBN."

It sounds as if your book might have fit into that last category.

Date Posted: 7/15/2013 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Anyone else ever deal with this, and is it possible to get PBS to either give her a credit or me a credit after I refund hers?

I doubt they'll get involved. They haven't ever jumped in when ISBN has been a problem in other areas, like Advanced Readers.

And, really, why should they? They didn't do anything wrong. So I don't see why it should come out of their pockets. 

I think it's just one of those times you have to take the hit, and check to make sure you don't have an Advanced Reader Copy or a Sample Reader in the future.

Date Posted: 7/15/2013 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,040
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Here is my personal take on it.

You already know the "right" thing to do ... (and that's what I would do too), so you should give the credit back.

When I'm posting non-fiction or classics that have hundreds of versions or lots of different editions, I always look at the book and the PBS listing a little more closely, to make sure that what they person will be trying to order is pretty much the book that I have.

So, on PBS listings that are fiction classics, I tend to look pretty closely for "abridged/unabridged" or "illustrated" wording in either place, to make sure that what I have in my hand is not radically different than what is described in the listing.

For listings that are non-fiction, I generally won't post a book of an earlier edition to a listing that describes a much later edition, even if they have the same ISBN. (That's not in the rules, it's just what I do to verify as much as I can (or am willing to) that the book that someone is ordering from me is what they think they are ordering.).

It's slightly above and beyond what the rules call for (and I post mostly fiction that only has one edition anyway so I don't deal with the issue all that often in any case) ... but that's my take on what the "right" thing to do is.

Yes, some people will say "the book requestor should know what they are ordering" and while I believe thats TRUE .... there is also the perspective that you have the actual book in your hand at the beginning of the transaction ... so in my opinion, as the poster of the book you do bear some respnsibility for determining if the book you are posting is radically different from the listing, above and beyond ISBN matching.

I don't actually think you did anything "wrong" but I'm not sure the receiver did anything wrong either ... and to me, it sounds like a case where you coudl have spotted the problem before the book was mailed and she was not in a position to do that. So, Sara logic dictates that as the sender, you should refund the credit. That's what I would do.


The PBS listings come from other sources besides PBS, and they are updated by site volunteers. Whatever you decide to do, I doubt very much that the site will refund you.

Edited to add ... I answered the way I did assuming that a "sample reader" is some kind of complete version of the book. I don't actually know what a "sample reader" is, but the other posters think it is some kind of incomplete version of the book ... in which case, I would say yes, you definitely owe the credit back in that case.

Last Edited on: 7/15/13 5:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/15/2013 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Sorry, I'm completely with Sara on this one.

You already know the "right" thing to do ... (and that's what I would do too), so you should give the credit back.

I understand it's not entirely your fault, but I think the right thing to do is to return the credit.
Date Posted: 7/15/2013 5:26 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 829
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"I answered the way I did assuming that a "sample reader" is some kind of complete version of the book. I don't actually know what a "sample reader" is..."

I didn't know either; that was the phrase the requestor used when RWAP'ing the transaction. The only thing that would have been a big red flag was that the book I had listed was much, much shorter than the 894 pages the full version is. This was not an ARC and had no indication (that I recall) on the cover that would indicate it wasn't the full version.

Date Posted: 7/15/2013 6:16 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I think we need to keep in mind some books DO get sent out in abridged form.   I had a Sue grafton book that was included with another mystery book I bought from a store.  It says on it, that it's an abridged version of the book. It has an ISBN and has about 3/4 of the original book pages.  So to me it's the same as an audio book abridged version. I see no rules that deal with these.  It has a beginning, middle and end to the story so its not 'first chanpters".

Date Posted: 7/15/2013 6:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,209
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I don't see any reason you should give the credit back unless you posted the book incorrectly. You verify 5 things when you post on PBS - ISBN, Title, binding Type, Author, and Large Print (or not). If there was something OBVIOUSLY wrong in the listing and you sent it anyway, then shame and yes you should return the credit. But if there was nothing that stood out in the listing that you should have noticed that your book might not be what the requester wanted, then no, there is nothing you did wrong in sending your book.

It is the requester's responsibility to research and know if there are multiple versions posted to one ISBN and know if they need a Requester Condition to avoid a version they don't want. Are they going to know before they get one they don't want? Probably not. But that is often how we learn.

Can you return the credit to be nice since the requester got something they didn't want? Yes. Are you obligated to? Not if you followed posting procedures and posted the book correctly (technically) and didn't send something you knew the requester wouldn't have wanted (ethically).

Sometimes swaps just suck. The site has to have credits balanced for tax purposes, they can't just hand them out whenever swappers aren't happy with how a swap ended.

eta:It might be nice too, if you have the time, to research the ISBN a little and see if it is meant for only the abridged version. If it is, submit a Data Edit so that no other requesters do what this one did unsuspectingly.

Last Edited on: 7/15/13 6:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Bruce -
Date Posted: 7/22/2013 11:40 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2008
Posts: 3,412
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I just received a book with the correct ISBN but it is a softbound cover and not a hardcover as my WL request indicated. The book looks brand new and I don't mind that it is softbound but I'm wondering if I should mark this as RWAP. I have no intention of requesting my credit back, the book is in excellent shape but I'm wondering how it will affect my ability to relist it. Suggestions?

Date Posted: 7/22/2013 1:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,515
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Bruce, your post is at the end of someone else's thread, so some people may overlook it thinking they've already read this one. It's better to post new questions in a new thread.

But to answer your question, you do need to RWAP the book, if the ISBN indicates a hardcover then that's what they should have sent. Check the ISBN on the book you received, even if the publisher reused the same ISBN (and sometimes they do) when posting the book the sender should have verified that the ISBN was a hardcover, if that's what PBS has in the database. In your message with the RWAP you don't have to request the credit back if you don't want it, but they need to acknowledge that they sent the wrong book and then you can mark the transaction resolved.

ETA: you can repost the book if it's in good condition, but you can't use the ISBN that was used, since it's for a hardcover. You might check the inside to see if there's another ISBN. If not, then you need to post your copy using the "post a book without an ISBN" which will generate a five digit number unique to your copy, which is probably what the sender should have done. And since it's WL you can add a tag to the correct WL version showing your five digit ISBN & maybe adding (paperback) so someone may request it. To help get the word out you can also start a thread in the Book Bazaar forum stating that you have a non-WL paperback version of WL book ISBN xxx on your shelf.

Last Edited on: 7/22/13 4:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Bruce -
Date Posted: 7/22/2013 2:04 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2008
Posts: 3,412
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