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Topic: Your feelings about APO/FPO/DPO addresses?

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Subject: Your feelings about APO/FPO/DPO addresses?
Date Posted: 8/11/2009 3:36 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2009
Posts: 18
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Hi everyone,

I am a brand new member of PaperBack swap. I currently use a DPO address and have just had my first request rejected by the sender. I'm assuming it is because she does not want to go to the extra work of filling out the customs form and mailing from a post office.

I have an option of using another address which is stateside. Members would not have to do any extra work to mail to it. On the other hand, it would take much longer for books to reach me. (That mail comes by a special pouch and could take several weeks versus 1 week for my DPO address.) So, I'm trying to guage how much of a problem using the DPO address will be for me.

Are you hesitant about mailing to such an address?

Just to let you know -- my husband is not military. He is a diplomat assigned to the embassy here in Vilnius, Lithuania. DPO is a new mailing system that works just like APO addresses.

Take care, Becky


Date Posted: 8/11/2009 4:49 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,348
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I don't hesitate -- happy to oblige.  Some members find it really hard to get to a Post Office, so your Requestor Condition gives them the option of declining.  If you were to use an address that would mean the books would take longer to get to you, the sender would have to wait longer for his credit.  I'd stick with the DPO address.

Date Posted: 8/11/2009 5:06 AM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2008
Posts: 97
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I brought this exact thing up not too long ago because the same thing was happening to me, though I have an APO address.

Hang in there, there are lots of people here who will go out of there way to send you a book.  After I posted my concerns, I received an outpouring of support. Some people just do not want to go to the post office at all and will avoid it at all costs, and some have hardships that cause them not to be able to go to the post office. I promise you will find more who are willing to ship to you than who will not.

Personally, I would keep my DPO address, the books will get to you quicker. and the member will receive their credit quicker, if they do not choose to use PBS printable postage or DC.

Off topic, how do you like Lithuania? 


Date Posted: 8/11/2009 5:37 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2009
Posts: 177
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I'm hoping that most people who refuse to mail to these type of addresses are simply unable to get to a post office.  I personally would be more than happy to mail books to those serving our country, whether militarily or diplomatically.

Date Posted: 8/11/2009 5:39 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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I have no problems with them.  And I do try to send books to HI, AK, PR, and APO/FPO/DPO by first class to cut down on delays.   Unless the book is really heavy.   But you do have to take into consideration that not all of us have post offices near by or ways to get to them.  Some POs are always filled with long lines.  In addition, the POs are cutting their hours.

When I lived in rural Iowa, getting to a post office was a big deal.  And some of our members are either house bound or at home with small children.   Because of the option of printed postage, folks who cannot go to the post office can send mail to everyone but you.

Date Posted: 8/11/2009 6:30 AM ET
Member Since: 12/16/2007
Posts: 148
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Count me amoung those that are more than happy to send to APO, etc.  I'm one of the fortunate ones that live very near a post office. Granted it's a small satellite on our local hardware store, but it's easy access.

Date Posted: 8/11/2009 8:10 AM ET
Member Since: 1/31/2006
Posts: 1,405
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I'm willing as well.  I might have to send a PM saying that the book will be mailed a day or two late, if the request doesn't fall in line with my twice a month postie trips, but I'll still send them.

Date Posted: 8/11/2009 8:21 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I would be one of those who would decline, now. Since I have a general policy of rejecting any RC that isn't clear and IMO the way the PBS-generated RC is worded makes it NOT clear (unless they've changed it)  as I had previously accepted such a request because to me it sounded like the form was only REQUIRED for books over 13 oz and mine wasn't. A big discussion about it here showed me just HOW unclear the requirements are as there were many different interpretations by PBS members AND their post offices represented.

In addition, I use the PBS postage specifically so I don't have to go to the post office, as my work schedule means I can only get there one day a week. This is a convenience that I pay for. I choose not to spend part of my day off driving to and then standing in line at the post office. I also think it's ridiculous to require this huge form for a 5-ounce paperback book--the form would not even fit on the package, for heaven's sake!

At any rate, I do believe the one book I sent without the form (and it did get there just fine) is the only request I've ever had from an APO/FPO address so this just isn't a big issue for me.


Date Posted: 8/11/2009 8:47 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2009
Posts: 18
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Thanks, so far, for your responses. I guess I'll just have to see how it goes for me.

I do completely understand why someone might not be able or willing to go through the extra work. Moreover, I do know that those forms are a pain. We've been doing this for 20 years now and I'm always disgruntled when I go back home and see that huge form. Back here, we can use a much more abbreviated form that IS small enough to fit on a book-sized package. Also, I understand about having to stand in line at the post office. Over the years I've mailed many boxes of books from the tiny post office in my mom's home town. Usually there is a line (and if there isn't when I come, there is by the time I complete my business!)  I always get grilled about whether I'm "REALLY" sending just books by Media Mail and this last time the clerk insisted I could not use Media Mail to send to a DPO address. (I politely asked her to punch the zip code into her computer as I had just mailed a box the previous day! She did apologize when it showed that you could.)

Leigh, thanks for your response. It's good to hear that it is working for an APO-er. By the way, we've been posted to Rome twice for a total of 6 years. We adore Italy. Lithuania is pretty glorious right now, but we arrived at the most beautiful time of the year. I'm hoping I love it as much in February when it is cold and dark.

Thanks, again, to those of you willing to go through the extra bother of mailing to APO/FPO/DPO.


Date Posted: 8/11/2009 8:49 AM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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I have no problem sending to an APO/FPO address. I mail all my books from the post office anyway, so it's not a big deal. The first time I was a little nervous about the forms, but it worked out fine. I've only gotten maybe 3 or 4 APO requests since I've been a member.

Date Posted: 8/11/2009 9:21 AM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2005
Posts: 390
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Hi Becky!

Welcome to PBS!! :-) I probably would grumble to myself (I'm spoiled with the printable postage) but I would never turn down another booklover just because I had to drop there book at the PO.


Date Posted: 8/11/2009 9:46 AM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2006
Posts: 3,445
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Hi Becky! My DH is retired USAF so I am really familiar with the customs forms. I have no problem sending to any of the Armed Forces/Embassys and such. Glad you like it there. I loved Italy, Guam, England, Germany and Greece.


Date Posted: 8/11/2009 10:30 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 97
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I have no problem sending to APO/DPO-I work on base so the line at our Post Office on base hasn't been to bad-the one off base is another story......usually there is atleast 10 people standing in line when I have been there. 

I also lived overseas in Germany for 3 years and really enjoyed it.  It's funny the things you miss when you live overseas-I would have never thought it would have been commercials on TV

Date Posted: 8/11/2009 11:06 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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My husband spent 30 years in the US Navy.  I am very appreciative of anyone who is serving their country.   I not only am more than happy to send a book to any of these addresses, I am also happy to order the book for you and then send it from my address.

Date Posted: 8/11/2009 11:24 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 4,412
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I normally use PBS postage to avoid going to the PO.  However, I am glad to go to the PO to send to APO, etc. addresses. The custom form is a breeze, not complicated & scary like the RC makes it sound(!) and I'm lucky enough to have a PO near my office, so I can pop over on my lunch hour.

Date Posted: 8/11/2009 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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I have no problem and send regularly to APOs.  Leigh's post educated many members that that the RC is automated, that the form is not that diffucult to fill out and it can downloaded off the internet - filled out before making the trip to the PO.    I do not mind taking 30 mins or even an hour of my day to make life a little easier and maybe a little more American for anyone serving in the military and their family is automatically included.  I have it easy in the US because of their service and possibly making the ultimate sacrafice for our country - this such a minor contribution to make.  

With that said - I am healthy and have transportation so  I can make it to the PO w/o issue.  There are many people who are house bound or limited access to a PO and though they would love to contribute they just can't.  Please keep that in mind when someone turns down the RC associated with your account.  Also everyone here who said they don't have a problem shipping to a PO may have the book you are looking on their bookshelf.

Welcome - you will enjoy this site and happy swapping. 

Date Posted: 8/11/2009 12:15 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I also wouldn't have a problem sending to you, but there are a few PBS members that turn down all RC on general principal.  And a few (already mentioned) that have physical limitations that restrict access to USPS services.

ETA - checked, I don't have anything on your wishlist :-(

Last Edited on: 8/11/09 12:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/11/2009 2:10 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2008
Posts: 1,958
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I have no problem sending books to these addresses.

I have received only one request from an APO and the lady was nice enough to walk me through what I had to do.

I would do it again in a minute. If a person in the military/in the service of our country wants one of my books, then my books they shall have!

Date Posted: 8/11/2009 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2006
Posts: 1,464
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I'm always willing to send to APO's, etc. and I usually do it first class.

Date Posted: 8/11/2009 3:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 129
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Having had such an address (FPO) for five years while stationed aboard ship and having a brother who still uses an address such as this (APO), I would have no problems in sending a book to an address.

In addition, I have received a book from an APO address, and while it took time, it was worth the wait!

Date Posted: 8/11/2009 6:04 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,742
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Last Edited on: 7/16/11 12:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/11/2009 6:57 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Welcome aboard, Rebecca!

I've never had an APO/DPO request (yet), but I was a Peace Corps volunteer and would be happy to support anyone overseas -- I know what it means to get mail from home.  :-)



Date Posted: 8/11/2009 6:59 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2007
Posts: 233
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We are military and happy to send anything and everything to APO/FPO/DPO.  i don't like to go to the post office, but I will, if it is for a good reason.

Date Posted: 8/11/2009 7:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 5,023
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Welcome Rebecca!

I am happy to mail to military addresses.  Have done so several times as part of PBS. 

Kate -
Date Posted: 8/11/2009 8:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2008
Posts: 534
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I would be one of those who would decline, now. Since I have a general policy of rejecting any RC that isn't clear and IMO the way the PBS-generated RC is worded makes it NOT clear (unless they've changed it)  as I had previously accepted such a request because to me it sounded like the form was only REQUIRED for books over 13 oz and mine wasn't.

I completely agree about the confusing RC, and frankly, I think even "take it to the post office and ask what to do" would have been more helpful. That's certainly what I had to do. My book was light enough to send first class, and to my suprise I still needed the form! (On the plus side, it took about 30 seconds to fill out, and I was happy to do it.)

That said, now that I do know exactly how it works (at least at my post office), I wouldn't penalize someone for an RC that PBS wrote - especially given the circumstances! But I do have access to a post office, thankfully.

Last Edited on: 8/11/09 8:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1