Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Ohhhhhhhhh...sh....ooot. LOL

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Ohhhhhhhhh...sh....ooot. LOL
Date Posted: 4/8/2009 9:28 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,602
Back To Top

What a dumb-arse I am! LOL I just printed postage for a little MMP book that weighed about 5 ounces. Forgot to check the weights before finalizing it and to my horror discovered that the book had been listed as weighing over 4 lbs!! What the heck!? I can't for the life of me figure out where that came from, this book is a "paperback original" that was never even printed as a hardcover. Amazon's information about the book says the shipping weight is 1.6 ounces, which is too light. Weird.

Anyway, tis my own fault for not checking carefully before finalizing things...but I really wonder whether my theory about how the postage listed when you print labels is right--that whatever the last person who printed a label put in the weight boxes "sticks" in the program. It's the only thing I can think of--that whoever sent it last was mailing it as part of a multi-book order and thus the heavy weight. Otherwise...???

Let my costly error be a lesson to ya'll...check your postage weights! :)


Date Posted: 4/8/2009 9:34 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2008
Posts: 2,530
Back To Top

I've had that happen to me too Cheryl. I had a small children's book that could have gone first class 4oz., but I forgot to check the weight & ended up having to send it media mail, weighing 3lbs.  It sucked, but lesson learned!

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 4/8/2009 9:39 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
Back To Top

There's no way to contact PBS to get the money returned or a correction or something?

Date Posted: 4/8/2009 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,742
Back To Top

I personally would seriously consider PM'ing the requester and offering them a freebie deal - one or two other books to keep the postage from being a waste...

Date Posted: 4/8/2009 10:02 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
Back To Top

Last Edited on: 2/3/15 7:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/8/2009 10:12 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 1,564
Back To Top

I weigh everything and adjust the weight before printing.  Too many of them are wrong in the system.

Date Posted: 4/8/2009 10:12 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,698
Back To Top

No, there's no way to get a refund Geri.  Once you print the PBS postage it's non-refundable.

Date Posted: 4/8/2009 10:23 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
Back To Top

The PBS postage actually comes from Endicia.com  You might try contacting them, but I don't know what their policy is.

As for the theory that whatever the last person put in the box "stuck" there, no, it's very unlikely.  The weight of the book is part of the book information in the database.  Sometimes that info is entered incorrectly, with a zero added (making a 2 lb book 20 lbs) or ounces entered as pounds.  You can submit a change for it using the "Edit Book Data" function.

Things like this are why I bought a small digital scale.  Now I use that and enter the actual weight of the package, rounded up to the next ounce.  I figure if it saves me from over paying once or twice a year it's paid for itself.

ETA: Ruthy started a good thread in this same forum about correcting book weights.  There's good info in it.

Last Edited on: 4/8/09 10:35 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/8/2009 11:36 AM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2007
Posts: 304
Back To Top

I really wish PBS would just eliminate the prefilled weights. It would force everyone to just weigh them or take them to the PO. It's just too darn easy to not pay attention. I've done the same thing when I am in a hurry or I'm trying to do 10 things at once.

If you don't have a postal scale you can get one very cheap on ebay. I bought a digital scale with a capacity of 75 lbs. for $5.00 and 5.xx shipping. I've had it for 4 years. It's great.

Date Posted: 4/8/2009 11:44 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
Back To Top

I'm looking to buy a small scale for weighing purposes - I feel silly asking, but - where can you buy one?  A hardware store?  A home store? Staples?

Anissa (WVgrrl) - ,
Date Posted: 4/8/2009 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2009
Posts: 432
Back To Top

I haven't had any real trouble with the listed weights and corresponding postage. Before clicking to buy the printable postage I take a look to see whether it sounds about the same as similar books that I've mailed. If it seemed really off I would investigate further, but I've only had that happen once in 100+ mailings. I think it's an awesome service to have available on the site, since it is nearly impossible for me to go to a post office. I don't drive, and it would be a two-hour effort to take the bus to a PO. I could ask my husband to drive me there, but then he would see how many books I'm sending out and get a bit grumpy about the postage costs. :)

Date Posted: 4/8/2009 12:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
Back To Top

Cheryl - did you go edit the book data to get it right?

I think the numbers get off when people input missing data. Either they don't have the info and just put numbers in the field (like the 20inX20inX20inX 20 pounder I've edited) and don't realize that info is used in something as important as paid postage, which we've only had for a short time. Or they mess up the entry because the weight input is in pounds when most of us weigh in ounces.

caviglia - I weigh on my digital food scale. I got it at Walmart in the food gadget section for something like $15-$18.

Date Posted: 4/8/2009 3:04 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2005
Posts: 390
Back To Top


   The kiosk here has a scale for 24.99. I bought just like it for about 12.00 at Sam's club a couple years ago.

Date Posted: 4/8/2009 3:07 PM ET
Member Since: 1/18/2009
Posts: 70
Back To Top

A lesson well learned I'm sure. I can definitely relate as it did in fact happen to me, with over $5.00 in postage for a paperback. However, I didn't even check the postage till it was too late. I will never do that again.

Date Posted: 4/8/2009 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,410
Back To Top

Probably because someone didn't put the decimal point in the right place and/or they put .4 lbs instead of whatever it is in ozs.  I had one that was listed as 13 lbs, and no way, but it was really .13 lbs but I didn't list it and I don't know how to convert .13 lbs to the decimal that .13 ozs is. (I.e., 12 ozs would be 0.75 lbs and that's how it's done at the book edit site.  Wish they had a conversion for us.  I'd put the weight in more often.  Pat

Date Posted: 4/8/2009 3:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 1,131
Back To Top

Walmart and Costco have the official postal scales cheap, they will pay for them selfs in no time. It's amazing how many times the weight has been wrong, but I was worried about not putting enough postage on the books, I don't want anybody ending up having to pay  to get them.

Date Posted: 4/8/2009 3:27 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
Back To Top

I don't really have any big box stores where I live - do you think the hardware store might be a good bet? Staples' & Amazons' are all really expensive.

Date Posted: 4/8/2009 3:51 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
Back To Top

Places that sell cooking pots and such will often have small digital scales.  A lot of European cookbooks are by weight rather than volume.  And some diet plans require them.  I got a bright colored one that I am sure to find and remember.

Date Posted: 4/8/2009 3:55 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
Back To Top

Oh, fantastic. I am cooking store and post office bound!

(I'm not neglecting my copious actual work.  Really.  Scout's honor.  Drat evil distracting PBS!)

Subject: Scales
Date Posted: 4/8/2009 6:57 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,445
Back To Top

I bought my scale at Walmart for $19.00 I think. It's paid for itsself.  If you can't get out, the kiosk has them for sale....mine was just like that, but I don't think it weighs as high.

Date Posted: 4/8/2009 7:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,602
Back To Top

I didn't do a book data edit at the time but I did now. It amazes me that there isn't some kind of electronic 'check' on the system that would throw up a "are you sure this is the correct weight?" or something in warning, as a small MMP book with the dimensions listed would have to have pages made of lead to weigh over 4 lbs. LOL

Anyway, I wasn't looking for a refund or anything, the only way I learn from my stupid mistakes is if I suffer a bit for them. LOL This was one of those "in a hurry moments" where I logged on just before going to work, saw the order, printed postage and wasn't paying attention, wrapped the book and sent it within a few minutes. Next time I'll just wait til I get home or have more time. Mea culpa, mea culpa!


Date Posted: 4/9/2009 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2006
Posts: 2,821
Back To Top



sorry did not mean to yell

Date Posted: 4/10/2009 9:01 AM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 182
Back To Top

I bought my postage scale at Ebay. They are very reasonable and I love it. My DH liked it so much he stole it for the kitchen (he does the cooking) and I had to order myself another one! LOL