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Topic: Correcting PBS's estimated weight

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Subject: Correcting PBS's estimated weight
Date Posted: 4/5/2009 8:12 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I just printed off a PBS postage+DC label for a book to mail.  I didn't bother to look at their weight for this paperback.  It's so close in weight to the other in the series that I didn't look.  The weight they have is very wrong.  How do I correct this with PBS?  It printed off First Class and it's definitely not in that cheap weight range - it weighs about 9 oz instead of the 5.5 oz. they have.  I'm bummed!

Ruth

Date Posted: 4/5/2009 8:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
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Go to the book details page and then into the Edit Book Data.

Date Posted: 4/5/2009 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2007
Posts: 304
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I had one tonight that was one pound over the actual weight. After rounding up. That's an awful big difference. I hope people pay attention to the weights before they print. It's getting too costly for mistakes.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 4/5/2009 9:11 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,135
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You especially need to check when sending a hardcover. I mailed one today that had a weight of over 2 lb in the database, but my book was a book club edition, which only weighed 14 oz. I'm sure the weight they have is correct for the retail version of the book.



Last Edited on: 4/5/09 9:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/5/2009 9:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2008
Posts: 4,470
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If you mean correct the weight by printing over a new label, no you can't. You can add on more stamps to make up the difference.

Date Posted: 4/5/2009 11:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,600
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I just change the weight when I'm printing the label. Sometimes there are some really bizarre numbers there--like a 2 lb book that is really about 7 oz! I wonder if the label printing program just saves whatever the last person put in there? Maybe that person was sending a combination order with a freebie book added to it or something so the next time that ISBN comes up to print it gives that info? I dunno.

But as others have said, you can't change it now--just add stamps to make up the difference.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 4/5/2009 11:51 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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No, I know I can't change it now.  It's the pits because that means someone (I depend on family members to mail things) will have to actually go INTO the post office to mail this.  What a pain.  I guess I'll try to get it sandwiched in between my docotrs'  visits and do it myself so no one else complains about doing it.  I just wanted to have PBS have the right weight information.  I usually do check the weights - but this time I had both of the first 2 books in the series going out to different people and they are the same size.  Just when you think you've got a handle on things - you don't! 

Ruth

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 12:11 AM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2005
Posts: 905
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This sort of thing is the reason why I weigh ALL of the books and packages that I send out.  I have found that the PBS weight estimates are more often wrong than right and frequently by A LOT!  I had one print out today that was actually just over 1 lb., and thus should have shown up at $2.58, but came off their label at somewhere >$4 required---that's about 12-14lb., or so and way off from reality.  Another problem is that (I think) when you change the weight in the "edit book data" area, it goes right back to the incorrect weight after you finish with your  package.  About half of the time I have to cut off the "first class" or "media mail" marker and hand write the correct category myself.  I have no clue if there is any way to get this mess corrected, but several of us should really gripe to the "powers that be" here, I think.

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 12:25 AM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 5,751
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Make sure that when you find an incorrect weight that you send in the correction so that in the future, that book's weight will be right. At the bottom of any page, click on EDIT BOOK DATA and input the correct weight. This will submit it to the Powers That Be for review.

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 1:01 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Well, for the first time I did go to "edit the data" and put in the correct weight - but I forgot to put why I was editing it - so they may not do anything about it. How long should it take them to approve or not?  I'm going to have to correct the label and pay whatever I didn't pay already.  I hope it put in the right tenths of pounds they want.

Ruth

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 5:44 AM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2008
Posts: 1,080
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If you are not sure how to do the correction, PM me which ISBN and the correct weight and I will enter it.

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 9:24 AM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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I have found some of the PBS weights to be off also.  I often, but not always take books to the PO to be weighed and mailed.  I don't have a postal scale at home.  When I have a small book that I just want to mail 1st class from my mail box I compare the estimated PBS weight to the shipping weight on Amazon.com.  One of the little children's "Magic Treehouse"  books had a PBS est. weight ~ 8 oz, but 1.8 oz on Amazon.

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 10:44 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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The problem I have with using Amazon's weights is that they add in their wrapping weight which is usually much more than we at PBS use.  Cardboard boxes and other stuff that I(at least) don't use and they are notorious for going overboard in the item size to box size ratio.

Ruth

PS - Patti - the ISBN is 0451460774and it weighs 7/10 of a pound (my scale is not weight by ounces).  Thanks!

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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I've learned that it's easier to just ignore the listed weight and weigh it myself on my own scale.  If I see a big discrepancy though I will submit an edit on it.  As a matter of fact, I had one this morning, but I was in a rush to get it to the PO (it's going to an APO address so I had to do the Customs form) and then head down to Richmond to pick up 3,000 lbs. of hardwood flooring (putting new floors in the entire house).  Of course, when I got back a little while ago and went to edit the data I found out everything was blank except for a brief description.  I wish I'd have known that before I wrapped and mailed it, as I would have entered all the info.  Bummer.

 

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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It makes sense that Amazon would add on the price of their cardboard wrapping, but despite that, whenever I compare, the Amazon weight is almost always less than the PBS weight.  So basically I am finding that usually PBS estimates the book as too heavy.  I have saved a little postage $$ when I take it to the PO for mailing.  Of course I more than eat that savings by the time spent.

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 2:46 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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'...and they are notorious for going overboard in the item size to box size ratio.'

Tell me about it!  LOL

I ordered a new antenna for my work truck through Amazon.  The item package was 40" long, 5" wide and about 4" thick.  It came in a box that was 60" long by 12" on each side... with no padding or filling of any kind.  Good thing it was a fibreglass antenna and those are near indestrucible.

 

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 2:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Ahh, so you went down to Lumber Liquidators??  What kind did you get?  We've been thinking about changing our floors, too.  But I wantcork in my over the garage bedroom since it's an insulator andhypo-allergenic floor as well as renewable resource.  Have to wait until we can afford it.

I think I'm going to go back and check on the info for that book.  Being on PBS gets me more stuff to do everyday I'm on here!  LOL!! ;D

Ruth

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 3:17 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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Bellawood Natural Ash in 2-1/4" strips.  We bought it for the office a month ago when it was on sale for $1.99 sq.ft. (regularly $6.99) and regretted that we didn't get more after the sale ended.  Then, two weeks ago, it went on sale for $2.89 sq.ft. so we bought 1,200 sq.ft. to do the reast of the house.  Doing the office, MBR, DR, LR, foyer and hallways.  The guest room will stay with carpet for now, and the kitchen, mudroom and rear entryway I'll be doing in natural stone, probably Travertine.

ETA: I'll probably also do some patterns, inlay work and borders on the floors with either Red Oak or American Walnut, since I have a few cases of each out in the shop.



Last Edited on: 4/6/09 3:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/6/2009 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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It's funny, because in the mail (along with 2 books) were 3 floor samples DH ordered. I like the dark one (IPE) and he likes the Mahogany.  We currently have 3 rooms done in Bellawood Brazilian Cherry.

Ruth

Date Posted: 4/6/2009 10:26 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 63
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It does seem like PBS rounds upward a little too much in their weight estimates. But I'd much rather pay a little extra than risk having the package sent back due to inadequate postage. I briefly considered buying a scale but I'm way too lazy for that.

Once PBS told me that a hardback I was sending weighed 20 pounds. (It actually weighed two,) Fortunately I caught it before printing it out. Otherwise I've had no problem using PBS postage. I love it. I can't imagine how the webmasters can make sending books easier, unless they actually drop by your house and wrap them for you. Any chance of that?

Date Posted: 4/7/2009 12:29 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Hey, there's a thought - real life personal service!  LOL!!

Ruth

Date Posted: 4/7/2009 8:41 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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I just got a mental picture of roving PBS Book Wrapping Squads zooming around the country in little Smart cars loaded with bubble mailers, tape rolls and a scale hanging from the rearview mirror.  :)

 

Date Posted: 4/8/2009 1:41 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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They could be the "Book Squad" ( like Geek Sqaud) - but I think that the Geek Squad has gotten a bad reputation!!

Ruth



Last Edited on: 4/8/09 8:54 AM ET - Total times edited: 1