Help Center - Information for members at APO/FPO/DPO addresses

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First, Welcome! 

You should know that

  • Books sent to or from APO/FPO addresses can take a longer time in transit than books sent within the contiguous US. The system does allow extra time for these books to arrive (35 days instead of 26).
  • However, sometimes that isn't enough! Transit times are really variable. You should expect that some (or even many) of the books you request will be declared "lost" at PBS before they arrive (although they are not really lost). 
  • You should expect the "lost" books to arrive.
  • You should not have any of your Wish List books set to auto-request, because that can make you end up with two copies of books, both of which you would need to mark received. 

If you are new to PaperBackSwap, or you have just moved to this address, it may take a little time to know what your transit times for Media mail packages will be: this is really variable, and each APO/FPO/DPO member has a slightly different experience.

What can you do?

  • If you are SENDING a book:
    • you can inform the requestor using the PM button on the request that the book may take a little longer to get to him or her.  Send the PM after you mark the book mailed.
    • If a book you SENT is declared Lost:  Use the PM button on the "lost" book in your Transaction Archive to send a Personal Message to the requestor, letting him or her know that the book is probably not really lost, and make sure he or she knows how to mark the book received from his or her Transaction Archive when it arrives (as described in I received a book that was 'lost in the mail').
  • If you are REQUESTING a book:
    • The mandatory PBS Requestor Conditions* will be applied by the system to each request you submit to be sent to an APO/FPO/DPO address. 
    • If the book is declared "lost" don't worry!  It is probably not lost at all.  You should give it a couple more weeks to arrive, and when it does mark it received from your Transaction Archive as described in I received a book that was 'lost in the mail'.
  • Do NOT use the Auto-request feature on the Wish List.
    • If books are "lost" en route to you, they will go back onto your Wish List on auto-request, and you can end up with 2 copies of the book--both of which you will need to mark received.
  • If your incoming lost books are NOT arriving (if a month has passed after they are lost, and this happens with more than one book), you should contact us
    • We have many  APO/FPO/DPO members who receive books just fine (if sometimes slowly), but we do want to be sure there is not a problem with your particular mail delivery.  It is critical that addresses used here receive mail dependably, so that senders are not asked to send to an unreliable address.

*The Requestor Conditions that are applied to APO/FPO/DPO requests are shown below:

"This request was submitted to be sent to a US government/military address outside the USA. Postage will cost the same as within the USA. Packages sent to these addresses sometimes take longer than usual in transit, but if you use  PBS Printed Postage, you will receive Book Credit for sending the book before the book reaches its destination.

To send the book(s), you will need to fill out and attach a 2976-A customs form ("the white form") to the package. You can get the form at your Post office.  You will also need to hand your package to a postal employee at the PO to mail it, for National Security reasons.

I hope you are willing to send your book to this address. However, if you do not wish to complete the short customs form and mail your book from the post office, please click "My book does not meet these conditions." This will cancel the request, and your book will stay at the front of the FIFO line."

The customs forms can be gotten at the PO or a supply of the customs forms can also be ordered from USPS to be delivered to your home.