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Topic: First class vs. media mail

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Subject: First class vs. media mail
Date Posted: 1/5/2012 9:41 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 32
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I was just  thinking it would be nice if PBS, on the books in the mail "details" panel, said if it was coming first class or media mail. It makes a big difference in when to expect it. The sender wouldn't have to do anything, it would be based on what PBS printed on the wrapper, which I find is correct  most of the time. Or is that info already in there somewhere?

Date Posted: 1/5/2012 10:10 AM ET
Member Since: 4/24/2008
Posts: 310
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I sometimes send first class if it is cheaper than Media Mail or close to Media Mail within a few cents.  People know that on this site Media Mail can take up to 10 days or longer.  If they get a book within three days because it was sent first class I figure that is just a pleasant surprise to them.

Date Posted: 1/5/2012 11:21 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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You can always go to Amazon where they list the weight of the book (not that it is always right!) and if it is 6 oz or under, odds are it will be coming FC.

Date Posted: 1/5/2012 2:42 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I sometimes change the mailing rate (and shipping label) at the USPS counter when buying postage.  Depends on the weight and how fast I want the book to travel.  I'd never remember to go home and change it in the system, even if I could remember which package(s) I altered.

Best just to assum Media Mail for everything.

Date Posted: 1/5/2012 2:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,357
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I see what you're saying, William -- when someone has printed with PBS postage, and you click on the green checkmark for details about the book you've ordered, it could include info as to whether the wrapper was printed with first class or media mail. The advice above is right in that you can look at the weight of the book and usually figure out whether it'll be coming media mail or first class, but I like your idea.

To submit the suggestion to the PBS Team, you can either post it in the red sticky thread at the top of the Club Members' Thoughts forum, or go down to the bottom right corner of any page.  Under "company" click on "contact us."  Then use the Feedback option.

Date Posted: 1/5/2012 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 706
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If you look the DC number up on the usps.com website, it will tell the class of mail.  Of course that's only possible if your sender used PBS DC.  (feel like I'm missing some "or's" or "but's" here)   Here's one that is coming to me, but hasn't had any scans yet: 

 Label/Receipt Number: 9449 0102 0081 7005 xxxxx xx

Class: Package Services
Service(s): Delivery Confirmation
Status: Electronic Shipping Info Received

Date Posted: 1/5/2012 3:42 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 32
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Doesn't the first class rate depend on how far it travels? I know madia is flat rate. It seems the postal clerk has to type in the zip code before telling me which is cheaper. I know it wouldn't be 100% certain which way it was coming, maybe the message would be vague "may be first class" or something. If it's got DC maybe it would just help link to the right place to find the info. Wouldn't want to make it more complicated than it warrants though.

OK maybe I'll submit it as a suggestion.


Date Posted: 1/5/2012 4:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
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First class and media mail are based on weight.  Neither has anything to do with how far they travel to get to you.  The postal clerks put the zip code in first because they have to have all shipping options up to show you prices--you may want it to go priority, they don't know.  Since regular priority mail prices are determined by zones, then they would need the zip code first.  Otherwise, they would just need the weight.

Date Posted: 1/5/2012 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,429
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My PO people know me well enough that they now know that I want the book sent the cheapest possible way, and quite often First Class is cheaper than Media Mail.  Like someone above, I'd forget to come back and change the shipping class.  Most of the books I send are received within a week, no matter what class I ship in, however, having said that, I live in the middle of the country, so going either way, it's about the same.  Pat