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Topic: PBS Paid Postage inaccurate. Has this been addressed?

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Subject: PBS Paid Postage inaccurate. Has this been addressed?
Date Posted: 10/26/2008 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 1/18/2008
Posts: 502
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I use PBS paid postage so that I get instant credit when I mail my books.  I have noticed though that when I purchase postage it seems high.  I had a request for a Halloween hardcover children's book today.  I want it to get to it's destination quickly so I wanted to use First Class mail.   However the book weighs 9oz so PBS postage defaults to Media Mail.  I still want the instant credit so I decided to print postage for a 7 oz book (this highest weight PBS uses for First Class before changing over to Media Mail) and would then take the package into the Post Office itself to have whatever additional postage that was necessary to be added.   The amount that PBS required to send a 7oz book is $2.37 (to the destination I currently have).   I then went to the USPS website to see how much additional postage I would need.  According to USPS a 9 oz book costs $2.19 to send to the same destination.  So, according to this I have been overpaying for every book I have sent out using PBS postage

Has anyone else encountered this?  Does anyone know if this issue has been addressed before and what the outcome may have been?



Date Posted: 10/26/2008 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2008
Posts: 2,530
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Jan, If I read and understood your question right, then the extra charge for using PBS postage is a PBS fee and  $0.18 DC fee (which is the cheapest online DC I know of). But PBS also changes a fee for using their printed postage I believe. Not sure though if it's a flat fee for every label printed or if it's a percentage fee.

Date Posted: 10/26/2008 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/18/2008
Posts: 502
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Good point Leeann.  I had not considered the DC fee.  I don't recall the PBS postage paid price for a 9oz book so I can't say for certain now if it was more or less than the USPS fee +DC for a 9oz book.   I'll have to compare everything the next time I have a book requested.  That may be the answer though since USPS charges so much more for DC.  Thanks!

Last Edited on: 10/26/08 2:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 10/26/2008 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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Remember there are 3 different First Class rates now, Letter, Large Envelope, and Package. You have to use the correct one for the item that you are mailing. Books are almost always packages, not large envelopes. In order to qualify for large envelope rates, your package has to be greater than at least one of these dimensions:

  • height: 6 1/8 inches
  • length: 11 1/4 inches
  • thickness: 1/4 inch

It has to be less than all of these dimensions:

  • height: 12 inches
  • length: 15 inches
  • thickness: 3/4 inch

It also has to be flexible, like an unbound stack of paper would be. Even if a book meets the size criteria, it almost never meets the flexibility criteria, because even a paperback can't be bent in both directions. Therefore, PBS postage always prints the package rate when you purchase First Class postage here.

For First Class and Media Mail, the destination address does not matter. The price will be the same to all destinations.

If you want to send a 9 oz package via First Class mail, the price is $2.53. If you put the Large Envelope rate of $2.19, it should arrive postage due.

The Media Mail rate for a 9 oz package is $2.23. PBS also adds electronic Delivery Confirmation, as the USPS requires of all online postage vendors, so you end up paying $2.41 in postage plus the site fee of $.27.


Last Edited on: 10/26/08 2:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/26/2008 2:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/18/2008
Posts: 502
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That's it then.  The 'package' vs 'envelope' issue.  I wasn't aware of those requirements.  Thanks, Cathy!