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Topic: To DC or to not DC?

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Subject: To DC or to not DC?
Date Posted: 4/27/2008 5:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/16/2007
Posts: 148
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I'm a newbie and so far have enjoyed PBS very much.  Although I have read several posts that have given me pause, I'm a tough ol' bird and don't  scare easily.  

I've sent out a doz. or so books and requested about half that many. All reached their appointed designation in a reasonable amount of time, anywhere from two days to two weeks.  So far I have used neither PBS's nor the USPS's DC.  I'm undecided in the value vs. cost issue.  I've read many posts about lost books and I am wondering if any of the lost books were sent with DC?  Also does using DC have any effect on the delivery time? Faster? Slower? No difference?

Thanks for your input!

Date Posted: 4/27/2008 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2006
Posts: 387
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I've sent out over a thousand books and have never used DC.

Date Posted: 4/27/2008 10:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I've never had a book go lost and I've sent out over 200.  I only use DC for audio cd's(2 credits) and Swap books because the games require DC. I use the printed postage on audio cds and book orders over 13oz.  For the rest I use stamps.  I figure if one happens to go lost, the money I saved on the DC fee and the printed postage fees will cover the cost of the book/credit that I'm out.  I buy 99.9% of my books used, even the audio cds.  If I bought all new stuff and sent it out here, then I might use the DC more often. But really, if you send out a lot of books-the money saved not using it will cover the occassional lost one. 

Date Posted: 4/27/2008 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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I've sent out (I just checked) 167 books so far.  I've received 129.  I've never had a book go lost in all of those transactions!  Even if book number 168 goes lost, I STILL wouldn't use DC.  To me, it's just not worth it for the occasional lost book.  The only reason to use DC, in my opinion, is to support the site because PBS charges a small fee when you do.  I'd never use USPS DC for two reasons - one, you aren't supporting the site because PBS sees none of that money, and two, PBS does not guarantee your credit they way they do when you use DC through the site.  USPS DC is a waste of money in terms of the site.

Date Posted: 4/27/2008 10:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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I'm another one who figures DC simply isn't financially sound for me.   I've sent out over 200 books and received about the same.   Have had two books lost.            I don't NEED the credit quickly, so I don't use the DC.   However, IF I needed credits and needed them NOW, I'd use the PBS postage with DC which gives you your credit right away.

Date Posted: 4/27/2008 10:49 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2008
Posts: 79
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I live in Hawaii and I use DC for one reason--I like to track my books on their journey.  My sent books almost always get marked lost in the mail before reaching their desitnation, so I like to be able to to assure the requestor that, yes, I did send the book and it is currently enroute from Honolulu/other city along the way. 

patticom - ,
Date Posted: 4/28/2008 2:29 AM ET
Member Since: 11/3/2007
Posts: 416
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I can't use DC, it's not available from an APO.  :)  PBS recommends using DC when sending to us, though, because our average mail time for media mail is usually between 4-5 weeks and I have books declared lost before they arrive pretty routinely... but like Cozi says, if you don't need the credit(s) quickly then it's not a big deal.  :)

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 8:21 AM ET
Member Since: 11/7/2005
Posts: 34
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i only use it if I'm low on credits...........

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 8:28 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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I like to use it if someone requests 3 or 4 (or more) books so that if that one mailing does go lost I am not out 3 or 4 or more credits.

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 4/28/2008 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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I'm one of those who ALWAYS uses DC, and Printable Postage options.  I like the fact that I'm a little bit helping to support the site, and also I like the peace of mind, being able to track books and knowing I'll get my credit if books go lost.   So far, none I've sent out have gone lost, but still glad I have DC on the books.  I used DC all the time before they had the Printable Postage option, and now use that option exclusively (it also includes DC).

I even use Printable Postage option when sending out non-PBS books to my friends. *grin*

To me, the little bit extra cost is MORE than offset by the ease and convenience of having the package ready to send out with no need for me to make a stop at the local Post Office.  Now, if only I could get the Printable Postage option to work with international mail....  hehehe

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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I always use DC and/or printable postage, and have mailed over 350 books, and never had one go lost. 

I have had 5 books I've requested "go lost", and none of them used DC.  None of them ever arrived, either.

I guess the decision boils down to how comfortable you are sending books without the "insurance" which DC/printable postage provides.  I've not had many problems on this site but over on Swap-A-CD, where DC is not an option, I've had a number of problems in the short time I've been there with CDs marked mailed but (I believe) never sent, and where inactive members with auto-requests have requested CDs from me and then never logged in to mark them received.

Just my $.02 ... your mileage, of course, may vary.



Date Posted: 4/28/2008 2:04 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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I like to use the PBS Postage so that I can mail my books without needing a trip to the post office. My life is crazy enough as it is without trips there, LOL! I also like that I get instant credit when I use it. Comes in handy when you're low on credits, but most of all it's a release from the "worry factor". :)

But I wouldn't do it as an "insurance" thing. I've had none of the books that I've sent out go lost. But I've had two go lost that were coming in to me over the last two months. The first one didn't have PBS postage, so no tracking. The second had a PBS DC number, but the book was never scanned by the USPS and it never arrived.

Jenny (Jenny) - ,
Date Posted: 4/28/2008 3:24 PM ET
Member Since: 12/13/2005
Posts: 682
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I use it often (mostly as a way to support the site), but not all of the time. If I'm shipping multiple books to the same address, I'll use it.

Using the DC offered through PBS is cheaper than buying it from the post office-- it's also the only way to guarantee the credit in the PBS system.

From a forum thread a while back where people were posting how many of their requests had gone lost vs. how many of their sent books went lost-- About 3% of books requested by forum posters went lost and about 1% of books sent by forum posters went lost. My interpretation is that the post office loss rate is ~1% and the loss rate due to carelessness/human error by the average PBS member is an additional 1-2%. Posters to PBS forums are generally more reliable than the general PBS membership!

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 3:30 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 211
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Comes in handy when you're low on credits, but most of all it's a release from the "worry factor".

Those are the reasons why I want to get DC too, especially about the worry factor.  I feel like PM'ing the recipients after a week if they haven't gotten their books yet, then I start worrying if they got lost.  At least with the DC, we can track their movements.

Last Edited on: 4/28/08 3:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/28/2008 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 12/16/2007
Posts: 148
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Thank you everyone for your input. There seems to be equal reasons to use DC and not use DC. There are certainly times when it is more valuable, multiple books, etc.  Thanks again, to everyone.

Date Posted: 4/29/2008 5:42 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I always use the DC from PBS because it's an easy way to give PBS a tiny amount of $ and because I like to be able to prove that I mailed the books.  I always hand them to the clerk and she scans them immediately.  I did have an order of 5 books that went missing after the PO had them - and at least I could prove that  I mailed them!  I feel really bad that the requestor didn't get them because they were some of the most highly sought after books.  What a waste!


Date Posted: 4/29/2008 8:52 AM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2007
Posts: 3,326
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I haven't been a member all that long, but I have had several books go missing (both directions) and once I decided to try the PBS DC I found out how much I like it!  I'm not saying I'll use it for every single book I send, but since I started using it, I have purchased it for most of the ones I send out.  Like someone else said, I like to be able to prove that I sent the book if it goes missing.

I don't use printable postage, though. I've found the PBS estimate to be wrong more times than not. I'd rather take my pkgs to the PO and get a correct amount every time.

Date Posted: 4/29/2008 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/14/2005
Posts: 113
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I use PBS DC so that I can wrap, postage, and then put my books in the blue box without needing to go into the post office : ) I also use it because I don't want to lose credits, if it's out of my control. Credits are expensive and in the 200+ books that I've mailed I think 2-3 have been lost. I also hope that in a small way I am contributing to PBS.

Date Posted: 4/29/2008 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2007
Posts: 489
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Last Edited on: 1/18/09 3:58 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/30/2008 8:55 AM ET
Member Since: 6/14/2005
Posts: 113
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now if I start having postage problems, then I will go back to the old system of wrapping and taking them directly to the post office. I've only started DC in the past 4 weeks and so far there's been no problems. Watch, I've now probably just jinxed myself : ) hahaha

Date Posted: 4/30/2008 9:29 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I've not used DC because of the cost (even though it supports the site) and because I don't have a scale and don't want to spend the money.  I've not had a book go lost yet *knock on wood*

Date Posted: 4/30/2008 9:49 AM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 48
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I've been a member for almost three years and never had a book go lost until last January.  It was a WL book and I mailed it without DC, as I had every other book with no problem.  This one went missing.  The sad part about it is that it was a hardback book in like new condition.  I really felt sorry for the requestor in not receiving this excellent book.  Since then I've used DC just for the added comfort in knowing that it is less likely to go lost.