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Topic: Couple of newbie questions

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Subject: Couple of newbie questions
Date Posted: 6/27/2011 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2011
Posts: 2
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I'm brand new here.  I'm just getting ready to send out my first book request.  yay!  Is there a post that lists the terms that are used in the forums?  I'm confused about what RC's and RWAP's are and I'm sure I'll come by other abbreviated terms that I can't figure out. :) 

Also, what do most of you do in terms of sending out books.  I used the pre-printed/delivery confirmation option.  Is this the best way or should I skip the DC and buy my own stamps?  I get nervous that someone won't input that they've actually received the book once I mail it.

Date Posted: 6/27/2011 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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Hi Kim, welcome to PBS!

There's a glossary in the Help Docs: http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/search.php?terms=glossary


There are many options for postage: using stamps, online postage, PBS Delivery Confirmation (DC) /Postage. I'll try to outline the pros and cons with each


Pro: cheapest way to mail

Con: if the package is over 13 oz, must be taken to the post office; no delivery confirmation

Online postage (e.g. via paypal)

Pro: convenient (can put in blue box even if over 13 cents)

Con: costs 19 cents over postage because all online postage requires eDC, but no credit assurance

PBS DC/Postage

Pro: getting credits quicker and "insured" against packages going lost, supports the site

Con: more expensive (there's a 43 cent fee paid to PBS as well as the 19 cent eDC fee) 


If you wish to avoid the post office, I would recommend having a scale to weigh your packages, since the database information can be wrong.

I would also not recommend purchasing Delivery Confirmation from the post office (with the fluorescent green labels) because it costs 80 cents and does not guarantee your credit.

Good luck!

Date Posted: 6/27/2011 1:07 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome to PBS Kim!  There's a list of abbreviations in the Help Documents, under glossary.

RC = Requester Conditions, which are conditions members can place on the books they request (such as no smoke odor or dust jackets for hardcovers please).  It's difficult to miss if you receive a book request with RC's attached.  It's a big window you must click through before you can actually accept the request to mail a book.

RWAP = Received With A Problem.  These are books that the receiver marks as a problem swap, either damaged by USPS enroute, possibly damaged by sender and mailed in unpostable condition, or did not meet RC conditions.  This notation stays on a sender's account, and several of them can get your account reviewed by PBS admin.

Regarding mailing, postage, E-dc, and printable postage.  Preferences vary widely by members and what works for each of us.  I use e-dc and counter postage...I like the assurance of DC and live close enough to my PO to stop in several times a week if necessary.  Other members don't like to hassle with their PO or waiting in long lines and love printable postage (although they recommend using a postal scale to check weight before printing postage).  Still others don't feel the additional expense is justified when so very few books are lost in the mail.

Books not marked received on the other end?  It happens Kim, but not very often.  Sometimes there are delays (like the current summer vacation season) when people are out of town or really  busy, but even those usually end up marked in a few days.  TPTB actually have us covered there also.  If a member has a number of transactions going lost or not marked received, that too can trigger a review of their account.  

Again, the Help Documents have guidelines for handling almost any situation that will arise here.  Recommended wait times, when to pm an inquiry, when to contact TPTB, etc.

Last Edited on: 6/27/11 1:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/27/2011 1:57 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 10,192
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Books rarely go lost here as confirmed by other forum discussions. Most of us don't see the need to pay extra for DC to assure we get our credit, but there are special books I'll buy it for or certain destinations --like HI or AK since media mail takes so long to get there.   If a book weighs so little that first class postage is cheaper, I wouldn't bother with DC either cause book will get there fast and it seems these don't go lost as often.

Date Posted: 6/27/2011 6:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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The DC is a personally preference like others said. 

I personally feel like it's a waste of money.  It adds up to about $5.00 for every 10 books sent. You could buy 2 credits in the book bazaar for that. Or several used books at a good thrift store.  I've had 1 book that I've sent go lost out of probably 3,000 sent at this point between games, PBS and 2 other trading sites. I don't stress or lose sleep over the possible loss of a book or credit. It's such a minor thing in the grand scheme of life. DC on every book would have cost me a few hundred dollars by now.  I'd rather spend that money on books.

Others need the peace of mind because they worry.  If you feel you need the reassurance. Get it through PBS.  DC from anywhere else isn't honored by PBS. It's unreliable.  PBS only refunds a credit when you purchase it from them because the fee pays for the occassional lost book.

I do use the PBS postage more now that I'm a single mother and working full time. But only on packages over 13oz. Otherwise I just slap stamps on them. 

Date Posted: 6/27/2011 6:36 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2007
Posts: 145
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I've been here sinc 2007 and I haven't had to use DC when I ship books.  Like Mary who posted above me, I've done fine using PBS postage.

Date Posted: 6/27/2011 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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Just to clarify:

There are two ways to mail via PBS:

1) PBS Printed Postage with DC -- costs 62 cents over the postage cost (43 cents to PBS and 19 cents to the PO for DC); you receive "instant credit" as soon as you mark mailed; can mail in blue box regardless of weight

2) PBS DC only -- cost 46 cents over the postage cost (27 cents to PBS and 19 cents to the PO); you need to add postage to the package, including the 19 cents; you receive "quick credit" with the first postal scan; can mail in blue box if package is 13 oz. or less

There is no option to print postage only.

Welcome to PBS!!


Date Posted: 6/27/2011 9:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I think DC is required by the post office on all online postage. 

It's cheaper to use Paypal postage and I'll use that for larger game books.  But if I have a larger book or bulk order and don't wnat to go to the post office-I use PBS. So at least the extra fee goes to help support PBS and replace my credit on the off chance it goes lost. 

Date Posted: 6/27/2011 10:55 PM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2011
Posts: 2
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Thanks for all your feedback!  It's been very helpful.  :)  I'm sure I will get the hang of all this very soon.

Date Posted: 6/27/2011 11:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,602
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Welllllllllllcome to your new addiction! Mwaahaha! :)

My own preference is to use the PBS DC/Printed postage, but not because of wanting the credit assurance--as others have said, books going lost is a pretty rare occurance. I sent about half my books with just stamps or metered postage, the last half with the printed postage and only a handful out of 1800+ have gone lost--that's over almost 6 years now--some with DC and some without.

The printed postage is just convenient for me now; my work schedule changed and now I can only get to the PO counter one day a week and since I mail a fair number of books over 13 oz.,  with the printable postage I can still drop those in the blue box in front of my work. I prefer to use the PBS postage over other online printed postage even though it's more expensive--my way of supporting the site to keep it free at point of use for those who don't want the extra services.



Date Posted: 6/27/2011 11:32 PM ET
Member Since: 11/9/2009
Posts: 196
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I only get the DC when I have more than 3 books going to the same person. 

Date Posted: 6/28/2011 1:29 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,175
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If you choose to print the postage ..... I would like to warn you that the postage is calculated on book weights in the PBS database that can frequently be incorrect for many reasons.

If you decide to mail your books using printed postage from PS, it is highly advisable to purchase a small mailing scale to double check your package weight before printing the postage. (there is a field when you are printing the postage where you can adjust the package weight manually as needed).

Date Posted: 6/28/2011 6:56 AM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2010
Posts: 68
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Welcome to PBS!!! :)

I have not used PBS postage but did use PBS DC on the first few books I sent out. I was worried about them arriving safely and I was able to get my credits quicker. I stopped using the DC to save money and have not yet had a lost book. However, I did have one go walk-about for 2 months before it was marked received.

Date Posted: 6/30/2011 1:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,354
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Echoing what Sara said above--if you are printing out postage, be sure to weigh your book (a postage scale or a kitchen scale will do) and enter either the "book weight" or "wrapped book weight" at the bottom of the "print wrapper" page.  The estimated weights here are usually right, but sometimes wrong.

Date Posted: 6/30/2011 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,408
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Welcome - hope you enjoy PBS as much as the rest of us do.  It can become addictive.

I use DC (Delivery Confirmation from PBS in the following instances:

1.  Going to HI, AK, Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico  and an APO/FPO/DPO.  If the weight isn't a concern to these destinations, I'll pay the few pennies extra and send it 1st Class.

2.  Whenever I'm shipping 2 or more books to the same person.

3.  Whenever I'm sending to a PO Box.  Quite often people who have PO boxes don't check their mail every day.

Good luck. Pat