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Help Center - How does PaperBackSwap work?

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Please Note: the following Help information is about our swapping club for used books. In addition to the club for swapping used books, we also have a Market in which you can buy NEW books at a discount. You can read about the Market in About the PBS Market.

How the Club Works


  • You have books in good condition that you do not want to keep.
  • After you have Posted the first 10 books to your bookshelf, you get 2 "startup" credits (and two swap fees so that you can use them) from PBS to get you started swapping.  After that, you earn credits by sending out books to others. Only the first account for a household receives startup credits/swap fees.
  • You may order any available (paperback/hardcover/audio cassette) book for 1 Book Credit each. Audio CD books cost 2 credits each.
    • If you are enrolled as a Standard Member, you pay no Swap Fees - just Book Credits - to request books. 
    • If you are unenrolled ("A la Carte"), you will pay a 49 cent Swap Fee for each book shipment you request.  Everyone starts as an A la Carte Member  - you can enroll in Limited or Standard Membership in our Kiosk.
    • If you are a Limited Member, you can make 30 requests per year using credits only and no Swap Fees. After the 30th request in a year, each request will need a 49-cent Swap Fee (or a "Free Swap" earned by sending a book with Printable Postage).
      Read about the different membership options here.
  • If you want a book that is not currently available, you can place it on your Wish List and we will notify you by email when it is available for you to order.  You can even have it sent to you automatically when it becomes available, with no email necessary.
  • When a book is requested from you, we notify you by email, provide the address for you to send it out, and even provide a wrapper!
  • wrap and mail your book. You can even print postage directly onto the wrapper!
  • When the requestor receives it, you earn 1 credit (2 if it is an audio book). Yes, you pay the postage to send out your books, but when you request a book, the sender pays the shipping!
  • The books you receive from the club are yours. We hope that you will repost them to share with other members when you have read them, but you can certainly keep them, or give them away. Similarly, the books you send out to others belong to their new owners.

PaperBackSwap is a great way to share books with people all over the country!


 see what our members have to say! 

Related items:

Who can join PaperBackSwap?
What can be posted for swapping here?
Do I need to own a computer to use PBS?
Do I have to have a printer to use PBS?
Do I need to have internet access/email to use PBS?
Do I have to check email every day to belong to PaperBackSwap?
Will I get a lot of emails if I join PaperBackSwap?
How much does it cost to mail a book?
Do I have to mail from a post office?
What is the Wish List?
How to Wrap a Book
How to find books to request
How to request a book 
How to send a book


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