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Topic: question on shipping methods/costs

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Subject: question on shipping methods/costs
Date Posted: 2/10/2010 2:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2010
Posts: 400
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 Okay, I am trying to figure out all of the different shipping methods.

I can get stamps from my post office and print out a DC and mail it from home, if over 13 oz I  have to go to the post office, unless my carrier is willing to pick it  up at my mail box.  The DC from PBS lets me get quick credit, and helps if the book gets lost.

PayPal I can print off the shipping label and the DC, I don't have to pay the 19 cents, but the confirmation from them doesn't get me the quick credit.  Right or wrong there?

If I use Click N Ship, I can pay the whole thing online, but it seems from what I am reading that I have to ship it that day, or I lose out, I don't think the DC is recognized as quick credit.  Right or wrong there?  Not wild about that, what if I mss the mail carrier?

I can also print out the whole thing from PBS, the shipping label and the DC, I am thinking that I still have to pay the post office the 19 cents for the DC.  Am I right or wrong there?

 So, it looks as if the best bet is here at PBS, unless I want to run to the post office all the time.  On weight, If I go with what PBS states, it could be off.  If I wrap it up, get it ready to mail except the label and then print out the label with the weight of package, book and all, I would think that the price would be correct; that is assuming that my scales are calibrated right on the weight. 

Feedback anyone?

Janette

Date Posted: 2/10/2010 2:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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if over 13 oz I  have to go to the post office, unless my carrier is willing to pick it  up at my mail box. the carriers aren't supposed to take stamps only packages over 13oz. Some do, but the are not supposed to.

PayPal I can print off the shipping label and the DC, I don't have to pay the 19 cents,  Wrong, you do have to pay the 0.19 postage for DC. You don't pay the 0.27 cent PBS fee (0.43 if full PBS postage is used)

All online postage no matter where you get it from will require DC and the paying of the 0.19 postage. They will all also require you to mail it on the day it is dated or you risk it coming back as stale postage. With any of the printed postage, you will want to weigh the package to verify the correct postage. You will not get the Quick, Instant or guaranteed credit from any DC other that one purchased from PBS.



Last Edited on: 2/10/10 2:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/10/2010 2:27 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 5,751
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I can get stamps from my post office and print out a DC and mail it from home, if over 13 oz I  have to go to the post office, unless my carrier is willing to pick it  up at my mail box.  The DC from PBS lets me get quick credit, and helps if the book gets lost.  This is correct- If you are using stamps, items under 13 oz  can be mailed from your mailbox but over you have to go to the post office . No tracking or quick credit.

PayPal I can print off the shipping label and the DC, I don't have to pay the 19 cents, but the confirmation from them doesn't get me the quick credit.  Right or wrong there? Partially Correct-  You will still pay the additional .19 for the usps tracking but you do not get any quick credit.

If I use Click N Ship, I can pay the whole thing online, but it seems from what I am reading that I have to ship it that day, or I lose out, I don't think the DC is recognized as quick credit.  Right or wrong there?  Not wild about that, what if I mss the mail carrier? Correct-  If you do Click and Ship from the USPS site- you do have to pick the shipping date and the DC isn't linked to PBS so no quick credit. Any online postage site will require you to pick your shipping date.

I can also print out the whole thing from PBS, the shipping label and the DC, I am thinking that I still have to pay the post office the 19 cents for the DC.  Am I right or wrong there? Correct-  If you only print out the shipping label without the postage but with the DC then you have to put stamps on totaling the shipping cost plus .19 cents in stamps for the DC.

The option that you missed (unless click and ship was refering to the PBS ONLNE POSTAGE) is to purchase the full shipping cost here at PBS which costs you an additional 43 cents for the service and the .19 for DC plus the shipping cost,  but I think is well worth it. You get to pay online- no stamps, you can mail any weight book from your mailbox, you get your credit the moment you mark the book mailed plus if the book gets lost by the USPS- you  get to keep your credit, something that you don't get with DC. It's always a good idea to check the weight of your books.
 



Last Edited on: 2/10/10 2:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/10/2010 2:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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Janette,

I'm not sure I completely understand all your information, but it sounds like you think going to the post office differs between printing a PBS label (postage paid) and any other online label. They are all the same as far as having to go to the post office or not. If you print an online label (PBS or other), you are obligated to mail it on the date that is printed on the label. You won't "lose out" by mailing it later, but it may possibly be returned to you. If you have printed an online label you can drop it in any "blue box" or mail it from your own mailbox, if your postal carrier accepts packages - no need to go to the post office.

Using stamps vs online postage does alter the process. If over 13 ounces then you have to go to the post office.

Hope that made sense.

Christina

Date Posted: 2/10/2010 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Using stamps vs online postage does alter the process. If over 13 ounces then you have to go to the post office.

Not true.  You can use printed postage to mail books 13oz and over without going to the post office. You can't use the DC only  and then only use stamps for the postage if over 13oz.  Which doesn't make since to me since they can track where the postage comes from with the DC.  But anyway-printed postage does not have to be handed to a postal clerk. It can go in the mail box (if your mail man picks up packsage-not all do) or the blue box.

I just go to the PO once a week. The cost of the DC and postage printing fees adds up if you send a lot of books out, like I do.  I'd spend over $100/yr just on DC and the postage fee if I used the PBS postage on every book I sent.  Not worth it.  But then I am unemployed and have 5 post offices that are convenient to any errands I might have to run.  Buying PBS postage is not the only way to help support PBS.

Date Posted: 2/10/2010 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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PayPal I can print off the shipping label and the DC, I don't have to pay the 19 cents, but the confirmation from them doesn't get me the quick credit.  Right or wrong there?

No, printing postage from PayPal doesn't give you the instant credit.  But it also doesn't cost an extra 43 cents over and above the postage and DC cost. 

If I use Click N Ship, I can pay the whole thing online, but it seems from what I am reading that I have to ship it that day, or I lose out, I don't think the DC is recognized as quick credit.  Right or wrong there?  Not wild about that, what if I mss the mail carrier?

You can't use Click N Ship for media mail.  I'm not even sure you can use it for First class. 

If you want your instant credit and don't mind paying a premium to get it, printing your postage through PBS is your best bet.  If you don't mind waiting for your credit, printing postage through PayPal is your best bet.  It doesn't cost you anything and you can track your packages from your PayPal account.

Date Posted: 2/10/2010 3:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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Mary,

You misunderstood what I was saying. Both those sentences referred to using stamps only (vs online paid postage).

We are both saying the same thing. Printed "postage" where postage is already paid on a printed label (not DC only but actual postage) does not have to be mailed at the post office. If using stamps only and over 13 ounces then that does have to be mailed at the post office.

Sorry if I confused more people than I helped. I tend to be a short and sweet, bottom line type of person and leave out a few details. Hopefully I clarified here.

Blessings,
Christina

Date Posted: 2/10/2010 3:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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Short answer (possibly answered by someone else above already)--printable online postage, whether obtained via PBS or PayPal or Stamps.com or another vendor, you pay ALL the cost up front, no additional fees once you've printed the postage. You can mail any weight package with the online postage, no need to go to the PO even for a huge hardcover.

The difference between PBS and other online postage is that PBS costs .43 more, which is basically what "buys" your credit guarantee--which you do not get with any other online postage. That fee also helps support the PBS site, which is free at point of use if you don't use any of the optional services.

My personal preference is for the PBS postage, simply for the convenience. I sent probably the first eight or nine hundred books I sent here without any sort of DC or printable postage at all...just used stamps or brought books to the PO to be weighed and mailed. 99.9% of those got to where they were going with no special treatment, so I don't think DC or printed postage is needed for credit guarantee. The reason I started using the printed postage is that my work hours changed such that I can only get to the PO now on one day, so it's super-convenient for me to print postage, package and drop in the blue box in front of my workplace. No waiting in lines, no trying to time when to post, when to accept etc. to accomodate that one day/week I can get to the PO. I don't participate in any of the other "for fee" services at PBS, so I look at the extra fee as a way to support the site.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 2/10/2010 4:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Ooops. I read that sentance more than once and each time I read it as "doesn't".  My apologies. 

Date Posted: 2/10/2010 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,378
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I just wanted to point out that if your book weighs more than 13 oz, your DC is 80 cents, not 19 cents. Or maybe it was because it was slightly over 1 pound? I'm not sure. I mailed my first book yesterday and was in shock. For the record, I went to the post office to do postage and DC there. I couldn't believe it was almost $1. No more posting hardcovers for me...



Last Edited on: 2/10/10 4:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/10/2010 5:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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You get a discount on DC when you buy through paypal or PBS.  Paying .80 for DC at the post office is a waste of money. PBS will only guarantee your credit if you buy the DC though them. The printing fee they collect covers the cost of any credits they have to refund.   The .80 you paid had nothing to do with the weight of the book. 

I've sent out around 1,000 books and I've only had 1 go lost.  So to me paying for DC is just not cost effective.  But I have time to go to the post office.  If I didn't I would use the PBS postage or paypal postage because it's cheaper.  That .27 printing fee gets expensive when you send 30-40 books a month.

Date Posted: 2/10/2010 5:08 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2010
Posts: 400
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Thanks everyone for the help.

I have mobility problems, so for me to go the post office lots of times is not an option.  Hubby will go sometimes, but it takes him out of his way and I don't like having to do that to him, he has to do enough for me already.

As far as finances, we are able to pay the PBS costs and the helping of PBS makes it worthwhile.  We aren't rich or well off, but we are doing okay and it balances out; the cost of traveling to the post office would probably match the cost of mailing out books.  I won't be mailing out that many books to make that a problem. 

I put a book in the mail that was 15 oz. I attached a note for the mail carrier that if she didn't want to take it I understood, it was over the limit.  She took the book so I figured she didn't mind. She seems to be a very nice person. 

So, I think I will do a combination, I will use stamps when I have them on hand, but use PBS also when I am out, or feel the books maybe over the 13 oz. 

The post office told my hubby that he could use first class with Click N Ship, and the local one, when I had to go there to mail out some books, told me that I could use Click N Ship also with first class, so maybe it has changed.  But I prefer to use PBS, if I am going to go that route.

Thanks again for the help.

Janette

Date Posted: 2/10/2010 5:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Sassy, they're talking about the .19 cents you pay at the PO counter when you use PBS DC. I think it costs 27 cents here, and then you pay an additional 19 cents at the counter, which is still a discount over buying it from the PO for the 80 cents or whatever it is they charge these days - and gets you credit assurance. And DC is a flat rate charge & weight is irrelevant.
Date Posted: 2/10/2010 5:25 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Janette- you can use first class clip n ship but it costs alot more since it is parcel rate. PBS DC is alot cheaper option. 

I hardly ever go into a post office, I always use PBS postage and put it in the out going mail at work OR drop it in the blue box.
I find stamps more of a hassel because you have to have numerous ones to get the amount right.. grrrr

Date Posted: 2/10/2010 6:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,378
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Kim, thanks for clearing that up.  Nobody has ever worded it that way before, so I just thought they meant they were paying 19 cents period, not an additional 19 cents.  NOW I get it!  lol.  Thanks again. 

I was just thinking...  I keep getting confused when there are so many situations discussed in one paragraph or even one sentence.  Do you think you could go over all of the scenarios for under 13 oz?  Then separately go over all of the scenarios for over 13 oz?  BTW, I could've sworn the postal clerk said no first class for over a pound, only media mail, so maybe separate scenarios for that as well?  Thanks for your patience.  I have a disability that makes my brain not work as well as it should, so I'm easily confused.  I appreciate your help.



Last Edited on: 2/10/10 6:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/10/2010 7:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Not sure about all possible scenarios, per se, but media mail under 1lb is the easiest scenario because media mail rates go up in 1lb increments. So if you know your book is under 13 oz for instance, all you need to do, whether you use PBS postage, PayPal postage, or hand write labels & apply stamps, is make sure you have sufficient postage for the 1lb media mail rate, and you can drop it in your own mailbox or a blue USPS mailbox. There are going to be cases where the PBS system has a book's weight recorded as low enough that it costs less to mail it out 1st class. Be wary of that, unless you have a postal scale & can confirm it. If you can't & you aren't going to go in the PO to mail it (and have the postage checked at the counter), your best bet is to just go ahead & send it media mail. Unless you're one of those people who can hold a book in their hands & tell what it weighs:P They're picky about insufficient postage & it could arrive to your receiver with postage due - or get returned to you.

On anything that weighs over 13 oz, your carrier (if they know the postal regs) will pick it up from your box, as long as they have electronic (PBS or PayPal) postage on them. They've explained this to me as being "traceable" to you - the purchaser of the electronic postage.  Anything over 13oz with stamps is supposed to go across the counter at the PO. So far as I know, you can't get electronic postage through here or PayPal without also getting DC. IMO, there's not much reason to get it at all, unless it's for credit assurance, which means you have to get it here. DC really isn't much use to you unless PBS will use it in tracking the DC scans & assuring that you get your credit, so why buy it from PayPal when it doesn't give you that? I think either get just PBS DC and apply stamps or get postage at the PO counter, or get the whole enchilada right here for the ease of being able to mail it from wherever is most convenient. You can even leave them on the PO counter without having to wait in line, if it makes you feel more secure to do that.

And !st class mail does indeed have a weight restriction, but I believe it's 13 oz.  There's a size restriction on it too, but I'd have to look it up to tell you what it is.

Date Posted: 2/10/2010 8:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,127
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Being a huge fan of the APC, I have to add that buying APC Stamps (Automated Postal Center--the kiosk that many post offices have in the lobby) ahead of time in the media mail amounts allows you to put any weight package in the blue box, even those over 13 ounces.  There are no extra fees beyond the postage cost, but of course, you don't get a credit guarantee.  You can buy them in advance (you have to know the media mail charges to ask for a "stamp of a different denomination") so you have them when you need them.

Date Posted: 2/11/2010 1:55 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Once again for clarity:

Electronic DC purchased from PBS.  Members are charged .27 at the time of purchase which includes a site fee and the ability of PBS to track the transaction and automatically transfer your credits.  Postage for these labels (electronic, stamps, or USPS counter) will include an additonal .19 for the USPS portion of Delivery Confirmation.  For a grand total of .46 cents.

Delivery Confirmatin purchased at your local post office (bright green sticker) will cost .80 cents (regardless of size or weight), and cannot be tracked by PBS.



Last Edited on: 2/11/10 1:55 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/11/2010 2:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2010
Posts: 400
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Sassy,

A lot of how something is mailed, the cost the individual chooses to spend is due to circumstances and other aspects.  Some have easy access to a PO or the blue box so they can print out the PBS postage and have the postage stamp with the DC label on it.  They can then take it to work and mail it from there or drop it off at the PO.   

Some prefer PayPal, for individual reasons.

For me, I don't have easy access to a PO, I don't work (at present) so I am not able to guarantee that I can get the book(s) to the PO before the time limit of using PBS postage.  My carrier runs between 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.  So, I could have the book ready to  mail out, go to my mailbox at 1:00 and have missed her.  I can't guarantee the time I will have the book(s) ready to ship out.

So, for me, it is best that I use stamps that I can be sure that if I miss my carrier I can put the book(s) in the mail box the next day. 

As for costs, I have a scale that I weight my books on.  I have been checking them with the receipts that my hubby brings me when he does mail them for me or the two times I had to go to the post office.  So, far I have been off on some of the books by 10 to 20 cents.  It can add up but I have to weight (no pun intended) the pros and cons of each method. 

Hubby stated that he prefers that I buy stamps and mail them from home; if he has to he can take them with him and drop them off at the PO.  That is out of his way by 7 miles with the trip from work to the post office and the extra mileage to drive home.  With a truck that gets 8-10 miles a gallon, and the cost of gas here averaging at $2.80 a gal, it would be cheaper for me to pay an extra 20 cents a book and mail it from home.  I have, so far, not mailed out more than 5 books at a time.

Due to mobility problems, I don't get out and buy books at UBS and we don't shop at Wal-Mart so my books are ordered from Amazon or Borders.  My son is no longer able to drive me anywhere or run errands for me, so I am really limited in where I can get my books from now.

So, for me, I print out the DC label for the book.   Under 13 oz I figure out the cost of stamps by weighing them on my scales and checking the prices on postal price calculator that is online.  There I can click whether I want to mail it first class or media mail.  I can compare the prices to find out which is best.  Then, add the extra 19 cents to it and know how much I need to add in stamps.

Over 13 oz, I  can still check the price online, get the media mail cost, add the 19 cents to the total and then add stamps to it.  My mail carrier doesn't seem to mind picking up books that are over 13 oz (I had three books in my mail box two days ago, one at a little over 8 oz, one at 11 oz and one at 15 oz.).  She had no problem taking it. 

I want the DC for quick credit, but if it doesn't show up until it arrives there, that is okay also. 

I don't know if that helps you any, and I hope that I didn't confuse you more.  I understand about the brain understanding, I take a medication with a major side effect of mental confusion, so I take my time in figuring things out and ask lots of questions to make sure I understand.

   Janette

Date Posted: 2/11/2010 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,378
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Thanks so much everyone!  And a special thanks to Janette for helping me find my way back to this thread.  I really appreciate it.  I think I understand it all.  Due to financial barriers, I can't really afford any extra costs.  I'm only 2 miles from the post office and get 45 miles per gallon in my Prius, so I'll opt to mail at the post office.  Not that I enjoy long lines, annoying customers, and rude postal clerks, but it seems to be my best bet at the moment.  I think going early will help with some of those problems.  If I needed to mail from home, I'm sure my letter carrier would take my packages as he parks in front of my house every day. Thanks again!

Date Posted: 2/13/2010 10:10 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2010
Posts: 8,378
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Okay, so I just mailed out my 2nd book.  I thought this time I'd use PBS-DC since it's only $.27 here + $.19 additional at PO, but when I went to add it I found out that it would cost me $.50 here just to add money to my PBS acct.  I hadn't seen that mentioned before.  Is there any other fees that anyone can think of that haven't been mentioned in this thread?  I'm trying to be prepared here.

Date Posted: 2/13/2010 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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Okay, so I just mailed out my 2nd book.  I thought this time I'd use PBS-DC since it's only $.27 here + $.19 additional at PO, but when I went to add it I found out that it would cost me $.50 here just to add money to my PBS acct.

I found that odd myself.  They want us to give them our money and then they charge us extra for doing so.  I was considering trying PBS postage until I ran into that one. 

Date Posted: 2/13/2010 2:08 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2008
Posts: 9,884
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I found that odd myself.  They want us to give them our money and then they charge us extra for doing so.  I was considering trying PBS postage until I ran into that one. 
 
I don't mind paying the additional fees if it supports PBS.  If it weren't for the people that pay the miscellaneous fees, this site would probably be a pay per use site and we'd probably see less books available for swap.
Date Posted: 2/13/2010 2:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I went to add it I found out that it would cost me $.50 here just to add money to my PBS acct.  I hadn't seen that mentioned before.  Is there any other fees that anyone can think of that haven't been mentioned in this thread?  I'm trying to be prepared here.

It's there in the help docs, so I didn't think to mention it, but yes, there's a .50 cent fee to add PBS money to your account.  The best way to do it is to try to estimate what you'll use & add it once monthly.  Or buy $15-$20 worth of PBS money & see how long it takes you to use it up & then you'll be able to estimate your costs of using services like PBS postage or DC.  I get usually $20 for the month when I'm using PBS postage on everything, or $5-$10 every couple of months when I'm just using DC.

Date Posted: 2/13/2010 3:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I think that .50 fee they charge to put money in the account is the fee they have to pay to Paypal or a credit card company to get the money.  I only use the printed postage once in a while since I have time to go the PO.  But I do use the PBS DC on bulk orers and game books.  I usually just put $20-30 in and it lasts me for several months with only 1 .50 fee.  It'll go faster if I use the full postage which I'll do sometimes when I just have one over 13oz book to mail and don't feel like going to the post office. 

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