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Topic: Getting Burned

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Subject: Getting Burned
Date Posted: 9/8/2007 8:59 AM ET
Member Since: 5/30/2007
Posts: 400
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I've been getting burned a lot lately with books in bad conditions. is it just me? None of the senders have returned my credits, either. Sigh. I'm left with books that I would be able to repost.

Date Posted: 9/8/2007 9:05 AM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2007
Posts: 18,097
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Hope you reported them as received with a problem.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 9/8/2007 12:38 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,222
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Have you explicitly asked for your credits back? You need to put the words "please return my credit" somewhere in the message to the other user or in a later PM. If you just say "this book had water stains" that's not the same as asking to have your credit returned.

I'm not saying you personally do that, I honestly don't know, so I'm using this opportunity to make a general point. I've noticed that many of the "received with a problem" examples that are posted in the forums end up that the requestor stated a fact about the book's damage and then got mad because the sender took that as a statement of fact rather than a request for action. So please, everyone, if you want another member to do something, say so!

Date Posted: 9/8/2007 3:53 PM ET
Member Since: 9/4/2006
Posts: 203
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I've signed up for Bookmooch to list just those books that I can't repost here.  You can post them there with explicit descriptions, so the receiver knows exactly what they're getting.  I know this doesn't really solve your problem with your credits here, though.  Good luck :)

Date Posted: 9/8/2007 10:35 PM ET
Member Since: 11/25/2006
Posts: 351
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I am thinking I am in the minority here, but as long as a book is readable, and not missing any pages, I am happy.If the book is bad, or not what I expected, that is the author's or my own fault.not the person who sent it to me.As it is, I am glad anyone is willing to take their books, the time to post them and the money to send them.

Date Posted: 9/8/2007 10:52 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 12,140
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The problem is that books in bad condition are against the book posting guidelines.  They are fine a freebies but not postable in the PBS system. 

Most of what I request, I am going to re-post once I'm done with it.  If I get a book that does not meet the posting guidelines, the other member is cheating me out of the credit I'd get when I repost the book since I can't repost it.

Date Posted: 9/9/2007 12:06 AM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
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I am getting burned, too. I've gotten three cleaved spines since mid-August, and I only caught one of them. And there was the nasty animal-chewed-and-spewed book, and I got a nasty copy of Outlander two days ago (no reply to my PM from the sender). I send out such nice books, and it pisses me off that so many people don't.

ETA: I really think that it's that the people that say that they are just glad to get a book period (hello? you're paying for that book! Would you walk out of WalMart thankful for the rotten bananas? At least you got bananas!) that are keeping the nasty senders afloat. PLEASE don't settle. If not for yourself, then for everyone who doesn't want nasty, peed-on, chewed-on, water damaged, torn, coming apart books.

Last Edited on: 9/9/07 12:09 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/9/2007 12:34 AM ET
Member Since: 11/25/2006
Posts: 351
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Yuck.Peed on books.now, that is a gross thought.Haven't had that problem (thank goodness).I can see how some of that would really cheese you off.Its hard to know without asking for a photo...which isn't a bad idea, I guess people could do a digi shot and link to it, or send it in a PM to a requestor if they wanted to know.It really isn't that much trouble, well, for me anyway.


Date Posted: 9/9/2007 1:15 AM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 9,179
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Just wanted to add a few thoughts here:

1. There is nothing in PBS guidelines which says that members have to send books which are alike in condition. The books should meet PBS guidelines but just because you happen to have newly bought books that you are posting and hence have "nice" copies doesn't mean that someone sending you used or ex-library books is not being fair or cheating you.

2. If the books you receive are not meeting PBS posting guidelines, then they should be reported. If they are not meeting **your** standards of what is acceptable, then you need to be more explicit in stating what is acceptable in your requestor conditions. That is what it is meant for since we cannot add description of our book conditions when we add books.

Having said that, I would have to agree with Mary Ann that I have seen an increase in the number of books I have received which I would hesitate to re-post on PBS since they are so often borderline acceptable. Some go straight into my unpostables pile. For the others, I make a note to PM any requestor and describe the book condition to ensure they are OK with it before I mail them the book(s).

Books that I request fall in two categories - A) books I will read and re-post and B) books I want to keep. I am much more flexible of what I get in category A (and hence get burnt more often) than B (which are usually HC with dust jackets intact, etc.). If I am just starting a new author or if it is a book I have been looking for for a long time, I am usually happy if it is readable, not missing pages, pages not separated from the book (makes it hard to read!), etc.

Stains in general would make the book unpostable from a PBS perspective so this should be self-evident to members. But apparently, reading posting guidelines are not part of their forte! I can live with water damage (though I will mark it as a problem) as long as any and all bodily fluids are excluded from the category. :-D


Date Posted: 9/9/2007 1:26 AM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
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I'm not asking for new books. I'm asking for readable, sanitary, postable books. Anyone who thinks that's too much to ask, in my opnion, has no business trading books here. Seriously. And I certainly do report the nasty books I get.

Date Posted: 9/9/2007 1:33 AM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 9,179
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Well, hopefully your luck will turn and you will get better books. IMO, it wouldn't harm to put in some explicit statements in your requestor conditions, just to be safe.

As to who can or cannot trade books here, well that is upto R&R to decide based on our feedback so let's do our job and let them do theirs.


Date Posted: 9/9/2007 2:19 AM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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Sorry, but sending a digital photo of a book would be too much trouble for me - since I don't own a digital camera :-)

Mary Ann, Can you give us some specific examples of the books you have received that have been in bad condition.   Although many of the unpostable conditions are spelled out in the PBS guidelines (no tears over 1", no water damage, no stains, etc.), many are also subjective and in the eye of the beholder.

I can't say I've really noticed an increase in the amount of unpostable books I've received recently.  I did receive one last week that had a small amount of writing and highlighting in it (very small).  ANY amount of writing/highlighting makes a book unpostable, but this could have been easily missed.   I gave the sender the benefit of the doubt and didn't ask for my credit back - but I did PM the sender to let them know about the highlighting and that they should be more careful in the future.


Bast -
Date Posted: 9/9/2007 2:53 AM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
Posts: 547
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I, too, have gotten more unpostables lately. It's a real shame. I posted about the latest one here: http://www.paperbackswap.com/forum/view_topic.php?t=71521



Date Posted: 9/9/2007 7:30 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2007
Posts: 81
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I got burned recently.  The book arrived on time, nicely wrapped in plastic wrap.  I threw it on the shelf.  When I went to read it, it was all pulled out at the binding in sections.

I recently PMed the sender and her response? "Sorry bought that"

I cannot send the book in this condition and I lose a credit.  That isn't right.

Date Posted: 9/9/2007 10:08 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 10/19/09 9:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/9/2007 11:57 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2006
Posts: 4,972
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I am thinking I am in the minority here, but as long as a book is readable, and not missing any pages, I am happy.


Yes, you are in the minority here. There ARE specific PBS posting guidelines that MUST be met to get credit. My biggest pet peeve is people who send books that while they may be technically readable, they ARE NOT postable per PBS's specific guidelines. I don't understandd why some people don't understand THAT.


Date Posted: 9/9/2007 12:14 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2006
Posts: 1
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NO, it's not just you.  I just recently received a book that was so old the pages would rip when you turned them.
I did report it but didn't ask for my credit back which is my own fault.  But in the future I will do so.

Date Posted: 9/9/2007 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2005
Posts: 81
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For a while, I was trying to be "nice" and go straight to the people who sent me damaged books.  Then I tried putting in requestor conditions "Must meet PBS standards of posting."  That lost me about 13 wish list books - yes, I did keep track. 

Now I just mark them received as damaged and I do request my credit back.  In order to keep people from sending out damaged books, they need to get a consequence (boy does that sound like a mom or what?). 

I will also be the first to admit that I have had to refund credits.  But, it made me take a closer look at all the books I was sending out.  (Consequences...)

Date Posted: 9/9/2007 12:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2007
Posts: 401
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LOL But peed-on books are a far cry from *minor* imperfections like a little bending from where it's been read. I wouldn't want a peed-on book either, but that's what I'd call major damage, not a minor imperfection. I think if you're picky to the point where you'll complain if the book doesn't look like it just came out of the box that was shipped to the book store, then you need to just go and buy it brand new.

Flobee -
Date Posted: 9/9/2007 2:56 PM ET
Member Since: 9/28/2006
Posts: 2,904
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I agree, it's just commonsense not to send a book that is obviously been water damaged, pages falling out, etc. I haven't requested books that I want to keep yet but when I do I will state conditions. If anyone were to ask me for a digiphoto, I'd have to turn them down - I have no idea how to work the one we have - LOL! Fortunately the books I have received have been all in excellent condition - one was brand new!!

Date Posted: 9/9/2007 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/18/2007
Posts: 530
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I worry about the books I send out as well. Some of mine have yellowed pages, and although that does meet the guidelines, I worry incase someone objects.

I have received some books that have badly creased spines, and yellowed pages, but the books are  still intact and nothing falls apart. Again these seem to meet the guidelines, but I worry about reposting.

I joined bookmooch after seeing a link here, for the iffy books, so hopefully will get rid of them that way.

Date Posted: 9/10/2007 9:38 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 7,581
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Those of you who have been receiving books that shouldn't have been posted - PLEASE use the system that is available to us and mark them received with a problem.  When you do that you are automatically given the chance to PM the sender and ask for your credit back. 

People may have missed that the book had an issue with it and in my experience, I've almost always had my credit returned. 

Date Posted: 9/10/2007 10:55 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,234
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I think it really sucks that people are getting nasty books. BUT, let's not be generalizing. I am new and I am not particular about the condition of most books I read. As long as I can read it, feel safe touching it, and can breathe while reading it, I am fine.  I would NEVER knowingly send out a book against PBS rules. I am paranoid to the point of not posting quite a few books that probably meet the guidelines, but I want to stay well away from the border so I don't upset someone. I feel any book is worth saving and passing on, but also understand that others do not. 

I think there are very few people around here who's intent is to cheat the other people. I think there are more people on PBS who's standards for what they want is higher that what PBS requires. That's fine. All of us hope that that book coming in the mail is going to be lust like new. When deciding to report a problem or jump on the sender, make sure the guidelines you use to measure are PBS standards, not what we hoped and not what we mailed out. When posting/mailing a book do the same, look at the guidelines, not whether we loved the book, or paid a credit for the book, or even whether we would accept the book. The guidelines. They may be general, but without putting our own spin on them, are pretty easy to follow.

Date Posted: 9/10/2007 1:08 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2006
Posts: 2,218
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But they don't seem pretty easy to follow, as many people aren't following them.  I also get upset when I'm treated like a liar for describing a book as water damaged and that I'll get my credit back "this time".  I understand that there are some cheaters out there, but the good far outweigh the bad here.  I'll get a bad book, and then I'll get something that looks like it was never read.  And, yes, I do thank EVERYBODY for every book I get, figuring a little thank you goes a long way. 

I think a simple solution is to flip through a book before you post it, and before you accept a request.  If the request has to sit there a few days, so be it. 

While I too, would be happy getting a book I really wanted that has a cleaved spine or water damage, I can't repost it.  And I do realize that books don't have an infinite life span, but I think it's only fair that others don't pass the buck.  If that's the way you received it, practice some maturity and suck it up and post is a freebie with order or another site. 

This post is in no way directed at a particular person.  It is my reaction to this post.  :)

Date Posted: 9/10/2007 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2006
Posts: 2,803
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I too have a few books that are wishlisted, but because of pages being a little yellowed, I decided against posting them.  I guess I have become overly paranoid about someone complaining, because everytime I receive an email saying "you have received a message from a PBS member" I IMMEDIATELY think uh, oh, someone is mad about a book I sent.. Even though the messages have always been a thank you, I can't help but worry just a little before opening them.