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Topic: Suggested PBS Book Weight Way Off ???

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Subject: Suggested PBS Book Weight Way Off ???
Date Posted: 3/27/2008 10:10 AM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2007
Posts: 71
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Hi all,

I shipped out some books yesterday, and two of them were way off of the "suggested price" that had printed in the corner. Of course, they were packaged by then so I couldn't weigh the book singly, but it was only with saran wrap, and a manilla envelope. It shouldn't have added as much weight (6 oz. in each case) that it did. I checked Amazon.com and the weights match exactly what is on here. I don't know where else to look for book weights online, unless everyone uses Amazon. I checked a couple on Half.com and found them WAY closer to being accurate compared to Amazon vs. PBS vs. my mailing weight.

One book PBS said mailing weight should have been 4.8 oz. and my shipped weight was 10.8 oz. The other PBS said 3.2 oz. and my shipped weight was 9.2 oz.

The postal clerk recalibrated the scales for me and they wouldn't budge. Went to another clerk and same weight, so I am guessing they should have been accurate. None of my other shipments that day (or in the past for that matter) had issues.

My question is --- is there any way to let PBS know that the book weight may be off and CHANGE it on the label print out page? I almost paid a whole bunch more for First Class, as was suggested on the label, until the clerk commented on it (I love my post office people!). Perhaps someone who still has this book can weigh it for accuracy, or maybe the people I mailed it to can weigh it, once it arrives of course!! In the meantime, I guess I am going to have to pay more attention to that automated stuff that comes in when I print the wrapper, and weigh it right then and there to make sure everything is OK!

Many thanks!
Melissa



Last Edited on: 3/27/08 10:16 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/27/2008 10:15 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Melissa--

The book weights are only estimate, and sometimes they will vary significantly, particularly when a publisher uses the same ISBN for more than one edition (say, a mass market and trade paperback, and the listing only reads as "paperback").  Members can edit the weight by clicking on the "Misc Options" arrow button and choosing "Edit Book Data".  I use an online calculator to convert from ounces to percent of pounds when editing: http://www.calculateme.com/Weight/Ounces/ToPounds.htm

The information was likely the same as Amazon because some of our book data is pulled from Amazon -- but that doesn't mean it is accurate.  You should always weigh your books yourself -- either with your own scale or at the post office -- and not take PBS weights as Gospel, since they can come from poor information sources (yes, Amazon isn't terribly reputable).

Cheers,

Catt

Date Posted: 3/27/2008 10:15 AM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2005
Posts: 390
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The weights posted here are to be used as ROUGH estimates. Always weigh your books before applying postage.

Date Posted: 3/27/2008 10:20 AM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2007
Posts: 71
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Thanks for the link Catt -- had no idea about the little arrow & edit function, which is great because I had some book covers I wanted to scan before they sent out! Now I know where to go to do them.

I have submitted corrections for the two books I mailed yesterday, and one I am going to mail today as well because it thinks it should be 8 oz. and it weighs 13 oz.

 

Date Posted: 3/27/2008 10:57 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Melissa--

<<had no idea about the little arrow & edit function, which is great because I had some book covers I wanted to scan before they sent out! Now I know where to go to do them>>

Although the "edit book data" page has a place for book covers, in reality those images seem to go into a black hole (posting data there is fine, just not images).  To post cover images, use the "Upload Book Covers" link at the bottom of every PBS page.

Cheers,

Catt

Date Posted: 3/27/2008 1:28 PM ET
Member Since: 7/3/2007
Posts: 326
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I tend to be a pretty thorough packager... I have been known to add more than a few ounces in plastic wrap, brown paper bags, and tape.

I bought a $7 food scale from Wal-Mart and I weigh each book after it is wrapped.  Usually the PBS estimate is close, sometimes it's not (especially after I've wrapped the book!)  I just edit the weight on the printable postage page for the adjusted weight. 

I never used printable postage until I got a little scale because I was never sure about the weight.  Now that is all I use.  It's so nice not having to go to the PO, especially with a squirmy 2-year-old in tow!