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Topic: Hello Everyone....advice please?

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Subject: Hello Everyone....advice please?
Date Posted: 3/19/2009 6:08 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2009
Posts: 39
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Ok, I am not TRULY sure where to post this, so I am just going to put it here. It's spring cleaning time here, and I have really been trying to clear the place out, without filling up the local landfill. My question is this.....What ITEMS am i allowed to put in my signature line/bookshelf header/profile/etc. as "free with order"? Currently, you will see what I have below......my unpostable books, OF COURSE, but then I thought about it, and looked around. I did see a few magazines and other print-like materials that were also under the "free with an order" category from other members.

Now, I KNOW that if I mail out....for example sake...."Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me" (Paperback....book) that would likely fall under media mail. (I generally use whatever service the post office tells me is best, as this is a small town, and we all know each other, and look out for each other.) AND the member has also chosen that they want the Psychology Textbook I have as unpostable......this is an acceptable transaction.

BUT......say the member orders above book, and selects an issue of "Country Home" magazine.....is it acceptable for me to offer the magazine as a freebie with a purchase? (Of course, I am willing to pay for the additional postage, and mail it as per USPS regulations, or I wouldn't offer this.)

And finally, other than magazines, and other printed materials, is anything else acceptable......say I have a number of crochet books, and offer up a skein of yarn, or a pattern booklet FREE with their order. Is that acceptable? (Again, I am willing to follow USPS regulations according to mail.)

To me, the whole idea is more or less giving things to people who will actually use them as a way of thanking them for ordering from me. I do have a list of other things that I intend on sending off to members as ROAK. Of course, there are other ways for me to clean out, and give items away, which I do often. I just had the thought tonight though that perhaps PBS would be another venue for me to declutter, but at the same time, make another member's day.

Anyways, please let me know what you all think. I've been here a while now and really do like PBS a lot, but at times, I question things a little much maybe? ;)

Date Posted: 3/19/2009 6:29 AM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2008
Posts: 1,050
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Hi! Have you thought of the Book Bazaar? I have seen people offer VHS tapes free with orders there. Also, you might put all the items you have available in your profile, then add something in your signature line to check out your profile for a list of freebies.

Date Posted: 3/19/2009 7:33 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 9,520
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As long as you are offering the non-book item as "free with book order" you should be fine. The fine point to remember is only books can be traded for credits. And the book bazaar is the ideal place to do this.

Also remember that if you mail a non-book item with the book, you cannot use media mail (you already knew this, I am putting this in for others who may read this).

Date Posted: 3/19/2009 7:43 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I think it's fine to offer these things free with a book order (I've seen people offer magazines and videos before). Just make yourslef aware of what can and can't go media mail (magazines can't because of the advertising) and what it will cost you to mail them.  Sending a large package 1st class costs quite a bit more than sending just a book first class. Once the package is over a certain size it puts it into a different pricing range regardless of the weight.

Date Posted: 3/19/2009 8:34 AM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,195
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Yeah, it's true. On another site, we're allowed to list anything we want for points. Someone requested two magazines from me (these are regular skinny ones, not huge bridal ones or anything) and to ship them cost me over $7. Just two magazines! That site's points go for about $3 each, and as I'd listed the mags at one point each, I actually lost money on it.

Date Posted: 3/19/2009 9:41 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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I would say the sky is the limit on freebies as long as as you mail by USPS regulations.  I think its fine to have that listed in your profile. signature.. wherever.  You might try listing ALL the things in your profile and then putting a teaser on your shelf and signature... something like "All Kinds of Freebies available with order... check out my profile"

Date Posted: 3/19/2009 10:20 AM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,195
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Also remember that many folks (like moi) have signatures turned OFF. I have no idea what's going on in peoples' signatures (and I want it that way). So to get more exposure, posting in the bazaar would possibly reach some others like myself.

Date Posted: 3/19/2009 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2009
Posts: 39
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thank you very much! I have merely just begun the annual clean out......long LONG over due. I am going to evaluate what it would cost me, I do have a digital scale, so I can check first. Even if it were to wind up costing me a little here and there, at the very least, my junk will be someone ELSES clutter, and they will be tickled pink! It's mostly light stuff like fabric or threads or yarn, so it wont add all that much anyways. Better than giving it to goodwill where they sell a used item for 50 cents OVER retail for the same item new! Or at least thats what OUR crooked store here does, and I'm boycotting them :)

Date Posted: 3/19/2009 1:56 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2008
Posts: 188
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You can also use the RAOK thread and the WISHES thread. These seem to be posted each month and are a great way to keep unwanted items out of the landfill and make someones day at the same time.

Date Posted: 3/19/2009 6:15 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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And don't forget about Freecycle.org which is another good way of keeping things that are still useful out of landfills.

I found my kitten Weazie through Freecycle (not that he was in any danger of going to a landfill - but possibly a shelter) and I've used the group to get rid of various things around the house that were still good, just not needed.

Date Posted: 3/19/2009 7:16 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,632
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If you just want to send stuff out to another home without any credits at all, check out the Club Members' Thoughts forum.  There's a  monthly RAOK thread where people post stuff they just want to send away to someone.  I always watch the weight/size of what I offer up, postage can add up quickly on little things.