PaperBackSwap Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Printable Postage’

DEAR R&R: Newsletter – November 2007

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Dear R&R–I love printed postage!  Thanks for adding this to the site.  Now for the problem: I sent a book to a requestor but she hasn’t marked it received yet.  Because i used Printed Postage I got credit immediately after marking the book mailed (another great feature!), and I know this book was delivered because the DC barcode was scanned.  She got the book, but is lying and saying she didn’t get it!  This is so dishonest, and now it looks like I didn’t send the book.  What should I do? –Puzzled in Pennsylvania

Dear Penny,

Thanks for the kind words about Printed Postage.  The feature is really being used!  We are glad we put the work in to make it available.  About your book–it is possible that the requestor hasn’t gotten the book yet.  She may be away from home, or the book was scanned as “delivered” at her local PO and hasn’t made it out to her residence.   It is even possible that the book was misdelivered.  You can’t presume that she is being dishonest.  She could even have forgotten to mark it received.  You can contact her via Personal Message (use the PM button on the lost book in your Transaction Archive, linked from your My Account page) to ask if she got the book.  If you don’t hear back from her within a week, let us know.  We do monitor “incoming” and “outgoing” loss rates automatically on accounts, and we will intervene if someone’s loss rate is too high.   Don’t worry about your account status; your account will show that you sent the book because you used Printed Postage from PBS and the scan information is recorded with the swap.  If this book is declared Lost, and we have to review your account for any reason, we will see that this book was scanned as delivered, and it will not count “against” you.  You can read more about this situation in the Help document “If a book you sent hasn’t been marked received yet…” in the Help Center.

Dear R&R–I printed the postage on a wrapper, but now I can’t find the book to send.  I think I may have lent it to my sister. I cancelled the request after printing.  Can I get a refund for the postage I won’t be using? –Disorganized in Dallas

Dear Dizzy,

Unfortunately, printed postage isn’t refundable.  The funds are transmitted to USPS and endicia.com when you print.  That’s why the Wrapper Settings page contains this information, and you are asked to confirm that the postage amount is correct before you print.    We are really sorry about this.   Please be sure you have the book that is requested in hand before you print with postage. You can read more about  PBS printed postage in the FAQs About Printable Postage in the Help Center.

Dear R&R–I had an issue with another member, and it really upset me.  But I talked to a Live Help Tour Guide and she really made me feel better.   I am new to PBS and would probably have quit the club if it hadn’t been for this kind Tour Guide who was friendly and sympathetic, and took the time to explain that even though there are some bad apples in the bunch, most of the members are really nice, and she was sure I would have better experiences that would help me get over this one.  She was right!  I have had many swaps since then that have been great, I have met many nice members in PMs, and I have tons of books to read.  I am so glad I stayed with the club!  –Happy in Honolulu

Dear Lulu,

What’s not to be happy about?  You live in Hawaii!  Just kidding.  We really appreciate you writing in about this.  We think our Tour Guides are wonderful.  They are experienced bookswappers, and they can save you a lot of time figuring something out on the site.  They really show the best of PaperBackSwap.  We are so pleased that the Tour Guide was there when you needed her.  We are so glad you stayed too!


  • Do we need to say it? SwapaDVD!
  • Changes to SwapaCD that you will really like…

NEWS: Newsletter – September 2007

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

Just Put Down the Stamps, and No One Will Get Hurt. PBS Printable postage is here!  Yes, now you can print the postage to send your books right onto the PBS Wrapper.  Just click Print Wrapper as usual, and you will see the new Wrapper Settings page with the option to choose postage (PBS-DC included), just PBS-DC, or neither.  Check the package weight estimate and correct it if necessary, then print the wrapper and mail!  Because printed postage is not subject to the “13-oz regulation” (all packages bearing stamps that weigh over 13 oz must be handed to a postal clerk at the PO), you can mail your PBS-printed-postage-package (say that three times fast) with your outgoing mail, drop it in a blue mailbox, etc.  If you don’t have a postal scale, you should check out the one in the PBS Store–it’s a great deal at $24.99.  Remember, you can opt to use printed postage with any package, or not; there is no monthly subscription fee.  It’s as easy (and inexpensive) as we could make it!  Now get a-printin’!  PBS Postage will also become available for Box-O-Books and Custom DC very soon.

She’s in the Money...Well, in the book credits, at least.  The Winner of the PBS Third Birthday Contest (and 50 book credits) was Dawn F., who made a spectacular guess of 1,477,378 for the total available books as of noon on September 1st.  The actual number was just ONE book more: 1,477,379.   We got guesses all over the spectrum (a couple of you thought we’d have seven million books!), and some very close to the number, but no one as close as Dawn.  We don’t know if she’s pyschic or lucky or what, but we will be asking her to choose our lottery numbers for sure…

Apology from PBS. We had significant server trouble on August 20th; it took down the whole site for several hours, a really unprecedented length of downtime for PBS.  It took a while to track the problem to its source: the PBS Daily Digest and Daily Wish List.  These emails really put a strain on the server.  We think we have fixed the problem now.  We know you all love your Digests!  We are sorry our servers found them…well, indigestible.

DEAR R&R: Newsletter – September 2007

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

Dear R&R–I sent a book and the requestor says she got it but I didn’t get a credit! What gives?  –Cheated in Chattanooga

Dear Chatty,

There are three possibilities here:

(1) You did get the credit, and you spent it after getting it

  • When the requestor marked the book you sent received, you would have gotten an email from PBS telling you that you got the credit.
    • If you sent the book with PBS-DC, you may have gotten the Quick Credit early, and when the book was marked received, you had already gotten credit; in this case you would have gotten two emails: one telling you Quick Credit had been given, and one telling you the book had been received.
    • You can check your Club Communications file (linked from My Account) to see copies of your recent PBS emails.
  • fter getting the credit, you may have requested a book, and that is why it seems you did not get a credit; OR if you marked a Lost or Canceled book received in your Transaction Archive since getting the credit, this would have removed the credit, as you were telling the system that you got an extra book. (Please read How to Use the Transaction Archive in the Help Center for more information about this.)

(2) The requestor marked a different copy of the same book (sent by a different member) received.

  • If you did not mark your copy of the book mailed and the transaction canceled, the requestor could have gotten two copies, and could not mark yours received (since you had not marked it mailed); if she marked one received she marked the second copy, and that sender got credit.  In this case, you should read My request was canceled but I already mailed the book! in the Help Center, and the requestor should read I received 2 copies of the same book! for more information.
  • If the requestor marked the wrong copy received (ie, she marked the same title received from a Canceled Transaction in her Transaction Archive), then the credit went to that sender (who may never have sent the book, or even responded to the request!). In this case, the requestor should read I accidentally marked a book received! in the Help Center.

(3) The requestor has not yet marked any copy of the book received.  She can read the Help doc How to Mark a Book Received in the Help Center, and follow the instructions in there.

We know that it is confusing not to be able to see your credit and PBS Money history on the site, and so we do plan to make this information available from your account page very soon.  That will make figuring something like this out much easier!

Dear R&R–I sent a BoB to another Boxer, and she got my books, but I never got hers!  She is not responding to my PMs.  What do I do?  –Swaplifting Victim in Sewanee

Dear Vic,

Well, she might not be a “swaplifter”.  She may be out of town, and hasn’t seen your PMs.   Or she has had some kind of emergency that has interfered with her PBS activity.  But you could not know this of course, so in the case where a Boxer is not answering PMs about a swap, you should contact us so we can look into the situation.  We recommend giving the books 2 weeks from the date they were marked mailed to arrive; then sending the Boxer a PM that clearly asks for a response (“I haven’t gotten your books.  Did you mail them yet?”); and then giving the Boxer a week to respond.  If she doesn’t respond to you, let us know by sending in feedback giving the name of the other Boxer, and explaining the situation.

The vast majority of our Boxers are honest and dependable.  PBS functions on the honor system, and it is a testament to the honorableness of our membership how infrequently Box-O-Books swaps go wrong.    When they do, it is usually not due to a member’s dishonesty.  But there will always be “bad apples” and if you let us know following the instructions above, we will look into things as quickly as we can.  Thanks to timely alerts from disappointed Boxers, we have been able to nip bad-apple behavior in the bud and keep our club working the way it is supposed to!

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. 🙂  We want this service to be affordable to our members.  There is no subscription fee, and you can choose whether or not to print postage with each wrapper you print.  You can reprint any wrapper without charge (but obviously each wrapper can be used to mail only one package), but you will not be able to change the postage amount after printing the first time, so be sure the amount is correct before you print! The system will calculate the least expensive postal rate (Media Mail or First Class Parcel rate) automatically for your shipment, based on weight.  It is a great idea to have a postal scale to check your package weights against the system estimate that will show (and is correctable) on the Wrapper Settings page.

When you click Print Wrapper Now, you will be able to download the wrapper (you can choose to download it or have it download and open); then you just have to print the downloaded file.  The backup wrapper link (beneath the Print Wrapper Now button) works the same as always–no download necessary; instead, the wrapper image is shown on a printable web page.  Oh, and we had some requests from beta-testers to change the font size on the wrapper, but unfortunately, this is not possible–USPS is very strict about printable postage wrappers, and we have to follow their guidelines.  And you may notice the “black box” next to the postage amount at the top of the wrapper–this is also required, and indicates any non-First-Class mailing.  If the package is being sent First Class, that black box will not appear.

Those are the basics–now we’ll go update the Help Center!