Thoughts from the suitcase: Scams and spam: what #booksfortrade has ended up becoming

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

You may or may not know about #booksfortrade on Twitter.
Here's a little about it for the people who don't know:
You post a picture of the books you're wanting to trade. People then will check the hashtag and show you the books they want to trade. You exchange information and send out your book(s). And you get a book in return.
People trade ARCs and hardcovers and paperbacks and book swag.

This is the hashtag now: spam, spam, spam, more spam, scam, scam, more scams, and people who actually want to trade. There are people who post about their book release or something not related to trading.
Honestly, I'm fed up with it. (But realize that I only did maybe four trades. I jumped in late.)
And I think this hashtag is amazing. I love to trade books. It's nice. You trade books to get books. I think that's great. You get books you want that you might not have access to. That's great.
But this hashtag now has an overwhelming amount of spam and scams. (Ooh. That rhymes.) Now, people are also making ARCs seem like gold. (Aka they want two paperbacks for an ARC or something like that.) Those are some reasons why I stopped trading. (That and a mishap with USPS... It wasn't the other trader's fault. It was the mail carrier's. It lost both our mails.)
And there are also people who genuinely want to trade. I feel so sorry for those people who want to trade. They are getting so much spam in the hashtag that it's hard to find the books and all.

Do I have any ideas on how to turn this around? No.
I've seen this happen before on Instagram with the roleplayers there. It started out innocent with people who had stories and characters they created with their sweat and blood. When I left, #roleplay was awful with people seeking incest roleplays and creating multiple cancer characters. It was a flood of these roleplayers who didn't seem to fit what I had seen before. Mind you, this happened only within a year or so. If I checked the hashtag now, I imagine things would have gotten worse.
So do I have any ideas on turning things around? No, but I do want a new place to trade books freely, without spam. I know scams are hard to get rid of, but I wish there was a scam-free place.

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