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Topic: Not using DC - a *test*

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Subject: Not using DC - a *test*
Date Posted: 7/25/2011 4:34 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2010
Posts: 1,540
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I always use DC so I get instant credit when my package is scanned, but I needed to save every dime I could lately, so have experimented with mailing out a few without.

I am sort of suprised how long it takes some members to mark a book received.  I say this because the ONLY books that have not been marked received are those I sent without DC.  Everyone else marked theirs received (which I already knew because I had DC on 'em)

It just seems odd that the ONLY 2 books I sent, way before I sent the others with DC, have not been marked received yet.  :)   In other words, only the books without DC weren't delivered yet, which I find hard to believe.


Date Posted: 7/25/2011 6:32 AM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2010
Posts: 68
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It is odd that the only two not marked yet don't have DC. How long ago were they mailed? Were all the DC and no-DC books mailed at the same time?

I used DC when I joined for my first couple of mailings because I wanted the credits faster and was worried about the books arriving. I stopped using to save money and have not had any of my 45 books go lost. One did take the "scenic route" and arrived (or at least was marked received) 2 months after I mailed it.

Date Posted: 7/25/2011 8:19 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I think it's just a coincidence. I rarely use DC and have had 1 book go lost out of thousands sent between 3 sites and games.  I don't pay any attention to when they get marked received.  And still 1 book lost in 4 yrs.   I keep a buffer of 5-10 credits so I never had to worry about needing a book marked received to get a WL book.

So to me DC is a waste of money. It's .46 for PBS DC.  That's 4.60 for every 10 books.  46.00 for every 100.  I can buy a lot of credits or several books for that. I support PBS in other ways.

(I know I have the postage symbol but I really only use it once in a while when I have a heavier package to mail)

Last Edited on: 7/25/11 8:21 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/25/2011 9:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,602
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I think it's probably coincidence too, and 2 books really isn't a big enough 'contol' if you're experimenting. I sent about the first half of my 1800+ sent books without DC or printable postage, and the last half with printable postage/DC for convenience reasons rather than credit assurance. I really didn't notice any difference. Some of the very few books I have had go lost were sent without DC, some with printable postage & DC.

That said, I don't really watch the details of sent or incoming books very closely. What I know is that 99% of books I order or send get to where they're going within the allotted time with no problem. So I just don't worry about it.


Date Posted: 7/25/2011 10:30 AM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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Count me on the coincidence side as well.  I do send books using DC and I do look at my open transaction page pretty regularly.  (Not because I'm concerned--just curious).  Most books I send are marked received fairly quickly--within one or two days after the PO says they've been delivered,  but for some it takes a week or two.

On the receiving end, I always mark books received fairly quickly--usually within a couple of hours of getting them in the mail.  But right now, I'm on vacation for a couple weeks and have two books on their way to me.  I'm sure they'll be at my office the day I return, and they'll be marked received my first day of work after vacation.

Date Posted: 7/25/2011 10:53 AM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,408
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Were the two books shipped without DC sent to apartments?  Were they sent to PO Boxes?  I've heard  that some larger apartment complexes (as well as newer housing developments)  have communal boxes where they put books and large packages and for some reason people don't seem to pick them up as quickly as those going straight to a home.  Same with PO Boxes.  It seems (and I've verified this with our local PO) some people only pick mail up from the PO Boxes once a week or even less often.  Also the two people who haven't responded might be on vacation.  Good luck. 

I've got one stuck out there from July 5 that hasn't been marked yet, but books sent farther and later have been.  Pat

Date Posted: 7/25/2011 11:02 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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The only books I have sent that went lost were first class without DC, I think it was 3 of them. I don't watch my books that closely to notice if books with DC are marked received faster than others, but I did notice that the ones that went lost did not have it.

Date Posted: 7/25/2011 11:13 AM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2008
Posts: 193
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I noticed the same thing, which is why I religiously use PBS-DC now.  Many people on the site don't feel the need to mark books received right away, but if it has a DC sticker, they know they're being watched and maybe mark it faster?

I've had books I sent with my own DC stickers (for both PBS and other book trade sites) not be marked recieved for sometimes weeks after delivery.  After 3 days from PO's delivery I would send a PM out, and the most common response was, "Oops, I forgot."  Human nature -- people tend to be selfish and inconsiderate unless they think they'll be rewarded or punished.

Date Posted: 7/25/2011 11:18 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,173
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I mail most books without DC, and out of more than a thousand mailed, only one has ever gone lost in the mail. For about 4 or 5 others, they went close to the lost date, and I had to PM to remind the members to ask the members if they got the book.

For the other 995, all received without problems.

I do mail some with DC, though (multi-book packages, mostly) .... and I have noticed with those, that while many people mark them with a day or two of when the system says they are delivered ... some people wait a week or more.

Packages coming to me .... honestly, most arrive to me within the second week after mailing. But quite a few arrive that third week. (And, it is less common that they come within the first week or the fourth week).

So, you should be seeing most books marked received during that second and third week, honestly. If you are used to quicker mail times ... that is probably just luck, or time of year. I've noticed that sometimes during the year, media mail times pick up for a month or so, then will go right back to being slow again.

And, on that 1000 books mailed ... .mailing without DC has saved me $460 .... well over the cost of the single book that went lost. I could replace that book more than 46 times over if I wanted to.

I donate credits back to PBS, when the mood strikes.

Last Edited on: 7/25/11 11:21 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/25/2011 11:26 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,173
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How about this ... the only book that went lost, mailed FROM me, was to a APO address.

And, the most recent book that went lost, mailed TO me, was also from an APO address.

If I was inclined to over analyze this ...  I would probably stop mailing to APO addresses.

I am not going to stop mailing to APOs, just saying, sometimes things are coincidences.

Date Posted: 7/25/2011 3:37 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 460
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I guess I've just learned to be patient!  I have never used DC.  Of the over 400 books I've mailed, with rare exceptions, they are marked mailed within 2 weeks, which I believe is a normal thing for Media Mail.  Most of them are marked within 1 week.


Date Posted: 7/25/2011 6:08 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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DC for 2 books at my mail to me page, say they are delivered. um not at my house. Not got the books yet but will be going to check the neighbors tonight and ask them about it. We have had a sub mail carrier on saturday, so who knows where it is.

Date Posted: 7/25/2011 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 10,186
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it's vacation season-- books that I mailed to several addresses within 5 hours of me have taken weeks to be marked received despite arriving in a matter of a few days!  (with or withour DC)

Date Posted: 7/26/2011 11:03 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 460
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I had a book coming to me from Illinois - I'm in KY - just one state east!  It had been marked "lost in mail" by PBS on Monday, the 25th.

Guess when it arrived - Monday the 25th!  I checked the post office stamp and it HAD been mailed back in June, exactly when promised!

Who knows??!!


Subject: for Sara P.
Date Posted: 7/26/2011 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2005
Posts: 608
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I understand that books mailed to an APO address can take longer to arrive (at least sometimes). I'm glad that you are not going to stop mailing to APO addresses!

Last Edited on: 7/26/11 12:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/8/2011 4:42 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2010
Posts: 1,540
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Still doing the experiment.    The only ones to go lost are ones without DC.   Both stuff I ordered, and stuff I sent.

Once a book goes lost, if I write to the receiver and ask them to verify not received, and they never respond------ and/or mail is unread------- do I get my credit by writing to PBS?  Because I'm pretty sure that's what's going on with this latest one.



Date Posted: 8/8/2011 8:20 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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If the account looks inactive then they will mark the book received for you-usually. 

DC really has nothing to do with whether a book will go lost or not. They don't travel faster if you put DC on them.  I've 3 books go lost enroute to me and 2 had DC through PBS on them.  1 was never scanned and the other was scanned delivered but I never got the book. 

The only book I had that I sent go lost was one where I used DC.  I use the printed postage on heavier books for the convenience. 

Last Edited on: 8/8/11 8:21 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/8/2011 10:00 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2010
Posts: 1,540
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Thanks, Mary, for the info on inactive accounts.

<<<DC really has nothing to do with whether a book will go lost or not<<<

That is true.  But at least I have proof that I mailed it, because my post office scans AT ACCEPTANCE.  They are under strict orders to do so. ( I know that is not the case everywhere, but here it is). 

Every single one of my DCs show not only printed, but also actually *accepted* by the PO.   


Date Posted: 8/8/2011 12:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I don't think "accepted" is proof of mailing.  I think that just means that they know the DC was generated. 

Date Posted: 8/10/2011 12:53 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2010
Posts: 1,540
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Accepted is proof of mailing.

Here's an example from one of mine:

7/26/2011 10:10 AM - Electronic Shipping Info Received - (name of city, name of state).

All this means is that I bought and printed out DC.  This information is electronically in the system now, but doesn't show I mailed the book, only my intention to mail a book.

Then, there is a 2nd entry after that, in this case, the next day:

7/27/2011  11:00 AM - Acceptance, Name of City/Name of Post office

This  means the counter clerk scanned it and took the package from me.

Then, the next entry is

7/27/2011 Enroute to (*) which means it is leaving my PO.


*Electronic postage printed* or *notified* shows the DC was generated.  But that doesn't tell you the person actually mailed the book.

I *hand* my packages over to the clerk at the PO, and they scan it.  At that point, there will be another entry, which looks like this:

"Acceptance at * (name of post office.)

That means the clerk was actually presented with the item and accepted it.   And it is no longer in my possession.  




Last Edited on: 8/10/11 1:12 AM ET - Total times edited: 2