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Topic: Book Arrives Two Months Later--What to do?

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Subject: Book Arrives Two Months Later--What to do?
Date Posted: 12/10/2009 2:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2009
Posts: 177
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I requested a book on October 5th and it was marked mailed on October 7th.  When it went lost in early November, the system ordered another copy for me, which I received a couple of weeks later.  Today in the mail I received the copy originally ordered in October, with a postmark of December 4th.  This is not a WL book, so if I simply repost it I will most likely have to wait a long while before it is requested.

What am I supposed to do in this situation?  If it had truly been lost in the mail all this time, I would gladly mark it received as that wouldn't have been the sender's fault.  But she mailed it two months late.  Do I have to mark it received in the transaction archive?

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Nope.  You do not have to mark it received.  If you do mark it, you will be out another credit.  I would just post it.

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 3:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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The docs are here...

http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/help_item.php?id=547

If the book was declared lost in the mail and you requested a second copy because you thought the first one was really lost:

  • If the postmark was from the week before the book was declared lost (or later!), and you got no notification from the sender that the book would be/was mailed late: you do not have to mark this book received (this is the ONE case in which you don't have to mark a received book received: if a very late mailer without notice caused you to reorder the book and end up with two copies). 
Date Posted: 12/10/2009 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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The system doesn't automatically reorder a non-WL book if it goes lost. It puts it on your reminder list and the help docs suggest you wait at least 2 wks before reordering.  It will only automatically reorder a book that went lost if it was WL and you have it set on autorequest.

That being said: did the book have stamps on it? If it was mailed using stamps then you cannot go by the stamp cancellation date.  It could have gotten misplaced or misdirected by the post office and the stamps weren't cancelled until 2 months later.  If it was metered postage than they mailed it late.  In that case I would not mark it received and I would just post the book. 

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 5:19 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2009
Posts: 177
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It was metered postage that clearly states it was mailed December 4th.  On most of the packages I get with stamps, I can't read the postmark anyway.  If I thought there was any possibility that the sender actually mailed it when she said, I would send her a credit.  But it was definitely mailed just a few days ago.

It was originally on my wishlist, but I was the only wisher.   I guess that's why the system reordered it for me when the first one went lost. Another copy must have been posted while I was waiting for the first.  There are currently no wishers and since it's a pretty obscure mathematics book, it may take a while for someone else to request it.  Then again, it may be snapped up by another geek like me.

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 5:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I would post it.

It sounds as if it would be ordered reasonably quickly - not that many people will be interested, but likely the people who are will search for it and really  want it.

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 5:42 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2009
Posts: 2,680
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If there was any uncertainty about when it was mailed I'd give the credit, but with these circumstances, I would just post the book, and not give the credit, which is what the Help Docs say you can do. It'll be a good lesson for the sender to either mail on time or at least give notice if there's a problem next time. Mailing two months later without saying a word? Yeah, that doesn't fly here.

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 6:25 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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A pm (per guidelines) could have avoided this problem  :(



Last Edited on: 12/10/09 6:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/10/2009 6:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I wouldn't mark it received if it had metered postage proving the late mail by date.  Like Denise said all they had to do was PM you before they mailed it out to let you they forgot or it came back for whatever reason. 

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 8:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,201
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If it was mailed using stamps then you cannot go by the stamp cancellation date.

I would disagree with this. It seems like this is an opinion tossed around in the forums that is now being stated like it is a fact. Is it written anywhere on PBS that only a USPS metered stamp can be relied on? I believe that a stamp cancellation date is considered a postmark (which is the word I see PBS using) and can be used to determine lateness of mailing. Yes, it is possible that the book had been lost by the PO and not metered for 2 months, but I find it less likely that that happened than the person mailed it late. Unless the rules state somewhere that only a USPS metered stamp is reliable I would go by any USPS postmark unless I had correspondence from the sender to the contrary.

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 8:52 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 6:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/11/2009 1:27 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,476
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I look to see if the postmark on the stamps are the same town as the sender.  Then I do assume it was mailed late.  But if the postmark is one of those sorting black holes, like Bell, CA, then I'm more leinent. 

But why didn't they PM when the book was declared lost?

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 8:14 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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If it was mailed using stamps then you cannot go by the stamp cancellation date.

I would disagree with this.

I agree with  Melanie here.  In this specific case, I cannot believe it would have sat around for nearly 2 months unprocessed.  If you are talking about a week to 10 days, then at this time of the year, yes, I  could believe it.  When it's stamped more than 10 days past the supposed mailing date as indicated by the sending member, I call foul on the sender. 

Date Posted: 12/12/2009 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,718
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If it was mailed using stamps then you cannot go by the stamp cancellation date.

You need to check the postmark zip code. Postmarks usually only get applied by the post office SENDING, and by the post office RECEIVING - VERY rarely in between. It's late if it's from the sender's post office, but not if it is from the receiver's post office. I know for a fact that MY home post office never postmarks outgoing mail - they only have one employee and she has more important things to do!

It just really, really doesn't make sense to me that someone would even bother sending a book out that far after the mailing date - especially if it had already been marked lost. Or maybe she gave it to someone else to mail, and they didn't until much later, and she has no idea at all that it went out late?

Date Posted: 12/13/2009 8:17 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 6:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 12/13/2009 9:56 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,145
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BTW, does anyone know who, if anyone, pays the return postage on items "returned to sender"?

For First Class, USPS pays. For Media Mail, the person to whom the package is returned pays.

Date Posted: 12/13/2009 7:03 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,718
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BTW, does anyone know who, if anyone, pays the return postage on items "returned to sender"?

In my experience, it depends on the post office/PO employees. My post office has returned media mail to me without charging me for the return shipping several times now. My guess it is because I am friends with my mailman and my local postmaster.

Date Posted: 12/19/2009 6:24 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2006
Posts: 54
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I also think you can't rly on the postage cancellation stamp. Most of the book sI receive that were mailed with stamps NEVER get stamped. The ones I would rely on is the metered postage bought AT THE POST OFFICE. Normally if you go to the post offfice to buy it, you mail it when you buy it. This is why I love DC, it isn't 100% but I don't worry as much about the books.