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Topic: newbie- how do YOU mail your items?

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Subject: newbie- how do YOU mail your items?
Date Posted: 9/26/2008 10:07 AM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2008
Posts: 1
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So I can pick between just printing a label, printing a label with tracking, and printing the label with postage.  I'm not that concerned about getting immediate credit but am a little concerned about how I get credit if it is not automated with a postal scan.  So which one do you use and why?

Date Posted: 9/26/2008 11:52 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2006
Posts: 2,303
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I print the label with postage. I have a postal scale, so I can easily check the weight. Having it pre-paid is convenient for me: I can mail from home, drop it in a blue box, or carry it in if I happen to be going near the post office. The quck credit is a perk I am willing to pay for and I don't have to worry about whether it's going to get marked received. I usually just mail it and forget it.

Date Posted: 9/26/2008 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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I just print the label, nothing else.    With over 200 books sent and only one being lost, it's just not financially feasable to use PBS postage/DC.   I would have to have a large amount of books go lost to make it worth the money.    I've never had a problem with any book I've sent.

 I support the site in other ways such as giving back credits now and then.

Date Posted: 9/26/2008 4:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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I use PBS-DC only for all of my WL books. The rest I usually use it, but sometimes don't depending on how much I care about getting the credit for the book. I have great people to deal with at the PO so I don't mind taking them to the counter for postage. I also get it scanned right away that way.

Subject: Since I work at the post office :)
Date Posted: 9/26/2008 5:38 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2008
Posts: 562
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I have a 5 pound and a 25 pound scale that I have calibrated and I print labels using my HP LaserJet 5 that I have had for about ten years or so. I use the APC at work to print the postage that I need. My window clerks are busy enough serving our customers that I do not need to bother them. Besides I usually use the APC around 0600 each morning. I do not use preprinted postage nor delivery confirmation. I have mailed out about 300 books and received about 500 books since May 2008. I currently have had one order of 4 books  (it was two books in each printer paper wrapper, which were then taped together, where I only got two of the four books) so that was two books lost by the USPS (I consider how they were wrapped as contributing to loss). I have had a couple of books get some damage coming to me as well. I have had several books coming to me go lost, or almost lost and all of them did finally arrive. Usually they went lost because they were actually mailed up to 20 days after they were marked mailed. I currently have two books that I sent out that went lost and I'm waiting to see if they end up getting marked mailed (one of them has 48 people on the WL). The cost of DC and PBS postage just isn't feasible for me and since I frequently buy credits from people so that I have a decent sized reserve of credits I don't have to worry about waiting on a credit. I believe that preprinted PBS postage and DC is a really good deal for those people, where going to the post office would be an inconvenience and because of the 13 ounce rule for those who normally use stamps.

For single books or thin double or triple books I use the printer paper to wrap, for a trade paperback I have a method where I use 3 sheets of paper and tape. For larger orders of paperbacks I will use a brown paper grocery sack and a box for orders (or different sized books) that are larger. Sometimes for a thin trade paperback I will cut a piece of cardboard as a stiffener or protector. I don't use saran wrap or plastic unless it's requested. I would say that 70% of the books on my bookshelf are excellent to near mint condition.


Date Posted: 9/26/2008 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2008
Posts: 285
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Right now I just print the label and nothing else.  I only live about a mile from the post office, so after figuring in the extra fees, it would actually cost me more to use printable postage.  Sure it would be more convenient, but it's not a big deal.  I don't use delivery confirmation because I haven't had a book get lost yet (knock on wood...), but if or when that happens, I may start using it. 

Date Posted: 9/27/2008 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2007
Posts: 350
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I usually just print the label and then stop at the post office on the way to work (it's about 3 blocks from work) and use the APC since it's usually before 7 when I stop.   The only time I use DC is when I need to build up some credits quickly.

Date Posted: 9/28/2008 11:46 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Lately I've been going ot the PO because I don't have a job right now.  If I only have one to mail than I just stick some stamps on it and put it in my mail box.  I only use the printed postage if it's over 13oz and I don't want to go to the PO to mail one book.  I only use DC when it's required for a game book.  I used to use the printed postage a lot more before we moved.  The PO there had a drive up blue box which was very convenient.  But this PO doesn't. It has a blue box but you have to park in the lot and walk around the building to get to the blue box. If I'm going to do that I might as well go in and save myself the postage printing fee.

I've sent out around 300 books and have yet to have one go lost.  If I used DC on all of them I would have spent way more than the cost of a credit or a lost book.  That just doesn't make sense to me mathmatically.  But the convenience of the pbs postage is nice when you don't have time to go to the PO or you're short on credits and want them quickly.  I don't see the point of paying for DC from somewhere else to send pbs books.  The credit isn't quaranteed so if the book goes lost your out the credit, the book, the postage and the extra you spent on non-pbs dc. 

Date Posted: 9/28/2008 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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I only use DC for games, and then I print my postage from Paypal.  Any other books I send are sent from the post office (I pass as many as three on the way to work, so getting there's not a problem) with no extras.  I've never had a book go lost, so the extra money to ensure my credit isn't worth it to me.