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Topic: How is the postage increase going to affect you?

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Subject: How is the postage increase going to affect you?
Date Posted: 5/22/2015 12:00 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,253
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Maybe I've been hiding under a rock, but I just found out about the postage increase going into effect May 31st. How is it going to affect you in regards to PBS? Personally, I think I am going to edit down my bookshelf to just books that I have the only copy in the system, where before I would list books that had 10 or less posted. I think the increase is only 13¢ for under 1 pound but I have always mailed a lot of books so that could add up fast...the postage rates seem to climb faster than my income. I know PBS is struggling and I worry that this latest postage increase will drive even more members away...what do you think?

Date Posted: 5/22/2015 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,619
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I think the increase is actually much less than 13 cents. I don't have a plan. I'm too disorganized for that. I'll just wait until something happens and then figure out what to do. Is tracking going to be free for media mail? I've heard some say yes and some say no.

Date Posted: 5/22/2015 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Media Mail 1lb rate is going up about 3 cents, so it's not affecting me much.

Lori M. (ripley) - ,
Date Posted: 5/22/2015 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 1,561
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Yes, I believe that tracking for media mail will now be free, as it is for first class. I consider that a pretty big savings that more than offsets the rise in media mail prices.

Date Posted: 5/22/2015 2:27 PM ET
Member Since: 2/27/2009
Posts: 20,723
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Lori, I asked about that yesterday at the PO when I mailed books.  I ship more often and more books in the spring thru fall and very little in winter due to our weather.  I know the folks in my PO really well and Bob said, as you did, "Tracking will be free".  That sounded almost too good to be true,  so I asked, "Is that online tracking or just tracking available if I go to the PO and ask?"  He wasn't sure.  I checked online and the USPS has no details but another site seemed to say 'included'.  If it is 'included' for Media Mail, not just FC, then yes, it will be a very nice net savings. 

This month alone, I've spent over $60 mailing books (higher than normal) for PBS, including Game and WL offers I made and deals on WL books I made.  But the guy at the counter who often handles my stuff (I go in when things are generally very quiet) is chatty and he even mentioned he hadn't seen me as often as in the past and I had fewer things to mail.  A year ago, I would have been in there almost every week spending $18-$30 mailing books.  

I'm already sitting on nearly 30 credits, and despite getting a lot of WL books so far this year, mostly for my brother and SIL, I am not willing to add more credits right now.  And I must have between 1 and 2 hundred WL books sitting here.  Some are easier to find than others, but PBS's fragile corporate existence makes shipping books kind of a risky proposition these days.  Long gone is the time I'd carry 100+ credits in my account.  And gone too is my willingness to donate those credits to PBS or to donate money.  This is one damn expensive hobby, and that's how I treat it, as a hobby, not a source of saving.



Last Edited on: 5/22/15 2:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Lori M. (ripley) - ,
Date Posted: 5/22/2015 3:25 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 1,561
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This is from the Endicia site:

USPS Tracking becomes free for Library Mail and Media Mail and thus USPS Tracking is included for all domestic mail classes at no additional cost with the exception of Standard Mail which has a cost of $0.36 per piece.

Date Posted: 5/22/2015 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 3,532
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If the tracking rates are now included, the postage will be decreasing for me. The two pound rate is just increasing 3 cents anyway.

Date Posted: 5/23/2015 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 2,944
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USPS Tracking becomes free for Library Mail and Media Mail and thus USPS Tracking is included for all domestic mail classes at no additional cost with the exception of Standard Mail which has a cost of $0.36 per piece.


Wow! When was the last time a government agency did something like that for citizens? Actually, my experience with postal employees has been 99% positive for a great many years.  But I occasionally encounter the odd employee who should be shipped to a 'resort' to deal with their anal or psychotic problems. When I see the patient manner with which most postal employees deal with people who act like they have never sent a letter or package and expect the postal employee to pack and wrap their shipment, I realize that I could never do that job.

Date Posted: 5/24/2015 7:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2010
Posts: 15,235
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3¢ I can afford. It won't change much regarding books I mail, as for books I request, time will tell.

Date Posted: 5/25/2015 12:44 AM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2013
Posts: 113
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Here is a link to the new postage amounts. A very handy chart.

https://stamps.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1685/~/january-2015-usps-rate-changes%3A-rate-increase-for-packages-sent-without

Date Posted: 5/25/2015 7:54 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
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OK, maybe I'm just not thinking to clearly this morning, which is always a possibility, but...

If tracking is free, is PBS going to lower its preprinted postage prices?  I mean, what's the incentive to pay the extra fee if I can go to the PO and get tracking for free?  Before, it was just a 5 cents difference for me, so I'd rather print the prepaid postage.  However, if there's no 55 cents fee (or whatever cost it will be after the rate change) if I just print the address and go to the PO, the trip to the PO becomes much more feasible and actually would save me money, especially when mailing multiples for a game.  

Am I correct in thinking this?

Date Posted: 5/25/2015 9:57 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2008
Posts: 8,336
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Thanks for your post, Sheila.  I had the same thought but hadn't taken the time to post it here.  I will be very interested to see responses to your question.

Date Posted: 5/25/2015 11:42 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I do think most people use the online postage for the convenience of not having to go to the PO, so I'm not sure how much effect it will have.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 5/25/2015 12:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,121
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If tracking is free, is PBS going to lower its preprinted postage prices?  I mean, what's the incentive to pay the extra fee if I can go to the PO and get tracking for free?

When you buy postage through PBS, you are purchasing credit insurance. If you send a book that is lost en route with a PBS-issued tracking number, then PBS will still give you your credit. If your book is lost and all you have is a USPS counter-issued tracking number, then you are out of luck.

Date Posted: 5/25/2015 6:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
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When you buy postage through PBS, you are purchasing credit insurance.

Those of us who play in the games forum are not mailing the books for credits.  We just have to have tracking to show we mailed the book, so the credit assurance doesn't matter in this case.

ETA:  Also, I'm not sure if people actually take the time to do the math that the instant credit will actually end up being worth 55 cents versus free tracking.  I guess it will depend on whether PBS adjusts their prices, and to what price point.

I do think most people use the online postage for the convenience of not having to go to the PO, so I'm not sure how much effect it will have.

Some games I could be mailing 10 or more books at a time, times 55 cents each.  The PO is only 4 miles from my house, so the price of gas would be cheaper than paying the fees for me.  I may not mail as OFTEN if I had to go to the PO, but I definitely would go with the cheaper option.



Last Edited on: 5/25/15 6:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/26/2015 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,515
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My nearest PO is 8 miles away and none of them are actually 'on my way' to anyplace else I go so gas cost and time spent are both 'resources' I consider when I have packages to mail........I try to limit my trips to when I will be out running errands anyway so do NOT make a daily trip to PO.  That 'close' PO is in a 'town' that is just a rural crossroads with a school, hardware store and farmer's market stand so I only go there when I have to go to one of the other places.  My other PO choices are 15, 20 and 30 minutes away but none are on my normal errand routes.

But I will probably be 'happy' with media mail prices until they go over $4....then I will have to rethink the value of PBS.



Last Edited on: 5/26/15 9:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/27/2015 12:45 AM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2007
Posts: 2,245
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the chart  that was posted is only good for stamps.com

does anyone have one for the actual post office?

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 5/27/2015 9:34 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,121
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Here you go Kim. First Class Retail is what the PO will charge at the counter. Media Mail is the same online or at the counter.

Weight First Class Retail   First Class Printable   Media Mail
0 to <3 oz   2.54 2.04 2.72
<4 oz 2.74 2.13 2.72
<5 oz 2.94 2.22 2.72
<6 oz 3.14 2.35 2.72
<7 oz 3.34 2.53 2.72
<8 oz 3.54 2.71 2.72
<9 oz 3.74 2.89 2.72
<10 oz 3.94 3.07 2.72
<11 oz 4.14 3.25 2.72
<12 oz 4.34 3.44 2.72
<13 oz 4.54 3.63 2.72
<1 lb n/a n/a 2.72
<2 lb n/a n/a 3.22
<3 lb n/a n/a 3.72
<4 lb n/a n/a 4.22
<5 lb n/a n/a 4.72
<6 lb n/a n/a 5.22
Date Posted: 5/27/2015 10:14 AM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2014
Posts: 7,650
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Won't affect me at all.

Date Posted: 5/27/2015 2:17 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,359
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Thanks, Cathy, that chart will come in handy.

Date Posted: 5/27/2015 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2007
Posts: 2,245
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thank you cathy

Date Posted: 5/28/2015 10:58 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
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Using Cathy's chart above, up to 1 pound media mail with free tracking will be $2.72, up to 2 pounds would be $3.22, and up to 3 pounds would be $3.72.  

Right now, PBS charges $3.24 ($2.69 + .55 fee) for up to a pound, $3.72 for up to 2 pounds ($3.17 + .55 fee), and $4.20 for up to 3 pounds ($3.65 + .55 fee).

The difference between the DC only rate (which is no longer available) and the printable postage rate was only 5 cents, so printable postage seemed the easier route for me.  Now, however, unless PBS changes their rate structure starting 5/31, the difference in what the PO will give you for free with no fee and what PBS charges is suddenly much higher--.50 to 52 cents or so PER PACKAGE.  All of those expressing concerns over the cost of postage need to realize that unless PBS changes its rates to reflect this change, then its PBS itself that is costing you more to swap books, not the PO.

While I realize that for some, that may not be much of an increase if they were already paying for printable postage, but when I hear laments over the rising cost of postage, I do feel that it warrants pointing out the differences in rates.  I know that I, for one, will be reconsidering my use of printable postage if PBS does not significantly lower their rates in response to the free tracking offered by the PO.  It would be nice if PBS would let us know what they plan to do so that those of us with books to mail out this week and next can plan, but sharing information ahead of time does not seem to be PBS' strength lately.

Date Posted: 5/28/2015 11:01 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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The difference between the DC only rate (which is no longer available) and the printable postage rate was only 5 cents, so printable postage seemed the easier route for me.  Now, however, unless PBS changes their rate structure starting 5/31, the difference in what the PO will give you for free with no fee and what PBS charges is suddenly much higher--.50 to 52 cents or so PER PACKAGE.  All of those expressing concerns over the cost of postage need to realize that unless PBS changes its rates to reflect this change, then its PBS itself that is costing you more to swap books, not the PO.

This. I stopped using PBS postage as the rates are ridiculous and I hated being nickled and dimed (paying for money to pay for postage, plus fees for the buying of postage, plus membership fees). It's absurd.

 
Lori M. (ripley) - ,
Date Posted: 5/28/2015 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 1,561
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However, I don't believe that the free tracking at the PO will guarantee your credit for sending the book.

Date Posted: 5/28/2015 12:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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However, I don't believe that the free tracking at the PO will guarantee your credit for sending the book.

I think we're about to find out how much value PBS customers place on that service,
 
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