Media mail restrictions

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Original Post

SudsNSuch says

I need to mail a book and the restrictions say no advertising material. Does that mean I can't put a business card in with it?

Posted at 3:10 pm Nov 17, 2008 EST


SudsNSuch says


Posted at 3:13 pm Nov 17, 2008 EST

It does. According to the extremely bitchy evil woman at the post office, it means you can't even put a letter in it. She made me send it priority or parcel post once because she asked me what was in it. I said a book. She said, "did you put a letter in it"? Just a thank you note. Grrr....

Posted at 3:15 pm Nov 17, 2008 EST

I think primarily that means, it can't be a straight advertisement... like you can't mail advertising fliers through media mail. Adding things to another package, like the book, is fine.

Posted at 3:15 pm Nov 17, 2008 EST

really? That's crazy. I've sent things via media mail and had letters and cards and such with it, and never had an issue. Sounds to me like someone was having a bad day and wanted to pass it on to someone else.

Posted at 3:16 pm Nov 17, 2008 EST

I used to run a book business. I included my business card with every order and never had a problem.

Posted at 3:16 pm Nov 17, 2008 EST

HeathensHearth says:
really? That's crazy. I've sent things via media mail and had letters and cards and such with it, and never had an issue. Sounds to me like someone was having a bad day and wanted to pass it on to someone else.


I asked the post office later and they said you can't. It's only for media mail ONLY. Nothing else. I think most of them don't ask or will let it slide cause it's a letter for goodness sake.

Posted at 3:17 pm Nov 17, 2008 EST

Media Mail® service is a cost efficient way to mail books, sound recordings, recorded video tapes, printed music, and recorded computer-readable media (such as CDs, DVDs, and diskettes). Media Mail can not contain advertising except for incidental announcements of books. The maximum weight for Media Mail is 70 lbs.

Ok... so maybe, but I think it would be ridiculous for them to charge you because you stuck a business card in there. I mean, after all, you're wrapping it in bubble wrap or other protective material 99% of the time that isn't "media"... I say send it, it will probably be fine.

Posted at 3:18 pm Nov 17, 2008 EST

Ah. that sucks adoration. Me, I'm with the military, don't ask don't tell. LOL. Guess that makes me a bad person.

Posted at 3:19 pm Nov 17, 2008 EST

Oh I found this, it's a bit long but it may answer your question:

What Is Media Mail?

Media mail gives you the advantage of shipping up to 70 pounds of material at drastically reduced rates through the US Postal Service, but all of the contents have to qualify, and the USPS reserves the right to open the package to verify that you have followed the guidelines. From the United States Postal Service Quick Service Guide 370, contents can include:

... books (at least eight pages), film (16 mm or narrower), printed music, printed test materials, video and sound recordings, playscripts, printed educational charts, loose-leaf pages and binders consisting of medical information, and computer-readable media. Sound recordings may include incidental announcements of recordings and guides or scripts prepared solely for use with such recordings. Books may contain no advertising other than incidental announcements of other books.

If you try to send anything OTHER than these items, or even include something else in the box, and it is discovered in transit, the package is likely to arrive POSTAGE DUE. I had this happen to me on the receiving end of a package, which thankfully was not an eBay transaction ... but it certainly taught me a lesson.
It Happened To Me

One of my relatives sent me a book and a card for my birthday. She had wrapped the book up and stamped the envelope on the card, but put them both in a box together and sent them as Media Mail. En route to me, a postal employee inspected the package, found the birthday card (stamp and all) and decided that the entire package no longer qualified for the lower rate. It was recalculated at the higher rate, and delivered POSTAGE DUE to me. Whoah!! Happy Birthday!
It Could Happen To You Too

Have you ever included a thank-you card in the box along with the item that you are shipping? How about an advertisement for your business? These extras may NOT be considered media mail, and could jeopardize the classification of your entire shipment.

My advice is to be VERY CAREFUL when you use Media Mail, to stick strictly to the list of approved items, and to certainly not try to abuse the system by attempting to slip things by. It could turn into a headache for your buyer, and a potential negative feedback for you in the end!

Posted at 3:19 pm Nov 17, 2008 EST

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