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Topic: Free swaps

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Subject: Free swaps
Date Posted: 3/2/2015 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 1
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what the heck does this mean?

Date Posted: 3/2/2015 6:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2007
Posts: 17,196
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You must be asking about swap fees? ....a new member gets 2 free credits and 2 free swap fees.

A la carte members can get one free swap fee every time they use PBS Postage.  Otherwise, they pay 49 cents,plus a credit to request a book .

Also, a Limited Membership gets 30 free swap fees.  After that they,pay 49 cents for each book they request or use any free swap fees they may have in their SWAP FEE REGISTRY, which they may have received if they used PBS Postage.

Date Posted: 3/2/2015 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,883
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Sharon, it appears that you bought the standard membership or had the gold key membership. You will get unlimited swaps with that for the year and other benefits such as the expanded wish list to 500. So you do not need to worry about any swap fees.

Date Posted: 3/2/2015 9:24 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 5,751
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Under the new membership format, requesting a book costs $0.49 in addition to the Book Credit. That $0.49 is the "Swap Fee"

If you have a free swap- you may order a book for just a credit and no fee. 

Date Posted: 3/3/2015 12:50 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 3,128
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I live in a rural area where whatever mail is sent through the local post office is credited to that site.  Because our PO services have been declining I try to mail through these sites rather than using printable postage.  So when I tried to use my "free" mailing option which comes with a standard membership I was informed that I must put $.30 into an account that I have never used.  Is there a fee for using this "free" mailing privilege or is this an error? 

P.S.  I have been trying to order books rather than post a bunch since I have so many credits that I need to use a goodly number.  I have in the past donated to pbs and schools twice each if I recall correctly.  

Last Edited on: 3/3/15 12:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/3/2015 2:36 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,883
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REK, you need to have PBS Money to use PBS Postage. Standard Membership provides you will one free printable postage a calendar month. Otherwise the printable postage fee is 55 cents. There is also the 50 cent transaction fee for adding money into your PBS account.

Scott (scalta) - ,
Date Posted: 3/3/2015 2:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2010
Posts: 723
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It sounds like you tried to print a label with the DC only option.  The option is $0.30.

Here are the different printing options:

Choose any extra services you want (or choose none)

  • You can choose to print postage on the wrapper: click the radio button if you want to do this.
    • You will have to have PBS Money in your account to print postage: the fee is 55 cents (which includes the Instant Credit fee plus the fee paid to endicia.com, our online postage provider).
    • Postage can't be refunded after it is printed/downloaded, so be sure you will use this wrapper before you print. (You will be offered a chance to confirm before printing)
    • Printed postage includes Delivery Confirmation and gives Instant Credit when you mark the book mailed.
    • Marking mailed with Printable Postage also gives you a free "Swap Fee" (to request another book for yourself without paying the 49-cent fee) if you are an A la Carte or Limited Member who has used all his/her swap fees.
  • You can choose PBS Delivery Confirmation alone if you like.
    • This will cost 30 cents (the Quick Credit Fee) in PBS Money, and 23 cents in extra postage added to the package.
    • PBS DC gives Quick Credit when USPS scans the barcode and transmits the scan info to PBS.
    • You will need to apply postage to your wrapper if you choose PBS DC alone.
  • You can choose No extra services if you like.
    • You do not have to have PBS Money in your account to print a wrapper.
    • You will need to apply postage to your wrapper if you choose to print with no extra services
Date Posted: 3/3/2015 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 4,568
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R. E. K., are you confusing the postage 'fee' with the cost of postage itself?  There is a 55 cent postage fee + the cost of postage.  As a standard member, you get one 'printable postage' label per month without the 55 cent fee - in addition to convenience, you also receive Instant Credit when you mark the book(s) mailed.

Date Posted: 3/3/2015 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 3,128
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Interesting, I tried printing both ways and nothing happened.  Still doesn't print.  I do see a box that says I must attach postage to the package and will receive credit when the package arrives.  Does this mean that I must mail the book and will later receive the credit for "free" mailing?  Isn't that redundant?

Last Edited on: 3/3/15 3:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/3/2015 4:03 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,883
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When you print the label, you get three options: PBS Postage; DC Only but pay postage at post office; or no extra services. It sounds like you are not selecting the top button to pay for your postage online. (you need a scale to weigh your package too so you can type in how much it weighs)

--Print Postage and Delivery Confirmation directly onto the book wrapper. (Fee: $0.55*) info.gif
Mail directly from your house, no need to go to the Post Office even if the package is over 13 ounces.
Get Instant Credit once the book is marked mailed. Plus more time to read books, priceless!

--Print only Delivery Confirmation onto the wrapper. (Fee: $0.30*) info.gif
Apply stamps to the package and mail from home if the package is less than 13 ounces. Get Quick Credit
when the barcode scan confirms that the book has been mailed.

--No extra services**(No PBS Money needed for this option)

Date Posted: 3/3/2015 5:22 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 3,128
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Sorry.  Still isn't working.  No the message says I must deposit the mailing cost, $3.17,  into my account.  I think that there must be a bug somewhere.

Last Edited on: 3/3/15 5:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 3/3/2015 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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No, there's no bug, or at least you're not running into one. You absolutely are required to deposit money in your PBS Money account to use printable postage, even the free one per month. That's because PBS can't give away the postage itself. All they can give away is the printing fee.

If you choose "Print Postage and Delivery...", here's what you need to pay:

  • $3.17 the actual postage amount that USPS charges to deliver the package (for 1 pound media mail) -- this is paid by PBS to USPS
  • $0.50 transaction fee if you purchase PBS Money -- this goes to Paypal, even if you pay by credit card. You can save on this fee by purchasing extra PBS Money so you don't need to spend the 50 cent transaction fee every time.
  • $0.55 postage printing fee -- most of this goes to Endicia, the postage provider, but some is kept by PBS as profit. PBS gives you one free postage printing fee every month because you are a Standard Member, but it's only applicable when you buy your postage from your PBS Money account.

So, if you want to use your one free printable postage this month, and you have $0 in your PBS Money account now; you will need to pay $3.67 to PBS to put money in your PBS account. After you print the postage, you will just drop the book in the mailbox and you will not pay anything directly to USPS. Your PBS Money balance at that point will again be $0.

Date Posted: 3/3/2015 6:05 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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bigstone, the site does not give free postage.

You deposit money in your swap account.  It's postage cost $ + 55¢ fee to PBS.

Once a month Standard members can buy one postage from the site without the 55¢ fee.  So you need enough money to pay for postage. If you don't have money in your about there's a 50¢ fee to deposit money.  


Date Posted: 3/3/2015 6:46 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 3,128
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So much for the advertised "free" mailing once a month.  I'll continue mailing from my local post offices.  Thanks to those of you who cleared this up.   I need to support my local post offices even if PBS doesn't get it.  We really need their services in our rural areas because hours have become limited and I expect that trend to continue until some of them are gone completely. 

Last Edited on: 3/3/15 6:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/3/2015 7:01 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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There will be more confusion ahead with the sites use of the word "free".

 Hope your post office keeps running.