Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Just ordered a postal scale...

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Just ordered a postal scale...
Date Posted: 10/8/2014 7:23 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2011
Posts: 410
Back To Top

For those of you that use this method to mail from home, does this work pretty well for you?  I'm just nervous that things will arrive postage due still for some reason.

Date Posted: 10/8/2014 7:26 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,484
Back To Top

I use a kitchen scale. Love it. Works up to five pounds.

Date Posted: 10/8/2014 8:08 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
Back To Top

I have 3 scales in service and another one I bought but never used.

When I got my first scale I took it to the post office and weighed a DVD on my scale and the post office scale at the kiosk (APC). That's how I knew my scale was correctly calibrated and I was reading it correctly.  That scale was non-digital but now I have a digital scale. 

I use that same DVD every time if want to calibrate my scale.

I love being able to weigh a package at home and print online postage and mail from my mailbox.

Easy and convenient!


Date Posted: 10/8/2014 8:36 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2010
Posts: 2,382
Back To Top

A scale is a very good idea. You would be surprised how many books weight the system has wrong. It first came to my attention when a wrapper showed 2lb postage for one paperback. I thought that had to be wrong so I looked further and saw that according to the system the book weighed way over 1lb. So I weighed it and sure enough it was about 6.5 ounces. I was able to alter the weight and print out a correct wrapper. That happens every few months  

Date Posted: 10/8/2014 8:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,343
Back To Top

Love using my scale.  I wouldn't print postage from home without it.

Date Posted: 10/8/2014 9:13 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2009
Posts: 8,453
Back To Top

I would definitely recommend using a postage scale. I got mine at Walmart. It was inexpensive, and it works great. If you use PBS postage, you should have one. The weights are often incorrect. I get a lot of multiple orders from my bookshelf too, and I wouldn't want to mail multiple books using PBS postage without weighing them first.

Date Posted: 10/8/2014 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2009
Posts: 793
Back To Top

I love my scale, has always been accurate. It's not a postal scale which has been good for me because the postal rates have gone up several times since 2004 when I started using it.  It weighs in kilograms so I have a little program that converts kilograms to pounds and ounces.  I plug that in paypal and they calculate the postage.  I weigh my package without the label and add about 5 grams for the label before I convert over.  I think you'll love it once you get comfortable with it.

Date Posted: 10/9/2014 2:57 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2007
Posts: 1,020
Back To Top

I have an old postal scale that I always use to check weight before printing postage. The scale appears to be accurate and I have never had a problem using it. And because I use PBS printable postage, it is important to me that the PBS-listed weight is accurate.

Although the book weights in PBS are generally pretty good, I like double checking with my scale to be sure, and sometimes I have to adjust the weight shown by PBS before printing the label.

Date Posted: 10/9/2014 5:12 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
Back To Top

I use a digital kitchen scale, and I personally add a bit of weight to account for the wrappings I use.  Nothing has ever come back postage-due, and that's 800+ books now.

So, go for it!  You're going to love printable postage, since you can spend your credit as soon as you put the book in the mail. ;-)

Date Posted: 10/9/2014 9:06 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
Back To Top

I always weigh the book and the packaging together to determine postage.  I do not package it first, since if it's a smidge over the ounce boundary--or worse yet, the pound boundary!), I can always trim the margins off the packing slip or something.)

Date Posted: 10/9/2014 11:20 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
Back To Top

My postal scale must be from 1988 to 1990 when first class postage was 25¢.

Click here ⇒  Historical U.S. First Class Postage Rates

There's a chart below the graph


Date Posted: 10/9/2014 12:27 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
Back To Top

My old scale was from God knows when, but letter rate was 3 cents! (And "local" letters were 2 cents!)

Date Posted: 10/9/2014 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
Back To Top

A scale is the best way to go because I find the weights provided to PBS to be off on perhaps 30% of the books I mail. I also ocasionally check my weights against my receipt when I go to the post office...that way I have become aware that my postal scale's readings are often an ounce less than the post offices. Don't want any books arriving postage due! Beyond PBS I find having a scale is valuable in other aspects of my life and I would be lost without it. It is a good investment!