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Topic: How many books get lost in the mail?

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Subject: How many books get lost in the mail?
Date Posted: 6/3/2010 9:35 AM ET
Member Since: 7/17/2009
Posts: 8
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I use the USPS, first class mail, to send my books to other members.  It normally takes between 3-5 days for an acknowledgement.  I realize that there's a month of grace given, but I sent a book almost a month ago and still have not received an acknowledgement.    I'm just curious as to how often books get lost?  Is this a common occurence?

Date Posted: 6/3/2010 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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Hi Ann,

Off subject, First class can be costly if you send heavier books.  I will send First Class when there is a 3-5 cent difference between FC and Media Mail.  If it is more than 3 -5 cents I send media mail.  So you are being very generous. 

Over the past year, I have sent and received over  300 books and only one book was lost that was enroute to me.  Have you checked the members account?  Is it still active?  You might want to send a note to them, if the book will be maked lost within a couple of days.  See the related help doc below (for the complete document,  search the help docs by typing "A book I sent is lost in the mail!")

  • First, contact the requestor to confirm that the book was not received.

    • Sometimes the requestor just forgot to mark it received
    • Sometimes the requestor was away from home when the book arrived
    • If you don't hear back from the requestor within a week of sending a PM asking about the book, you should contact us to look into the situation.
    • You can contact the requestor using the PM button on the "lost" transaction in your transaction archive.
  • If the requestor confirms that the book was not received:

    • As the sender, you should call 800-ASK-USPS or go to http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MLNtRcvd.aspx (the Postal Inspection Service's website) and input the information online there . This will help USPS try to recover your book if it truly has been lost in the mail.
      • This form at USPS is titled "Mail Theft"
      • This does  not mean only theft of mail.  USPS categorizes any mail that does not arrive or that is tampered with as "mail theft".
      • The choice that should be made under "Class" if Media Mail was used is "Parcel Post"
    • You can get the information about the transaction from the Transaction Archive:
      • Click "Transaction Archive" in the menu under My Account in the toolbar at the top of the site
      • Click the Request Details link on the right of the "lost in mail" transaction
      • If you need more information (such as requestor address) you can ask the requestor in a Personal Message for that information.
        • We are unable to provide member address information outside of the duration of an active transaction, due to the PBS Privacy Policy.
        • You can use the button on the transaction to contact the requestor.
    • If USPS does return your book to you, and it is undamaged:
      • You should ask the requestor (using the button on the Lost transaction in your Transaction Archive) if she still wants it. 
      • If she does, you can re-send it.  If she does not, you can repost it.
      • If she does not respond to your PM, you should repost the book.

Last Edited on: 6/3/10 10:02 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/3/2010 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,657
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I''ve had one book ( sent to an address only 2 hours away) go lost out of over 40 transactions.  Makes no difference which postage you used in my opinion.

Date Posted: 6/3/2010 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
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I think I've had 3 that I sent go lost. All were small books sent first class without DC. I've sent over 600 books.

Tina D. (tinad) - ,
Date Posted: 6/3/2010 12:03 PM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2009
Posts: 350
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Of the 280 or so that I've sent out - I haven't had any go lost.  Of the 300 or so I've had sent to me, only 1 was declared lost.  And it was a 3-1 deal and I don't think it was ever sent because one of my buddies had also ordered from this person at the same time and neither one of us ever received anything. 

The only other time I had an order to me declared lost in the mail, it arrived the same day it was declared lost.  When I looked at the post mark, it had actually been mailed only 3 days prior to me receiving it.

So I've been pretty lucky in my transactions.

Date Posted: 6/3/2010 12:15 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 166
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I have been using this site for over a year and only had 1 book go lost....I have received all the books I requested also. 

Date Posted: 6/3/2010 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 12/5/2009
Posts: 1,114
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I have only had one Book Bazaar deal go lost. I believe without a doubt that it was mailed as I had received a great deal several weeks before from the same woman. I think it was just one of those things. I  feel badly because I don't remember what books I ordered and whether they were RL books. lol!  I always save my emails about the deal until I receive the books but didn't this time. Same with the sender, oh well maybe it will show up when I least expect it....



Last Edited on: 6/3/10 1:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/3/2010 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 3,308
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I have had 4 books go lost- 2 to me and 2 that I sent.  Of these, 2 were eventually  received.  One of them that I sent had DC and went from Jersey City to Bell Ca back to Jersey City then back to Bell, where it disappeared into a black hole for 4 weeks before getting to the requestor.  Another that I ordered around Christmas showed up in my mailbox about a month and a half ago, long after it was declared lost.  the postage confirmed the book was mailed on time.  The other two just disappeared.  The vast majority of books arrive in a timely fashion, but sometimes stuff happens swith the mail.

Date Posted: 6/3/2010 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I've had 1 outgoing and 4 incoming in over 1,000 transactions.  It goes happen but really not that often.  1 of the ones enroute to me showed up about a week late

Date Posted: 6/3/2010 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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I'm about to have two coming to me go lost here soon. It's so weird how it's happening to two at once. They are the first in over 60 transactions over a 3 year period to go lost. So it doesn't happen often at all. I have my doubts that the ones coming to me were ever put in a blue box or taken into the PO, though, so I don't really know if I will consider them actually lost. More like misplaced by the senders. Neither one seems active anymore either. Who knows what happened!

Date Posted: 6/3/2010 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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I've had the first few on the way to me go lost in the past two months. I've mailed out over 600, and I think only one has been lost. Not too bad overall, and I'm sure it's a very small percentage.

Date Posted: 6/3/2010 3:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 4,412
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308 Sent - 0 Lost + countless game books sent with no Lost books.

387 Requested - 2 books in 1 shipment (w/DC, no scans) Lost + 1 book of a 2-book order fell out of the envelope on its way to me.

Really minimal number of books lost overall. 

Date Posted: 6/3/2010 3:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,857
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Of the more than 600 I've mailed - zero lost

Of the more than 600 I've ordered ... I have had a few lost in the mail. I received 1 completely empty package (3 books missing out of that one), one ripped package where 1 out of the 2 books ordered had fallen out, and 1 or 2 more that have just never arrived.

Date Posted: 6/5/2010 8:00 AM ET
Member Since: 4/24/2008
Posts: 310
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I think if you package the book really well it will not go lost.  I think packages go lost because of careless preparation of the book to be mailed.

Date Posted: 6/5/2010 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2010
Posts: 388
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Kay D, from what I've heard...those Postal machines can really wreak havoc no matter how well you wrap the books. 

Date Posted: 6/5/2010 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2010
Posts: 388
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I have two books, mailed the same day but going to different states, will be declared lost in a few days.  Argg.  I tape up my books really well:  sides and corners plus over the address.  Makes me wonder if they're lost together somewhere in a ware house.

Date Posted: 6/5/2010 1:28 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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I've never had a book go "lost" as such. Closest I've come was one book that the sender claimed was returned to her as "undeliverable" - when I asked for further details, she replied huffily: "I don't have time to deal with this nonsense further!", so that's all I know. She did not PM me when she got the book back, but responded to a message I sent her.

Date Posted: 6/5/2010 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2009
Posts: 27
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I have a few more days and a book that I ordered will go lost. This is the first time I have ever had a book take this long. I am really hoping it shows up. In the next few days.

Date Posted: 6/5/2010 7:54 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2009
Posts: 2,524
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I've only had one go lost and sent 500 plus.  I dont use DC if its a single book.  If the order has 2 or more books  I use PBS dc or paypal postage with dc and they have both worked equally well. 

Date Posted: 6/6/2010 6:52 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 526
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Last Edited on: 4/29/11 8:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/6/2010 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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she replied huffily: "I don't have time to deal with this nonsense further!"



I suspect that many people who join with good intentions discover they aren't cut out for packaging and mailing.  It's faster to go buy a book or go to Amazon.  Problem is - they leave without telling anyone. :(


Date Posted: 6/7/2010 10:08 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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I have 349 total transactions, only two have gone lost. Both of the lost books were coming to me. (One, I had suspicions that it was never mailed. The other was from a buddy mailing a book to me.)