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Topic: Delivery time to APO

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Subject: Delivery time to APO
Date Posted: 1/2/2010 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 11/8/2009
Posts: 7
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What is the normal delivery time to an APO?  I realize that it will surely vary depending on the location of the APO, but in general are the books usually received within the 30 days?  I am really disappointed that my first (and maybe only) APO swap is past the deadline and I'm therefore out the credit, book & postage.  If this is the norm, then I'm not sure I'll be willing to send APO in the future.

Your experience??

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 1/2/2010 12:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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For Media Mail it often takes 5 or 6 weeks to reach an APO address. Given the extra package load during the holidays, and the low priority of Media Mail, it's likely to take even longer.

You are not out the book, postage and credit though. When your book arrives, the requestor still has to mark it received (from her Transaction Archive) and you will get a credit then. This is why the site recommends that you use their printable postage or DC to get your credit when sending to an APO address.

Date Posted: 1/2/2010 1:29 PM ET
Member Since: 11/8/2009
Posts: 7
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Thanks, Cathy.  Since I know 5-6 weeks is norm I won't freak out yet.  I considered doing the printable postage, but after seeing so many people have trouble here in the forums I thought it wasn't worth it, especially since I had to go wait at the post office anyway. 

Date Posted: 1/2/2010 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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Jennifer, I think trouble using PBS DC is the exception, not the norm.  PBS has offered it for at least three years, and there has been plenty of time to get the kinks out of the system.

That said, you're not required to purchase it if you don't want to (the price isn't worth the guaranteed credit to me, so I don't use it) but there's no reason to be scared away by it. :)

Date Posted: 1/2/2010 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,178
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Reading the forums can give you the impression that there are lots of problems with various things ... receiving bad books, problems with postage, etc. In reality, people come to the forums to post or complain about problems, not to note good or trouble free transactions.

Last time I checked, there were about 50,000 books mailed thru PBS every week, and if you take a peek at the forums, there are maybe between 5 or 10 people complaining about something bad during that same week. And, in that same week, less than 1 person posting about something especially good that happened. The reality is, though, thousands and thousands of good transactions happen every week, a very small percentage of those have issues, and of that very small percentage, a few are so awful that people come here to complain.

Many many people use postage without any problems. Many many people use PBS DC without any problems. If you want to print postage, the main issue you might run into is tha tthe book weights can be inaccurate in the PBS database (weights come from external databases like Amazon, and/or people entering an accurate weight after they have weighed the book themselves...and even then, if a publisher has reused an existing ISBN for 2 editions of the same book, the weight in the database can be accurate for one of them but not the other) so if you choose to print postage, it would probably be to your benefit to have a small scale that can weigh the packages for you, so you can doublecheck the postage.

Using DC only is even easier, because you don't have to know the exact weight of the packages as you print the labels. You just print the postage with DC and then add the $.19 in postage to the package at the PO. I use PBS DC for packages that have multiple books, or that are going to an APO or HI or AK address. I've never had any problems with it. The books almost always get scanned within 1 or 2 days ... I think the longest I have waited for a scan is maybe 4 days, but that is rare. (I once has a problem when the USPS system wasn't updating their info, but that had nothing to do with PBS).

You should have no problem getting your credit, people at APO addresses are used to the fact that books might go lost in the system before they arrive and will know how to mark them received appropriately.

Date Posted: 1/2/2010 9:42 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,411
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Jennifer - Just because it is an APO address, I do one of two things:  if the book isn't too heavy, I'll send it first class; if it's a heavier book I just use DC.  With DC I get my credit as soon as it's scanned by the PO and don't have to worry about it.  First Class or Priority (and I have sent APO addresses this way) usually takes 1-2 weeks.   Good luck.  Pat

Date Posted: 1/2/2010 9:52 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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I've sent two books to APOs. One went to Europe and was received in three weeks (and it went Media mail). The first class book I sent to Korea took six weeks but it eventually got there :)

Subject: APO 's
Date Posted: 1/3/2010 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,582
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My daughter and son-in-law  work in Kuwait and so I have alot f experience mailing APO's .. Using Priority Mail is best and fastest to APO addresses and the cost is not that much more.  They receive mail from me within 5 days. When they send something to me it takes a month. I even mailed a Bow Flex. haha . The Priority Mail boxes are free @ the post office.

Date Posted: 1/4/2010 1:58 AM ET
Member Since: 7/11/2007
Posts: 5,257
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I've only sent to an APO addy 1 time & I had the P.O. check the cost of Media Mail vs. 1st Class and the difference was only like .20 so I sent it 1st Class so it would get there quicker and I was pleasantly surprised that it got there in under 2 weeks. Well worth the few extra cents!

Date Posted: 1/4/2010 11:32 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 97
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When we lived in Germany it was surprising how quickly some stuff came and other stuff took forever, but we always got our mail.  Keep in mind that since you mailed it over the holiday's it will probably take longer.