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Topic: my prices differnt than the postal office

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Subject: my prices differnt than the postal office
Date Posted: 2/3/2010 1:48 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2010
Posts: 400
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I don't want to spend any more than I have to. I don't mind a few pennies; say up to five cents, although that can add up.


But 20 cents or even more?

I bought a scale and weigh the books after wrapping them, all taped up and everything.  Then I go to postal price calculator (I think that is the name).  I ender the zip code and the weight  and get a price for shipping it. I have checked it with medial and first class.

One book came out at $2 and some change, other was similar, one was 14 cents cheaper.  Adding the 19 cents brought them to $2.60; $2.62 and $2.42.   When I took them to the post office, they all came $2.24 exactly. .  One I had stamps on already, and it came to $2.24 also (which I had put $2.44 cents on), but she caught herself before she put the stamp on it.

Why the difference?  If I am going to mail them from my home, it would have cost me almost a dollar (94 cents) more.  That can add up.  2 or 5 cents isn't that a big of a deal, but a dollar each time I mail four books?

Something else I noticed when I got home.  I don't think she scanned it, so does that mean she missed the direct confirmation bar code; which would have added the 19 cents for each book.  Which has me worried that it will arrive short of postage cost and then what?  So I would be out 37 cents instead of the 94 cents.  Still, that can add up.

Do I PM the people I sent the books to and let them know that the books may be short? 


Date Posted: 2/3/2010 2:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
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Hi Janette,

I'll see if I can take an educated guess here although I may need a little bit more info. 

Are you using the PBS label?  Are you including delivery confirmation when you print out the label at home?  I am going to assume yes. 

If you go to the USPS site to calculate the rate I believe it will figure full price for Delivery Confirmation but if you are using electronically generated DC, like the PBS version, then the charge is only .19.  This could account for the difference in price.

To see if the clerk scanned your DC, look at the receipt.  It should have the DC number on it and show the .19 charge for it.  It is possible the clerk didn't see the DC part of the label, this happens.  There are many forms of electronic DC being generated out there and it isn't uncommon for a clerk, especially one in a hurry or a smaller post office to not notice.  Sometimes we need to remind them that it's there.

Another thing to check is your scale, make sure it is calibrated and showing the correct weight.  It is possible your scale is off.

If you weren't charged for the DC then one of a few things could happen.   They could get delivered normally because no one will notice there isn't enough postage on them, or they could go postage due.  If you weren't charge for the DC then I would email the addressees and advise them of the situation and let them know they may come postage due for .19.

I hope this helps you.

Date Posted: 2/3/2010 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2010
Posts: 400
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Yes, it helps a lot.  I just printed out the address with the DC, no postage from PBS.  I hadn't though about the scales needing calibrated, will check that.

Looked at the slip, no DC charge, so she missed it. As for fast, a snail would  have passed her up.  I didn't think to remind her, I am still getting used to it.  Now definitely know better. 

Wonder if I would be better off to do it online, buy the postage that way?  Hubby has been taking them to work to mail for me, car trouble and they knew about the DC, used to it.  They suggested that we get the click and ship. 

Will pm and let them know it may come short on postage, if so I will refund them.  Only three will be short, the other had enough postage on it. 

Thanks for the help.


Just remembered, I doubt that she knew about it. The one and only time I mailed them out myself, the clerk (different lady) didn't know about it, called someone higher up and checked it out.  Said she would pass the word around, some may not have heard it, or it's so new they aren't checking it. 

So, I will definitley focus on getting their attention if I have to go back.

Last Edited on: 2/3/10 2:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Wrong prices and weights
Date Posted: 2/3/2010 6:22 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,443
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It would be much simpler-at least for me-maybe you too to use the PBS postage. You print the label from home-after weighing he book  and then drop them in the blue box. I do it all the time and love it!

Date Posted: 2/4/2010 2:15 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
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The easiest way to handle on-line (electronic) DC with a Postal employee who isn't sure about it is to suggest to them they just scan it.  The POS system will recognize it and charge the .19.  That takes care of the mailing end.  If a letter carrier doesn't recognize it it won't get scanned at delivery but I've heard of a lot more problems with clerks on this issue then carriers.

Date Posted: 2/4/2010 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2010
Posts: 400
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When I took another group of books in a while back the clerk didn't know what I meant by the DC, and wanted me to pay the 80 cents.  I told her to check it out, a guy behind me in line said, yeah it can be done that way, he knew of other companies that do that.

She called a couple of other post offices in the area and they said they had never heard of it. She then decided to check higher up and they told her to scan it, and is showed the 19 cents.

She was really nice about it, I think this one either didn't know or forgot and I forgot to tell her.  It shows in my account that it was scaned somewhere along the way.

Let the requestors know and hopefully they won't have any problems with it.

Thanks for the help in this.


Date Posted: 2/4/2010 8:53 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 382
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next time just say I have an ELECTRONIC delivery confirmation, would you please scan it you will see I owe you 19cents for it

thats the correct wording so they understand

they dont know what PBS is

Date Posted: 2/4/2010 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,213
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If she didn't scan the DC, then that is probably the majority of your price difference, each book is short the 0.19 postage for the DC. She has to scan the book for that charge to show up.

If you  entered the weights from your scale, then it isn't PBS, it is your scale. I have noticed that once in a while the ones on the border will come out to the lower postage at the post office.

Last Edited on: 2/4/10 9:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/5/2010 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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Either your scale is off or theirs is.

I bought a scale that weighted up to a pound and used it for a while.  I was kind of suspicious because the amount of postage I calculated with the scale was always quite a bit less than the PBS suggested postage.  Then I bought a scale that weighs up to 35 pounds.  I found that the other scale was about 4 ounces off (too low).  The interesting thing is the PO never questioned the postage I attached, even though it was less than it should have been based on the weight.

BTW, you might want to try PayPal postage.  It costs you nothing and automatically includes DC at .19.


Last Edited on: 2/5/10 12:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 1