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Topic: Delivery confirmation: is it worth it?

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Subject: Delivery confirmation: is it worth it?
Date Posted: 9/6/2007 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Is it worth it to do this?  I'm not in a hurry for credits. I'm actually hoarding them for WL only right now.  Will this help if the book gets lost?  Can it still be sent regular mail if if buy the pbs DC?  I mailed my 1st set of orders of just regular mm and it didn't seem to take them long to find their new homes.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 9/6/2007 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,222
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Yes, you can use PBS DC on both Media Mail and First Class mail. If a book gets lost and you sent it with PBS DC, then you will still get a credit. If you used Paypal DC, or anybody else's DC, then you are out of luck and won't get a credit. 

I personally don't think PBS DC is worth it for lost books. I have sent over 100 books and none of them have been lost. One of them took 3 months to go halfway across the country, but it eventually got there and I got the credit then. Even if the most expensive hardback I sent got lost, I would still be ahead financially by not buying DC.

I have had several books coming to me go lost, but that seems to be pretty typical. People who hang out on the forums tend to be the more responsible members and every time we've discussed it we've found that those of us here have more lost inbound than outbound books, which tends to indicate that a lot of lost inbound books were never mailed. You get your credit back for inbound lost books anyway, so DC has nothing to do with that.

That said, it's my understanding that R&R are funding this site out of their own pockets and they're trying to stay in business, and buying DC does help their bottom line and keep them from having to charge a membership fee. I don't have any inside knowledge about PBS' financial situation; but I also work on high traffic web applications for my job, so I know how much it costs to run a site that can have almost 2K members on line at once and I am pretty sure that they're not making a fortune off DC.

Date Posted: 9/6/2007 1:37 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Yes, yes, and yes!  I feel it is very worth it.  First, it supports the site, and that is a good thing, because it helps to keep membership here at PBS free.  Yes, if a book gets lost, you still get your credit, as part of the DC charge is a sort of "insurance" for that.  Regarding sending it "regular" mail- I'm assuming you mean putting it in a mailbox as opposed to taking it to the PO- you can do this (assuming it meets the weight requirements), however you may not get your Quick Credit right away.  If you take it in to the PO, they scan it there, and you usually get your QC within a day or 2. 

It's up to you- I don't use DC all the time.  If I'm just sending out one mass-market paperback, I won't usually use it.  If I'm sending out multiple books or hardbacks, I do.

Date Posted: 9/6/2007 1:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Well I just loaded up my pbs account to buy some postage.  I didn't want to pay the fee to print it oun on here. But then I started thinking that it would save me time at the PO.  I have to drag 3 little kids with me-not always fun.  There's an option to just print the DC and not the postage. I might just do that.

Date Posted: 9/6/2007 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2007
Posts: 594
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I always use DC for my books sent for the piece of mind.  I like to be able to track whether they made it to the person I sent them to and I like that I get credit for my books as soon as they are scanned rather than waiting for another member to mark them received.  Just my 2 cents...


Date Posted: 9/6/2007 2:08 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2007
Posts: 1,305
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I have a book I'm waiting to get marked received, I know it has to be there, it's a hard back I paid extra to send and I've PM'd the person with no answer. I could have gotten credit at my UBS for this new release books instead of sending it out. I'm thinking it's worth it. And don't forget the extra fee helps keep PBS running too.

Date Posted: 9/6/2007 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Last Edited on: 10/19/09 9:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/6/2007 2:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2006
Posts: 575
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I just had my first book go lost. I used dc so I already got my credit. It was a brand new HC, I only read once and a friend read once. It's worth the price of DC for me to insure I get credit for what I send. Plus it's my small way of contributing to the site. 

Date Posted: 9/6/2007 2:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I typically don't use DC either.  now if I were sending a bunch of books or a new hardback, I'd consider doing it.  If I put $5 in the PBS money it would probably go a long way.  so far none of my books have been lost *knock on wood* 

I do understand why they charge the bit and since hubby and I have our own server and run websites through them, I know how expensive it can be and while we like to do things for fun, we want to at least break even and not be out of pocket too much 

Date Posted: 9/6/2007 3:02 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,791
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Well I just loaded up my pbs account to buy some postage.  I didn't want to pay the fee to print it oun on here. But then I started thinking that it would save me time at the PO.  I have to drag 3 little kids with me-not always fun.  There's an option to just print the DC and not the postage. I might just do that.

Mary, I aplogoze if I am misunderstanding you, but you don't have to pay a fee to pay to print the postage on this site.  You just have to purchase DC.  R&R said that anytime you use online printed postage, it's a requirement that there is some sort of tracking.  So what you are paying is postage cost+.27 DC fee to the site+.18 DC fee to post office.  If you just print the DC part, you will still have to pay .27 DC fee, go to the post office, pay postage cost, and pay the .18 DC fee to the post office.  So it will cost you the same either way.  I think people are thinking there is an extra fee to use the online postage here because all the DC charges are already included.


I only use DC when I am mailing multiple books in one box.  It's really not cost efficient for me.  For every 5 books I use DC on, I could have mailed another one.  It's a nice feature to have though.


Date Posted: 9/6/2007 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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It says there is a .43 PBS postage service fee.  Which isn't much until you add it up over all the books you send.  But then, it helps support the site.  Although over the course of year, paying an small annual fee would be cheaper than paying the postage service fee.

Date Posted: 9/6/2007 3:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Hmm. After doing some reading-and noticing that you don't have to hand it to a USPS worker if you use the printed postage-I think it just might be worth it not have to lug 3 screaming preschoolers to the post ofc.  I wish I could figure out how to just print the postage info and addresses and not the rest of the wrapper. I have some full page labels that have been collecting dust for years.  I would love to just print the top half on those.  Oh well. 

Date Posted: 9/6/2007 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,791
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Mary, I had my numbers wrong, but that .43 is just the DC fee.  If you let your mouse hover over the little exclamation point, it breaks it down for you:  .16 for postal provider, .27 PBS DC fee.  They don't charge you extra for printing your postage.  That is a free service.

Date Posted: 9/6/2007 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 6/3/2007
Posts: 63
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The extra DC isn't worth it for lost books, but I look at it as a convenience fee at this point.  I still had to pay PayPal 18 cents per transaction for DC when I printed through them.  This saves me all kinds of steps.  I don't have to print the wrapper, go to PP, create a new shipping order, copy and paste the address, then print a separate label.  Now it's all just one step.  That's worth the extra, IMO.

BTW, you can get labels on ebay pretty inexpensively. 


Date Posted: 9/6/2007 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,791
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Alas Mary, I have been giving you bad information after all!  I just (finally) went and read my PBS newsletter for this month, and found out the PO does charge an extra .18 to use electronic postage.  Sorry about that!  So it actually costs .61 extra to mail a book using your pre-printed postage.  yeesh.  Looks like I'll still be going to the PO after all.  :(   Here's the info from the newsletter I found:

Dear R&R--I am so excited about Printable Postage I am jumping up and down!  But I want to know how much it costs, and is there a monthly subscription fee like other sites, and how it works.  I looked in the Help Center and there's nothing about it in there.  Can you explain? --Raring to Go in Raritan

Dear Ra-Ra,

We are so glad you are happy about Printable Postage!  And we are happy to be able to offer this.  We will be updating the Help Center shortly.  In the meantime, the information about how to use the feature and how much it costs can be seen by clicking the Print Wrapper button on the request (just like always), and reading the information on the Wrapper Settings page that comes up.  You will pay $0.61 extra if you choose to print a wrapper with postage (and PBS-DC is included).  That $0.61 is broken down like this:

  • 18 cents to USPS for electronic DC (this is included in the postage that prints out)
  • 43 cents Printable Postage Fee
    • 27 cents of this goes to PBS for the service
    • 16 cents goes to the printable postage provider, endicia.com

So PBS gets the same fee (27 cents) if you use postage with PBS-DC or if you use PBS-DC alone.  Since we can't change the endicia fee, we didn't want to ask for extra for the combined service, so we made it basically nothing. :)

Date Posted: 9/6/2007 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 7,581
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.16 for postal provider, .27 PBS DC fee, PLUS .18 for the actual delivery confirmation.  (if you print postage and DC on PBS)

to me, it's generally not worth it to use DC, UNLESS i'm really in need of credits.  although, sometimes it's not even that quick so i'm starting to wonder if it's worth the extra money.

Date Posted: 9/6/2007 3:44 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2006
Posts: 11,985
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I use stamps.com to mail all my books. The cost is $15.99/month (well worth it for me since I am not home when a PO is open). It automatically prints DC on the books so I'm already spending that .18. But in terms of the extra .43 I figured this out......If I send out 5 books per week that is $2.15 per week extra or $8.60 extra per month to use printable postage from PBS. But it's also a savings of  $7.39 per month from what I spend on stamps.com.  As soon as custom DC is up and running here w/ printable postage I will cancel my stamps.com account.

Last Edited on: 9/6/07 3:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/6/2007 4:46 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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I have never used it, have sent out about 60 books so far, and not one has gotten lost.  I've had a couple arrive realllly late so they were initally marked as lost, but both eventually ended up where they were supposed to go.  So, the main reason to use it is that is supports the site, but I don't think there are compelling reasons beyond this.  One lost book every so often is not a big deal. 

Last Edited on: 9/6/07 4:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/6/2007 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,817
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It isn't worth it to me.   I have sent out 212 books and have had ONE go lost.      Financially it just doesn't make sense to me.   I support the site in other ways, such as giving back of credits now and then.        

Date Posted: 9/6/2007 5:49 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 880
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Last Edited on: 7/3/10 12:43 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/6/2007 6:48 PM ET
Member Since: 6/9/2005
Posts: 336
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I just used DC for the first time.  I ordered 15 bucks of postage to see how it works and it's ok, but I think I'll save it for when I just can't get to the PO.  Usually I get a bunch of 2.13 stamps from the APC and stick them in a drawer.  I've never had a problem using them, even weeks after I printed them.  I think spending the extra money on the DC PLUS 0.43 for the option to use printed postage is a little much for me.  I've never had a book I sent go lost. 

Date Posted: 9/7/2007 12:42 AM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2005
Posts: 462
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It's really an individual choice, isn't it?  For the rural dweller, 43 cents is a small price to pay for not having to drive somewhere!   And 43 cents seems a small price to me if you are trying to keep 3 little ones happy in a long line where they seriously bored.  AND, I know some who are housebound who would gladly pay the 43 cents to keep their hobby going. 

Different strokes!