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Topic: Tips for new members

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Subject: Tips for new members
Date Posted: 3/23/2006 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 178
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I'm a fairly new member (since January), but I've already learned a lot about using Paperbackswap, so I thought I'd share some of my tips with other new members. If any more experience members have other tips, feel free to share them as well!

  1. Save your credits! It can be frustrating when you've spent all of your credits, only to have The Book you've been wanting become available. Then you have to either buy more credits or go without. While buying credits is still cheaper than most used bookstores, it still makes sense to save your credits for the books you'll really want, especially if you know they will be coming up soon (see the next tip).
  2. Learn to use the wish and reminder lists. When adding books to your wish list, be sure to search unposted books. A lot of times, new books that aren't in stores yet will already be listed in the unposted books. By wishlisting them early, you'll be one of the first to receive it when it becomes available.
  3. If you have friends who love to read as much as you do, invite them to sign up for the site, and ask that they list you as their referral. With PBS's referral system, you'll "earn" a credit when they post their initial nine books. Also, if they want to request any of your books and they live nearby, you won't need to pay to ship it to them.
  4. Every now and then, buy a new book. If we all waited for the newest Clive Cussler to be posted on PBS, no one would ever get it. By buying new books, or even used from your local paperback exchange, we can keep the selection on PBS fresh.
  5. Keep your posted books neat and organized. They should be easy to find when one of your books has been requested, and it will help keep them in better condition.
  6. If you have books that are in good condition but have some small defect - say, writing in the cover or paperback exchange stamps - go ahead and post it. If someone requests the book, send them a personal message first describing the defect and see if they still want it.
  7. Don't worry if none of your books are being requested. You never know when someone will join who is looking just what you've posted. If you're just interested in clearing out space (or earning credits), consider offering a 2 for 1 to generate interest in your bookshelf.
  8. Play nice. Follow the rules on what may or may not be posted. When a book is requested from you, be sure to respond and ship it within the time specified. When you receive a book, login and mark it received so the sender can get credit. And as always, be courteous in the forum. PBS is a great service, but it depends on its members to keep it that way.
Date Posted: 3/23/2006 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 9/17/2005
Posts: 418
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9. Create a profile! This allows you to share a little bit about yourself and lets people look directly at your bookshelf and your wishlist! (You can do it under "Account Settings")


Thanks for this list, Chris :)

Date Posted: 3/23/2006 2:39 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2005
Posts: 2,168
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10. Consider joining Box o Books! (BOB) A great idea and for $8 a year a real bargain! You will save at least that much a year in postage by sending more than 1 book at a time. Not to mention it helps support this FREE site! (Go to left side of screen and click on Box O Books)

PS: Thanks again to Phooey for gifting me a subscription to BOB!  

I've emailed R&R to see if we can get this thread pasted to the top of the page. Might help some newbies when the FAQ's get a little confusing.

Last Edited on: 3/23/06 2:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Carolina - ,
Date Posted: 3/23/2006 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2005
Posts: 171
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11. Be patient..even if you post the 55th book in the system, it will eventually be requested
Date Posted: 3/23/2006 2:54 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2005
Posts: 161
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12.  Post any book that qualifies!!   You'd be amazed what would be requested.   I've been surprised on some of the books that have been requested - ones I never thought would go.   If you see books at a yard sale or in a mark down bin at a second hand store - pick them up and post them!!!  It's very cost affective, and it can help you earn a credit or two!!  If someone offers you some crochet pattern books,  but you don't crochet, say thank you and snag them!!!  There are several of us looking for crochet pattern books and etc..... Always be on the look out for books to post!!!!


Date Posted: 3/23/2006 3:35 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2005
Posts: 2,168
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13. Only wishlist books that you have a credit for, or are willing to purchase a credit for. This speeds up the wait lists, since each person has 48 hours to respond to a wishlisted book before being passed to the next member.

IE: I post a wishlist book, the first person it is offered to that is first in line gets 48 hours to reply or it automatically gets offered to next person in line. They click decline book, person #2 now has 48 hours. They don't respond at all, person #3 now has 48 hours. They decline also. This could mean 6 days for a wishlisted book to get to a person who REALLY wants the book!  

Date Posted: 3/23/2006 4:22 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 661
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I'm going to take a contrarian position to item #1...

14.  Spend your credits! Every time you spend a credit, someone else gets a credit that they can spend.  The faster the credits circulate, the faster books circulate and the sooner someone will be ordering one of your posted books.  When you save up too many credits, you are denying other members the opportunity to trade books.  You don't earn interest on credits; there is no advantage to "saving" them.  You may buy more (quite cheaply, I think) if you are completely out and a book you really want comes along.  Increasing the turnover of PBS credits makes everyone "richer" by decreasing bookshelves and increasing TBR piles.

For further reading on this concept (and that of alternative currencies in general - and PBS credits are an interesting example of a focused alternative currency), see http://www.feasta.org/documents/shortcircuit/sc3/c3.html#top - particularly the history of the Wara and Worgl scripts on pages 2-3.  The complete text of the book is available there online; if you would like to wishlist a paper copy the ISBN is 1874675600 .

Last Edited on: 3/23/06 5:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/23/2006 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2006
Posts: 547
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15. Don't forget that this site isn't all about getting new books or clearing your bookshelf.  It's about READING.  Don't forget to go through your own TBR pile and read something not because it is a wishlist book, but because you love the author. Read for yourself a little each day, and everyone else around you will benefit, especially the recieptant of the the book you finish.


Date Posted: 3/23/2006 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2005
Posts: 2,168
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I agree with Bret on #1, if everybody sat on credits, nothing would move.....
Date Posted: 3/23/2006 6:50 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,508
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#1..spend some..save some!
Date Posted: 3/23/2006 7:01 PM ET
Member Since: 7/4/2005
Posts: 108
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16. THIS ISSUE HAS BEEN RESOLVED!  Books used to be reposted to a members account 2 weeks after they were marked as received unless a member went into their account to indicated they would repost the book themselves.  This caused a number of problems with people's book mysteriously posting themselves, and member had to go to their account settings to change the default repost period.  THIS ISSUE HAS BEEN RESOLVED.   

17. Be patient when waiting for someone to accept your book request. I know it's hard, and YOU WANT THAT BOOK YESTERDAY! But, you will receive it eventually, and before long you'll have so many books to read, that it won't matter anymore.

Last Edited on: 6/15/07 3:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/24/2006 8:54 AM ET
Member Since: 11/7/2005
Posts: 34
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18.  If a book is wayyyyyyy late.  Wait.  More than once an over due book has come in to me 1 or 2 weeks over.  If you rush and order another one, you could have 2................that doesn't work for me.

19.  Periodlically check your wish list books again.  New isbn's get enterred all the time.  One book can have 25 people waiting and aother newer version have 4.

Date Posted: 3/24/2006 7:02 PM ET
Member Since: 3/24/2006
Posts: 84
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I am a new member that just signed up and am not sure what hollyrod is talking about with the I'll repost myself thing.  How they mysteriously post themselves on the shelf.  Since this is something that happens to almost all new members, maybe I can catch it first.  I am very excited about this and am ready to start reading my heart out.

Thanks for any help I can get.

Date Posted: 3/24/2006 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 7/4/2005
Posts: 108
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Welcome to the club Kim!  

What I meant was that when you mark a book you ordered through the site as received there is a section about having the book reposted.   The default settings on the site will automatically put the book on your bookshelf as available to order after a week or two if you don't manually change it.   Thus, the mysteriously posted books!  You can change that setting by going to "My account" and then to "Account Settings".   There is an option in there to change the Repost Period.   I hope this helps!  :)


Last Edited on: 6/15/07 3:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/24/2006 7:28 PM ET
Member Since: 3/24/2006
Posts: 84
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Thanks so much.  I was just adventuring through my account and found that.  I feel stupid.  I should have done that first.  I am just so excited about doing this that I wanted to get started NOW.  While looking at the account, I got my first request for a book.  I have clicked to mail later etc.  I have even printed my label so that I can mail tomorrow.  Now, I just have to figure the rest. HA. I am learning though.  :)
Date Posted: 3/25/2006 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2006
Posts: 1,479
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20.  Use the Search option on the forums to find answer(s) to your questions before you post a question.  I'd guess that 90% of your questions have already been addressed in the forums. 

21. Review your bookshelf after you've posted books. IF there is no description from either PBS or another member, take the time to find something on B&N or Amazon and post a description of the book.  Many time the title sounds appealing, and then you look for a description, and nothing. I myself then pass on this book.

22. To follow #21, check if there is a description of the book from PBS or another member before you type the data from the back cover. I've seen the same paragraph typed again and again by people as they post their book. It's a waste of time and effort I think.

 Enjoy and welcome to all new members!!!!!!

Last Edited on: 3/29/06 4:40 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/4/2006 6:46 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,508
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....and if you need questions answered in that 98% check in here..someone will be able to answer your ??????? We were all new here at one time ourselves!

Last Edited on: 4/15/06 1:35 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/4/2006 8:31 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2006
Posts: 2,246
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23. If your book is small, and your post office is conveniently located, it may be cheaper to mail First Class. Many small paperbacks can be mailed First Class for less postage than standard Media Mail rates. (You can check the weight of the book on Amazon.com for approximate weight.) A 6 ounce paperback can be mailed First Class for $1.59. I mailed a small mystery paperback last week for $1.11 First Class and have mailed several children's books for 87 cents. If you are mailing a lot of books, those pennies add up.
Date Posted: 4/5/2006 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2005
Posts: 13
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Thanks Kim and Holly,  I knew nothing about  the repost thing.  I fixed it thanks to you two.


Date Posted: 4/5/2006 11:38 PM ET
Member Since: 11/26/2005
Posts: 1
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does anyone know how to check where you are on the waiting list for a book?
Date Posted: 4/5/2006 11:46 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2006
Posts: 1,479
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To the left of the title, on your wish list,  there is a grey !; hold your mouse over it and will tell you # of #.

Last Edited on: 4/5/06 11:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/6/2006 4:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2006
Posts: 1,479
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#24   To post a book that does not have a ISBN:  on the page where you post books, the one where you type in the ISBN, scroll down and it will show a prompt to post books without a ISBN. You click on this; that screen asks for the title, author, height, width, and thickness of the post, the subject matter, etc.

#25 Regarding library books, this is right from the FAQ's on this site:

"Yes, used library books are ok as long as they are not damaged.  As
long as they have their cover attached, there is no water damage, they
are not excessively worn out and they do not smell then they are fine
to post.  Remember, this is a used paperback site.  Books are not
expected to be in perfect condition.  Lots of our members have
purchased used library books for their reading pleasure and to support
the library.  Once they finish reading them, they are ready to share
them with others."

Last Edited on: 4/6/06 4:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/7/2006 7:55 AM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 42
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Always have $0.80 stamps on hand.  If you don't like going to the post office to mail out every book, 2 of these will cover the cost of sending 1 book ($1.59) and you don't have to worry about wasting extra postage using $0.39 stamps!   ;-)

Date Posted: 4/7/2006 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2006
Posts: 326
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I just joined thi site and alnd all the suggestions were very helpful.Thanks.
Date Posted: 4/8/2006 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2005
Posts: 378
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#27  Wrapping is important!  Do NOT tape the wrapper to the book.  Try to wrap the book in saran wrap (never press and  seal since it leaves a residue), or some other plastic bag type thing.  Use two sheets of paper for trade size and hardbacks.  The wrapper will not fit those.

#28  You can never use too much tape. (use clear packing tape and never scotch tape, it doesn't hold well)  In this case more is better. Tape the ends and at put at least on piece from top to bottom, this will keep the wrapper on the book and keep it from falling out of an envelope if you use those.

(i'm such a hypocrite, the last 10 or so books that i've mailed out haven't been in any type of plastic.  I'm out of everything and haven't had the time to go buy anything.  So I've just wrapped the book in tape.  I apologize to whoever got those books.  I'm sure you had to cut the wrapper off)

Last Edited on: 4/8/06 9:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1