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Topic: wrong postage amount on labels

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Subject: wrong postage amount on labels
Date Posted: 5/4/2011 4:55 PM ET
Member Since: 9/4/2005
Posts: 12
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Be careful when you print off labels here. I don't use but DC and even thought it's first class, the label says to put x amount on for media. Plus adding on DC amount again.

I don't know what's being charged for people who buy postage too but if weight is less than 7 ounces it's cheaper to ship first class and that's NOT 2.41 for postage.


Date Posted: 5/4/2011 7:52 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 382
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that why a lot of us have scales to weight our packages  since you can change the weight of the packaging

before printed postage

Date Posted: 5/5/2011 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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Yes, the weights in PBS can be off as they come from outside sources and even members entering them so you should always weigh a package before applying postage. If the book in the system shows less than 6.4oz the system WILL print a label for First Class postage (at 6.4 it rounds up to 7oz to account for packaging and will use MM since it would be cheaper at 7oz).

Plus adding on DC amount again. If you use PBS-DC you HAVE to add an additional 0.19 to the postage. The PBS fee does not cover that and if you don't add the 0.19 to pay for the eDC you may get it crossed out. When you print the label, it will show you the postage + DC postage = the amount you need to attach. If you change the Media Mail postage to First Class you still need to add the DC postage on. 

If you find books that have an incorrect weight in the system, its always great to submit a data edit (on the book's detail page under Other Options) that way no one else has to deal with that bad data.

Date Posted: 5/12/2011 3:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Also some books have been released multiples times with the same ISBN and have different weights.  Adding book club info, changing the font, advertising and book excerpts can up the weight of a different release of the same ISBN. 

Your packaging can even up the weight.  Putting a paperback in a bubble mailer instead of hte wrapper can bump you into another weight class.

Subject: more postage than stated
Date Posted: 5/19/2011 2:52 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2009
Posts: 1
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The printed mailing label I received showed postage at $2.22; however the actual postage amount was $2.39.  Not a big difference, but maybe PaperbackSwap should update their postage information.  Just saying....

Date Posted: 5/19/2011 10:39 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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Bev -- Sounds like it was the weight, not the postage, that was off. The first class postage for a  package that weighs over 5 oz but not more than 6 oz. costs $2.22; a package weighing more than 6 oz. but not over 7 oz. costs $2.39 in first class postage. This is why weighing your packages, especially those going first class which is priced by ounce rather than pound, is so important. As others have indicated, PBS weights can be off -- but its postage rates have been updated to reflect the new rates in effect since April 17.

Last Edited on: 5/20/11 9:57 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/8/2011 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,354
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As mentioned above, if you weigh your package and enter the "wrapped book weight" on the bottom of the print label page, the postage amount will be correct.   This is from the help docs:

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The *recommended postage* on my wrapper was wrong!

The 'recommended postage' on the PBS wrapper is usually correct, but not always. Our database is compiled elsewhere, and it includes some inaccuracies, including the weight of some books. The weight of a book as recorded in the database determines the "required postage" that appears on the PBS Wrapper.

You can see, and adjust, the weight estimate on the Wrapper Settings page when you go to print a wrapper.  Adjusting it to the correct weight will ensure that correct postage prints out.  If you do not have a postal scale, you can take the wrapped book to the PO to be weighed.

This is particularly important if you are using PBS Printed Postage--check and adjust the weight before you print!  Printed Postage can't be refunded after it is printed.

If you want to change the weight of the book in the database permanently, so that no one else has trouble with this for this book in future, you can submit a correction to our Data Correction volunteers.

  • To submit the correct weight of a book to the PBS Database:
  1. Scroll down to the bottom of any page on the site and click Edit Book Data
  2. Enter the ISBN for the book and click Next->
  3. Enter/adjust the weight of the book (this will be on your postal receipt) on the next page, leaving any correct information in place
  4. Click Submit.

Please know that any effort you make to improve the accuracy of the database is greatly appreciated.

Subject: Lots of returns lately using the pre-printed postage!
Date Posted: 6/14/2011 8:35 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2011
Posts: 10
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Lately I have had SEVERAL packages I used pre-printed postage on returned to me for additional postage! If a book you ordered from me arrived late, that's why! Frustrating. I took the latest batch to the p.o. for postage and the postman remarked that several of the suggested postages were substantially off.

I love the convenience of the pre-printed postage but not sure i will keep using it unless they somehow upgrade.

Date Posted: 6/14/2011 2:54 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2010
Posts: 262
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I don't know that there's any kind of an upgrade which can fix this completely, because within an ISBN there can be different weights, and they can't anticipate how much your wrapping will weigh. But scales don't have to be that expensive, and you can enter your own weight and still use the pre-printed postage.

Date Posted: 6/14/2011 4:55 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 602
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Nancy, the PBS system is inherently flawed because different printings of books with the same ISBN sometimes have different weights, and people often use different types and amounts of packaging which can change the weight. 

If you want to use PBS postage, it is highly recommended that you obtain some sort of scale that will weight your packages to the ounce so that you can make sure to always pay the correct amount. You can avoid overpaying (sometimes the weights are too high!) and avoid packages arriving postage due or being returned to you. 

Date Posted: 6/22/2011 9:53 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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I agree with buying a postage scale if you're going to use PBS Postage.  I got one for around $20 off of e-bay shortly after I joined PBS and I weigh everything I ship out.  A lot of the time the weights in the system are fairly close to what my scale shows, but sometimes they're way off.  One that I run into quite frequently is if I have the smaller book club  edition of a hard cover book, the system's weight is sure to be high.

Date Posted: 6/27/2011 3:24 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2009
Posts: 96
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I also use a scale...there are just to many variations that can cause it to be different. Otherwise, all packages would have to be weighed at post office and that's just not convenient for me. The scale has more than paid for itself in the time I've been here.

Date Posted: 6/29/2011 8:01 AM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2005
Posts: 5,684
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It seems that the postage on the books is WAY off any more. Never used to be that way. Luckily I have a scale and haven't had any problems since using it.

Date Posted: 7/3/2011 3:12 PM ET
Member Since: 3/19/2011
Posts: 126
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Last Edited on: 1/7/17 11:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 3