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End of +.1 for leaving feedback

As of late next week, you will no longer receive a +0.1 point for each mooched book that you acknowledge as receiving.

This change will have no effect on your existing points.

The reason for this change is:

1) everyone is expected to mark a book as received as part of the mooching process, if for no other reason than to get it off your "pending" page, but also just to be courteous.

2) it makes each domestic mooch actually cost 0.9 points (1 point to mooch, then later a 10% refund of 0.1 points), which really isn't necessary, since people usually are happy enough to spend a point to get a book, and don't need a further incentive

3) it inflates the economy without a significant benefit.


John Buckman
4 years ago


Hurray for combating inflation!
4 years ago
Makes sense to me.
4 years ago
Sounds sensible
4 years ago
"just to be courteous"

While I actually enjoy leaving feedback for the mooches that I have received, I wished more moochers appreciated the efforts that went into a sending a request (ie, time to package, time to deliver, etc). I mean, just how much effort does it take for someone to leave a simple "thanks" after receiving the mooch?

meanwhile, this particular topic has sparked a personal interest in the Angel program. What better way to reach out and promote the love of reading? Certainly an excellent opportunity to bridge friendships!

4 years ago
Yay! :)
Il Gobb
4 years ago
It makes sense, but I do love reading moochers comments when they acknowledge that they have received a book, and I hope that this will continue. As an aside, could someone please explain the Angel system to me? I have read a lot about it recently on these forums discussing all the recent changes and I am unsure as to what this actually is/involves? I know you guys out there will put me straight! Many thanks!
Jo Gadsden
4 years ago
"please list this so we will know when it ends"

why would this matter WHEN it would end? will this prohibit you from marking a book received or leaving a polite comment? the incentive to still post additional titles to our inventory still remains, so receiving another .1pt for receiving them seems redundant. IMHO

4 years ago

I read your reasons for ending the .1 feedback point and to be honest I don't like the idea. For me the opposite holds true, because I like getting the point even if someone doesn't leave feedback. On a similar note if the site is ending the .1 then I wish you would consider a trade off of making feedback mandatory so moochers like myself know what we need work on and what we are doing right.

novelwriter (Mel)
4 years ago
I think ending the .1 bonuses is good. I think the .1 for adding books should be capped at 2-5 points, depending on how much you want to encourage newbies.

I do wish there was a way to encourage condition notes. My biggest complaint before today with the website has been receiving books in really poor condition with no notes. Sure, I can leave negative feedback, but that doesn't help the fact that I wasted a point on a book in poor condition, some have even been unreadable.

I would suggest that the screen for adding condition notes automatically come up whenever someone adds a book, instead of being something people have to click to. The current setup is confusing to newbies and does little to encourage condition notes. Having condition notes on every book would increase user satisfaction with the site and would probably increase trading as happy users stick around longer.

4 years ago
"trade off of making feedback mandatory so moochers like myself know what we need work on and what we are doing right"

novelwriter (Mel),

while I can appreciate the efforts made by others to send me a mooch, making feedback mandatory is not quite the solution either... perhaps, if there was an option to make it fun or interesting?

Personally, I have enjoyed the 5-star ratings followed by appropriate feedback.

4 years ago
No mention of what will happen to the fractional points members currently have. Will they be rounded? eliminated? remain as fractional points for the duration of one's membership?


4 years ago
"suggest that the screen for adding condition notes automatically come up whenever someone adds a book"

great suggestion, Becca!

then again, I post by the "what condition would I want my mooch" philosophy.

4 years ago
"I would suggest that the screen for adding condition notes automatically come up whenever someone adds a book, instead of being something people have to click to."

I am a newbie, and I posted three books before realising that condition notes existed. (That I did at all, is thanks to the bookmooch wikia - great site, by the way.) They were all in very good condition, so it didn't matter THAT much, but I wish I could have found them sooner. For one thing, it might have gotten one book, that was practically new (a birthday present) mooched sooner.

So - I think that's a great suggestion. I have seen suggestions in other posts of a checklist - things like cover torn, exposure to pets and so on. I think that that, too, would be a good thing to happen.

4 years ago
Condition notes? Why not a rubric? Surely even the laziest, that is the moocher who is most anxious to start reading a new book...could take 5 seconds to check off details of his newly-posted book's condition.
4 years ago
@ Boxholder. No need, we'll still receive 0.1 point for listing a book to be mooched out.
4 years ago
Great idea. I'm totally for this. I agree that it an unnecessary cause of inflation. Makes the math slightly easier too :-)
4 years ago
i'm totally disagree because so many people "forget" to leave feedback.
it's a penalty for the sender. otherwise i considerate +0.1 like an incentive to promote a fairy use about bookmooch.
i believe this change will create some problems. hope to wrong.
at last, i think will be a lot of "little moochers" (people that have always few points) that became unable to mooch.
this is my personal opinion.
4 years ago
This move makes sense. I'm sure most people will continue to leave feedback, if only to clear it off their pending page.

As an aside, could someone please explain the Angel system to me?

The angel system is an informal network for helping moochers obtain books from members who do not send internationally. Let's say that a Canadian member wants a book from someone in the USA who does not send to other countries. The Canadian would contact an American angel with a link to the book and a request to mooch it on their behalf. The angel spends one of their own points to mooch it. It is a simple domestic mooch. When the angel receives the book they then list it in their own inventory, reserving it for the Canadian requester so that no one else can mooch it. The Canadian requester then mooches it from the angel as a regular international transaction, for which the angel receives the standard three points on an international mooch. The angel receives a profit of two points as well as the satisfaction of having helped a fellow BM member, and the original requester is able to receive the book that was not originally available to them. It is a volunteer system and anyone can feel free to jump in and act as an angel at any time. The following links have more info:

Angel Requests

4 years ago
This makes sense to me.
4 years ago
Actually, without the 0.1 bonus for feedback + the 2 extra books for mooching abroad, you are making people think is better not to check as "received". Not my case, I love thanking for the books, but I'm kind of worried about all the books a send worldwide =(.
4 years ago
I'm glad someone detailed the Angel Network because I've never been able to figure out just how it worked. I also do hope people will still acknowledge receipts-but those who didn't to begin with still won't either way--condition of bk being pt of setup procedure instead of optional is fine but a lot of people do not like having to note that at all--as someone who does not like damaged books-I would appreciate a condition notation mandatory even if it a cklist w/details optional-I also adhere to the policy of 'if I wouldn't want it in this condition I will not list it'. The only case where I might would be in a bk listed on many many wishlists. Which brings up something else-I understand that the listings are shrinking but I am going to suggest shrinking them a bit further-why not have a cap on how many copies of a bk can be listed--some of these are pretty far out there and it would seem there are likely few avid readers who haven't already read them--as much as it hurts-the xtra hundreds and hundreds or thousands of copies need to go in a recycling bin. I don't have to list titles here and I realize that makes all of us squeamish--but realistically-can there be a cap?It isn't any big deal and has nothing personally to do with me at all-but if we pick up bks at the resale shops,estate sales,yard sales etc with other readers in mind we need to be aware of what not to pick up--as no one is going to want it---
one other thing-magazines-it's been brought up before-we need a category that is not just 'hand listed' but magazines in general so that we can list them as such and people can pull them up as such. Once again a lot are listed that should go in the recycling bin but I for one would like the photoshop art mags like Somerset and I'm sure there are wants for other mags-Somerset is a 14.99 mag--some of the others are as much or more as any new bk--
4 years ago
@E Thayer
Great idea about requiring condition notes for posting!
A person could simply say "gentle shelf wear" or something if the book was in good condition, but too often I've gotten a book that was misrepresented.
Anne C.
4 years ago
You seem to be making a lot of changes in the points and the ratio at once, all aimed at resolving the same apparent problems. I wonder mightn't it make sense to try one thing at a time, rather than disrupting the whole community with so much now, and then later perhaps not really being able to interpret how much difference each thing made.
4 years ago
Thank you for this, John. I never understood that aspect of BM. I always thought it was just common courtesy to leave fair and honest feedback for a fellow BM citizen who went through the process of giving someone else such a generous gift as a book. Bribery need not be necessary.
4 years ago
I don't understand why anyone would not mark a book as recieved but it just seems extremely rude to me.

I think a good way to deal with a couple of the issues you have brought up would be to do something like making the point you recieve for your sent books come in when the book is marked recieved. This would certainly give me incentitive to mark a book recieved even if I was upset about losing the .1 point for marking it, I would not want to screw over other users. Though I do admit this does raise a bit of an issue with those slacker moochers who don't marked recieved, but it is my thought that if they don't have the commone courtesy to mark books recieved as it is now there is not much of anything that will make them do it.

4 years ago
Three quick comments/questions:

"...requiring the addition of condition notes in order to get the .1 point for adding a new book." This sounds like a very reasonable idea and would perhaps make a new-book point cap unnecessary.

In another thread, someone mentioned the "phantom" inventories of inactive members and I agree: it is frustrating to think a book is available when it really isn't. Can something be done?

And, finally, most importantly, thank you, John, for BookMooch and all you do to make it wonderful, and vibrant. There are many changes afoot. What do you most need from us Moochers to help with these "economic woes" within the community?

Celeste Henry
4 years ago
I do think if someone hasn't logged in in say, 662 days (more than 2 years) that their inventory be removed.
4 years ago
I too would LoVe to understand ANGELS *wink*
4 years ago
I never knew that the 0,1 point for receiving came from the sender.
And only for domestic mooches?

I think these changes make BM easier to understand. All these 0,1 point things are useless.

And it's good to make the changes all at once John. Else we will be discussing every little change for years and years.

Come on people. BM is great and still going strong.

Although nobody mooches from me anymore. ;(
12 emails go out when I put a book to my inventory. But we no result.

4 years ago
I'm ok with the taking away of the 0.1 for leaving feedback. It is simple courtesy to let the sender know when a book arrives. Those that don't mark received tend to be those that leave the site.
Could you also please take off inventories of people who are unlikely to log on again and have been inactive for over a year?
4 years ago
A good move I'd say. I would also encourage taking the .1 point for adding a book to the inventory. You could just do one point for each newbie registration and another for adding the first ten books to the inventory, but then... I think that really increases inflation. Lots of points here are coming from the .1 for adding a book to inventory, which makes it quite unneccassary for people having more points then they can actually spent.
4 years ago
Yep, seems fair to me. Always seemed the least important and least necessary method of point-earning.

I would like to encourage more condition-note writing, but I'm not sure bribery's the greatest way to go about it. Perhaps just a little tweak in the system that makes it obvious that it's possible to write condition notes, and very much appreciated? Might be as simple as having an option at the bottom, after listing, that says "add condition notes," or something. (And perhaps a "Thank you for adding condition notes! Many users appreciate this" type of thing after it's entered, as well?)

Since a few people have brought it up, these are my two cents about the idea of not getting points until something's been marked received:

I hate the idea. If that were implemented, everyone would be dependent upon someone else's courtesy and memory, *and* the postal system can be very slow sometimes, on top of that (three or four months, for international members sending sea-mail!). *Not* fair to say "You can't have your points until three months after you've paid money to earn them." Plus, it would significantly slow down mooching, especially for new members. Icky.

One of the reasons I love BookMooch over PaperBackSwap is that BookMooch awards points instantly. That makes me feel like I've already been rewarded for sending, which encourages me to send things out more quickly. As I know from having been on PaperBackSwap, there is nothing quite as galling as having three books you've mailed which haven't yet been received, no points currently, and a wishlisted book that's just popped up that you cannot get. While I don't think this would affect me much anymore -- as my points are healthy -- it would be VERY important to new members who have just spent a ton of money in postage as all their most popular books have been snatched up instantly.

And we very, very much want to encourage new members to stay.

One of the primary reasons I shifted over to BookMooch from PaperBackSwap, even though I was a member there first, was this exact thing. As a newbie, it was a *huge* advantage over that site for me. My appreciation for international mooching came later; it was the "points instantly" aspect that drew me in to favor this site over that one in the first place. So I request that that not be changed, please!

Emily Martha Sorensen
4 years ago
Thanks, Emily Martha Sorensen for all of what you said. I couldn't agree more with almost everything you said.

I joined PBS right before joining BM too. I am 3 times more active on BookMooch. I feel bookmooch is a family; I like the International swapping (though that is the one place I might keep incentive); and I get my top wishlisted books here before there probably 2/3 of the time. I like being on a list, for a guarantee but some books are years in the waiting time.

I agree with you on NOT giving a 'bribe' to put condition notes. It is just another inflation idea. I like the more easy button while listing idea but I think in addition check boxes, bad, fair, good, very good, like new, along with being able to spell it out and describe it if you have the time. I think it is a matter of time and check boxes take almost no time to give a general feel. All book could go into the system as fair if none was selected and a rule made that if a book is in "Bad" condition (water logged, moldy, falling apart) it must be marked "bad" or "other". I think the incentive to condition note should be that you get your copy mooched first (this is another thing BMooch has over PBS, you can mooch the best copy if there are several listed)

I am so glad that the 0.1 for marking received is being eliminated. That will eliminated a lot of unnecessary inflation. I really think that the listing credit should be eliminated too. In order to get new members to the club I think it is great for the first maybe 100 books, so 10 credits. After those initial credits, you should build credits on sending books. That is the point of the club, send books, receive books. I almost feel this should be retroactive with the current books listed in the system with 10 credit allowances made to those that would become negative in the system, or below 10 credits. I know I'm going to be hammered by this but...

If a member has 1000 books listed in the system, he has 100 credits that is a debt to the system. Until he has those books requested and then sent, there is no guarantee that they will not be pulled from the system. He may quit for various reasons and it becomes an unpaid loan. My proposal take away 90 credits for the 900 books over the 100 initial extra points. If the member goes into the negative by this retroactive change because they have only say 40 or 50 credits, spot them the loan, write off the debt, and give them the 10 credit that would be allotted to a new member so they can still mooch if a couple of wishlisted books become available. They would have to get their credits up again by actually getting requests and sending. That is the point of the club, send books, receive books, not list books receive books!

Some would argue that they have worked to get these credits and they are theirs but I disagree, it is a debt and you should only earn credits by sending books or getting smooched.

Next your point on NOT getting points until book is received. I agree partially with you here. This site is built on trust. Like I said it feels more like a family and less like a business. I would propose not getting a credit until a book is sent, this would eliminated credit given for mooches that don't get sent for months months! Once marked sent, you have a 6 week window, either your book arrives, marked received, or marked lost. (Except it is 3 or 4 months for international) We will trust that you mailed it when marked sent. When you mail is when you spent your money, time and effort, so this is when you should get credit.

PBS doesn't rely on trust but you can pay for their delivery confirmation service or postage service and get credit immediately. It is another way THEY make money, a business. I send all my books with delivery confirmation, it is 19 cents so peace of mind. I no long use the DC through PBS as I am comfortable with points too. But still the quickest you get credit is when you pay to mail.

Making it so you don't get credit until marked sent wouldn't have to be retroactive, it could be implemented from books mooched after a date don't get credit until sent.

I've read the comment that the economy is bad and that is why there are fewer listing. I argue that maybe the economy is slow but there is no incentive for a person, like me, who has over 100 points, to list books until he can spend down some points. Truly every time I've listed in the last half year has been because, 1. I wanted to send to a new country (fill my map). 2. I wanted to help out on the Angel forum. 3. I wanted to offer books to friends I've met here. 4. I've offered books back to people I'm mooching from that are on their wishlist... because I just feel bad about mooching without sending off my shelf. None of these reason are to build points.

I'm building points without even trying since I've been active long enough. I have 3.2 points for my inventory (not very big), 44 points for marking received (luckily that statistic won't go up), 27 points for books I listed then sent, 9 points for books I haven't sent yet, and 25 point for books sent not receive. If you eliminate the 25 points for the books I've sent, that is 83 points extra in the system that don't correlated with sending a book. Take those away and instead of 125 plus points, I'd have 42 points. I can use 42 points in a month so take away the extras and I would have to post soon in order to continue mooching my bounty. :-) Right now I post because I "feel like it" not because I want to build points.

My two cents on fixing the leak.

Amy W
4 years ago
As long as the "Reminder" capacity remains, I see no problem. In sending over 500 books, I have only once had to force a receive-after 3 reminders!
Rosemarie Larkin
4 years ago
necessary evil I guess?
4 years ago
To flesh out Becca & Amy W's suggestion about condition notes: what if, in addition to adding a written description, there were boxes to check off: dog eared pages, creases in spine/cover, pages discolored, still very readable, bookcrossing, stickers, writing, underlining, tape, gently used, really used, good, bad, fair, readable, animal owner, smoker, smells, like new, brand new, on last leg, ARC (Advanced Reading Copy), cover different from picture shown to name just a few. I feel that would encourage leaving condition notes quite a lot. I would also suggest that this come up automatically, maybe even not being able to complete the listing if there are no condition notes left? I understand it's difficult when you are listing a lot of books but I think it's a kindness that should be required. I too have mooched books that I wouldn't have if I had known their condition because they were not re-listable/re-moochable at all and I've had to recycle (ie, throw out in paper recycling bin) because of that bad condition.
4 years ago
Just an idea:

let's temporarily accept John's theory about inflation being the cause of less and less books available for moochers ( personally I'm not convinced about it, but I'm willing to change my mind should facts prove it ).
in order to encourage good behaviour & reduce inflation at the same time, I would replace this +0.1 point when confirming the receival of the books with something linked to the feedback, both in positive and negative

Something like this ( figures are just for example purposes):

20 people are happy with the books you sent out ( feedback +1)? okay, +0.5 for you.

10 people are so-so? this is not very good, so -0.2 for you

5 people are unhappy with you? you're risking your neck buddy, this is our first warning: -1 for you

10 people are unhappy with you? goodbye, and the points you've left are given to the charity fund.

What do you think?

4 years ago
Come on; MarchRose did say "figures are just for example purposes". Obviously if this kind of program were used it would have to be based on something that would be fair to everyone. Sometimes I think we're in such a hurry to respond here that we don't take enough time to really read (and think over) what someone has said.
Kat Roskow
4 years ago
I didn't mean to sound critical (something that's been going around lately), and I wasn't really rearking on the system iself. It just struck me that you used numbers MarchRose put in her entry as a guideline for your own volume when she did include the caveat that the numbers were not to be taken literally. Sorry I didn't include your ID in the post; this is new to me.
Kat Roskow
4 years ago
hey guys, I was just thinking aloud. As Kat pointed out, the figures I gave were just an idea, for discussion's sake, not to be taken literally. It could be absolute figures or relative percentages upon number of mooches, but the basic concept would be the same. Actually I think using percentages as E. Thayer suggested could be a very good idea.

Imho BM should provide incentives for "good behaving". Confirming the receival of a book is not really "good behaving", it's just good manners. While describing the real condition of your books, packing them properly and respecting the shipping time which has been agreed imho are "good behaving" and should be incentivated with bonus points or else.

For the same reason, I agree with what AllyBally said before about users who take... eternal vacation. Even internet providers eliminate inactive accounts after a while; why doesn't BM do the same? This would mean less forgotten inventories & wishlists to manage for the system, and a decrease of maintenance costs as well, I suppose. The alerts would be sent only to users which are alive and kicking, and can react. If it's true that only 20% of BM account are active, this way the system's efficiency would improve a lot.
So I would propose ( once again, figures are just for discussion's sake! ) if somebody doesn't connect to his / her account for, say, 5 months, he should receive an alert saying like, "if you don't connect to BM in the coming days, your account will be closed in 1 month - so hurry up", then one more of the same kind after 15 days. If he/she doesn't do anything, his/her account is closed and the left points given to some charity fund or angels' fund or else.

I thinks these measures, or things like that, would help a lot BM staying in "good health".

4 years ago
I'm assuming this has been put into place now?
I just marked an item received and it looks like I didn't receive the 0.1 point.
Nicky B
4 years ago

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