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Topic: Suggested Postage

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Subject: Suggested Postage
Date Posted: 7/30/2009 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 5/26/2009
Posts: 119
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I was printing a DC label last night and the weight of the book in the PBS system read like 2lbs. and some odd ounces.  So I printed it out and after I wrapped it and packaged it, I weighed it like I always do on my little scale, and the book read out to being 1lb, 8 ozs.  The Suggested Media Mail Rate on the label read $3.35, but when I mailed it this morning at the Post Office, the scale said it was about 1lb, 8ozs. - the weight my scale originally noted, and the postage was $2.96.

Have any of y'all ever had this happen to you?  I'm not complaining, because it was a little cheaper to ship, afterall.  :)  But I was thinking about what would have happened if I had bought Printable Postage - of course, it's better to be safe than sorry, so the few extra cents don't bother me so.

Thanks!  :)

Date Posted: 7/30/2009 12:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Yes you cannot trust teh PBS weight it is frequently wrong.  Sometimes it's way off and sometimes just a little bit. I always weight it myself before I print the postage-if I'm using the PBS postage.  Most of the time I take my books to the PO and frequently they tell me that the suggested postage cost is more than the actual postage.  So getting a cheap scale will pay for itself if you plan to use the printed postage alot.

Date Posted: 7/30/2009 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,130
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If you already have a scale and you want to use PBS postage, there is a field for changing the weight of the package on the label before you print the postage. PBS weights are not reliable.

Date Posted: 7/30/2009 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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I use printed postage and always check the scale first and modify the weight before I print the label.  Sometimes suggested postage is high and sometimes its low. 

Date Posted: 7/30/2009 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,221
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I have one I am mailing right now that is that way, it is because mine is a book club edition and the weight is most likely for the full sized HC. Its always best to have a scale if you want to use PBS postage. IF you find ones that are obviously wrong, make sure to submit data corrections on the book to get the system fixed.

Date Posted: 7/30/2009 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Hi Lisa Marie--

I use printable postage and weigh everything, because the weights are often inaccurate.  Many times they are taken from Amazon, and some folks there will put any old number into the info fields just to make it complete.

You can also get significant discrepencies when there is more than one version of a book under an ISBN, i.e. a trade paperback and a mass market paperback, or a paperback and a hardcover, etc.

So, to paraphrase an old saying, "Trust in PBS, but always weigh your books before printing postage" :-)



Date Posted: 7/30/2009 3:50 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 433
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I had one book that showed a weight of 1 oz !!  I always weigh the book(s) once wrapped and have found my little kitchen scales to be quite accurate


Date Posted: 7/30/2009 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2008
Posts: 515
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The other day I was mailing out a mass market paperback that PBS said weighed over 2 pounds! I knew that oculdn't be right, so I weighed it on my scale and it was under a pound. I always use printed postage, so I'm glad I caught that, or it would have been an expensive book to mail...