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Topic: weigh it - print postage - wrap it - weighs more - what to do?

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Subject: weigh it - print postage - wrap it - weighs more - what to do?
Date Posted: 1/25/2012 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,199
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Today I weighed a paperback at 3.4 ozs. I printed the First Class postage and received the discount and the FREE DC under the new pricing scheme.

After wrapping the book, I weighed it again and it was 4.4 ozs. Since I'm friendly with the postal clerks, I asked one of them about this. As it weighed more, I had to pay more. But since it was at the P.O., the extra postage was based on not-printing the postage and getting the disount. So I had to add another 48 cents.

Question: If everyone else weighs just the book, how to you (or not) account for the extra weight the paper wrapper and packing tape will add to the final package? Do you add an extra ounce (or more) to the weight before printing the wrapper with the postage, or do you just base the postage on the weight of the book alone?

Should I worry about this (the final weight with the wrapper and tape?) or am I just being anal?

Date Posted: 1/25/2012 9:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,200
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The system should be accounting for some of the difference (it should allow for 0.6 oz) which should have bumped you up to to 4.0oz and I would have thought you would have been ok. It looks like you might have hit just the wrong weight on the book where another .1 oz would have firmly put you in the next weight category and you would have paid for the "up to 5oz". 

I guess you now know that you use at least 1oz of wrapping and you can toggle it to wrapped package instead of just the book for the weight and add that oz or just adjust the weight up enough for it to kick it over to the next oz every time. I know when I am using just the wrapper and tape, I do use about the 0.6 they allow for. I also watch if I know I am going to be close and weigh while I wrap and quit adding tape when it will push me over.

Date Posted: 1/26/2012 1:51 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Sounds a bit picky Thomas.  I thought if the weight was off a bit, the PO (or member) just added the difference in stamps or other postage options.  Not totally penalize you.  Suppose we will see more of this with the new postal changes? 

I haven't mailed a book yet this week, but usually print PBS e-DC and buy counter postage...will I still pay .19 for the USPS portion of e-DC?



Last Edited on: 1/26/12 1:55 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/27/2012 12:58 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,911
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So ... stick your wrapper on the scale when you weigh the book. Or, wrap the book first and then weigh it (if you are cutting the mailing label out and sticking it on a different wrapper). Or, if you are wrapping in the printer paper, then stick two sheets of paper and whatever else you are wrapping in on the scale with the book.

But yeah, you can just stick a stamp on the package if your printed postage isn't enough. Unless they changed that rule with the new pricing structures.

Date Posted: 1/27/2012 9:46 AM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,199
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"...stick your wrapper on the scale when you weigh the book. Or, wrap the book first, etc...."

Thanks, but then there is the issue of the packing tape. I think I'll take the suggestion offered earlier of just adding another ounce after I weigh a light paperback. Less work too!

Date Posted: 1/27/2012 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
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There should be no issue with the packing tape.  Wrap the book completely except for the label--tape it closed and have everything ready except for the label.  Then weigh the book.  The weight of the tape you will use for taping on the label is negligible, and my weight never goes up just by adding a label.

The PBS system does take into account the wrapping when it gives the postage, but not everyone wraps the same way.  Obviously the PBS mailer (printer paper) will weigh less than if you use a bubble mailer or box.  However, I'd never trust some books to just the PBS wrapper, and usually mail trade paperbacks and hardcovers in either bubble mailers or boxes to prevent damage.  I check the weight of the wrapped package (not labeled), then change the weight in the system.

You may also want to note your scale's measurements and then have the PO weigh it to see if your scale is off.  If so, you will know how much it's off by and add that amount to your weights.

Date Posted: 1/27/2012 10:10 AM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,199
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"You may also want to note your scale's measurements and then have the PO weigh it to see if your scale is off."

Thanks. I know my scale is correct, as when the 3.4 oz book was completely wrapped with the PBS wrapper and three strips of tape, it then weighed 4.4 ozs,  then when the clerk weighed it at the P.O. it also weighed 4.4 ozs on his scale.

Date Posted: 1/31/2012 11:17 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,950
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Keeping a selection of stamps on hand comes in handy sometimes.  I always weigh after I wrap but I have misread or misprinted and adding stamps keeps me with the online costs.  I've had no trouble with this thus far.