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My Favorite PBS Feature – Gold Key

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

by Linda (Angeleyes)

 

 

When I heard about the Gold Key Membership this time last year I was skyin’.  It was such a pain to search each individual friends WL when I wanted to post a book or find a RL book.  Now I could do it the easy way.  So I went to the kiosk (the last grey tab across the top of the PBS header) and clicked on Gold Club Membership, put in my credit card info and voila !  I was a Gold Card member.  First thing I did was go check out my WL books to see if they were listed on my friends WL.  And a few were, so I posted them and it made me happy knowing my friends would get a little surprise.

A few days later I was talking to a PBS friend and we began discussing the “pros & cons” of the new Gold Key Membership.  Being an avid PBS’er I told her I felt being a Gold Club Member benefits me, my friends AND the club.  With optional services such as these, PBS can make a bit of money to pay the programmers and other staff that we all rely on to keep the site up and running. For $1.08 a month (3.5 cents a day) I can help the cause AND enjoy the “special” features. It was definitely a no-brainer for me.  (I think I’d shrivel up and die without my daily PBS fix. How about you?)

We agreed and then she chuckled and said “another plus is the Gold Key badge on your member profile. You all know how we LOVE our badges !!

One thing I hadn’t really thought about was the “directed delivery” feature of the membership.  With a library close by and a plentiful TBR pile I’ve never been one to be in a hurry for a book.  Until……I started reading a new series – I’m a cozy series nut ! – and couldn’t wait to read the next one.  So I hope online and order the next book.  It was available in the system  !  Yay !!  And of course I had to check the member’s bookshelf to see if there were any other books in the series available and yes, yes there were.  So I ordered the next 2 books and hoped they would get to me soon.  Then I noticed they were coming from Ohio and did a little jig right there in my seat.  No long cross-country trek for these books.  Barring any crazy USPS detour they would be to be within the week.  One more reason to love that Gold Key Membership !   (As you can see, little things make me happy)

So I’m spending my days working, my nights reading and chatting with friends on PBS not thinking much about the perks of PBS (just happy Groovyglittergirl hasn’t broken the site..lol) and then a teacher friend posts in one of the forums that she is need of multiple copies of the book “Go Tell Alice” for her classroom and was asking for help in ordering it.  That’s when I remembered that with the Gold Key Membership you can order multiple copies simultaneously.  I directed her to the membership and “saved the day”.  I felt a bit like Superman there for a minute.

It’s time for me to renew my membership and as I do with all memberships I always take the time to “review” and weigh the cost with my usage of the features.  I’m one of those people who always break things down into minute detail as I’m sure you noticed above with the 3.5 cents a day.  Seriously, who thinks in those terms?  I think I have way to much free time.  Anyway, I digress.  Since I use PBS printable postage and the Gold Key Membership offers one Courtesy Postage Fee per month, membership actually only costs $6.39 because I would have spent the $6.60 (55 cents X 12) anyway.  Now the membership is less than 2 cents a day.  See how my brain works.  WAY too much free time I tell ya.

Now PBS is really good about telling you when a paid feature is about to expire and the Gold Key Membership is no exception.  In addition to the nice email they sent me they have a banner across the top of my “lists” page that tells me if I don’t get my tush in gear and renew my wish list will return to 200 from the 300 I’ve had this past year.  Now I’m what you might call a “readin’ fool”; I read about 200-225 books a year and ALWAYS have a TBR pile but I have never been able to top about 125 books on my Wish list.  The idea of having 300 spots available makes me giddy even though I know I’ll never be able to fill them all.  Despite not being able to fill the slots I’m not willing to lose them so I will be renewing before my deadline of 8/31/12.  Who wants to temp the Fates?  Not me !

And to make sure the Fates don’t put me on their list the next time I play in a buddy swap I’m going to buy my buddy a 1 yr Gold Key Gift Certificate.  It will be a win all the way around. 

So stay on the Fates good side, Sign Up for a Gold Key Membership!  (and put in a good word for me with the Fates, will ya?)

For additional information on the Gold Club Membership check out the Help Center – FAQs about Gold Club Membership.

 

 

                                                                   

 

 

 

 

 

My Favorite PaperBackSwap Feature – Printable Postage

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

 

 

 

By Linda (Angeleyes)

 

So you’ve signed up for PaperBackSwap and even swapped a few books.  You’re hooked (like the rest of us) and wondering what other great features are available that you just haven’t found yet.  Well, let me tell you about one that saves time AND gets you INSTANT CREDIT: Printable Postage.  No more trips to the PO during “open hours”. No more fussing with stamps. You can mail packages at your convenience and USPS regulations that require packages over 13 ounces to be handed to a postal worker do not apply.

With no monthly charge the only cost (in addition to postage) is 55 cents.  This instant credit fee pays for the online postage provider fee, delivery confirmation and helps PBS defer some costs of site maintenance.  So you say “oh I’ll just save the 55 cents and go to the PO.”  Personally I look at this “fee” this way, 55 cents to help keep PBS going, I don’t have to try to make it to the PO during their condensed hours or use my gas to get there and I don’t have to wait and or worry that the book might not be marked as received and/or wait for a credit.  It’s a total win to me!

It is so easy to use printable postageJust click “Print Wrapper” on a request, and the Wrapper Settings page will come up. You can choose the Print Postage option on that page. You need to have PBS Money in your account to use printable postage.  If you don’t have money in your account you will be given the option to add money (using PayPal or a credit/debit card).  The system will walk you through adding money to your account.

Once you’ve added sufficient money to your account, the next step is to weigh the book(s).  It is best to always weigh your book(s) regardless of the weight in the database.  Database inaccuracies can cause books to have too little or too much postage.   PBS postage can’t be refunded and you don’t want a book returned to you for lack of postage so it’s really important to make sure you’re paying the right amount of postage, just like you would at the post office.

Next, adjust the weight and postage date and print your label. Wrap your book(s) as you normally would and mail.  The neat thing here is you can give it to your mail carrier, drop it in a blue mailbox (if you still have those in your area), or take it to the PO (but you don’t have to stand in line).  Easy peasy!   And don’t forget to mark the book as mailed (that’s super important).

Goodness knows we’ve all run out of ink from time to time or the papers jammed or we’ve run out of paper.  With printable postage you can reprint a label as many times as needed but you can’t change any of the information i.e. weight, date, etc.

Some people have asked so what’s the significance of the postmark date on the wrapper?  Well I’ll tell you.  You can mail the book(s) BEFORE the date but not after.  If you mail after the date you have to go to the PO and have a new metered $0.00 strip with that day’s date applied to the package.  This means that you have to stand in the same line you were trying to avoid in the first place. : )

So I mentioned INSTANT CREDIT earlier and you’re intrigued.  You’ve decided you want to use printable postage and you’re wondering when you will get your credit.  It couldn’t be simpler.  You get your credit as soon as you click the “Book Has Been Mailed” button.  If the book is lost in the mail or is damaged you still get to keep your credit. Of course you want to talk to the receiver and make it right but with Printable Postage and automatic DC it’s easier to find those lost books.

Now that you know all there is to know about PBS printable postage, Go Forth and Swap with confidence (and printable postage !).  For additional information on printable postage check out the Help Center – FAQs about Printable Postage.