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Topic: What to use as "Postmark" date

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Subject: What to use as "Postmark" date
Date Posted: 1/25/2010 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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How would you mark this one on the survey as far as postmark date is concerned:

  • 1/7/2010 12:00 AM - Electronic Shipping Info Received - COLLINGSWOOD,NJ
  • 1/20/2010 2:07 AM - Enroute - JERSEY CITY,NJ
  • 1/23/2010 12:40 AM - Enroute - FEDERAL WAY,WA
  • 1/23/2010 5:07 AM - Enroute - FEDERAL WAY,WA

From the way I read this, the postage was printed on 1/7 (it was PBS pre-printed postage, not PO printed postage), but the package was not scanned by the PO until the 20th, so it would seem to me that the 20th would be the postmark date.

                                     

Date Posted: 1/25/2010 6:45 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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what does the package say (the date on the postage, the stamp, or the date on printable postage?).  DC has nothing to do with when the book was accepted into the mail system - for all you know, it sat in the PO in Collinsgwood for two weeks before it moved anywhere.  The date is January 7.

Date Posted: 1/25/2010 6:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 6:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/25/2010 6:51 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I would go with the 7th because with online postage you have to ship the same day as you bought it.  The other dates are just when it was scanned at the PO.

Date Posted: 1/25/2010 6:52 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
Posts: 108
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I would mark it as postmarked on the 7th. Since the sender used PBS postage, which was paid for the day it was printed I would guess they actually mailed it when they said they did.  Jersey City is one of those postal hubs, and it probably sat there without being scanned until it left there on the 20th.

I received a book today that was marked  mailed on the 8th and didn't show any scans until the 21st(in the dreaded Bell, Ca sort center). The book arrived today and they had also used PBS postage. I couldn't think of any reason they would have purchased postage and then hung on to my book for weeks so I marked it as postmarked on the 8th.

Date Posted: 1/25/2010 7:16 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2008
Posts: 9,884
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I couldn't think of any reason they would have purchased postage and then hung on to my book for weeks so I marked it as postmarked on the 8th.

I agree.  Why would anyone purchase postage on PBS and then not pop it in the mailbox for two weeks?  I'm betting either Collingswood or Jersey City  is the culprit.  It either sat in Collingswood for two weeks and then was passed on to Jersey City where it was scanned or it was passed on to Jersey City where it sat for two weeks before someone scanned it.

Either way, it should be marked 01/07, if it is marked at all.  That screen is optional.

Date Posted: 1/25/2010 7:23 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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I agree with the others--the 7th would be the date to use.

I use PBS Postage/DC.  Most of my books get dropped in the blue box outside of my work office. As soon as I get to my office, I mark the book as mailed.  Usually, the first scan on these books happens in "dreaded" Bell, CA (very appropriate description Debra!)within a day or two.  But, there have been a few times when it's five or six days before I see anything but the "Electronic Shipping Info Received" message. 

Date Posted: 1/25/2010 7:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,187
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The post mark is that date on the package representing when it was placed in USPS custody, not the first DC scan (sometimes that is delivery and that certainly isn't the post mark date). With PBS postage, the USPS is not supposed to accept it after that date so you should assume thats when they mailed it. I would be pretty confident that the member did not drive all the way to Jersey City to mail it so it was in the USPS custody prior to that point.

Date Posted: 1/25/2010 8:08 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,778
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Do you have the package yet? And, do you know for sure that they printed postage, or did they just print DC? If there is a way for the receiver to tell the difference, I haven't figured it out yet.

If they used PBS postage, the printed date on the postage is the date you put in the survey.

If they used an APC stamp, the date on the stamp is the date you put in the survey. Although the date on the stamp will never be after it was mailed (obviously) the date on the stamp could be off because APC stamps can be purchased far in advance of mailing. So, that might not be accurate, either.

If they used regular stamps and they were hand cancelled, if the hand cancelling is legible, I suppose that you would put that date in, knowing that you might be entering the wrong date because hand cancelled stamps can happen anywhere along the mailing journey, not just when the package is dropped at the PO.

Scans do not say anything about the exact day a package was mailed.

Date Posted: 1/25/2010 9:07 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2008
Posts: 9,884
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But if it was received long before the system action date, I don't see what the big deal is.

Date Posted: 1/25/2010 11:18 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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What Sara said, the postmark box is for receivers to enter data not available to PBS thorough USPS...ie information only available on the mailing label (APC, counter postage, or postmark stamp). 

I wouldn't recommend estimating a postmark using scan data, it's not what's being requested.  If PBS admin needs to review a transaction or member record, they already have the resources to see USPS scan information.  Give them the data they cannot otherwise view without your assistance. 

Occassionally none of the above is discernable, and I just leave the postmark box empty.

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 12:24 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,423
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I know my local post office will not take an APC postmark that is old.  Or an old printed label.  The only way they will accept them is if they add another sticker to it.  Or if I buy a one cent APC stamp.  They have even refused ones that are just a day old.

I never use the DC tracking as the date.  If there isn't a postmark or sticker date, I leave the survey blank.

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 4:57 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,768
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the only time i fill in the postmark question is if there's something indicating a date the post office had it - a pink postage sticker, or an actual postmark (i don't see them often, and half the time i can't read the date anyway), or the date on a stamp from the APC machine if it matches the date it was marked mailed in PBS.

i know i've bought APC stamps in advance, and just recently received a package with an APC stamp on it printed in November.

as far as the initial Shipping Info received scan is concerned, i'm pretty sure you can print but give it an actual date in the future, and so i don't know if the date on the package would match the date it was printed and so wouldn't use that as a postmark date.

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 6:54 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 9,497
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I never use the DC tracking as the date.  If there isn't a postmark or sticker date, I leave the survey blank.

Same here. Its not a huge deal.

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 7:13 AM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 4,969
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I only use the date that is on the postage sticker if it's there. If there isn't any date then I leave that spot on the survey blank. I don't see any point to look at the details for that info and I don't think PBS expects you to, either. After all, PBS writes "if available".

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 9:22 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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Ditto what others have said - I do not fill out the date if there is not a postmark or postage sticker.

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 9:27 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
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Ditto what others have said - I do not fill out the date if there is not a postmark or postage sticker.

Same here.

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 9:47 AM ET
Member Since: 8/5/2009
Posts: 7,990
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Same here.

I had a book coming to me that the label was printed with PBS DC and marked mailed TWO WEEKS before it was mailed (the book was light and got to me in plenty of time), which I knew because of the PO (not APC) postage on the package. Who knows, maybe something happened so he couldn't mail it for 2 weeks. I just put the sticker date in the field and trust PBS to weed out people who have a habit of mailing late. Maybe this guy did, maybe not. I don't know.

Usually, there's not much on the package for me to tell when it was actually mailed unless there's actual PO postage or PBS postage. I wouldn't worry about the DC scans -- everyone else is right -- since it's MM, it very well could have sat in hubs weeks before there was room on the truck to send it on.

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 10:12 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,187
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I know my local post office will not take an APC postmark that is old. 

Emily your post office wrong. The date on an APC is a date of purchase it is not a postmark and is not to be considered stale postage at any point. You buy a stamp from an APC that is good to use at any time it is not a meter strip. At least 80% of my APC stamps are "old" because I buy a bunch of extra every time I use the machine and use them over the course of the next few months.

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 10:43 AM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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But if it was received long before the system action date, I don't see what the big deal is.

Just trying to follow the rules here.  If the person sending the book did wait 13 days to actually take it to the post office, then I believe that should be noted.  Isn't that what the late postmark means?  If it is past the "go lost" date, it becomes a moot question.

I would go with the 7th because with online postage you have to ship the same day as you bought it.  The other dates are just when it was scanned at the PO.

I'm confused by this.  If they had shipped it the day the postage was purchased, then the first scan after "received info" would have been either that date or the next date.  If on-line postage really does time out, then how did this one get through when the first scan came 13 days after the postage was printed.

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 12:37 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,192
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If they had shipped it the day the postage was purchased, then the first scan after "received info" would have been either that date or the next date.

Like nearly everyone else said, you don't use the DC scans to fill in the survey box. Or you shouldn't anyhow. 

And second, like others have also noted in many other threads, delivery confirmation is just that ... it CONFIRMS delivery. Any other scans along the way are gratis ... freebies. That book could have been back and forth between a dozen places and you'd never know because the post office is not required to scan it anywhere except upon delivery. 

  If on-line postage really does time out, then how did this one get through when the first scan came 13 days after the postage was printed.

Online postage does not time out." That is incorrect. However, going back to what I was saying, there is no such thing as a required "first scan." The only scan required is upon delivery. Different post offices do different things. 

Again, this is why you don't use the DC to fill out the survey box. Besides, this book hasn't even been received yet. Or it appears as that. 

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Books don't necessarily get scanned the day you mail them unless you get the postage from teh clerk. If you stick it in your mail box or the blue bin it may never get scanned until delivery. Does it really matter?  I don't fill in the date unless the book goes lost.  Life happens, sometimes people mail a book late. It's not the end of the world and I don't feel like I have to be the PBS postage date police for every book I get.  I just don't want to put that kind of work into a fun book trading site.  I have other stuff to worry about than whether someone mailed me a book late.  If one goes lost and arrives with a late postage date then I'll fill in the survey.  Worry about postage dates just seems so not worth my time and effort.

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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As others have said, the dates a book has been scanned doesn't really relate to date postage is printed and book mailed. I can print postage on Friday, drop it in a blue box on Saturday and mark it mailed...it may not even be picked up by the USPS until Monday afternoon. If it's media mail, they may toss it into a media mail bin at my local PO. It's not scanned there...it goes to our local distribution center, and it might sit in the media mail bin at my PO for 2-3 days or longer, until the bin is full enough to put on a truck to deliver to a distribution center. At the distribution center, it *might* get a scan...that would be several days after I printed the postage. It might *not* get a scan there too....sometimes packages aren't scanned until somewhere else along the way, sometimes not at all til delivery.

The survey is not a mandatory thing. The only time I fill it out is if 1) the book has arrived a long time after it was marked mailed and 2) has a metered sticker from the post office--which are generated ONLY when the person brings it to the post office counter to mail--with a date that is a week or more beyond when it was marked mailed. Books mailed with stamps and a manual postmark or any kind of online postage, it's basically not possible to tell when the book was mailed.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,778
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If they had shipped it the day the postage was purchased, then the first scan after "received info" would have been either that date or the next date. 

No. This is incorrect. Most post offices do NOT scan the DC, unless the postage to mail the package was purchased at the counter, in which case, they usually scan the DC to add it to the postage amount to pay. Even this is not true in all cases, sometimes they just add the 19 cents without scanning the DC.

If your Post Office scans it, that is nice, but most don't. They are not required to, in fact, they are specifically instructed NOT to scan it ... as DC only needs to be scanned upon delivery.

I know my own Post Office does NOT scan these when I drop them off. The first scan (if it is scanned at all) has ALWAYS been at the mail sorting center. This is very rarely the next day but is usually 3-4 days later and at times, has been even later than that. Sometimes it been scanned several days in a row at the same sorting center.  I have had some that didn't get scanned at all for some reason (until they were delivered.

Date Posted: 1/26/2010 12:56 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,192
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But if it was received long before the system action date, I don't see what the big deal is.

Just trying to follow the rules here.

Filling out the survey is not required, Kate. Many of us don't fill out the survey, myself included. I'm not out to police the site so as long as I get the book and it's postable, I'm a happy camper.

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