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Topic: First Class postage

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Subject: First Class postage
Date Posted: 9/18/2014 8:30 PM ET
Member Since: 9/18/2008
Posts: 387
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In the past few weeks when I've mailed "light" books less than 13 oz, PBS is doing the postage as media mail instead of First Class?  Previously the system would select First Class or Media Mail depending on which method was cheaper.  Now it only does media mail regardless of the weight.  Anybody know why? Is this a glitch or a new policy?

Date Posted: 9/18/2014 8:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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Its because its cheaper to mail it as media mail I believe unless the package is 6 oz or less.  It could be 7 oz but I think its 6 oz or less.  So the pbs system automatically chooses media mail and so with the counter people working at the post office to send it the cheapest way to save you money.  I have to ask at my post office now because they know me so well if its a book and I want it to go faster for them to send it first class and then they alway let me know that its cheaper to go media mail.   

Date Posted: 9/18/2014 8:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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Here is the first class postage pricing file from usps

PARCELS  
Weight Not Over (ounces)
1 2.32
2 2.32
3 2.32
- -
4 2.5
5 2.68
6 2.86
7 3.04
8 3.22
9 3.4
10 3.58
11 3.76
12 3.94
13 4.12


Last Edited on: 9/18/14 8:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/18/2014 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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Here is the Media mail pricing

Media Mail  
   
Weight Not Over (lbs) Single Piece
1 2.69
2 3.17
3 3.65
4 4.13
5 4.61
6 5.09
7 5.57
8 6.03
9 6.49
Date Posted: 9/18/2014 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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I just checked on a book I need to mail and it goes to media mail as soon as you go over 7 oz.  hope all that helps.  

ETA:  When I was putting in under 6 to 7 oz it was giving me discounted first class postage though.   If you were just having this problem today then its probably a glitch, if you've been having the problem for a week or so then its cheaper to send them media mail.   



Last Edited on: 9/18/14 8:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/18/2014 8:45 PM ET
Member Since: 9/18/2008
Posts: 387
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Several of them have been under 6 oz and my PO has said they would be cheaper to go First Class but since I printed the PBS DC, the PO couldn't change the shipping method.  A lot of times I take books into be scanned in the PO and my PO keeps telling it would have been cheaper to go First Class but it can't be changed because I either used PBS Postage completely or PBS tracking and it won't let us changed the method from media mail to first class. Each time it's been a more than 20 cent difference which adds up!

Date Posted: 9/18/2014 8:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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Weird I have a book that needs to be shipped and I just went in to print wrapper and when i put in 6 oz it goes straight to discounted first class rate.

What browser are you using?

Date Posted: 9/18/2014 8:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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I just went in a tooled around with it again and if I put that the book is wrapped as soon as I put in 7.1 it goes to media mail but anything under that its doing discounted first class rates.  If I put that its just the book weight at 6.3 it goes to media mail.  So it does matter what options you are choosing too.  

I asked about the browser because I get some glitches with Internet Explorer sometimes.  I believe the site it made for google.  I was using google when I checked for the prices just now.  

Date Posted: 9/18/2014 11:37 PM ET
Member Since: 9/18/2008
Posts: 387
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Google Chrome, only browser I use.

Date Posted: 9/19/2014 1:21 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,398
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The shift is now at a different point if you use PBS postage vs stamps due to the electronic discount. 

Date Posted: 9/19/2014 8:32 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 3,635
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Are you weighing the books then putting in the weight or just accepting the PBS estimate of what the book weighs? The PBS estimates are generally off.

Date Posted: 9/19/2014 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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If you already have the books wrapped, change it to "wrapped weight" instead of "book weight". If you leave it saying "book weight" the system will at 0.6 oz to account for packaging materials.

The label is only as good as the information put in. So if the book weight is off even a little on those small books, it can mean the label prints out for media mail instead of FC. If you are going to use PBS postage, it is best to use a scale. I usually will lay my packaging on top of the book on the scale and then mark it as "wrapped weight" unless it is really close, then I leave it on "book weight" and let the system put it into the next class or rate level since I'll still be adding tape.

Date Posted: 9/19/2014 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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Tory you can use the mail to a friend option on some random book tool around with the options and see if you can't get it too change from media mail to first class.  I'm not sure why you are having problems as I didn't when creating labels yesterday and today.  But like the others say it really is in the information you give them so if you're not changing the information and just using what pbs uses its probably going to print media mail unless its a really light book.

If I were you I would just pick a book go to that books page and choose the mail to a friend option.  Then put in you own address or really any address it doesn't matter.  Then hit the print the label option like you normally would putting in different weights and changing options to see if you can get it to change mail classes.  then after your done fiddling with it you can hit the book mailed and then hit the book was received its not going to hurt your account to do so and it will let you take a chance to see if its really not changing or if the pbs system is just picking what it assumes is the cheapest way to ship based on the information you are giving it.

Your just going to have to tool around with the system to see what's up.  And like Melanie said if you don't have a scale then you should get one especially if you are using PBS postage.  I end up changing the weight every time I send something with postage because 9 times out of 10 the weight pbs has is wrong.  It might be off because I wrapped it heavier or just because the weight is wrong in the system but its usually not accurate with the weight of my package and I almost always end up changing it.



Last Edited on: 9/19/14 7:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 2