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Topic: Enough is enough -- state book condition

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Subject: Enough is enough -- state book condition
Date Posted: 8/13/2007 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 3/9/2007
Posts: 19
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I've been a patient swapper for these past few months. I've put up with receiving books that are damaged, torn and wrinkled, passed off to me by swappers who have sent me awful emails after I've complained (in a non confrontational way). Heck...I've even LIED in my feeback when I receive books in horrible condition so that I won't raise a stink. 

BUT NO MORE. I've had enough with buying credits with my own money and get books that are not up to standards...and on top of that get insulting emails by swappers who don't want to accept they have just mailed a book that shouldn't have been posted. And this is their way of keeping your mouth shut, a form of control. So far (names will never be revealed) I've gotten book club edition books that I specifically said I didn't accept. One book had a torn dust jacket (after the swapper told me that the book was in like new condition!!)  I even had one swapper email me that they didn't believe me, that I was a lying. How about this one? When I opened a package I found a scrunched up paper towel that had been sprayed with deodorizer. The swapper had put the paper towel inside the manila folder with the book because it reeked of cigarrette smoke. And then this swapper had the nerve to insult me and tell me awful things.

Next time I get a messed up book that I know the USPS wasn't responsible for damaging it, I will report it and I don't really care if that swapper likes it or not. Most of m credits I purchase with my money and I am tired of throwing it all away. The point is this...we shouldn't be running to R&R with these complaints to wrestle that credit back because they have enough to deal with. All of us need to be up front and email each other and say "hey, this is a book club edition...or this has a small tear." A short PM doesn't hurt. A couple of minutes of your time is all it takes. Too busy to email and be considerate? Quit PBS then!

I'm tired of taking these books to the salvation army. Here is my signature!




Date Posted: 8/13/2007 7:55 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2007
Posts: 112
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So if I understand correctly you aren't receiving your books with a problem. If you don't do that R&R can not keep track of problems swappers.

I don't really see what harassing other members does. All they have to do is hit delete or report you for harassment.

Just my opinion

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 8:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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So you have a condition stating no book club editions and got a book club edition? If so you should have marked it as not meeting conditions. You got a book that smelled of smoke? Do you have a condition against that? If not then you shouldnt have even pmed the person its not against posting regulations. If you dont want smokey books then make it a condition. You got a torn dust jacket but do you have conditions that state intact dust jackets? If not its the same as the smoke we arent even required to include the dust jacket.

Bottom line the system wont work is you dont use it properly rather than pming a person after the fact make it a condition and if they violate your conditions you wont even have to ask for your credit back. Just mark it as not meeting your conditions and you will recieve your credit. If you get a book that doesnt even meet site guidelines mark it as recieved with a problem. You wont get your credit back but if the sender has a habit of it they will be flagged eventually and repremanded.

(I dont mean for this to sound snarky I am being blunt)

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 90
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Last Edited on: 8/18/07 12:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/13/2007 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2006
Posts: 1,956
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It doesn't sound to me like any of those books should have been reported as having a problem.  They all sound like they meet club guidelines.   If you have conditions saying that you don't want books that smell of cigarettes, book club books or books with torn dust jackets and you get books that don't meet those conditions, then you should mark them as not meeting your conditions.  If you don't want to PM the sender, you don't have to, but they should be marked properly (as not meeting conditions). 

Don't book club editions have their own ISBN #'s?  If so, are you requesting book club editions (based on the ISBN #'s) or are the other members sending a book with a different ISBN number than the one they posted?   I have to admit that I would have no idea if most of my books are book club editions, so I would probably turn down a request for no book club editions.

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 8:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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As others have said, those items don't sound like problems *unless you have Requestor Conditions*.  Now, if you do, that's another matter. 

 A short PM doesn't hurt

I disagree.  If a book is postable and meets a requetor's RCs, there is no need for a PM.  The problem with PM'ing people about extra things is that some people will fail to respond to the PM and THEN what?  Let's say my book has no dust jacket.  It is not required TO have the DJ, the requestor did not have an RC about it, but *just in case*, I'm going to PM them and let them know.  Ok, well, hmmm, they never replied.  Does that mean they didn't care and so they didn't bother to respond (YES< some people WILL do this...I've seen them post here in the forums and say so.....they consider these PMs a nuisance!)?  Or ,does it mean they ordered the book but haven't been back to their computer?  Does it mean they expect me to read their mind and know that they do NOT want the book and I should cancel?  The possibilities aren't endless, but there are certainly a few of them!

Lucy, if you are having frustrations I would definitely recommend RCs if you do not have them.  This type of request is what they are there for.  If you DO have them, then I think you should be reporting that your RCs were violated.

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 8:34 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Danielle, as a general rule, book club editions (BCE) do not have ISBNs. They must be manually entered, and are assigned a 5-digit ISBN substitute. Does that always happen? No, some people post by title, not ISBN. On purpose or out of ignorance from not having read the rules, and most definitely wrong, but it does happen. Oh, and should be marked as rec'd with a problem, with details given so that they can be told WHY they are not supposed to do that.

Lucy, I have to agree with the others, that if these things are not in your conditions, it's not the sender's fault, but if they are, then you are causing problems for someone else down the line by not using the system as it is designed to be used to help weed out bad members that do not follow the rules. If you have conditions, and they aren't followed, report them. It's not "raising a stink", it's following the rules on your part.

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 8:39 PM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
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I am going to have to side with everyone else here, Lucy. Small tears are allowed here, and dust jackets aren't even required. Books that smell like smoke are allowed, too. It was a nice touch for the sender to add a nice smell...at least they tried. Unless you have specific conditions on your account, you can't actually complain. And if your notes to your senders sound anything like your post here, it's no wonder they're less than friendly back. Seriously.

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 9:04 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2007
Posts: 1,248
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I'm just curious...because I guess I'm ignorant of the subject, but what is wrong with the book club editions?  I am a member of a book club and intended on posting some of them when I finished them...am I not supposed to?

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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Amy, nothing wrong with them and yes you can post them.  From the Help Center:

Book Club Editions: Yes

  • If these do not have ISBNs, they CANNOT be posted as if they do.


The only "problem" is making sure to post them as Non-ISBN if, in fact, they do NOT have one.  (Many don't, I've seen some that do)  If they have an ISBN, no problem, of course.  If they don't then you just use the non-ISBN option and you are good to go. :-)

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 9:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Amy BCE are allowed. Some people dont like them because they arent made as well as other books or because the covers are different or several other reasons and it should be in their conditions if they dont want them

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 9:11 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2005
Posts: 503
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I've posted many book club editions, they all had isbns and I've never had a complaint about them.

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 9:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2007
Posts: 18,087
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Book Club editions must have changed lately. They now all have ISBN#'s.   I have some of them and the #'s match the hardcover edition bought in the stores .  They also do not say "Book Club Edition" like they used to.  The book is slightly smaller, the paper may not be premium, but what the heck, I read it once, and then post it.

ETA: The covers are all the same as the store bought ones now.



Last Edited on: 8/13/07 9:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/13/2007 9:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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The book is slightly smaller, the paper may not be premium,

Thanks June!  I was just gonna ask Chris if she was serious about them not being made as well.  I had no idea, seriously, LOL.

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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The few book club editions I've come across recently have all had ISBNs.  I don't know if they shared the same ISBN as the non-book club hardcover or if they had a separate #.

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 10:09 PM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2005
Posts: 905
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Sometimes BCE's with no apparent ISBN#'s actually have them.  If you go to ABEBOOKS.com to their "advanced search" function and specify "BCE" sometimes you can come up with a #, and I have listed a few of them under this # and had no complaint if they were requested.   Sometimes they are even in the PBS database, though not always.  What do you think of this maneuver, all??

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 10:25 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2006
Posts: 1,956
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I have never gotten a book club book without an ISBN # & I have never been able to tell the difference between a book club book and other books. 


Date Posted: 8/13/2007 10:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 399
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All the BCE's I've received have had ISBNs.  In general, the same one as the regular hardcover, with the main difference being size and the BCE number on the back.

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 11:02 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 5,258
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"In the olden days' [heh heh], some book clubs (eg: Family Bookshelf) amended books to eliminate any references to drinking of alcohol, smoking, and nudity/sexual content; while some abridged books strictly to make them shorter.  I don't know if this is true now - in fact, I don't even know which ones are still in business!  It seems that now they tend to have in-house authors that write within the publisher's guidelines.

Last Edited on: 8/13/07 11:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/13/2007 11:55 PM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2005
Posts: 3,066
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You've been asked a question.

Did you list YOUR conditions prior to requesting your books? If not, your senders are in compliance with PBS rules.  They are under no obligation to PM you any information about the book since everything you mentioned are allowable.

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 2:59 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Winston, if you use the ISBN that you find on Abebooks or any other site, or here for that matter attached to the BCE that you may have in your hand that doesn't have an ISBN  ON THE BOOK, you are using an ISBN that does NOT belong to that book. The seller on Abebooks or wherever is doing exactly the same thing some people do here on PBS, just grab an ISBN that mostly matches the book you have and post their book to it.

That seller wants to sell his/her book, so they are going to make sure you can match it up some way, any way to theirs and if putting an ISBN in a listing will help, you bet they are going to do it. The databases at Abebooks and those other places are no different than here at PBS, maybe even the same database, I don;t know, but the data is entered by the sellers (just like it is entered by the members here). It may have started off as something done and bought from a commercial database company, but it is now being added to by the sellers, and that doesn't guarantee their information to be right.

You may not have every gotten any complaints so far, but I can just about bet you that if you send it to someone who sincerely does NOT want a BCE and knows the difference (and we have authors and reviewers as members, and some of them KNOW) you will get a big complaint filed on you. I encourage you to please realize that the ISBN that seller attached to that BCE that may seem just like yours, is NOT your book's ISBN. If it isn't on the book or the cover, it doesn't belong to that book.

I realize that the newer ones, now have ISBNs but it is ON the book (or cover). Unfortunately for me, I'm posting all older ones, so have to manually do them But, I use the two window method to grab the info, if there is another edition already in the system, so it's not too bad.

ETA: Forgot to say, "Excuse my rant, I'm done now"  and to say
"Sorry, Winston, didn't mean to climb down your throat! Forgive me?" :)

Last Edited on: 8/14/07 3:01 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/14/2007 5:51 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,381
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"[R]ather than pming a person after the fact make it a condition and if they violate your conditions you wont even have to ask for your credit back. Just mark it as not meeting your conditions and you will recieve your credit. "

I don't have conditions, so I'm inexperienced here, but I had thought that no matter what the problem, if the book is received, the sender gets the credit and the receiver has to ask for it back.

The help docs say:

If your book was marked received as having "Violated Requestor Conditions"

  • This means that your book did not meet the criteria that the requestor had specified in his or her account settings
    • Please see here for an explanation of how to use this feature.
    • If you sent a book that did not meet the requestor's specified criteria, you should refund the credit.
Date Posted: 8/14/2007 6:29 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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Edited because I tried to respond to Pat's comment and then realized that, like her, I do not have conditions on my account and wasn't really sure of the answer!  ;->

Last Edited on: 8/14/07 6:30 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/14/2007 7:26 AM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2005
Posts: 6,197
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Pat you are right, if a person that has conditions receives a book that don't meet the conditons they will not automatically get their credit back. They will need to contact the sender and ask for it.


Date Posted: 8/14/2007 8:08 AM ET
Member Since: 11/3/2005
Posts: 114
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I think being insulted in a PM here is way over the top.  I had someone accuse me of lying when I told them that their CHILDREN'S book reeked of smoke.  Funny how that person is no longer a member here!  I had another person tell me that I was lying when she sent me one ratty, falling apart book and fail to send a second book that I had requested from her at all.  She said that both books were in the same wrapper and the book that I did receive was in "like new" condition and refused to give me a credit back.  Funny how she's no longer a member here either!

So, the system can't work unless you tell R&R what's going on.  Why are you CYA for someone who's sending you a nasty smokey book with a reeky paper towel inside the wrapper?  All you really needed to do was mark it received with a problem and explain why.  Then again, if you don't have any conditions, the sender was within their rights to send you a smokey book.  Same with the book club edition and the torn dust jacket.  Dust jackets are optional on hardcover books, would you rather receive a torn jacket or none at all?  Both are allowed here if you check the Help section. 

For the record, I was part of the Doubleday Book Club when I first joined PBS and ALL of those books had ISBN's and they pretty much matched the same ISBN's as the usual hardcover books from the store.  Same covers too.  I mailed a lot of them out when I first joined here and not one person ever complained.