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Old 11-26-2003, 08:29 AM
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hokiefan hokiefan is offline
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B&P etiquette & FAQ

The following is a step by step guide to "Blank and Postage" (aka B&P). These instructions are perfect examples of trading etiquette.

Remember, the person burning the show is providing you a service out of the kindness of their heart. They have lives too! They don't live to burn, but they want to share the music. Chances are, you are not the only B&P they have to finish. It is their generiousity that is the backbone of the trading community. BUT in the same vein B&Pers have an obligation to the requestor. If you offer a B&P, be expected to honor it in a timely fashion. If you don't get your B&P within 2-3 weeks, and you make several attempts to find out why without reply, then you have a right to complain. If you offer a B&P and can't complete it, or the burn fails for some reason, communicate with the requestor, send back the blanks, and/or work something out in a civil and responsible manner.

Communication is the key to a successful B&P.

So what will I need?
Your going to need a couple things in order to do a B&P. The following supplies can be picked up at any home office retailer (OfficeMax, Staples, etc.).

1. An outer envelope. This can be any envelope capable of holding the rest of your materials being mailed out. Normally 9" x 12" Brown Clasp Envelopes are used.
2. The returning envelope. This can be any envelope that is padded in some way that can hold your returning CDs. Normally 6" x 9" Self-Sealing Bubble-Lined Envelopes are used.
3. CDs. The type of CD is really up to you (they most be CD-Rs not CD-RWs). There are differences in quality in discs. The preferred CD type for trading is Sony, TDK, Fuji, or Memorex. One thing they DO need to be is the 80 minute CDs (many shows are longer and need to be on the 80 minute CDs). They should also be all speed if possible.
4. CD Sleeves or Jewel Cases. Your CDs should be keep in some sort of protection. CD sleeves are light and will reduce your postage amount compared to Jewel Cases.
5. Standard index cards or some sort of paper to be included into the package for reference information. Do not write on the CDRs!



Now that you have everything you need its time to get it completed.

1. Take the correct number of blank CDs, as specified by the B&Per, and place them individually into the CD Sleeves (or Jewel Cases).
2. Take the padded/bubble envelope and put YOUR address as the Mail To address, and the return address is that of the B&Per. (This is the enveloped coming from the B&Per to you.) Do not reuse "used" envelopes. The last thing a B&P'er wants to do is tape your used envelope shut. This is your responsibility not his/her's.
3. Take the blank CDs that are in the sleeves and place them into the padded/bubble envelope. Do not write on the CDR!
4. The note (on the note card). Here you should write down the show you have set up to receive and your email address or however you were communicating with the B&Per. Also this is your chance to mention how grateful you are for the offer and your chance to build a friendship. Once you are finished place the card into the padded/bubble envelope.
5. DO NOT SEAL THE PADDED/BUBBLE ENVELOPE! If you do this the B&Per will not be able to remove your discs and burn them.
6. Take the outer envelope and write the B&Pers address on the outside in the Mail To position and your address in the return position. Then put the unsealed padded/bubble envelope into the outer envelope. (Do not seal outer envelope)
7. It is now time to mail them. This part is very important. The easiest way to do this part is to go to your local post office and have it done infront of you. It is possible for you to do it all at home if you have a scaled and the correct amount of postage. A calculator is provided by the postal service at http://postcalc.usps.gov/ . But if you do it the easier way, take both packages to the post office. First have the padded/bubble envelope (with the CDs and everything still inside) weighed and STAMPED. It is VERY important that the padded/bubble envelope have stamps on it and NOT metered postage because postal regulations require that metered postage be used on the date issued, and only for traffic from the originating city. In other words, they are only valid from that post office, on that date. After you have had the padded/bubble envelope stamped, place it (still unsealed) into the outer envelope. Now have the outer envelope weighed with the padded/bubble envelope inside. This can me metered as long as your mailing it at that time (which you should or are).
8. Send an email (or however you are communicating) to the B&Per and let he or she know that you have mailed the package.

Now just wait a couple weeks or so and you should receive your first show. Once you have received the show you should email the sender and let he or she know you have received the shows. You now have enough to trade or you can get a couple more B&Ps if needed. Enjoy!
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Old 12-05-2003, 09:11 AM
boy_like_me boy_like_me is offline
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That is as comprehensive as it gets.

Only thing that I will add is that I HATE TDK discs.title=Mad I always have problems with him.

Brian
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Old 12-05-2003, 09:37 AM
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UpInYourHeart UpInYourHeart is offline
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You have problems with TDK? Oh man, I like those little babies, it's Memorex that I always have problems with (and people who I've given mix cds on them usually can't play 'em in most of their CD players either, even if they're specifically able to play CD-R/W and Mp3s).
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