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Topic: Does it pay to wait?

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Subject: Does it pay to wait?
Date Posted: 3/27/2009 2:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,146
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Let me try to explain my question here. Let's say you get a book request and accept it, putting the last day out (5 days) as when you'll mail it. Many people do this, and many find they're able to mail the book sooner than that. It happened to me once when I marked a certain day I could mail it, and ended up mailing it 3 days earlier. I simply clicked "Mailed" and let it go. My question is, do you think it pays to WAIT? Technically, you have 2 or 3 more (or however many) days to mail the book. If you don't immediately click "Mailed," you're actually giving yourself a few extra days onto the end of your 26 days, right? I think I ended up considering it because I mailed a book on a Saturday, and the next day was a no-mail Sunday, then the next day was a federal no-mail Monday. I remember thinking, "If I click 'Mailed' now, I'm killing off 2 potential days of my 26." Does this make sense? I don't know that I can BRING myself to wait, as I love getting books out to people and love clicking "Mailed" and knowing the excitement is on the way. But I was wondering if indeed, it actually pads your 26 days to wait it out. Thoughts?

Date Posted: 3/27/2009 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2007
Posts: 9,682
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Why would you click on wait if you know you can mail the book out sooner?

Date Posted: 3/27/2009 2:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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I don't think it really matters.  Few enough books go lost to make the two extra days worth it.

Ivy, do you mean, "why click I can mail later when I can mail now?"  I always choose the last day to mail a book just in case something happens and I don't mail the book immediately.  It buys me a little time.

Date Posted: 3/27/2009 3:00 PM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2007
Posts: 9,682
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That's what I meant Britney. I guess I'm spoiled, I live a few blocks from my PO and we always  have great weather here in Az so I mail every day or every other day. Even if I can't get out hubby knows how important it is to me to mail my PBS books promptly so he takes them each morning when he goes to work and mails them for me. Not everyone is as compulsive as I am about mailing, lol. However, just my own thinking, but if I knew I was going to mail out in 2 days for sure I still wouldn't click on the other button saying it would be longer. I had done that for a short time period to try it out and actually had a few requestors PM me asking why it would take me so long to mail! I told them it probably wouldn't but I was buying time "just in case". They understood but it made me feel bad so I just went back to clicking that I could mail in 2 days. Personally I don't care how long it takes someone to mail to me. I have over 600 on my TBR shelf so I have plenty to keep me busy!

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 3/27/2009 3:08 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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I think it's just the additional safety factor so that the book request doesn't cancel out because you couldn't mail it/mark it mailed in time, that's why folks choose the farthest out option.  The book's 26 days don't start counting until you actually mark it mailed, so it doesn't matter if you chose the 5-day option or the 2-day option, only thing that counts is when you actually mark it mailed.  (And as mentioned above, so few books actually go "lost" that the extra couple of days doesn't really matter.)

It doesn't hurt anyone if you choose the 5-day option then mail it out a couple days earlier as opposed to choosing the 2-day option and mailing on time.  Book still goes out the same time, and takes the same amount of time to get to requestor.  (There would only be a problem if someone chose the 2-day option and couldn't mail it in time.  NEVER send out a book that has been canceled by the system unless you've contacted the Requestor and they agree to have you send out the book.  And in this case, it's best option if you can set up a new transaction so it can be tracked by the system properly.   I've had soooo many people contact me that have had problems because they mailed a book out after the transaction had timed out/canceled!)

Date Posted: 3/27/2009 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,146
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I don't always know I CAN mail it out sooner. It just happens sometimes. That's what I meant. I will try to break this down:

  1. I get a book request on 3/10. I mark that I can mail it out in 5 days (3/15). The system thinks I will mail it out BY then.
  2. Ooooh! I get some free time on 3/11 and I mail the book.
  3. If I were to click "Book mailed" on 3/11, the clock begins to tick on 3/11, making the book due to be received or go lost by 26 days later.
  4. BUT- if I wait until 3/15 to click "Book mailed," the clock begins to tick on 3/15, making the book due to be received or go lost 26 + 4 days later. 4 days extra. Get it?

Now I realize, thank goodness, most books do not go lost. I just mailed out over 20 in a 2 week period and thank goodness, they all make it to their homes! This was just a "huh" type of question.



Last Edited on: 3/27/09 3:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/27/2009 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I always, always choose the last possible mail by date even if I plan on mailign that day.  I have had book requests come in while I'm on PBS printing wrappers and wrapping books and still choose the last possible day. You just never know.  Last month we had a big storm come in-basically a blizzard over a foot of snow and super high winds-lost power for 3 days.  You bet I choose that last mail by date.  I had book requests that had come in on Fri and had I chosen the 2 day date I would have been stuck.  The power went on Sunday night and I didn't make it to the library until Wed.  Even then I only went because I knew I had this books to mail and went to hand write the address.  If I had chosen 2 days I would have like 5 transactions get cancelled on me.

You just never know when your computer is going to crap itself, when you internet is going to go down, car breakdown, kid sick, family emergency.  Choosing the 5days does no harm, there is no penalty for mailing early and just makes sense. 

Date Posted: 3/27/2009 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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After reading yoru 2nd post.  It still give you 26 days for travel time. So it really doesn't buy you any extra in transit time.  If the book doesn't show up 26 days  after you marked it mailed then it'll still go lost.

Now if you say mail the book on 3/11 but since you picked 3/15-you could wait conceiveably until 3/17 to mark it mailed thus buying 6 days of intransit time.   But then what if your power goes out or your computer craps itself?  What if that's the day that PBS has another server problem and is down for the day?

Date Posted: 3/27/2009 3:54 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,146
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Ok, wait, maybe I am just not understanding the basic facts. As Mary says: "It still gives you 26 days for travel time." But that is 26 days from the time you push "Book mailed" correct? SO. If you wait 4 days to click "Mailed" you are getting 4 extra days of the book ALREADY HAVING BEEN MAILED. Correct? That was my sole point. To reiterate: if you mail it on X day, it is due 26 days later. If you mail it on X + 4 days, it is due X + 4 days later. I have never actually DONE this, I don't know if I am going to, I just wanted to see if I was understanding ti correctly. It SEEMS to me that there's a benefit to waiting to click "Mailed." I'm just trying to see if that is, indeed, true.

Date Posted: 3/27/2009 4:22 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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So basically you do not click you mailed a book until several days AFTER you actually did? 

As for sundays, some postal areas still sort mail that day they just do not have the post offices open. Trucks are moving around the country every day of the week apart from holidays. (from what Ive been told)

I dont and wont wait, I would rather mark it mailed on the day I post it so if anything does happen I can see clearly what day that was. I print then mail it. 

I've only had one book go lost and it never showed up, I was never PM'd about it either by the sender. Figured it will either turn up in the time allowed or it wont.

I would see the benefit if you lived in Alaska or Hawaii.

But to me I would get a nagging feeling of lying about when I sent it. *giggles*

Date Posted: 3/27/2009 4:50 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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and there's always a possibility that your book moved quickly in two days and has reached its destination, but since you have yet to mark the book sent the requester can't mark it received.  and then the requester forgets to mark the book received later and the book goes lost anyway. :)

Date Posted: 3/27/2009 5:00 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 10,280
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Last Edited on: 2/2/15 2:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/27/2009 5:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,127
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I agree, I would worry that something would happen with my computer last minute and I'd be scrambling to find a computer to mark it mailed before it cancelled.  I think you're better off clicking mailed when you actually mail it.  I always choose the "mail later" option only because it puts an actual date ("you've agreed to mail this by 3/27" or something similar) on my order tab--rather than just saying when I printed the label.  I like the actual mailing date to be there, just my little quirk. 

Date Posted: 3/27/2009 6:51 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2008
Posts: 2,146
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True about the book moving fast (two days or less) b/c it it HAS happened! Anyway, it was just a thought that occurred to me that I thought I'd post a "what do you think" topic. Perhaps it's better just to leave the floodgates open for the vast amounts of complaining, finger pointing, and mud slinging that goes on. It seems like people are *so quick* to jump on someone here. It wasn't me trying to be sneaky or get a leg over. I usually mail within a day or two (and mark it so). It was simply an idea that popped into my head.

Date Posted: 3/27/2009 8:23 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I don't think the likelihood of this doing you any good is nearly as strong as the likelihood of something happening to mess things up, like forgetting to mark it mailed, or not being able to log in, or whatever.

Also, requestors tend to feel nervous if time keeps passing and their book isn't marked mailed. I think it's a kindness to them to mark it as soon as you mail it. :-)

But unless there's something specifically in the rules against it, it's certainly your perogative to try it.

Date Posted: 3/28/2009 7:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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If I'm able to mail the book sooner than I had indicated, I mail it. A vast majority of books sent arrive within a week or two. I've never worried about that 26 day thing and really only a few have gone lost and only a few have actually taken more than 2 weeks--and most of those were either 1) APO addresses, 2) books going to Puerto Rico, ALaska or Hawaii and 3) people who forgot to mark them mailed and PM'd with a polite, "oops! I got this a week ago but was on vacation and forgot to mark it mailed" or something similiar.

I figure the sooner I wrap the book and mail it, the less clutter there is on my book table and the less likelihood I'll spill a cuppa coffee or something on it. Begone, book! LOL

Cheryl