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Posts Tagged ‘Box-O-Books’

NEWS: Newsletter – January 2009

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

We have heard your cries! Yes, the chant (What do we want? Printed Postage for Box-O-Books! When do we want it? Real soon!) has finally been answered.   All you Boxers can give your vocal cords a rest because Printable Postage for Box-O-Books is now available!  (Yay, Team!) You can read about the Box-O-Books service here.

New Forums! Yes, we have lovely new icons in the Discussion Forums, if we do say so ourselves…AND new Forums to boot!  Check ’em out:

Health & Fitness Forum

Going Green

Money Saving Tips

Postal Rate increase. NOT for Media Mail or First Class mail, folks, which are the only rates we recommend using here!  But for those of you who sometimes use Priority Mail, here’s a heads -up from USPS:  On January 18, 2009, prices will change for Express Mail, Priority Mail, Parcel Select, Parcel Return Service and some international shipping products. Overall, shipping services prices will increase an average of 5 percent. The new prices are available at http://www.usps.com/prices  (click “New Shipping Prices” box). Don’t worry if you are a typical PBS member who uses Media Mail or First Class mail – this change won’t affect you.

Thank you! We appreciate how many people have given credits and/or money to become Friends of PBS.  We applaud your generous spirits, and please know that with each donation you are helping PBS stay strong and grow better!  Members can give here, and see the list of local and recently-added friends here.

Dear Members, Newsletter – October 2008

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

We’re all feeling a little tense these days what with the economy, eh?   Time for…
…a PaperBackSwap Members’ Survival Guide!

  • Multiple-book swaps save postage – a LOT of postage.
    Requestors should be sure to click Order More from Member to check the bookshelf of the sender you are ordering from to see if there are other books you’d like.  If everyone does this, everyone saves!  Senders who use printable postage shouldn’t print the wrapper to send a book right away – wait until you are ready to wrap, to be sure the requestor isn’t in the process of browsing your bookshelf for more books.   And don’t forget Box-O-Books!  It’s a small investment (8 dollars for a year’s subscription) and it pays for itself in postage savings after just your first few swaps.
  • There’s gold in them thar backpacks!
    The schoolbooks you paid so dearly for that will bring you peanuts at the Used Book Store can each earn a credit to get another book!  So get your kids’ upcoming reading lists and plan ahead.  Remember that textbooks (unlike other books posted for swapping at PBS) may have highlighting/writing/underlining in them – BUT you do have to get consent from the requestor about the book condition before sending it, as described in the Book Condition Guidelines. Encourage your kids to take good care of their books so there’s a lot of life (and reads) left in them!
  • Triple your swapping power!

Did you know that you can transfer credits between your accounts at PBS, SwapaDVD and SwapaCD ? Remember those DVDs your child wanted to watch every day until…she didn’t? That emo CD your nephew knew you would love…but you didn’t?  Join SwapaDVD.com and SwapaCD.com and post them for swapping!  Earn DVD and CD credits and bring ’em back to your account on PBS (1:1 transfer from SwapaCD, 2:3 transfer from SwapaDVD) on PBS.  Read more about how to do this.

  • That’s Entertainment!
    We bet one of the biggest bills you pay each month is…for TV.  Consider getting rid of TV service altogether. Yes, stop gasping, we’re serious.  What you can do without TV:  Read, talk, play games, take an after-dinner walk; Listen to online radio while you knit a sweater;  Learn to cook, learn to tango, learn to speak Chinese (most podcasts are FREE).  For your video fix, remember that: your local library has DVDs to borrow for FREE; SwapaDVD allows you to swap the unwatched DVDs you own for new ones, and then swap those for others; many TV shows are legally available online (you have to wait a few hours or a day for them to be uploaded, but many networks have websites and stream their TV series there FREE);  you can be “fashionably late” to watch premium-channel series–they’ll come out on DVD so you can get them from your library or SwapaDVD for FREE.
  • Reduce your carbon footprint – as precious these days as the carbon in a diamond!
    There are so many ways to do this: Walk to the post office if it’s close enough (and you don’t have too many books to carry); Combine and plan your errands so that you drive from one to the other (in a loop if possible, ending back at home); Save gasoline by mailing from home using PBS Printable Postage; If you don’t use printed postage, designate one day per week as your go-to-PO day and make sure you accept every request with a mailby date that falls on or after that day of the week; run the heat-producing dishwasher/clothes dryer in the evening during summer and during the day during winter.

Times are tough. Hang in there, everyone–we know things will bounce back.  In good times or bad, swapping saves!
Richard and
The PaperBackSwap Team

DEAR R&R: Newsletter – December 2006

Friday, December 1st, 2006

Dear R&R—I made a Box-O-Books swap with another Boxer, and we both agreed to the swap. I sent off my books, but the other Boxer now says she doesn’t have some of the books I wanted (and that she agreed to send me)!!! I am so annoyed. Why did she say she could send them if she couldn’t?—Livid in Leominster

Dear Livvy,

We sympathize with your frustration. We know this happens for various reasons–a Boxer intends to send the books you asked for, but then after accepting finds that she does not have all of them. Maybe she lent one to a friend, and forgot to remove it from her bookshelf; maybe her little one spilled grape juice on another. Or she included it in another pending Box-O-Books swap, and forgot that she had done that. If you can’t find any books on her shelf that you want in place of the books she promised you, she should offer you credits for the missing books.

Boxers can use one of two easy strategies to keep track of the books included in their pending Box-O-Books offers:

  1. Use Book Journal. Some Boxers (especially those with lots of books and lots of swaps!) are creating a “space” called “BOB-requested books” and moving books there when they are requested in a Box-O-Books offer. Then if you get another request for a book, you can see if it is already involved in a pending swap at a glance, by checking that Book Journal space. If a book is requested for credit, the Book Journal “space” in which you have put it comes up on the request itself, so this is very easy. (We are considering adding the Book Journal “spaces” to the books requested in a Box-O-Books offer, but we have to work out the programming.) Click “Book Journal” in the left menu of any page on the site to check out this feature–you can try a seven-day free trial, to see if it works for you.
  2. Use the “Notes” feature on your Books I’ve Read list. Click the diamond beside any book title in that list to add a note: no one will see these notes but you. You can check your Books I’ve read list when a new Box-O-Books offer comes in, to see if you have noted it being requested in another pending swap. Books you post (or repost) are added to your Books I’ve Read list automatically when you post (or repost) them (you can uncheck the option for this at the time of posting, but they are included by default), so you do not have to add them to that list manually. You can find the Books I’ve Read list in the dropdown menu from Book Lists on the right side of your account page.

But the sure-fire way to avoid this kind of disappointment is for each Boxer to make sure that she or he has the books being requested in a Box-O-Books swap, and that they are in good condition BEFORE clicking to accept the swap. We recommend getting the requested books together and flipping through them to be sure all is well before clicking “accept” on the swap. Then package the books up and send them! If a sender has trouble with this on a regular basis (if she finds herself writing to several Boxers apologizing for not having the books she has promised), she should try Book Journal to see if it will help her keep things straight. It may make all the difference! If she is able to send out all the promised books, she won’t have to dole out her credits in future to Boxers she has “welched” on. We all know how precious credits are, especially when a Wish List book comes up!

Dear R&R—I sent the wrong book to a member and now I can’t find the transaction! Where do my past swaps go? –Befuddled in Boise

Dear Beef,

Your past swaps are archived in various places:

  1. Completed swaps (completed without a problem) are in your Completed Transactions list. Log into your account, click Transactions Archive on the right, and scroll down the list there. You can sort the list by incoming and outgoing books, and ascending/descending by date.
  2. Canceled swaps (that you, the other member, or the system canceled) are available in your Canceled Transactions List, from a link at the top of your Transactions Archive page (see above). Your problem swaps will be here too!
  3. “Problem” swaps (transactions marked “received but with a problem”, such as Wrong Book, Damaged Book, Damaged by USPS, or Requestor Conditions Violation) are also in your Canceled Transactions list. That doesn’t mean that the sender didn’t earn a credit when the book was marked “received, but with a problem”—that’s just where problem transactions are archived. Problem transactions won’t show up on the map of your completed transactions.
  4. “Lost in the Mail” –you can see all of your Lost in the Mail books (sent by you or to you) by logging into your account and clicking “Lost in Mail” in the right menu. Each incoming “lost” book will have a button on it “Was Book Received?” so that it can be marked received from there easily.

So if the requestor marked your book “received, but with a problem” and chose “Wrong Book” that transaction will be in your Canceled Transactions list, available from a link at the top of your Transactions Archive page. This information is also in the Help Center: search using the words “past swaps” (or just “swaps”) to find the item “Can I see my past swaps?”

Dear R&R—I have a book that’s still readable, but its pages are kinda wrinkly. It’s on a ton of Wish Lists. Can I post it for swapping? –Hopeful in Hackensack

Dear Hope,

I am sorry: no, you can’t post this book. “Wrinkly” (not folded or dogeared) pages are a sign of water damage, and water-damaged books are prohibited on PBS. It is not that the books aren’t readable; it is that water-damaged books can carry mold spores, and these can spread and infect a library. If your book is on a Wish List, you can always advertise it in the Book Bazaar Discussion Forum as a “damaged book”, with a description of the condition, and send it out for free (or as a “perk” with another book ordered for credit from your bookshelf) to another member.

Even though PBS is a used-bookswapping site, and not a “collectible” bookswapping site or a “giftable” bookswapping site, all books at PBS must meet certain standards, and none may have evidence of damage from liquid of any kind. The Help Center items “Book Condition” and “What can be swapped here?” under the heading “Posting Books” in the Help Center have guidelines for posting books. Each time a member posts a book, she or he must confirm, that the book has no damage from water (or other liquid) and is in “good condition, and not excessively worn”. We have decided to make the PBS criteria for “good condition” more visible during the posting process. Now you don’t have to check the Help Center to see if a book you are thinking of posting is in acceptable condition. When you post a book, and you are asked to confirm that the book is in good condition, the phrase “good condition” appears with a dashed line beneath it. The dashed underline means that it is a “keyphrase”, and information will pop up if you click it. In this case, the PBS description of “good condition” will pop up. Look for more dashed-underline “keywords” and “keyphrases” on PBS. We will apply them as needed, in various places on the site.

Hope, I am sure that you mean no harm when you want to post your wrinkly book; but “no water damage” means just that. Even if the book is readable, it can’t be posted to your PBS bookshelf.

Dear R&R—I am REALLY ANNOYED. I have a Wish List book offered to me, and I don’t have any credits, and I CAN’T GET TO THE REST OF MY ACCOUNT to mark some books mailed! WHY do you do this? It is really obnoxious! –Apoplectic in Ashtabula

Dear Poppy,

The force-reply wasn’t always a part of PBS. Before we put it in place, there was a real problem with members forgetting to respond to Wish List offers, or to requests submitted to their bookshelves, and this led to a lot of disappointment (and feedback to us, asking us to reinstate the offer or request). Wish List offers and book requests that have timed out can’t be reinstated—more disappointment. So we put the force-reply in place, and things have gone much more smoothly since then.

Since we instituted this feature, there have been many, many changes on the site, and we agree that the force-reply may need to be revised so that it doesn’t prevent important (even time-sensitive) account tasks such as marking outgoing books mailed. We are taking a look at this, and it may be possible in the future to allow limited access to your account (such as your active transactions) while an offer/request is pending. Be patient with us while we work out the programming.

We do recommend that those members who choose to make Wish Lists keep a small “cushion” of credits in their accounts (one or two) just for this situation—you can always purchase credits, of course, but if you don’t want to do that, this bit of forethought will solve your problem. You never know when a Wish List book will be offered to you!

If you have a time-sensitive task at hand (such as marking a book mailed) and you can’t get to your account, you should contact us as soon as possible, so that we can mark the book(s) mailed for you. We don’t want your transactions to cancel because of this situation! If they do, there will be no way to reinstate them, and canceled transactions don’t earn credits from the system.

Poppy, just tell us the title(s) of the books you are trying to mark mailed, and we will do this for you. In the meantime, we are working on a way to make the “force-reply” purely beneficial, and not obstructive, as it occasionally can be. I hope you can get your Wish List book before the offer “times out”!

Box-O-Books has had a facelift. Newsletter – October 2006

Friday, October 6th, 2006

Box-O-Books has had a facelift. We have had a lot of positive feedback about the renovations that were put in place about a week ago. We appreciate all the feedback that our Boxers sent in, and tried to address every item. Now, the Boxes are labeled differently (“They Mailed” or “You Mailed”) to help keep things straight (thanks, KajunFriend, for that suggestion!), PBS Delivery Confirmation and Requestor Conditions can be applied to Box-O-Books (many Boxers asked for this) and the whole feature should work much more smoothly, We have also introduced the concept of “verified Boxers”. If you use PBS Delivery Confirmation on a certain percentage of your Box-O-Books swaps, you will have a special “DC Boxer” icon that will show to other members. And of course, there is still the Boxer Rating system for personal feedback on each transaction—you can read about a Boxer before you choose to swap. If you aren’t subscribed to Box-O-Books, you can read about this feature in the Help Center, under the heading “Box-O-Books”.

TIPS & TRICKS: Newsletter – May 2006

Friday, May 5th, 2006

For all you (temporarily) who are out of credits, — and you just have to have some more books, you can STILL order books without credits! If you are subscribed to the Box-O-Books feature, you are able to conduct one-on-one “creditless” swaps. So, if you are a Boxer who runs low on credits, you can search for your books in the Box-O-Books area (instead of the regular Search). If any Boxers have the books you are looking for, you can offer to swap your books for theirs. Click here to learn more about this great program.

Banish those bugs with Firefox! If you have intermittent trouble navigating (or even logging into) the PBS site, the problem may well be your browser. Not that there is anything wrong with other browsers , but it’s just that there’s so much right with Firefox. It is the most stable, bug-free browser Robert could find, and it is free! You can download Firefox at www.mozilla.com. There are versions for PC and Macintosh (Mac owners should be sure to get the LATEST version, so that they are able to post to forums), and you can even import your bookmarks from your other browser if you like. Firefox users get to see some features of the PBS site that users of other browsers (ie, Internet Explorer) never get to see. So download Firefox, and improve your PBS experience today!

Just the Books, Ma’am! We have had a “rash” of inappropriate postings to bookshelves on PBS—DVDs, computer games, music CDs. We have even had some topics offering non-book items for credits in the Discussion Forums. This is a gentle reminder that PBS is a bookswapping site only—the kind with pages, and the audio kind (originals only, on cassettes or Audio CDs). Other items will be removed as we discover them. If you notice an inappropriate item being offered for credits on a bookshelf or in a Forum topic, please report it in the thread in the Questions about PBS Discussion Forum at http://www.paperbackswap.com/forum/view_topic.php?t=9603.

NEW & IMPROVED: Robert has been busy! Newsletter – April 2006

Sunday, April 2nd, 2006

My goodness, where to begin with all that has changed at PBS? There’s the Boxer Rating System, the Message Center and Buddy List re-organization, the new Account page, the Wish List, the Bookshelf sort-by-genre, the Back to Top Link at the bottom of each Forum topic page…the list goes on and on.

The Boxer Rating System–A recently added new feature is the ability to record feedback about the members with whom you exchange a Box-O-Books™. When you have received your box and are ready to report your rating, simply go to Box-O-Books and find the swap you wish to rate. First select how you would rate the overall performance of the member: Positive, Neutral, or Negative. Then leave a few comments to explain your rating. It is appropriate to comment here on how long the member took to mail the box, whether s/he used delivery confirmation, and how well the books were packaged. If you disagree with the comments the other member has made about you, you also have the ability to insert a few words of explanation or defense. Remember that you will not be allowed to edit your comments at a later date, so say what you mean, but mean what you say!

The New Account page: The active transactions have moved down on your Account page, but they are still there! Robert has placed links in the white area in the top middle of the page to take you quickly to the different categories of Active Transactions in your account. This will be very helpful to those members who have a lot of books coming and going and who need to “jump” right to a category to mark a specific book mailed or received. Notice also that your bookshelf has moved off the Account page. To see the books you have listed for swapping, click My Bookshelf on the right-hand menu. You can see all your completed transactions on the Completed Transactions page, also available from the right-hand menu. Your Lost Books and your Canceled Transactions are linked from the top of the Completed Transactions page as well.

The Wish List: The Wish List is now limited to 200 items. Please see the Wish List Update at http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/wish_list_change.php for an explanation of this change in policy. There is also a new feature which will help you keep your Wish List tidy as you go along: when you are offered a Wish List item, if there are other versions of this book also on your Wish List, you have the option to keep the other versions on your Wish List or have them automatically deleted from your Wish List by the system when you accept the offer. If you would prefer NOT to have the other versions deleted when you accept, simply uncheck the box next to the list of alternate versions on the offer. It’s that easy! Remember, if you opt out of the auto-deletion, once you receive the Wish List item, you will need to remove these alternate versions manually from your Wish List.

Box-O-Books Gift Certificates: these make a great gift to a Buddy! To buy a membership in Box-O-Books for another member, simply log into your account and click Buy More Credits on the right side of your Account page. Scroll down to see the various Gift Certificates options. Box-O-Books Gift Certificates are at the bottom of the page. You can use PayPal or Verisign to do this, or send us a money order or check payable to PaperBackSwap, at: PaperBackSwap, 3651 Peachtree Pkwy Suite E390, Suwanee GA, 30024.

The New Buddy List: you can tag your buddies now and sort them by tags–for instance, Boxers, or Cozy Mystery Lovers. You can apply more than one tag to a Buddy, and view your Buddy categories–all Boxers, or all members in a Games Forum swap–with one click. The Buddy List is available as always from the right-hand menu of your Account page.

Box-O-Books Now Fine-Tuned and Ready for All Boxers! Newsletter – January 2006

Saturday, January 7th, 2006

Hello to all you “Boxers” that have joined in on the hottest book swapping craze. The updated version of Box-O-Books has arrived and members are ecstatic. Join now and you can start swapping boxes of books for absolutely NO credits! That’s right. All Boxers have the privileges of trading books among themselves without having to use their credits. There is no limit as to how many books are allowed in a box, so the sky is the limit! Check out this amazing service brought to you by the PaperBackSwap Team where you can save money on postage and read books for free!