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Topic: Calculated amount always right?

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Subject: Calculated amount always right?
Date Posted: 10/5/2007 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2007
Posts: 4
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Hi,

I mailed a book (first class because of small weight) from the po today. The PBS rate said it is 1,88 (or 1,81 - I don't remember) but at the po I was told it is 1,98 and I shouldn't rely on what the print out says...?

Anyone else had this problem before? I'd hate for people to get my books and than have to add a few cents?

Thanks,

Austria

Date Posted: 10/5/2007 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2007
Posts: 465
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No, the printout is not always 100% accurate.  I think it even says "estimated" on there somewhere.

I bought a scale so I could weigh books that I was unsure about.

Date Posted: 10/5/2007 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2006
Posts: 877
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The estimates are just that.  Don't forget that even if they were perfect your packaging adds weight.

I mailed one today where the estimate was 6 ounces and the book weighed over a pound!

Date Posted: 10/5/2007 10:01 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2007
Posts: 4
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Thank you. I'll be more careful in future!

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 10/6/2007 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,103
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There's also the case where two books with the same ISBN and the same binding type won't weigh the same. This happens to me with a lot of hardbacks. If they're book club editions, they're smaller and lighter than what the database says, usually under a pound.

Date Posted: 10/6/2007 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2007
Posts: 60
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I think I'm the first person in my town to use PBS b/c they are very confused by my printed wrapper at the P.O. and have apologized to me when their amount is doesn't match the PBS amount!  It is and estimate and your extra wrapping does add weight.

Date Posted: 10/6/2007 2:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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Not just the wrapping: I've had several instances where the (Amazon-supplied) weight has been way, way off!

Date Posted: 10/6/2007 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2006
Posts: 1
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Hi, I just had this experience. Not only does the packaging add weight, it adds width, and the P.O. has a guide line for that also. I would be generous in terms of postage. The weight and charge I got was $1.98 instead of $1.81, but my post office is really fast at getting these out, so I am happy!
Date Posted: 10/7/2007 11:35 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 10/20/09 10:42 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/10/2007 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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I'm noticing a lot more incorrect estimates since the printable postage came into effect.   Frequently the "media" or "first class" designation is wrong.  I always mail at the P.O. so I'm not worried about getting the right amount on there eventually, but I'm afraid my postal workers are getting a little tired of slapping white stickers over the "first class" designation and remarking it as media!

Date Posted: 10/10/2007 2:01 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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Kristen:

Unless the book "feels" clearly light enough to go First Class, or heavy enough to make Media Mail definitely cheaper (I get the idea you've sent enough books by now to gauge the difference pretty much by instinct), I'd either cut out, or mark through (black sharpie works great!) the FC/MM part before affixing the PBS label. The P. O. clerk can use the "official Post Office" FC/MM stamp at the time of transaction for medium-weight books. How's that?

John

Date Posted: 10/11/2007 1:27 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2005
Posts: 4,469
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The calculated amount is a guess--you're best off weighing it yourself and changing the weight to make it right.

Date Posted: 10/11/2007 10:33 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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Thanks for the tip, John!  And yes, I have gotten a pretty good sense of weights, but I've been thrown off by the new rate structure which puts some first class books at 2.15.  Gotta recalibrate the internal scale.  ;->