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Topic: Do you have a scale at home to weigh your packages?

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Subject: Do you have a scale at home to weigh your packages?
Date Posted: 10/19/2010 4:14 PM ET
Member Since: 10/18/2010
Posts: 110
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I just mailed out my first 3 books today.  I wrapped each book in a ziploc bag and then brown kraft paper.  I am thinking I should buy a scale so I don't have to go to the PO for each shipment.

Just wondering how many people have their own scales at home?  Do you have a recommendation for an affordable and reliable scale?

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 10/19/2010 4:17 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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Jennifer, you can get inexpensive postal scales at any discount department store like Target or Walmart.  You can also get them online at places like Amazon.  PBS even offers a scale for sale here!  Click on Kiosk at the top of any page, then click on Go Shopping link from the dropdown menu, then scroll to the bottom of the shopping page (it is the last item offered).

Here is link to that page:  https://secure.paperbackswap.com/kiosk/index.php

Last Edited on: 10/19/10 4:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/19/2010 4:24 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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I have an electronic postal scale that I bought on eBay about 6 years ago. It cost me 25 dollars and the original lithium battery is still going strong. I use it daily, for both packages and to weigh food portions.

Date Posted: 10/19/2010 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Yep- I got a digital scale at Target in the kitchen section for about $10 and it works great.  I would definitely recommend getting one- you will save a lot of time being able to calculate your own postage.

Date Posted: 10/19/2010 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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Absoluiely! A scale is a very wise investment, especially as the weights of books are frequently off -- I have seen them as much as 2 lbs. off! It will pay for inself by the money you save not driving to the post office, and not overpaying for postage if you are sending from home. Mine is a cheap and cheeful Royal scale that I got at a big box office supply store, but food scales will work too. You don't have to spend a lot of money to get one!

Last Edited on: 10/19/10 4:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/19/2010 4:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2010
Posts: 262
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I bought a nice kitchen scale a few years ago for a totally different purpose - to keep an eye on the weight of an ill guinea pig. It worked well for that purpose, but I use it constantly for other purposes, including cooking and PBS (the scale now lives by my computer instead of in the kitchen). Mine was not inexpensive, but I love it and never want to be without one again.

Date Posted: 10/19/2010 4:40 PM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2010
Posts: 2,102
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I got one on ebay a couple years ago for when I sell stuff on there. Now use it for this site.

Date Posted: 10/19/2010 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 626
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Yep, well worth the investment.  I use it for cooking.... PBS.....

Date Posted: 10/19/2010 5:21 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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I have a scale I bought on E-bay and I do my postage through Paypal.  That way I never have to go to the PO unless I am sending a box of books that is too big for my mailbox.  I don't think I would participate much if I had to go to the PO to mail my books.

There's a direct link to PayPal postage.  Here it is:


Last Edited on: 10/19/10 5:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/19/2010 5:51 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 626
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No kidding!  I didn't know that PayPal did postage!  Thanks for the tip!

Scott (scalta) - ,
Date Posted: 10/19/2010 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2010
Posts: 723
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Last Edited on: 7/15/11 4:16 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/19/2010 6:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2010
Posts: 763
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If you do purchase one, be sure to weigh the package after it's been wrapped.  The packaging may push the weight limits over the guidelines.

Subject: Scales
Date Posted: 10/19/2010 6:53 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,445
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I bought one at Walmart a couple years ago. It is exactly like the one for sale in the Kiosk, but doesn't weigh as much. I never have to go to the PO. If a package won't fit in the mailbox slot at the PO, there is another mail box a few blocks over-I stop there and i have to get out of the car...but you do what you have to do!

Date Posted: 10/19/2010 9:45 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
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I love having my scale!  After several years now of doing this, I can usually tell if a book is over a pound or under a pound without weighing.  If it's very light or very heavy, I'll check the weight to see if it's eligible for 1st class or is over 2 lbs.  Or if it's borderline +/- 1 lb., I'll weigh it to make sure I get the postage correct.

Date Posted: 10/19/2010 10:42 PM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
Posts: 1,924
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I personally wouldn't mail anything myself without having a scale, just in case!

Date Posted: 10/19/2010 10:44 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,698
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Bought my scale off of Ebay, wouldn't be without it!  I also use Paypal postage.  Almost never go to the PO, just don't have the time and their hours are almost exactly the same as my work hours.

Date Posted: 10/19/2010 10:57 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2005
Posts: 356
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I bought one at Walmart.  Wouldn't mail books without it since I use PBS postage.

Date Posted: 10/20/2010 12:32 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,354
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I bought one in the kiosk here 2 or 3 years ago.  It works quite well.

Subject: I use my digitial kitchen scale
Date Posted: 10/20/2010 7:57 AM ET
Member Since: 5/24/2010
Posts: 288
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The only thing I'd recommend is to bring it to the post office every year and wait till it's a quiet moment and ask the clerk to compare their scale to yours. Any difference in readings can cause delays. I used to work for a bulk mailing firm, the PO has their scales inspected regularly. If your scale is off, there's a chance the post office will return the package to you for the additional postage or make the recipient pay the extra.

Date Posted: 10/20/2010 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,602
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I have a very accurate scale that I use for my soapmaking where precise measurements to the tenth of an ounce are important, so that works slick for weighing books as well.

Just remember that if you use PayPal postage, there is no credit guarantee as there is with the PBS version of online postage or DC. If the book goes lost or is not marked received, even though it may be scanned as delivered, you don't get your credit. Yes, the PBS postage does cost a little more, but that extra fee helps support the site and also is what 'buys' that credit guarantee.


Date Posted: 10/23/2010 12:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/18/2010
Posts: 110
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Thanks everyone for your input!  I had a coupon and a gift card to Office Depot so I picked one up. 

Date Posted: 10/23/2010 6:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2009
Posts: 1,411
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I don't have one as I've been content to hit up the Post Office to mail my PBS books. But maybe I should get a scale if everyone else is singing its praises.

Date Posted: 10/23/2010 6:43 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 626
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They're good to have, just because.