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I have been a user of PaperBackSwap since 2007. Recently I received a swap which reeked of some type of animal urine. When I went to mark the book with "Problem", I received a batch of auto-guidelines for "Problem", zero of which addressed scent. From this I derived that basically at this point, PBS has zero interest in hearing subjective complaints (if any at all) based upon intangibles that cannot be conveyed in a photograph; and perhaps not even then.
I cannot say one way or the other definitively; because when I tried to post a new thread on the topic, I was informed that one needs a certain level of [paid] membership to post on the help forums (lol; this may explain why when searching specifically for "cat urine", the results are from 2013). To me, this is poor customer service; very poor. The book reeks. Unless one is in the category of "nose-blind", one should not be posting such books on PBS. Apparently I have no recourse except to mark this as "received with zero problem"; because I'm not allowed to complain on the site via normal channels.
I have been a member since 2006. I have received 814 books (paperback and hardcover) and mailed out 896 books. I have never, ever had a problem with them and use their website and payment option. I have a pay as you go membership with no annual fee. A great way to shop for books.
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This was really an awful experience. I used their website functionality incorrectly but to the best of my ability, given the way it's laid out and the instructions on their website. Then I received an extraordinarily rude and condescending email from them, attacking me for having not used the website correctly. The email isn't even signed by anyone - not surprising, given the level of rudeness and condescension. I will never post there ever again!!!
The company fixed the link to my Swapadvd and reset my password. I am now able to transfer credits between accounts. All is well I with Paperbackswap and swapadvd.
I have made many swaps over the years and never had a bad deal. I mailed books or DVDs timely and got them in the mail. I take care to make sure the book or DVD is in acceptable condition. The only bad deal I made was putting money into the account. I have NINE credits and 39 swap credits in my book account. You are supposed to be able to move them to the dvd (or cd) account. But they won't let me. I could not log in to my dvd account and asked for a password. Hours later I still did not have one. They have very very very sophisticated systems to take money, and systems to ensure you don't set up another account...but nothing when you need a password and no customer service. YEAH it has been over 2 1/2 days and I have not been able to use my 39 swap credits. I have begged and pleaded and left like 95 messages to allow me to access my original swapadvd account to transfer my credits.
To this I say they are scam and a FRAUD. They don't offer refunds...and dont allow you to say anything bad on their boards. I just want access to my swap credits. I have had to pay again for seven trades because of their lack of service. This isn't right. I am shut out of my DVD own account they decided to close and open under another email. Their system wont allow swaps to another email. They know this. They are just having fun at my expense. Well I am going to post negative reviews all over the web at THEIR expense. Customer service is not ok. Scamming me out of my money is not ok. They are frustrating and annoying to deal with. I just asked to have ONE password reset. 60 hours later...I can't use the account.
I'm pretty surprised by the amount of negative reviews for PaperBackSwap on this site. It's more likely that people with negative experiences are going to look for a place to air those, while those of us who are happy with the site continue to use it without leaving reviews. I can't speak to other people's experience, but I will to mine, which has been nothing but good.
I've been a PaperBackSwap member for 10 years, and during that amount of time I've mailed 269 books and received 264. You list your books to the platform and people request them. You pay the postage to mail a book, which results in getting a credit. You can then spend that credit to get a book that you want. Patience is definitely a virtue when it comes to PaperBackSwap. Each book has a queue, and when you put it on your wishlist you get in line behind everyone else who has it on their wishlist. (There are lots of books that people have listed that others haven't requested, though.)
I've waited years to receive some books, but it's always well worth it. A tip - To cut down on the wait, I tend to research books before they come out so I can put them on my wishlist early and be one of the first in line. Sometimes things will get quiet for a few months, but then I'll get 3 offers for books in a week. The books tend to be in near perfect condition, and come out to at most $5 each when taking into account media mail costs and site fees.
I pay the $20 per year to be a premium member with a 500 book wishlist, which I always have near or at the limit. When they began charging a yearly fee, it made me really think about whether the service has been worth that to me. It has been, and it's a pretty small amount to pay in comparison to the benefit. There are fees to print out postage and purchase credits, but I don't really mind those either - all of this goes to supporting the site so that we can continue to swap. In the end, the books end up being much cheaper than buying used these days. If you're looking to get amazing books for a low cost, I don't recommend the marketplace. But otherwise I've had a consistently wonderful experience swapping with others on the site. It's always so much fun to get that message that a book you've wanted is available, and then having it show up in the mail!
Careful about depositing funds with these guys. They will freeze your account on a whim and then keep your deposits that you paid. Furthermore, they will ignore you and never respond - to them, their customers are their enemies, not their friends.
I’ve been a member since 2007. It used to be free but a few years ago they started charging a yearly fee ($12 or $20) on two of the three tiers of membership. For me the $20 annual fee is worth it. I can get any book I want shipped to me for one credit or less. That credit cost to me was the postage amount I spend to mail a different book to another member; right now Media Mail is $2.75 for one book, under 1 pound. If I’m mailing two books to the same person and it’s under one pound the rate is the same. Under two pounds the rate only goes up by 50 cents or so.
Media mail is calculated by the pound. That way my credit earned only costs me even less. Sometimes I’ll send out five books to a member and get five credits for around $4. I use my own postage mostly, but once a month standard members get a free postage printout, so I’ll save the .55 they charge for that. And when you use the printable postage from PBS you get your credits automatically as soon as you mark your package mailed; you don’t have to wait for the recipient to indicate they’ve received the book(s).
It is important for members to send books that meet the swapping guidelines, which mean no water damage at all, no stains and fairly good condition. Sending books in ‘unpostable’ condition means the recipient can request their credit back since they won’t be able to re-swap the book. I’ve only rarely received unpostable books and I think most members are careful to send books in swappable condition.
Over the years I’ve sent and received hundreds of books. I still buy books from other online sources too though I try to stay under $5 per book. PBS has a wish list (WL) and you have to wait in a line for popular books to be posted. I will admit it can take a while. But the more active you are and the more books you post the more you will be able to get as well. All the books I get no matter the source are reposted at PBS for credits. On average I get around 5 or 6 books a month. By the way, PBS also sells books directly in their marketplace to members and non-members alike. Members with credits can get special pricing on marketplace books.
I have been a member of PaperBackSwap and its sister sites SwapaCD and DVD Swap for many years since 2007 and have received 367 books and mailed out 495 books. I pay the $20 yearly fee and do not use the printable postage due to the fee (I print my own postage through Paypal shipping or USPS site free). So many of the bad reviews on this site say they think it's too expensive because they have to pay the mailing fee. If they use media mail, it's usually $2.75-3.50 per book. What they don't mention is that when they receive a book, it is free, less one credit. If they had to buy it on a thrift site, eBay, or Amazon, they would pay the price of the book and usually $3.99 shipping on top of that. I have a long wishlist and it is fun to get a message saying your wish is granted. On the flip side, I like to unload my used books to clean my house.
Recycling books is also the green way to go. I use the site primarily for audiobooks and when I'm done with them, I list them. It's much cheaper than Audible. I transfer credits between the 3 sites when I need to. The CD and DVD sites don't have an annual membership fee. I have had no problems with communication and swaps for all these years and would highly recommend this site. I don't expect it to be perfect and to get a new book at once. I have so many to read that it's not important to me. As soon as I hear of a new book I want, I put it on the list. I also do not mind that media mail is slow. If you want a brand new book quickly, I advise you go to a book store and buy it.
You may find pretty good books here, but please don't be fooled, they are not 'free' as the company keeps wanting you to believe. You are paying a fee each time you swap a book. The shipping is coming out of your pocket and they encourage you to get a membership fee. FYI, you can easily find these books on other used book sites for cheaper than the cost of the shipping js. But my real grievance is customer service. Let me just say, that they don't care about you as a person, they care about making money. They don't sympathize or even try to understand. They are snarky, mean, and write nasty backhanded emails. Save your money and go through eBay, Thriftbooks, BookOutlet, or spend your money on mom and pop used bookstores.
I came across a buyer who wanted my book from Hawaii. I requested 2 or 3 dollars for additional shipping for first class mail. She complained and they kicked me out without warning and I lost my 7 credits that I earned over my first 2 or 3 weeks with them. Later I realized that it doesn't cost more if shipped by media mail to HI. So, it was a learning experience.
The customer support person (no name given, not even a fake name) said that I was trying to deal with the other member outside of the exchange and 3 other baseless accusations. I begged and pleaded. But, she did not budge. I requested that I use my 7 credits and then cancel my account. But no. I guess, they can sell my credits and make themselves $25 approx. Bottom line, this tells me there is a lot of demand for such service and there are not enough sites that cater to the need. I still need to exchange my books. I may end up starting my own, as a non profit so everyone can benefit. If I don't do it, hope someone else will do this and put them out of business for their arrogance.
She/he had absolutely no problem stealing my 7 credits, under the accusation that I was trying to deal with a member to do business outside of the website. She stole from me, for the fear that I may be stealing? What the heck? Who would do that for just 49 cent fee? I was telling the other member that I am willing to buy her book if she will buy mine. I meant on the site. Obviously. So, she can get a credit to buy my book.
Customer service person was just hard headed. I understand that complainers are abusive with their words when they get pissed off at the customer service personnel. I was extremely nice to her and called her sweetie, sweetheart and other nice words. That made it worse. She just couldn't get it as to why I would be so nice? Bottom line, I see God (my beloved Krishna) in everyone. Unfortunately, she did not get it. Hope she will read this.
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