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Topic: All Ready To Put Book In Mail & Just Realized It's A signed Copy-How Do I

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Subject: All Ready To Put Book In Mail & Just Realized It's A signed Copy-How Do I
Date Posted: 9/28/2010 1:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2009
Posts: 2
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I hope someone out here can assist me. I've printed my postage label via PBS, marked the book as mailed and was just about to put the book in the envelope and tape it up and put in my mailbox. As I was putting it in the envelope, I opened the first page and that's when I noticed this book is a signed copy. The book is a biography, and the author signed the book To: "my mom's name" and "Love the author's name". I now realize I can't send this book and I have to keep it.

How do I notify the receiver that she won't be receiving the book and how do I get my $3.00 back in postage printing costs? Also, is there anything else I need to do to straighten out this mess?

I look forward to someone being able to assist me.

Thank you


Date Posted: 9/28/2010 1:57 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,512
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Is your problem that it has writing, or that you no longer want to give it away?

If it is the former, you are fine, author signatures are perfectly acceptable to swap, except if is on the actual text of the book.

If it is the latter, there should be a place to "cancel this order" and then you explain in your note that you didn't realize it had an inscription. It will delete the book from your shelf and place the receiver in first place for the next copy posted.

Date Posted: 9/28/2010 2:02 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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If you cancel the order, you cannot get a refund for the PBS postage from PBS itself. From the help center:

If you cancel a transaction (or the system cancels the transaction if you did not mark the book mailed in time) after printing with postage, the postage and fees can't be refunded by PBS.  The funds are transmitted to USPS when you download the wrapper with the postage on it.  You could try taking the printed, unused wrapper to the PO and discussing this with them.    We have no mechanism to recover these funds from USPS ourselves, but individuals may be able to do so.

Last Edited on: 9/28/10 2:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/28/2010 2:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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There should be a Cancel button if you have not marked it mailed yet. If you have you would need to contact the Team via the Contact Us link in the lower right under Company to have it cancelled.

As the warning says when you print postage, it is nonrefundable. The funds are transmitted directly to the USPS and PBS has no means to get them back for you. You can try taking it to your post office, some members have had luck with getting at least a portion of it back that way. This is one of the reasons I always recommend that someone get the book out and check it, check it again, and check again to make sure you will absolutely be able to mail that book before accepting the request and definitely before printing any postage or DC.

Date Posted: 9/28/2010 2:04 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Since you already marked the book as mailed you need to contact the Team via the link at the bottom right.

Date Posted: 9/28/2010 2:54 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,581
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This is one of those situations that confirms my own personal belief that you should not mark a book mailed until it slides into the blue box.You never know what might happen. But you hadn't even checked it out or packaged it for mailing,,,,tsk,tsk,tsk. That member will not get the book and you are only out the cost of postage. But you get to keep  really nice book.

Date Posted: 9/28/2010 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2005
Posts: 1,053
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Since you have marked the book mailed already, then there is no way for your or for the receiving member to cancel the transaction at this point.  As some of others said.

The only thing you can do is send a message to the site administrators by sending in feedback at the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of the page.  You can also ask at that point about a refund for your postage, but it is very rarely given, and seeing as how this is for you canceling a book because you decided you couldn't send it out, then I doubt they'll refund it.  You can ask though.

But, in the end, like Fara said, you get to keep the book, and I imagine a signed book to your mother is probably worth $3 to you.  Plus, it'll remind you to at least look over a book again before agreeing to send it out.

Date Posted: 9/29/2010 2:48 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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Here's a suggestion - send a pm explaining, ask if they would like another book instead. It would be nice if you could offer two books to make it a sweeter deal, but I don't know if the postage would work. (Or perhaps you can add on?) Of course, they would have every right to refuse.

Date Posted: 9/29/2010 8:59 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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A really nice way to handle the situation is to order a copy of the book and drop-ship it to her. Or obtain another copy locally and use your already printed label to send it out.


Date Posted: 9/29/2010 12:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/8/2007
Posts: 1,011
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Sophia-  That is a wonderful suggestion! It would certainly make everything move on smoothly and the poster would still have their signed copy.  

Subject: Sophia has the best solution.
Date Posted: 9/29/2010 12:43 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,581
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Great way to think Sophia.

mistie -
Date Posted: 9/29/2010 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,024
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OK, I think Sophia's suggestion is excessively considerate LOL - and unnecessarily expensive for the OP.

The book is not wishlisted, so, if Kathy simply has TPTB cancel the request, she can PM the requester to explain - and they can re-order the book, unless TPTB have already done that for her. If Kathy accepted, printed an marked mailed promptly, the requester has only been a delayed a couple of days.

AS for the postage fee, I would simply write that off.

But, playing the devils advocate here... you weren't interested in the book, it was just sitting in a shelf - even now you know it is signed, I'm assuming it will still just go back on the shelf. Why not mail it, I'm sure the next ownr (and any subseqent owners will get  a kick out of receiving an autographed book. Not trying to offend - after all, I am very anti-clutter, and not overly sentimental :-)

Last Edited on: 9/29/10 1:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 9/29/2010 2:18 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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Unless the book actually belongs to your mother and you need to return it to her, I'd say send it anyway, for the reasons Mistie gave. (I don't see how she knows it's not wish listed though.)

People do send autographed books quite often here. I've gotten several, and one had a much more personal inscription where the author obviously knew the recipient very well and was thanking her for something. The person being thanked was not the one who sent me the book. I reposted it and it's on my shelf now.

Diana Gabaldon's going to sign my copy of "The Exile" tonight, and I'll probably end up swapping that one in a few months. I'm more interested in hearing her speak than in seeing her write her name, but that's just my perspective.

Date Posted: 9/29/2010 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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I'm more interested in hearing her speak than in seeing her write her name, but that's just my perspective.

I'm the same way. I've trade quite a few books I've come across with author's signautres on them. They don't really mean anything to me. It's great if it makes someone else's day, though!

I do have a CD single that's signed by the singer and made out to me, but I keep if more for the fact that it was limited release than the fact it has the singer's signature on it.

Never really got the big deal about signatures.

Date Posted: 9/29/2010 2:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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It's also helpful to remember that very few books signed by modern authors have much added monetary value - because of book tours, conventions, book fairs, etc.  there are so manyauthor signed books out there.

ETA - of course, if we're talking about a signed Hemingway 1st edition or something it's a different story!

Last Edited on: 9/29/10 2:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/29/2010 6:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2009
Posts: 2
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I want to say thanks to everyone who posted a suggestion or idea. You've been very helpful to me in resolving this situation. I'm preparing a PM and am sending it to the requestor explaining the mistake I've made and that I won't be able to send the book after-all. I hope she is understanding and accepts my apology.

Thanks again for all your insight.


Date Posted: 9/29/2010 7:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I don't think there's any need to go through the expense of buying this person a book somewhere.  Even if it was WL.  We all make mistakes. 

Date Posted: 9/30/2010 4:38 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,354
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Kathy, you'll also have to go down to the bottom right corner of any page, and under "company" click on 'contact us".  Use the Feedback option to tell the admin team what happened and ask them to cancel the transaction.  When they do, if there is another copy of the ISBN posted here, the order will be automatically passed on to a new sender.  If there are no more copies posted, the book will be added to the requestor's wish list.

Date Posted: 9/30/2010 5:15 AM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
Posts: 11,922
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I went to the book condition rules and it states that an author's signature is okay on the title or front page, it cannot be on a text page.  Anyone else see this????????  I have sent books signed to someone by an author and thought it was okay as it was signed on the title page.  

Am I wrong?

Date Posted: 9/30/2010 7:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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They're ok to send. The OP just doesn't want to send because it was an inscription to her mother that she didn't notice until after she marked it mailed.  Which is a good lesson not to buy printed postage or mark a book mailed without pulling it out and double checking it first.

Last Edited on: 9/30/10 7:27 AM ET - Total times edited: 1