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Topic: 2 books returned for postage-A Cautionary Tale

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Subject: 2 books returned for postage-A Cautionary Tale
Date Posted: 7/3/2009 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 4,412
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I'm still fairly new, but I have sent out around 140 books, mostly using PBS postage, DC, etc. with no problem.  Last week I mailed out 10 orders or so and 2 of them were returned for postage! Now I know it's my responsibility to always double-check weight & I did, the first 25-30 times I mailed out. It was always fine.  Shame on me, I stopped checking :(

What's weird though is that I did have an inkling that 1 of them was wrong last week.  When I went to print the label, the postage amount was much less than usual. I check the listed weight & it said something like 3 oz. Really low. So I went to Amazon & checked the listed weight of the book & it was even less. Ok, guess it's a light book. Added a few ounces anyway to the weight (I was at work, my books were at home & I wanted to get them wrapped that night & out the next day - too many orders & many wishlisted) to be safe.

I meant to weigh it at work before I mailed out, but wanted a Starbucks coffee in the morning on my way in & the mailbox was right there . . . long-story short, I caved and mailed without double-checking. Grr.  The DC showed the book(s) going out to my local sorting center, then being returned to me. :(   Boo Hoo.

The book I worried about & consulted Amazon about came back short 17 cents, but the bigger surprise was that another book, so short of postage that it need 51 cents, also was returned & I hadn't a clue it was so underweighted in the "stats." Final weights were 6.6 oz & 7.2 oz, (wrapped) respectively for the 2 books.

I did submit an edit on the 2 books for approval by TPTB, based upon the post office weight when I remailed, 'cause I don't want the next person to mail out innocently assuming all's well.  I hope they look at these kinds of submittals.

That's my tale of woe.  Let all readers beware & take to heart the admonition by PBS: ADJUST THE WEIGHT ON THE LABEL IF NECESSARY!

Date Posted: 7/3/2009 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2007
Posts: 3,430
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I have another cautionary tale.  I've used printable postage for over a year & never had a problem.  I have an inexpensive kitchen scale to weigh them, so I know the weight is accurate.  Well, one time I got a PM from a member saying my postage was short & I couldn't understand why.  Come to find out, delivery confirmation is not allowed on books under a certain thickness which are not rigid; think children's book size.  All this time I used printable postage & never knew about that rule.  From now on, on thin children's books, I either use stamps  (no printable postage with DC) or put a piece of cardboard in the package to make it rigid or put in a piece of bubble wrap to make the package thicker. 

Date Posted: 7/3/2009 2:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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So I went to Amazon & checked the listed weight of the book & it was even less. Ok, guess it's a light book.  Just wanted to say that much of the info on PBS is gotten from the Amazon database so checking it against there will often be looking at the source of the wrong information.

Its great that you submitted a book data update, so many times people see the weight is wrong and don't take that step so the next person hav the same problem.

My kitchen scale is now in front of my computer all of the time and I weigh the packages and write the weight on the label so that I and the USPS can easily see what it weighed.

Subject: A scale is ever so helpful!
Date Posted: 7/3/2009 10:56 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,418
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When i wrap books, I find my scale from Walmart very helpful.  most of the time, the weights don't seem off, so i don't worry, and I usually pad the weight, just to be sure.

Date Posted: 7/4/2009 12:44 AM ET
Member Since: 5/2/2008
Posts: 199
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I've got a nice 25 dollar scale from amazon. I started to estimate  how much I saved from overpaying on postage and risking underpaying and getting it returned to sender and it paid for itself after a few months. The link below is where I got it on amazon. It does up to 11lbs.

http://www.amazon.com/Escali-Primo-Digital-Multifunctional-Chrome/dp/B0007GAWRS/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1246682488&sr=8-7

Date Posted: 7/4/2009 11:54 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 4,412
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Thanks for the link, Brittany. I order off Amazon all the time so I can easily add this in.  And Sue E., our local Walmart is being "remodeled" and it is impossible for even the employees to find anything! Thanks for the suggestion, though :)

Leslie

Subject: Scales
Date Posted: 7/4/2009 5:09 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,418
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Or you can order one though the Kiosk here at PBS

Date Posted: 7/4/2009 8:10 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2006
Posts: 2,552
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Last Edited on: 4/24/15 6:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1