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Topic: Lost Book Returned to Me

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Subject: Lost Book Returned to Me
Date Posted: 7/17/2010 4:24 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2007
Posts: 442
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So I had a book I'd sent out go lost in the mail this week.

Today the book was returned to me by the post office with a label slapped over the address that says:






I'm not sure what happened or why it was returned but I did notice that a stamp is missing from the envelope - so maybe, insufficient postage?

Can I just repost it into the system and mail it out?  It's a wish listed book.  Or is there some sort of protocol to follow?

Date Posted: 7/17/2010 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,484
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This sounds like the address was wrong, instead of a lack of postage.  PM the person to check the address before resending.  Whoops.  Help says differently.  (Note the info about what to do if it was the receiver's fault or the post office's fault.)

From help:

A book I sent was returned to me!

If the book has already been declared lost in the mail at PBS, you should NOT re-mail it.   You should repost it to your bookshelf and if the previous requestor has not already gotten a copy from someone else, he or she will be offered your copy automatically.

If the book has NOT been declared Lost in the Mail yet, you should contact the requestor using the button on the active request, to let him/her know that the book was returned, and to confirm the address. 

  • You cannot re-send the book if it is damaged.  If it is damaged, contact us to cancel the transaction.

    • If the book has already been declared Lost in the Mail, you do not need to contact us to cancel.
  • You are not obligated to re-send the book to the requestor if this happened due to a problem with the requestor's address.   If the book was not damaged when it came back to you, and you do not want to re-send the book to the previous requestor, you can simply repost it. 

    • If you do not get a reply message from the requestor within 5 days of your PM, contact us.

If the book HAS been declared Lost in the Mail, you should make sure that the requestor still wants the book (and that the address is correct) before remailing it. You can use the button on the "lost" transaction in your Transaction Archive (linked from the top of your My Account page) to send a message to the requestor.


  •  If you do not get a reply, do not re-mail the book - you should repost it to your Bookshelf if you do not get a reply.  If you repost and the new request is from the same member, contact us for help.

The most common causes for packages to be returned to sender:

  • The package was over 13 ounces and bore only stamps for postage, and you did not mail it by handing it to a USPS employee.
    • This is a USPS regulation if postage stamps are used for postage and the package is over 13 oz in weight.
    • The regulation does not apply to packages sent with printed postage
    • You can remail the package from the PO in this case, without adding new postage to the package.
  • Incorrect Address. Caused by 
    • transcription errors if you hand-wrote the address
    • the requestor mistyping his/her address in his/her account
    • USPS error
  • Insufficient Postage Caused by 
    • Insufficient postage on the package
      • did you check and adjust the weight on the wrapper settings page before printing? this will ensure that the correct postage and postal rate will print out
    • Failure to write MediaMail on the package if the PBS Wrapper was not used.
      • USPS will charge First Class rate if MediaMail is not specified. 
      • The PBS Wrapper will print out with FIRST CLASS for packages weighing 7ounces or less; packages over that weight will print wrappers marked MEDIA MAIL
    • Writing First Class on the package if the PBS Wrapper was not used.
    • Reusing Priority Mail materials (this is not permitted by USPS unless you are paying priority rate!) but applying Media Mail or First Class postage.
    • USPS error.
  • Moved, no forwarding address Caused by
    • The requestor moving before the book arrived (Media Mail is not routinely forwarded, unlike First Class mail!)
    • USPS error.

If the book was returned to you through an error on the requestor's part, you can ask him or her for an extra credit (or money for the postage) to re-send the book,

If the book was returned to you through USPS error, you can take it to the PO and explain the situation; they can check the address and if it is correct and the book was returned through USPS error, they can send it again "under cover" without requiring more postage.

If the requestor still wants the book, and you re-send it, it may be declared Lost in the Mail before it arrives. 

  • The requestor can mark it received from the Lost transaction in his or her Transaction Archive, and you will get credit.
  • When she or he does this, if he or she notes the postmark, you may get a "late postmark" email - the system can't tell that the late postmark is from RE mailing the book.  Don't worry if you get one of these emails - as long as you do not have a habit of late mailing, one of these emails will not affect your account at all.
Date Posted: 7/17/2010 4:40 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2007
Posts: 442
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Great.  I'll repost it.  Thanks for the help.