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Topic: Best way to ship books?

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Subject: Best way to ship books?
Date Posted: 4/20/2009 9:28 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2009
Posts: 9
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When you put money in the system and ship books with the postage, do you need labels to print the books? Does anyone have any suggestions for the best way to ship books most effectively? UPDATE: Okay, I worded that wrong. I meant, do you find it best to print the postage, or do you go to the post office? How do you get it so the other member can track the package?

Last Edited on: 4/20/09 9:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/20/2009 9:29 PM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2008
Posts: 89
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Myself (and most members, judging from the books I have received) print to a piece of paper and tape the paper to the wrapped package.

Date Posted: 4/20/2009 9:56 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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I like using the printable postage.  It costs a little more, but the convenience is worth it to me.  The receiver can track the book by clicking the "details" button on the book in the "En Route to Me" tab.  Also you get your credit right away and don't have to worry about the book getting lost.

Date Posted: 4/20/2009 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,445
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My printer is too old and crankly to print postage.  I print labels.  But the bar codes don't scan.  I did go out and get a scale.  Just haven't been willing to add this printer to the landfill.  And I found that I really need to tape over the label in case of moisture.  The inkjet ink disappears when wet.  Had a CD arrive (from Swapa CD) that I was amazed that it got to my door. 

 

Date Posted: 4/20/2009 10:50 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I use the printable postage all the time.  I have to depend on family members who are not users of this site to mail them for me - so they have to be easily mailed.  I have gotten a scale as well. 

Ruth

Date Posted: 4/20/2009 11:54 PM ET
Member Since: 2/1/2008
Posts: 3,454
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I have a post office close to my work, so it is not a problem for me to go to the PO to have them put the postage on.  I do have a scale, and will use that to get the weights so I can get my own postage from the APC in the lobby of the post office when they are really busy.

I don't actually even print labels anymore--as my computer died and I don't like to use my mom's ink for this.  I hand write the labels, include the PBS request ID number up next to my return address and mail away.  I have also seen people include a little card with the To and From info inside the book--in case the book and the wrapper get separated--when they have hand written their labels.  A good practice that I should really start using.

Date Posted: 4/20/2009 11:55 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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I'm not sure if there is a "best" way to go, but I'll try to point out the pros & cons of various ways to ship.

I use online shipping through paypal. It costs less than PBS postage / PBS-DC. It doesn't offer me a quick or guaranteed credit, but it is cheaper. Buying delivery confirmation (DC) is mandatory, for 18 cents. I then PM the DC number to the receiving member. It's technically not tracking, because it is not required to be scanned throughout the trip. Here's a link to the FAQ page about PBS postage. It explains the fees and when you get your credit, and there's a integrated link to a cute map with a little postal truck showing where the book is en route.  I like my way because I would do almost anything to avoid the queue at the post office -- it almost literally drives me mad. I also own a scale.

That said, I notice that most people who send me books do just go to the post office. The advantages include:

  • not having to buy DC, which saves 18 cents--but if you decide to use DC it costs 75 cents retail at the PO, more than on the PBS site
  • being able to ship items over 13 oz if you are using postage stamps (NB that the 13oz rule does not apply to online printable postage)
  • ensuring the weight is correct by having the clerk weigh it for you.
  • not needing a printer.

I hope this helps and welcome to the site!

Subject: Delivery confirmation map?
Date Posted: 4/21/2009 1:03 AM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2009
Posts: 65
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there's a integrated link to a cute map with a little postal truck showing where the book is en route.

Where does one find the delivery confirmation map?  I have never seen it. 

Thanks!

 

Date Posted: 4/21/2009 1:29 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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It's on your Transaction Archive page - just click on the blue link for "maps.  You can also see how many miles your books have traveled.  I have close to 450,000 miles on my books sent and received.  I like to see which of the books I've sent out have gone to others and where.  Click on the little footprint symbol.

Ruth

Date Posted: 4/21/2009 1:39 AM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2009
Posts: 65
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Thanks, Ruth.  But the map I am asking about is the one with the little postal truck showing where a book is en route.  (I am easily amused). 

Date Posted: 4/21/2009 1:50 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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It only shows up when the sender uses PBS postage, I think. Only have seen it on my most recently en route book. There's a check mark next to the en route and if you click on it, the map comes up. ETA last sentence.

Last Edited on: 4/21/09 1:52 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/21/2009 2:16 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Actually, I think they have to use PBS DC.  That's the only way I can see any - I click on the check mark on the coming to me page of my Account page.  I have 3 books coming right now and they are not using PBS postage or DC so I can't follow the truck.

Ruth



Last Edited on: 4/21/09 2:21 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 4/21/2009 4:59 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,445
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And the cute truck has very little to do with reality.  The places where the DC gets scanned are noted.  Otherwise, the truck is a guess. 

Date Posted: 4/21/2009 11:17 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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I stand corrected. The cute truck works with PBS-DC. I only like the truck because it's cute -- am familiar enough with USPS DC scans to know the truck's progress isn't that accurate, not to mention things don't really travel in straight lines like that. =)

Date Posted: 4/21/2009 11:19 AM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2009
Posts: 65
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Thanks! I never thought to click on the check mark. That is pretty cute. I am amazed by the details that PBS has built into this site. Emily, you are correct that is has very little to do with reality -- especially since the map shows Alaska south of the continental US!
Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 4/21/2009 3:12 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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Always Printable Postage for me!  The small additional fee for using Printable Postage is sooooo worth it to me.  I always use Printable Postage - I love the convenience of it, no post office lines, and immediate automatic credit for sending book!  Couldn't work out better for me!

Date Posted: 4/21/2009 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2005
Posts: 7,370
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I have a scale and use stamps most of the time.  If the book is over 13 ounces I use the PO across the street from my office and they 0 meter it.

Oh, if you click on the cute little truck, it honks (or at least it used to).  :)

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 4/21/2009 5:28 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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Ya learn something new all the time.  I never thought to click on the check mark!  I wondered how you found the little truck.  I have a book coming from California and the truck is in Las Vegas.  You know what the driver is doing doncha? 

Date Posted: 4/21/2009 6:21 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2008
Posts: 91
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I have a book coming from California and the truck is in Las Vegas.  You know what the driver is doing doncha?

Hahaha!  Well whatever the driver is doing in Vegas, it's gonna stay there! :P