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Topic: Is printable postage usually accurate?

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Subject: Is printable postage usually accurate?
Date Posted: 4/25/2008 1:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2007
Posts: 163
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I'm thinking of using the printable postage so I don't have to deal with going to the PO or trying to figure out the right amount of stamps.  So, is the amount printed on the postage accurate?  Is it always the cheapest way to mail it?  If I'm mailing more than one book together, there's a place to put in the combined weight and change the amount of postage, right?  Thanks.

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 1:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Hi Megan--

If you want to use printable postage, I strongly recommend you get a scale.  It doesn't have to be fancy or an official postal scale -- I use a digital food scale -- but it should accurately weigh in ounces.  PBS postage is accurate, it is the weight of the books that aren't always accurate.  When you go to print out your postage, you'll have an opportunity to look at the weight and modify it, if needed.




Date Posted: 4/25/2008 1:42 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2007
Posts: 163
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I have a postal scale, so I guess I'm good.  How often is the book weight wrong?

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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I agree with Megan's comment regarding the scale completely.  I once received a "postage due" book where the sender had mailed First Class because PBS said the weight was under 7 oz.  With packaging, the book was over (it even was over without), so it cost extra.  Ironically, the postage would have been enough if mailed "media mail."  I'd especially double check anything that comes up with FC postage rather than media mail. 

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 4:18 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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I used to say that book weights were hardly ever wrong, but I am discovering the longer that I'm here that this isn't the case.  I sent out a couple books this week, where both weights were wrong.  PBS underestimated both and would have wanted me to send them first class, whereas they were actually heavier than 7 ounces and should have gone at the under 1 pound media mail rate. 

After awhile, you get pretty good at eyeballing and guessing as to whether a weight is correct.  Most trade sized paperbacks will go media mail, under a pound, at $2.13.  Most hardcovers go media mail, under 2 pounds, at $2.47.  There are always exceptions though, so I always double check!

Date Posted: 4/25/2008 4:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,349
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I weigh everything & adjust the weight before I print it.  If I'm using the PBS label as a wrapper, I weigh it before wrapping.  If I'm using something else (larger book) I wrap it first, then weigh & print w/postage.  I keep my scale w/ my wrapping materials, so it's pretty easy.  (I bought I scale I like from the kiosk here.)