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Topic: Question about shipping

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Subject: Question about shipping
Date Posted: 7/23/2011 9:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2011
Posts: 4
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I am very new to this site (and I LOVE it), but I'm a bit confused. What is the difference between printing a wrapper and going to the post office? Do I always need to print the wrapper? If I pay to print the postage right onto the wrapper, how do I know my book isn't too heavy to put right into the mailbox? Is it cheaper to purchase the postage online? THANKS!!



Last Edited on: 7/23/11 9:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/23/2011 9:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,286
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First - welcome to PBS!!

I can't answer all your questions, as I always go to the PO and purchase postage from them.  You always print the address label (and there are several ways of doing this, but they do give instructions).  I use the one page label, and cut the bottom off.  Some people include the bottom (or print a separate page) and include it with the book.  You can hand write the label if your printer is broken or you don't have a printer.

If you use printed postage from PBS, on the page where it asks if you want to do that, use PBS DC, etc., there will be a sentence printed in RED near the bottom of the page that will say something like, "Your book is more than 13 oz and must be mailed from the PO."  The same page gives you the approximate weight of the book also.  Good luck. Pat

Subject: Thanks
Date Posted: 7/23/2011 9:19 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2011
Posts: 4
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Thank you, Pat. With reading more about sending after reading your post, I understand things better now. I'm so excited to start trading! Thanks again!

Date Posted: 7/23/2011 9:29 PM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2010
Posts: 758
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Welcome to PBS! I just wanted to add that printing postage directly from PBS also allows you to receive "Instant Credit" for books once they're marked mailed. Comes in handy if you've got a wishlist book available and you need credits quickly!

Date Posted: 7/23/2011 9:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2011
Posts: 4
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Yes, I was just reading that! It will definitely come in handy, as I already want more credits! If I am shipped just an average-sized book, will the suggested postage from PBS generally be enough?

Date Posted: 7/23/2011 9:38 PM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2010
Posts: 758
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A lot of members recommend a postage scale, since the weight listed apparently isn't always exactly accurate. I've personally never had a problem, I always just go by what PBS says the book weighs and none have arrived postage due. Media Mail rates go up by each pound--so unless your book is hovering right at the top end of a pound, it should be fine. That said, don't forget to factor in your packaging materials, especially if you're using something "heavier" like thick bubble mailers or lots and lots of tape.

Date Posted: 7/23/2011 9:51 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2011
Posts: 4
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Oh, I see. It automatically gives you the estimated postage for that particular book. Thanks for all your help!

Date Posted: 7/23/2011 10:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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If you are going to use stamps or printed postage you should weigh the books.  The weights in the system aren't always correct.

It's up to you if you want to use printed postage or not.  It costs more than using stamps or going ot the post office.  I only use it on bulk orders or books over 13oz.  Other wise the fee adds up to more than what a lost credit or book would cost.

Date Posted: 7/23/2011 10:31 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,472
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Welcome!

PBS takes the weight from several different databases.  It can vary widely, based on where the estimates come from and how often that book gets sent.  So a best seller is more likely to be correct than a rarely posted art book or non-fiction book.

I use a digital kitchen scale.

You do have the option to hand write the label.  But you must download the PDF of the label.  This is recorded by PBS as "printing" the label.  PBS asks us to included the transaction number if we hand write the label.  The printed labels often go faster by media mail as the sorting bar code is on the label.

Be sure to mark the book as mailed.  This is a very important step.  Forgetting this step risks losing your book credit.