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Topic: Surprise Freebies!

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Subject: Surprise Freebies!
Date Posted: 9/16/2010 2:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2009
Posts: 1,410
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I once sent out a Pokemon book and included a Pokemon dog tag necklace I had found without telling the requestor. The requestor PMed me, saying that their son loved the necklace just as much as the book :)

I have a book on my shelf that I bought when the author visited my college. She gave out these postcards that had the cover art on them. I've slipped the postcard into the book to send out whenever the book gets requested. 

And I know I've heard about bookmarks being included in swaps.

So do you ever send or have you ever received a surprise freebie in a swap?

Date Posted: 9/16/2010 2:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,264
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It is common to receive a bookmark with a book. I also receive packets of tea sometimes.  I will sometimes include a "little something" when I am sending a book to one of my PBS Friends, whose tastes I know.

Date Posted: 9/16/2010 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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It's a nice gesture on your part, just know that once you add something like that, you cannot mail using Media Mail.

Per the Help Docs:

Media mail regulations are very strict: only media (books, CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes) and an invoice (page 2 of the PBS wrapper qualifies as an invoice) are allowed to be sent using Media Mail rate.  No advertising, commercial solicitation, political materials, religious tracts, non-Media items, letters, cards are allowed.

  • Media Mail is subject to postal inspection
  • If your package is found to be in violation of Media Mail regulations:
    • Your package may be returned to you
    • Your package may be delivered to the requestor postage-due
    • Your package may be destroyed.

What is Allowed in a package sent using Media Mail rate:

  • Media, as described above
  • A note with a simple accompanying message,
    • such as "Happy Birthday!" or "Hope you enjoy it!"
  • An invoice or notification of the shipment
    • The second page of the PBS Wrapper falls into this category.
    • The USPS eligibility guidelines for enclosures and attachments for Media Mail say (we have edited these for relevance; the full regulations are at http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/173.htm#wp1060522)

Including anything but the ALLOWED materials above in your package is a serious infraction of not only PBS rules, but also Federal law. Including inappropriate materials with your books will jeopardize your membership at PBS.



Last Edited on: 9/16/10 2:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 9/16/2010 3:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Small items incidental to the book are allowed (per my counter clerks) such as bookmark and probably that book card.  Enclosing necklaces and teabags will void the Media Mail rate and you run the risk of the package arriving with postage due (and probably a cranky requester).  The additional postage could be rather pricey depending on the rate and distance. 

Surprises can be fun tho, but do be aware of your mailing rates.  Also check the PBS list of unallowed items (such as tracts).

Date Posted: 9/16/2010 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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I received a bookmark once.

I've sent out bookmarks too.

I agree, it's a nice little surprise. We just have to be careful what we send so it doesn't violate media mail, unless sending first class.

Date Posted: 9/16/2010 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2009
Posts: 1,410
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Oh, of course, don't violate Media Mail. Send first class in this case. I was just curious about surprise freebies, is all. 

The tea packets sound like a great fun little gift, Sally!



Last Edited on: 9/16/10 3:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/16/2010 4:43 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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I've received bookmarks, and I sometimes send bookmarks too- leftovers that don't sell or make it into my Etsy shop and the like.  I know some people will include additional books sometimes as freebies, and opinions vary about this.  I once ordered a book that was part of a series and the sender included another book from the series that was unpostable.  Unfortunately, I already had a postable copy of that book, so that just saddled me with an unpostable book that I didn't know what to do with.  While I appreciated the thought behind the gesture, I do wish the member had checked with me before doing that.

Date Posted: 9/16/2010 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,466
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I've received a few bookmarks, nothing else.

If someone orders one of my MMPB Harlequins from my shelf, I'll often stick 2 or 3 freebies in the package.  I'm part of the Harlequin Ambassador program and they send me 5 copies of one book 4-5 times a year.  I've got a stockpile of them so I'm glad to mail them off to someone who might enjoy them.

Date Posted: 9/16/2010 6:21 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2009
Posts: 5,738
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Last Edited on: 5/27/11 6:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/16/2010 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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And some bookmarks are mailed accidentally Catherine!  In one of the DOS swaps, one player recently posted that she is returning a favorite bookmark to the other player.  It was accidentally mailed in a previous game and will now be making it's way home blush.   I've also found letters and paper money inside swap books.



Last Edited on: 9/16/10 9:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/16/2010 10:15 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 460
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One lady sent me a very pretty bookmark with I book I requested.  It was REALLY appreciated.

I once had a lady request a book of crochet patterns from me, so I included some odd leaflets I no longer wanted - she was very happy with the freebies...

Date Posted: 9/16/2010 10:45 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 614
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I never even thought of doing something like that!  I love the teabag idea.  How thoughtful! 

How come I've never found money in any of my books?  *sniff*

zeke68 -
Date Posted: 9/17/2010 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2008
Posts: 2,810
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I've received bookmarks and extra books.  I don't mind the extra books, but I wish that people would put a note on them, saying it's a freebie, because the first couple times I got them without any note, I thought the person messed up.  I felt like a goof when they told me it was a freebie.

I'll enclose freebies if it's part of a series, or when someone's ordering a children's book (which are so not worth one credit IMO), but they are always postable and I always put a note on them.

Date Posted: 9/17/2010 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I've gotten a few bookmarks, which is very nice, and one or two completely unwanted religious tracts (interestingly included with unpostable books).  I think it may be because I was a child during the ZOMG EVERYONE IS GOING TO POISON YOU! '80s, but tea bags, or anything edible, would freak me out.

Date Posted: 9/17/2010 1:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I love the bookmarks but freebie unasked for books might bother me. I have 900 books here adn don't want to get saddled with anyone elses heavily posted, damaged, unwanted books.  Not without being asked if I want them or not first.  I would love to send out homemade book markes with my orders but all my attempts have not been worthy of sending. 

Date Posted: 9/17/2010 1:46 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,264
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I totally agree with Mary L. -- while I appreciate bookmarks, etc., I DO NOT appreciate receiving unpostable freebies without even being asked if I would like them. I know people mean well when they do it, but I am trying to get rid of books here and when people send me a book without asking me, now it is something I have to deal with, throw out, whatever.When I receive a freebie book that I didn't ask for, like another member who posted, I assume a mistake has been made, and now I have to PM the sender -- it just totally is a hassle. And I am sure that is not what the other member meant it to be, but that is the reality of it for me. Ask me first!

Date Posted: 9/17/2010 11:15 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2009
Posts: 1,593
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I got a deal on some children's books in the Book Bazar and received some extra books!  That was so fun!  I PMd them, and thanked them, it was very generous of them.

Date Posted: 9/18/2010 10:12 AM ET
Member Since: 12/8/2007
Posts: 1,011
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Wow! I am weird because it would never have occurred to me that someone would be upset to get a freebie book with their order. I have done this once or twice, but now believe that I won't be doing that again!! It would hurt my feelings to think someone would be mad at me for including an extra book.

Date Posted: 9/18/2010 10:15 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I'd always be happy to get an extra book!  But it's very easy for me to get rid of them if it's one I don't want, so I don't have to worry so much about it taking up space in my house.  I either repost, or leave it outside for someone to take (people do that in my neighborhood - the way in which I've gotten many a WL book).

Date Posted: 9/18/2010 10:25 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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I often send a freebie with an order.  Just because one or two people would be upset is not going to cause me to change doing this. MOST of so thankful and love that I sent them a freebie.  I'm not going to deny them and myself the pleasure because not eveyone likes them. 

Date Posted: 9/18/2010 10:44 AM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2010
Posts: 154
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I like to send bookmarks out with my books, I made one in Open Office and just print it out 4 on a page on some nice 65# Cover (I stole it from my old job - a printing co - but you can pick some up at office depot).
It's easy, Mary, you have some nice images on your forum signature, just put them on a 2x6 or 7 area and print away.

wc

Date Posted: 9/18/2010 11:16 AM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2007
Posts: 96
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Cozette,

With thousands of members and most not participating in the forums, you can probably assume that those who express irritation at receiving a book they didn't ask for and might not want are representative of at least hundreds of others.   You indicate that it gives you pleasure, but does it really give you pleasure if it is going to irritate someone?

As has been pointed out, your choice is not limited to sending or not sending - just PM first to see if it really is appreciated.

Date Posted: 9/18/2010 11:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2010
Posts: 580
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I have only received accidental extras in my books.  Once i got "The hunt for Red October" with a note inside to a friend telling him how much he was going to enjoy it.  Just a couple weeks ago i got a used boarding pass from a flight leaving LAX.  Thought it was kinda funny.

Date Posted: 9/19/2010 2:29 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 35,665
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I have gotten tea.  The first time I thought it was by accident.  But the next time I ordered from the same person (forgive, can't remember who it was, senior moment) I got tea again, so that time I sent I thank you figuring it was intentional.  Got religious things a few times (sad) but don't think I ever got a bookmarker. sad  Never got an extra book - don't think it would bother me if it was postable though.

Date Posted: 9/19/2010 2:30 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 35,665
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I have gotten tea.  The first time I thought it was by accident.  But the next time I ordered from the same person (forgive, can't remember who it was, senior moment) I got tea again, so that time I sent I thank you figuring it was intentional.  Got religious things a few times (sad) but don't think I ever got a bookmarker. sad  Never got an extra book - don't think it would bother me if it was postable though.

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