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Review of PaperBackSwap

PaperBackSwap reviews

Is this your business?
20 reviews
3651 Peachtree Pkwy Ste E-390
Suwanee, GA 30024-6009, US
Tel: (678) 802-1922

20 Reviews From Our Community

Service
1
Value
1
Shipping
0
Returns
0
Quality
0

All Reviews

isabelb15
1 review
1 helpful vote
12/11/17

I started using the site more than 10 years ago, back when it was a (really) good deal. At that time, the service was free; the only cost for trading a book was the necessary postage. Over time, in order to sustain the business model, it's become a membership site, plus a lot of nickel-and-diming...which means that the value delivered has gone down significantly.

That was still okay with me because the basic service -- buying used books for a significant discount -- is something I value. So I was fine ponying up the membership fee, and even donated a little extra to the site on occasion for maintenance costs. (Even though the website has barely changed since launched, and *jeez* could it use a redesign...it's not user-friendly or modern at all. And none of the promised services, like a web app, ever materialized. But never mind.)

I didn't start to become alienated as a customer until relatively recently, after having a few issues with the site that required customer service intervention. AND OMG, THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICE IS TERRIBLE. The "librarian" -- I don't think this is one person; it's probably a team -- is consistently and aggressively rude. They don't seem to value their customers at all...ie, everything is framed as the customer's fault (even when it's not), and they're super trigger-happy with disabling accounts. Basically any problem -- emails suddenly aren't getting through? post office returned your book? etc. -- will result in the account being indefinitely disabled, even if this makes no sense at all, even if this interrupts a conversation with another member regarding a delivery issue, even if you have other trades going on that you have to be able to track, and even if having the account being disabled *makes it harder to identify and resolve the problem*. They have one solution to any problem: disable the account, thereby making everything more difficult...and never ever accept responsibility for problems that they caused.

I currently have about 100 credits built up across the years (because their inventory is so sluggish; it's very easy to get credits, and slow work to find anything worth spending them on). But I'm so tired of dealing with their customer service that I'm planning to donate them all and close my account before the account renews.

My advice is to avoid PBS at this point; they're not a good deal anymore. Alternatives include BookMooch (not the best inventory either; but far better site functionality, and so far I've never needed to use their customer service) and BooksFreeSwap (just signed up today; but can't imagine that they could be worse than PBS).

corrig2
1 review
0 helpful votes
7/12/17

this is one of my favorite sites, if for no other reason than to keep track of the books I want to read. Having a 500 book wishlist is worth the $20 membership fee. You do have to be patient, but I have gotten dozens and dozens of books from my wishlist, both popular and rare. Love it!

rippedoffs
5 reviews
28 helpful votes
6/11/17

They basically charge people to waste their time on forums when you can just go to city data. com or purse forum.com or goodreads and chat with like minded people for free. I paid for a membership and went to a library book sale to find lightweight books and audio books to exchange on the site because shipping is expensive and most of my books are heavy and I don't really want to part with and audio books are 2 credits. Each book you exchange gives you a credit which you can use to order a book for "free" and the audios are 2 credits. So after I got my stock of books and audios and went through my personal collection of books I was will to get rid of and that I could ship at the cheapest rate - I listed them. People swamped me like they'd been in prison without access to reading material for a decade. So after I shipped all my books out - I wound up being in the hole $20 for a membership fee - plus they charge you an administrative fee to PAY the membership fee - seems almost like a fraud to me - I was now about $100 out in shipping costs plus the $20 or so I spent buying the books to exchange. I used the USPS with tracking because you can print the labels from PBS - but they don't give you much of a discount - a free swap here and there - but CHARGE you like 55 cents to PRINT the label you just bought from them. LOL. A rip off all around. So my "free" book exchange cost me like $5 a book already. I felt like an idiot when I realized I could have just sold them on Ebay or donated them and BOUGHT what I wanted there or on half.com or any number of other book sites like bubs books or even exchange on bookmooch. So now I'm ready to get my expensive and hard earned "free exchanges" except most of what I wanted they didn't have, or there was a waiting list with like 100 people in front of me or I would request it and find out the person is not even active on the site anymore and never bothered to unlist their inventory. SO if I wanted the books - I had to buy on betterworldbooks or where ever else I could find. Worse is that I made a comment on one of the forums about feeling ripped off and the arrogant people who run the site suspended my account - LOL. They wouldn't let me use my earned credits. I had to promise them I would "be nice and not talk bad" like I was a scolded child before they let me sign on again. I just used up my credits buying crap books as fast as I could before they got mad at me again for some ridiculous reason. They are arrogant and think nobody will ever sue them or close them down. And you get nothing unless you are a lonely old lady who likes to play games online then you pay for the company in the chat rooms but has nothing to do with PBS or books. LOL

tommiey
1 review
0 helpful votes
1/28/16

I have been a member of PaperBackSwap for about 7 years. They have over a million books to choose from and in any genre one can imagine. The customer service has always been friendly, courteous, and quickly resolved any problems. So theres a charge
now. The owners aren't in this enterprise for nothing. I think $20 a year is a bargain.
I use their wish list and discounted books on best seller lists.

jessw24
7 reviews
21 helpful votes
1/1/16

I've had credits sitting in my account for many months now and I can't find anything to spend them on. I've done searches on everything that interests me but most books that are actually available are so outdated that the information is completely irrelevant now. I've never had a single book in my wish list actually pop up. (There was one book which I excitedly requested but the seller cancelled it for an unknown reason).

Putting a book on your wish list that has 3 or more people already on the wait list is a complete waste of wish list space. (I'm #1 on more that 70% of the books on my wish list yet I STILL haven't seen a single book on my wishlist get posted so I'm being generous).

It all really depends on the books you're looking for. I'd recommend looking though the list of ACTUALLY POSTED books and seeing if there's a bunch of things you're interested popping up otherwise it's just a waste of time.

rebeccag33
6 reviews
31 helpful votes
10/28/15

I gave away five books and I paid for their shipping. I was promised I could receive five books for free in return.

After one year, the swap credits EXPIRE. So I paid out of pocket to give away my books and received nothing in return. Apparently Paperbackswap thinks this is okay.

Tip for consumers: Site owners think it's okay to steal your book swap credits.

willd16
7 reviews
5 helpful votes
4/16/15

I've been swapping books at Paperbackswap for a few years - it works really well for me! I get books from my wish list pretty regularly, and when I'm done reading a book I can swap it. Before I found PBS, I didn't have a good option for what to do with all the books I had read. The site allows me to turn them into more books, very easily! The best part is the feeling when someone else in the club wants the book I have - it feels so much better than selling them to half-price books. A couple of months ago, the site went to a membership model - but the cost is pretty small (20$ or 12$ a year), and if you don't pay the yearly fee, you can pay-per-book if you want. 49 cents a book request is OK with me, considering that some of the books I get are brand-new hardcovers. Yes I loved when it was free, but how could that last forever? I am not wasteful with money, but I believe in paying a reasonable cost for a service I find useful. It may not work for everyone, but Paperbackswap is definitely worth it for me. Any serious reader should check it out.

PS An earlier review said that there was no notice of the site change to membership model, but I got an email telling me about it and there was a notice at the top of the site that (if you click it) gives more details. I guess if you missed the email and missed the notice and didn't read any of the Discussion Forums it would have come as a surprise, but the change didn't happen without warning.

djb5
1 review
14 helpful votes
3/6/15

I haven't been a part of paperback swap for long, and I won't be a member for longer. I have a great many books I'd like to pass on to appreciative readers and had found the site through a web search; I thought initially that members paid shipping for books they wanted which would make it ideal for someone living on disability to get a couple hundred books to other readers. While reading through the site information I discovered that members actually pay shipping to SEND books to other members, but, as the site explained, members received "credits" for each book sent and could then request a book themselves which the sender paid to ship --in effect each member paid shipping forward to get books themselves. Unfortunately, I don't need a couple hundred MORE books, but I joined anyway with the idea that I could probably at least find a dozen or two I would like to get and so send out the same number of mine.

That ended today, when I was informed I had to pay a "swap fee" to request any more books AFTER I had already paid to ship another book out to another member. I had just finished her very nice thank you note and tried to request a book myself when I found a notation on the request process that I now had to pay a "swap fee" or BUY a membership in order to have "free" swaps. Did no one ever tell them "if you have to BUY something to get it, it ain't free"? I had to search a bit to find out that paperbackswap WAS free when I signed up and read through all that information a month or two ago...but they changed to a fee service basis a couple weeks before I sent out that last book. There wasn't any indication that this was in the works when I signed up, I received no notification of it, there was nothing on the site when I logged in at any time between when it went into effect and when I sent out the last book. I feel quite cheated at this point --it doesn't matter how much or how little it costs to BUY what was free until so recently, it matters that they did not tell me this was happening and that because of that failure I paid to send out something with no idea whatsoever anything had changed to force me to pay more to request a book in return. You have to wonder what they'll do next...perhaps suddenly increase the fees, or slap on more of them, with no notice at any time? And what about the books they sell outright?

sy865
5 reviews
8 helpful votes
8/29/14

This is the greatest idea! I love paperback swap! It's a simple concept. You join - you get 2 free book credits - you request a book - you get it sent to you FREE - you list books on the site by posting the ISBN # - someone requests your books - you send them out and pay postage... the cycle continues! :-) Overall, you are only paying $3-$4 a book, so if you are a bookworm, this is perfect.

Service
Value
robertk69
5 reviews
16 helpful votes
3/9/14

This website makes it easy to swap or purchase used books at a great price. Club members upload a list of used books they own and are willing to swap with other readers. Once a book is requested, the owner ships it and receives a single credit. They can then use the credit to buy any of the over 4.5 million books on the site. A club member can also purchase credits for $3.95 each. I love paperbackswap and have found many great used books on the website.

madelenem
1 review
3 helpful votes
1/20/14

My good deed for the day! As i get nothing for this promation I am only a modest member.

I noticed so many of these reviews are old so I decided to update it a bit. Not only can you swap books for (credits), the price of postage but you also get access to extremely discounted brand new books via the PBS Market. Remember becoming a memeber is free. They have a kiosk on site to buy more credits or add pbs money (to buy postage and print it while swapping or use it as money for ANYTHING on site) and you can get books from this PBS FREE Member Appreciation Books (MAB NEW Free Member Appreciation Book (with 1 Book Credit + $3.99 Shipping and Handling). You can order this book for yourself or give it as a gift to someone else at no extra charge! Book quantities are limited. Orders are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so please order quickly to avoid being disappointed. Can you get any better than that free books for cleaning out your book shelf! Here is a regular PBS Market example. Just add books you want to a wishlist if its in the market it automatically tells you or it shows when you can get it from a member. I have had about 80% of mu wishlist books show up in market and when done swap it for credits! So a lot of the books you get are in like new condition maybe read once by a member who bought it via market. This is much better than the amazon market for new/used discounted books. Also you have a place where you put book conditions like no pets, smoking etc, the swapper must meet this or get penalized if they cant another person gets notified until you get a book you want. Don't want dog eared put it down wont happen! So here is examples of PBS market vs Amazon real time.
Heres an example Gone Girl Hardcover
by Gillian Flynn (Author)
on the PBS website you can get it for

Buy New (Hardcover): $12.99+1 credit (save 48%) or $16.89 (save 32%)

so you also have the option to use a credit for MORE savings on NEW BOOKS this is not a member trade in. It links to Amazon.com as well which states FOR THE EXACT SAME BOOK

Hardcover
$14.60
175 Used from $9.85
125 New from $13.00
24 Collectible from $12.00

Remember on Amazon Like new books you must pay shipping per book from the sender. On the PBS Market the shippings The shipping and handling cost is $3.99 for the first book, $1.09 for every additional book in a shipment.

More info from the site itself
FAQs About the Market

Are these new books? Yes! They are all new. The Overstock books may have some shelf wear and also may have "remainder" marks (usually a pen mark on the bottom edge). Super Sellers are brand new without any remainder marks.
How is PBS getting books so inexpensively? Where do the books come from? Trees. Books come from trees. No, seriously - we have a special contractual arrangement with some different sources - separate sources for the Overstock books and the Super Sellers - and this is allowing us to pass along these great prices to our members.
Are there unlimited copies? No - so if you see a book you want, you should grab it! Some books are available only in limited quantities.
How often does the stock change? Hourly (at least during the workday).
How can I pay for the books? You can use a credit or debit card, your PayPal account, or PBS Money. The only payment options currently are online. Sorry, mail-in payments (checks/money orders) are not accepted.
How much is s

lisap47
1 review
14 helpful votes
10/8/13

Paperbackswap works some of the time. The problem is if someone complains about you, your account is automatically shut down and you lose your credits. You do not get a chance to share your side of the story. In my case, I ordered books that never came. The sender claims I received and read them. I was told to contact the post office to find out what happened. Before I could do any of this, my account was closed. I lost 164 book credits. I had offered to credit the sender anyway because I had enough credits. This was not good enough for them. I also lost credits on their CD and DVD sites. After years of trading, one complaint ended my account.

ediet
3 reviews
10 helpful votes
12/6/12

Paperbackswap.com is an excellent site to swap your gently used books! Users post their books by ISBN, then other users request the book using a first in first out method. A book request is sent to the owner of the book, who then mailed the book off to the requester. In return the sender receives one credit which allows them to order a book from another member.

Overall paperbackswap.com is an excellent place to find affordable reading material! I highly recommend it!

lindak18
2 reviews
4 helpful votes
12/22/11

I've been a member of the PaperBackSwap (PBS) site for about three years and I can't say enough good things about it. For those unfamiliar with how PBS works, members list books they have read and/or want to get rid of. Other members search for books they want to read. If there is a copy of a book available that has been posted by another member, a match is made and the book owner mails the book to the requester at his/her expense, typically $3-$3.50 by USPS Media Mail. The PBS system is point based in that a member gets a point (or two for audio-books) for every book they mail and spends a point (again, or two for audiobooks) for everyone they request and receive. Shipping couldn't be easier. Members can fund an account through a credit/debit card or PayPal to pay for shipping and then print a shipping label from the comfort of home. This process is amazingly simple to manage thanks to PBS's positive "we've thought everything through" attitude.

I have over 200 transactions so far with other book lovers and have never had one issue with another member or with PBS's system. The site is well run with lots of readily available information, FAQs and personalized help from other members for the newcomer.

Every year, the organization picks several schools that have great need for books for their "Books for Schools" program. Members donate points to the school(s) of their choice and PBS has deals with publishers to ship books to those schools. I love helping children love to read!

Lastly, I drive A LOT and if it wasn't for audiobooks (ABs)to listen to as I'm sailing down interstates, I think I would die of boredom. PBS usually has a great selection of ABs and I can't even calculate how much money I have saved over buying them in a book store or on-line.

If you are an avid reader or audiobook lover, check out PBS. They also have sister sites called Swap-A-CD and Swap-A-DVD.

staciaa
1 review
4 helpful votes
10/6/11

Excellent way to trade paper and hard back books. I have had very positive experiences and I have been a member for over 2 years. I think it is a great choice for recycling books.

careyk
3 reviews
8 helpful votes
7/31/11

This site is a book swapping site. Very easy to use and there are a million plus books just waiting to be ordered! The books themselves are free. All you have to do is find some books that you are no longer want. Members will order your book, you mail it out, and when the person recieves your book you get a credit to order a book you want. All genres, all types of books allowed!

briant6
2 reviews
6 helpful votes
1/27/11

I love this site and use it as a daily (hourly?!) salve. Thousands of books at your fingertips to be had for the price of postage, amazing! I traded away hundreds of my unused and unneeded books and in return have amassed a large library of great books that I never would have bought full price. Kids books, science fiction, poetry, they have all of the genres. Other reviewers here have noted that you have to wait sometimes, but big deal, if you need a book quickly just go to amazon, and leave paperbackswap for the books you'd really like to have but don't have to read this moment.

debram2
9 reviews
27 helpful votes
11/26/10

If you love books, have a lot of books, want more books, etc. this is the website for you. I will grab free books on offer through garage sales, freecycle, etc. and put them up on paperbackswap.com so that I can get books that I want. I have an extensive wish list on this site and whenever a book from my list becomes available, I'll get an email from the site. I'm a homeschooler and I have found this website to be invaluable.

pamr1
1 review
11 helpful votes
4/2/10

You can rarely get current books. My account was fine for 15 months until I started trying to use up my credits. I had about 108 when they froze my account, accusing me of reselling their books "on my storefront". I tried to explain to them that I order a lot of books for friends/acquaintances who want books but do not want to join the club. Apparently my account activity over the last couple of months flagged my account. I received a nasty email telling me "Don't try to deny it; we can see the books on your storefront." What storefront? Their terms of use forbid anyone from reselling books either in person or online. I don\'t see how this can possibly be controlled or enforced. I feel that if I am in possession of an item, then it becomes my property to do with as I wish. There is no way to prove any one book came from their website, anyway.
Damage Resulting = 108 credits with approximate value of $2.38-$2.77 each, which is the average price to mail a book media mail.

karissae
1 review
5 helpful votes
2/16/09

Book swapping site - Awesome way to get and get rid of books. The even have wish and reminder lists if you want to just watch reviews on books or if you want to get in line for a popular book that's not available immediately. I have swapped over 100 books on there and I love it!

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