Media Mail for Magazines?

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Original Post

I have some old craft magazines I was thinking of selling online. A friend who owns a bookstore said if they are out-of-print, they can go Media Mail. A clerk at one Post Office said if there is advertising in the magazine they can't be send Media Mail even if it is old and if the package feels funny, the post office will check. A worker at another post office said old magazines are ok for Media Mail but newer ones with current advertising are not. I had 2 "sample" magazines weighed to see what it would cost to send (to 90210)and Parcel Post was $8.10! Who would pay that....She suggested I use a Priority Envelope which brought it down to $4.95 (I think), but still alot more than Media Mail.
Any one have experience with this?

Posted at 10:35am Sep 13, 2009 EDT


I have heard that Media Mail is SLOOOOW, so you might be better off going with the Priority flat rate envelope.

That seems a lot for Parcel Post - those must be some hefty magazines!

Posted at 10:37am Sep 13, 2009 EDT

I would just send them Media Mail and be done with it. Too many times different clerks say different things. Just do it.

Posted at 10:38am Sep 13, 2009 EDT

ismoyo says

Media that contains advertising is not eligible for media mail. You also can't send two books with a magazine (with ads) together as media mail.

Plus it can take up to forever to arrive. So i'm not a big fan.
If you do use it, make sure your customers know and are willing to wait for their order.
I know a lot of people don't mind paying a bit more if that means they get their purchase sooner!

Posted at 10:43am Sep 13, 2009 EDT

Personally, i wouldn't risk my customer not getting their order. According to the USPS website-

"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."
You never know how well this is enforced, but do you really want to take the chance that your customer's order doesn't arrive or is delayed?

Posted at 10:43am Sep 13, 2009 EDT

I have shipped media mail many time with my other site. I would just ship it media mail, but as stated by FuzzyLumpkin, it can be very very slow. Ex. I live in So. Cal, shipped a book via media mail to San Francisco ( 8 hour drive) and it took 7 days to get there. Also, if it is going to Alaska, or Hawaii, give it 3 - 4 weeks or more. I would offer the buyer both priority, priority flat rate ( if you have multiple magazines) and media letting them know how long it will take and let them decide.

Posted at 10:45am Sep 13, 2009 EDT

Media mail is SOOOO slow. Unless your buyer is going to have no problem waiting a month+ I would send them priority and be done with it.

Posted at 10:45am Sep 13, 2009 EDT

Magazines cannot be shipped Media Mail, Media Mail is randomly inspected by the Post Office, and they tear the package open to do it. If they find a magazine, they will either send it back to us (damaged), or send it forward (damaged) with Postage due! Yes, there are some sellers that use Media Mail for magazines but one day they will get caught. I use Priority flat rate envelopes for my magazines. You can usually get two magazines in there and make sure you tape it really good. It cost 4.80 if you print shipping on line.

Posted at 10:52am Sep 13, 2009 EDT

gizmos says

Have shipped very few magazines in the long distant past, but lots of books. Good to know about the post office ripping packages open.

Posted at 10:59am Sep 13, 2009 EDT

I just sold my first magazine back issue the other day. Sent it first class because it was only a few cents more than media mail. If media mail is signifcantly cheaper, I will ship it that way. I order books from a lot, and they are shipped Media Mail, and I usually get it in about a week.

Posted at 11:04am Sep 13, 2009 EDT