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Topic: An example of why you should not believe PBS weights

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Subject: An example of why you should not believe PBS weights
Date Posted: 10/5/2010 6:20 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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I have my own scale so I use it to send books.  But, I usually compare PBS's weight with what my scale says.  They are usually off, but not by a large degree.  This time it was WAY off.  PBS said the book weighed 4.3 ounces and my scale weighed it at 7.8 ounces.  If I had used their weight for postage and sent it first class, I'm fairly sure it would have ended up with postage due at the other end. 

So, if you send out your books without going to the PO to weigh them, invest in a scale.  You can get one really cheap on E-Bay.  It's not worth it to end up in having to reimburse the recipient for postage they had to pay to get the book!

Date Posted: 10/5/2010 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 613
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I love, love, love my kitchen scale!  I'm not sure the manufacturers ever thought it might be used to weigh reading material, but it's proven invaluable on PBS!  My kitchen scale prayer?  "Oh please, oh please, oh please be under 13 ounces!" laugh

Date Posted: 10/5/2010 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,325
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The difference between 4.3 and 7.8 ounces sounds as if a small mass market paperback and a larger trade-sized paperback might share the same ISBN.  Good catch, Kate.  I'm with you -- could not function without my scale.

Date Posted: 10/5/2010 8:06 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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It was the only ISBN for the book and yes, it is a MMP.  I looked it up on Amazon.com and they are really off too.  They had it listed at 4.8 ounces.  For a paperback book to be in the low ounces, it needs to be about 100 pages or less.  This book is 390 pages!

Date Posted: 10/5/2010 8:20 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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Yikes, I've only ever heard of people over paying for postage due to the weights being too generous, it never occurred to me that being lighter would cause even more problems. Good catch. I would submit a data edit if you haven't already done so. Make sure you explain that you weighed it yourself since the amazon weight is off too.

Date Posted: 10/5/2010 9:12 PM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2007
Posts: 3,430
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I love my digital kitchen scale.  It's very handy and accurate... none of my books have arrived postage due.

Briana -
Date Posted: 10/5/2010 10:07 PM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2009
Posts: 2,763
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I love my scale too! I use it on every book I wrap.

Sheena- I have to add that your color drawings in your signature are absolutely fabulous!



Last Edited on: 10/5/10 10:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/6/2010 12:09 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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It was the only ISBN for the book and yes, it is a MMP.  I looked it up on Amazon.com and they are really off too.  They had it listed at 4.8 ounces.  For a paperback book to be in the low ounces, it needs to be about 100 pages or less.  This book is 390 pages!

Amazon is probably the source of PBS's inaccurate number, they are the source of much of the database information.

Just an FYI - all the old Harlequins are around 200 pages and weigh 3.5 oz so there can easily be a lot of MMP at 4.8oz, just not 390 page ones!

Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 10/6/2010 12:56 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
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PBS said my copy of Humboldt's Gift was 20 lbs. (I submitted a correction after I mailed it at the post office).

Date Posted: 10/6/2010 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,325
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I understand that it's the only ISBN for your book.  But there could also be a trade-sized paperback out there with the same ISBN.  If you PM me with the ISBN, I'll be happy to do a search for you.

Subject: book weights
Date Posted: 10/6/2010 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,420
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When I weigh my books before wrapping and mailing them, I will 'pad" the weight a few ounces. I would rather pay a bit more in postage then have a book arrive as postage due.

Date Posted: 10/6/2010 8:16 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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And that is WHY this appears everytime you go to print a label:

Please verify that this is the correct weight.

PaperBackSwap estimates your book weight at pounds ounces.

If your postal scale shows a different weight for your package, please enter it above to adjust the postage.

pluupy - ,
Date Posted: 10/6/2010 8:51 PM ET
Member Since: 4/26/2009
Posts: 3
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Hmm who knew. o.o

Good thing to know.