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Topic: Postage $$$

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Subject: Postage $$$
Date Posted: 3/19/2009 8:08 AM ET
Member Since: 1/18/2009
Posts: 70
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I just wrapped two books this morning, both paperbacks. The one going to Illinois from Tennessee printed out $5.21 for postage. Can this possibly be right? It's not like it weighs 5 pounds or anything like that, just a regular paperback. I wish I would have paid more attention before I accepted the postage.

Date Posted: 3/19/2009 9:04 AM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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Hi Mary Lou,

No that can not be correct, and the weight data on that ISBN in the data base could be incorrect. Is the ISBN listed as a paperback in the system?

I recommend checking the weight on each book before hitting print, especially when using PBS postage. The data-base is compiled by an outside source, and has some incorrect information in it.

There is a postal rate chart in the Help Center. Here is a link to that page: http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/help_item.php?id=515

and here is a very helpful page from the Help Center about the postage amount being incorrect:

Is the postage amount shown on the PBS wrapper always correct?

Usually, but not always.

  • Our database is compiled elsewhere, and it includes some inaccuracies, including the weight of some books.
  • The weight of a book as recorded in the PBS database determines the "recommended postage" that appears on the PBS wrapper.
  • If the book itself weighs close to the "pound" mark (very close to 1 lb or very close to 2 lbs, for example), the Wrapping materials can actually put the wrapped book into the next higher postal rate. 
  • You can see the estimated weight on the Wrapper Settings page that comes up when you click Print Wrapper on the request.
    • You can adjust the weight there and the postage that will print out on the wrapper will change accordingly.
    • This will not change the weight of the book in the database; it will change the weight of your shipment.

If you suspect that the "recommended postage" on the PBS Wrapper is incorrect:

  • Please weigh your package and check the weight on the Wrapper Settings page (you see this page when you click Print Wrapper or RePrint Wrapper on the request). 
  • You can also have your package weighed at the Post Office, to be sure that correct postage is applied.
  • The estimated weight on the Wrapper Settings page includes a small amount for packaging materials
    • If the estimated weight on the Wrapper Settings page is 7 ounces or less, First-Class Parcel rate will print out.
    • You will see the postage amount on the Wrapper Settings page before you print the wrapper.
Date Posted: 3/19/2009 12:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/18/2009
Posts: 70
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Thank you for the info. I guess I just assumed that the PBS postage was correct. I was half asleep this morning and was trying to get the book wrapped so I could get it in the mail. Guess I will pay more attention from now on.

Date Posted: 3/20/2009 3:22 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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That can't be correct, it should be somewhere between 2.00 and 2.41...and I use DC.

Date Posted: 3/20/2009 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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Which book was it?  Maybe one of us has a copy and can weigh it and correct the data.

Date Posted: 3/20/2009 1:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I never trust the PBS weight when using the printed postage.  I don't normally use the printed postage and wasn't today-but I printed up 2 lightway audiobook labels and it had them both weighing over 13oz.  They were really light enough to go first class. 

Date Posted: 3/28/2009 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2008
Posts: 110
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I have a scale and quite a few of the weights in the Paperback swap database are wrong.  Paperback swap had the weight of one of the books I shipped as being 20 pounds!

Date Posted: 3/29/2009 6:42 PM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2008
Posts: 1,080
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When these books with the way off weights are found, maybe edit the right data in or pass the info to a member of the book edit team to correct for the next person mailing it.

I am willing to do the edits if I get the information on which book and if possible the correct weight.

Subject: That's why a 5 pound postal scale is such a good thing to have.
Date Posted: 3/29/2009 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2008
Posts: 562
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I have had a couple of books pop up weighing several pounds. The more common error will be a few ounces.

You can have the same book, with the same ISBN, be different weights due to when it was printed. Have you ever noticed for example how old Sci Fi paperbacks used to be pretty thin? A newer version will be twice as thick because they increased the font size and have more pages.

Date Posted: 3/30/2009 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 1,564
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I weigh everything before I print the postage, just to make sure its correct.  I would feel awful if one I sent turned up postage due!