Discussion Forums - USPS Postal Regulations USPS Postal Regulations

Topic: postage

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: postage
Date Posted: 10/26/2009 9:22 PM ET
Member Since: 5/1/2006
Posts: 2
Back To Top

Recently my printer failed and I had to hand address a book to be sent. Now I find out that I am out that  postage as no refunds. So someone is getting rich from our printer mishaps. I personally will never ever use PBS printabke wrapper again. That way I can never be ripped off again!! Luckily I learned this lesson for only three or so dollars.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 10/26/2009 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,145
Back To Top

You can print your wrappers on any printer at all. If your printer breaks or runs out of ink, go to a friend's house or a public library and login to your account there. There's no charge for "reprinting" a wrapper.

Also, almost all the money goes to the USPS. They're not getting rich, even if you do purchase postage twice. The small amount that the site keeps goes towards providing guaranteed credits. You're still eligible for a guaranteed credit if you purchased postage, even if you didn't use it, so you are getting what you paid the website for. You're just not getting what you paid the USPS for because your printer broke.

Date Posted: 10/27/2009 7:08 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
Back To Top

I've had printer problems in the past too, but as Cathy said, you can re-print those wrappers with postage without being charged again. I use PBS printable postage for all my books so I can print and wrap and drop books in the blue box in front of my work regardless of size (I send quite a few trade paperback and hardback books that are over 13 oz), and would never go back to hauling books to the post office and waiting in line!

The "no refunds" is not a PBS thing either, it's a USPS thing...they cannot get the money back from USPS--once the postage is printed Endicia (the company who does PBS' online postage) gets that money which is sent to USPS. PBS certainly cannot afford to dig into their own pockets to refund every member's printing mistakes! Remember...this is a free site without a membership fee, and they run on donations, monies they get from the various optional services with small fees, etc. Your $3 may not seem like much in the great scheme of things, but start multiplying that by hundreds and thousands, and you would see that there's no way PBS could afford to refund.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 11/2/2009 9:07 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

Not PBS' fault.  The only money PBS got was the .42 (or whatever the fee is) for printing the postage-and I don't think they even get all of that, some goes to Endicia.  The actual postage money went to the post office.  Like others said you could have found another computer to print the postage on-it's not tied to your computer-just your PBS account. I've printed labels out from my mothers computer in a different state-so I could mail out a WL book I had brought with me.

Subject: Postage
Date Posted: 11/9/2009 9:42 PM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2009
Posts: 1
Back To Top

I notice that postage varies on the books sent to me.  Anywhere from 59 cents for a hardcover book sent media mail to 3 dollars some odd cents for a paperback.  How do I get in on the 59 cent deal when it's my turn to mail my books?  Thank you.

Date Posted: 11/9/2009 10:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
Back To Top

Arlene: I don't think the people who are putting 59 cents postage on their packages are doing it correctly. It's possible some postage fell off in transit.

Some postage-saving ideas include:

--investing in a scale (so you are not relying on potentially wrong database information) OR going to the post office to get packages weighed every time

--list lighter books

--I've seen people advertise in genre forums for sending out multiple WL books to one recipient. Can't do this in the Book Bazaar.

--offer deals for slower moving/heavily posted books that involve more than one credit. you might come out with a lower cost per credit even though your packages are heavier/more expensive.

Good luck!

Date Posted: 11/10/2009 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

I just mailed a super thin 100 page paperback and that was .98 1st Class.  If a book got ot you with only .59 postage on it then it was pure luck-either that or you misread the postage amount.

Subject: If no refunds on printed postage...
Date Posted: 11/15/2009 9:54 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2008
Posts: 3
Back To Top

I printed postage out for a book before I got a response from the requesting person that she didn't want the book.  If there are no refunds, could I use the label to send another book to someone else and simply change the address?

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
Back To Top

I've heard mixed rumors on this Cheryl, and one rumor says the barcode is tied to the zip code it was issued for.  Unless another member posts a definitive answer, you will probably want to ask your post office about that one.

Subject: Thanks
Date Posted: 11/15/2009 3:17 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2008
Posts: 3
Back To Top

**Edited by PBS to remove misinformation**


No, online printed postage labels may NOT be reused.  Each printed postage wrapper can be used to send ONLY to the address for which it was printed; note also that USPS will not accept printed postage wrappers that have been altered in any way.

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

I would still take it in to the post office to have htem update the date.  Printed postage is supposed to be used within 48hrs of the date put on the postage.  THey use that date to track delivery times and have sent books back for being mailed too long after the postage date.

Subject: Should be fine
Date Posted: 11/15/2009 5:20 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2008
Posts: 3
Back To Top

Ok.  I think I'll be good on that, though, because the book I posted is a wish list book, so there are apparently more people who want the book.  I'll be able to get it within 48 hours anyway.


Oh, and I always take it to the post office anyway because that's about the only mailbox in this town.  In this day and age... :)

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 11/15/2009 9:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,145
Back To Top

Are you sure that answer came from the PBS Team? They're the site admins, and you reach them if you click Contact Us at the bottom of the page and then use the Send us Feedback button.

If you sent your message to a Tour Guide via Live Help or a PM, they're not admins but members who volunteer to help out. The Tour Guides are pretty good, but I would not trust that particular answer unless it came directly from the PBS Team.

The reason I say that is the destination ZIP code is encoded in the delivery confirmation, so there could be problems if they don't match. Here's the exact format of the barcode:

420 + 5 digit ZIP + 91 + 01 or 02 for First Class or Media Mail + 9 digit PBS or Endicia ID + 8 digit Package ID + 1 digit Checksum

Also, I'm pretty sure USPS employees have posted in the past that you cannot modify or cut labels that have printed postage on them, which means you're likely to get the package returned if it's even accepted at all.

If a member wants to cancel a request after you've already printed postage, you are well within your rights to refuse to do so. You've spent the actual money in good faith, and the other member has to mark the book received. He or she can repost it if it's no longer wanted, but it's not right to expect you to lose money.

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 7:30 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

I would have marked it mailed adn told them I had already spent the postage money.  The other person can repost the book when they get it. 

If I hadn't printed the postage out then I would gladly cancel.

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 8:26 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
Back To Top

So apparently the postage portion is the only thing that can be altered on pre-printed postage labels?  If you need to mail on a later date than printed, you should go to the counter and have them re-date with a $0.0 sticker.  Some POs are sticklers for postage dates and will return them if not correct.

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 10:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2009
Posts: 10
Back To Top

I thought I'd clear some of this up since I've worked for the Post Office for 24 years. 

1. 98 cents is not enough for a 100-page book. First class mail is shape-based now. Letters, large envelopes and packages have different rates. Large envelopes are 44 cents more than letters and packages are 34 cents more than large envelopes of the same weight. 98 cents is the three ounce letter rate, and a book is over 1/4 inch thick, making it a large envelope at the very least. For more information, you can print USPS Notice 123, which has all current rates, surcharges and size limits.

2. Labels printed online cannot be altered in any way. This voids them entirely since there is no proof the label wasn't copied and used for several different addresses or dates. It also helps the USPS establish quality guidelines by making sure our mail is being collected, processed and delivered within our service standards. The same principal goes for stamps being covered with tape, peeled off envelopes and reused, etc.

3. Anytime you print online postage, you are agreeing to certain terms (whether we read the fine print or not). The date must be the same as the date the post office receives them. In other words, you can't date for a Sunday unless you drop them in a collection box on Sunday, because they will not be picked up from your mailbox. Yes, a clerk can postmark for the current date in the event you made a mistake.

4. Save yourself a trip to the post office when you print your postage online or when it's under 13 ounces you use stamps. Arrange for free carrier pickup at http://www.usps.com.

I hope this helps. 



Last Edited on: 11/16/09 10:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/17/2009 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

The postal clerk put it through this little slot thing and it was thin enough to go at a lower 1st class rate.  It was delivered just fine.  In fact it may not have even been 100 pages.  It was a story that was originally published in an anthology that they released as a single title without adding to the story.  It was super thin and slid right through the big card she had with with a slot in it to check if it could go that rate.



Last Edited on: 11/17/09 9:53 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 11/17/2009 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,145
Back To Top

4. Save yourself a trip to the post office when you print your postage online or when it's under 13 ounces you use stamps. Arrange for free carrier pickup at http://www.usps.com.

This option is not available if you're just mailing a bunch of books Media Mail or First Class. You have to have at least one Express or Priority package, and then they'll take the others as well. Most carriers will take one or two packages left in your mailbox even without having a scheduled a pick-up though.

Date Posted: 11/18/2009 1:58 AM ET
Member Since: 5/1/2006
Posts: 2
Back To Top

I will hand address and take to post office for postage from now on. Lesson learned!!

Date Posted: 11/18/2009 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,134
Back To Top

Anita, if you don't want to use PBS postage when your printer is fixed, you don't have to hand address--you can print just the plain label with no additional services, then add your own postage.

Subject: Carrier Pick Up
Date Posted: 11/18/2009 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
Back To Top

4. Save yourself a trip to the post office when you print your postage online or when it's under 13 ounces you use stamps. Arrange for free carrier pickup at http://www.usps.com.

This option is not available if you're just mailing a bunch of books Media Mail or First Class. You have to have at least one Express or Priority package, and then they'll take the others as well. Most carriers will take one or two packages left in your mailbox even without having a scheduled a pick-up though.

I think this depends on your carrier.  I put my books to be sent in my mailbox with the flag up.  She always takes them.  She also delivers my mail to my door if a package is too big for my box.  Perhaps it's that I live in a small town that I get such good service.  But, I would attempt to get the carrier to pick up your package before going into the post office.

Subject: printing postage
Date Posted: 11/21/2009 8:48 AM ET
Member Since: 10/5/2008
Posts: 1
Back To Top

If you have a paypal account, you can print postage from there if you use the following

www.paypal.com/shipnow
  I use it all the time.  It is for 19 cents and gives you a tracking number.

Date Posted: 12/2/2009 3:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2009
Posts: 10
Back To Top

Cathy, you taught me something. I didn't realize customer pickup was only for Express, Priority and Return items.