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Topic: Questions about weighing books

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Subject: Questions about weighing books
Date Posted: 10/10/2014 6:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2011
Posts: 332
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I just bought a postal scale.  I have not used it yet to weigh books.  When I weigh a book and want to us PBS postage, do I weigh the book after I wrap it?  Also, do I have to add 23 cents to it or just put in the weight and that is the correct postage?

Date Posted: 10/10/2014 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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The best way is to weigh the book + wrappings, without it being wrapped (because when you print the label, you'll want to put part of it inside the wrappings).  What prints out on the label is all you need in terms of postage + the included delivery confirmation.  Then you can just put your wrapped book into a blue mailbox and you're done.



Last Edited on: 10/10/14 6:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/10/2014 6:59 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2011
Posts: 332
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So you are saying weigh it while its wrapped, and use that as what I enter for postage?

Date Posted: 10/10/2014 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,399
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Actually, I pile on the book and the wrapping, weight it, then print the label and wrap the book. As I try to include the insert inside the wrapper if I use the one page label.

Part of this is realizing when you need to round up a pound.



Last Edited on: 10/10/14 7:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/10/2014 7:48 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 3,664
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I wrap the book, weigh it, type in the weight and pay for the label. Then tape the label onto the package. I don't put any inserts with the book.

Date Posted: 10/10/2014 7:51 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2011
Posts: 332
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Thanks everyone!

Date Posted: 10/10/2014 10:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,327
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You have a toggle menu on the "print wrapper" page.  You can choose either "book" or "wrapped book."  If you choose "book", the software adds a bit to allow for packaging material.

Date Posted: 10/16/2014 8:56 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2013
Posts: 741
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I weigh before wrapping, because that is what is listed on PBS (book weight before wrap).  I ALWAYS weigh because I have found that more often than not, the weight is off by a lot.  One book said the weight was 1 lb 6 oz when it only weighed 8 oz.  Don't know who's inputting the weight, but hey - use a scale.

Date Posted: 10/16/2014 11:37 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,399
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There is one publisher that the weight seems to come from the warehouse rather than Amazon. The weight seems to be for a case rather than a single book. Books that are posted more often are more likely to be correct. But there are the odd ones that are way off.

I always recommend a scale if you plan to use printed postage.

Date Posted: 10/17/2014 1:58 AM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2013
Posts: 1,022
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I used printed postage for the first time last week but added over a dollar in fees out of fear of the weight being off. Does anyone have any bad experiences with printed postage, where you didn't attach enough postage? 

One reason I didn't use PBS postage before was fear that my post office would screw it up but this package seems to have scanned fine so far and now my main concern is applying less postage than needed. I used a kitchen scale to weigh, not a postal scale. 

Date Posted: 10/17/2014 4:08 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,399
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As long as it is a accurate kitchen scale. I have a kitchen scale. Tested it with a 2 pound hand weight.

Please remember that PayPal charges PBS a fee for each use. Not the dollar amount for PBS money, but a service charge. A higher purchase of PBS money turns out to have a lower percentage fee. As long as you actually plan to use it.

Date Posted: 10/17/2014 10:51 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,264
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I have received many books that members have sent using PBS postage and they did not put enough postage on it but the book came to me, just fine, no postage due. I am not saying that would always be the case, and personally, I would not want to take a chance of books arriving postage due, but that has been my experience.

It does not matter what kind of scale you have, as long as it is accurate. Not sure? Weigh a wrapped book then take it to the post office and see what their scale says (it prints out on your receipt). Once you know that your scale is accurate, you are good to go.

Date Posted: 10/29/2014 10:20 AM ET
Member Since: 7/9/2006
Posts: 18
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You need to use the wrapped weight when you use PBS postage.  Just change the checkmark in the box from "unwrapped" to "wrapped".   This is crucial.

I weigh the book in the packaging untaped and then, print the label.  Then, I put the insert in the book, tape the package and put the label on.  The tiny insert, label, and tape are not going to change the weight of the package, but packaging material will add at least a couple of ounces or more depending on what you use.

Remember to always round UP when figuring out the postage.  If a packaged book weighs one pound four ounces you have to use the two pound rate.  If you are using first class mail and the packaged book weighs 5.25 ounces you have to use the six ounce rate.  You never round down when it comes to postage.

The post office may either send the book back to you, or ask the receiver to pay the extra postage which can be annoying and/or embarassing.