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Topic: Delivery Confirmation

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Subject: Delivery Confirmation
Date Posted: 1/4/2012 7:48 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2011
Posts: 551
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I just read in another post that Post Office Delivery Conformations don't count if a book is lost or not delivered, that only conformations printed here count. Why? I do NOT have a printer. Am I wasting 80 cents for every USPS  Delivery confirmation I buy? It doesn't seem fair to me.

Date Posted: 1/4/2012 8:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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It only guarantees a credit if you buy it from PBS because the fee paid to PBS covers the cost of the credits they may have to pay to both parties.  DC is not always reliable and so they only count it from here.  Otherwhise who would pay for the credit that gets refunded to both parties when the book goes lost?

Also don't you realize that for every 8 books you mail, you spend $8 just in DC fees. You could buy 3 credits for that inthe book bazaar.  Or a brand new mass market paperback book.  It's a waste of money.

Date Posted: 1/4/2012 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2011
Posts: 551
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So Mary, you are saying I shouldn't buy Delivery Confirmation? But then what happens if someone says they didn't receive the book but they did?

Date Posted: 1/4/2012 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
Posts: 434
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You have to buy it through the site in order for it to act as insurance for you against a lost book or a dishonest member. If you buy it from the post office, it does not guarantee your credit and you are "wasting your money". If you don't have a printer, then I would suggest not buying it at all.

It may not seem fair to you, but keep in mind that we don't make the rules, we just read the forums. Site policy is set by the site administrators who do not read all of the forum posts.

Date Posted: 1/4/2012 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2005
Posts: 1,592
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Mary.......for you it is a waste of money. How do you figure $1 in DC fee per book?  6 of the last 7 books I mailed through the site were under one pound and cost $3.04 each, that was postage and DC. Postage for each $2.60.  DC and postage printed fee 43 cents each for a 6 book total of $2.58  investment and I got:  Instant credit, mail from home,  never a question about delivery, never waiting for member to mark received and best of all PBS makes a few cents to keep this site running. I set a budget for how much money to put in my PBS account to cover DC and postage.  My post office is never NOT busy, always a line.........always.

So FOR ME it is not a waste of money

Elizabeth.......if you don't have a printer it's up to you whether or not to buy DC at the post office. The credit is only guaranteed through the site.....the post office does not have anything to do with credits, just mailing the book. You can contact the site for help with a member who says they didn't get the book. The site charges more because of the credit guarantee.

Basic printers are fairly inexpensive.......maybe you can save up for one.

Good Luck and Welcome to PBS!


Last Edited on: 1/4/12 8:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/4/2012 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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For me personally, I like the security of PBS DC.  Unfortunately, DC purchased elsewhere doesn't have the same benefits as onsite DC.  IIRC there's something in the Help Documents, and if a book goes lost and you purchased DC elsewhere (that shows the book received) you can submit it to TPTB for consideration...but honestly, they have no real way of knowing you actually placed the DC on that book.

So Elizabeth, you are paying more for less DC services.  Any chance of getting a printer, using the library, or even a friends printer?  More cost effective and better member benefits for you  heart  I'd rather see you find a solution than become discouraged!


Date Posted: 1/4/2012 9:52 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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PBS will sometimes mark a book with other than PBS DC as received.  But that is the exception.  It is usually on accounts where they have seen no activity, such as no books mailed and no log ins.  Accounts that may have books on auto-request but appear to be abandoned. 

This makes the post office DC really not worth it. 

Date Posted: 1/4/2012 9:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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In my opinion it really doesn't matter so much about the confirmation of delivery, it is about the paying for insurance. The site covers the cost of that coverage through those fees. Expecting them to cover DC bought elsewhere is like buying your car insurance through Progressive and then trying to turn in a claim with State Farm.

Yes, you are probably wasting your money buying the DC through the post office. You'd need a loss rate of over 33% to have buying USPS retail DC pay off.   

Have you ever had a book not get marked received? If that happened did the DC help? Often when the USPS loses a book, the REALLY lose it and it doesn't ever get delivered.

Date Posted: 1/5/2012 12:07 AM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
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I'm with you, it always gets me when someone says "it only costs 19 cents".  My response is "wow, I didn't know printers and ink cartridges cost so little."

But more to my experience, I would have to say that for most transactions the 19 cents is too expensive, and between the cost of credits in the bazaar and here, this is why.

Example: By my own records I have mailed over 220 packages this past year (all three sites), one has actually gone missing (admittedly it was a little disheartening as that one was worth 15 book credits, which I could see adding DC to package deals like that one, I figure there is a package of 27 books lying underneath a belt assembly somewhere).  This means that to have bought DC at 19 cents per package, I would have spent $41.80.  Admittedly so far I seem to be beating the statistics on mail going lost but only by a narrow margin, although I should note that this is with hand-written labels (not sure how that affects the internal USPS workings to the positive or negative).  In short if you wish to insure using DC simply to remove risk then it is actually very costly unless everything you mail out is worth 12 credits or more.  The other place I have seen some viability in it for anything other than supporting the site (which I suspect it would be wiser to simply donate the money), is for mailings to APO's or Hawaii for someone who is really tight on the credits (I've never had these go lost, but the two to APO's I sent and one to Hawaii I sent took around 1.5 months to deliver a piece).

I have had a few instances where the member appears to have disappeared from on-line presence, but all the site rep's are pretty good with this (in fact they tend to be harsher than I would be about the matter).

As for using the post offices DC I would definitely not use it unless it is a legal document of some sort and then it is better to send it requiring a signature (not sure what this is called anymore, as it's been a few years since I worked at the government office that this could become a regular habit depending upon which company or federal branch you were dealing with).  I certainly wouldn't expect PBS to honor it in any way as they would have no way to determine if that DC was for your book or simply for the care package you sent to your ailing cousin twice removed in college.  Using the site then the DC has to go along with that address without some cutting and pasting funny business that most people are beginning to forget how to do.

In short, don't get discouraged.  Odds are good you will get your credit, and what is occuring now is a rare occurence.

Date Posted: 1/5/2012 12:38 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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PBS does count how often a member has books that go "lost".  If a member is deliberately not marking books received, the statistics would flag them for review.

I do use PBS DC for multiple book orders.  And for books that go over water, such as APOs.  But it is not worth it for me to use on every order.  Such a small percent do go lost.  (I will also use it if I need the credits soon.)

But using the post office DC?  Not worth the cost.  PBS DC is less expensive and has the added insurance.

Date Posted: 1/5/2012 8:15 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I don't think using the printed postage to save a trip to the PO is a waste of money. If you truly do no have time. I do it myself on books over 13oz.  But to pay DC just for the credit assurance-waste of money.  I've had 1 book I sent go lost out of thousands sent.  If I had used DC on all of the books I've sent-I would have spent hundreds of dollars just to recoup that one lost credit.  Not financial sense. I'd rather spent that on books.

I also bet the busy post office has a blue box where you can just slap stamps on smaller books, drop them in and not wait in line.  There's probably blue boxes around town. I have 3 near me and I don't live in a city or business area. 

I've sent 817 books for credits through PBS.  (I've also sent lots of game books, box of books and books throuhg other sites but I'll just use teh 817).  It's .46 to get DC through PBS: .19 to the post office, .27 to PBS.  That adds up to $375.82.  Way too much money towards that one lost credit.

Last Edited on: 1/5/12 8:18 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/5/2012 9:37 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,602
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As someone who has sent over 2000 books and only had a handful go lost or never marked received, I would say that yes, paying 80 cents for non-PBS DC is a waste. The amount of books that don't arrive is so small that it just doesn't make sense to pay for DC for every transaction. At least not to me.  Multiple book orders or something, maybe. But not single books. The only way to actually guarantee the credit is to use PBS' version, which is cheaper (even with the added fee for PBS) than buying DC at the post office. If you can't print the PBS DC, then you are the one who has to decide whether it is worth it to you to pay for the USPS DC.

I use the DC now because it is required and part of the printable postage, which I use all the time for convenience...those extra fees are how I choose to help support the PBS website, and since I have only one day per week when I could go to the PO window to mail heavy books, it works for me, because with printed postage I can drop even heavy hardcovers in the blue box in front of my work. If I were still mailing from the PO, I would not use DC at all for any kind of credit assurance...since I've had so few books go lost, to me it would just not be worth it.

Edited to add--Elizabeth, I just noticed you are also a nurse from the Twin Cities! Me too! Hi there from the western 'burbs! :)


Last Edited on: 1/5/12 9:40 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/5/2012 2:46 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2006
Posts: 368
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I just mailed 2 packages of books this morning. Each pkg. had 2 HC or TPB. Each package was under 2 pounds. I paid 3.01 to mail each with the club DC. I don't use the club DC much except on very heavy books and multiple orders. I think the PBS way is a bargain! Someone earlier on this strand mentioned mailing individual books under 2 lbs. for a much higher price than my 2 HC in each package.      M'ann

Date Posted: 1/5/2012 10:07 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,578
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I first used DC so I could get the credit quickly as I was using credits faster than I was shipping books. That has changed now, but I still use DC so I don't have to worry about the requestor acknowledging it, BUT also because I can support PBS this way. Hopefully, we'll never have a membership fee here.

Date Posted: 1/6/2012 10:54 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I use DC solely so I can drop them in a blue box. My freelancer hourly rate far outstrips the money spent on extra postage. Those hours waiting on line at the PO add up!

Date Posted: 1/6/2012 12:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,984
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But then what happens if someone says they didn't receive the book but they did?

To get back to this part of the OP's question....

With Post Office DC, you are in the same situation as not having purchased any DC at all.  They say they didn't receive the book, the book is marked lost, they get their credit back, and you get nothing.  As mentioned above, PBS will sometimes make an exception if you contact them, especially if the account seems to be inactive.  But they will also sometimes make that exception even if you don't have DC. 

Personally, I use PBS postage because it's easier for me.  I leave for work at 6:00 am and get home around 5:30 pm.  Obviously way outside PO hours and since I don't drive to work, and there's no PO in walking distance of work, so I have to use some sort of postage that can be dropped off.  I've also used PayPal to print my postage in the past, which comes with DC too.  But finally decided it was a lot of work to try and transfer the addresses from PBS to there when sending a lot of books, so I bought PBS postage and have been using it since. 

Subject: Other trading sites credit DC from other sources
Date Posted: 1/8/2012 4:44 AM ET
Member Since: 9/7/2008
Posts: 72
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I also trade on another book trading site and that site, like PBS, used to not recognize DC purchased from the post office or other sources as proof of delivery.  But after many requests from that site's traders, they upgraded the site and now do so.

When I print postage for books sent from the other site, I can cut and paste the DC number from my mailing program into the site. That DC number then becomes a clickable link allowing the sender and the receiver  to track the item while enroute. 

Maybe if enough people requested it, PBS would offer this option as well?