PaperBackSwap Blog

DEAR LIBRARIAN: Newsletter – April 2008

Dear Librarian–I ordered books from a member in a 2 for 1 deal advertised in the Book Bazaar: I ordered one book from her bookshelf, and she was supposed to include a freebie.  But then I got only one book, no freebie, and when I sent a Personal Message to the member she said she was never running a deal at all!  What the heck happened?  –Feeling Bamboozled in Boston

Dear Bossy,

One of two things could have happened here.  (1) You could have requested the book from the wrong person; or (2) your request was passed along from the original person to a new sender.

(1) means that you were not on the specific member’s page when you submitted the request.  You have to click Order This Book on the specific member’s bookshelf (nowhere else) in order to be sure that request is submitted to her.  You can read more instructions in the Help doc How do I direct my request for a book to a specific member? in the Help Center.

(2) means that you submitted the request to the correct person, but if you had Requestor Conditions the book didn’t meet, she may have declined your request.  Or she didn’t mark the book mailed in time, and the request canceled.  In both cases, your request would have passed to a new sender, who could not know that you had arranged to get a “freebie” book from the other member.

To prevent (1) from happening, be sure to follow the instructions in the Help doc linked above.  To prevent (2) from happening, you can make your Requestor Conditions clear when you discuss the “deal” in PMs before submitting your request, or simply toggle your Requestor Conditions to “off” (and click Update) in your Account Settings before submitting that request.  It is harder to make sure the sender marks the book mailed in time (that is up to her), but you can remind her by PM if you are concerned, and also keep an eye on your “deal” requests on your My Account page.  The deadline to mark a book mailed is 2 days after the mailby date that shows in the Request Details (or 5 days after the accepted date, if that is what shows in the details).  If a “deal” book is not marked mailed by the deadline (if you do not get an email telling you it was mailed before then), you should be sure to cancel the new request that takes its place on your My Account page, because that new request will be with a new sender.

The system wasn’t designed for “unofficial” deals like this; deals were something that the members created themselves.  We are considering making some changes to the request process purely for those who make “deals” on the site, because they have become so popular! Stay tuned.

Dear Librarian–I got a book and read it, but it didn’t survive the read.  The book looked okay when it arrived, and it was a great read, but now that I am done with it there are pages falling out. I can’t repost this book–should I ask for my credit back from the sender?  –Surprised in Santa Rosa

Dear Rosa,

Sounds like this book was on its “last read” when you got it.  Books do have a lifespan, and eventually if read enough will wear out.  I don’t think you should ask for your credit back–you say the book looked fine to post, and the sending member was able to read it without it falling apart.   And you did get to read it before the book gave up the ghost.  Books do need to meet the Book Posting Guidelines as described in the Help Center, and the vast majority of books will stand up to many, many reads.   If the book meets the guidelines (and any requestor conditions on the request) the sender can’t be faulted for posting and sending it.

So now it is time to retire it from PBS bookshelves: you can’t repost it (not even if you are good at repairing books–there are members who offer simple repair tips in the Discussion Forums, and you can consult them if a book is not too far gone), but (if all the pages are there) you can offer it as a freebie incentive with an order from your bookshelf in a post in the Book Bazaar Discussion Forums.  If it is just done, you can simply recycle it.

We  know it is disappointing not to be able to repost this book.  But remember, this won’t happen very often to any one member.  It will probably happen once or twice to some; and some members will never encounter this. If it happens to you, enjoy the read and know that it won’t happen again for a long time (if ever).  Yes, the book cost you a credit, but that’s a lot less than buying it from most used bookstores, and the book served a lot of readers well.  We are glad you enjoyed the read.  Tell that book to rest in peace.

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