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Topic: Shipping question.

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Subject: Shipping question.
Date Posted: 1/25/2014 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2014
Posts: 72
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Im new to thtis wonderful thing called PBS. As such i had a few questions regarding shipping. I dont have a printer or anything. Just a dinky laptop. Do i have to print things out or can i just take the books to the post office with the adress or the recipiant and get what i need there and mail them off?

thanks in advance for your help!

Date Posted: 1/25/2014 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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You need to download the pdf.  You do not need to actually print the wrapper.  The pdf file is where the address is.  The system counts that as "printing".

Please add the request ID to your return address.  (PBS can use this to back track orders.)  Be sure to write Media Mail on the parcel if you are sending by Media.  

Be sure to mark the books as mailed.  This is a very important step. 

Date Posted: 1/25/2014 1:16 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2014
Posts: 72
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That helps but i feel hoplessly lost. I guess im younger and im not used to mailing stuff lol.

is there a step by step guide somewhere? Id hate to mess this up so no one gets their books.

Date Posted: 1/25/2014 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2005
Posts: 641
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Date Posted: 1/25/2014 1:30 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Here is a link to a helpful introductory discussion thread

PBS Tips for New Members

I have some more suggestions on my bulletin board.  



Last Edited on: 1/25/14 1:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/25/2014 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2014
Posts: 72
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Ok thanks. I guess ill go to the post office on monday and have them set it up. Any idea about how much it would cost? For shipping and packaging and such.im sure every states is diffrent gut itd be nice to know arbout how much.


Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 1/25/2014 2:18 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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Adam --

For First Class and Media Mail, it doesn't matter what state you're in or what state you're mailing to. The price is the same to all states as well as to US territories and military addresses (the ones with city name = APO, FPO or DPO).

If you are mailing one paperback book, what you should do is:

1) Accept the request on your My Account page.

2) Wrap the book in heavy paper, such as a cut-up grocery bag, or two pieces of printer paper, and use shipping tape to tape it up. Shipping tape is the stuff that's 2 inches wide. You can buy it at Walmart, Target, RiteAid, CVS, etc.

3) Go back to your My Account page and click Print Wrapper. A new page, called the Wrapper Settings page will open. Scroll down and click on "hand-write the address".

4) When the address appears, copy it onto the front of your package.

5) Take your book to the Post Office and have them weigh it. Tell them you want to send it by Media Mail or First Class, whichever is cheaper.

If your wrapped book weighs between 5 oz and 1 lb, then it will cost $2.53 to mail it.

If you're mailing a hardcover book, then you need to use heavier wrapping and it may cost a bit more to send it.

Date Posted: 1/25/2014 3:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2014
Posts: 72
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Thank you all so much for your help and quick response time. I look foreward to getting to know you all better in the future!

Date Posted: 1/25/2014 3:05 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 5,751
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There is a difference in price between First Class and Media Mail. As of Monday First Class Flats- Under 3/4" thick (1 ounce) will increase by six cents to 98 cents from 92 cents. Each additional ounce will cost an extra 21 cents. So you need to have the post office weigh the book and see which is cheaper.  

For example-a 12 oz book shipped

First Class under 3/4" thick- $3.29

First Class over 3/4"- $3.94

Media Mail- $2.69

So it pays to weigh!!!! 

Cathy is spot on about wrapping. More tape is better and it has to be shipping tape. Make sure to tapes ends well. I can't tell you how many people message me about a note from the post office saying they have the wrapper but not the book because it wasn't taped well enough and the book came out and is now lost. 

Good luck on your first mailing and don't forget to come and mark it mailed once you've dropped it off at the post office. 


Date Posted: 1/25/2014 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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For your first few packages, I recommend selecting the option to mail later.  This gives you a little bit of wiggle room to get used to wrapping books.  We can always mail early. 

And please, mark it as mailed on your My Account main page!

Date Posted: 1/26/2014 12:29 AM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 1,430
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Last Edited on: 6/14/14 8:28 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/26/2014 7:40 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,237
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Yes, I also advise you to purchase mailing supplies somewhere other than the post office. Else you are going to end up spending somewhere around $7 just for mailing supplies (not including postage) for your first book.

I wrap books in a layer of plastic wrap for waterproofing (100 ft roll for $1 at the dollar store, wraps about 75 books, so it lasts a long time).

For small paperbacks, I then wrap in a sheet of printer paper, for larger books I reuse wrappers that I have been sent.

Tape is the most important aspect of the package. What you end up wrapping with is not as important as taping it well. Tape all the seams, and the ends of the package well. I wrap tape completely around the package in all 3 directions (length, width, height). I also buy tape at the dollar store. One roll does about 15 books or so, usually.

My local Walmart also has rolls of packing tape for $1. But most of the brands they carry cost significantly more, and they hide the $1 tape in just one place at the back of the store ... so I usually go to the dollar store when I'm buying supplies in bulk.


The most important thing to be aware of is that whatever you choose to wrap the book in, a tight wrapper around the book is always better than a loose wrapper. Picture a book in a loose wrapper being tossed around in a clothes dryer ... that's how the PO handles packages ...  the book moving around loose inside the package will rip holes in the packaging from the inside. Two books loose in a wrapper will rip holes about 10 times as fast.  Making the wrapper tight around the book(s) means that the books do not rip it apart from the inside as it gets tossed around. Much sturdier.


Also, someone mentioned it above, but I will reiterate because it's good advice.  Most books will end up being mailed at the Media Mail rate.(unless you are mailing a very thin light-weight paperback). Make sure you write "Media Mail" on the front of the package for everything that should be mailed at that rate .... because unmarked packages are generally assumed to be mailed as 1st class, which is significantly more expensive and could cause the PO to try to collect more postage from your book receiver when they get the book, if the PO notices.

Last Edited on: 1/26/14 7:50 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/26/2014 10:11 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome to PBS Adam!