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Topic: Media mail to/from Hawaii - what's your experience?

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Subject: Media mail to/from Hawaii - what's your experience?
Date Posted: 7/10/2009 4:04 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 433
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Mail generally takes longer from Hawaii, but I am wondering what has your experience been with using media mailing to/from HI.
On June 15th, I mailed off 5 set of books to various mainland states, from my local post office - my first set of books to mail with PBS. The following day I had more book requests and mailed these from another PO. Being new to PBS, I decided to get tracking for all the books.
The books I mailed on June 16 arrived in CA on June 26 and to their new owners on July 7th.

So I went to my local PO on Tuesday (July 8th) to inquire about the first lot I mailed. I was told that as they are a small PO, priority is given to Express, Priority and 1st class mail so that if there is no room in the truck the media and parcel packages get left till there is space available.
I wasn't happy hearing that but needless to say, I will not be mailing books from that
PO again.

Then on July 8th, the USPS tracking indicates that the books arrived in CA that day – slow boat from HI. I'm glad that I bought tracking so at least we know where they are.

PO clerk advised that with Media mail the recommended 5-12 business days only applies once the package has arrived on the US mainland. AArrgghh! Although the average trip times listed under the pulse of PBS for books from HI is 12-18 days
The only book I received to date from a PBS member was light and mailed 1st class so as yet, I don’t have any experience in times for books to get to me via Media mail. The average times
I have 10 ‘Books I’ve mailed’ and am keen to get the credit so as I can use PBS to the full and get some of my Wish list books :)  
Date Posted: 7/10/2009 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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My experience with Hawaii is that it can often takes most of the 26 days PBS gives.

What the postal person told you about Media Mail is true with every post office, not just that one. Media Mail does not go unless there is room, all other classes get priority. With Hawaii that can really suck because you are talking about boat room, not multiple trucks running daily between locations.

Good luck, hope your credits start rolling in soon. You may want to consider using PBS postage or PBS-DC only on some of your packages so that you get your credits more quickly and don't have to wait until they get marked as received.

Welcome and Happy Swapping. Sounds like you've had a busy start.

Date Posted: 7/10/2009 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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Welcome to PBS, Judith.

I've mailed one book to Hawaii from New York, using Media Mail. It took 23 days as per USPS tracking information.

I would second Melanie's suggestion of using PBS-DC or PBS postage to get your credits quickly. From your post it sounds like you bought the Delivery confirmation retail at the post office which costs 80 cents over postage. You would be saving money using online postage because it costs 62 cents over postage to mail with PBS printed postage, you would get your credits more quickly (and assuredly), and you don't have to wait online at the post office (even if it's over 13oz) -- you can just drop it off in the blue collection boxes.

This is the link to more information regarding PBS postage vs PBS-DC: http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/search.php?terms=faq+postage#vs_dc 

hope this helps.

Date Posted: 7/10/2009 8:31 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 663
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I've sent books to and from Hawaii (I'm in Ohio), and it's always taken about two weeks.

In one (extraordinary!)  instance, books shipped from Hawaii got to me in four days. That was a pleasant surprise to both of us.


Date Posted: 7/11/2009 12:20 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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It is common for books to and from Hawaii, Alaska, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and APO/FPO address to go lost. 

Like someone else said all post office treat media mail as low priority, space available item.  If you want your credits faster you should use PBS postage/DC or maybe up them to 1st class if they smaller books.  Sometimes it's only slightly more to send 1st class. 

Kristi P. (kp17) - ,
Date Posted: 7/12/2009 9:03 PM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2009
Posts: 2
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More of the same here.  I live in Alaska, and although I don't really count exact days, I've noticed that both send and receive times are consistently inconsistent.  I've been a member for a couple of months, and had one sent book lost in the mail.  I guess you just can't be in a hurry or have your heart set too much on anything.  But PBS postage/DC is definitely worth it, to at least get the credit even if the book doesn't make it.



Date Posted: 7/14/2009 1:34 AM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 5,014
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Yesterday, I received a priority mail package from a member living in Honolulu, HI. She sent me 4 books all wrapped individually in saran wrap.. Guess when she sent it to me? She mailed it on Thursday, July 9th. I think that is a pretty quick delivery all the way from Hawaii to Michigan! I was very impressed.

Date Posted: 7/14/2009 1:50 AM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 433
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Priority mail only takes a day or two more.  But Media and Parcel mail wait for the next slow boat.......... 

Date Posted: 7/14/2009 2:23 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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I've had one book come from HI. It took exactly 3 weeks. A book I sent to HI as part of a game arrived in 8 days, using media mail.
Date Posted: 7/14/2009 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome to PBS Judith!   My sister lives on Maui, so I watch the mail times.    Priority Mail is an entire different beastie than Media Maul Mail.  I've seen other Hawaiian members post on this subject, and it appears that 4 or 5 weeks transit time can be common to your lovely state :-(  No worries tho, if the PBS system shifts a transaction to 'lost in the mail' it can still be retreived from the archive and marked 'received'.   Your mail times may frequently flirt with the 'lost' deadline.

You may wish to consider using PBS Delivery Confirmation.  It is offered with printable postage, and seperately (my fav).  Just print the DC number on your shipping labels, take it to the post office and purchase postage.  USPS will scan the barcode as part of the purchase transaction, and when the system uploads around midnight you will receive your credit.  An additional bonus, is the DC is now in the PBS system and can be tracked by sender and receiver...which can be reassuring for the longer mail journeys :-)  IIRC PBS charges about .27 for the service, and USPS will charge an additional .19 with the postage (those may be the old numbers).  Using USPS 'green label' DC costs .80 and will work, but the number won't be in the PBS system or trackable onsite, and therefore will not transfer credits.

The other option, is to use printable postage and mail in a blue box.  This will work, but you don't get credit until the DC is actually scanned (and downloaded)...which is only required upon deliverery, but sometimes occures earlier at a sorting center.   The same applies if for PBS DC and stamps.

Date Posted: 7/14/2009 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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Welcome to PBS!  My first book came from HI - I started to worry until I saw a post that explained that books could take 6 weeks plus.  It was marked lost but showed up about a week later - marked it received.  I have no problem sending or receiving from HI.  My postal person told me to think of HI as another country that they (post office) can't even gurantee some items will arrive on time. 

Date Posted: 7/15/2009 3:21 AM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 433
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I have started using paypal with DC for my mailing labels.

So now, after mailing the book(s) and seeing that they have gotten into the USPS tracking system, I send a PM tot the requestor with the DC reference advising that deliver from HI will take longer.

Also, if a book is less than 13 ozs, I'll send it 1st class as it is not that much more expensive. 


Date Posted: 7/16/2009 4:28 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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PBS help lists Current Postal Rates.  Media Mail up to 1 pound is $2.38.  Rate breaks are at every pound.

First Class is actually cheaper for packages not over 8 oz.  Rates change for each ounce.  Not over 7 oz. is $2.24 and not over 8 oz. is $2.41, etc.

DC stays the same for both, and is .19 if printed with the PBS label, although PBS charges an additional .27

Date Posted: 7/25/2009 5:23 PM ET
Member Since: 4/29/2006
Posts: 326
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I just got a book from Hawaii and it took 28 days to arrive.  I was afraid it would get marked as lost, but I knew it would get to me eventually

Date Posted: 7/28/2009 11:54 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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I had a book coming from Hawaii show up a month after the lost date.  When I PMd the sender to thank her for the book, she let me know that it was common for her to have books go past the lost date that she mails.

Date Posted: 7/30/2009 5:17 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I've gotten a few books from HI - and all but one were declared lost by PBS before they arrived.  All did arrive a few days after being declared lost.  I know not to re-order for a couple of weeks when they are coming from either HI or AK.


So far I haven't been lucky enough to get any orders from either state so I can't tell you about those experiences.  I'm in VA.

Date Posted: 8/2/2009 9:26 PM ET
Member Since: 12/18/2008
Posts: 166
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I've only gotten one book from Hawaii and I ordered it on April 4th and received it on May 15th. It went lost but I knew it was coming so I held off on re-ordering. The sender let me know before she even sent it that it might take some extra time and we kept in touch with PMs throughout. Overall, it wasn't a bad experience and it taught me the value of patience.
Date Posted: 8/7/2009 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 433
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Yes, patience is definitely required with books to/from HI.

I'm finding that books coming to me are taking less time than those I send.

But this is frustrating.. I sold a book on eBay, sent it Media Mail on Aug 3rd, it arrived Aug 6th. HI-VA in 3 days.  Yet I have Media Mail books for PBS members still in transit  since July 12th and I would love if these got to their new owners quicker. 

Lisa D - yes it is common for my books to go 'Lost' but so far all have eventually arrived, sometimes as long as 7 weeks after mailing.   

Last Edited on: 8/7/09 2:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/21/2009 9:23 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 1,705
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I'v only had one go to HI,  but it didn't seem too bad:

Date Mailed: 3/12/2009 3:18 PM ET
Date Received: 4/2/2009 11:21 PM ET