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Topic: Alternatives for paying for tracking

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Subject: Alternatives for paying for tracking
Date Posted: 2/11/2015 2:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,161
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I pay for tracking for all th  books I send out and since I've sent out well over a 100 books it has added up. Since so many members don't mark a book received until I pm them (a few days to a week before the lost date), I feel I need to use tracking. I'm nervous that those members that do that won't mark the book received, then I don't get the credit and I'm out the book. I feel like the pm I send that has the tracking number and they can see the date delivered is what actually prompts them to mark it received. 

 

What stops a member from never marking the book received too? You see where I'm going..

 

So what are cheap alternatives to tracking?

Date Posted: 2/11/2015 2:58 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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I have mailed more DVDs than books.  I don't worry about people not marking in stuff I sent because it's never happened to me.  If you want the best price on tracking use electronic postage, it's free for first class packages and 23¢ for media mail.  I do not pay $1.05 at the post office for tracking.  People mark them received whether I use tracking or not.  

EDITED TO SAY:  In my opinion people are happy to receive a book or DVD than a bill or junk mail.  Their happiness in getting a package gets them to mark received. 



Last Edited on: 2/11/15 3:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/11/2015 3:38 PM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2008
Posts: 664
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"What stops a member from never marking the book received too? You see where I'm going.."

 

If a member has a lot of "never received" transactions, the system will alert the site's team to take a closer look. If they see a pattern, they will warn the person and may shut down the account. The same applies to marking a lot of books as "received with a problem".

 

Date Posted: 2/11/2015 3:39 PM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2008
Posts: 664
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Also, I use PBS printable postage. They you get your credit immediately. If the book goes lost in mail, you don't lose your credit.

 

Date Posted: 2/11/2015 4:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,664
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you can use a paypal account to print a label for your package. paypal adds tracking for everything. you can't turn it off. and 1st class and priority is free. media mail = 23 cents. The paypal label is not very good. The print is kinda small so I cut the pbs label out and paste it onto the paypal label over the address that is printed on the label.

Date Posted: 2/11/2015 5:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,720
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What stops a member from never marking the book received too? You see where I'm going..

I also don't perceive this as an issue. I've mailed out about 1800 books (mostly without tracking) and only ever had 2 not marked received.

There have been about 10 that I had to PM about. I wait until just before the book will go lost in the mail. I find that almost all stragglers get marked received before I have to go take any kind of PMing action.

Date Posted: 2/11/2015 5:37 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,161
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I've only mailed out 106 since I started in June but I would say over half do not mark them mailed until I pm. I find in general I need to ask and I find a small amount send books way later than they say. (12-20 days later) Maybe I'll mail a couple without tracking and see how it goes. Thanks everyone!
Date Posted: 2/11/2015 6:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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I've only mailed out 106 since I started in June but I would say over half do not mark them mailed until I pm.

You may be PMing too early. DC isn't tracking, it's "Delivery Confirmation". Whether they're supposed to do it or not, I've found a lot of times the P.O. scans the DC at the final PO station. Not at the actual house delivery. 

I do get some stuff, books included, where if you look at the DC it says I've got the item, but I don't. Over a weekend it might take me 3-4 days to actually get the item to the doorstep. It just got to my P.O. and was scanned when they either unloaded it or put it on the truck.

I've never used DC, and out of 910 mailings only 1 book went lost. If I'd paid for DC, all that time I would have paid over $400 just for DC alone. 

I've never seen it justify the cost for me.

Date Posted: 2/11/2015 6:58 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
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When DC is free (as it is with First Class postage purchased on-line), I take it.  Otherwise, it doesn't pay (IMHO).  If the book goes missing, you're out the credit you would have gotten, which is worth about $2 now.  At 23 cents for on-line DC, you'd need about 1 out of every 9 packages to go missing to make it worthwhile.

Larry K. - ,
Date Posted: 2/11/2015 7:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2010
Posts: 26
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I have never paid extra for tracking; it simply isn't worth it.  My post office somehow, miraculously, sends media mail very quickly.  The new system of internal tracking numbers that they put on the book, and include in the receipt, allow me to find out if it has been delivered.

I have lost only two books in 5 years with over 540 mailed, and I've only had to remind a handful of people about acknowledging receipt.

Date Posted: 2/11/2015 7:11 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,161
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I just want to clarify that I pm the week a book goes lost so if it goes lost on the 1qth..around the 8th I would pm.
Subject: tracking
Date Posted: 2/11/2015 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 9/9/2012
Posts: 43
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I just had a book coming to me lost in mail.  It is my first one ever and I am really upset as I wanted that wish listed book.  I am not too worried though, and I pm'ed the other member to see if maybe they mailed it late.  It was coming from Chicago to St. Louis so I am not sure where it went.  I think they are looking at patterns and can see from my account I have made every effort to receive my book.


 

Rachael

Date Posted: 2/12/2015 9:16 AM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2011
Posts: 126
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When I send my books at the post office, I do not get tracking myself, but the clerk puts on tracking for the post office's own use. I have found (at least at my town post office) that the receipt shows that tracking number, under "PID #:" for each book. I can see the tracking on the post office's web site using that number. And it is free!

(ETA: oops, I see this has already been mentioned above by Larry K)



Last Edited on: 2/12/15 9:22 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/12/2015 9:32 AM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,161
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Larry and Valerie..for media mail? That's great!!! Inever thought of looking at the receipt to see anythingmore than my total!

 

Rachael,

I want to say hi and I'm glad you're at PBS. I found lots to read here. I'm not sure how Chicago weather is but maybe there was a hold up. In my experience, and for me only, I have had one book go lost that I sent (tracking said date and time, but other rmember never responded at all). What I do find is that some people can mail very late (I've had a book mailed 20 days after saying it was mailed) and some books go on a great journey before they reach you! :-) 

If it's your first request, that's tough and I hope you do get your book. On the good side? PBS will automatically put you back on the wish list, where you were so you don't go to the end of the line, you's go to the first spot. I find PBS is awesome at stuff like that. SO one way or another you'll get your book, just maybe alot later than you thought.

Please update us and let us know what happens.

Date Posted: 2/12/2015 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2010
Posts: 262
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Michele, are you saying that half of the books you send go lost, but are eventually received? That's really odd. Do you live in Alaska or Hawaii?

Date Posted: 2/12/2015 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 8,161
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No what I'm saying is that around the week they will go lost, I pm folks and then they mark it received. They are not going lost, people have the books, just wait to mark them received. Again I have had only 1 book go "lost" and it was a book I sent that the person never acknowledged at all. I am nervous and pm because I realize the lost date is approaching. I then PM a few days before that with tracking and they then mark it received.  The PM's I get in return (some pm back, some don't) is always a oh, sorry , I forgot. That's why I think people will just forget they  need to mark a book received.

And I live in KS.

Date Posted: 2/12/2015 10:22 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
Posts: 389
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PBS sends reminder emails, too. I got 3 of them on a book (sent to me) that did go lost recently.

Date Posted: 2/12/2015 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
Posts: 591
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The PBS reminders don't seem to work well for the books I send. If a book is called lost I email the person and let them know the date  USPS says it went out for delivery and that gets it marked received. Mine always were sent with tracking as a holdover from ebay days. Now I use PBS postage and don't worry about anything. :)

 

Date Posted: 2/12/2015 10:48 PM ET
Member Since: 9/9/2012
Posts: 43
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I have been here a while abd its the first time it has happened so it hasn't turned me off. Just disappointed as I really wanted to read it.
Date Posted: 2/12/2015 10:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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I've only mailed out 106 since I started in June but I would say over half do not mark them mailed until I pm.

I'd say you've seen the exception not the rule. I have mailed close to 1000 books and don't think I've seen even a dozen books that need reminders.

There's no reason you can't PM a member right before the book is going lost and ask if its been delivered without having put the tracking on it. Sounds like your reminder is what is doing the trick not the tracking.

Date Posted: 2/13/2015 1:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2008
Posts: 8,381
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Larry K  The new system of internal tracking numbers that they put on the book, and include in the receipt, allow me to find out if it has been delivered.

Valerie M  I have found (at least at my town post office) that the receipt shows that tracking number, under "PID #:" for each book. I can see the tracking on the post office's web site using that number. And it is free!

Does this tracking work differently in some cities or areas than others?  I've tried entering PID numbers on the USPS site and always receive the message that "no tracking information is available."  Others have reported here that PID numbers are for internal USPS use only.  Clarification would be helpful.

Subject: media mail tracking
Date Posted: 2/13/2015 2:46 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2009
Posts: 16
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Date Posted: 2/13/2015 3:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2007
Posts: 16,706
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Valerie B, here is the link to PBS Tracking when you use PBS Postage.  USPS does not track PBS media mail with preprinted postage.

Larry K. - ,
Date Posted: 2/16/2015 8:52 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2010
Posts: 26
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Valerie S - if you simply go to Google and enter the PID, you will - more times than not - get a link to the USPS site that shows the tracking information.  Yes, this information is designed to be used internally by USPS to ascertain regional depot statistics (if you look at the receipt it actually has the estimated delivery date printed).  However, for $2.69, I thank the government and a publicly traded company for obtaining the information that is available, and thus free.

Date Posted: 2/16/2015 10:28 AM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2007
Posts: 108
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A couple of years ago, I started doing DC on shipments of multiples because I had several of those that went "missing". I can't tell you exactly why but at least one of those felt really suspicious to me. I figure it's worthwhile for multiples, but not for singles.

And I do have to 'pester' on maybe 10-20% of the books I mail out. :)

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