Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Do you point out discrepancies?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Do you point out discrepancies?
Date Posted: 12/29/2008 6:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/3/2008
Posts: 541
Back To Top

I have had a couple of books lately where the date it was marked as mailed was a week or two before the postmark date.

I made sure to fill out the survey when receving the book, but from others' comments on here about not knowing what purpose the survey has, is that enough?  Should I be adding comments to the site management to point out the discrepancy? 


It really annoyed me with this last one, because it's an OOP book, and I was already on the WL for a long time before a copy finally got posted.  Then the person picked the last possible date to mark it mailed and still didn't mail it then.  Very annoying.

Date Posted: 12/29/2008 6:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
Back To Top

Last Edited on: 10/19/09 9:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/29/2008 7:12 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,671
Back To Top

Filling out the survey will generate an email to the sender if the actual mailing date is far off from the date marked mailed.

I always add in the comments that clearly the book was mailed late because there's a PO meter strip on it with the date mailed so the PBS team knows that I'm not just reading a fuzzy postmark.  If the sender makes a habit of late mailings, they risk their account.

Date Posted: 12/29/2008 11:42 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
Back To Top

That's generally all I do--I don't fill out the survey for every book, but if the book was postmarked (with the postal meter strip) more than a couple days after it was marked mailed, I do fill that out and like Sarah I note in the comments that it was a postal metered book with the date mailed clearly showing, not just a postmark.

The only time I actually PM the person is if the book has 'gone lost' and then I get the book and see that it was mailed weeks late.


Date Posted: 12/30/2008 1:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
Back To Top

Postmarks can be incorrect, in the sense that a true "postmark" is the round stamped seal applied by the USPS to a piece of mail while it's in transit.  My understanding of postmarking used to be that mail was individually postmarked at the first postal center it arrived at - whether you drop it off at the PO, or the mail carrier picks it up from your box or a "blue box" and delivers it to the postal center.  One assumes that this is done during the initial sorting process at its first stop.  I haven't been able to actually verify where & why this wouldn't be the case, but I've learned from practical experience that it often is.  I've received books from across the country that didn't actually get postmarked until they arrived here in my home town.  I don't know why that happened, I just know that it did:P  Postage meter strips that come directly from the PO where the book was initially mailed from are reliable, because you have the date it was physically handed off at the USPS counter printed on the postage strip.  Electronic postage from services like Endicia (what PBS uses for printable postage), Pitney Bowes/PayPal, or Stamps.com isn't necessarily reliable because you can print postage labels and still mail a week later.  I did do some searching for info on that, and the general info I got from various sources stated that USPS personnel do check the dates on electronic postage, and if they aren't dated within one day of being received by the USPS, they will apply a postmark stamp with the correct date on it - or rather, they are supposed to.  I wouldn't assume from that though, that a postmark stamp dated a week after the date shown on an electronic postage label automatically means that someone printed their postage on time and then mailed a week later.  Not when we see postmarks that have obviously been applied at places other than the state the book was mailed from.  It's feasible that books could get caught in sorting machines or "lost" in various places where media mail is sorted, and then have a postmark applied to it when it's "found" and returned to the system and sent on its way.  I worked at UPS for years, and we found packages nightly under belts and chutes, and in all kinds of unlikely places.  Mostly they were found and put back into the sort before they missed a flight or whatever and had to be put into the next sort, but sometimes we'd find things that had been laying in some dusty unseen corner for a month or more:P  I'm sure this happens frequently with USPS media mail, and it's certainly possible that someone might postmark it before sending it on its way.

Date Posted: 12/30/2008 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
Back To Top

I did fill in that part of the survey once, when a book was like a month and a half late in getting to me and it was postmarked maybe two weeks prior to my receiving it.  A day or two later, I received a PM from the member explaining that she had been chastized (my word, not hers) by the powers that be here at PBS and wanted to explain herself.  So, that part of the survey did not go unnoticed, at least in my one experience.

Date Posted: 12/30/2008 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

Personally if I get the book before it goes lost I don't really care what day it was mailed.  Sometimes life happens and you think you can mail a book but it has to take a back seat to other more important things.  If they chronically have books going lost then they'll get a notice from PBS to get books in the mail sooner.

Date Posted: 12/31/2008 3:55 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
Back To Top

I'm one that puts the PBS postage date almost as late as I can because I depend on others to mail my books out and I can't always be certain that they mailed it/them the day I give it to them. My son, in particular, is very absent-minded and I try to get anyone else to mail the books before I ask him.  But sometimes he's the only one I have - so I add days to the "postmark" date to be safe!  Haven't had any complaints or feedback on it, though.