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automatic request feature needed

I also belong to paperbackswap.com (PBS)and they give you 48 hours to respond when a book on your wishlist is made available. Books are offered to members in order of earliest requests. I am so tired of never getting my requests from BookMooch --- by the time I see the availability msg the book is already gone. I'm guessing a msg is sent to everyone wishing for the same book when it comes available and whoever responds the quickest gets it, making for a lot of disappointed members. Is that really the best way to run this sort of exchange? PBS seems to understand that most of us have lives outside of this club. It also allows you to designate a book on your wishlist as an automatic request so the transaction goes through immediately without your need to manually request it. Because of these and many other effective and efficient features, I use PBS frequently whereas I rarely interact with BookMooch except to respond to an availability msg that ALWAYS disappoints. Which is why I haven't been offering up the rest of my books here. Please get with the program and update this site. I can't be the only one frustrated with the way things work here.

Maryjane
2 years ago

Comments



I'm happy with BookMooch the way it is. I think of it as being like shopping in a used bookstore - if I'm the first customer to spot a book that's just come in, I get to buy it. If someone else responds to an alert first, well, they were logged in at the right time and I wasn't.
Margaret H.
2 years ago
The wishlist messages are sent out randomly, one at a time, every few hours, not all at once. However, anyone who checks their wishlist or RSS feed or who even happens to look in that inventory or look for that particular book at that time will be able to mooch it.


One of the benefits of Bookmooch is that it allows books in less that perfect condition, ARCS and such. But some people are pickier about condition. Also, because we are an international site, there are some books that a member may be willing to mooch for 3 points and other books that would only be worth 1 point. There may be others that they are interested in reading but perhaps only as part of a multi-mooch. This is not Paperbackswap. Most of the users here are happy to keep it different.

Cara
2 years ago
I appreciate the additional information on how the wishlist msgs are sent out. Still appears to be rather inefficient and frustrating, especially since the book can be snagged by anyone as soon as it's posted in the system. Also, I have a life outside of this book club, I'm not always checking emails nor do I have a smartphone to set up to alert me as soon as I receive such an email. I'm looking for very specific books here on this site, hence the whole concept of a wishlist. If I wanted to browse for just any random book, I can go to my local library (25 cent paperbacks, 50 cent hardcopy) and pick them up for much less than postage rates I pay for swapping points. As it is, I've been able to obtain only 2 books since I joined in April of 2007, and one of those was only possible by directly contacting another member who had mooched it previously. The way the system is currently set up, having a wishlist is almost meaningless at best and incredibly frustrating at worst. At Paperbackswap, I've happily swapped over 60 books over the same course of time.
Maryjane
2 years ago
@noname yes, I am sure how the wishlist notifications work. However, there is a problem with some ISP not accepting Bookmooch emails. It really is the best thing to set up your RSS feed and/or check your wishlist often. Also, having a big wishlist helps as well. You can send a message to tech support (through the "abuse" button on your bio page) but I doubt if they can do anything about it since the problem isn't at this end. Some members have set up gmail accounts as a work around.

Another reason why most of us do not want a FIFO wishlist system is that it discourages newbies to join. If there are a couple of hundred people ahead of you on the wishlist for the book you want, what is the incentive to join and post your lovely new books? John has stated more than once that he has no intention of changing how the wishlist system works.

@hotsprgs2 the security feature of typing an author's name is not to keep someone else from using your account, it is to prevent automated use of the site for spamming purposes or someone figuring out how to automatically snag wishlisted books.

Cara
2 years ago
I also belong to PBS and the 48 hour notice is nice except when 48 hours go by and then another 48 hours goes by and another 48 hours goes by and now you are leaving town for a couple weeks and can't get the book off the system. I've also had people not send the book. I've also had people send books in horrible condition. I've also had people who didn't change their address after moving, the book returned to me and I had to pay return postage. Two postage payments, no points. No site is perfect. I've also received more wishlist books from there by virtue of larger membership.

I didn't read all the e-mails in this thread but serendipity also plays a part at bookmooch - just happen to be on the site when a wishlisted book gets posted so you don't even have to wait for an e-mail. I've rarely nabbed wishlist books from e-mail. Use the RSS.

Denise

Denise
2 years ago
wow, my post on this thread disappeared, I'll try again....

Alls I was trying to say was what I mentioned once before, that I wouldn't mind seeing a compromise here-- that would give wishlisters a little edge on the general population, similar to the "recently arrived" list. Say, for example, when a book is first listed it goes randomly through the wishlist, every 4 hours (or so) going to a different wishlister-- this giving new people the same chance as an old-time member, but have the book not seen as available to the "general population" until after all the wishlisters have been notified (like the "recently arrived" list). In other words, wishlisters first, and then everyone else. It would at least make it easier for a person who has gone to the trouble (and all that hope!) of putting it on their wishlist, to actually get a better chance of getting it when posted.

Another compromise, a step further, would be having it randomly go thru the wishlisters, again new members having the same chance as long-time members, every 4 hrs. (or so) a new notification email would go out, but only those who have already been notified by email of the book being posted would have the red mooch button on their wishlist for that book telling them the book is available, until all wishlisters are notified, then all will have the red mooch button, and only after that would it go onto the "recently arrived" list, and also be seen as available to those who had never wishlisted it in the first place.

But at the very least I'd like to see a compromise between the 2 systems, where people who have taken the trouble to put a book on their wishlist (maybe have had it on there for years even!) get a chance ahead of people who have never even had it on their wishlist.

Just my 2 cents.

Melanie C.
2 years ago
My commentary was eaten after being commented on..

@Cara: "yes, I am sure how the wishlist notifications work. However, there is a problem with some ISP not accepting Bookmooch emails. It really is the best thing to set up your RSS feed and/or check your wishlist often. Also, having a big wishlist helps as well. You can send a message to tech support (through the "abuse" button on your bio page) but I doubt if they can do anything about it since the problem isn't at this end. Some members have set up gmail accounts as a work around. "

First, it's not my email providers fault. I look into my spam folder, and some messages do get through.
Second, having a big wishlist doesn't help at all if I don't get notifications. (I already have a very big wishlist because of listing multiple editions).
Third, I don't want to report abuse, I want to get help with a technical problem.
Fourth, I don't have gmail and I don't want to get a completly seperate email account just for bookmooch.

"John has stated more than once that he has no intention of changing how the wishlist system works."

Which raises the question of why have a forum for changes if there is no wish to change things at all? Countless past suggestions always get the same answer "John doesn't want to change things." Fine, although many things could be added (that are good features on other sites) but are ignored.

It would be more honest to simply close that forum instead of pretending to listen to suggestions while ignoring them.

"At Paperbackswap, I've happily swapped over 60 books over the same course of time. "

Which is nice, but Paperbackswap is limited to the US, while bookmooch is one of the very few international sites. So the alternative is not better system PBS or BM, but BM with its faults or nothing.

Buying used on amazon is looking more attraktive, however.

nonameblue
2 years ago
@noname Third, I don't want to report abuse, I want to get help with a technical problem. That is how you get help with a technical problem. The "abuse" people and the tech people are all basically the same group of volunteers who help John run the site. I wasn't being facetious: that is how you contact tech support. I will send you an email through Bookmooch. If you don't get it you can report that to tech support, but as I said, I don't know if they can do anything about the problem.


The way the wishlist system and notification work now, especially with the advent of RSS feeds, make it very unlikely that a highly wishlisted book will still be available by the time the wishlist email gets to you. The system works if you have a large and varied wishlist with books which are a bit more obscure and not wishlisted by many other members. And/or check your RSS feed or wishlist often.


I wasn't suggesting that John is not open to feature suggestions; he is the one who set up this forum thread after all. I was just saying that the idea of a FIFO wishlist has been raised many, many times and in years past when John and other Bookmooch admins were more active participants in the forums (before that got actively flamed and don't participate anymore) they stated that changing the wishlist to function more like Paperbackswap was not a change that they were contemplating. I'm just saying.

Cara
2 years ago
@noname I tried emailing you and got a "mail delivery failed" return email: SMTP error from remote mail server after RCPT TO: your address:
host mx0.gmx.net 213.165.64.100: 550-5.7.1 {mx004} Sorry, your helo has been denied.


The problem seems to be with your provider.

Cara
2 years ago
Cara,
I, too, recall a sort of informal vote about FIFO wishlisting about 5 or 6 years ago when the forum was on the other umm...place ...lol I can't remember the name of it ....I'm getting old. It was decided by an overwhelming majority to stick with the system as it is. Bookmooch members preferred this system loud and clear.

Things seem to have changed? Perhaps John would not mind addressing this issue again and explaining if he can set it up this way.

One problem with this is so many inactive members remain on wishlists it may take weeks and weeks to get to your name on those 200+ wishlisted books. One advantage, I suppose you could call it, is that you can often get the book if you have RSS to check or check in at the site daily to see whats available. E-mails may be making their way through those inactive members, so you can grab the book as the e-mails sort of go to nowhere.

Lots of technical problems and I won't pretend to understand most of them.

Denise

Denise
2 years ago
@Denise, I agree that the inactive wishlists are an issue. Unfortunately, we can't "vacation" wishlists like we can vacation inventories. I understand John's concern about that: a wishlist email could possibly entice an inactive member back to the site. However, it does mean that the random emails of highly wishlisted books are generated to tens of inactive members before possibly reaching any active ones and in the meantime anyone checking the RSS feed or wishlist will snap the book up. The frustration of newer members is understandable.
Cara
2 years ago
@noname - if you look at your wishlist, several books on it are moochable.
jacquie
2 years ago
I use five internet sites to get the books we want (a mystery reading group of five) and some we collect. I do not like the Mooch wish list deal, either, but we have been told, and told again, John does not want to change it. So, like it or not, lets accept that move on to other issues. My real complaint against Mooch is the number of people who have not been at their site in 159 days, 235 days, etc and the criptic notes saying they may be inactive(???). Please. Inactive? I am the first to admit that I often do not get an acceptance back to a moocher as quickly as I should, expecially when I spend several days on vacation when my mooches pile up. But I check in every day...and usually more than once. Is there not some way to allow so many days on vacation and then remove these people from our viewing. I have even tried emailing some of them and do not get an answer. And, yes, I know about canceling, etc. but why should we have to spend time doing this type thing when there are so many out there not working with us? Aw, I feel better.....not that this will do any good except to make me feel better!!!!!!
hotsprgs2
2 years ago
I'm going to add one more comment in favor of keeping the BM wishlist as it is. I, too, am a use of PBS; I have given (and received) many more books here than on PBS. Each has their ways and customs - on PBS I have books I have had on wishlist for 2 years - and it could be another 2 years before one comes up -- on BM I might - just might- get the same book today. Hurray for multiple chances.
Book sites are like friends -- each is different and I wouldn't want them to be all the same.
peachfuzz
2 years ago
Try, as some of us do, putting the same books on both PBS and Mooch wish lists and see how many you get from which one. PBS is way, way ahead in the books we want. However, I am accepting the fact that Mooch is staying with its policy. I just wish I could transfer some of my credits to one of my other sites.
hotsprgs2
2 years ago
1) Maryjane,

No, you certainly are not the only one frustrated with the wishlist system. The only reason it doesn't frustrate me is I recognize there are other resources for getting books, like PBS. Some post on active forums, such as librarything.com they so very much want xyZ book does anyone have it please?

2) noname (I think it was you that brought this up, if not this is addressed to whoever did bring it up) you mention jacqui has several wishlist "available" - She lives in France and all those "available" means they are up for mooch but maybe not to her country, maybe they are " ask first" and they said no.....now here we get to a point that frustrates me. Take off the "AVAILABLE" when it isn't actually available. Right now I only have one AVAILABLE that isn't available to me because I asked first and got a no. Fine, no problem. Except on my wishlist it keeps telling me its AVAILABLE. After a while I put those in my Save For Later because I get sick of looking at them. I can have many "Available" that just aren't.

Denise
2 years ago
~ For anyone with a varied wishlist and the inclination to ship internationally on an occasional basis, you might want to check out the International Wishlist Tag Game: Free for All. Instead of waiting for a wishlisted book to appear, there are a group of moochers who will browse your wishlist to see whether they have something they can offer to you.

~ Since wishlist entries are erased when books are mooched, we have no way of knowing when the person who mooched a wishlisted book had added it to his/her wishlist. Rare books might occasionally appear, but one is bound to be disappointed if one’s wishlist is limited to such books, many of which have never been traded on BookMooch.

Denise ~ Being able to see those unavailable AVAILABLE books, allows us the opportunity of finding an angel-moocher. I would hate not having that option. :(
birdbrain
2 years ago
birdbrain: I'm talking about the unavailable AVAILABLE books sitting there reserved for someone for weeks and weeks, then somehow that didn't work out so it stays on unavailable AVAILABLE for more weeks. I have nothing wrong with it being there a day or two or ok maybe 4 days but longer than that its very annoying. I've had AVAILABLE on some books with reserved for whoever for ridiculously long periods of time. I want those people to get with it, move it, go:)
Denise
2 years ago
Not keen on FIFO & autorequest at all, the range of listable conditions, places the book might be coming from (at different cost of 1 or 3 points to moocher and possibly wildly varied delays), are just too wide and rely on an human making the decision to mooch or not, possibly checking profiles and sometime engaging in at least minimal email exchange in "ask first" situations.
Aude
2 years ago
I agree Aude. I have been thinking more about this since this discussion started. I think there are very few books on my wishlist that I would want regardless of points, condition, delay, edition or history and location of sender. I understand the frustration of newbies with the wishlist system as it currently (doesn't) work. Especially because of the problem of hundreds of inactive wishlists. But I don't think an automated system would be the solution.
Cara
2 years ago
I am a member of both BM and PBS, and it seems to me that each has its benefits and advantages, different from the other, and that trying to make them identical could remove some of the good features from either one.
Margaret H.
2 years ago

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