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Topic: 'Tis the season

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Subject: 'Tis the season
Date Posted: 12/7/2011 6:50 AM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,582
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Is anyone else seeing an increase in lost books right now?  In the last 6 weeks I've ordered 6 books, 2 of those have gone lost. Neither sender used DC, so assuming the books were truly mailed (and I have no reason to believe otherwise) those people are out a credit each.  It happens, it stinks, but that's the way it goes, so I'm not complaining, just curious to see if anyone else is seeing a problem. 

Date Posted: 12/7/2011 7:06 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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No change here...but things do seem to run in streaks.


Susan H. - ,
Date Posted: 12/7/2011 8:14 AM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2009
Posts: 3
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My experience has been the opposite recently. I've ordered books from all over the country and, for the most part,  I've been receiving them in record time. Now that I've said that, I suppose the rest of my requests that are in transit will disappear frown

Date Posted: 12/7/2011 8:22 AM ET
Member Since: 5/8/2009
Posts: 2,454
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So far, so good for me.  I received 3 WL books last week and have 2 more on their way.

Tina D. (tinad) - ,
Date Posted: 12/7/2011 10:32 AM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2009
Posts: 350
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Up until recently, I've only had one book (to me) go missing.  And last month I had 3 WL  books go missing (although, one of them was offered to me again a few days later, by the same person the first had gone "missing" from).

And I've also got one book (not WL) that is on it's 5th rollover and if it's not accepted by tomorrow, will roll over AGAIN (at least there are about 30 copies available - hopefully it won't go that far).

Date Posted: 12/7/2011 10:37 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
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No, no change here. 

Date Posted: 12/7/2011 11:05 AM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2011
Posts: 2,110
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I have only had one book I've sent go missing, and I used PBS postage, so I could see that it was basically bouncing around from one sorting center to another and then back again.  The book was forwarded after reaching its original destination, so I think it might have confused them lol. 


But so far I have not had anything sent to me go missing....yet, but we will see.

Date Posted: 12/7/2011 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 1,262
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I have.  I hadn't had more than 2 packages get lost in transit, in either direction, in almost 2 years. 

The last 3 months, I had a package coming to me with 5 books go missing and 3 packages that I sent out (with multiple books), disappear. 

I always have the whole shipment tied up in a plastic bag with the address taped to it inside (so hopefully the books will stay together) -  just in case the box rips or the post office opens it to check the media mail.  So I would have thought that even if the package was damaged, the books would still have made it to their destination. 

I never used to worry about books making it to the other end, but I've become very annoyed that I have that bit of doubt in the back of my mind whenever I send out a package anymore.



Date Posted: 12/7/2011 11:57 AM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,480
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I had my first two lost books last week.  One showed up the day after it was marked lost in the system.  The other seems to have vanished and the sender filed a report with the USPS.

Date Posted: 12/7/2011 1:08 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,984
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I haven't had an increase yet... knock on wood. 

I expect with the sorting centers the USPS is closing come next year, this type of thing will only increase. 

Date Posted: 12/7/2011 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,282
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so far, nope. I've only had one lost book sent from me, and it was a while ago.

There have been a handful lost on their way to me, but also a while ago.

I receive books fairly steadily, too (10 to 20 per month)  .... so far, no problems recently.

Date Posted: 12/7/2011 5:31 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,582
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Kind of a mixed bag then.  I will say that the other 4 have all arrived quickly, faster than I would have expected.  I'm holding out hope that at least one of them will show up in the next week or so.

Date Posted: 12/7/2011 6:57 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,683
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Well, I hope not. But I have three books coming from one shipper who is only 120 miles away and the books were scanned 10 days ago.

Make that 22 days and... I finally received them.

The scans finally reported the books getting to Jacksonville, FL, on December 17th, 20 days after they were received at Lakeland, FL.  That is a travel rate of less than 10 miles per day.  I usually get books the second day after scanning at Jax, as they need to come to Gainesville, FL. 

Yet, I have been receiving books from thousands of miles away in less than a week.  I guess the truck carrying these either had a record number of flats or was hijacked by aliens.

It is interesting to note that it only took 10 days for a letter to go from St. Joe Missouri to Sacramento, California by pony express in 1859.

Last Edited on: 12/19/11 9:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 12/7/2011 7:08 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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As expected this time of year, some packages seem to be traveling slower than usual but no lost books recently...in quite awhile actually.

Date Posted: 12/8/2011 4:30 AM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
Posts: 11,985
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Due to the increase in volume, I most highly recommend that you package books extremely well. They will get thrown, squashed, rained or snowed on as well as the usual treatment they get. Also, media mail is sent to the processing centers more this time of year than normal. They are thrown into huge containers on wheels and shipped out. This time of year the amount of damaged mail increases significantly. A great deal are packages that were not wrapped well. It is always good to include both addresses in all your parcels.

Last Edited on: 12/8/11 4:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/8/2011 6:10 AM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,582
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I've been really lucky over the years here and have had precious few incoming books go lost and only a handful that were badly packaged.  To date, none of the books I've mailed have gone lost and only two arrived damaged, but in both cases the receiver let me know that my packaging was not to blame.  I agree about making sure to include at least the intended receivers address inside the package.

Date Posted: 12/8/2011 9:12 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I've had a couple of the books I've sent go lost recently, which is very worrying and annoying. My local PO is pretty notoriously terrible - I have a feeling they're still sitting there, unscanned in some corner.

Date Posted: 12/8/2011 1:55 PM ET
Member Since: 4/24/2008
Posts: 310
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A lot of it has to do with packaging.  I have found that if you package it well it is less likely to go lost.  I package it so the book does not move around in the package to try to decrease the possibility that it will get torn on the post office machinery.  I wrap in plastic and usually tape the address to the plastic so that if the book gets separated from the envelope it won't go into the lost bin at the post office.  Tape well.  I cover the address with clear tape so that if the package gets damp the ink from the printer will not smear making the address illegible to see.

Date Posted: 12/10/2011 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2010
Posts: 288
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I just had my first package go missing, a group of three books, which is really irritating.

Now here's the interesting part: A couple weeks ago, I got a letter from my regional post office. They found the label for my package and returned it to me with a form that I could fill out to have them search the dead-letter office for my contents! They asked for details and had a separate section for books. Since it was three mass-market paperbacks, it was easy to fill out, and I could even attach a photo as they suggested.

The amusing part is that, as always, I had secured the label with long pieces of clear packing tape that went around the package (which otherwise was just paper wrapped around the books). They had CUT OFF the label part, which required some effort. The chances they found this label are slim; more likely, they tore a corner or someone ripped the paper and the books fell out.

I haven't heard back  yet, but I wouldn't think three clearly marked paperbacks would be that hard to locate. If they don't find them, they say I can take the form they return to me back to the post office to get my postage back. Apparently, if they find the books, I'm out the postage cost. If I do get them, especially this time of year, I'll be very surprised.

Date Posted: 12/10/2011 9:22 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2010
Posts: 10
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I've been lucky with PBS -- not lost books yet.  But I've had one lost with SwapaDVD.  It was a TV season, so it was multiple DVDs which I mailed and never made it to the sender.  Up until that point I had never used printable postage.  I use printable postage now so that I can track all of my packages.  Nothing lost since (knock on wood!).