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Topic: How Important is Delivery Confirmation

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Subject: How Important is Delivery Confirmation
Date Posted: 7/5/2010 6:06 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2010
Posts: 7
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I'm new to PBS and just sent out my first three books. I mailed them at the P.O. and purchased DC through the P.O. I'm not sure if next time I should purchase DC through PBS so I have instant credit when the book arrives at the destination? Do members generally remember to log back onto their account and give credit when the book arrives? Also, do most people use DC or just take their chances?



Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 7/5/2010 6:17 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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If you're going to buy DC, it is cheaper to buy it through PBS than at the Post Office and you get the advantage of Quick Credit (when the DC is scanned) or Guaranteed Credit (if the book is never scanned and it gets lost in the mail). Getting DC here costs 27 cents that you pay to PBS plus 19 cents that you add to the postage, for a total of 46 cents. It costs 90 cents if you buy it directly at the Post Office. You do have to pay a 50 cent transaction fee to add money to your account here, so you should add enough to last you for a while -- $5.00 or $10.00 seems like a good amount, depending on how many books you are mailing out.

DC is not required though, and yes, other members are good about marking books received. Remember that there are about 10,000 transactions every day, and you only see a handful of complaints in the forums. Nobody is talking about the 99.99% of swaps that go just fine. Also, every transaction has a "system action date" associated with it. You can see this date on your My Account page. This is the date where the book will either be marked lost or received by the system. If the other member has not logged in for a while, then the system will mark your book received for you.

Date Posted: 7/5/2010 6:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,221
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A lot of members don't ever buy DC - its not really cost effective. Many of us buy PBS-DC because it takes all of the hassle out the process. Most members are good and log on to mark the books received, but with a membership well over 200,000 you will find some rotten apples.

Buying DC at the post office is never a good idea. You don't get credit guarantee or quick/instant credit and it actually costs more. Even with fees, PBS-DC only costs 0.46 more, PBS full postage with DC costs 0.62 more, and the retail DC costs 0.80 more. Ifs cheaper, more conveinent, and guarantees the credit it you get it from PBS.

I buy DC most of the time and use full PBS postage once in a while because I don't need to hassle with wondering. Every now and then I send a book without either.  Books don't go lost enough to make it a sound financial decision, but I like the lack of stress.

Last Edited on: 7/5/10 6:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/5/2010 6:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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1st: buying DC through the post office is more expensive then PBS and a waste of money.  PBS only honors DC when you buy it from them and that's only because they collect a printing fee that goes to cover the cost of credit refunds for lost books.  Even then it adds up quickly. The % of books going lost is actually pretty low.  I've sent around 600 books now and have only had 1 go lost.  The DC through PBS would have been around $275!  That's a lot of credits and books that I could buy with that.  The DC fee if bought from the post office would have been $480!!!  You can buy a whole lot of books and credits for that amount.  That's just my PBS #'s. I do another trading site and have sent around 130 books there and haven't had 1 go lost from there as a sender.

The PBS posage is good if you need the convenience of not having to go the post office.  I used it more often when I ran a home daycare and it was hard to get to the post office. But even then I only used it on books over 13oz and bulk orders.  For smaller books I kept stamps on hand. 

So it's really up to you.  I did the math and figured I'd rather risk a credit and put that DC money towards buying and mailing other books.  Some people stress about books going lost and buy DC and don't care about the cost.  If I used DC on every book then I would have to mail out less books. 

Last Edited on: 7/5/10 6:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/5/2010 6:31 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2010
Posts: 211
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Welcome to PBS, Jennifer!  I agree that using DC on everything just to ensure you get the credit is a waste of money - 0.46 over even 10 books is $4.60, and you can buy 2 replacement credits in the Book Bazaar for about that much.  Some members use DC only on multiple book packages or when they need the credit immediately.  Of course if you're using it for your peace of mind, that's a different story; it's entirely dependent as to what works best for you.

I'll mark books received the same day.  If some of your books take a few weeks to get marked, though, remember that it's vacation season and people might be away from home.

Date Posted: 7/5/2010 6:36 PM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2005
Posts: 1,592
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Welcome........another point of view......I always use postage and DC from PBS because I get the instant credit and no hassles, no trip to post office, can mail from home. The extra $ is worth it to me.

So however you go......have a great time at PBS.


Scott (scalta) - ,
Date Posted: 7/5/2010 7:11 PM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2010
Posts: 723
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Last Edited on: 7/15/11 4:44 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/5/2010 7:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 4,412
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I almost always use PBS postage & DC for 2 reasons:

1) Because of the convenience -- my PO has NO parking so I hate having to go inside, but I can dropped a book with printed postage into the blue box on my way through town.  I don't buy stamps myself, but that could work this way, too, though not for packages over 13oz & you'd have to buy different stamp *denominations* to equal various total postage amounts.

2) To support this site with that truly minimal fee (27 cents?).  I get hours & hours of enjoyment from this site. Paying 27 cents per book shipment (which can include 2 or more books for that same 27 cents) seems a cheap way for me to help pay for it.

Welcome and Happy Swapping. smiley

Date Posted: 7/5/2010 8:11 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 2,585
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I'm firmly in the buy DC camp.  I work 10 hour days, and am never home when the post office is open.  It's worth it to me to pay the little bit extra for the convenience of being able to print the postage on my printer, then just drop the books I'm mailing in a blue box on my way to work.

I get a credit the instant I mark the book mailed, and don't have to worry about it getting lost.  

That being said, with 400+ books having been mailed to me during my membership (and that's not even counting the mailings I do for games) I've only had one book go missing.  

Most of the time the post office does a really good job in getting books where they need to go.  If you're happy being patient for credits, then there's no need to spend the extra money.

Date Posted: 7/5/2010 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 5:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/5/2010 8:24 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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I buy DC from PBS if I'm mailing 1) more than one book in one order (worth the one PBS DC charge for several books) or 2) mailing over water, such as Hi, AK, PR, GU, or any of the APOs.  I also use it when I'm low on credits.  Then it is worth it to get the credit fast.

Another thing to remember, if the book is over 13 oz, you cannot use stamps.  You need to either buy online postage or go to the PO.  We have a APC machine open 24/7 at one of the POs, right across the street from the grocery store.  So getting postage after hours is not an issue for me.  If I did not have that option, then I would be buying more PBS postage. 

I'll second the mention of a scale.  A scale is really helps.

Date Posted: 7/5/2010 10:11 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,672
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I don't have time to go to the PO due to my work schedule.  I use Paypal postage because the DC is cheaper than PBS DC.  I wouldn't use DC at all if the online postage didn't require it.  I've only ever had one book go missing.  Refunding a credit is MUCH cheaper than all the $$ spent on DC.  I always keep a credit cushion so I don't need the instant credit.

Definitely get a scale.  Don't count on PBS to have the correct weight for a book.  You'll overpay in guesstimates too.  Any kind of scale will work.  A food scale is pretty cheap if you don't want to invest in a postal scale.  You can buy postal scales on Ebay.

Subject: DC
Date Posted: 7/6/2010 12:31 AM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2010
Posts: 3
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@ Sarah -- I'm going to ship my first book tomorrow, and I ended up using PayPal as well. I'll see how a few requests pan out and then decide if I want to keep doing DC. I always feel better knowing it got there OK.

Subject: I second owning a digital scale
Date Posted: 7/6/2010 7:45 AM ET
Member Since: 5/24/2010
Posts: 288
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Of the books I've sent out, not one of them has been correct in terms of postage. Many books that PBS suggest sending Media Mail have been much cheaper sending 1st class. The largest mistake so far was a paperback that I weighed at 5 ounces and PBS had it at weighing 1 lb 1 oz. And as I used to work for a mailing company and still talk to many of them and one of their tips for mailing from home is to make sure your digital scale is accurate. Take it to your post office, and as long as there are no other customers, clerks are usually willing to weigh a piece of mail using their scale and comparing it to your reading on your scale. If your scale is off, your mail can be rejected for incorrect postage.