Saturday, September 09, 2006

Loving Paperbackswap.com



Last weekend I posted over 50 more books to Paperbackswap.com (PBS). These were books that I had already culled off of my shelves and tried to sell to various homeschoolers for dirt cheap prices that hadn’t sold. I also just walked up to some shelves and began plucking some books off that I felt I could part with.

I then posted to the ‘homeschoolers corner’ of the discussion boards to publicize my postings (that is a common thing that people do).

So this week I sent off 32 different packages, getting rid of about 80 books total.

Phew, that was a lot of work. I was happy that so many books went out of the house.

I then went online to PBS and requested a bunch of Far Side comic books for my children as that is their current favorite cartoon/comic.

I still have about 20 credits sitting for me to use.

I also spent a little time adding books to my wish list. The plan is to sit and wait for the books I want on my wish list to be listed by someone, and then I will use my accumulated credits to ‘pay’ for those books.

Hooray!

So some PBS tips that I have learned so far are:

1. Try to list a bunch of books in one topic all at once. Publicize this on a related topic discussion board at PBS.

2. Save credits in the account for books that are on your wish list.

3. Spend time adding books to your wish list so you get in line for the books now rather than later. You can check your place in the queue by looking at your wish list, then put your cursor over the grey circle with the exclamation point which will indicate your place in the queue (3 of 5, for example).

4. I have seen others do this: publicize on the discussion boards, special such as “2 books for 1 credit” or “3 for 1” if you want to clear out your inventory and get credits to use, now.

5. If you want quick credit, pay for delivery confirmation and mail the package from your USPS office. The next business day your credit will be in the account (versus waiting for the recipient to mark your book as received in the system).

6. If you have no credits but want a book now, you can pay just under $3 to buy a credit and get that book (this may still get you the book at a bargain price).

7. Normally when you enter a book you are willing to swap, if there are already other copies of that book in the system, you are put into the queue, for example, your book may be #6 in line to be sent if someone is using the 'search' function of the site. However if you make connections with others through the discussion boards to announce that you have listed books it is very possible that someone who then views your 'bookshelf' of available books would select YOUR book rather than one of the other 5 that are 'before you in line'. Can you see how networking and publicizing can benefit you? I plan to add a link to my blog so that my blog readers can view the books I have available to swap, for example. Who knows, maybe that will help me get rid of some of these books!

So far I find the discussion boards a fun thing, with very nice people. The Moms on the homeschooling board are friendly. Others on the general board have been helpful to me if I have a question about the site that I can’t find listed in the FAQ.

If you have not yet signed up for a PBS account and you want to, click through the link in my blog’s sidebar. Once your account is active and you have listed your initial 9 books, I get one credit for the referral. I thank you in advance if you do this!

Some people I know just don’t get this concept; they have a hard time accepting it. So here is the bottom line, basically each book you receive will cost you $2 or slightly less. If you mail out one book it usually costs $1.59 if you don’t use delivery confirmation. Therefore when you get a book from someone else you could consider that you ‘paid’ $1.57 for that book. If you are used to finding books completely for free, or finding them at library sales for under $1.57 you may not think that PBS is a bargain. However if you are used to buying books new, or even buying them used at a used book shop for half the cover price, or even ¼ of the cover price (if using store credit, for example), then PBS may still be cheaper.

Sometimes you may find a book on PBS right now that you need and want and you are not finding it on your other used book hunting adventures. However sometimes you may want a book from PBS that is not available, so you put it on your wish list. In that case if you need it urgently you may have to buy it new or used elsewhere, or borrow it from a library. If you are able to wait a while to get it for under $2 on PBS, then put that book on your PBS wish list and just wait.

So you see, PBS really can be a place to find book bargains!

If you just want to get rid of books to lower your inventory, and you don’t want to resell them, or you don’t want store credit at a used book shop, and you don’t want to swap 1 for 1 for them, etc. then perhaps your best bet would be to donate them to charity such as to your library for their used book fundraiser sale or to a local charity’s thrift shop. In that way you could get rid of the books for free plus have a tax write-off.



Happy Book Swapping at PBS!

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2 comments:

MarciNYC said...

Hey ya... glad to see some positive spin on PBS on someone's blog. :)

I've been a member for over a year (closer to 2, I think) and have gotten TONS of good books, and a few stinkers (content wise, not condition). It's been a good site for me, but I'm slowing down because Mt TBR is threatening to take over the guest room.

Just wanted to say -- it's $1.59, not $1.57, to mail books under a pound at the media mail rate.

Glad to see you enjoying the site and getting lots of bang for your buck!

christinemm said...

Mt. TBR---HILARIOUS.

For non-PBS'ers, that means Mt. To-Be-Read.

Hysterical. Thanks for sharing that term with me.

I fixed the price, thanks!