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Topic: Arggggg! New postal rates are killin' me!

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Subject: Arggggg! New postal rates are killin' me!
Date Posted: 5/20/2008 4:18 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2008
Posts: 1,673
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Most of my bookshelf is hardback books and now with the postage increase, it can cost me as much as $5  to send out a book!  I live out in the country so I do use the postage paid feature.  I'm thinking that I need to offer the 3 for 2 deal to make pbs worth the effort!  Irritating!  Anyone else have the same "peeve"?

Last Edited on: 5/20/08 4:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/20/2008 5:19 PM ET
Member Since: 9/9/2007
Posts: 9,898
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Why is it costing you $5 to mail a hardback book.  Most of mine are only $2.88 which is only 50 cents more than a paperback.  If you are using the postage paid feature, do you have a scale to accurately weigh the books or are you guessing? 

Date Posted: 5/20/2008 5:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2008
Posts: 1,673
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Well, I think most of the bigger ones are up to 3 lbs.  Which is less than $4, you are right about that.  I usually go by what pbs is saying the weight of them are.  4lbs are $4.24 using pbs postage, but I haven't been able to send one for $2.88!  I guess some of the smaller hardbacks would be that maybe, but I apparently don't have any of those!!!  That figures!

Date Posted: 5/20/2008 6:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2006
Posts: 387
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You must have some really big books! I've sent out some fairly large hardcovers this week, but none of them have cost over $3 to send.

Date Posted: 5/20/2008 6:43 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,730
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Don't trust the weight PBS says they are.  Invest in a scale, the savings from knowing the exact weight of the book will pay for the scale and save you extra postage.

Date Posted: 5/20/2008 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2008
Posts: 1,673
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Yup, it looks like I need my own scale!  Thanks for the info, everyone!

Subject: Large hardback books
Date Posted: 5/20/2008 9:12 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,448
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A Four pound book is a darn big book.  I have dictionarys that might be that big!  And you can get a scale through the PBS kiosk....or at Walmart, office supply stores, dollar stores, or anything similar. you will be really glad you got a scale!

Date Posted: 5/20/2008 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2008
Posts: 1,673
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The postal fairy must have dropped by.  I just sent out 2 books (separate orders) and they cost under $3.50 each.  I guess I arggggg-ed  too soon, it is still a lot cheaper to offer 3 for 2, tho!  Any idea how much a scale is at Walmart?  This site has one that is $25, I would like to find cheaper.  I should shop around.....

Date Posted: 5/20/2008 10:58 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 1,883
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The one at walmart is about 25 dollars too. I got mine off ebay for 15 dollars including shipping and it will weigh up to 36 pounds.

Last Edited on: 5/20/08 10:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/21/2008 1:47 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,845
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i just use my kitchen scale, and it works fine.  it's been a smidge off for some of those right on the line between rates, so i always double check those at the post office, but in general it's fine.  it probably doesn't go up as high as postal scales - maybe up to 5 pounds - but in general that's been plenty for my needs.  i think we got it at Bed, Bath & Beyond, and i don't think it was more than $15.

Date Posted: 5/21/2008 1:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I just sent out a huge sewing book that weighed 3-4lbs and it only cost me $3.50 to mail.  If you don't have a postage scale-it might be worth getting one.  You can get a small scale for under $10 and it'll pay for itself if you are continually paying too much for postage.

ETA: mine is also a kitchen scale and I believe I got it at Walmart. It's digital and goes up to 5lbs.  It was less than $10.

Last Edited on: 5/21/08 1:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Postage on books
Date Posted: 5/21/2008 5:46 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2007
Posts: 195
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I have mailed out books and never cost that much . The most i paid was $2.85  .

Date Posted: 5/22/2008 12:24 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2007
Posts: 1,646
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I'm looking into getting a scale, too. My b-day is coming up, and my hubby asked what I wanted....I told him that I want a postal scale. He looked at me like I'm crazy :)

Date Posted: 5/25/2008 9:36 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I think the most I've paid is a little over $4 for 2 big heavy computer books to one person.  The rest of the time the books are under 2 lbs.  even some big coffee table books

Date Posted: 5/29/2008 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 1,032
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I've sent out a 2.5 pounds book but that was when postage was a little less costly.

I bought my postal scale from EBay and it was less than $20.  Originally I bought it for my EBay selling but I've since stopped that and they are now used constantly for book trading.  If you buy it on EBay, don't bid more than the minimum price.  You can get it at the lowest price, just be patient.  Or maybe there might be some available without bidding.

Date Posted: 5/29/2008 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 9/9/2007
Posts: 9,898
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I got a one lb scale at the dollar store for a dollar and I calebrated it and it's accurate.  Of course, it only works for smaller books but it works in a pinch.  I'm saving up to buy a better one.

Date Posted: 5/30/2008 1:11 AM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 1,691
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The one thing I wish my scale had (and the PBS Kiosk scale does) is a delay that keeps the weight on the scale for a bit after the book is taken off.  If you are mailing a lot of hardcvoer or coffeetable books, it makes weighing even easier.

Subject: End of Media Mail in 2009?
Date Posted: 9/11/2008 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 2
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A post office employee told me today that media mail will end next year.  The book that cost me a bit over $2 to mail today, will cost me $6 to mail next year, she said.  I would like to know if anyone else has heard about this catastrophic plan.  If it is true, I feel a letter to my congressman coming. She said that the original book rate was to encourage literacy.  The internet, apparently, is the only legitimate vehicle for literacy and has replaced the printed word.  It would mean the end to my participation in this wonderful sharing that we enjoy ithrough PBS.

Date Posted: 9/11/2008 10:05 PM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
Posts: 29
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I certainly wouldn't be surprised if they are phasing out media mail - with all the stories posted on this forum it seems to be the red headed stepchild of the P.O. , lol.  Like the one I just posted where the postal employee told me they don't accept stamped media mail anymore!

But that will really be terrible!  You are right, catastrophic for this site!

Date Posted: 9/12/2008 12:38 AM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 25,497
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The PO DOES still accept stamped Media Mail.  They are phasing out Bound Printed Matter rates right now.  This is slightly different from Media Mail.  Maybe the postal clerk was confused???

Date Posted: 9/12/2008 7:02 AM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2008
Posts: 1,080
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I just sent out 2 books (separate orders) and they cost under $3.50 each.

Are you using media mail prices or parcel post? If you mailed from the post office, look at your reciept. It should say the weight and class of mail unless it is one of the smaller post offices with the older systems.

When mailing, you have to ask for media mail by name. The clerk is not supposed to offer it to you. The clerk would not know it is eligible for the media rate unless you say it is. Most clerks will then explain that media is only for books (and other media), is a slow service and could be inspected.

If you just say you want it the cheapest way, the clerk does not know you are mailing books and will not send it media mail. First class will be cheaper for some of the smaller, lighter weight books.

Ask what are the first class and media rates. Then you can choose which you want and know it is the right one. As you mail more books out you will get a feel for what the postage will be.

A scale is a great investment. It will pay for itself in no time. I can send you some information on how to use the postal rate charts if that would help you.

Date Posted: 9/12/2008 4:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2006
Posts: 2,303
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With PBS postage fees and DC included my 6 books mailed today cost about $19.50.

I would miss this site if media mail is discontinued!