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Topic: Incorrect reccommended postage

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Subject: Incorrect reccommended postage
Date Posted: 2/11/2008 9:36 AM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2007
Posts: 120
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I've had a couple books returned to the sender because of insuffient postage.  I noticed this morning that when I print the labels they were saying it would cost $2.13 to mail but the books were hardcover and weighed postage was $2.47.  There is also the added weight of packaging.  I don't think that PBS should be reccommending the amount of postage if they are going to be incorrect.  Karen

Date Posted: 2/11/2008 9:39 AM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,968
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I've been finding that mine have been off too...recommended $2.87 but really $3.15, so I have been taking them all to the PO to be weighed.

Date Posted: 2/11/2008 10:16 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2006
Posts: 183
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It's just an estimated weight and you can change that to get the correct postage.

Date Posted: 2/11/2008 10:20 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 2,433
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I've often found my books to need LESS postage, as well as more, than what's recommended. I've started weighing mine before I put on postage.
patticom - ,
Date Posted: 2/11/2008 10:22 AM ET
Member Since: 11/3/2007
Posts: 416
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I've found them to be wrong most of the time.

Date Posted: 2/11/2008 10:31 AM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
Posts: 3,070
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I have found them to be way off, and recommending media over first class on light books even though the weight listed has been pretty close to being right.

Date Posted: 2/11/2008 10:33 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,689
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I don't really worry about the recommended postage as I take all of mine to the post office to mail.  But, of the 80% I've paid attention to the recommended postage and what it actually requires is the exact same thing.  Only a couple of them have required less postage than what was recommended.

Date Posted: 2/11/2008 10:38 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
Posts: 1,051
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Not enough postage: has anyone considered the PACKING materials when looking at the postage? The recommended postage is for the weight of the books only. If you use packing tape, a padded envelope, a box, or anything else that has some weight to it, it will of course increase the total weight, and ultimately, the total cost of postage.

Date Posted: 2/11/2008 11:24 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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PBS is very clear about this - they even write the words "suggested postage" on your label.  There are no guarantees of accuracy.  I have found that, with hardbacks, the postage is almost always $2.47 rather than $2.13 - that's just a rule of thumb for me.

From the Help Center:

Is the postage amount shown on the PBS wrapper always correct?

Usually, but not always.

  • Our database is compiled elsewhere, and it includes some inaccuracies, including the weight of some books.
  • The weight of a book as recorded in the PBS database determines the "recommended postage" that appears on the PBS wrapper.
  • If the book itself weighs close to the "pound" mark (very close to 1 lb or very close to 2 lbs, for example), the Wrapping materials can actually put the wrapped book into the next higher postal rate. 
  • You can see the estimated weight on the Wrapper Settings page that comes up when you click Print Wrapper on the request.
    • You can adjust the weight there and the postage that will print out on the wrapper will change accordingly.
    • This will not change the weight of the book in the database; it will change the weight of your shipment.
Date Posted: 2/11/2008 11:55 AM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2007
Posts: 1,313
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I always weigh my books and add a little for the packaging.  Any old cheap kitchen scale will do!

Date Posted: 2/11/2008 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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Mine are so reliably *wrong* that it's actually kind of funny. A thick paperback will almost invariably print as first class. A thin one will print as media mail.

Date Posted: 2/11/2008 1:55 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2006
Posts: 156
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I've taken mine to the post office for a long time.  At first, the people at the PO were confused about the suggested postage, then they were apologetic about the discrepancies, and now they just ignore it completely. 

Date Posted: 2/11/2008 8:50 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Yep, I agree with the "suggested" weight being wrong. I wouldn't ever try to mail a book based on the suggested weight from here or Amazon, tho lots of people do. It's not worth it, to me, to risk having to remail it and pay for it all over again, if the weight is wrong.

Date Posted: 2/12/2008 12:50 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,306
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When I'm printing postage, I wrap mine completely, then weigh it, and print out the one page label (adjusting the weight on the label page) & cut & tape the address to my package.

When I'm adding stamps, I just weigh it right before adding the stamps. 

And I calculate the postage here (choosing domestic mail, and then "package.") Even if you're sending it an envelope, it's a package because it is stiff.