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Topic: I hope this site pans out.... :-(

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Subject: I hope this site pans out.... :-(
Date Posted: 8/14/2008 6:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2008
Posts: 26
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Sorry to gripe, I really am. I am new to this site and am really excited about it. however, so far I have paid out about $15 in postage and I don't think that it will ever even out. part of the reason I have had to pay so much is  that I offered 2 nonfiction books that were paperback but weighed over one pound each- I won't do that again and will be removing my hardcover posts. That was lesson #1. Also, I really joined to order books for my son who will be a first grader but we know these books will cost pennies to mail so even though I may have larger books and hardcover books to swap, I can't help but feel that these aren't even trades. Again, I am new here so how do you more "seasoned" folks reconcile this?

Thanks and I hope that I dont' get flamed for this post but I think that I will benefit from some advice.




Date Posted: 8/14/2008 6:49 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2006
Posts: 87
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If you're looking to get mostly children's books, you may want to try the Book Bazaar, where many other members offer deals (2 or 3 books for 1 credit), especially on children's books.

Good luck!

Date Posted: 8/14/2008 6:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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The extra cost for a book weighing more than one pound, but less than two is 35 cents at media mail rate ($2.58 vs. $2.23)?  How many books have you mailed for that $15? Have you been sending everything first class instead of media mail?

Date Posted: 8/14/2008 7:00 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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I find that all of it balances out in the long run.  Whether it's shipping heavy and light books, or requesting them, it all averages out to much cheaper than buying books new or even at most used book stores.  And the selection is much larger than those stores could offer.  I'm usually after particular titles and many of them are out of print.  Sure, I could find some of them on other websites, but here I've got posting guidelines and similar safeguards bolstering my consumer confidence.  So I guess it's just about getting into enough to where it all balances.

edited to add:  You have to consider that you'll be able to get books with the credits from the books you mailed out for that $15.  Would that $15 go as far at a book store?

Last Edited on: 8/14/08 7:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/14/2008 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2008
Posts: 26
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Thanks for your responses! I have mailed 6 books and they have been the media rate. Just those 2 large books- they were heavier than I though you know? the others are smaller. One was a set of books that was 12.6 ounces so just under that cutoff where i have to go to the PO.

and you're correct about that $15. it woudlnt' go far in bookstore. even some paperback kids books are $10-$12. I just felt as if I was doing alot of mailing and i had orderd 2 books with my initial post credits and the seller hasn't been onlien to approve them. I canceled 1 and will use the credit from the books that I am wrapping up now to get more. Thanks!


Date Posted: 8/14/2008 7:33 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,730
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Definitely check out the Book Bazaar!  It saved me when I was new and low on credits.  Always nice to get a few books for one credit.

Heavier books, yeah, you do have to consider the postage before you post them.  One or two pounds via media rate is still cheaper than buying a credit.

Date Posted: 8/14/2008 7:33 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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Welcome to PBS Vanessa!

give the site time....you are new and it will truly even out over time.  it just doesn't seem like it yet but it will

Date Posted: 8/14/2008 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 8,411
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Welcome, Vanessa!  I've been a member here for over a year and a half, and I can definitely tell you it's worth it!  I've gotten over 300 books, all from for credit trades, book bazaar deals, Box O Books, and games!  It's addictive.  One tip I've learned is if you post a lot of HCs, then order a lot of HCs to get your credits' worth.  I figure it all works out in the end.  I recently read in another post that books here aren't worth monetary value so much as "do I want to read it" value.  If you don't want it anymore, post it and get some books you like.  With over 2 million books to choose from you'll be on your way to total book crazyness in no time.  ;)

Date Posted: 8/14/2008 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 554
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I'd also recommend that you check out the "box of books" feature of PBS.  There is a small additional yearly fee.  But if you were to post mostly books your son was done with, you will probably be able to make steady trades for other similar books with other parents.  And when you are shipping multiple books together, the savings on postage really adds up fast.

Date Posted: 8/14/2008 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2007
Posts: 453
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Once you get a little further into it you start to get into sort of a flow of books in and out, and you've constantly got a pile of books TBR (to be read).  Initially though, almost everbody gets excited, and then frustrated and impatient until those books start arriving!

Have faith- it will all work out! 

Have fun PBSing!


Date Posted: 8/14/2008 8:19 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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I have found really great deals in the BB for my nephew, who is going into first grade.  I once got 8 Clifford books for one credit.  I got 4 Arthur books for one credit.  etc.  I strongly encourage you to spend the credits for your little one in the BB and get deals.  And, welcome!

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 8/14/2008 8:23 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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A book is worth nothing to me if I don't want it.  If I can get a credit for it and get a book I *do* want - then I am happy to send it off, regardless of the cost of postage.

Date Posted: 8/14/2008 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 10,758
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If you send via media mail (pretty much anything over 8 ounces), there is remarkably little difference in the postage costs for hardbacks vs paperbacks.  There is an entry level threshold for sending anything, then above that additional pounds do not add much to the postage cost.  I send a LOT of hardbacks (I still buy a lot of books new), and it only costs 30 cents or so more than sending a paperback.  So don't worry... these things have a way of working out in the end.

Date Posted: 8/14/2008 8:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2008
Posts: 26
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Thanks again! My husband isn't crazy about having to go to the po for those books that are over 1lb so I'll have to keep it under that for now. Not to worry- I have PLENTY to sell!!!


Date Posted: 8/14/2008 9:00 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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You have 5 days to respond to a request, and another 5 days to mail, plus a 2 day grace period, so, technically, one could get away with going to the PO every week and a half.  Perhaps your husband will be more agreeable if he only has to go every 10 days or so. 

Are you on good terms with your postal carrier?  If you stamp your books at home and hand them to him/her they may take the over 13 ounce ones and save you almost all trips to the PO. 

Date Posted: 8/14/2008 9:06 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2007
Posts: 881
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It's still cheaper than buying them new.

Date Posted: 8/14/2008 9:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2005
Posts: 4,469
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2 books shouldn't have cost that much to mail--did you ask for media mail, it's much, much cheaper than priority.  Sometimes you have to explain it to the postal worker, but it does exist, and as long as your only sending books(it's up to some ridiculous weight--well over 1 pound).  I've mailed whole boxes of books for under $6.

Date Posted: 8/14/2008 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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All I can say is that I love PBS.  I can also say that anytime I expect to get something from something I have to put some effort into it.  PBS is not free books.  PBS is a book for your book + mailing costs!   I have many benefits here that may not be important to others.  I can buy the postage from here - I can pick out all kinds of books from here - I don't have to keep my old books - I don't have to lug them to the UBS where they may or may not buy them for pennies - I can make friends here (that's a big one for me) - and since I'm basically homebound, I don't have to run all over creation (even if I had the opportunity and the energy to do so) to get books - the books I get are sent to me for the price of mailing.  These are all HUGE benefits to me.  The fact that I can print off a label and postage and DC, then have my family mail them at any blue USPS mailbox is a real blessing for my entire family.  I hope you begin to see the rewards for your efforts soon.  I did.  And look at it this way - you can order HC's yourself if you want to.  You really aren't losing anything.  You are gaining credits that you can spend here or on the other 2 sites.  My private fear is that PBS will become too successful and change. 

Now - off to find an answer to my own dilemmas!


Date Posted: 8/14/2008 11:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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I know that many children's books are very light and I see many deals offered in the Book Bazaar.  It is also OK to put a post in there and list the books you would like for your son.  You can even say that you would like a 4/1 deal or better for the children's books you are looking for.  That way deal minded people can PM you with what they have on their shelf.

Date Posted: 8/15/2008 12:16 AM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2008
Posts: 3,898
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Many new members at PBS are overwhelmed by the initial number of orders they get. About half of my 10 posted books were ordered when I first joined. My friend had 8 of her 10 requested. This is probably due to the books being wishlisted (were not currently available). My point is that you will find that you receive just as many books as you send out. As time progresses, your costs will even out by the number of books you received.

Date Posted: 8/15/2008 1:17 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 4,588
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I love this site for children's book deals. I homeschool so I'm always on the lookout for those 3 for 1, (or more) deals.

As you can tell from my siggy line, I also like to offer deals. ;p

Date Posted: 8/15/2008 9:26 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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do you have an APC machine at your post office?  if so, stock up on the 2 price points of stamps (2.23 & 2.58).  you'll need a scale to know what stamp goes on the package (if over 7oz because anything less is cheaper to send 1st class).  Then your hubby wouldn't have to go to the post office for you...or as someone else suggested, choose the furthest out mailing date and stall accepting orders and stretch that time out.

Date Posted: 8/15/2008 1:07 PM ET
Member Since: 7/20/2007
Posts: 1,046
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It will definately even out. For example, i went to the book Bazaar and did an Unpostables deal. I ordered two books and got 5 free, one was a hardcover. I just got my box today and it was like Christmas. Three of the unpostables i can't even see why they would be, and they are for my mom who has been wanting to read the series i picked out for her for a while.

Sometimes when you start out, it seems lopsided, but stick it out! I snipe deals in the Book Bazaar on unpostables all the time if i am just looking for something to read and not for a keeper shelf. And my mom is disabled, and i am her source of income til she gets her SS, so when i can get her books too on here i am thrilled. My son also wants books from here.

Just think, every time you send out a book, you get a credit. When you use that credit, someone else is spending money at the post office. Once you've ordered about 6 books, your money is back on your shelf. If you want, you can choose to only receive hardcovers if you can find them in the book you want. I was a lot slower to start than most newbies, i didn't really post anything popular, so it's taken me a good while to build up credits. Now i am reading things i never imagined i'd be reading, even books i've wanted to read for 15 years or more, and it's made me very happy to find books i've been wanting to read since i was a child.

I know you will love this site in time. The rest of us are pretty much addicted.

Date Posted: 8/15/2008 1:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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Vanessa, there are a couple of ways to avoid going to the post office (though they do cost more), and that's to use electronic postage. With electronic postage (because it's paid for in a traceable manner, usually credit card or bank draft), you don't have to go to the post office to mail. You can drop the book in any outgoing mail (blue box, mailbox, outgoing office mail, etc.)

First, you can use PayPal postage. You pay the same Media Mail fee, but are required to also pay .18 for the delivery confirmation. This DC doesn't provide you with any credit assurance (if the recipient doesn't mark the book received, you're out postage and the book, unless the recipient is inactive).

If you use PBS postage, you'll get PBS delivery confirmation (USPS DC that is linked to PBS). It will provide you "insurance" for your credit (you'll get credit whether the book is marked received or not), and you'll also get "instant" credit. You will receive your credit for the book the second you mark it mailed. Cost is media mail plus .18 DC postage plus .47 PBS processing fee. You have to have purchase PBS money (costs .50 per "deposit" processing fee).

So you could use electronic postage for those packages that are large enough to require a special trip to the post office, and just mail from home for the lighter packages. I personally use PBS postage for all transactions (convenience), but it can get pricey with the surcharges. But it does save on trips to the post office, if that gets problematic.

Welcome to PBS! :)

Date Posted: 8/15/2008 3:19 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/2/15 6:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1