PaperBackSwap Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Vacation Hold’


Thursday, July 9th, 2009

If you are going on vacation, as so many do at this time of year, don’t forget to use the Vacation Hold feature!  It’s linked from the top of your Bookshelf and you can read about using it in the Help Center.  It’s easy to use and it will prevent you from missing requests and Wish List offers while you are away from home.

New “Receipts” link on the My Account main page – Now you can see a list of your PBS Kiosk transactions, from your Account page.   Click Receipts at the top of your My Account main page, then click on the transaction number to view the receipt for any purchase made after February, 2008.

How to spread the word…old school! Bookmarks and flyers are great ways to tell people about PaperBackSwap, SwapaDVD and SwapaCD.  We want to update them, and we thought we’d get your input on that.  So hop over to the PBS Blog and weigh in.  Suggestions will not be taken by feedback – the Blog is the place!

DEAR LIBRARIAN, Newsletter – August 2008

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Dear Librarian–A couple of months ago, I printed a wrapper to send a book and after I did that the SAME member ordered another book from me.  I didn’t realize that the second request was from the same person so I printed the second wrapper and ended up with two wrappers with the same address, which was really annoying because I used DC so I paid 27 cents twice and only used one of the wrappers!  I have been brooding about this incident ever since.  Can’t this be avoided somehow?  –Irritated in Iowa

Dear Wa,

Well, we fixed that!  And that is why it hasn’t happened to you lately.  We knew this was bothersome, so now the system will combine requests that are going to the same address, all behind-the-scenes and crafty-like.  If you have already accepted a request and printed the wrapper, and the member adds a book to the request, no problem!  The book request will “reset” itself so that you will need to print another wrapper–it will NOT charge you again for DC if you printed with DC–in order to assign that added book to the shipment and adjust the weight estimate for the shipment so the proper recommended postage/postal class  will print out .  (There is also an option to send the books separately if you already ran out and mailed the first one before the second request came in.)  The only time that requests cannot be combined if the same member adds a book to the order is if you have printed already with postage.  Because the weight of the shipment may change significantly when books are added, we cannot guarantee that the first wrapper printed with postage will have enough postage on it to mail the whole shipment with the additional book(s) in it.  If the additional weight of the added book(s) doesn’t change the postage needed or the postal class, you can still use the printed wrapper to mail the books all together, of course; but the requests will be displayed separately (not as a bulk request) on your My Account page. In this case, of course, you would need to weigh your shipment with all the books in it and check the Postal Rates (available from the Need Help? tab on the upper right of your My Account main page) to see if the added books would require more postage.

The “combining-requests” feature took a huge amount of programming, but it went into effect so quietly a month or so ago that most people didn’t even notice.  We hope this makes everyone’s swapping easier!  If you are the requestor, keep in mind that it is ideal to add additional books to the order (using the Order More From Member button on the request, or during the process of the initial request) as soon as possible, before the sender accepts your request.

Dear Librarian–Color me frustrated.  WHY has my request for a book passed from one sender to another without a response?  I saw on my Reminder List before I ordered it that this book had many available copies. WHY am I sitting here twiddling my thumbs waiting for someone to respond?   You should punish these inconsiderate jerks!Aggravated in Akron

Dear Aggie,

We are so sorry you have had to wait for someone to respond to your request! No, no, these are not necessarily inconsiderate jerks.  They could be members who had an unexpected absence due to an emergency….they could even be in the hospital themselves….they could also be members who have abandoned their accounts and the system hasn’t detected their inactivity and shut the accounts down yet.  But most commonly these are otherwise excellent swappers who went on vacation without using the Vacation Hold.  Yes, Aggie, this horror DOES happen, and the result really IS inconsiderate to other members, even though the perpetrator may not be an inconsiderate person normally.

Members who ignore or decline too many requests will have their accounts suspended automatically and will have to contact us and pinky-swear that they will use the Vacation Hold appropriately in the future, in order to resume membership.  The suspensions aren’t really punitive but practical: we want to limit the occurrence of this very frustrating situation for requestors!  Too many incidents in an account may cause permanent account termination, of course.   We know this doesn’t help you in this situation, Aggie, but the members who are “ignoring” you may be great swappers who just didn’t think to use the Hold when they went away, and the request that is being ignored now may be the one to trigger account suspension for that member.   We hope your request reaches an active member soon.

The moral of this story: Don’t be one of those careless members--read about the Vacation Hold in the Help Center, and use it whenever you need it (whenever you will be unable to send books, not just when you are going away from home).  You’ll be glad you took the few seconds to do this–and so will all the members who don’t have to wait for the request submitted to you to “time out” in order to get the book from someone else!


  • Your delight and surprise at the site changes…your joy and amazement when you first lay eyes on your Member Homepage…your careful perusal of the Help Center to explain anything that isn’t absolutely clear to you…your obsession with clicking the arrows on the sliding displays of books on the Member Homepage…your frantic clicking to order all the available books you didn’t even know about that you simply have to have…your increased overall Happiness Quotient at the imminent burgeoning of your TBR pile…
  • See you on the other side, in the Brave New World of PBS (cue “Theme to 2001: A Space Oddyssey” here…leave out the monkey noises).
  • You can make monkey noises if you want.  🙂

Dear R&R: Newsletter – August 2006

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006

Dear R&R—I sent a book with PBS-DC, and it was delivered! I got my Quick Credit, but why isn’t the requestor marking the book received? Help! –Left in the Lurch in MT

Dear Lurch: Don’t fret! The requestor may be on vacation (a lot of people take vacations at this time of year), and may not have gotten home to mark your book received yet. Also, sometimes USPS scans a book as”“delivered” when it has made it to the local PO, a day or two before the book is actually delivered to the requestor’s mailbox. If your book is declared Lost in the Mail, the requestor can still mark it received from the Lost in Mail list accessible from the right-hand menu of the account page. If the book isn’t marked received by two weeks after the delivery date, let us know. In the meantime, use your Quick Credit to request another book. Time passes quickly when you’re reading!

Dear R&R—I keep getting these emails asking me if I have received a book, but I am away from home! How do I know if the book has arrived? Will I be in trouble if I don’t mark the book received before I get home? –On the Road in CO

Dear OTR: You got Lurch’s book, didn’t you? Don’t worry too much about those email reminders—if you return from your vacation, and mark the book received then (if it has arrived), all will be well! The computer knows when your bookshelf is “on vacation” but still sends these emails anyway. The Vacation/Hold feature does not prevent notifications about ongoing transactions (books requested by or from you before you enacted the Hold), so you will continue to get these kinds of emails from PBS. Just put it on your To Do list for after you get home, and enjoy your vacation! If the book has been declared lost in the mail before you return, just mark it received from your “lost in mail” list, accessible from the right-hand menu of your account page. You can read more about the Vacation/Hold feature in the Help Center then if you like, in the Help Center item “Can I put my bookshelf on hold/vacation?” (in the Quick Help box on the right-hand side of the Help Center page). Do that when you get back—for now, apply more sunscreen, and relax with a good book.

Dear R&R—I put my bookshelf on vacation because I won’t be able to get to the Post Office for a week or two. I posted books to be ready for when I come back, but they are being requested! Is the Hold working? –Panicked in PA

Dear Pip: First, check to make sure that the Hold was applied properly. If there is a pink message on your account page (in the box for the Message from the Librarian), then the Hold is in place and working. But the Vacation/Hold feature won’t hide newly posted books from the membership. When you placed your bookshelf on hold, only the books that were on it at the time were earmarked to be “hidden”. If you post any new items with your bookshelf on hold, they will be visible to the membership! Make sure that you post only books that you are prepared to send out when they are requested. If you want to “get a jump on things” in the meantime, you can put the books you want to post on your TBR (To Be Read) List, accessible from the dropdown menu under “Book Lists” on the right of your account page, and easily post them later (when you are ready to accept requests for them) from there, with one click!

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.

Advanced Notice Available for the “I’m Away From Home” Feature: Newsletter – August 2005

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005

Usually we know in advance when we’re going to be away from home. Now you can place your PaperBackSwap account “on hold” in advance of leaving for your trip or while you are away from home. Simply go to the “I’m Away From Home” area of the site and mark the days that you will be gone using our convenient calendar feature.

Keep in mind that any transactions currently in progress will continue. This means that you will continue to receive emails regarding books on order or that are already in transit. The “I’m Away From Home” feature places the rest of your books on hold so that no new requests nor wish list opportunities are activated while you are away. When you reactivate your account status (either manually or automatically), your books and wish list items will be placed back in the order they were in line for before you left.