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Topic: PBS postage/DC question

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Subject: PBS postage/DC question
Date Posted: 12/17/2011 12:24 AM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 5,014
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I use PBS/DC postage often and have been known to send the package earlier than the date posted on the wrapper. The Postmaster at our local post office said that we can only send the book on the date shown on the wrapper. I knew that I would have to bring the book to the PO if the date I was sending the book was after the date on the wrapper. Is she correct in saying that we cannot send the book before the date marked on the wrapper? She also told me before that I could not send books with PBS/DC from my mailbox and I know that's not true.


Last Edited on: 12/17/11 12:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/17/2011 1:07 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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You might want to repost your questions in the USPS forum Connie.  I'm not a postal employee, so here's my best guess:

Are you referring to stale electronic postage, or early?  I've not heard of any PBS members having early postage returned, but most just blue box them (not over the counter).  Yes, postal employes are instructed to return stale postage, they are supposed to be dated the day of mailing.  If you blue box, they allow one extra day in case you dropped it off after the pick-up time.

Frankly, if you were at the counter and the clerk had a concern about the postage date...instead of whining, why didn't she just add a zero strip?  That's how it's usually handled.

Picking up packages...we hear mixed responses on this one.  It may depend on your type of mail delivery, are you Rural Route or something else?  At one time it was posted that RR carriers have different guidelines and might not be required to pick up packages (optional).  Without electronic/trackable postage, they are not supposed to pick up packages b/c they don't really know who left it in your box (that one is probably related to the 13 oz/homeland security rule).


Last Edited on: 12/17/11 1:08 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/17/2011 1:42 AM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 5,014
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For example, say the PBS postage/DC wrapper has the date December 19th, and you decide to send it on the 17th instead, is that allowed? No, I don't have a RR mail carrier and our regular postman has never complained about picking up PBS postage/DC books from our mailbox, just the Postmaster at the PO said he shouldn't be doing that.

* I moved this question to the postal forum, thanks.

Last Edited on: 12/17/11 10:24 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/17/2011 5:47 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Connie, you might inquire over in the postal section of the forums, where USPS workers often answer.  I think the usual step is to politely ask them to show you the section of the DMM (Domestic Mail Manual) that covers the rule they're referring to -- chances are, they won't be able to provide one.

Date Posted: 12/18/2011 4:53 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2008
Posts: 9,884
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From USPS.com FAQ


Refund Process

You must mail your item on the date that you selected for your Click-N-Ship label; this is known as the Ship Date.  An electronic record is generated on that date indicating that your mailpiece has been mailed. Packages shipped with labels that have incorrect Ship Dates may be returned to the sender and will not be eligible for a refund. If you are unable to use the label, you should request a refund within ten (10) days of the printing date and create another label with the correct Ship Date.

Your online label can be used only as it has been printed, without any alterations.  If you find an error in your label, print a new label with the correct information and request a refund.  Any mail piece which has a manually altered online label will be returned.


From http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/search.php?terms=postage


What is the significance of the postmark date on the Wrapper Settings page?  Does it matter what date I choose there?

  • Yes, it is important to choose the date properly--you need to mail the book by that date.
  • You cannot change the postmark date after you have downloaded/printed the wrapper.
  • If you mail AFTER that date, you can go to the PO and have a new metered $0.00 strip with that day's date applied to the package.
  • It is okay to mail it earlier than the date; your package may be returned to you if you mail it after that date.
    • If you put it into a collection box after the last day's scheduled collection, then the package will be accepted with the previous day's date when the next collection happens on the next day.
  • If you are into legalese, here are the USPS regulations on this ("indicia" = postmark):
      • Mailpieces bearing a complete date in the indicia must be deposited or presented on that date, except that pieces entered after the day's last scheduled collection from the post office or collection box may bear the actual date of entry or the date of the next scheduled collection from the post office or collection box. When authorized by USPS, presort mail accepted after midnight may bear the previous day's date. If the mailer knows that the mail is not to be deposited or presented on the date in the indicia, the mailer must use a date correction indicium under 4.4.1. (from DMM, 4.5.2 Mailing Date Accuracy and Mailing Periods)

My post office usually throws a $0.00 label on the package to correct the date, but it doesn't look like there is a regulation that requires them to do that.  This might be one of those things that are done on a case by case basis.

Date Posted: 12/19/2011 12:16 AM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 5,014
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"It is okay to mail it earlier  than the date; your package may be returned to you if you mail it after that date."

Well, there you go, thanks for finding this answer, Jonnie. I looked all over and couldn't find it. A couple of times I couldn't mail a book on the date that it was marked and had to go to the PO to have them put the corrected dated sticker on. This way if it is dated at least a couple of days later, I can mail it earlier before I have to take it to the PO to have them correct it. Especially now with our snowy weather I don't want to have to worry about driving to the PO on slick roads just because of the date on the wrapper.

Last Edited on: 12/19/11 12:16 AM ET - Total times edited: 1