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Topic: Opinion: Batteries necessary?

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Subject: Opinion: Batteries necessary?
Date Posted: 7/8/2009 12:59 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2009
Posts: 133
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I posted one of those children's books to my bookshelf that have buttons that play different sounds to go along with the story. Per the PBS guidelines, the sound mechanism has to be in working order, which it is... but I'm wondering whether others think working batteries (two of the watch-type) need to be included? The batteries that were in there are used up. I tested the sound-player with some fresh batteries from another toy, but had to put those back in the toy they came from. Buying new batteries to send a used children's book seems excessive, but I would appreciate your opinions.

(Also, would batteries be against the media mail restrictions, and therefore require the book to be mailed First Class?)

Thanks,

Amy

Date Posted: 7/8/2009 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2009
Posts: 151
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I wouldn't know about the mail restrictions. That's definitely something to consider. I'd say if you do have to send the book First Class with the batteries, then don't include them. If you could include them and still send it Media Class...

I mean, we as consumers are used to "batteries not included" and you're only required to send the book. So, me, personally, I wouldn't be expecting batteries. But I'd certainly be surprised and grateful to discover that batteries had been included.

Completely your choice. But you may want to consider PM-ing the requester to let them know that batteries will/won't be included.

Date Posted: 7/8/2009 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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But you may want to consider PM-ing the requester to let them know that batteries will/won't be included.

Also make sure you include that you did ensure it was working when good batteries were put in. 

Date Posted: 7/8/2009 2:12 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I thought when posting a book it HAD to have everything it came with, so if it came with batteries then you need to post it that way.

Since the batteries were in the book I doubt it would need to be sent first class.

Personally I would be upset if someone sent me a book without batteries for the sounds.

Date Posted: 7/8/2009 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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My first instinct would be no, they are accompanying non-media. But then the book doesn't function with it so I don't know. That might warrant a question via feedback to get their opinion.

regarding the media mail issue - I think because the batteries are part of the book, it should be fine. Oddly enough, I think if the batteries are in the book, Media Mail is ok; but if a package of batteries were just included in the package along with the book, it could get disqualified from MM.



Last Edited on: 7/8/09 2:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/8/2009 2:23 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2009
Posts: 151
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I thought when posting a book it HAD to have everything it came with, so if it came with batteries then you need to post it that way.

I believe under PBS regulations that a hardback book can be posted without the dust jacket. But I wouldn't know about batteries. Did you check and make sure batteries don't have to be included?

Date Posted: 7/8/2009 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,979
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Since the lights/sounds have to be working, and they don't work without batteries, I would put a set of working batteries in the book and mail it that way.  If I ordered the book and got it without batteries, I'd be upset also because I'd have no way of knowing that everything worked until I could get the batteries.  I would probably delay marking the book received until I had time to get batteries, install them, and test the book.  And yes, I would be upset that I had to go through all that before I could mark the book received!

Date Posted: 7/8/2009 2:35 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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I'd double check with the post office (or on the USPS forum here) if you can mail batteries in something. I thought I saw something at my post office that said you can't have the batteries actually in the item itself when mailing.

Date Posted: 7/8/2009 2:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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I'm with Sheryl.  Although these aren't technically media materials, they are required to be able to "read" the book, so they should be included with the book.

Cheers,

Catt

Date Posted: 7/8/2009 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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 thought when posting a book it HAD to have everything it came with, so if it came with batteries then you need to post it that way.

I believe under PBS regulations that a hardback book can be posted without the dust jacket. But I wouldn't know about batteries. Did you check and make sure batteries don't have to be included?

I was meaning CD's and other things that come with books that are needed for it to be useable. Not having the dust jacket does not stop someone from reading the book.



Last Edited on: 7/8/09 2:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/8/2009 4:10 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2009
Posts: 151
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Ah I see. Sorry, xangab.

Amy, I think your best bet would be to PM the requester and see if they will accept the book without batteries and also contact your PO for info about whether or not batteries can be mailed. It's likely batteries will fall under "hazardous materials." However, there are certain situations (proper packaging, for example) in which "hazardous materials" can be mailed.

Date Posted: 7/8/2009 4:14 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
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If I ordered a book like that from Amazon, the batteries would be included - so I think it should be sent like that or at the very least, send a pm to the requestor.

As for hazardous material - it's sent that way from the bookstore in the mail with no problem...

Date Posted: 7/8/2009 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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I've received these kinds of books via media mail from bookstores (the free shipping is almost always media mail from them). So I'm thinking it's not a problem sending via media mail.

Oh, and I would not send the book without working batteries. If I received one, the first thing I'd do is to punch the buttons. If it didn't work, I'd be using the RWAP button. If I bought this book from a book store, it would need to either have the batteries included or already installed in the book. I would expect the same here.



Last Edited on: 7/8/09 4:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/8/2009 10:52 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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With regard to mailing batteries, the postal service recommends you remove them from the item for shipping (so the item doesn't keep "going off" in the mail), but you can mail them (include them separately in a baggie or something, so they don't get lost).  Certain types of batteries cannot be mailed (see http://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52apxa.htm#ep688877 ) but the dry cell type batteries likely used for your book are mailable.

Cheers,

Catt



Last Edited on: 7/8/09 10:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/8/2009 11:18 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2009
Posts: 2,402
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If you aren't including the batteries, definitely PM her ahead of time and offer her the option of canceling the swap.  I would be very unhappy to receive a non-functional book, especially if I wasn't made aware of the situation before it was sent.

Date Posted: 7/9/2009 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,354
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This is why I have several books that aren't posted.  I hadn't bothered to see if they just need batteries, it doesn't matter--no way am I going out to buy brand new batteries for a book.   I'll buy a credit for less!

To my view, the books I have are perfectly usable w/o the sounds.  So the book doesn't sing to you--it's still a music book, or a story book, or whatever.     Books can be posted w/o their media if they are usable anyway.   Initially, I'd have said "go ahead and PM" but given the overwhelming insistance that people would not accept the book--I'd say don't bother.   Put it out for free at your garage sale and find a kid who likes books.

Date Posted: 7/9/2009 5:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Well, as a compromise - do you have some of the same batteries that are used but you could live without that would make the book usuable at least as far as their receiving it and testing it is concerned?

Ruth

Date Posted: 7/9/2009 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2009
Posts: 53
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Per USPS guidelines.  Batteries are not to be shipped IN the item.

 

"Remove batteries from toys and electronic devices. Wrap them separately and place next to the item in the mailing container."

Date Posted: 7/9/2009 6:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 3,205
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From the help document "Book Condition Criteria for 'Swappability' at PBS" (about 3/4 of the way down)

Interactive books

  • These include popup books and children's books that have interactive functions (LEDs, sounds, etc).
  • The functions must be working (popups not torn, sounds/lights functional etc).

If I were ordering the book, I would expect the batteries to be in working order.

I completely understand not wanting to buy new batteries just to swap the book.  What about listing it as freebie with order in your sig lines or the book bazaar?

Date Posted: 7/9/2009 8:36 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Lots of good advice here Amy, I'm leaning towards Kayote's opinion...the book is readable without the accompanying sound effects, as long as you are sure the sound feature is operational.  A pm is probably wise, no surprises for the receiver :-)   If you choose to send the book without batteries, you may wish to include a note information as to the size of batteries required.  Batteries for the book shouldn't disqualify for Media Mail, but a personal note will.  Additional information included on the Packing Slip is acceptable.

Date Posted: 7/10/2009 9:32 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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Instead of our opinions, I decided to get TPTB's and here is what they sent back:

Dear Melanie,

Your book should work when the requestor opens the package. She should not have to run out and purchase batteries, so yes, they should be included.
 

So working batteries need to be included. The only option appears to be to offer it in the Bazaar and explain that you have tested it, but that batteries will not be included.