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Topic: Scale Question - (Sorry It's So Long)

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Subject: Scale Question - (Sorry It's So Long)
Date Posted: 11/29/2007 4:06 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 95
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I go to the post office that is located in the town where I work to mail all my books. The post office that delivers my mail is about 30 miles in the opposite direction and I never go to that town for anything. I live about 5 miles from another town that has a post office in it, but we do not get our mail from that post office (weird huh?) and since I have to drive right by the one that is located in the town where I work it makes it easier.

Anyway, when I went to the post office today, on my lunch break, to mail a bundle of books, the post master asked me why I didn't use computed postage from usps. (I think he is tired of weighing my books.) I do not have a scale to weigh my books, so he told me he would sale me one for $39.99 or one that would weigh up to 5 lbs. for $34.99. He did tell me  "You could still drop them off here, even though the money from the postage would go to "my" home post office and he would be the one having to handle my books and not getting the money for it. But he considered the money all going to the same place anyway, so he didn't mind". I asked him if this post office got credit for my money when I come in and pay him cash, he said well of course. So, I was confused at that point. I think it all boils down to the point that he doesn't want to weigh my books! He is a nice guy, but I guess he gets tired of looking up media mail postage. :-)

So my question is - Did everyone here, that owns a postage scale, purchase them from the post office?

Date Posted: 11/29/2007 4:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,534
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I bought mine at Wal-Mart.

Date Posted: 11/29/2007 4:31 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 95
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Did it cost as much as what the post master quoted me?

Date Posted: 11/29/2007 4:36 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,534
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I think I paid around $20.00 for it.  

The prices the postmaster quoted are the same as the prices listed on the USPS website. 

You can also use printable postage from PBS.  Since the book weights listed aren't always accurate, though, you still need a scale.

Date Posted: 11/29/2007 5:26 PM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2007
Posts: 1,001
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I got mine from USPS, can't remember the cost because I've had it for a couple years.  But I mail out manilla-envelope packages nearly every day for work, so I couldn't live without it!!

Date Posted: 11/29/2007 8:11 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,428
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You can get one through PBS-in the kisok.  I bought one just like that one at Walmart.

Date Posted: 11/29/2007 9:07 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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The one here on PBS is an exellent one, and $15 cheaper than the guy at the PO! So, if you want to make him happy, buy your scale here for $24.99 and support PBS with the little profit off it, instead of the PO with the extra profit off theirs :)

Date Posted: 11/30/2007 3:35 AM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 1,691
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eBay for mine

But look for one that keeps the weight on for a few seconds after you remove the package (the PBS Kiosk does this), mine doesn't and it's a PITA when I have to weigh bigger items

Date Posted: 11/30/2007 8:14 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 95
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Thanks to everyone for all the info. I guess I'm just afraid that when I start doing it myself (weighing and printing postage) that I am going to mess up something and lose money. So I need to just make myself jump in with both feet :-)

Date Posted: 11/30/2007 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2006
Posts: 877
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And, on the other point?  Yes, the PO does get "credit" for sales.  They allocate resources based on counter sales, which makes sense.  So if he's helping you, then you can help him by buying your postage from him.  But it's totally your choice - he can't decide not to take your packages because you bought your postage elsewhere!

Date Posted: 11/30/2007 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 11/16/2007
Posts: 745
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I got mine at Office Depot for about $30. It was a major manufacturer of scales, and we use the same brand at work. You really have to watch the cheaper scales, sometimes the mechanism is plastic and is not accurate for postal use.

 

Date Posted: 11/30/2007 10:27 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 95
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So, if I purchase scales from Wal-Mart or Office Depot or Staples or where ever, will there be something on the box that will let me know that they will be accurate for postal use?

Date Posted: 12/1/2007 7:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 73
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I actually got mine free from stamps.com. They had an offer of try us for a month and we will give you a free scales. So I used them for a month, got the free scale and then cancelled. : }

My problem is that it is supposed to weigh 5 lbs. I had a package that I was selling on ebay and I put my postage fees on based on a 4 lb., 7 oz. weight that my scales showed. When I took it in to mail it, it weighed about 7 lbs. So now I know that my 5 lb. scale only weighs about 4 1/2 lbs!

They appear to still have that offer: free scale, $25 in postage, 4 weeks of service, and $5 in supplies (labels and stamp sticker blanks). Just for trying them. I would not want to pay the monthly fees on a regular basis, but for anyone who has not ever used them it is free stuff!!

 

Jean!

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 1:05 AM ET
Member Since: 9/18/2007
Posts: 2,764
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I bought mine on ebay. Its accurate and cost about $14 including shipping.

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 6:12 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 95
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Well, I just went out today and purchased a scale at Staples. They had a sale on one that weighs up to 5 lbs. I looked at Wal-mart, but the store I went to only had one that went up to 3 lbs. and I knew I would probably need one at least up to 5. Anyway, I have a couple books to send out, so I weighed them with the packaging I am using and both packages weighed less on my scale than what PBS estimated. I entered what MY scale said and that is what I printed the postage out by. So, do you think my scale is accurate or should I have gone by what PBS quoted? I guess I will find out tomorrow when I go to the post office, but was just wondering if anyone else has noticed a difference.

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 6:53 PM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2005
Posts: 503
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I lucked out today and went to a Side door sale at a local dollar store. They sell higher end stuff for $2.99 a few times a year. I got a digital scale for $2.99!!!

Date Posted: 12/3/2007 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2006
Posts: 2,940
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Just make sure you weigh your books after they are all packaged and ready to go.  Sometimes the packing materials can bump it up to the next rate class.

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 1:31 PM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2006
Posts: 468
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The one I got from Amazon is an Ultraship brand scale and weighs up to 55lbs. It is currently listed under $20 which is almost ten bucks cheaper than when I ordered mine. Still well worth the price. I use it in the kitchen, used it to weigh luggage before and flight and for other postage needs.

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 2:57 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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Tina, PBS weights are just estimates but should be close most of the time

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 95
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Thank you everyone for your comments. I have sent out 3 packages and I weighed them after I packaged them, so I feel pretty confident about it. I dropped one off at the post office this morning and the post master seemed pretty happy to see the postage already on it. I just hope he doesn't start complaining about me mailing them from his post office. It just works out a lot better for me to do that because I can stop by right before work and it just makes me feel better.