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Topic: New to PBS -- Trying to figure out shipping

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Subject: New to PBS -- Trying to figure out shipping
Date Posted: 8/5/2009 11:08 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2009
Posts: 301
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Hello everyone!

I hope that someone can help me out with this.  The options for shipping are really confusing!  What do MOST people do -- just pay for DC, pay for postage and DC, just use the wrapper, not use the wrapper at all?  I shipped one book yesterday and couldn't figure out the different "wrapper" options so I just handwrote the address and mailed it.  I realize now that I won't get my credits until the book gets to the member and they mark it received (GAH!).  The other swap site that I've belonged to for a while gives you a credit once you agree to ship a book, so there's no reason to do all of these other things and my brain just could not handle it.

Date Posted: 8/5/2009 11:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 1/30/11 5:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/5/2009 12:04 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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Hi Purvi,

Welcome to PBS!

If you want your credit instantly, you need to purchase PBS postage and then mark the book mailed (if you are mailing it that day). If you purchase the PBS delivery confirmation (DC), then you get your credit at the first postal scan. There is an additional service charge is you use PBS postage. I believe it is .43.

I personally use PBS postage and DC when I need the credit quickly. If I have enough credits, I print my label online through PayPal. You still get the DC for .19, but save the .43.

Here is the section of PBS guidelines that explains the differences in the postage types:

You will get your credit for sending a book (1 credit for each bound book, 2 credits for each audiobook) depending on how you choose to send the book:

  • If you send with "no extra services" chosen on the wrapper Settings page: you will get credit when the requestor marks it received from his or her account page.  

    You will get an email telling you when this has happened; the email will notify you that you have gotten credit.

    See below for more about transit times.  See If a book you sent hasn't been marked received yet... for more about this situation.

  • If you print your wrapper with PBS Delivery Confirmation, you will get credit in the form of QuickCredit, when USPS scans the DC barcode on the package, and transmits that information to PBS. 

    You will get an email telling you when Quick Credit has been granted; the email will notify you that you have gotten credit.

    You will also get an email telling you when the book has been marked received; if Quick Credit has been given, then no credit will be granted at the time the book is marked received.

    Read more about Quick Credit in When will I get my Quick Credit?.

  • If you use PBS Printed postage to print your wrapper, you will get Instant Credit--the credit will be granted at the time you mark the book mailed. 

    You will get an email telling you that Instant Credit has been granted; the email will notify you that you have gotten credit.

    You will also get an email telling you when the book has been marked received; if Instant Credit has been given, then no credit will be granted at the time the book is marked received.

    Read more about PBS Printed Postage in FAQs about Printable Postage

     

    Blessings,

    Christina



Last Edited on: 8/5/09 12:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/5/2009 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,471
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I'd like to add that books going to places like PR, HI, AK, or APOs take forever by media mail.  For books like that I'll often pay extra to go first class or  use PBS postage and DC.  Otherwise it takes a long time to get your credit. 

Hand written labels can also take longer.  That is because the sorting bar code is not on the label.

Date Posted: 8/5/2009 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I only use the postage and DC for bulk orders or books over 13oz when I don't feel like going to the post office.  The cost to use it on every book just to guarantee a credit is just a waste of money to me.  I would have spent way over $100 just on DC fees at this point.  I can buy a lot of credits and books for that.  It's awesome though when you don't have time to go to the post office. 

Just do whats most convenient to you.  I keep any reuseable envelopes I get.  If I'm using one of those then I just print the one page label.  I have horrible handwriting and it's easier just to tape the label onto the package.  If I have just a single MMP to send then I print the 2 page option. 

I do another site too and I actually like PBS' set up better.  I hate having to hand write the address for the other sites books. 

Date Posted: 8/5/2009 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,911
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Purvi,

about wrapping:

you can print the wrapper and use that to wrap the book in. Two sheets of printer paper will fit nicely around almost all mass-market paperback books. Just use packaging tape to seal all the seams, on the ends and across the bottom. A piece of tape over the address (especially in winter) may prevent the address from becoming smeared if the package gets damp. I also make sure that I put a piece of tape completely around the package both length and width wise.

Many people appreciate a book protected by some type of plastic, before you mail it. Many people use things like Saran wrap (but NOT press-n-seal, that can damage a book cover), or recycled plastic grocery bags, or the bags that newspapers arrive in. You can just wrap the book in a small piece of plastic and them use the paper wrapper to wrap the book.

There are other members who package books in bubble envelopes or other types of mailers. These are great for larger books especially, but you will want to be careful about making sure the wrapper is wrapped tightly around the book. When books are free to slide around loose (in any type of pacaging) they can often rip the wrapper and cause the book to be damaged or lost. Most of the damaged packages that I have received have either been loose around the book(s), or they have been sealed with scotch tape, which is not sufficient.

Now, about postage:

When I first joined, I used PBS DC for everything. There is a $0.27 fee for the DC (plus you add $0.19 to the postage on the package). If you use PBS DC, you will receive your credit as soon as the book is scanned somewhere by the PO. I stopped using it for everyhting when I saw in the forums that it really isn't that common for books to become lost (not to mention, over time it will cost a lot more to use DC on everything than it would have cost to replace a lost book)

So, I switched to using DC only for mailing out multi-book packages, audio books, and packages that I think might go "lost" before they arrive due to slow shipping (mostly to Hawaii or Alaska, or Puerto Rico).  But, most of my packages just go out with regular postage and no special services.

I haven't used PBS postage, but a lot of people do use it ... one thing to be careful of, is that the price of the postage that PBS calculates for you is based on the weight of the book(s) in the PBS database. Many members have complained about the books not having an accurate weight in the system, causing them to pay more postage than they might have needed. So, members who use PBS postage, also tend to use their own scale to double check the weights on the packages before they purchase the postge.

Welcome to PBS!



Last Edited on: 8/5/09 1:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/5/2009 2:05 PM ET
Member Since: 6/3/2009
Posts: 10
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While many folks don't like spending the money for the postage on PBS, I always do. 

The main reason is because PBS can only be free for all if some of us support it.  I choose to support PBS by paying the extra 43 cents per book.

Also, I like being able to track my books when they are mailed to me, and I'm sure others like to know the book's progress as well.  I don't have time to go to the post office to mail my books, I mail them from work.  I like getting instant credits, one less thing to worry about.

 

 

(edited for formatting issues)



Last Edited on: 8/5/09 2:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/5/2009 3:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,911
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The main reason is because PBS can only be free for all if some of us support it.  I choose to support PBS by paying the extra 43 cents per book.

Yes! I donate credits back to PBS, every few months. Every little bit helps!

Date Posted: 8/5/2009 3:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I pay for Box of Books (it's on hold right now) and donate credits back. 

Date Posted: 8/5/2009 3:16 PM ET
Member Since: 6/3/2009
Posts: 10
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How does donating credits back help? I've always been curious about that.  I haven't done that mostly because I have barely enough books going out to cover what we want to come in! LOL

Date Posted: 8/5/2009 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,911
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Well, PBS does gift 2 credits to each new member. They have to have the assets to back up those gifts of credits.

I'm not sure exactly, but since PBS says it helps, I've decided to do it (since I rarely purchase the DC/postage).

I think its an accounting thing ... the IRS makes them assign a monetary value to "credits" and they have to have assets to balance out the credits somehow.

(You can probably tell i'm not an accountant :)   )



Last Edited on: 8/5/09 3:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/5/2009 4:05 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I would suggest using the PBS postage and DC in the beginning until you get a feel for how things work here.  It's one load off your mind and you get the instant credit and everyone knows you mailed it.  Later you might want to just print the label. 

Be sure to use a good amount of packing tape no matter how you package it.  Different materials react to the USPS system differently.  I personally dislike paper bags and manila mailers because the mailers are brittle and seem to tear under stress.  If the brown paper bags gets wet, damp, or it is humid, it tends to just disintegrate.  I vastly prefer a well-taped PBS wrapper over either of those two.

Ruth

Date Posted: 8/5/2009 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2009
Posts: 301
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You guys are awesome.  Thanks so much!  I just got 2 more book requests, so I'm going to mix and match possibilities and see what works for me.

Oh, and I'm an obsessive wrapper.  My PO thinks I'm crazy.

Date Posted: 8/5/2009 8:41 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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I agree with Ruth.   At first I was going to the PO and driving myslef crazy if the books were going to get to the destination.  Then I started using PBS postage and DC.   I go to the PO anyway to check the weight of the book - so I have started using DC only.  However if I don't have the time to make it to the PO then PBS is great.  You need to feel your way and what you are comfortable doing - there isn't a right and wrong way.

I use the printed wrapper (as shown in the help docs) to wrap most of my books, but depending up on the books I may use a padded envelope or a small box.  I have sent up to three books but used a synthetic envelope (split sides to make it larger) and wrapped it as if it were a single book.  The difference the envelope I used was durable.   I also found a role of post office brown wrapping paper - so I am using that because it is thick and sturdy.  I always wrap the book in plastic wrap unless I receive an RC or a PM requesting otherwise.  We have alot of rain in my area lately and paper soaks through nothing to protect the book.  This is how I ship my books and I have only had positive feed back.

Tape is a whole different topic - LOL.  Some mumify while they wrap, others not so much - i guess it is finding the happy medium.  I try to leave a little place on either end to slip a knife or opener - but sometimes it is diffcult when taping a label vs using the wrapper as is.  Again - no right or wrong - just opinions.

Welcome - you will enjoy the site.

 

Date Posted: 8/6/2009 12:45 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2009
Posts: 301
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OK, I am conducting a scientific mailing experiment

1) mailed a book where I handwrote the address, media mail

tomorrow, will mail (I got 4 requests in one day!  I love this site!  I am so addicted!):

2) book with wrapper only (no postage, no DC), media mail

3) book with wrapper only, first class

4) book with DC only, media mail

5) PBS postage + DC, media mail

I think the only permutations I have left are first class + DC and first class + PBS postage + DC but I have no other tiny books so maybe these will never come to be.

Question: for 4 and 5, once PO scans DC, I get credits, right?

Date Posted: 8/6/2009 1:03 AM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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4 = once they scan at the PO - so when you go to the PO to drop off ask them to scan the packages .  My PO won't scan unless you ask.   #5 dc w/postage you get the credit right away.

congrats on the activity - it is addicting.

Date Posted: 8/6/2009 1:50 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome Purvi!

Unless you are purchasing postage at the counter, your PO isn't supposed to scan mail...if yours is still doing it, make sure to express your appreciation      :-)

For myself, I often buy PBS DC and postage at my PO.  Use wrapper #1 for single books mmpb (or 2 slims) and #3 for multi-book packages.  Use the printed label because the PO is faster & more efficient with the barcodes.



Last Edited on: 8/6/09 1:51 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Ronda (RONDA) - ,
Date Posted: 8/6/2009 4:39 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2009
Posts: 415
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It is very easy for me to get to the post office (in the bldg I work at), so I always mail from there.  And I am all about reducing the cost of postage, so no extras like DC for me.  I have not had any problems and have had a couple books that were marked received near the end of the time before going lost, but it was not a big deal for me to wait for those credits.

Date Posted: 8/6/2009 4:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Donating credits back to PBS helps cover those times when they've reimbursed credits to people who've been scammed by someone and it helps cover the credits they give to new members and referrals.



Last Edited on: 8/6/09 4:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/11/2009 7:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2009
Posts: 301
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OK, an update.

So far, the only book marked received is a litlte one that I was able to send first class for cheap.  Lesson learned?  DC or pre-paid postage on media mail doesn't change the fact that it's media mail.  I don't know why I thought it would.

I have to say, it was really nice to use DC/PBS postage and get the credits right away.  I used it for a larger shipment that got me more credits fast, and for a harder-to-find book that I wanted the receiver to know I'd sent (and for me to track it!).  I'm waiting on a couple of orders (that I'm SO excited to get) and will be interested to see how other people chose to ship things to me :)

I <3 PBS.

Kate -
Date Posted: 8/11/2009 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2008
Posts: 534
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I don't use DC anymore. I've never had a book go lost (in either direction), so it's just not worth the money for me unless I need a fast credit. It's a small fee, but it does add up if you have a limited amount to spend on postage. I do use the printed wrapper, even if I'm just cutting out the address box and putting it on a bubble mailer. I'm guessing the typed addresses are less likely to be misread (or copied incorrectly to begin with).

Anyway, welcome to PBS!

Date Posted: 8/12/2009 12:53 AM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 433
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I use Paypal for my postage with DC.

I live in HI and my books can 2-3 weeks via slow boat across the Pacific and often as long again to get to the East coast  -  many times they go 'Lost' only to show up days and up too 3 weeks later.  So for me, it's a kind of insurance - but as I'm still relatively new here, maybe I'll relax in time and just mail without DC from my PO.  

BTW - Last week I sold a book on eBay, mailed it Media mail, same type of wrapping & printed postage as when I send PBS books and it got there in 3 days.  Go figure - it must've gotten caught up with Priority Mail.  Wish some of my PBS books would take so short a time :)

Date Posted: 8/12/2009 9:04 AM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 55
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I agree with Tricia C. about using PBS postage to help support this site. Also, a lot of my books are larger paperbacks over 13oz (long fantasy, Tom Clancy books, etc) so using the PBS postage means I don't have to wait in line at the post office!
Date Posted: 8/13/2009 10:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2008
Posts: 1,181
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I don't use PBS postage or DC, largely because I'm leery of having my printer fail and screw things up. (At one time, I'd go to print and get random letters, symbols, etc. on the mailing label.) I also don't want to have to set aside PBS money. I'm kind of finicky about online places having access to my financial information.

Besides, I can get to the post office pretty easily. At first, I bought DC at the PO, but stopped after the first few shipments. In my year here, none of the books I've sent have gone lost and only one coming to me has gone lost.

I wrap in plastic, then brown paper, unless the book is very small -- and then I'll use the PBS 2-page wrapper.