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Topic: Bookmarks In Media Mail

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Subject: Bookmarks In Media Mail
Date Posted: 3/10/2012 11:55 AM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2007
Posts: 7,802
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Are they allowed?  I was under the impresson that since they were not bound printed matter free of advertising that they could not be included.  Yet, someone in a thread in the Questions About PBS forum said that they could be included. So, which is accurate?  Included or not included in media mail?

Date Posted: 3/10/2012 12:36 PM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2006
Posts: 3,478
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I would like to know the answer to this too. I received a lovely book "thong" as I believe they are called in one of my PBS book requests. I did not have to pay any extra as it wasn't inspected. But if it had been, would I have received it postage due because of the bookmark?


Date Posted: 3/10/2012 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I've not seen a post yet where members say they have been denied or charged extra for a bookmark, but it's going to depend on the interpretation of the postal inspector (if the book is one of the few that gets inspected). 

I asked at the counter, and my PO staff feel that a bookmark (mailed with a book) is incidental and they are fine with it.  Other members post that their postal clerks squak and whine about the PBS insert/invoice...which is specifically allowed under their own DMM regulations for Media Mail.

I've both mailed and received bookmarks with books, without any problems whatsoever.  I wouldn't let the rarel Crankypants spoil the fun.

DMM (Domestic Mail Manual) subsections 4.4 to 4.5 seem to address Media Mail contents and enclosures.  And excerpt:

170 Retail Mail
173 Prices and Eligibility
4.5 Incidental First-Class Mail Attachments and Enclosures

Incidental First-Class Mail matter may be enclosed in or attached to any Media Mail piece without payment of First-Class Mail postage. An incidental First-Class Mail attachment or enclosure must be matter that, if mailed separately, would require First-Class Mail postage, is closely associated with but secondary to the host piece, and is prepared so as not to interfere with postal processing. An incidental First-Class Mail attachment or enclosure may be a bill for the product or publication, a statement of account for past products or publications, or a personal message or greeting included with a product, publication, or parcel. Postage at the Package Services price for the host piece is based on the combined weight of the host piece and the incidental First-Class Mail attachment or enclosure.

All the regulations for media mail start at: http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/170_cover.htm

Date Posted: 3/11/2012 2:36 PM ET
Member Since: 5/1/2007
Posts: 6,559
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A while ago, I sent an e-mail to customer service on usps.com re: are bookmarks allowed to be sent with a book via media mail.  I received a reply e-mail saying that bookmarks are allowed. 

Date Posted: 3/11/2012 11:26 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Thank you for the verification Jean, my local counter clerks are rarely wrong!

Date Posted: 3/12/2012 5:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 7,759
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is closely associated with but secondary to the host piece, and is prepared so as not to interfere with postal processing.

I think this is key.  Bookmarks "go with" books, so are associated but secondary to the host piece (the book), and as long as it's tucked inside shouldn't interfere with it going through the machines.

I've gotten lots of bookmarks through PBS with no problem, and I think I'd fight it if someone tried to charge me first class for a bookmark being included.  My local PO says it's fine, so I've luckily never had an issue.