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Topic: I'm confused...questions

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Subject: I'm confused...questions
Date Posted: 7/1/2009 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2008
Posts: 2
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Sorry if these have been asked before, but I'm new here.  I mailed my first book today.  I printed out the mailing paper from this site.  It said "first class" on it, so I sent it first class parcel.  Could I have sent it media mail?  Also, the postage printed on it said $1.39, but when I took it to the post office, the postage was $3.09.  Why the discrepancy?  Also, this site said the DC, if purchased here, is something like 21 cents (I don't remember exactly), but at my post office, it says delivery confirmation is 70 to 80 cents.  I'm confused.  I would like to just send from my mailbox, but wouldn't everything be returned if I go by the postage stated on PBS?  Thanks!


Date Posted: 7/1/2009 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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Allison -- welcome to PBS!

I think this is what happened:

I think the discrepancy was caused by a database error for the weight of the book.

A 2 oz package mailed first class costs 1.39

A 12 oz package mailed first class costs 3.09

If a book weights over 7 oz,  the cheapest way to send it is media mail. (Although for 8oz the difference is 3 cents, so out of courtesy some people usually "upgrade" to first class to get it there faster.)

Media mail is a lower-priority service, meaning the packages only move when there is room after Express, Priority, First class mail is loaded.

Delivery confirmation costs 19 cents if you buy with online postage, and it is mandatory to purchase. Here, on PBS, there's also a slight fee associated with it, but you get your credit faster. If you buy the DC at the postage, it costs 70 cents for Priority mail, and 80 cents for other classes.

If you want to send from your mailbox, I would recommend using the PBS-postage or another online postage which supports media mail (eg. Paypal). To be absolutely sure you are applying the correct postage, either buy a postage scale (which is relatively inexpensive) or weigh and record all your books at one time (eg in the post office lobby). I hope this helps.

Angie -
Date Posted: 7/2/2009 3:24 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 3,299
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Delivery confirmation costs 19 cents if you buy with online postage, and it is mandatory to purchase. Here, on PBS, there's also a slight fee associated with it, but you get your credit faster.

I just want to clarify this because it confuses a lot of people. You pay 27 cents (or something like that) on PBS when you print it on the wrapper. You can reprint the wrapper again for free as long as you don't reprint it and then add PBS postage after you've already bought just the DC. (Sorry if that's confusing.) THEN, when you go to the post office or when you buy PBS postage, you will had 19 cents (or something like that) which covers the actual postage. So it's like 46 cents total, which is still cheaper than getting DC from the post office.

You can put your own stamps and postage on at home as long as the book is under 13 oz. If it's over 13 oz, you will need to either buy pbs postage (this is okay because they can track you if they need to) or you will have to hand it to a clerk at the post office so they can verify you aren't a terrorist.

So if you want to mail books at home, it's a good idea to get a cheap scale so you can just weigh the books and be sure that the postage is correct. Unfortunately, many times the weights on the website are incorrect, or sometimes when you add shipping materials (bubble wrap, tape, etc.) it can change the weight.

Also, you can get the wrapper to print as first class mail or media mail. I think it usually defaults to the cheaper option based on the weight of the book, but it won't always be right if the weight of the book is not in the system correctly.