Help Center - How to Use Requestor Conditions

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Requestor Conditions allow you to stipulate conditions about the books you want, if you have any requirements above and beyond the basic club standards that can be read in Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PaperBackSwap. The text you write for your Conditions will appear verbatim on every request you submit, unless you turn RCs "OFF" before submitting the request.

Requestor Conditions should *not ask for contact* or *request discussion about the book* before the sender sends the book. The Requestor Conditions text should be clear, without need for further discussion. 

You can create and apply Requestor Conditions in your Account Settings, from the Settings tab in My Account.

To apply Requestor Conditions to your account:

  • Go to your Account Settings:

    • Place your cursor over My Account in the toolbar at the top of the site, and choose Settings from the menu that drops down.
    • Or, from My Account, click the Settings tab on the far right.
  • In your Account Settings:
    • Click the link "Requestor Conditions" at the top of the page
      • Or, just scroll down to see this area.
    • Choose "Yes" from the dropdown menu at the top of the Requestor Conditions text box
      • Choosing "No" will preserve your settings but not make them active--they will not be shown on a request if you choose No.
    • Type your text into the text box: 
      • Please be very clear
      • Your conditions should be easily interpretable and should NOT require (or ask for!) further clarification in Personal Messages.   If a sender is confused, she or he may decline your request.  The sender will NOT be able to contact you before accepting the book, so the RC text should be clear.
  • Click to apply the RCs to your account.

After you have done this, you can "toggle" Requestor Conditions on and off:

  • Use the "Yes/No" option above the text box in that area of your Account Settings to do this
  • Click Update Request Settings each time to apply the change
  • Choosing No will preserve your text but not show your conditions on any requests you make while the option "No" is chosen.
  • When you toggle back to Yes and click to Update settings again, your Requestor Conditions will again be shown on all subsequent requests.
  • This is useful if you are requesting books for someone else who does not have the same requirements  (ie, as a gift for a friend who is NOT allergic to dogs, while your requestor conditions say that you can't receive books from a household with a dog).
  • This is also useful if your Requestor Conditions apply only to specific books (or specific categories of books).
    • Please note that any book you have set to auto-request on your Wish List will be submitted automatically with the Requestor Conditions you have active on your account.  If your Requestor Conditions are not active when an auto-requested Wish List book becomes available, the request will go through without conditions on it.

When your Requestor Conditions are active ("Yes" is chosen above the text box and Update Request Settings has been clicked), the text will show on every request you make.
Remember, the sender will see exactly what you type! Choose your wording carefully: most senders err on the side of caution. A vague notation like "Nice books only" is not easily interpretable, and will probably result in a lot of your requests being declined.

  • IMPORTANT Your Requestor Conditions should NOT ask the sender to "PM me if you are unsure"  or "contact me to discuss".
    • There is no mechanism for the sender to PM the requestor from a request without accepting it
    • We recommend to senders to DECLINE such requests that ask for contact, and we will ask you to edit your Requestor Conditions.
  • If you want the sender to communicate with you about the book, you should phrase this "If you are unsure whether or not your book meets these conditions, please ACCEPT this request and then send me a Personal Message about the book." The sender is not obligated to do this.
    • If the sender does this, though, YOU will need to cancel the request if you decide that the book does not meet your conditions.
      • The sender would have to repost the book after cancelling it, so if YOU ask the sender to contact you to discuss the book, YOU must be the one to cancel the request if the sender contacts you and you don't want the book.
      • The exceptions to the above are:
    1. a sender who accepts and then sends a message about an unpostable book
    2. a sender who accepts and sends a message about a book that clearly does not meet your Requestor Conditions (no further communication or clarification was needed)
    3. A sender who accepts and sends a message when your Conditions did not ask to be contacted to discuss your Conditions
  • To make this feature work properly, your Requestor Conditions should be
    • clear enough not to require any communication for clarification
    • applied ONLY to requests for books for which you have those conditions

Note: Your Requestor Conditions (RCs) will NOT be applied if:

  • You submit a request with your RCs set to NO (= turned off) in your account settings
  • You accept a Wish List offer with your RCs set to NO in your account settings
  • You check the "DO NOT apply my Requestor Conditions to this request " box on the page where you confirm your ship-to address, before clicking "Process my request"
  • You submit a request to be sent to an alternate address
  • You accept a Wish List offer by clicking "I want this book - ship to an alternate address"
    • If you want to request a book/accept a Wish List offer to be sent to an alternate address while also applying your RCs, you would need to change your account mailing address in your account settings to the alternate address, and then request the book normally, or accept the Wish List offer by clicking "i want this book - ship to my address"). 
    • If you do this, don't forget to change your account mailing address back if you don't want to continue using the alternate address for your default account address for every request going forward.

How Requestor Conditions Work:

FOR THE REQUESTOR:

  • Whatever you type into the text box for Requestor Conditions will appear verbatim on any request you make to another member's bookshelf.
    • For example, you can type "I want only books that are currently in a pet-free, smoke-free home. Thank you."
    • Keep in mind when choosing to place conditions on the books that you will accept that if you are unclear you might get a significant percentage of your requests declined.

      Look at the two examples below:
      "I do not want books from a smoking environment."

      "I do not want books that are currently in a smoking home."
       
      • The first example may result in confusion, because many of the books on PBS are used and members cannot assure you that the books have never been owned by a smoker and have never been around pets.
      • The second example is clearer.
  • No one will be able to see your Requestor Conditions until you request a book from him or her.
  • When you submit a request with your RCs active, the other member will see your message in a white box on the request.
    • He or she will have the option to:
      • accept by clicking (choose this if you are SURE the book meets the conditions as stated)
      • or decline by clicking (choose this if you are NOT SURE the book meets the conditions as stated, or if you know the book DOES NOT MEET the conditions, or if you have made a policy that you don't want to accept requests with extra conditions on them)
      • or decline by clicking (choose this if the book is unpostable/damaged, or if you can't find it, or if you can't mail it for some reason that has nothing to do with Requestor Conditions. Choosing this option will remove the book from your account and to offer it again, you will need to repost it.)
      • Note: There is no option to send a Personal Message from the request without accepting first.

  • If a sender declines by clicking 
    • That book does not lose its place in the "FIFO" line
    • It simply goes back into its previous place
    • The requestor's request is passed to the next person offering the book.
    • If this is a Wish List book
      • and there are other people Wishing for the book, the requestor goes back onto the Wish List at the same place "in line" and the book is offered to the next Wishing member.
      • and there is no one else Wishing for the book, the book is removed from the requestor's Wish List.
        • the book goes onto the requestor's Reminder List
        • the requestor will not be able to Wish List the book again until this copy has been sent out to another requestor (and there are no active copies in the system).
  • If a sender declines by clicking This is just like a regular book request decline:
    • The book is removed from the sender's bookshelf
    • The requestor's request is passed to the next sender in FIFO, if there is another copy of the book available
    • If there is no other copy of the book available, the book goes onto the requestor's Wish List.
  • If a sender declined your request and you still want the book (and that copy is still available):
    • Change your Requestor Conditions - turn them off or adjust the text and click Update
    • Request the book again.
    • If the book was already offered to or requested by another member, you will NOT be able to re-request it, since that copy of the book is no longer available.

If your Requestor Conditions are not working for you

  • If senders appear confused
    • Example: you request a paperback and the sender declines saying "My book is a paperback"
    • What to do: Look at your RCs.  Do they say something like "I only want hardcovers with dust jackets..."?  A lot of people will read "I only want hardcovers" and decline. 
    • Solutions:
      • Good solution: Reword your RCs ("If the book is hardcover, I want the dust jacket included" is clearer).  Not all sender error/confusion can be prevented, but clear wording helps.
      • Best solution: Apply your RCs appropriately (= turn RCs that apply only to Hardcovers OFF if you are requesting a Paperback)
  • If senders are refusing your requests for books that you WOULD accept:
    • Example: Your request is declined with the comment "book is new but don't want to send to someone so picky"
    • What to do: Look at your RCs. 
      • Are your RCs long (more than four sentences?)  Senders often don't want to read a lot of text and stipulations - and the rules here say that they don't have to. 
      • Are your RCs vague or confusing ( "I only want good books" or "I don't want books that smell")?  Senders can't be sure their sense of smell is as good as yours, and their definition of "good" may not match yours. 
      • Do your RCs repeat the basic conditions of the club?  Senders can be put off by the reiteration of basic standards.
      • Do your RCs ask senders to "PM me if unsure"?  That's NOT allowed and NOT possible - your RCs need to state your conditions, without needing further discussion.
      • Are your RCs hostile/worded in an unpleasant way?  Examples: "I don't want crappy books" - "I don't want books that are falling apart" - "I don't want blood or mucus or urine on books". Good senders (whose books you DO want) can be offended by these statements - and  the rare sender who would Post a urine-stained book isn't going to be stopped from sending it by reading RCs.
    • Solution: Reword your RCs. 
      • Strive for BREVITY.  Just seeing a paragraph of text will make a lot of senders think "too picky - I don't want to deal with this person," even if the text is not asking anything extreme.  They may not even read it (and they are not required to).
      • Remove/clarify vague language - what do you mean by "good book"?  Focus on the things you want (above and beyond the basic Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PaperBackSwap).
      • Amend your tone - try for friendly (not hostile). Remember you are asking someone to send you her book.  Speak to the sender whose book you DO want.  Don't offend the majority (=good senders) by trying to exclude the minority (=problematic senders).
      • Do NOT ask senders to "contact me if unsure" or "PM me to discuss".  This is not allowed, and senders are told to decline such requests outright.  The RC feature is not designed to protract or complicate swapping.
      • If your RCs simply restate PBS standards, consider removing them altogether.  These alienate good senders much more than they exclude bad books. If you must restate PBS standards, you can put in a link to the Help doc.
      • If your Requestor Conditions (RCs) was not applied to a request you made, then these are the possibilities

        • You did not have any RCs entered in your account settings at the time you submitted the request
        • You had not made your RCs active (by choosing YES at the top of that section in your account settings and clicking the Update button), before submitting the request
        • You accepted a Wish List offer with your RCs set to NO in your account settings
        • You checked the "DO NOT apply my Requestor Conditions to this request " box on the page where you confirmed your ship-to address, before clicking "Process my request"
        • You submited the request to be sent to an alternate address
        • You accepted a Wish List offer by clicking "I want this book - ship to an alternate address"
          • Note: If you want to request a book/accept a Wish List offer to be sent to an alternate address while also applying your RCs, you would need to change your account mailing address in your account settings to the alternate address, and then request the book normally, or accept the Wish List offer by clicking "i want this book - ship to my address"). 
          • If you do the above, don't forget to change your account mailing address back if you don't want to continue using the alternate address for your default account address for every request going forward.

         

FOR THE SENDER:

  • If a book request is submitted to you with active Requestor Conditions:
    • You will see the Requestor Conditions in a white box on the pending request when it "pops up" on your account page.
    • You will have these options:
      • accept by clicking
      • decline by clicking
      • decline by clicking
      • There is no option to send a Personal Message from the request.
  • If you click  the request will proceed normally.
    • There is no need to communicate further about the book if the book meets the conditions.  See below for the case in which you are not sure if the book meets the conditions.

  • If you click 
    • you will have a chance to type an explanatory message to the requestor
      • this message will be included in an email from PBS telling her that the request has been declined.
      • This message is not for "negotiation" about the book request.
      • This message should not be unpleasant.  There is no need to be rude when declining a request.
    • If this book is on a Wish List, it will then be offered to the next Wisher
      • If there is no one else  Wishing for it, it will go back to your bookshelf to await another request.

  • If you click , this is just like a regular book request decline:
    • The book is removed from the sender's account Bookshelf
    • The requestor's request is passed to the next sender in FIFO, if there is another copy of the book available
    • If there is no other copy of the book available, the book goes onto the requestor's Wish List.
       
  • If you are uncertain whether your book meets the Requestor Conditions, we recommend DECLINING the request by clicking "Does Not Meet Conditions".
    • Your book will become available to the rest of the club, or to the next wishing member if this is a Wish Listed book
  • If a requestor's Requestor Conditions ask you to contact him or her (for example "PM me to check"), we recommend DECLINING the request by clicking "Does Not Meet Conditions".
    • The RC feature is not supposed to prolong or complicate swapping
    • You can type in as your 'reason for declining' that "Sorry, but there is no way to contact you without accepting the request; according to the Help Center and the site rules, RCs should be clearly worded and not ask for contact or discussion."
  • However, if you want to discuss this with the requestor :
    • click 
      • and then click (personal message) on the request to communicate with the requestor further.
    • Again, this should NOT be necessary--Requestor Conditions should be clear and easily interpretable without further discussion.
    • If you send a PM about the book describing it or asking for clarification of the conditions:
      • If the requestor's conditions ASKED for contact, the requestor will have to cancel if the book is not acceptable.
      • If the requestor's conditions DID NOT ASK for contact, the sender will then need to cancel if the book is not acceptable.
        • This means that the sender will need to repost the book to offer it for swapping again
      • If this book clearly did not meet the conditions (no further clarification of/communication about the conditions was needed, whether or not communication was asked for) OR if the book is unpostable, the sender will need to cancel.  (If the book was unpostable in the first place, it should not have been Posted, and should not be reposted.)

 


Related links:

Why do APO/FPO/DPO requests have to have Requestor Conditions?
Requestor Conditions and Box-O-Books
If you receive a book that violates your Requestor Conditions...
If you send a book that is marked as a Requestor Conditions Violation...