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Topic: Why so picky??

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Subject: Why so picky??
Date Posted: 5/8/2009 9:32 PM ET
Member Since: 4/3/2009
Posts: 3
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I've had a few requestor conditions lately that quite frankly have me stumped.  I'm new here, so bear with me :)

From what I gather, this is a site for you to obtain books by swapping so the need to go out and purchase them isn't necessary.  Lately, I've been receiving some requests for my books, but the requestor conditions seem almost absurd.

If people have so many expectations, why don't they just go out and buy the book?  Why the need to be so picky when you're basically getting a book for just a couple of dollars??

I hope I'm not coming across as rude because that certainly isn't my intention.  I just don't understand some of it, because if I were in need of a book that didn't smell like smoke, had it's dust jacket, did not contain any stickers, did not have dog-eared pages, did not have any creases in the cover, and did not have someone's name written on the inside then I would probably go buy the book at a new bookstore.  Just sayin'....

I'm delighted with this site and have had a blast swapping books and reading.  Guess I just don't understand the pickiness....

Thanks for listening :)

Date Posted: 5/8/2009 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2009
Posts: 53
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It's just that... some people are picky.  Some people come here looking for books to keep in their collections.  If the RC's really are too much or you don't think you want to deal with them for whatever reason just decline the book saying it doesn't meet RC.  I've declined one that was very specific and nit-picky.  I figured better to turn it down than get a ding for not meeting their expectations.  Most RC's don't bother me though.

Date Posted: 5/8/2009 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Welcome to PBS :-)  I think the ability to set RCs is one of the differences that makes PBS unique.  Many people have RCs for health reasons (i.e. smoke or pet hair allergies, etc) while others are trying to collect a particular series for their keeper shelf (i.e. dust covers, specific cover images, etc).  Some folks have just received one too many damaged books that didn't meet PBS guidelines.  As Jaimie has said, members may ask for whatever conditions they desire, and you can decline any RCs you're not comfortable with.   I wouldn't necessarily label everyone with an RC "picky".



Date Posted: 5/8/2009 10:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,697
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I have two RC's:  1) not from a currently smoking household; this one is due to allergies 2) no MMPB; this one is due to arthritis and holding the bigger books is easier and less painful.....now if you want to consider that picky well that would be your priviledge...I don't consider it picky, it is simply 2 things I need.

Date Posted: 5/8/2009 10:55 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 182
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Welcome! In my experience, most folks here are not picky, are easy going and just want to read books. I meet some RC's when I can and I don't get my feelings hurt when someone turnsdown a book being mailed to me because I have allergies and need smoke free books. There are plenty of non-smokers to go around for me. I guess it is all in my attitude. I have found realy great folks here that have been really generous. Just don't sweat the ones that aren't.



Date Posted: 5/8/2009 11:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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Welcome aboard Amber.  PBS is a lot of fun.  In addition to what the others said, I think the majority of members do not have Requestor Conditions.  Although I usually do have an RC, I have sent books to 32 different members so far.  Only one of those had an RC.  My book easily met those conditions so I sent it.  Basically, don't sweat the RC's.  If the book you are offering meets the conditions, feel free to send it.  If your book does not meet the conditions, don't send it.  Sometimes there is a gray area.  If you are unsure if your book meets the conditions, you could play it safe and not send.  Your could PM the requester and describe the condition of your book.  Basically don't worry too much about it and have fun.  There are nice people on the forums.  I have found these folks to be very helpful (and sometimes funny too.)  Have fun! Happy reading and swapping.

Date Posted: 5/9/2009 12:08 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I don't send to anyone that seems overly picky, vague or asks for a PM first.  I don't need the credits that badly and I'd rather wait for the next requestor.  I agree that some people are way too picky for a used book site.  I'd be perfectly happy with most books that are unpostable by PBS standards.  The only reason I complain when I receive one is because I can't repost it here. Otherwise most of the time they wouldn't bother me.

Date Posted: 5/9/2009 12:44 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,418
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In my experience, the majority of requests come with no requestor conditions. 

Of those with RCs, most are fairly straightforward. (Though, PLEASE, "No smoke smell" is not objective.  "Not in smoking household" is.  I know no one here smokes. I have no clue if the book smells like smoke.  If I can smell the smoke, the book is probably on fire.)

There are always a few who will be picky, vague, demand PMs, non-objective, laundry list, etc.   It is, however, a very small number. Most folks don't have RCs, and most RCs aren't extreme.  I think it may be more common in some genres than others, but I've only see a very few such RCs.  If you've gotten several of them, you're just getting unlucky--most people don't have any extra conditions listed.

Date Posted: 5/9/2009 6:47 AM ET
Member Since: 1/27/2009
Posts: 27
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Thing is if I trade for a book I dont much care as long as I can read and enjoy it,  if its a book I trade chances are I have no clue if it came from a smoke or pet free home because I either recived it from a trade or purchased at a yard sale or something just for the reason of tradeing

Date Posted: 5/9/2009 10:14 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,607
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Most of the RCs about smoking that I've seen state something like "not currently in a smoking home." Since my home isn't a smoking home, I can easily accept that request, regardless of whether I got the book in a trade or from a used book store or whatever. Usually smoke smell will fade naturally over time unless it continues to be in a smoking environment.

PBS has given every person an opportunity to create their own Requestor Conditions that ask for things above and beyond their own posting guidelines, so I try to respect that person's right to have their RCs any way they want. Some people have good reasons for it (like smoke or pet allergies) and others are, yes, just plain picky. Some people have gotten a lot of "bad" books--books that look like they were dropped in the lake or someone was eating bar-b-cue while eating it, pages falling out, etc--books that don't even meet PBS' basic guidelines. So they feel a need to reiterate the posting guidelines in case the person sending the book doesn't pay any attention to the screen that mentions NO water damage, stains, loose pages, etc. I personally have had very few problems, but I know other folks have.

Just as PBS gives others the right to set their RCs, you have the right to refuse any request, also. I think those people with very stringent, picky RCs or those that are very vague and poorly worded get orders declined a lot, and that's the price they pay for having them. I try to evaluate each RC on its own merit and even if there are really "picky" requests, if my book meets their condition, I will accept as long as that condition is clear, concise and not subjective. If they want a PM beforehand, or if the request is overly wordy and vague, I simply decline and move on. You should be able to tell right from the RC what it is they want and not need further explanation--especially now that you can turn RCs on and off for each request without any hassle!


Last Edited on: 5/9/09 10:16 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/9/2009 11:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Welcome Amber:)  I think when you're new to all of the nuances of swapping here, RCs come across as picky in most cases.  But once you get used to things, they will seem less so.  I know I used to think the same thing, but now I barely take note beyond deciding if my book meets them or not.  Even the requests for new or like new books fail to raise an eyebrow anymore.  Now I lean toward thinking that most members earn their PBS credits through posting & sending their books, and they can be as descriminating as they like in how they want to spend them.  If that means strictly on hardcovers, collectibles, new & like new books, or books that aren't coming from a smoking home, then so be it.  People who are very selective in their RCs probably request books at a slower pace & don't mind being declined due to RCs occasionally.  That's the natural consequence of being selective anyway; if you were willing to take everything that comes along, there'd be no point in having RCs:P

Date Posted: 5/10/2009 12:38 AM ET
Member Since: 12/20/2008
Posts: 1,417
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 I don't mind easy RCs. "No pets/non-smoking envirnoment" those I can do.

But, I had one book which was highly WL'd and I declined 3 or 4 RCs because they were paragraphs long, complicted, and it wasn't worth it to me to try an comply with it.

The beauty is that the requestor can make things as complicated as they choose, and I have the choice to decline--no harm, no fowl.

Welcome to PBS!

Date Posted: 5/10/2009 8:58 AM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2005
Posts: 1,103
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The beauty is that the requestor can make things as complicated as they choose, and I have the choice to decline--no harm, no fowl.

Melissa - well said!  My personal pet peeve are the ones who "will accept only new or like-new books".  Excuse me - it's a USED book swap site.  I can understand if maybe it's a particular series they are trying to collect as keepers. But as a general requirement?  Even if I just bought the book new and am the only one read it, I usually will not accept those requests.

My books are stored in a spare room, in a closet, filed alphabetically in stacking drawers.  Generally speaking, if it's a reasonable request that I can agree to without having to pull the book first and examine it, I'll do it. Otherwise, probably not.

Last Edited on: 5/10/09 8:58 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/10/2009 9:23 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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My pet peeve with RCS is the ones that say "Please accept and then PM because I may want your copy even if it doesn't meet my RCS".  Well if you don't care about the RCS then turn them off. They obviously aren't that important to you.

Date Posted: 5/10/2009 8:03 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 166
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LOL I have a few RCs but I certainly don't expect a new book.  My bookshelf is my nursery and I read that 4th hand smoke (smoke odor from clothes and such) can cause cancer in babies, so I certainly want to keep her healthy and safe.  Some I am afraid I don't understand because you are trading books so if you expect a new book, well buy it yourself.  But I just decline and move on, they are the ones that still are waiting....oh well.   

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 11:09 AM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2008
Posts: 232
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I did get an RC in which the person stated that they wanted only new books, preferably books that had never been opened.


Go away with your picky self. Go away from a book swapping site. Go away to your nearest bookstore or log onto an online book store. If you want brand new books, go BUY them. (And even in a bookstore, there is no guarantee that the book wasn't opened and perused.)

The book I had was actually brand new, but I cancelled the order because I thought the requester was just too picky and was looking for reasons to RWAP. Who needs it?

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 11:42 AM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,271
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I only have an RC against "currently smoking households" because if someone is holding a book and a cigarette at the same time, the smoke stench SEEPS into the book. I don't care for the smell and so, I don't want it in my face and hands when I read. Plus, if I put the book on the shelf with other books, it leeches onto them. That's it really. I don't have anything like "give me only new books" or "PM me first"- no way. Those I avoid too!

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,232
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Some people are picky and unrealistic in their RCs, but I think most are pretty minor requests.  Some that seem picky are just people that have gotten books that didn't even meet site conditions. The RCs are their last ditch hope that the sender sees the minimum requirements to post a book to this site.

I consider "shopping" on PBS just like being able to shop in all the used books stores around the country. I use the RCs to weed out books I wouldn't pick up and buy in a used book store. If I picked up a book that was obviously from a smoking home, I'd put it back and wait for another copy available, that's what my RCs do for me. If I picked up a new release HC and it had no DJ, I'd put it back; an old, hard-to-find one I'd probably buy.

Don't take RCs personal, they are general to the system.

Welcome! Hope you enjoy PBS.

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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That's funny "books that haven't been opened".  How are you supposed to know the book is even postable unless you've opened it to check out the pages.  There could be a whole chunk of pages with giant blotches of ink or pages bound upside down and backwords (which happened to me recently with a book I bought new). 

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 12:50 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2009
Posts: 104
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Perhaps they just mean "unread." And I'm sure it's supposed to include "uncracked spine." :-)

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 3:25 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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I had a request recently on a WL book that it be new (not nearly new, but brand new).  I declined.  I keep thinking why would a swapper buy a new book only to post it and not read it first.  How is the person's request ever going to be met?

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Well I've posted brand new never read books before. But only because I ended up with 2 by accident. I still would have turned it down on principal.  That and the fear of having a perfectly postable book be dinged because of some minor flaw. 


When I first joined I posted an out of print/hard to find 15yr old romance paperback by a popular paranormal author.  It had over 80 wishers and the 1st one wanted only books in "like new-mint condition". I turned it down. Um a 15yr old paperback is no going to be in like new condition. The book was in excellend condition and looked like it had been read gently maybe 1 time.  But it was yellowing and 15yrs old!  The 2nd person in line was over joyed to get it.  It's still WL btw.

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 3:39 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 166
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I have posted brand new books, but I would still decline if someone wanted only new books.  To me that is just too picky, if you want only new books then go buy them, don't try to swap for them.  Why would someone get a new book and not open it and then trade it?  That is a big waste of money and who can afford that these days?

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 4:46 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2006
Posts: 10
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I am back to pretty much just declining most requests with conditions.  A few months ago I accepted one that had a request for like new perfect condition books only.  As far as I could tell it was just that.  I had bought it at a used book store though, and it had been stored in a box with all the rest of my books. We had never even read the book-I bought it, handed it to my son who said I have read that one, and into the box I put it.  I got a pm from the person I sent it to saying thanks for the nice book, too bad it smells like smoke and I can't donate it to my kid's school. It didn't smell like smoke to me, but I am sure to her it did.  But her conditions refered to the appearance of the book which she acknowledged were good. I can'r read minds, nor do I know the history behind most of my books, so unless it's something like "no library books' or dust jacket required I just turn them down. 

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 9:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 387
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When I first joined, not too long ago, the first book that was requested from me had an extremely long, detailed RC.  I was insulted and I was worried that all of the requests would be like it.  Thankfully that has been my only RC so far.