PaperBackSwap Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Tips & Tricks’

TIPS & TRICKS: Newsletter – January 2007

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

Do your Spring Cleaning early. A brand new year—what better time to take a look through your Wish List and make sure that all items that appear there are ones that you still want to request when they are offered to you? You can get to your Wish List by clicking Book Lists on the right side of your account page, and choosing Wish/Reminder List from the dropdown menu.

Help yourself to the Help Center. Now when you click to send us feedback, you will see not only a list of Help Center items that may answer your question above the text box, you will be taken to the Help Center where you can search yourself, before sending your message in. We love to hear from our members, but so many questions we get are already answered thoroughly in the Help Center, and the volume of this kind of feedback has taken away from our ability to address the “knottier” problems that need our personal attention. We continue to work on the Help Center, adding and revising items so that information is clear and easy to find. Take a look! Even if you’ve been a member for a long time, you may find out something about the site that you never knew.

TIPS & TRICKS: Newsletter – December 2006

Saturday, December 2nd, 2006

The One-page label option on the Wrapper Settings page is designed for use as a label for an alternate method of packaging, not as the sole means to wrap a book. Members wanted a way to print out the address on an adhesive label to apply to their package (padded mailer, envelope, etc), so we did the programming to make this possible. But one page will not cover a book properly for mailing. If you plan to use the PBS Wrapper as the external packaging for your book, please choose option (1) or (2) on the Wrapper Settings page. Remember, your book should be completely enclosed in the wrapping, and seams and corners should be reinforced with tape (shipping, not Scotch). An inner layer of plastic around the book is a wise precaution in this wet season. Whatever your wrapping method, it should protect your books, so that they get to their new homes safely!

Look for the big red W on your TBR (“To Be Read”) Pile when trying to decide what to read next: the red W next to a book there means it is currently on at least one member’s Wish List, and if you read the book and post it, you will be fulfilling a Wish and getting a credit when the book is marked received by the requestor (or when your DC barcode is scanned by USPS and that information is transmitted to us). The big red W means everybody Wins!

TIPS&TRICKS: Newsletter – November 2006

Friday, November 3rd, 2006

Tape, tape, tape…but not to the book itself! If you reuse bubble envelopes or other packaging to send your PBS books, good for you! PBS is all about giving used things new life. But be sure to tape the worn places on the packaging (always with shipping, not Scotch, tape) so that your books get where they are going safe and sound. And again, don’t tape to the book itself—this often results in damage to the book cover when the package is opened.

Don’t include “extras” with your books. USPS Media Mail rules are quite strict about what can be included in a package in order to qualify it for Media Mail postal rate. The second page of the PBS wrapper counts as an invoice, so that is okay, of course; so is a note saying “Happy Birthday” or “Enjoy your book”. But non-media items, letters or cards, and all promotional material are not permitted. USPS opens Media Mail packages randomly for inspection. Don’t risk having a book returned to you (or destroyed!) because of this. You can read the Help Center item “Can I include anything with my book?” under the heading “Sending a Book” for guidance, and more details.

TIPS & TRICKS: Newsletter – October 2006

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

Don’t be a drag! Really long forum sigs are tough on your fellow PBSers. Some sigs we have seen take up half a Forum page! If other members have to drag past miles of text on every two-line post you make in forums, they are much less likely to read your sig; they may turn off the ability to see sigs at all (you can do this in your Account Settings). And that is counter-productive, if for example you use your forum sig to advertise your latest “deal”. For best use of the forum sig feature, put your magnum opus in your Public profile, and trim your sig line to reasonable proportions (5-10 lines).

Not all cover-ups are bad. When you wrap a book to send, you must be sure that the book is completely enclosed in the wrapper. Exposed edges are very vulnerable to damage, and your book may have a long way to go! Read the Help Center items on wrapping—there are basic guidelines there. Make sure your books arrive in as good a condition as they left you. Be nice to your books and protect them well for their journeys to their new homes!

TIPS & TRICKS: Newsletter – September 2006

Saturday, September 2nd, 2006

Don’t forget the postage! We have gotten some feedback about items arriving postage-due. This not only costs the requestor, but if the requestor refuses the package, it could cost YOU! Media Mail rate does not include the return postage, so you might find yourself paying full Media Mail postal rates to reclaim your book. Better overall to put the proper postage on to begin with. Remember, the capability to print postage on the wrapper is not yet available—you need to apply the correct postage (plus 14 cents if you use PBS Delivery Confirmation) to make sure your book gets where it is going! For a typical paperback sent without PBS-DC, the Media Mail rate is $1.59 (four first-class stamps PLUS one three-cent stamp).

Don’t forget to mark your books mailed! This is always true, of course: a book that is not marked mailed before the deadline to do so will be canceled, and will not earn the sender credit. But it is also important to mark your books mailed to get your Quick Credit. Even if your package sent with PBS-DC is scanned and USPS transmits the information to PBS, the Quick Credit can’t be given until the book has been marked mailed! So mark your books mailed as soon as possible after mailing them with PBS-DC, to be sure to get your Quick Credits before that Wish List book is offered to you.

TIPS & TRICKS: Newsletter – June 2006

Sunday, June 4th, 2006

Vacation time is here!
–If you are planning to be away from your computer during the summer months (and we certainly hope this is the case!), take advantage of the Vacation/Hold feature, which will put your bookshelf on hold and prevent any requests during the time period that you choose. It will also “hide” your Wish List from the system, maintaining your place in line, so that any WL items not on auto-request will not be offered to you while you are unable to confirm that you still want the book.

The Hold feature will NOT affect your ongoing (already-in-progress) transactions; this means that your email account will still receive inquiries about books en route to you, or books that you have agreed to send. If you have books en route to you when you go on vacation, don’t worry! You can mark them received when you get home, from your lost books list, accessible from a link at the top of your Completed Transactions page.

The Hold feature will also NOT hide books that you post that are on Wish Lists—these books bypass your bookshelf and are offered immediately to the first member on the Wish List. If you want to post Wish Listed books, you should wait until you will be able to send them out.

To access the Vacation/Hold feature, simply log into your account and click My Account on the right. Choose I’m Away From Home from the dropdown menu, and select the dates of your hold on the next page. You can read more about the feature on that page as well. You can set the Hold in advance, and unHold at any time by clicking the button at the top of your account page.

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.