Category Archives: Shopping

Kudos to Zenni Optical Quality Control. Hints about PD (Pupillary Distance). Transition Lenses. Progressive Lenses. 20% Discount Code for July 2018

On July 4, 2018, we placed our 3rd and largest order with There are a total of six (6) pairs of prescription eyeglasses in this order, for four (4) different people. Two of the pairs are for me. I ordered the same Metal Frame ($6.95 base price for the eyeglasses), for a pair I will use when I use my 14″ Laptop, and another pair with a prescription for Distance, which are being made into Sunglasses with an 80% Gray Tint.

When I went to the Optometrist at the end of June 2018, she put 61 for the PD for the Laptop glasses and 63 for the Sunglasses. Melissa measured my PD and she came up with 61. We made a mistake and we changed the PD of the Sunglasses from 63 to 61.

Kudos to Zenni Optical Quality Control for catching our error! They put our    order on “Hold” and sent me an email which included the following:

“The PD is the distance between the two pupils, center to center. It appears that the pair of #461821 with Sph +0.75 /-0.25 is single vision glasses for
reading/near correction, while the pair of #461821 with Sph -1.25/-2.25 is
single vision glasses for distance use. Normally, the reading PD is 3mm less
than the distance PD. Will you please check with your optometrist and email us your correct distance and reading PDĄŻs?”

I replied that the Optometrist had specified 61 for the Laptop and 63 for the Sunglasses and that we had changed that in error and that the Sunglasses should have a PD of 63. The slight delay because of our error will result in me having Sunglasses that are a little closer to perfect.

We are VERY pleased that Zenni Optical caught OUR error with the PD for the glasses I will use for Distance, on the street, the Sunglasses.

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We paid $7.45 for “Priority” Shipping to our Receiver/Forwarder in Miami FL USA.  They say “Priority” shipping should take about 10-14 days, to a U.S. Shipping Address, but our last order (May 2018) was delivered to them in    Miami, in 9 days, which I think is amazing, because the eyeglasses are made in China, shipped to California, clear U.S. Customs and are then Tendered to USPS in the San Francisco area and sent via USPS Priority Mail.

I am getting my first eyeglasses from Zenni Optical. These are the first         eyeglasses I have purchased since my LASIK surgeries during November 1997. My eyesight has deteriorated in the 20+ years since the LASIK surgeries. The Shipping charge is the same, for one pair or for multiple pairs of eyeglasses, to Shipping Addresses in the USA.

The Zenni Optical prices include the Frame and Basic Lenses. If one has a high prescription then the lenses cost more. Also, they charge $4.95 for Anti-Reflective Coating, which I believe is critical, and $4.95 to make them into Prescription Sunglasses (I am getting an 80% Gray Tint).  Bifocal lenses, Progressives, Transition Lenses, etc., cost more, but probably FAR less than from an Optometrist or Optical store.  Our experience is that the Zenni Optical Quality Control is very high, so if one enters their Prescription and PD. correctly, I think that almost guarantees the lenses will be perfect or close to perfect.

About PD.  We have learned about this, since placing our first order with Zenni Optical during October 2016. At that time, we ordered a pair of eyeglasses for Melissa and a pair for Pilar  That was to “get our feet wet” and see how it went. It went extremely well.     it turned out that on the old Prescription Pilar had, the PD was WAY off, which was why she had such a hard time with those eyeglasses.  Melissa printed out a PD Measuring thing, from the Zenni Optical web site, and they both checked each others PD, multiple times.  With the corrected PD on that old Prescription, Pilar was able to use the eyeglasses she got from Zenni Optical, without problems. They both got new prescriptions from an Optometrist located near the hotel we stayed in, in Bogota,    during the first week of May 2018, and I went to the Optometrist here, who had examined Melissa eyes during October 2016, during the last week of June. 

My belief is that the PD being off a few mm is not critical, but that being a long way off, as was the case with a Prescription Pilar had a few years ago, will make the glasses very hard to use.

As I told Melissa, this is our 3rd order with Zenni Optical and we are learning.

I read that Zenni Optical ships approximately 15000 pairs of eyeglasses each day and their average customer has 5 pairs of their eyeglasses. 

I believe the PD could be off by 3 or 4 MM and few people would notice a difference. However, there are some people with extremely tricky prescriptions (probably a tiny or small percentage of the people who wear eyeglasses) where even a tiny error in the PD could make a difference.  I think an error of 8 or 10 in a PD could make big difference in whether or not someone would be happy with their eyeglasses.

I suspect that few people know about the fact that there are different PDs for “Near” glasses (like Reading glasses, or the ones I ordered for using with this Laptop), or the PD for “Distance” glasses like the ones I ordered to be made into Prescription Sunglasses. When-Melissa measured my PD she came up with the same number the Optometrist came up with for the “Near” glasses I will use with this Laptop.

Had I only ordered one pair of eyeglasses and not had the PD on the Prescription (apparently that is quite common in the USA?) we would have gone with the PD number Melissa came up with, which was apparently 3 less than it should be for glasses used for Distance. Again, I doubt being off by 3 would be noticeable to most people who wear eyeglasses. 

Transition lenses have a finite life.  They will become unusable in approximately 36 months.  They wear out, like tires on a car. Also, they are not a substitute for prescription sunglasses, but are very good, if one is going back and forth, from a place with much Sunlight to inside, every few minutes. Not to be used in a car, because the Windshield of a car blocks UV and that makes it impossible for the Transition Lenses to do that. Transition Lenses worn inside a car will not darken for the Sunshine, as they would if one is outside of the car.  They would probably work quite well where we live, in a Tropical Valley, with very little fluctuation in temperature from Low to High during the day. They do not work well where it is very hot or very cold.

For me there are several “deal breakers” against Transition Lenses. The Finite life would be one of them. Many people need a new prescription before 36 months, and there are other issues that cause me not to want to buy them, but many people love them. They are more convenient than having to change between regular eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses..

I always try to remember to look on RetailMeNot for Discount/Promo codes before placing an order online and I found a 20% “Discount” or “Promo” code for Zenni Optical there, good until the end of July 2018, , at the end of June or beginning of July. Early in the morning of July 4, 2018, hours before we placed our order with Zenni Optical, I looked on RetailMeNot and that 20% discount code was not shown, but it did work for us and we saved $38.24 USD on this Zenni Optical order, by using the Discount Code gasave20     If you order during July 2018, I hope this code will work for you too. The code is gasave20

Apparently some people who try Progressive Lenses get Dizzy or Nauseous when they wear them. Three of the six pairs in our latest order have Progressive Lenses and that’s approximately 50% of what we paid for the six pairs of eyeglasses. For each of the three pairs, the cost of the Progressive Lenses was $27.95.

Many Frames cannot be used with Bifocal or Progressive Lenses.  I suspect that is because of the shape and/or sizes of the lenses that fit into those Frames.

Used Textbook in outstanding condition from discover-books on eBay

Melissa needed the Physics textbook for the TTUISD Physics course. They have a new Physics course in development, but it’s not ready yet. The book we ordered is for the old course and is dated 2002.  Widely available Used, at very low cost, or at very high cost.

After the 2 bad experiences recently with Thrift Books on eBay, where in 13 days, they cancelled both orders I placed with them for textbooks, I ordered the Physics textbook for Melissa from discover-books on eBay. They are located in Toledo, Ohio.   On my PayPal account, the charge was shown as Owls Books.

The Physics textbook was listed in “Used-Good” condition.  When the carton from our Receiver/Forwarder in Miami FL was delivered to our house, yesterday, in the late afternoon, and I looked at the book, I thought it might be “Brand New”.  Melissa believes it is in “Like New” condition and possibly might be “Brand New”.

I paid USD $5.93, including shipping, to our Receiver/Forwarder in Miami, Florida.

discover-books shipped via DHL eCommerce and the service to Miami FL was excellent, including the transfer to USPS in Orlando and the delivery to our Receiver/Forwarder from their local post office.

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ALWAYS search for textbooks with the ISBN number. NEVER search for textbooks with anything but the ISBN number. VERIFY the ISBN number, before you click to buy.


If an Unused Access Code is necessary, communicate with the Seller, via Messaging, before purchasing and ask them to confirm that the access code has not been used.  Apparently, sometimes the Access Code is sold separately. If possible check with the Instructor, to see if they plan to use the Access Code during the course. We bought a Textbook for Melissa that is normally used in college courses, Used, and to my surprise, it came with an Unused Access Code. Occasionally, you will see Used Textbooks listed, with an Unused Access Code. Confirm that with the Seller, via Messaging, before you click to buy if you need the Access Code.

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We have never rented, because we live in South America. That works for many people in the USA, but there was a recent thread in a web forum I participate in, where they returned the textbook, and then the company said it was in bad condition, and charged their credit card for a new book. There is no way one can dispute that.


Sometimes, a “New” book will cost less, or just slightly more, than a “Used” book. I am looking at a book for Melissa that is like that now. Less than one dollar more for a “New” book.  Some “New” books on Amazon, etc., may have a school stamp and are heavily discounted. Some “New” books do not have an Unused Access Code.


I never pay for Premium shipping. I always use the $3.99 Standard Shipping within the USA.  Sometimes, people have delays, with Premium Shipping, because it is an unusual transaction for the Seller. Sounds illogical, but I have seen that in more than one Feedback on Amazon.


Read the most recent Feedbacks and especially the ones for the past 30 days.


We have purchased several textbooks that were sold for $0.01 (one cent plus shipping), that were in excellent condition. Occasionally, Amazon Sellers will get into what I call a “price war” and their computerized pricing algorythm will go as low as one cent, if the book is not sold before the listing price gets down to one cent.  The price of a book that has been in a price war, from a large seller, has NOTHING to do with the condition of the book. Apparently a high volume Seller on Amazon can make 30 or 40 cents profit, from the $3.99 shipping charge.


At least one book listed on Amazon as “Used-Very Good”, when Melissa inspected it, she said it was a “New” book. It had a school stamp (from a school district North of San Francisco), but she said it “smells like a New book”.

I NEVER CONSIDER buying books on Amazon that are listed in “Acceptable” condition for Melissa.I try to buy books listed as “Used-Very Good” for her, but will drop down to “Used -Good” if there is a big price differential.

When I have the book on Amazon, I will check the different prices, New, Used-Like New, Used-Very Good  and then Used-Good. Sometimes I can get her a book, listed in better condition, for the  same or less money.

Quite a few of the used textbooks we have purchased have been in better condition than the Seller showed in their Amazon listing.


I have purchased several books on eBay and saved money over what the same book in the same condition was selling for on Amazon at that time.


For Amazon items, you can use the free service to watch for price drops.


Two of the textbooks we need to buy for Melissa now, I checked the prices on Alibris and AbeBooks a day or two ago.   I think I will buy one of them on Alibris and save $5 over buying it from the same Seller, on Amazon, by using a Discount Code.


Melissa is just beginning her first course (Algeba 2) that uses an eBook Textbook.  TTUISD changed to new High School Math courses, early last September, that use eBooks.  She had enrolled in Geometry, during August 2016, and that course used a traditional textbook.

The eBook license was USD $15.75 and there is no Sales Tax or Shipping or delay for shipping involved. The license is for one year. They also have a paper version of that textbook available. I think it was approximately USD $105, plus shipping, and probably we would also have needed to pay FL Sales Tax.That is from MBS Direct in MO, the company that acts as the TTUISD “Bookstore”. For us, Overseas residents,  the eBook is a big winner, not just because of the enormous price differential, but because Melissa got access to it in a couple of days. No Shipping charge. No FL Sales Tax (our Forwarder is in FL and we have everything sent there and then Forwarded to our house).

I do not consider FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) listings because in some Feedbacks for those, I have seen where Amazon deleted the Negative Feedback from the Purchaser, because they say it was the fault of Amazon.  Conclusion: Positive Feedback Ratings for FBA Sellers may be falsely high.


I always leave Feedback for Sellers on Amazon and eBay after receiving and inspecting an item. That is extremely important for the Sellers, especially for low-volume Sellers. Review. Why we bought glasses from Information that may be helpful to know, before placing your order with

The “bottom line” for our family, after receiving the two (2) pairs of glasses we ordered for Pilar and Melissa, on October 21, 2016, is that Pilar said that on a scale of 5, where 5 is perfect, this purchase was a 10. Pilar and Melissa are very happy with the glasses they received from

I now believe that few Optical Laboratories in the world have the extremely high QC (Quality Control) standards that Zenni Optical has.

When you are on the web site, placing your order,  after you specify the Frame you want, and you enter the information about your Prescription, you will see several options for the lenses. I suggest that you select, as we did, the lenses the ZenniOptical system suggests to you, for that combination of Frame and Prescription. We did that and the lenses are excellent.

We placed our order on the web site the afternoon of Friday, October 7, 2016 and paid $2.50 additional, for Priority Shipping, to our Receiver/Forwarder in Miami, Florida, USA. The package from Zenni was Out for Delivery in Miami, 8 days later. The glasses were sent from Miami, to our house in Colombia, in a carton with 2 books for Melissa and was delivered to our house 6 days later. On their web site, Zenni Optical shows 10 – 14 days, for Priority shipments to addresses in the USA. Our package was delivered in Miami in 8 days.

This is the first time we have ordered eyeglasses online and from but it will not be the last time we order from  We had purchased Single Vision glasses for Melissa, 2 years ago, in a local optical store. They have a Plastic frame and they are perfect. Melissa needed a stronger prescription. Approximately 6 months after Melissa’s glasses were purchased, Pilar went to an Optometrist, in that same optical store, for a prescription and then she ordered glasses from the same optical store. They had 2 qualities of Plastic frames. Pilar told the woman she wanted the higher quality frames, which cost approximately USD $10 or $15 more, than the less expensive frame. Pilar’s prescription is for Bifocals.  Pilar has had horrible problems with the Plastic frame, and the lenses scratched, although she tried to be gentle with them, when cleaning them. I suspect the woman in the optical store sold Pilar the lower quality, lower cost frames, although Pilar told her she wanted the higher quality frames. Two purchases, in the same optical store, but with very different results. I wonder if Pilar’s lenses were made in the same optical laboratory where Melissa’s lenses were made.

I now believe that the QC (Quality Control) in the Optical Laboratories that actually make the prescription lenses, and install the lenses into the frames, is frequently very bad.  Also, in the Prescription that Pilar received, the “P.D.” (Pupillary Distance) the Optometrist put on the prescription was apparently far from correct. Before ordering from Zenni, we printed out the measuring tool from the web site and that measurement for “P.D.” is what was submitted to Zenni Optical for Pilar. The measurement with the Zenni tool was correct.

Melissa selected a Rimless Frame ($27.95 glasses) and obviously those are the most fragile style of eyeglasses one can order, so the durability remains to be seen.  They are very nice. Zenni Optical even included a Tool Kit, in case one needs to make adjustments or change the lenses, which they show how to do on their web site. Stainless Steel Spring Hinge Frame with Polarized Magnetic Snap-on Sunlens 348112    The URL is

Melissa has Myopia and Astigmatism, which is Hereditary on my Father’s side of the family. Her Myopia increased and she needed a stronger prescription. The Zenni web site recommended a $9.00 upgrade, which we selected, for “Lens: 1.59 Polycarbonate Single Vision”.Those are the most Impact Resistant lenses Zenni Optical sells and they recommend them for Rimless glasses (which is what Melissa selected) and for glasses for children.  The Optometrist had specified Anti-Reflective coating, and we specified that for Melissa’s glasses and for Pilar’s glasses.  That upgrade was $4.95 for each pair of glasses.  “AR Anti-Reflection Standard anti-reflective Coating”.  The next time we order from I am also going to specify a 10% Amber or Yellow Tint, to reduce glare when  looking at computer displays, etc. That is a $4.95 option on each pair of glasses.

When we began looking at the web site, I wasn’t sure whether Pilar and Melissa would order Metal frames or Plastic frames. Metal frames are the most durable frames. To get a combination of Durability and not risk the possibility of allergy problems, I suggested that if they chose metal frames, they look at the Stainless Steel frames, which is what they selected. If they had chosen Plastic frames, Zenni Optical Customer Service responded to my email question, about which Plastic Frames are the most durable and told me that their frames made from TR90 Plastic are the most durable.


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Pilar selected a Half-Rim Frame ($19,00) glasses. Half Rim Stainless Steel with Polarized Magnetic Snap-on Sunlens. 581121
The URL is

Before our next order from, we will get a new prescription for Pilar (we used an old prescription for her glasses) and we will get the other number for Melissa, the Optometrist put the CYL numbers down, but she put zero for the Axis and the web site requires both numbers for Astigmatism correction), so they can add correction for Astigmatism. Also, some Zenni Optical frames come in 2 or 3 sizes and it is important to try to get the proper Frame size.

Standard Shipping to addresses in the USA is $4.95. We upgraded to Priority Shipping, which was $2.50 additional.  The shipping charge is for the entire order, if there is more than one pair of glasses.

After applying a discount code, the total cost of our order was USD $82.02.

Pilar uses Bifocal lenses and that was a $17.00 upgrade.  “1.50 Bifocal (with a line)”. In the tracking of the order, Pilar’s glasses had 4 QC (Quality Control) checks and Melissa’s had 2 QC checks. I assume that is because Pilar’s lenses are Bifocals and more complicated. We placed our order on a Friday afternoon and Melissa’s glasses were finished on Saturday. I believe they work 1/2 day on Saturdays. Pilar’s glasses were finished on Monday and 5 days later, on Saturday, the USPS Tracking web site showed them “Out for Delivery” in Miami, FL, USA.

Zenni includes Anti Scratch protection, free, on all of their glasses. And UV protection.

I read a lot of reviews on the Zenni web site and watched some YouTube video reviews.  The next time Pilar and Melissa order glasses, I am going to order a $6.95 pair of glasses and  have them made with non-prescription lenses and tinted Grey, 80% so I can use them for sunglasses.  Among the 86 reviews about those $6.95 glasses, for the half-rim metal frame I chose, about 5 or 6 people compared them to glasses they had paid $300 to $500 for, in the USA.  Also, there seem to be fewer people who had problems with the lenses Zenni made for them, than what they had received from Optical places in the USA.   For the $27.95 Glasses Melissa chose, one person wrote s/he is an Optometrist and had been wearing the rimless glasses from Zenni for 2 years. Now, ordering with a new prescription and reordering from Zenni. Anyone who has had to have glasses remade, because the lenses are incorrect, I suspect will do better, the first time, with Zenni. This is the Frame I will get for my non-prescription sunglasses (I had LASIK surgeries in 1997 and no longer wear prescription lenses). Lightweight Metal Rectangular Eyeglasses 461821  This is the URL:

The web site shows how to do many adjustments  and if one breaks the frame and they still have that model available, one can buy the frame without the lenses for 1/2 price and they show how to replace the lenses in different types/styles of frames.   I think they will send replacement nose pieces, screws, etc., if they are needed.

One woman who did a YouTube video review said that she ordered 4 pairs of glasses and after she received them, she realized that the prescription she had submitted to Zenni was her old prescription.  I forget whether or not Zenni made the new lenses for free or charged her.    So, if one has a problem and is in the USA, they can send them back to Zenni for a refund or credit  (partial or full) or have them remade or whatever works best.

I remember the last pair of glasses I had made when I lived in Texas. After I got them, I had problems. I called the office of my Ophthalmologist and was told, “that’s common, try them for a week or so and if you still have problems, call us for an appointment”.  When I went to their office for an appointment, they checked the new glasses and they found that the Optical Centers of the Lenses were not in the Center of the lenses.  When I went back to the Optical store (Texas State Optical) the woman told me, “there are Quality Control checks” and I told her, “well, in this case, the Quality Control was worthless”.  They remade the lenses for me and then they were fine.  I now believe that is an extremely common experience,, especially with high Myopia and Astigmatism, Also, occasionally, Optometrists do not give the patient the correct prescription. An example of that is the incorrect P.D. in the prescription Pilar was given.

Some of the Reviews I read on the web site said the people had more problems with difficult prescriptions they purchased in far more expensive brick and mortar optical places  than they did with the glasses they bought from Zenni Optical. Some mentioned the glasses they bought from cost 90% less than the glasses they had purchased in a brick and mortar Optical store. Quality Control is one key issue. The other is having the correct prescription. 

On the surface, one might assume (incorrectly) that going into an expensive Brick and Mortar Optical store would result in fewer problems, so it seems incongruous that I now believe the truth is that there are probably a higher percentage of Zenni Optical customers who receive trouble-free prescription glasses, than do people who purchase them in expensive brick and mortar stores, as I did before I had LASIK surgeries.  The difference is apparently faulty QC (Quality Control) in many of the laboratories that make prescription glasses for Brick and Mortar Optical stores.

I watched a YouTube video made by a woman whose husband had photochromic lenses. They were outside shoveling snow in 9 F. weather and it was sunny.  After they went back inside their house, his lenses never turned  completely clear. Her lenses did turn completely clear.  She contacted Zenni Customer Service and explained the problem with his lenses.  They gave her an RA (Return Authorization) number and they had her give them the information for his prescription, at that time, so they could begin making replacement glasses for  him, before they got the glasses with the problem lenses back.  She was going to send his glasses back to Zenni later that day or the next day.  

One thing I noticed, when I was waiting with Melissa for her appointment with the Optometrist in the Optical Office on October 6th:   A boy was being helped by the clerk to select a frame for his new glasses.  I think she showed him approximately 6 frames to try on.  I suspect that when one goes into a Brick and Mortar store, to look at frames, the clerks and the patients only have the time and patience for 6 to 12 frames.  After that, there would probably be too much confusion and a lack of time.  On the web site one can look, in a leisurely way, at a huge variety of frames and select the one they like the best. 

Frame Size is a variable I didn’t know about when we placed our order. Melissa had a Plastic Frame that has been trouble free and I suspect that if she had ordered a Plastic Frame from (she didn’t, she ordered a Rimless Stainless Steel Metal Frame from Zenni) that the numbers printed on the Temple would have been helpful in selecting another Plastic frame.  Pilar’s glasses were bad (purchased from the same Optical store 6 months later) and they replaced the Temples, about 6 months ago, or more, so probably the Frame Size numbers for her frame shown on the Temples wouldn’t have been useful. I think from reading Reviews on the Zenni web site it is mostly the width of the frame that matters.  Some frames are available in 2 or 3 sizes.

A childhood friend in the USA wrote me that he has 2 pairs of very expensive metal frames. One frame he’s had for about 20 years and the other frame for about 10 years. Every year or 2, he gets a new Prescription and then he goes to Costco, to have the old lenses replaced with new lenses and new nose pads put in.   From what he wrote, frequently, the new lenses are wrong and must be remade.  I suspect there are a lot of lenses being remade…

Zenni ships to more than 80 countries.

Textbook purchase on Alibris. Paypal payment and Discount Code

Last night, I needed to purchase the 10th grade English textbook for Melissa. I wanted to pay with Paypal and Amazon does not accept Paypal. A childhood friend has purchased some books on AbeBooks, but they do not accept PayPal. Then, I remembered Alibris. Alibris accepted my Paypal payment. Also, before placing my order, I looked on RetailMeNot and I found a coupon code, for a 15% discount on the price of the textbook. The price of the used textbook was $30.00 and the discount was $4.50.

Something I have occasionally noticed, when looking at the price of the same textbook on Amazon and on AbeBooks, is that occasionally the same book from the same seller has a different price, sometimes lower, sometimes higher, on AbeBooks. For this textbook, the price, for one seller, on AbeBooks was approximately $20.00 higher than on Amazon. It is important to check prices on more than one marketplace!

Used textbook purchased from Bookbyte Textbooks and shipped via FedEx SmartPost

On January 8, 2016 at 329 P.M., E.S.T. I ordered a Used Textbook, described as “Used – Very Good”, from Bookbyte, an Amazon Marketplace Seller located in Salem, Oregon.

The textbook was in the condition Bookbyte showed in their listing on Amazon. Possibly it was better than “Very Good”. In the past, we had purchased 2 or 3 other textbooks from Bookbyte. They are the first Seller I noticed using FedEx SmartPost, for Standard $3.99 shipping of textbooks to our Shipping Address in Miami, Florida.

Bookbyte uses “FedEx SmartPost Bound Printed Matter” service.  The approximate road mileage is 3311 miles.

As you can see by looking at the FedEx Tracking information below, Bookbyte shipped the textbook to us that same (Friday) afternoon. The package was delivered by USPS to our Receiver/Forwarder the following Friday, January 15th.

I like Amazon and eBay Sellers who use FedEx SmartPost, because the packages are in the normal FedEx system, until arriving at the FedEx facility in Orlando, Florida. You can see in the Tracking details, the transfer, from the FedEx facility in Orlando, to the FedEx SmartPost facility in Orlando. Orlando is where they Tendered the package to USPS for final delivery in Miami,  on January 13th.


1/15/2016 – Friday
1:36 pm Delivered MIAMI, FL
Package delivered by U.S. Postal Service to addressee
12:54 pm At U.S. Postal Service facility MIAMI, FL
Accepted by U.S. Postal Service
8:35 am Out for delivery MIAMI, FL
Out for delivery with the U.S. Postal Service
7:29 am At U.S. Postal Service facility MIAMI, FL
Accepted by U.S. Postal Service
1/14/2016 – Thursday
9:36 am In transit MIAMI, FL
In transit to U.S. Postal Service
1/13/2016 – Wednesday
10:00 pm Shipment information sent to U.S. Postal Service
9:50 pm Departed FedEx location FEDEX SMARTPOST ORLANDO, FL
10:10 am Arrived at FedEx location FEDEX SMARTPOST ORLANDO, FL
9:16 am Departed FedEx location ORLANDO, FL
5:20 am Arrived at FedEx location ORLANDO, FL
1/10/2016 – Sunday
9:07 pm In transit ST LOUIS, MO
7:56 am In transit CHAPPELL, NE
1/09/2016 – Saturday
7:56 pm In transit CORINNE, UT
6:47 am Departed FedEx location TROUTDALE, OR
12:58 am Arrived at FedEx location TROUTDALE, OR
1/08/2016 – Friday
8:32 pm Left FedEx origin facility SALEM, OR
5:00 pm Arrived at FedEx location SALEM, OR
3:19 pm Shipment information sent to FedEx


Better World Books and BestWay Parcel

This was our first purchase from Better World Books, which is located in Mishawaka, Indiana, and with an item shipped by Bestway Parcel, a company I’d never heard of.  We purchased a textbook listed as “Used – Very Good” from them, on Amazon, and it is in very good condition. I had been watching listings for that textbook on Amazon for a long time and was extremely happy, when Better World Books listed the textbook, with a rock bottom price, far below the prices of the other Amazon Marketplace Sellers who had that textbook listed.

As I write this post, Better World Books has received 9408 feedback’s on Amazon, during the past 30 days. Of those, 97% are Positive feedbacks. For a company that ships thousands of used books each weekday, that seems to be a phenomenal percentage of satisfied customers.  The company is a member of the BBB (Better Business Bureau) which is “a plus” for me, whenever I consider purchasing from a company, and they have an “A+” BBB rating at the time I am writing this post.

Based on this one purchase, I will be happy to purchase textbooks and other books from Better World Books, if they have them in the condition I want and at a good price.

Bestway Parcel apparently operates a service similar to DHL Global Mail, UPS Mail Innovations and FedEx SmartPost. They take the item near to the destination post office and then turn it over to USPS for delivery to the customer.  With this shipment, I found their tracking not as good as that of USPS or the companies I listed, but they delivered the item to our Receiver/Forwarder in Miami, as the other companies do with other items we purchase. We paid $3.99 to Amazon for Standard Shipping to Miami.
The URL for tracking this package that I was given by Better World Books is

The tracking information for this shipment is here:

Date & Time    Activity    Location
06/17/2015 02:14 PM    Delivered    MIAMI,FL
06/17/2015 12:54 PM    Arrival at Unit    MIAMI,FL
06/17/2015 08:11 AM    Out For Delivery    MIAMI,FL
06/17/2015 08:01 AM    Processing Complete    MIAMI,FL
06/17/2015 06:10 AM    Arrival at Unit    MIAMI,FL
06/12/2015 05:59 AM    Arrived at Location    JACKSONVILLE FL
06/11/2015 05:57 PM    Departed Location    ATLANTA GA
06/11/2015 03:51 PM    Arrived at Location    ATLANTA GA
06/11/2015 05:55 AM    Departed Location    CINCINNATI OH
06/11/2015 03:53 AM    Arrived at Location    CINCINNATI OH
06/09/2015 01:44 PM    File Notification Received    MISHAWAKA IN

Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 keyboards


One peripheral that we strongly recommend to you is the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 keyboard. We had used the  Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite keyboards, for approximately 16 years, on our PCs with PS/2 ports. . After she began using a  Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite keyboard, approximately sixteen (16) years ago, it completely eliminated the problems Pilar had with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Pilar had been to doctors and the possibility of surgery, which may have eliminated or exacerbated her problems, was discussed.  Our sincere thank you, to the Microsoft Engineers who designed these wonderful Ergonomic keyboards!


The Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite keyboards are PS/2 devices. At least one of ours came with a PS/2 to USB adapter cable in the carton, but when I tried to use it on my Dell Latitude E6400 (Windows 7 Professional) laptop, on a USB port, the keyboard was not recognized.  The Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 is a USB device. I read a review (on CNET?) that said they had tried to use it with a PS/2 to USB adapter on a PS/2 port, but they were not able to get that to work. Update on 23 May 2015: We have four (4) of the Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite keyboards. Today I got them out of the box they were stored in. One appeared to be brand new, in a Retail box. WIthin the box was a PS/2 to USB adapter cable. I was able to get that keyboard working with my Dell Latitude E6400 laptop (Windows 7 Professional) and Melissa is now using it with her Dell Inspiron 660s micro tower, which is a Windows 7 Home box. I tried the other 3 keyboards, with the other adapter cable we have, but none of them was recognized. Probably those keyboards are an earlier version, or, the adapter cable is an earlier version.

I bought and have been using a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 for the past week and am very happy to be using it, and not the flat and thin keyboard I was using for the past 4 months. There were no instructions included in the carton for the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 keyboard, so I will look for information on the Microsoft web site and other places on the Internet, to learn how to use the capabilities it has.    This photo is an Affiliate advertising link for this keyboard.

Hippo Books purchase on


On March 18, 2015, I placed an order with hippo_books for a book described as “Used – Very Good”. This was our first order from Hippo Books, a huge seller, based in Toledo, Ohio. The most important thing is that the book they sent to me is in “Very Good” condition, as described in their listing. Because of that, I will be happy to order from them in the future, if they have what I am looking for, in the condition I want it and at a good price.

They shipped the book to our Receiver in Miami, FL, via DHL GlobalMail, which is my second choice (after USPS) for books sent via $3.99 Standard Shipping. They claimed that the package was in the hands of DHL GlobalMail on March 19th. That is what their system showed their Customer Service people, but that was not the case.

As you can see from the information from the DHL GlobalMail tracking web site, DHL GlobalMail did not receive Electronic Notification from Hippo Books until Sunday, March 22, 2015. The package was probably in the hands of DHL GlobalMail on March 23rd or 24th, since it arrived in the DHL GlobalMail facility in Orlando, FL on March 26th.

TOLEDO, OH 43607
MIAMI, FL 33122

Mar 30, 2015

6:56PM ET

  1. Miami, FL, USArrival at Post Office

    9:50AM ET


  2. Miami, FL, USOut for Delivery

    9:40AM ET


  3. Miami, FL, USSorting Complete

    4:07AM ET


  4. Miami, FL, USArrival at Post Office

    2:52AM ET


  5. Miami, FL, USArrived USPS Sort Facility


  6. Mar 28, 20154:34AM ET


  7. Orlando, FL, USTendered to USPS


  8. Mar 26, 201511:03PM ET


  9. Orlando, FL, USProcessed

    9:56PM ET


  10. Orlando, FL, USArrival DHL eCommerce Facility


  11. Mar 22, 20152:39PM EDT


  12. Electronic Notification Received

I cannot imagine that employees of Hippo Books would lie to me, intentionally, about the date the book was actually shipped from their warehouse. I believe they told me that it went out on the 19th because that was what their system showed them.

On as I write this post, they show that hippo_books has received 14,946 feedback ratings during the past 30 days and that 94% of those ratings are “Positive”. Considering that they probably ship thousands of books from their warehouse, every day, I believe that is excellent.

Their rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is “F”. Normally, I try to purchase from companies with an “A+” BBB rating, but the rating for Hippo Books is only based upon 32 complaints, which is a tiny number, considering the number of sales Hippo Books makes on Amazon and on other marketplaces where they list the books they have available.

I gave hippo_books a “Positive” feedback on Amazon for this transaction.

Quality School Textbooks and USPS Media Mail


This was our first purchase from this company which is an Amazon Marketplace Seller, qualityschooltexts. Everything about this transaction was awesome. I sent Pre Sale questions, via the Amazon Messaging system, on a Sunday, hoping they would reply in a day or two. I received a reply, approximately one hour later, and it was not from an “Auto Responder”.   I also contacted them after the purchase and their communication was excellent at all  times.

Their listing for the textbook, on Amazon, showed it to be in “Used – Good” condition. The textbook we received could have been described as “Used – Very Good” or “Used – Like New”.

I understand that USPS normally picks up their shipments at approximately 330 P.M. Based on that, the package was delivered in Miami, FL in less than 48 hours after pickup. Had it been delivered earlier, the first time it went out for delivery, it would have been much less than 48 hours, from the time USPS picked it up, in Ohio, to the time they delivered it in Miami, FL and I will copy the USPS Tracking for this shipment to show their excellent performance with this Media Mail package.

I hope that in the future they will have other textbooks that we need to purchase!


February 20, 2015 , 2:45 pm Delivered MIAMI, FL 33122  Your item was delivered at 2:45 pm on February 20, 2015 in MIAMI, FL 33122.

February 20, 2015 , 1:52 pm Available for Pickup MIAMI, FL 33122

February 20, 2015 , 1:14 pm Arrived at Post Office MIAMI, FL 33178

February 20, 2015 , 10:27 am Out for Delivery MIAMI, FL 33178

February 20, 2015 , 10:17 am Sorting Complete MIAMI, FL 33178

February 20, 2015 , 4:15 am Departed USPS Facility OPA LOCKA, FL 33054

February 20, 2015 , 1:37 am Arrived at USPS Facility OPA LOCKA, FL 33054

February 19, 2015 , 2:53 am Departed USPS Facility COLUMBUS, OH 43218

February 18, 2015 , 11:57 pm Arrived at USPS Origin Facility COLUMBUS, OH 43218

February 18, 2015 , 10:42 pm Accepted at USPS Origin Sort Facility COSHOCTON, OH 43812