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Topic: Which is cheaper?

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Subject: Which is cheaper?
Date Posted: 2/7/2015 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 4/24/2008
Posts: 310
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To buy PBS money to mail a book or to do the ala carte and pay 49 cents per transaction? As I understand it I get a free exchange if I mail a book out using PBS money.

Date Posted: 2/7/2015 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2009
Posts: 793
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I think you mean using PBS postage.

Date Posted: 2/7/2015 5:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2012
Posts: 13
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PBS printable postage (which will get you the free swap) is 55 cents.  So technically the a la carte option at 49 cents is cheaper.

However, I always do printable postage anyway, simply because I find it more convenient and I can be too lazy to go to the post office.



Last Edited on: 2/7/15 5:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 2/7/2015 5:14 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,117
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It depends on how often you buy PBS Money and how much the book you are sending weighs. The following table gives the combined cost of mailing a book for each weight up to 1 lb and getting one in return.

It assumes that you buy exactly as much PBS Money as you need to pay the postage, so you have a 50 cent transaction fee plus a 55 cent postage fee for every mailing with PP. It includes the 49 cent swap fee for every book you get without having used PP to earn the credit.

The price difference for using printable postage under these conditions ranges from 3 cents cheaper for a 4 to 5 oz book to 56 cents more if your book is over 8 oz.

Total Cost of Sending 1 Book and Getting 1 Book in Return
Weight of Sent Book Cost with PP Cost without PP
<3 oz 2.98 2.81
<4 oz 3.06 2.99
<5 oz 3.14 3.17
<6 oz 3.30 3.18
<7 oz 3.47 3.18
<8 oz 3.64 3.18
<1 lb 3.74 3.18

If PBS does away with the transaction fee, then it is cheaper for an a la carte member to use printable postage for every book that weighs less than 8 oz and it costs 6 cents more for books that weigh up to a pound. 

If they don't do away with the transaction fee but you spread the fee over 5 mailings by purchasing $15.00 in PBS Money at a time, then it is cheaper for an a la carte member to use printable postage for every book that weighs less than 7 oz.

Date Posted: 2/7/2015 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2009
Posts: 793
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Wow Cathy, You must be a mathematician!!

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 2/7/2015 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,117
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LOL! Yes, I do have a degree in Math. :-)