Discussion Forums - USPS Postal Regulations USPS Postal Regulations

Topic: Books with Pics NOT Media Mail?!

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Kim (Mistry) -
Subject: Books with Pics NOT Media Mail?!
Date Posted: 9/30/2016 12:41 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 4,089
Back To Top

I went to mail out a Cookbook today and was told by 2 PO Employees that my book couldn't go Media Mail because A.) It wasn't Educational and B) Books with Pictures can't be mailed using MM.  Say What?!  I've been a member since '06 and have mailed plenty of cookbooks, DIY books and kids books, all with pictures and never had a problem.  I pointed out that as long as there is no written correspondence that it was considered MM and I'd mailed tons of books, through them personally at that PO.  "Well, some things have changed."  When I asked her to show me where it said that, she couldn't.  I took my book to another PO and when asked, "Just books?" "Yes, just a cookbook."  she was asking what I had cooked, what the name of the book was, etc, but NEVER said that because it had pictures and was a cookbook it couldn't go Media Mail.  When I asked her about that, she gave me a funny look and said, " As long as there is no written stuff, notes, etc, it's Media."    Has anything changed re: MM that we should be aware of?  Thanks!

Date Posted: 9/30/2016 1:04 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,829
Back To Top

clerks are not always well trained.

Date Posted: 9/30/2016 6:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2014
Posts: 852
Back To Top

You may have to find out the regional supervisor's phone number to give them a call. That is after you've gone to the post master of the p.o. that gave you the unnecessary trouble with media mail.  Making a copy of the part of the DMM that says what's eligible for media mail and showing them might or might not help.

BTW, you are also allowed to enclose a packing slip (the PBS printed wrapper) per the DMM.

Date Posted: 9/30/2016 8:52 PM ET
Member Since: 3/19/2011
Posts: 126
Back To Top


Last Edited on: 1/7/17 11:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 6
Kim (Mistry) -
Date Posted: 9/30/2016 11:06 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 4,089
Back To Top

Thank you all! I appreciate the answers. I do plan on speaking to the Post Master. They were not overly friendly about it either, so I also plan on using a smaller PO that's a little further out but much friendlier and always seems to be on the ball. Never had a problem there. 

Date Posted: 10/10/2016 12:18 AM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 23,333
Back To Top

FYI - comic books, magazines, coloring books, or blank journals do not qualify for Media Mail.  A cookbook like Kraft Philadelphia Ultimate Recipe Collection or anything similar is kinda iffy.  It could be said that since the recipes contain name brands in the ingredient lists, that it is considered advertising for that brand.

I'm sorry you had a problem.  Please do contact the Postmaster to let them know their clerks need additional training.  Media mail does NOT need to be educational.  Anything that qualifies as second class material (magazines) does not also qualify as Media mail.  

mistie -
Date Posted: 10/11/2016 10:33 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,019
Back To Top

Comic books should qualify as media Mail - provided they do not include any advertising.

To the OP, I would simply file a complaint. Approaching the post master may or may not get any action, but, a complaint lodged via the website/phone gets more attention, since there is a record of it.

Date Posted: 6/3/2017 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 12/4/2008
Posts: 190
Back To Top

I know it's an old post, but I respectfully disagree with Cindy. Comic books and educational coloring books qualify for media mail provided they contain no advertising. The popular adult coloring books often don't qualify because there is no evidence of educational material or lots of advertising.  Virtually all cookbooks get media mail, even if there is small incidental advertising for similar from the publisher. Just no paid adverts.  The fact that they show brand names is irrelevant. 

When my family member had trouble at another post office, I went online and printed off the requirements for media mail.  She brought it with her and asked them where else she was supposed to look. She had no problems after that.



Last Edited on: 7/26/17 10:30 AM ET - Total times edited: 1