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Topic: Printing wrapper at library v. hand-writing address

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Subject: Printing wrapper at library v. hand-writing address
Date Posted: 5/25/2010 3:39 PM ET
Member Since: 5/24/2010
Posts: 214
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I don't have a printer so I am hand-writing address and including the request ID as it says in the instructions.

In order to print the wrapper or the address I'd have to go to the library and it's 20 cents per page. I am wondering if it would be better to pay the 20 cents for the "alternate packing" label (so one page to print) and get immediate credit for the book instead of my method which relies on people to mark a book received.

Does anyone have any thoughts or experiences on which way to go?

Date Posted: 5/25/2010 3:45 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2010
Posts: 2,139
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The only ways you can get immediate credit is if you print with DC. If you pay the postage through PBS, you get credit as soon as you mark it mailed. If you just opt to buy DC, you'll get the credit as soon as the PO scans it and send the info to PBS. I don't think it matters which of the 3 layouts you choose to print. But, if you're paying 20 cents per page, it would def. be cheaper to choose the one-page layout.

The PBS DC is .27 but then you'll owe an additional .19 at the PO when you mail it.



Date Posted: 5/25/2010 3:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,212
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You would be paying the libraries .20 fee plus the PBS 0.43 fee for postage service plus and extra 0.19 in postage to cover the DC so  you'd be paying and extra 0.82 on every book to get the instant credit. you could have one out of every 4 books not get marked mailed and still be ahead cost wise. Now if you are a fretter and watch ever book wondering and worrying if it will get marked received, then it might be worth that.

Date Posted: 5/25/2010 3:53 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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Yes you can choose the bulk template which prints one page.  You then can use just printer paper, brown shipping paper or padded envelopes to wrap the package. 

However, like it was stated above it is 43 cents plus postage when you  use PBS postage or for DC it would be 27cents to the site then an additional 19 cents plus postage to mail the book. The DC is still less expensive than if you purchased DC through the USPS which they charge 80 cents for DC. 

Would you be allowed to print it at work?  Is there a friend or neighbor that has a printer that you could use.  Offer to purchase toner or paper on occasion.  Just some thoughts.

Date Posted: 5/25/2010 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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I hand write my addresses now that I don't have a printer. I have yet to have a problem with it. Even before when I printed the labels I didn't use DC, so it didn't matter and I was still relying on others to mark them received. Out of 70 some books I have yet for any to go lost. I think the vast majority of members are very honest and mark the book received correctly and on time.

Date Posted: 5/25/2010 4:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Personally, I would just hand address. It's a pain but then I don't use DC either.  I actually started out handwriting to save printer paper and ink. But I have horrible handwriting and it's just so much easier to print.  But if I had to go to the library to print, I'd go back to handwriting.

Date Posted: 5/25/2010 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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I handwrite addresses all the time and I do have a printer.  I just don't want to "waste" my ink on something I could easily handwrite (I also usually transcribe directions from Google maps instead of printing them, etc).  It doesn't take me too long to write them myself.

Date Posted: 5/25/2010 5:39 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Books with the address bar code do have a chance of getting there faster.  But clear handwriting and the number code are fine. 

You might want to put in a slip of paper with the address repeated and your name inside the package, just in case.  I've had two books arrive in the post office plastic bag with the xerox "we're sorry that your package was destroyed by us".  That's two out of 395.  But I do wonder if my other 3 lost books are floating out there without labels. 

Date Posted: 5/25/2010 7:16 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2009
Posts: 326
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Books with the address bar code do have a chance of getting there faster.

I've actually wondered that myself.

Date Posted: 5/25/2010 7:57 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2009
Posts: 1,369
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I write out the address on all of my PBS packages. I think it is a very big waste of printer ink which is very expensive. It is also a waste of printer paper in my opinion. I have started writing out the name of the state.  I have forgotten how to spell the names of the states etc after using the abbreviations for so long. I do not scribble but am old enough to know how to write in a very clear cursive, not printing.

Date Posted: 5/25/2010 9:03 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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The PBS survey specifically asks us about labels that are hand written to compare the speeds.  The bar codes can get sorted by machines.  The hand written ones now get a bar code applied before being shipped out.  This is the thin long bar code that goes under the address, not the big bar code for DC.

Date Posted: 5/26/2010 6:36 AM ET
Member Since: 5/24/2010
Posts: 214
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Wow! Thanks for all the great responses. I'm going to keep hand-writing the addresses since I don't usually use DC. I used to swap cloth diapers on another site and I never had any packages lost so I stopped using it. I hope for people on the receiving end it doesn't take a lot longer versus printing the bar code but I mail everything right from the p.o. so maybe that saves a day in transit.

Date Posted: 5/26/2010 10:44 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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I haven't noticed any difference in the receiving times of my packages since I started handwriting.

I haven't received very many hand written ones, but the last time I did it was in a deal and all 6 books came within a week!

I really don't think it matters a whole lot. Maybe it would if it got stuck at a huge sorting station, but I think most books take a bit longer to make it through those anyway.

Date Posted: 5/26/2010 6:52 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2009
Posts: 579
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I rarely get a hand written address. But I always hand write mine now. The price of print ink is stupid expensive and I also cut out printer paper usage, I have been recycling these nice bubble envelopes I snag from work. Rip off the old address, fold the top over, tape and mail! :) It's much better than just using printer paper. And I have all this old stationary from my pen pal days that I write the Request ID on and the address on. It's a groovy experience of my receivers!

Date Posted: 5/26/2010 10:57 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2008
Posts: 28
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I handwrite the address, as well. Back when I first joined PBS, I was in college, and my school actually provided computers and printers--complete with FREE toner refills! After they phased that out, my second year on PBS, I started handwriting the addresses on those flat-rate envelopes. Even with the price of the envelope/flat box plus postage, I was still coming out ahead when compared to the price of printer ink. I really couldn't afford to waste ink on something that was essentially a luxury. I was an upperclassman in an very paper-heavy major (Political Science), so every other week, I was getting five and ten page paper assignments, so I needed to squeeze out EVERY DROP of ink. Towards the end of the quarter, I was usually turning in papers printed with blue, lol. 


I haven't found a significant difference in the deliver time of hand-written addresses, either, though I usually use first class mail, because if I have more than one book on request, I wait and make one trip to the post office. So if I get one request on Monday, and one one on Wednesday (which falls within the "I can mail this book within 2 days" option,) I will then mark the Monday book as mailed while locating the Wednesday book, and take them both to the post office on Thursday or Friday. So I use first class because it's [supposedly] faster, so the Monday book-requester doesn't have to wait past the estimated delivery date because I got distracted or was trying to save myself a trip. It does cost a bit more, but it's still not equal to the amount I'd spend BUYING a new book, even the cheapie MMPB romances at Wal-Mart ($3.97 + tax at last looksee).