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Topic: My day with Postage

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Subject: My day with Postage
Date Posted: 9/19/2007 11:24 AM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 54
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Yesterday I had two books to mail. I printed the postage and confirmation on the label. My husband and I had to go to the store. So instead of putting the books in my mailbox I brought them with me to mail at the post office. When I got there and handed the books to the mail lady she said really hateful "where did you get the postage that's on these books. They're a lot more". I pointed at the name Paper Books Swaps. She just kind of huffed at that. Anyway I had to pay over 48 cents extra for one and 38 extra for the other. If I had mailed them in my mailbox at home they either would have been returned to me and I would have lost all the money I had already paid or the people getting the books would have had to pay the extra. Now I am worried that none of the pre-printed postage is right and don't know if I should bother to print any of it and just go to the post office. I just wonder why the postage was more. I am upset the way the post office person acted. Also I'm upset with having paid the fee to print postage and also paying extra postage on each book. Where can I ask about this problem on this site? Thanks for listening.

:(  Carol

Date Posted: 9/19/2007 12:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 10/19/09 9:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/19/2007 12:04 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 3,846
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Did you weigh your books on a scale after packaging up but before putting on the label? If you use the PBS wrappers (I don't, usually), then weigh your book + 3 sheets of paper to get the correct weight. 2 sheets of paper = PBS wrappers and the 3rd one could count for tape. IMO the weight figure that shows up in the little box is just an estimate - you need to change it for the book you are mailing out + packaging materials. Hope that helps you out.

Date Posted: 9/19/2007 12:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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I agree, weigh after they're all wrapped up.

Date Posted: 9/19/2007 12:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2006
Posts: 11,985
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Cindy is right. The weight is a estimate. You can manually put in the right weight and it will adjust and give you the correct amount of postage.

Date Posted: 9/19/2007 12:29 PM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 54
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Oh ok, I didn't know I could change the weight. I thought I was just supposed to print it the way it says.

Thanks

:) Carol

Date Posted: 9/19/2007 1:36 PM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2005
Posts: 6,182
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I have noticed that the weights are within a few ounces on the ones I have printed. But, it is definately best to check the weight once the book is packaged up!! I have a postage scale like the one they sell in the Kiosk here. I have found I needed to adjust a few of the weights on ones I have send using the printable postage. And YES, be sure to put two sheets of paper on top also to add in the weight of the postage wrapper!

Diane

 

Date Posted: 9/19/2007 6:25 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,425
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I have had to adjust weights a few ounces one way or the other, but so far they have been pretty close!

Date Posted: 9/19/2007 7:20 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
Posts: 7,143
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I wish next to the estimated amount on the wrapper that it would have the word ESTIMATE. That way people would know.

Date Posted: 9/19/2007 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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I did an experiment with mine.  I weighed the naked book, then wrapped it in saran wrap, two sheets of paper, scotch tape, then a long strip of packing tape along the seam, and a strip over each end.  The weight went up 7/10 of an ounce.  It went up another 1/10th for the 6 stamps added on.

Date Posted: 9/19/2007 9:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2007
Posts: 1,305
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Oh, I didn't weigh my last one, was in hurry. I hope it had enough. Shoot!

Date Posted: 9/20/2007 10:33 AM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2005
Posts: 5,514
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I have a scale and always weigh before I put stamps on. The weight is ALWAYS off by the time I add envelope, tape, and stamps. PBS has no way of knowing what type of packing material you will us. I also do this BEFORE printing posting and adjust the weight.

Date Posted: 9/20/2007 8:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/25/2006
Posts: 53
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By all means, check the weight! I recently received a request for a book, and when I tried to print the postage, the weight was listed as 39 pounds & 3 ounces! I tried several times to change it to the proper 6.5 ounces, but it wouldn't let me, and wouldn't even print the estimated cost of mailing. I contacted R&R -- the problem was a misplaced decimal point in their database.

Date Posted: 9/20/2007 8:53 PM ET
Member Since: 7/25/2006
Posts: 53
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By all means, pay attention to the estimate. Someone recently requested one of my books. When I tried to print the postage, the estimate said the book weighed 39 pounds and 3 ounces. I repeatedly tried to change it to the accurate 6.5 ounces, but it wouldn't let me. I finally notified R&R and they solved the problem in less than 24 hours -- a misplaced decimal point in the database for the book!

Date Posted: 9/20/2007 10:44 PM ET
Member Since: 4/10/2007
Posts: 102
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i always check the isbn on amazon before i mail a book.  they have the weight listed there and i can compare it to what pbs has listed on the postage calculator thingie.  :)

Date Posted: 9/21/2007 11:59 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 752
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I got some books where I had to pay the extra postage for they did not have the right amount on them.

Date Posted: 9/21/2007 3:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/29/2007
Posts: 78
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BTW, no excuse for the postal employee to act that way.

Date Posted: 9/22/2007 4:49 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Just a heads up, Heather, the Amazon database can be wrong, I've had it happen, so you are still better off weighing your books, plus like was said, depends on the type of wrapping you choose as to whether it tips you right over that next weight cat.

And, yes, Al, I agree, there is no excuse for the PO clerk to have been rude. I personally would have reported him/her to the PM and if I didn't feel the PM seemed concerned about it, I'd have called the 800 number and reported it. They just might send a mystery shopper to them to see how they handle their customers (they actually do that!). It may have been to long since their last inspection and maybe they need to be reminded that they should treat their customers with decency, even if the customer MIGHT be wrong :)

Date Posted: 9/23/2007 6:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2006
Posts: 837
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I weigh the book and mailer together on my scales and enter the resulting weight into the pre-paid postage label system.

Like Carol E.H. who posted in this thread, I have experienced numerous snarky comments from postal clerks regarding my use of media mail rates. Always, I am reminded how much money I am saving and am reminded that the packaged books are subject to inspection.

After six such experiences, I told the seventh clerk that my mailing is in accordance with USPS rules and that if he has a complaint about media mail rates, then that complaint should be directed to USPS rather than to me. I added that, by all means, he should open the package but be sure that he rewrapped it for delivery.

I am thankful that PBS adopted a pre-paid labeling system to avoid my having to suffer additional snarky comments. I was on the verge of going "postal" myself.

By the way, those automated postage machines inside the post offices do *not* have an option for media mail.

Date Posted: 9/23/2007 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2006
Posts: 315
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Pam C: They don't have an option for it specifically, but if you know what your package costs, media mail, you can 'buy a stamp' 'for another amount' in that amount and you're golden. I do it all the time.