The Next Best Book Club discussion

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Ralph Gallagher | 64 comments I love PaperBackSwap. It's pretty cheap to mail books - usually about $2-3. They have a wide selection of books that are available too. Plus, when you list your first 10 books, they give you 2 free credits to request books with!


message 2: by Liz (new)

Liz   (lizvegas) i'm obsessed with paperbackswap.com

It cost nothing to belong and about 2.50 to ship an average book. You pay nothing for books that you want to get, as long as you have credits (from sending out books). You can also become a "box-o-books" swapper where you trade a book for a book on someone elses shelf.


Sallie(GeorgiaGirl) (shuga) I am addicted to paperbackswap.com. I have found that if you ask the postman which is cheaper between media mail & first class they will tell you - most of the books I send are first class - just depends on the size & weight. Check the website out, I love it.


message 4: by Emily (new)

Emily I also am a paperbackswap.com lover! Another bonus to that site is that if you use it's sister site, swapadvd.com you can transfer credits, ever 2 dvd credits equals 3 book credits. BookMooch.com is another one I use, it's a bit more "archaic" than PBS and international, but I have gotten a few wishlisted books a lot faster because they are grabbed on a first serve basis. PBS's wishlist is more like a waiting line, though most of them do move pretty fast.


message 5: by Kat (new)

Kat (thatcrazykatlady) | 25 comments I use both PBS and BookMooch, but I prefer BookMooch for a few reasons.

a) I'm not reminded every hour (or so...I may be exaggerating slightly) that I need to send the books I have pending, the way I am with PBS.

b) No queue, which means I occasionally have a chance at highly wishlisted books. I never would have gotten my copy of An Inconvenient Truth at PBS!

c) They cooperate with LibraryThing, which is a wonderful, free library archiving service.

d) Conditions can be listed on the books at BookMooch, which is very helpful. Even though the PBS guidelines state you should only list books in very good condition, some of the books I've received in worst shape have been from PBS, even though I've received FAR fewer books from them.

It's really, really obvious that I have a preference for one over the other, but a lot of people (myself included) choose to use both. Your mileage may vary!


message 6: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 193 comments Katie wrote: "Hi all! I'm a member of the book/DVD trading website http://www.bookins.com. I've been thinking about switching to a different book trading website, but am unsure which one to go with. On my curren..."

In my opinion, Bookmooch is, by far the best site.

1. It's world-wide. PBS is U.S. only.

2. Its founder and its members are more of a community than all the other sites, I've checked out.

3. You pay the postage to send books out but get points in return: one point for domestic, three points for International. International mooches only cost 2 points. So even though International shipping is expensive, you can recoup by mooching up to three books.

4. It's a community site. When the founder needs an upgrade he asks for donations. Ads help pay for the site, too.

5. A great wish list system.

6. User friendly.

7. A provision for giving books to charity and getting credit for them.

7. All of Kat's reasons, too.

I could go on. Try it out.


message 7: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne (suzyjal) | 9 comments I love Paperbackswap; it's my favorite. But I've also used Swaptree and Titletrader. Swaptree is an actual swap site; that is, you list the books you want, and the books you have, and swap with other members. I have moved a few of my books on Swaptree that have been sitting on the PBS shelf for quite a while.


message 8: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne (suzyjal) | 9 comments I have to disagree with Amanda. PBS has strict guidelines about the conditions of the books that are sent out; and if you are dissatisfied, PBS will intervene and you will get your point back. I have been there for a few years, and have received over 230 books, and I can only remember one or two with which I was not happy. I only send out my best titles to PBS members; if the condition is questionable, I list on Swaptree or Titletrader, where I can fully disclose the condition of the book.
My wishlist is very active, and most titles are moving right along. I have gotten some beautiful, full sized, hardback editions of popular books, for only the cost of mailing another.
There is a very active community at PBS. Forums, discussion panels, newsletters, you name it. I'm sure many PBS members are reading this right now and would agree. They are constantly adding new features and updating to make the site more user friendly.
Now, I've never used Bookmooch, I'm sure it's great, but so is PBS.


Ralph Gallagher | 64 comments I also have to agree, Amanda. All of the books I've received have been in good or perfect condition. They also tell you that books you ship should be in good condition, and if you're having a problem with that, you can contact PBS.
I've gotten a bunch of books off of my wishlist too. Stephen King's On Writing, Brent Hartinger's Geography club and a couple more.
I also don't want it to be international. I don't wanna pay a fortune to ship my books internationally.


message 10: by GracieKat (last edited Aug 20, 2009 11:11AM) (new)

GracieKat | 864 comments These are the ones I belong to, along with their pros and cons:

Swaptree:
Pro
Can swap movies, books and games
Postage is pretty cheap
I've done over a hundred swaps and only gotten burned once. But if I had been more careful and checked the other users feedback I wouldn't have.

Cons
Book or whatever has to be sent out within a few days


Bookmooch
Pro
Not so picky about mailing times.
Because it's not a straight up swap you can use your points for anything
You get a tenth of a point just for listing books whether or not they get mooched from you
You also get a tenth of a point for marking books you've mooched as received. Those tenths really add up!
Wishlist is first come first served so you've got to be quick on your toes but there may be a better chance to nab a book you really want

Cons
Sometimes it's hard to get books such as heavily requested ones or little known ones.
When you've requested a book you may have to wait a while before it is sent out.


Paperbackswap
pro
I've gotten books on there that I couldn't find available on swaptree or bookmooch
If you haven't sent out eough books to get credits you can buy credits for pretty reasonable prices.

Con
I don't know about anyone else but I've had very little activity on my account.
Many reminder e-mails on when to send your book and asking if you've received it.
It doesn't tell you if the book you are posting is on someone's wishlist or not (unless it does and I just don't know how to find out) or how many copies of your book are posted already.


message 11: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 193 comments Additional comments about Bookmooch:

Yes, the site has gone down periodically but with the newly installed servers, this should end.

I appreciate being able to delay sending books. The whole process allows me to communicate why I'm delaying and when I will be shipping the book so that the moocher can pass on the mooch if they'd rather try for something quicker. So far that has never happened.

Some people can only afford to ship a limited number of books every month. They can communicate that in their profile and also when one of their titles is mooched.

Those people who do not wish to ship Internationally are free to limit mooches to their own country or they can request that the Int'l moocher ask first, which is what I do. I have my own rules of thumb on how I respond. In over a year, I've only turned down two mooches. It helps that I live in Hong Kong where Int'l postage is very reasonable. But I spend about a quarter of my time in the U.S. and I have developed strategies for making Int'l shipping from the U.S. affordable.

BTW, compared to Europe, Australia and some other countries, U.S. Int'l postage is downright cheap.

I like the fact that I can describe the condition of the books I list so moochers know exactly what they are getting. I have a lot of older books that, while not in pristine condition, are readable.

I also like the feedback and abuse processes that allows people who abuse the system to be identified and censured, suspended or booted out.

Bookmooch certainly has its faults. The "abuse" process which uses volunteers is sometimes abused, I hear.

The rules for identifying a book as lost are rigid but on the other hand I've had two instances where a book I sent took 3 and a half months to arrive.

Still, overall, compared to the other sites it is the most user-friendly, in my opinion.


message 12: by JenniferD (last edited Oct 15, 2009 11:47AM) (new)

JenniferD (jooniperd) Hey!

I know I'm a little late to this thread, but thought I would post for others interested in this topic too.

Being Canadian, BookMooch was the only option open to me. I really enjoy using it and have had great success in both mooching my wishlist books from others and sending out my no longer wanted books to new homes. Concerning postage, I really don't find it all that bad - the most I have spent was about $8 (Canadian) and that got my books to Australia and Brunei. I don't do overseas shipping very often, however it is cheaper for me to send books to Ireland than it is to send my books to British Columbia! Weird, I know! I have sent a lot of books to the US and have found many Bookmoochers from the US who are happy to send to Canada (it is no more expensive then sending within the States). I would say the average postage is around $3.00 (Canadian) and that even gets you a tracking number (with the Canada Post system).

Overall, the great books I have received have a value worth five times more than what I have spent on postage. This is far less than if I were buying new and is still quite a bit cheaper than if I were buying from the second hand book stores I use. So, overall I am quite a bit ahead, although the TBR pile is huge and my intention when I joined (of getting rid of books) flew out the window pretty quickly. LOL!!

I'm sorry I can't offer any comparative advice, but I have been thrilled with the BookMooch site, it's functionality, the users I have interacted with, the qualiy of the books I have received and the points system. It was a happy discovery for me.

Happy swapping and mooching everyone!


message 13: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 193 comments Jennifer wrote: "
Hey!

I know I'm a little late to this thread, but thought I would post for others interested in this topic too.

Being Canadian, BookMooch was the only option open to me. I really enjoy using it ..."


Hear, hear, Jennifer. It's the greatest.


message 14: by jessi (new)

jessi (infinitevantage) | 86 comments I love PBS. All of the books I've gotten so far have been in great condition. Also, I have already gotten three books that I wish listed, and I haven't even been a member for too long.


message 15: by Dionisia (last edited Sep 29, 2009 04:50AM) (new)

Dionisia (therabidreader) | 332 comments I have been using Swaptree since 2008 and pleased with their set up. Books, movies, video games, and CDs are all up for grabs. Direct trades means there is no point system.

The condition of the item I want is clearly stated and I can always check a user's rating and feedback (like on ebay) before agreeing to trade. All I need to do is pay the postage to send my book out....no "convenience fee" here.


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