Discussion Forums - USPS Postal Regulations USPS Postal Regulations

Topic: Mailing books sky rocketing!

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Mailing books sky rocketing!
Date Posted: 12/26/2014 7:16 PM ET
Member Since: 3/21/2010
Posts: 1
Back To Top

I mailed 4 separate books today.  My total for Media Mail was almost $21.00, for four books!  While I love this site and would like to continue to trade books for free, the amount I paid to ship them was almost double the price that it stated on the mailer.  I'm just not sure if it's worth it.  Any thoughts?  I went to a Postal Annex and a post office who both gave me the same price.

Date Posted: 12/26/2014 10:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,387
Back To Top

What did your packages weigh?  Are you sure you were charged for Media Mail? The first three increments for media mail are $2.69, $3.17 and $3.65. That's for up to 1, 2 and 3 pounds, respectfully. DC or other add-ons will bump it up a bit, but your books, even if they were heavy, coffee table books, should not have cost $5+ each to mail, unless the PO charged some other rate, such as priority, which I think is $5.25 for the regular size flat and tyvek mailers.

I just sent 8 books today in four packages for under $12. One HC by itself ($3.17) two separate trade size PBs ($2.69 each) and five regular size PBs, bundled ($3.17).

You can weigh your books at an Automated Postage Center (APC) in your PO and buy postage (choose your own amount, since it doesn't have a Media Mail selection).  

 

 

 

 

Scott (scalta) - ,
Date Posted: 12/27/2014 3:55 AM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2010
Posts: 723
Back To Top

Always weigh your books, there are mistakes in the database.

If the weights are correct, and you paid more than the shipping label indicated, you were not charged the media mail rate, unless you added the expensive delivery confirmation offered by the USPS.  It is cheaper to get delivery confirmation from PBS.

When you hand over your packages to the postal worker, you must specifically ask for the media mail rateDon't just say "give me the cheapest rate" or "I am sending books". If you don't ask for media mail rate, you probably won't get it.


 


 

Date Posted: 12/27/2014 7:43 AM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
Back To Top

There has been no rate increase for Media Mail-or any other service, in quite a while. 

I agree with scalta, you have to ask for Media Mail by name, or you don't get it. $21 divided by 4 books is $5.25 per book, so it sounds like they shipped Priority Mail or Standard Mail. If you said "give me the cheapest rate" Then that's what happened. The Post Office actually loses money on Media Mail, so they aren't going to educate people who don't know about the rate that it exists. Too many people as is try to use Media Mail to ship all sorts of non-qualified material Media Mail, so they aren't going to let more people in on it. 

Date Posted: 12/28/2014 2:19 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
Back To Top

I also agree that your PO staff sent your package(s) at a rate other than Media Mail.

Date Posted: 12/30/2014 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
Back To Top

Don't pay  95¢?/package for tracking at the PO.  It's not financially sound to pay for tracking just in case a package gets lost.  If you're worried about being out a credit just buy one from the Bazaar if a pkg gets lost. 



Last Edited on: 12/30/14 2:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 1/3/2015 9:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2005
Posts: 1,594
Back To Top


Last Edited on: 2/10/15 9:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/5/2015 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,867
Back To Top

On the plus side, I just discovered that the PO uses tracking on all packages now and it's free.  That's great!



Last Edited on: 1/5/15 9:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/6/2015 10:37 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
Back To Top

bigstone, have you figured out how to check the status of a package with that "free tracking"? 

Date Posted: 1/9/2015 12:02 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 598
Back To Top

The "free tracking" will not give you a delivery scan. 

Date Posted: 1/26/2015 6:36 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,617
Back To Top

if your receipt has a tracking number on it that number will scan just like any tracking number. I have had several of those numbers and they work just fine.

Date Posted: 1/26/2015 9:44 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 598
Back To Top

If you are shipping first class from the post office and do not purchase tracking, the receipt will have a PID. They track great except for the delivery scan, which is kind of the most important one...

Date Posted: 1/27/2015 2:02 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,617
Back To Top

If your package did not have a delivery scan that just means the mail carrier did not scan the package at delivery. The capability is there. The bar code is stuck on your package and can be scanned at any time in its trip. I have mailed hundreds of these packages over several years.

Date Posted: 1/28/2015 4:11 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 598
Back To Top

Again, PIDs will not have the delivery scan online. The post office staff can access it via their system. There was a glitch for a few months where PIDs were fully tracking online, they have since resolved that and they now will either not show up at all, or track to the PO with no delivery scan. 

I know this in part because there is a glitch with either PBS or Endicia that is causing media mail purchased via PBS to not purchase the tracking (all other forms of online postage include tracking but it is 23c extra with media mail online). So they are generating PID numbers, not Tracking numbers. I know the difference because I have shipped media mail both with and without tracking from home, and know what the codes are for the different types and the "tracking" numbers from PBS are PIDs. None of my incoming media mail books from PBS ever have the delivery scan... and I watch my clerks scan every package and all of my other packages show delivery scans just fine. 


So again, if you purchase postage online, it all comes with free tracking except Media Mail, and MM Tracking is only 23c extra online. If you purchase postage at the Post Office, Priority has free tracking, but you have to pay extra for tracking for Media Mail and First Class. If you do not pay extra, you will get a PID # instead of a tracking number, which may not may not show up online, and will not show a delivery scan online. 

The "free tracking" is fine for a book swapping site, but it is not fine for online sellers. Many a naive seller has been scammed when a buyer noticed the lack of delivery scan, filed a dispute, and won because there was no delivery scan. 

Date Posted: 1/28/2015 7:23 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,617
Back To Top

I guess we will have to agree to disagree. My experience has been different from yours.



Last Edited on: 1/28/15 7:23 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/28/2015 7:35 AM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
Back To Top

Charles, what Becca says is true. I work for the Post Office.

Date Posted: 1/28/2015 9:53 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,617
Back To Top

January 26, 2015 , 9:20 am

Delivered

BOSTWICK, FL 32007

this is a scan from a media mail package purchased at my post office with no tracking purchased

January 23, 2015 , 12:13 pm

Delivered, In/At Mailbox

NEW YORK, NY 10013 

 here is another one. media mail with nothing but the number on my receipt.

I don't have 1st class examples because I use paypal when I use 1st class and that has free tracking.



Last Edited on: 1/28/15 10:00 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 1/30/2015 1:41 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 598
Back To Top

What are the first four digits of your tracking number?

Date Posted: 1/30/2015 1:43 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 598
Back To Top

And related to the original post, it looks like media mail rates will probably increase in April. But maybe we will get free tracking? I had a hard time translating USPS legalese and apparently so does everyone else because none of the shipping websites have put out anything detailed on this yet  http://www.prc.gov/Docs/91/91164/Notice%20Attachments.pdf

http://www.prc.gov/Docs/91/91164/Notice.pdf

For those who ship first class at the post office, tracking will be offered for free once these changes take effect. 

Philip (wingate) - ,
Date Posted: 1/31/2015 9:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2010
Posts: 61
Back To Top
My solution is to buy old stamps at a discount on Ebay and use them. Saves at least 30 percent. Works great for books under 13 Oz, else I have to go to the PO to drop them off in person.