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Topic: Today at the Posst Office. . .

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Subject: Today at the Posst Office. . .
Date Posted: 8/13/2007 10:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2007
Posts: 161
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Today at the post office I asked for postage for a book that had the PBS label on it. The person told me that the postage information was wrong for the book and asked if the label printing program had asked for the weight of the book. I said that it hadn't. The actual postage was about twenty cents more than the PBS label said it was (it was a hardcover book). She suggested using Click-n-Ship but unfortunately that has no Media Mail option. PayPaL shipping is good and has the Media Mail option but the DC does not go to PBS. ALthough I resent paying extra just for printing the DC on the PBS label, I do like the fact that I get an immediate credit for the book when I do the label that way. However, if there is no way to specify the weight, the PBS label information about the amount of postage may be incorrect. Anyone have any good solutions? Thanks.

 

EDIT: Sorry, the title should say Post, not Posst



Last Edited on: 8/13/07 10:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/13/2007 11:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
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The solution is to understand that it's "guesstimated" and to weigh the package yourself to double check.

R&R had to make a difficult call when they put the estimated postage on the label.  If they left it off, some people would want it, but OTOH the estimate isn't always right.

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 11:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 4,412
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Investing in a scale is truly worth the cost.  Whether you get a postal scale or (like me) a digital kitchen scale, it simplifies your life!

 I bought my kitchen scale about a year before I became a PBS member, because I occasionally do bread-baking and some recipes turn out better if you go by weight rather than volume.  Since I joined PBS, I've probably gotten 3-4 times the use of the scale for checking packages! 

Often, different editions of a book will carry the same ISBN - but a different font can make several pages difference in size and weight! 

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 12:44 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2007
Posts: 161
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I guess I didn't make my point clearly. The point was not that I did not know the weight of the book, since that is easily obtained from amazon.com (and I also have a scale since I do a lot on eBay also). My point was that it does not do any good to know the weight if the label software at PBS does not ask for it when it prints out the label.

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 3:04 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2006
Posts: 353
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Huh? That makes no sense. Just take it as a guesstimate like the gal said! It's always safer to weigh it yourself and apply appropriate postage just as you would any other package you'd ever mail. You've got a scale and know how to use it. How can you "not know the weight"?

FWIW, Amazon's weights are a guesstimate as well - and may actually be where PBS gets its data. Also, from what I've read here, you actually CAN use the PBS DC with Paypal shipping. PBS doesn't print out postage, only the mailing label, which has absolutely zilcho to do with weight, or anything else but address (and potentially DC) information. Personally, we like using custom stamps from the APC. Just slap the appropriate postage on a PBS-labelled book (after weighing, of course).

I guess I don't understand what's troubling you. I especially don't understand why you "resent" an optional add-on (DC) that you purchase - at a discount - completely voluntarily, but like the service. That makes no sense to me! You don't have to purchase it - but if you choose to do so, why on earth would you resent it?! Do you resent the USPS for requiring postage in order to deliver your packages?



Last Edited on: 8/14/07 3:18 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/14/2007 11:23 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2006
Posts: 315
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When I weigh it myself I write the weight (and the proper postage) on the label lightly with pen to remind myself.

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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I've had the clerks at the PO question the amount PBS says it will take to mail the book, once or twice.  When I tell them it's just an estimate, they have said, oh ok, and weighed it and put the right amount on.   There was no big deal done about it.

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 2:45 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2005
Posts: 379
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You can tape the PBS DC barcode over the DC barcode generated when you print a Paypal label, and get the best of both worlds.

 

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 2:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2007
Posts: 465
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katlover, like Mary says above, I pay for and print my DC from PBS, then I weigh my package and print my postage (with free DC - can't figure out how to turn that off!) from Paypal, then I cut out the DC bar code from PBS and tape it over the Paypal DC barcode.  I've not had any problems doing that and have gotten my quick credit that way.  It is a little extra work but the DC is important to me, as is the convenience of trackable postage so I can mail from home (my books are usually over 13oz.).

I don't think it really matters if PBS's weight estimates are wrong, because PBS doesn't sell postage.

MeadowbrookManor, I'm not usually in the habit of criticizing people, but your response to katlover seems a little harsh.



Last Edited on: 8/14/07 2:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/14/2007 3:47 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2005
Posts: 379
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Natasha, it's not free DC from Paypal. It's still $0.18 but is REQUIRED at Paypal (I personally suspect that's part of how they make money on lower-end shipping methods, I'm such a cynic!) Anyway, that's why you can't find anywhere to turn it off.

They are actually doing PBS a favor, since I'd quit buying PBS DC when postage went up, but since Paypal is making me pay for DC whether I want it or not, I started back buying PBS DC and put the PBS DC on the Paypal label!

A more detailed explanation from another thread on this (I'm the poster):

"When you pay for PBS DC, you are paying PBS the $0.27. The other $0.18 you pay as postage.

If you're mailing Media Mail or First Class, Paypal never gives you the option of not paying the postage for DC. You pay that $0.18 whether you use it or not. For instance, I very occasionally use Paypal to print a postage label for a 1st class flat envelope. The PO won't scan DC on an envelope less than a certain thickness, so I just cut the code off my label. I've still paid that $0.18 in extra postage, though, whether I use the DC or not. Likewise, I can pay PBS the $0.27 for a PBS DC. Then I go to Paypal and print my postage label and pay $0.18 extra for DC. The PO doesn't care which DC code you use or how the extra postage gets there - they just want their $0.18. If I print Media Mail or First Class postage thru Paypal, the extra postage is already in there, so all you have to do is tape the PBS DC bar code over the Paypal DC barcode. You DON'T have to add another $0.18 in stamps or whatever."

BUT - after all that, what Natasha and I are doing is right and legal and the PO is getting its money ;~)



Last Edited on: 8/14/07 3:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/14/2007 4:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2006
Posts: 353
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"I'm not usually in the habit of criticizing people, but your response to katlover seems a little harsh."

---------

I'm ok with that. (No wait, I'm kidding!)

Seriously though, the OP seemed to either be complaining just to be complaining or willfully misunderstanding. I was perhaps a little sharper than I would have been with someone who was misunderstanding something, but NOT (seemingly) stubbornly bitching about it nonetheless. Deliberately clue-resistant people get my goat, which apparently is more easily gotten in my old age.

My apologies to Katlover if she was an innocent newby. Hey, she corrected a typo in her title; that's worth a bonus point or two. Her pet adoption graphics are worth more, and are well-appreciated! Ok, I hereby nominate Katlover for Newby-of-the-Day!

;-)


       - adjusting POV's since 1902



Last Edited on: 8/14/07 4:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/14/2007 4:27 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2007
Posts: 465
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Natasha, it's not free DC from Paypal. It's still $0.18 but is REQUIRED at Paypal (I personally suspect that's part of how they make money on lower-end shipping methods, I'm such a cynic!) Anyway, that's why you can't find anywhere to turn it off.

I misspoke.  I should have said Paypal doesn't charge extra to generate the DC barcode like PBS does.  I think I said that right. :-)

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2007
Posts: 465
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Her pet adoption graphics are worth more, and are well-appreciated!

Yeah, anyone who loves cats has got to be a-o-kay . :-)

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 10:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2007
Posts: 1,305
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I bought a scale, weight it and have the postage I want on it for however I decide to mail it. I had to go to the PO the other day because one of the three packages was over 13 oz so I had to hand it to someone. That one I was sending media mail since it was more, the other two I was sending first class. I told the clerk they were all ready and I just needed to hand them to her. She weighed each one, told me the 13oz wasn't enough postage, I told her it was media so she said, "oh, okay" and then she stamped my other two media and I had to tell her those were not media mail and she said she wondered why I had so much postage in them. The 13 oz was marked media mail the other two weren't. Why didn't she just listen when I told her they were ready and not hold up the line and longer. So she had to mark out my other two she stamped media and make it first class. They were ready, to mail, just take them from me. Sheesh. I've decided to no long list any book that will be more than 13 oz. I bought my scale at Walmart, been worth it to not have to deal with postal workers and explain to them how I want to ship the books.

Date Posted: 8/15/2007 2:45 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 160
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I have had a few postal employees ask about the postage price listed on the packages because they don't always match what their screens show when they weight packages.  I tell them it is an estimate and they seem fine with that answer.

On the PBS DC, you get a discounted rate using it (paying .27 cents to PBS and .18 cents to the post office, and quick credit), rather then paying the Post office .75 cents for their delivery confirmation label (and no PBS quick credit).

Some postal employees are definately more knowledgeable about PBS then others.  The USPS employee I got today was very knowledgeable about PBS.  She had called Paperback Swap to figure out whether when you use the PBS DC if you get a discounted rate on the DC or if it is already pre-paid (took her about 30 minutes to get ahold of someone at PBS) because a new PBS member was confused about it.  I was quite amazed and impressed with the effort and knowledge this gal had about PBS. 

I imagine some of the postal employees are confused about the postage amounts and just trying to help you send out the books to sender as quicky as possible and for as cheap as possible.  Generally, I find most postal employees I have dealt with are friendly and try to be helpful in saving me money when sending out books.  Some of course are a bit grumpy and cranky but others go out out of their way to be extremely helpful, friendly and nice.

Date Posted: 8/15/2007 8:31 AM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 25
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I use paypal to print my mailing label & then I tape the PBS barcode over the post office barcode-- that way it gets tracked through PBS--if you use this method be sure not to tape over the PBS barcode.  Allison

Date Posted: 8/15/2007 11:24 AM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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I have a small digital scale, and once the book is wrapped, I weigh it, pencil on the weight, then go to the USPS website and plug in weight and zip codes.  That way I can figure out what goes first class and what goes media mail on my own.  Once I stick on either stamps or APC postage, it's good to go, without ever talking to a postal worker.

If it's cheaper to send it first class, I will use a Sharpie to mark out "media mail" on the front and write "1st Class."