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Topic: Opt for the bar codes, people!

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Subject: Opt for the bar codes, people!
Date Posted: 5/27/2009 11:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 56
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It just took at least 10 days to receive my last book. And the swapper sent it right away, but used a bunch of stamps pasted all over, & no USPS bar code/tracker on the label. Want your books to arrive quickly--make everyone happy? Opt for PBS's labels that have prepaid postage w/USPS tracking numbers-or at least ones with USPS bar codes. For the extra 22 cents or whatever it is, it is worth it. My books get to people once sent in a few days. It is worth the push
Date Posted: 5/28/2009 9:00 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,673
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An extra 22 cents per book adds up quickly if you're sending out a lot of books!  I prefer to use stamps on my books if I can and save the money.  My books seem to arrive quickly even with postage stamps on them.  Never had one go lost or even come close to that deadline.

Date Posted: 5/28/2009 12:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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The PBS printed postatge has nothing to do with how fast it gets there. I used it for one going from MD to CT and it took close to 3 wks to travel 1st class for what is basically a 9hr drive.   Also it's more than .22 it's more like .45 when you use PBS postage which adds up really fast when you send out 4-5 books a week like I do.


A postal clerk recently told me that it's actually the bar code that causes books to go on little detours. Because if the bar code is there then it gets scanned instead of someone looking at the address.  The codes are frequently misread due to printer smudges, wrinkles, codes being input wrong or whatever.  With the bar code the sorter never looks at the address and so they get put in the wrong bins a lot. 


Date Posted: 5/28/2009 7:19 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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I always use PBS DC, but it doesn't make my books get to their destination faster. As far as books being sent to me, there is little difference in the amount of time it takes to arrive between books sent using DC and without DC. It all depends on where it's being sent from / media mail vs. first class / other variables, but not whether or not DC is used. I've had books sent to me with DC take 10 days and books sent without DC arrive in less than 2. It's a crapshoot, really.
Date Posted: 5/29/2009 5:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,221
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Its an extra .19 for postage plus a .27 fee (DC only) or .43 (?) fee (full PBS postage) so it is more than 22 cents. But that is irrelevant because having DC on it has no bearing on how fast a book travels at all. It just ensures that a book will be scanned upon delivery. 

Date Posted: 5/30/2009 12:37 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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I've sent out over 300 books and no I have never used PBS postage.  It doesn't make financial sense for me and I'm happy to wait however long it takes for the book to get there.   It's worth the push? To who?  Not to me.  Three hundred books and at .22 per book  that would be sixty six dollars I'd have spent.  

Last Edited on: 5/30/09 12:37 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/30/2009 10:50 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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Since my printer passed away last year, if I dont remember to print a wrapper at work, my only option is to hand-write the label. That is how most of my books get sent, hand-writen with stamps. The ones I mailed on Wednesday have already been received. Media Mail goes space available, so barcode or not, USPS is not going to make room on a truck for Media Mail.

Last Edited on: 5/30/09 10:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/1/2009 12:56 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 5,044
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I have mailed 216 books since I've been here,  If your 22 cents each is correct, that would have cost me almost $48 extra in shipping.  Plus I have over 250 box swaps.  In all of those transactions, only 1 book I've mailed has gone lost in the mail, making the extra money really not worth the investment.

Rachel, I'm really not sure what you are so bothered by.  Was it the fact that the book took 10 days to get to you?  Because 10 days is perfectly normal for media mail, and no bar code is going to change that.  When we sign up for this site, we are expected to allow a few weeks for the book to reach us after it is marked mailed.  A book that was promptly shipped and arrived in 10 days via media mail is a successful transaction according to PBS.  Plus, whether a book gets to me in 3 days, 5 days, 7 days, or 10 days isn't really a big deal to me, so long as it gets here within the time PBS allows.  Are you upset that stamps were used or you didn't like how they looked on the wrapper?  Because the wrapper in my house either becomes trash or is recycled if possible.  SO long as the book inside is OK, I could care less if there are stamps or a bar code or an APC stamp on the wrapper.

Date Posted: 6/2/2009 10:59 AM ET
Member Since: 5/26/2009
Posts: 2
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I actually got my postage via Paypal. The delivery confirmation is free, compared to the extra little something they charge at the PO.  My only complaint is that the books I sent are showing delivered but they haven't been marked delivered on PBS so I can get my credits.   I just gotta be patient I guess:)  The books I requested were post marked on May 28th and I rec'd one yesterday and one today!   In this case Media Mail was faster than Priority mail.  Go figure lol.  

Date Posted: 6/2/2009 2:33 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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Rhonda, the DC is not free on Paypal - it's required, so you have to pay for it - but the price for DC printed electronically is cheaper than buying it at the PO.

Date Posted: 6/2/2009 2:43 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 137
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If you want people who send you books that have DC & Postage printed on the label, then put that in your RC, otherwise it shouldn't matter how anyone chooses to send the books to you.  I have gotten books with stamps in 2 days, and had books with DC & postage printed on the wrapper take nearly 3 weeks. 

Date Posted: 6/2/2009 7:14 PM ET
Member Since: 5/26/2009
Posts: 2
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The DC is extra at the PO plus buying postage online is cheaper than at the PO as well....so it kinda feels free to me:)

Date Posted: 6/2/2009 8:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2009
Posts: 61
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Rhonda, even if the USPS shows the package as delivered, it won't show up on PBS until the person decides to say that it is.  I sent out a book about three weeks ago.  I knew the deadline hadn't come yet, but I decided to PM the person to see if she thought the book had gone missing. I would hate for one of my books, which she obviously was looking forward to getting, to go lost.  Anyway, within a couple of hours, the e-mail came from PBS that the book had been received.  Either it was a great coincedence that she got the book the same day I wrote the PM, or she had forgotten about getting it.

As a postal clerk, my policy is to not scan it as delivered until it is in the person's hands, or in their box (I'll do this kind of scan at the end of the day, put it in their box in case they come after hours for their mail).  Some will scan it as delivered when it arrives at the PO, instead of scanning it as arrived at unit or attempted to deliver.


Date Posted: 6/3/2009 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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How is buying postage online cheaper than at the PO (aside from the DC thing).They can't charge you less than what the post office requires in postage to send the book.