PaperBackSwap Blog


DEAR R&R: Newsletter – September 2007

Dear R&R–I sent a book and the requestor says she got it but I didn’t get a credit! What gives?  –Cheated in Chattanooga

Dear Chatty,

There are three possibilities here:

(1) You did get the credit, and you spent it after getting it

  • When the requestor marked the book you sent received, you would have gotten an email from PBS telling you that you got the credit.
    • If you sent the book with PBS-DC, you may have gotten the Quick Credit early, and when the book was marked received, you had already gotten credit; in this case you would have gotten two emails: one telling you Quick Credit had been given, and one telling you the book had been received.
    • You can check your Club Communications file (linked from My Account) to see copies of your recent PBS emails.
  • fter getting the credit, you may have requested a book, and that is why it seems you did not get a credit; OR if you marked a Lost or Canceled book received in your Transaction Archive since getting the credit, this would have removed the credit, as you were telling the system that you got an extra book. (Please read How to Use the Transaction Archive in the Help Center for more information about this.)

(2) The requestor marked a different copy of the same book (sent by a different member) received.

  • If you did not mark your copy of the book mailed and the transaction canceled, the requestor could have gotten two copies, and could not mark yours received (since you had not marked it mailed); if she marked one received she marked the second copy, and that sender got credit.  In this case, you should read My request was canceled but I already mailed the book! in the Help Center, and the requestor should read I received 2 copies of the same book! for more information.
  • If the requestor marked the wrong copy received (ie, she marked the same title received from a Canceled Transaction in her Transaction Archive), then the credit went to that sender (who may never have sent the book, or even responded to the request!). In this case, the requestor should read I accidentally marked a book received! in the Help Center.

(3) The requestor has not yet marked any copy of the book received.  She can read the Help doc How to Mark a Book Received in the Help Center, and follow the instructions in there.

We know that it is confusing not to be able to see your credit and PBS Money history on the site, and so we do plan to make this information available from your account page very soon.  That will make figuring something like this out much easier!

Dear R&R–I sent a BoB to another Boxer, and she got my books, but I never got hers!  She is not responding to my PMs.  What do I do?  –Swaplifting Victim in Sewanee

Dear Vic,

Well, she might not be a “swaplifter”.  She may be out of town, and hasn’t seen your PMs.   Or she has had some kind of emergency that has interfered with her PBS activity.  But you could not know this of course, so in the case where a Boxer is not answering PMs about a swap, you should contact us so we can look into the situation.  We recommend giving the books 2 weeks from the date they were marked mailed to arrive; then sending the Boxer a PM that clearly asks for a response (“I haven’t gotten your books.  Did you mail them yet?”); and then giving the Boxer a week to respond.  If she doesn’t respond to you, let us know by sending in feedback giving the name of the other Boxer, and explaining the situation.

The vast majority of our Boxers are honest and dependable.  PBS functions on the honor system, and it is a testament to the honorableness of our membership how infrequently Box-O-Books swaps go wrong.    When they do, it is usually not due to a member’s dishonesty.  But there will always be “bad apples” and if you let us know following the instructions above, we will look into things as quickly as we can.  Thanks to timely alerts from disappointed Boxers, we have been able to nip bad-apple behavior in the bud and keep our club working the way it is supposed to!

Dear R&R–I am so excited about Printable Postage I am jumping up and down!  But I want to know how much it costs, and is there a monthly subscription fee like other sites, and how it works.  I looked in the Help Center and there’s nothing about it in there.  Can you explain? –Raring to Go in Raritan

Dear Ra-Ra,

We are so glad you are happy about Printable Postage!  And we are happy to be able to offer this.  We will be updating the Help Center shortly.  In the meantime, the information about how to use the feature and how much it costs can be seen by clicking the Print Wrapper button on the request (just like always), and reading the information on the Wrapper Settings page that comes up.  You will pay $0.61 extra if you choose to print a wrapper with postage (and PBS-DC is included).  That $0.61 is broken down like this:

  • 18 cents to USPS for electronic DC (this is included in the postage that prints out)
  • 43 cents Printable Postage Fee
    • 27 cents of this goes to PBS for the service
    • 16 cents goes to the printable postage provider, endicia.com

So PBS gets the same fee (27 cents) if you use postage with PBS-DC or if you use PBS-DC alone.  Since we can’t change the endicia fee, we didn’t want to ask for extra for the combined service, so we made it basically nothing. 🙂  We want this service to be affordable to our members.  There is no subscription fee, and you can choose whether or not to print postage with each wrapper you print.  You can reprint any wrapper without charge (but obviously each wrapper can be used to mail only one package), but you will not be able to change the postage amount after printing the first time, so be sure the amount is correct before you print! The system will calculate the least expensive postal rate (Media Mail or First Class Parcel rate) automatically for your shipment, based on weight.  It is a great idea to have a postal scale to check your package weights against the system estimate that will show (and is correctable) on the Wrapper Settings page.

When you click Print Wrapper Now, you will be able to download the wrapper (you can choose to download it or have it download and open); then you just have to print the downloaded file.  The backup wrapper link (beneath the Print Wrapper Now button) works the same as always–no download necessary; instead, the wrapper image is shown on a printable web page.  Oh, and we had some requests from beta-testers to change the font size on the wrapper, but unfortunately, this is not possible–USPS is very strict about printable postage wrappers, and we have to follow their guidelines.  And you may notice the “black box” next to the postage amount at the top of the wrapper–this is also required, and indicates any non-First-Class mailing.  If the package is being sent First Class, that black box will not appear.

Those are the basics–now we’ll go update the Help Center!

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