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Topic: Putting stamps on vs. going to the P.O.

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Subject: Putting stamps on vs. going to the P.O.
Date Posted: 10/27/2007 12:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
Posts: 32
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I'm always afraid to trust PBS's suggested postage rates, so I usually take the books to the post office to pay. But I just got back from the post office and remembered that I had another book to send that I initially forgot to take with me. PBS says the book will be first class... should I just put $1.81 in stamps instead of bothering to drive back?

Date Posted: 10/27/2007 12:42 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
Posts: 32
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Oops, I guess this should have gone in the USPS forum... sorry!

Date Posted: 10/27/2007 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 526
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Last Edited on: 4/28/11 8:51 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/27/2007 6:16 PM ET
Member Since: 10/3/2007
Posts: 72
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I've never had a problem with PBS' postage rates, but personally i would feel more comfy going to the PO than putting a bunch of stamps on, mainly because id be afraid of not putting enough!

Date Posted: 10/27/2007 6:30 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2006
Posts: 11,985
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I don't have a scale so I just go to Amazon's website. I put in the books ISBN # and it gives the shipping weight. I've mailed out about 500 books and have never had a book returned for insufficient postage.

Date Posted: 10/27/2007 6:53 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,496
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Amazon's weights are only an estimate also and may not be correct.

Any package you send out with postage on it would be sent on to the recipient postage due if there isn't enough postage on it to start with.  If you send something out with no postage at all, then it'd come back to you for postage.

Date Posted: 10/28/2007 7:26 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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I've noticed that for the books I send out the PBS weights are off about 25% of the time (I take all of my books to the post office and I pay attention to what they charge vs. what the book says).  Sometimes too much, sometimes too little.

ETA:  Well, this may be an overstatement, but it does seem to happen frequently and go in waves -- in a batch of about five books I took to the P.O. last week the mailing amount was off on two of them.



Last Edited on: 10/28/07 7:27 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/28/2007 9:22 AM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2006
Posts: 86
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When I do go to the PO, I ask if the amount on the printed label is the right amount and they have always said that it is.  You should be safe to mail from home postage-wise, but there's a new rule that books over a certain weight must be taken to the PO anyway.

Date Posted: 10/28/2007 10:07 AM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
Posts: 32
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I ended up taking it to the PO to be safe, and the postage was correct. It was 1.81... the first time I did PBS I put stamps on, but the amount wasn't even and I ran out of stamps and had to take it to the PO anyway. That package had so many stickers on it by the end!

 

Thanks for the help everyone!



Last Edited on: 10/28/07 10:07 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/28/2007 10:18 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 2,027
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I use our postal machine at work to weigh them and then put stamps on.  I really do need to get a postal scale at home.  It's on my Xmas list.

Date Posted: 10/28/2007 11:25 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I always go to the PO since it is very close (under 1 mile) and on my way to work and other places.  I love the APC machine and rarely stand in line because the line is usually very long!  Plus I can use the APC machine on the weekend or after they have closed.  such a time saver

Date Posted: 10/28/2007 12:02 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 38,893
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I just take my books into the post office...much more reliable. I've had them tell me several times where PBS would recommend media mail, first class would actually be cheaper....so I don't trust PBS' "estimate" anymore. I'm glad I work in a building with its own post office in it. Keri
Date Posted: 10/28/2007 12:53 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2007
Posts: 185
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FYI - I just received a book from someone that was sent with no postage at all and I had to pay the full amount of postage due.

 

Ginnie

Date Posted: 10/28/2007 4:02 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2007
Posts: 6,025
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I use the automated machine at the PO to print several 2.13 stamps at a time, that's the right amount for most paperbacks and then I have them handy when I'm wrapping books!

Date Posted: 10/28/2007 4:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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I've never found the PBS rate to be inaccurate.  IMHO driving to the PO to weigh them is a waste of time.

Date Posted: 10/28/2007 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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The other thing you could have done (which I did before I had a scale), is just to PM the member the book is going to.  Let them know that you mailed the book with the postage according to PBS, but if the book arrives postage due to let you know and you will mail them or Paypal them the difference.  By the way, I have never had a problem with the estimated weight - I have always found them to be accurate in my case!

Date Posted: 10/29/2007 8:38 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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Hmmm, looks like I have a higher % of books with wrong amounts than the rest of you.  Must be something about my oddball shelf!  ;->

Ginnie, that's frustrating that you got a book postage due.  You should contact the sender (although make sure to phrase it as a query rather than an accusation, because there have been instances where postage has fallen off in the mail).  Hopefully you can get it resolved.

Date Posted: 10/29/2007 8:51 AM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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I haven't had any difference in PBS weights vs. actual weights in the past month. And the 'first class' vs 'media mail' weights have also been accurate.

 

Date Posted: 10/29/2007 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2006
Posts: 353
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Just get a scale - they're cheap and between that and the USPS website, you'll know definitively how much postage to use. Why worry? Make life easy - you'll wonder why you waited so long!

Just remember if it's over 13 oz though, you do have to either use some form of online/metered postage or take it in to the PO.

Date Posted: 10/30/2007 8:22 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,425
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Books over 13 oz with stamps have to handed over to a postal person.  If you use pre paid postage or pal pal then you can go ahead and mail it in a blue box-or the drop box at the PO.

Date Posted: 10/30/2007 9:41 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 76
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I am a newbie here but have mailed out 6 books in the past few days and have gone by the weight/postage amout given here, then gone to the PO for exact postage...I hope I'm doing this correctly!!

Date Posted: 10/31/2007 9:40 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2006
Posts: 4,972
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I just take mine to the PO. I am usually very close to the PO everyday anyway and I have found too that sometimes the postage suggested is way off. I don't want to take a chance of not putting enough postage on or even putting too much.