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Topic: the automatic mail machine thingy with PBS DC

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Subject: the automatic mail machine thingy with PBS DC
Date Posted: 2/8/2010 11:27 AM ET
Member Since: 3/16/2008
Posts: 75
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has anyone have any luck with using the mail machine with the printed DC on the cover?  I can't figure out how to scan the DC in...

Date Posted: 2/8/2010 1:54 PM ET
Member Since: 3/7/2009
Posts: 10,844
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I don't believe you can scan the DC.  I just weigh the book on the scale, then print a stamp for the postage + .19 and put it in the bin.  It takes longer to get quick credit this way, but it is usually scanned within 2-3 days.

Date Posted: 2/8/2010 3:03 PM ET
Member Since: 9/9/2009
Posts: 916
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I don't know that the APC - automated postage center - will allow you to purchase postage for media mail items - so you may have to forgo that lower rate and ship your books via another mail class on the machine.  Seems you either have to go to the counter, use stamps, or print on-line thru PBS (can't buy media mail postage on-line at usps.com).

Date Posted: 2/8/2010 3:35 PM ET
Member Since: 3/7/2009
Posts: 10,844
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You can buy a stamp through the APC for Media Mail.  You just have to know how much postage your package needs.  On the main page, you select Buy Stamps, then select Buy Other Amount.  (or something like that)  Then you enter the amount you want, like $2.38 for 1 pound or $2.57 for 1 pound with DC.  The stamp prints out when you pay for it. 

Date Posted: 2/8/2010 3:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 382
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you don't scan it

t the post office does that; not you and if you do with the clerk they would charge postage + 19cent for the  electronic DC

Date Posted: 2/9/2010 1:41 AM ET
Member Since: 3/16/2008
Posts: 75
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thanks for all the response!

it just that my PO always has a wait time of at least 20 mins... and I'm kind of lazy when I only have 1 paperback going out, usually first class comes to ~ $2 including DC.  And the machine doesn't have the option to scan the DC in so I can pay the 19 cents rate. 

I didn't know you can add the extra 19 cents to cover the DC on the postage at the machine.  Is that a last minute option before the postage is printed out? or do you just weigh the book, calculate how much with the additional 19 cents then purchase that amount of postage?  If so, I'll just go that route, even with all that fuss, I'd still be at least 15 mins ahead of the line.

Date Posted: 2/9/2010 5:00 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,749
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or do you just weigh the book, calculate how much with the additional 19 cents then purchase that amount of postage?  If so, I'll just go that route, even with all that fuss, I'd still be at least 15 mins ahead of the line.

right.  so for Media Mail < 1 pound, the normal postage is $2.38, add $.19 for the electronic DC, and buy a stamp for $2.57 via the Buy Stamps then Buy Other Amount button.  since the APC doesn't tell you the media mail rates, you'll probably want to bring a printed sheet with you to remind you of how much postage you need for the various weights and classes, and don't forget to add the 19 cents if it's got a DC.  there's a nice printable one in the help center, and you can just manually add a column down the side with the .19 added.  (unless you're better at doing the math in your head than i am - i'm trying to be fast at the machine.)  Current Postal Rates

Date Posted: 2/9/2010 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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it just that my PO always has a wait time of at least 20 mins... and I'm kind of lazy when I only have 1 paperback going out, usually first class comes to ~ $2 including DC.  And the machine doesn't have the option to scan the DC in so I can pay the 19 cents rate.

That's why I use PayPal postage (https://www.paypal.com/shipnow).  I print the postage from my computer, wrap the book and then put it in my mailbox for my postal carrier to pick up.  I only go to the PO when I have to drop off a box of books that's too big to fit in my mailbox.

Date Posted: 2/9/2010 11:22 PM ET
Member Since: 3/16/2008
Posts: 75
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I must have one of the not-as-good postmaster... the last time we tried to mail a letter (w/ correct postage and clearly addressed) via the mailbox in front of the house, it was left there for 2 days straight --> we ended up just drop it off at the blue mailbox at the PO.


I really need to try out the paypal thing, now I need to find a good and cheap scale for the kitchen and PBS. I'll head to Marshall or Ross this weekend.

Date Posted: 2/10/2010 12:38 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,182
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APC doesn't allow for Media Mail that's why I never use it. But I do drop my books with preprinted postage in the giant blue bin that is situated right next to it.

I use PBS postage that comes with DC. I print it up, wrap the book and then mail it out. No waiting in line and I also have the guarantee that IF my book should go lost, I still get my credit. And the instant credits aren't so bad either!

I'll never go back to mailing any other way!!!



Last Edited on: 2/10/10 12:38 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/10/2010 3:08 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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APC doesn't have a Media Mail option, so you have to work around it. PBS Members who use APC, frequently find Ellen's method the most efficient.

Date Posted: 2/10/2010 5:04 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,749
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APC doesn't allow for Media Mail that's why I never use it.

it's not that it doesn't allow it, it just doesn't *tell* you about it. knowing the rates yourself, using the APC to weigh your package, and then just buying the appropriate stamp works. you can even buy the stamps in advance for the most common rates you find yourself using. (like media mail 1lb + DC = $2.57.) if you have the APC stamps, you might even be able to mail from home (if your carrier will do pickup) as long as you can weigh it to get the right rate.

though if i'm putting PBS-DC on a package, i generally will just stand in line so i get the Acceptance scan. first class packages, which i don't bother to put DCs on, i'll just get the stamps from the APC unless i'm already going to stand in line. at least for now, i've got the time and i generally have the credit that night or by morning.

Date Posted: 2/10/2010 11:59 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 2,027
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If you use the APC for media mail, you just need to make certain that you write media mail on the package.

Date Posted: 2/11/2010 2:29 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,182
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it's not that it doesn't allow it, it just doesn't *tell* you about it. knowing the rates yourself, using the APC to weigh your package, and then just buying the appropriate stamp works

That's what I meant. I wasn't very clear. I meant it doesn't come up as an option ... the closest to it for rates is Parcel Post, which is a little more expensive (so I was told by the PO).

You can buy stamps with media mail rates on them (or any rate on them, for that matter) and then label the package medial mail.

Sorry for the confusion.