PaperBackSwap Blog

My Favorite PaperBackSwap Feature – Printable Postage




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.



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9 Responses to “My Favorite PaperBackSwap Feature – Printable Postage”

  1. Angela says:

    That’s interesting to know about the postmark. I’ve been using printable postage for a while now and I’m sure I have occasionally mailed a book after the postmark date and never had a problem. Something to keep in mind!

  2. Gail P. (TinkerPirate) Montara, CA says:

    Hmmmmmm, you might have just convinced me to use Printable Postage….at least sometimes….I still need to support our local PO so it doesn’t get closed.

  3. Cynthia M. (clariail) , says:

    Thanks! Come interesting info that I wasn’t aware of even though I use printable postage.

  4. Lori S. (GroovyGlitterGirl) says:

    Great article Linda! I love instant credit! I use it every time and it is well worth the small fee. The Post office still gets their money & so does PBS and I get instant credit, great when a wish listed book comes up & you are credit poor 🙂

  5. Lori B. says:

    Printable postage is wonderful! So easy and instant credit, plus you get a cool American flag pin next to your PaperBackSwap avatar when you utilize this feature.

  6. Linda (Angeleyes) , says:

    Tink – something that I forgot to mention – when you use printable postage the post office associated with your zip code (your local PO) gets “credit” for the sale. This is because the local PO employees still have to handle the packages, etc. So you are still supporting the local office.

  7. Brenna B. (demiducky25) says:

    I’m a big fan of printable postage! I can prep the package the night before, then bring it with me and leave it in the outgoing mail bin in the office at work (unless it’s really big or I have a lot of books to mail & will take up the whole bin, then I’ll make a special trip to the PO after work). 😛

  8. Diane G. (icesk8tr) , says:

    This is an awesome feature and saves the waiting in the Post Office line to mail books! I use it all the time and love it!!

  9. Sianeka N Hollywood, CA says:

    I use it all the time, even for non-PBS book mailings (in conjunction with the Mail To A Friend feature). I love it!!!

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