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Topic: Is it advisable to use delivery confirmation?

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Subject: Is it advisable to use delivery confirmation?
Date Posted: 6/24/2008 11:13 PM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2008
Posts: 10
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Do most books arrive without a problem and are recievers good about checking the books off in the system?        The guy at the PO talked me out of getting DC stating all it says it that the package is delivered, but not if it is delivered to the correct address or anything.  He said it was a waste in his opinion.    I am new to the site and just mailed out 5 books and was hoping i am doing things correctly!



Date Posted: 6/24/2008 11:20 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 142
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I've mailed out 72 books over the last year and haven't had a problem with one of them going "lost" or not getting my credit.  I did recently start using the PBS DC and postage because I had a couple of books that were more than 13 ounces (and I would have had to take them to the PO).  It did make sending the books a breeze and I got instant credit which is a bonus (though I kind of like the anticipation of waiting for the book I sent to get to it's intended recipient, too...is that weird?).  Bottom line, I think you were just fine sending your books out with DC.  I will probably continue to do a combination depending on the weight of the book, the likelihood I'll be heading to the post office, and, lastly, if it's a brand new club member, I'll probably send it out with PBS postage and a DC just to ensure getting the credit correctly (though, as I said, 72 books and nary a problem).   This is a great site!  Welcome!

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 1:17 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Welcome to PBS!

If you do use DC, be sure you use it printed from the PBS site, rather than from the post office.  That way, as Stephanie said, you'll get your credit as soon as it gets scanned.

I've used PBS DC from the start and have sent out over 400 books, with zero going lost.  To me, it is worth the peace of mind.



Date Posted: 6/25/2008 1:29 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I always use PBS DC.  I have the worst PO in my state - literally, it's been proven.  So I don't trust them at all.  I do want to get credit for what I send out.  Some have been declared lost and then showed up weeks later - but I got credit before they came.  Also with the DC you can watch the little postal truck go it's way to it's new home.  I love that.  Silly little things make me happy!

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 7:14 AM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2007
Posts: 453
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For me, I don't use it.  I've sent out tons of books and have only had one go lost ( and I believe the receipient- she was really eager for the unusual book).  It's just not worth if for me financially- the cost outways what it cost me to lose credit for that one book.  I've never had problems with people marking things received.  If I started having a bunch of problems I would consider doing it though.


Date Posted: 6/25/2008 7:43 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I can only say - know your post office.  As I said previously, my PO misplaced a couple of packages (and lost many incoming packages).  They somehow put the packages somewhere and they didn't get sent out for a couple of weeks (or more).  I just try to protact myself and the recipient so that everyone knows I've mailed them.

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 8:33 AM ET
Member Since: 6/6/2008
Posts: 13
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I used to work for an online retailer and I dealt with many a lost package.  We'd always encourage people to use UPS over USPS because with UPS they'd actually take the time to LOOK for the package.  The UPS reps were very helpful that way (maybe because we were a good account, I don't know).  The PO's delivery confirmation is just that.  If you don't get the package and USPS says it was delivered thats pretty much the end of the story.  We almost never got lost merchandise back from the post office.

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 8:37 AM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2008
Posts: 1,080
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I have to take offense to the clerk who talked you out of using DC. Yes, the delivery scan does only show that it was delivered and not exactly where but...

The scan shows the date and time it was delivered. The post office also can see which scanner and which carrier had it.

If the package gets on the wrong path, post offices can scan it missent or enroute so you can see where it has been.

I have seen a few packages that seem to like travelling and go back and forth many times before getting delivered. You can contact the post office and show the problem and try to intercept it.

That said, I do not normally use the DC. I have not been a member long but so far so good here, (crossing fingers and toes!) I am a trusting person and believe most packages get delivered right with or without DC. I also trust the members here to mark the book when they get it.

I would use PBS DC if I needed the credit right away. The little truck is cool! Another option is to download the USPS click-n-ship program. You can print the label with it and get the discounted DC rate of 18 cents over the 75 cents at the retail counter.

Adding my welcome to PBS!

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 8:38 AM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2006
Posts: 547
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I've sent out many a package without DC that has arrived safely.  Since the postage increase, I've been using the PBS DC a lot.  Even when I mail my packages from the PO, I just don't want to spend the time getting postage.  DS and I have this system where I wrap books and he weighs them and prints the postage.  Then I can slip a couple books in the mailbox at home or drop the books into a random blue box if we aren't running by a PO that day.

The only reason I use the PBS DC, is so that I don't have to go to my PO to mail my books.


Date Posted: 6/25/2008 9:06 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I don't use DC and so far haven't had a book go lost yet.  If you do decide to use DC make sure to either use the DC here so you get credit if it goes lost or print it through paypal (you don't get credit if the book goes lost) because electronic DC is $0.18 vs the $0.75 the post office charges (and you don't get credit with this DC either)

I have a PO very close to me with the APC machine so I rarely have to talk to a postal worker unless I'm shipping something internationally (another swap site does that).

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 10:04 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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I've sent out over 150 books and received about that many as well.  So, in over 300 transactions, I've had one book go lost.  To me, DC is not worth it!  But as others have said - know your post office!  Some tend to be more reliable than others apparently. 

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 11:21 AM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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There are two good reasons to use PBS DC.  One is that you get your credit faster than if you had to wait for the book to be marked received.  The insurance in case the book goes lost is secondary to me- very few books truly go lost, so that has never been a big concern for me.  The second reason is because it helps to support this site that we all enjoy using for free- it helps the site owners with costs associated with running the site, and it keeps it free for all of us to use.  I would rather contribute to the site in this way than having to pay an annual fee.

That said, I don't use DC for every book I send out.  If it's a MMPB that I got used, I will usually send those first class without DC.  If it's a book that cost me more to buy, a hardback or trade pb that I bought new, then yes, I will use DC, because I want to make darned sure I get my credit for it.  I also use DC when sending multiple books together, for the same reason.  I probably use DC more than not.

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 11:29 AM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2006
Posts: 229
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I occasionally use DC.  I have only had one shipment (it was two books together, of course) go "lost"  (it did NOT have DC, alas, but good news, it eventually arrived).  I use DC mostly for the quick credit and to support the site.  I have had a few books that USPS shows being delivered several days before the receiver marks them as such -- whether USPS was jumping the gun, the receiver was out of town, or the receiver was just slow in marking the books received in the system, I have no idea. 

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I don't use it. I've only been a member for six months but I've sent many books and I haven't had a single problem. (Knock wood)
Date Posted: 6/25/2008 11:59 AM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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I always use DC and admit I love when I order a book from someone who uses it. I gues I like some semblence of "control" over the transaction. If I know where the package is, I feel a lot better.  When I order from Amazon or another site I check the in transit info at least twice a day.

Also, I currently have a book I sent that Is likely going to go lost. DC says it was delivered almost 10 days ago and it has not been marked rcvd. The member also has not answered my PM. I like the credit assurance in cases like this!

Last Edited on: 6/25/08 12:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/25/2008 11:59 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 10/19/09 9:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/25/2008 12:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2007
Posts: 1,101
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I have only had one book that I mailed go lost in the mail, but I always use dc, because it is just so much easier to drive up to the blue box instead of parking and running in to the post office.  Plus, this way I am guaranteed to get a credit even if my book were to get lost in the mail and there is no waiting for the credit to appear in my account.   I think of it as less stress all around.

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 6/25/2008 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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I'm a huge believer in the Printable Postage here at PBS.  I even take books I'm mailing out for other reasons and mail them out using PBS Printable Postage (and the Mail to a Friend option). 

Although the DC insurance isn't that big a deal since books truly do not go lost that often, I like the fact that there is "proof" I sent out the book, and it is fun to watch it tracking to the final destination.  I also really like the fact that I'm helping in a small way to support this wonderful site.  It's a great perk to get the instant credit too, for the books that I mail for PBS.  (I used to use the DC-only before they created the Printable Postage option but never would get Quick Credit, because my books would only get scanned when they arrived at the destination, not at the beginning or along the way, so my credit usually arrived at about the same time the book was marked received.)

And I love the convenience of Printable Postage - postage is printed right on the label, and I just wrap and drop it in my company's outgoing mail...  no trips to the PO, no lines to wait in, no trying to come up with the exact amount in stamps.  All MORE than worth the .61 extra to me.

So, if you only consider the "worth" of the DC to be the credit insurance, it may not be worth it, because most books do not go lost (I don't think I've ever had one go lost on me, and in all my transactions only one got lost coming to me, and it eventually did arrive.)  But when you consider all the other values provided, it -is- so worthwhile IMHO.

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 1:43 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,223
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If you use DC don't use it  strictly from the post office - it costs more plus PBS doesn't guarantee the book credit if it goes lost. Same with no DC at all - book lost = credit lost. With PBS DC (electronic DC) you get your credit no matter what since there is a "trail" right on the details button of the book. You pay a small amount when the barcode is printed on the address label and you pay .18 at the post office instead of .75.

Like others have said, I use it strictly for the quick credit. As soon as it scans I have my credit. No waiting for someone to mark the book as "received."  I also use it for what I mentioned above but out of 600 transactions I've only had one book lost coming TO me - and that one I have doubts it was even mailed. So don't use it just because you fear the book going lost - the likelihood of that is pretty nil.

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I've mailed out 162 books and I have yet to have one go lost.  I use DC on swap book because it's required and anything over 13oz because I use the printed postage so I don't have to go to the PO.  I also use them for audio cds since they're 2 credits and usually the extra cushioning I use puts them over 13oz.  But I figured the $ I've saved on not buying DC on most of my books is more than the cost of the book that goes lost. 

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 4:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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Over the course of almost 3 years here at PBS, I've sent almost 1100 books now...of those, only 6 have gone lost. So yes, most of the time books get to where they're going, no problem.

I myself don't use DC anymore, though I have on occasion in the past, more to support PBS site than anything. Like Cindy, when I think of all the money I'd have spent if I used DC or the PBS online postage with every single transaction...well, let's just say I could've used that money to buy a LOT of books! LOL

I've always got between 50-100 credits so don't need it for the quick credit, and I certainly don't believe it's necessary for the credit assurance. And your PO guy is right--even if the DC is marked as delivered, all it means is that it was delivered *somewhere* not necessarily to the right person or address, since signature is not required there is really no "proof" per se.


Date Posted: 6/25/2008 4:53 PM ET
Member Since: 7/20/2007
Posts: 1,046
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I only use DC when i am going to mail something i want to make sure someone got. I mailed out a box of 21 audiobooks to a person who did a deal with me on Book Bazaar and she only 'spotted' me 2 credits for one audiobook and said she'd send me the remaining 12 credits when she got the package. I very much did not want her to be able to say that the package did not arrive. I didn't order from PBS, because i haven't ever put any money into the site but i did want to make sure i knew it arrived. I don't know what the odds are on a package you send going to the wrong house, but it was a chance i was most willing to take. Can you imagine losing 12 credits because someone lied that the package never arrived? I can't! Oh i would have been bummed out and PO'd.

Yea, i have slight trust issues. But this is the internet, after all.

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 6:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2008
Posts: 26
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To go back to the Original Post, Susas asked two (or actually three) separate questions. The title of this thread is "Is it advisable to use delivery confirmation?" but then the first sentence asks "Do most books arrive without a problem and are recievers good about checking the books off in the system?" So in reality, the decision on whether to get Delivery Confirmation depends on what you want it for.

I go to the Post Office every day, because I work there. Even so, I always purchase postage online because it is easier and cheaper. Even though Delivery Confirmation isn't free for Media Mail, I feel it is worth the $0.18. Whether shipping or receiving, I always like to know when the package was mailed and usually be able to see where it is along the way. Most importantly, I like to know when it was delivered.

Even though PBS charges a nominal fee for online postage, I feel it is worth it. Aside from the very useful Quick Credit, I enjoy being able to click on Details to see all the info available on the status of the package, as well as see the map of the package's route.

Again, the most important feature is the intended purpose of DC: confirmation that it has been delivered. Just today I realized a mistake I had made a few weeks ago concerned a CD I ordered from another CD trading website. When the CD hadn't arrived after a few weeks, I contacted the sender to ensure that it had been sent. Finally, when it came to the day that it would automatically be considered received by the website unless I indicated otherwise, I had to indicate that I did not receive it. I was then sent the CD from another member. The CD arrived today, and it was like deja vu. I looked through a pile of CDs, and sure enough, there was the CD that I was sure I hadn't received. Come to think of it, the same thing happened with a Wal-Mart DVD by mail rental some years ago. I marked the DVD as lost in the mail, only to find it a few weeks later under a pile of mail. Human error can account for lost mail, but it can also be the error of the recipient. With DC, at least you'll get your credit and know that it was delivered (somewhere, anyway.)

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,826
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i've mailed out 120 books or so, and have not had any go lost.

however, i use DC on nearly every package, as i simply like to get my credit quickly.  :)  printable postage would be faster, but i'd rather keep a better handle on my mailing budget by using cash at the PO.

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 7:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Tracy, PBS could not have gotten you those credits if she refused to give them to you if you didn't use PBS DC.  Also because they don't get involved in the side deals that people do through the book bazaar.  They don't really even get involved w/any credit disputes unless someone turns abusive or is a chronic problem and then it's only w/books ordered through PBS using credits.  Not deals made in the forums and through pms.  Just wanted to let you know for future reference.