Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I have deleted some of my earlier posts on my amateur Bookmooch experience. I have recently redefined my criteria for overseas postage: I will only send to overseas (overseas from Asia) moochers who do the same. As the shipping cost is at my end, I thought it is only fair I ship to those who are willing to "pay it forward." I started off with an assumption of fair-play. I have since realised how my assumption is tainted with self-righteousness.

I have emailed some experienced Bookmoochers recently on the Bookmooch system. They have been very helpful and they helped highlight some issues that I have been too short-sighted to see.

A lot of people with moderate/limited income come to Bookmooch as a way of saving money on books. They do not ship overseas because they may not be able to afford to do so on a long term basis. There are many reasons why people are not willing/or able to ship overseas - or they might be willing to ship, but they would prefer to be asked first.

I seem to have stepped too fast into something I was not prepared for. I think I made a few mistakes and I stepped on some toes in my ignorance. I handled the situation badly. Suddenly I feel this Bookmooch was a mistake and I should stop.


Anonymous said...

don't worry, you're not alone. i'm far to trusting with these things!

it never ceases to amaze when people take advantage of that kind of situation and don't show common courtesy.

Imani said...

Oh dear, I admit that I probably would have done the same thing in your shoes, so don't feel too bad if it turns out to be something of an unreasonable position. (Truth be told I'd probably have stuck to it anyway because in my position I could have really used the extra money that I'd have put towards the overseas.)

Don't feel too bad! It doesn't appear to be a *terrible* mistake, even an understandable one. And you're clearly not being stubborn about it.

Sycorax Pine said...

Oh no! It would be too sad if this issue put you off BookMooch entirely. I don't know all the details, obviously, but it seems to me that you have the right to set conditions as to where and to whom you can ship books, particularly if you were straightforward and polite (as your explanation here is).

There are a lot of delicacies of etiquette to BookMooch, some of which I don't understand, some of which I don't agree with, but my general rule of thumb (and that of almost all the other moochers I have encountered) is: always be polite and respect the right of others to have mooching quirks (For instance, someone just sent me a "your mooched book will be delayed message" because they have to wait until the next paycheck for shipping money. Of course I could sympathize!). We aren't ordering from a bookstore or corporation after all, we are dealing with (as you put it) a pay-it-forward exchange system based largely on good faith.

I hope you have happier experiences with it in the future!

Melwyk said...

I know, I kind of feel a bit burned by Bookmooch too. I'm thinking of quitting.

darkorpheus said...

Jean Pierre Well, it's a good system, but maybe I shouldn't assume everyone is out to take advantage of it.

Imani Thank you. I'm trying to not let it affect me too much, but I'm still trying to find a more workable solution to this. Less than a week and I've spent more than a hundred dollars on overseas postage. It's scary. And I could have bought a few books with that money.

Pour of Tor (One day I will have to google "Pour of Tor")

Actually, I think I wasn't that tactful or polite with my first rejection - my excuse being I was totally overwhelmed by all the incoming mooches. I should have taken the time to be more civil to a stranger. *sigh* Lesson learned.

Etiquette - yes, I need to learn the rules of conduct.

Melanie Oh dear. I feel burned out too. It's overwhelming.

Imani said...

Over a hundred dollars!? Wow. Umm yeah, sorry, I'd need to put some kind of limit on that and only shipping to those who feel they can take on a similar burden seems entirely reasonable (if not smart) even considering the reasons you were given for doing otherwise.

But you know your situation best and you clearly have the best of intentions.