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Topic: earning fee-free swaps for A La Carte - not what it sounds like?

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Subject: earning fee-free swaps for A La Carte - not what it sounds like?
Date Posted: 2/10/2015 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 12/6/2008
Posts: 142
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In reading back through some of the posts over the last few days, I caught an explanation for how using PBS printable postage would actually earn you a fee-free swap, and it kind of has me scratching my head. 

From what I understand, under the new system, every time we use PBS printable postage, we won't really "earn" a free swap.  What actually happens is that 49 cents (the cost of a swap) is refunded back into our PBS money.  So it's not really a "free" swap . . . it's a partial refund on the fee we paid for postage through PBS.  That 49 cents won't necessarily be a swap - it could just go towards more postage.  Am I understanding this correctly?  Because if I am, that just sounds  . . . convoluted . . . and not like a free swap at all.


Date Posted: 2/10/2015 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,697
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No, every time you use Printable Postage you earn a "swap fee".  That entitles you to one free swap where you don't have to pay the 49 cents when you request a book.

Date Posted: 2/10/2015 9:05 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 4,539
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Think of it as a swap fee credit.  So if you send a book using PBS printable postage, you earn 1 book credit and 1 swap fee credit.  Then when you order (e.g.) 1 book, you use 1 book credit and 1 swap fee credit.  If you order 3 books from the same person, you use 3 book credits and 1 swap fee credit...

Date Posted: 2/10/2015 9:06 PM ET
Member Since: 12/6/2008
Posts: 142
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At first, I thought it was just credit for a free swap, too, but then I started seeing people explaining it like it was a refund . . . that's what had me confused.  I think the root of the problem is here -


What are Free Swap Fees? How do I get them?

  • Each time you print a wrapper to send a shipment using PBS Printable Postage, that will earn one Swap Fee (the Swap Fee is added to your account when you mark the shipment mailed)
  • If you purchase a Book Credit, that will come with a free Swap Fee.

It makes it sound like the fee is being added back in, instead of just saying that you get credit for one fee-free swap.  It's not very well explained . . .

Last Edited on: 2/10/15 9:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 2/10/2015 9:17 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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From that same document:

How can I keep track of how many free Swap Fees I have left?

  • There is a Swap Fee Registry at the top of every page on the site, along with the Credit Registry and Money Registry
Date Posted: 2/10/2015 11:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/6/2008
Posts: 142
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Awesome!  Thanks!

I wish I could remember what thread I saw that mistaken explanation in - if I come across it again, I'll be sure to correct them . . . well, until the 15th, anyway.

Thanks again!