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Topic: How do you weigh your books?

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Subject: How do you weigh your books?
Date Posted: 4/20/2009 7:35 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2009
Posts: 6
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Hi all,

Just joined today - and already I have a request for one of my books. I haven't even read all the rules yet! Eek.


How do you weigh your books? Did you buy a scale? Do you drive to the post office?


Help? My book is a paperback how-to book. 186 pages.5-1/2" x 8-1/2" x 5/8" thick



Date Posted: 4/20/2009 7:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2009
Posts: 3
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When you print out the mailing papers it has a pretty accurate guesstimate of what it will cost.  That is if the book is in the system which most are it seems.  I have a Wallyworld postage scale too just to double check esp. if I am putting stamps on.  Usually I just put money in an envelope in the mailbox though for postage. 

If it is 7oz (I believe that is what it is) and under it is cheaper to mail first class.  The address printing thingy here at PBS seems to catch that too.

Date Posted: 4/20/2009 8:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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Welcome to PBS!

As Christine says, when you go to print out the wrapper / address there is an estimate of how much the book weighs and the postage.

I have an old postal scale at home, which weighs by the ounce up to 1 lb. I live relatively close to the post office, so sometimes I double check with the scale there as a means of calibration or if the book is over 1lb. I also look at the shipping information at amazon.

Yes, the cutoff for cheaper by first class is 7oz -- otherwise 1lb media mail is the way to go.


Date Posted: 4/20/2009 8:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 1,410
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I use a food scale that is accurate to the 1/8 ounce.  It weighs between 1/8 ounce and 11 pounds.  I've checked my weights with the clerk at the PO and my scale is right on.   I also use the scale for weighing ingredients and dividing portions.  You can get a similar scale for about $20.

Date Posted: 4/21/2009 2:06 AM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2008
Posts: 687
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welcome to pbs!

i have a postal scale and i NEVER EVER trust the weight estimate... (sorry- too often it is wrong)... i weigh after i wrap. i also print my postage here (with pbs postage) and use dc. that way i get a credit as soon as i mail it and click the mailed button.

plus- all i have to do is drop my stuff in the blue box as i slow down!!! (unless it wont fit)

this makes it very easy for me.

Date Posted: 4/21/2009 11:07 AM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2009
Posts: 6
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Thanks for your replies, everyone. Thank you too for the warm welcomes. You seem like a very kind bunch. 


I am still foggy on how everything works, but I'm just going to plunge in and see how I do. I think getting a scale will be a good idea - - maybe I can find one at Walmart too for only a few dollars. This first book I will have to weigh at the post office - and although the office is close (few miles), it is sort of non-green of me to drive to have a book weighed each time I want to post one. But I will try to use the PBS postage feature. Does PBS earn something this way? If yes, I'd like to keep supporting them by using their mail feature.

Christine, what did you mean here: "Usually I just put money in an envelope in the mailbox though for postage." I don't understand.



Date Posted: 4/21/2009 8:45 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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Wren - most people certainly can't put money in an envelope for postage.   Maybe a few small post offices or their carriers allow this but most do NOT. 

While you are plunging in, may I suggest you browse the help center above.   I was so lost when I began and had to reread that several times before I understood.   

Welcome and of course come and ask any questions you want.  This is the most helpful group of readers I've ever met.

Date Posted: 4/22/2009 12:22 AM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2009
Posts: 6
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Thanks for helping me understand better, Cozette. :-) 

Date Posted: 4/22/2009 3:31 AM ET
Member Since: 7/3/2008
Posts: 4,984
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I bought a postal scale at walmart. its so handy for letters and packages! Definately worth the money. Weigh from home, and drop in the mailbox on the way to check my po box. LOL

Subject: Welcome
Date Posted: 4/25/2009 11:54 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,489
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Welcome.  I would also recommend checking out the Help Center. There are answers to questions you didn't know you had!  Well worth checking out. I would recommend getting a postal type scale...Walmart, or store like Walmart has them.  They are also available in the kiosk here at PBS. 

For what it is worth, I would never leave money for postage in the mailbox. Either use prepaid postage through PBS, or pay pal or use stamps, if it is small enough...I go for the PBS pre paid postage.love it!


HI.. I'm back  Wren...I just checked out your book shelf and if may make an observation.  Most of your books are ones by John Grisham. There are a TON of them in the system and seeing as PBS operates on a FIFO-first in, first out, your books may sit there for quite a while. I would recommend expanding your shelf, with pretty much anything other then John Grisham.

Last Edited on: 4/25/09 11:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/1/2009 3:17 AM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 1,032
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I bought my postal scale from EBay in 2005 and it was around $20.  Often times the PBS estimate is off so it is very handy to have your scale without having to run to the PO.  I noticed most of the POs in my city have removed their counter scales.  If there is an APC, you can weight it there but otherwise out of luck.