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Topic: Which do you prefer reguarding postage....

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Subject: Which do you prefer reguarding postage....
Date Posted: 10/20/2011 1:54 PM ET
Member Since: 3/30/2010
Posts: 115
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I was wondering if it is cheaper to preprint postage or to print the label and take it to the post office to send.I know there are a couple of charges added on fopr electronic fees when you preprint.I dont live very far from the post office anf generally have a errand right near there anyhow so gas isnt that big of a factor for me.But I do like receiving instant credit.I have never sent a book without at least delivery confirmation printed.But I am wondering if i should simply print the label and skip confirmtation and instant credit to save some money?DO people generally marked their book as recieved as soon as they get it? So bascially  I was wondering what others thought would be the best route for me? and which method you prefer sending out your pbs books?

Date Posted: 10/20/2011 2:04 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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I only use PBS DC when sending multiple books to a member or sending books to APOs/FPOs, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico or Guam because these books often take so long to reach their destinations. I send a lot of books (about 3500 to date) so that would have added up to be a lot of money spent on DC when it wasn't really necessary. Out of those 3500 books sent I bet I have had less than a dozen go lost. In the end though you have to do whatever you feel comfortable with.

Date Posted: 10/20/2011 2:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,232
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I only use DC on multiple book orders.

I've mailed more than 1000 books out and I have only had 1 not marked received.

By not using DC, I've saved more than $190 (just for the price of the DC on that 1000 books), when you add in the fee to PBS (another 27 cents) .... then I have saved over $460.

That's way more than the price of the one book that got lost in the mail.

I support PBS other ways. (donate credits, pay for Gold Key, etc).


So, I don't use it, purely to save money.

But some people like DC for the "peace of mind" it gives them, others like seeing where their book is every single day on it's journey, and it might be worth it for one of those reasons. (I don't think so ... but I know others will post that they do).

Last Edited on: 10/20/11 2:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 10/20/2011 2:38 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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MOST books are not lost in the mail.  So if you are only thinking to purchase PBS postage services for peace of mind/credit guarantee, you'll save yourself money by NOT getting it -- the cost for adding to all books is more than the cost in credits/books of the occasional, rare lost shipment.

However, if you use it for its convenience and because you like to help support the site (my reasons), then it is much more efficient and convenient to use PBS postage services and you receive your credit quicker.  I use PBS Preprinted postage on ALL my requests, even books I send out to friends that aren't swapped here.  I love getting Instant Credit on all of my swaps!

Date Posted: 10/20/2011 3:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,428
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I go to the PO twice a week and use DC as Sally does above but also add PO Boxes and apartment #s to my list.   I've also found that sometimes the weights listed by PBS are incorrect, (had a paperback book that was listed as weighing 4 lbs instead of 4 ozs - did make a correction on that one), but had I not questioned it, might have paid more in postage.  Also sometimes it's cheaper to send a book First Class and my postal people will check that for me.  Pat

Date Posted: 10/20/2011 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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It's different for everyone. Some people worry about every book and want that credit assurance. Some people just want the convenience of printing postage and sticking in their mail box or the blue bin.

I only use the printed postage on heavier books or bulk orders. And even then I only use it for the convenience.  Before I went back to work full time, I took them to the post office. 

I use stamps on smaller books.

Date Posted: 10/20/2011 4:02 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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I will also use eDC when I need the credits fast.  But I don't use PBS postage.  I have stamps and a 24 hour APC near the grocery store.

I love that we do offer PBS postage.  House bound folks, working members, and folks with small kids must think of it as heaven.  As the holiday season comes closer, ways to skip the PO lines are golden.

Date Posted: 10/20/2011 4:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
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I do a little bit of it all.  For FIFO requests, as long as it's a one book order, I do not use any special services unless the book is over 13oz.  Then, I'll print postage at home and mail it unless I'm going to the PO anyway.  I use DC minimum for games books because it's required.  If outgoing books are less than 13oz, I often use stamps.

Honestly, it's whatever works for you!  I don't think there is a right or wrong way.

Date Posted: 10/20/2011 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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I have sent hundreds of books.  I've had ONE go lost.  It doesn't make financial sense for me to use DC.  I live a mile from the post office and walk almost daily, so taking them isn't a problem at all.

Date Posted: 10/20/2011 6:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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I, too, don't use DC, only 1 book never reached its destination (Alaska) out of hundreds. Sometimes use stamps on a smaller book if I don't want to go to the p.o. on Saturday (the only day I can get there) but most of the time I go to there.

Date Posted: 10/20/2011 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I've only ever had 1 book I sent go lost as well and I've sent thousands between 3 trading sites, Box of Books (not a boxer anymore), games and PBS trades. 


Date Posted: 10/20/2011 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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I've never had a book go lost either (knock on wood), but I always use PBS postage and DC.  I like to support the site, I like the quick credit/credit insurance, peace of mind, and I like to print and wrap stuff at 3am in my pajamas. 

Ultimately, the choice is yours -- if you're on the fence, why not try both and see what you prefer?

Date Posted: 10/20/2011 11:19 PM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2010
Posts: 758
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I always use DC, but I'm just paranoid like that. I've only ever had one book go missing, but for me the money is worth the peace of mind. Plus I get a weird joy out of tracking my packages' journey across the country!

I've used PBS postage for the most part and love the convenience, but I've started mailing from the post office when I've got multiple books to mail or when I'm taking my grandfather along to mail his packages. He helps me carry in my pile, and the post office ladies are always so sweet to him, it makes his day. cheeky

Date Posted: 10/21/2011 12:16 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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I use a mixture, but these days I mostly send them with full postage. Its easy - I print the label and its ready to go. I used to use stamps with just the PBS-DC on the small books going First Class, but now with the First Class discount for online printed postage, the discount pretty much covers the extra in the fee and its all printed out on the label so I see no need in fussing with that. I used to use the APC more, but I no longer work by that post office so it is out of my way to go to any POs now so the convenience factor is worth more to me in the PBS postage.

Financially, you'd need something like 1 in every 6 books to go lost in order to make the cost worth it. I don't think anyone has that kind of loss rate. 

Last Edited on: 10/21/11 12:17 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/21/2011 2:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,357
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I always use it on my heavier books.  There's a Homeland Security rule that any package over 13 ounces has to be handed to a postal clerk (and my Post Office has long lines).  Electronic postage, including PBS postage, exempts us from that rule, since the package is traceable to us.  I love just dropping all my packages in a blue drop box.


I sometimes use it on my lighter packages, and sometimes use stamps.


Just a note that it's highly recommended that we weigh our package and enter the weight on the "print wrapper" page if we're not having the package weighed by the Post Office.

Date Posted: 10/21/2011 6:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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I use the PBS printable postage for all my books, but only for convenience sake, so I can drop even heavy books in the blue box in front of my work. If I didn't do this, I would have to go to the PO and can only do that one day a week. I also like that the extra fee supports the PBS website.

Were I looking to be really frugal, I can say that I would not use any of the extra services. I think I sent about the first 800 of my PBS books with the plain label and either stamps or a metered sticker directly from the PO, and never had any issues with them going lost or not getting marked received or anything like that. I think there were maybe 2 books that I didn't get a credit for, which is a miniscule amount when you look at what it costs per book/package for the online postage or even just DC.


Date Posted: 10/21/2011 6:17 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2010
Posts: 262
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Thinking purely financially, I would mail everything under 13 ounces with stamps, from my mailbox. And I'd print postage for everything over 13 ounces, and mail it from my mailbox. Mailing it from the post office generally requires a special trip, and I can't imagine that the fees amount to more than the gas and wear on the car, even though the post office is only a couple of miles from here. And my time also works out to be financial; I'm always exhausted by the end of the day anyway, and one more errand might just push me over the edge into thinking that the family needs to eat out for dinner. :-)

It would be different if I regularly drove by the PO and could drop it off, but I don't.

Date Posted: 10/21/2011 7:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2011
Posts: 2,958
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I hate going to the PO so I always use PBS postage. Some people aren't in a hurry to mark their book received and I think that would really bug me if I didn't have my credit already.
Subject: thank you for all your input
Date Posted: 10/21/2011 10:43 PM ET
Member Since: 3/30/2010
Posts: 115
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I have to say I can definately see a advantage to each way really.I think that I may stick with the pbs postage just for the fact of getting my daughter in and out of the car,to wait in line at the P.O. is a bit more of a hassle than printing and popping in the mailbox.The only place for me to buy stamps is also at the P.O. so I most likely wouldnt have any on hand in most instances.Everyone has given me alot to think about though and I enjoyed reading everyones preferences and reasons.I am really liking it here at PBS :o) Wondering how I got along before hand? LOL 

Subject: What kind of postage
Date Posted: 10/23/2011 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,448
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I use the pre paid postage all the time..ok most of the time. There was a couple of books i sent out when my computer was waiting for it's new hard drive tht I took to the PO and had them put postage on...when I first started at PBS I did it that was as well. I bought stamps from USPS and some book got sent that way, but for pure convience, I like the pre paid postage.

Subject: what kind of postage
Date Posted: 10/24/2011 12:26 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2011
Posts: 29
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As to your question about do people mark books received quickly----based on a comparison of DC delivered dates and when books are marked received, I'd say it's about 50/50.   I know sometimes folks are on vacation, but there sure seem to be a lot of people who mark the book received about a week after the DC says it was delivered......Bless all you people who promptly mark them received . 

Date Posted: 10/24/2011 9:57 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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 A delivery scan doesn 't mean it was actually delivered or delivered to the right house.  Some POs scan it delivered when it hits the local post office.  But then it might take days for it to get on the right mail-car and actually delivered.

I've had 3 PBS books go lost enroute to me.  1 shows a delivery scan. Don't know where they left it but I never saw the book. I checked with my neighbors and post office.  Nothing.  But if you go by the DC it says I got the book.  So someone taking a week to mark a scanned book doesn't mean they're taking their time or lazy. It could mean it didn't actually end up in their mail box the day it was scanned delivered. It could also mean that they have limtid computer access and couldn't mark it received until they could get to the library or wherever.

Last Edited on: 10/24/11 9:58 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/24/2011 11:42 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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No Frills Media Mail. Drop em off at the PO on my way home.


Date Posted: 10/24/2011 12:32 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,631
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I wish I could say that I never lost a book. After some of my  first few mailed book "never" made it to the requestor, I began using DC.  I've thinking of trying again w/o DC.  In any case, I do not think that adding DC adds that much to the price of the books. An extra $0.46 is not all that much considering the value of most of the books I have received. One book I received goes for about $240 on Amazon. I often look at the reviews of books on Amazon before ordering here. I haven't read it yet as there are so many in front of it.

Even with adding DC here, the "cost" of the credit is still lower than a $0.01 book on Amazon. or Half.com after you add in the $3.99 shipping fee. And considering the amount I used to spend on books before joining PBS, I'm saving a lot of money.

Still, I believe it is more cost effective to print postage (if you have a scale) and not use DC when you have a book that can go First Class.


Last Edited on: 10/24/11 12:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 2