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Topic: Advice? PBS estimated book weight completely wrong

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Subject: Advice? PBS estimated book weight completely wrong
Date Posted: 2/9/2013 8:06 AM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2012
Posts: 23
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I am trying to mail the following two books in a bulk order:



When I went to go print my wrapper, it estimated the weight of JUST the books at over 6 pounds.  Holding these books in my hands I could tell something was off.  Going to Amazon.com and checking their shipping weights revealed that both books together should only be around 2.5 pounds.

My question is, am I missing something printable postage is not?  It was estimating the book weight, not the wrapped package weight.  I want to know if this has happened to anyone before and if it is safe to change the estimated weight to something around 3 pounds at the most, relying on Amazon weights for a more accurate reading.  I just don't want the books to have insufficient postage.


Date Posted: 2/9/2013 8:08 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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the estimated book weight is not always right.  always best to have a small scale and weigh yourself

Date Posted: 2/9/2013 9:02 AM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2012
Posts: 23
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That is a good idea, I might get one today.

Date Posted: 2/9/2013 11:20 AM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 833
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I find that the PBS book weight estimate is always off.. sometimes by fractions of an ounce and sometimes by a lot more. I've used a scale since my second or third outbound shipment.

Date Posted: 2/10/2013 12:21 AM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,581
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I mailed six books the other day and the postal clerk remarked that the PBS weight was right on every time.

Most of the weights I see here are correct, but I do look at them as some have been way off, especially if more than one book goes out in one package.

And yes, I have a scale.

Last Edited on: 2/10/13 12:22 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/10/2013 12:28 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 833
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Let me clarify my comment... While I find that the PBS weight estimates are always off, it is a rare occasion when they are off by enough to cause the postage to be wrong. (That's actually one of the advantages to the Media Mail classification - it's very forgiving of errorneous weights.) But, it does happen occasionally... Usually when shipping multiple books or when shipping single copies of smaller paperbacks. It's always a good policy to weigh your own packages and not rely to too heavily on the PBS stated weight.

Date Posted: 2/10/2013 8:08 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2009
Posts: 773
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I have a postage scale, but before I got it, I would check book weight on Amazon.com if the PBS weight was obviously 'off."  Amazon.com is usually pretty close.

I send a lot of multiple book orders, so it made sense to eventually get a scale.  I actually put it on my Christmas wishlist, and my sister gave me one (I think it cost about $30).  :)

Date Posted: 2/12/2013 2:21 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,354
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I love my postal scale!


Here's something from the help center:

The *recommended postage* on my wrapper is/was wrong!

The 'recommended postage' on the PBS wrapper is usually correct, but not always. Our database is compiled elsewhere, and it includes some inaccuracies, including the weight of some books. The weight of a book as recorded in the database determines the "required postage" that appears on the PBS Wrapper.

You can see, and adjust, the weight estimate on the Wrapper Settings page when you go to print a wrapper.  Adjusting it to the correct weight will ensure that correct postage prints out.  If you do not have a postal scale, you can take the wrapped book to the PO to be weighed.

This is particularly important if you are using PBS Printed Postage--check and adjust the weight before you print!  Printed Postage can't be refunded after it is printed.

If you want to change the weight of the book in the database permanently, so that no one else has trouble with this for this book in future, you can submit a correction to our Data Correction volunteers.

  • To submit the correct weight of a book to the PBS Database:
  1. Click "More Options" to the right of the book cover image on the Book Details page and choose Edit Book Data from the dropdown menu (you can also access Edit Book Data from the Member Tools page, which is linked from the bottom of any page on the site).
  2. Enter the ISBN for the book and click Next->
  3. Enter/adjust the weight of the book (this will be on your postal receipt) on the next page, leaving any correct information in place
  4. Click Submit.

Please know that any effort you make to improve the accuracy of the database is greatly appreciated.

Last Edited on: 2/12/13 2:22 AM ET - Total times edited: 1