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Topic: Media Mail question

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Subject: Media Mail question
Date Posted: 5/1/2008 3:04 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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ok, so we all know that media mail is to ship media and it has been said that you cannot include anything else except the media (and an invoice)

I was looking through the USPS website and it says that the only thing that cannot be included is advertising.  Does this mean you could include a note?  would love to have reference to where on the USPS site it says nothing other than media!  I searched but couldn't find it!

oh and I tried searching through the threads but there is soooo much that it would take forever to find a reference!

Last Edited on: 5/1/08 3:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/1/2008 4:07 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,513
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You know, I've wondered that as well.  At first, I used to write "enjoy" on the little paper that you include with your book, but then I worried that I could put Media Mail in jeopardy, so I've not been doing so.

Date Posted: 5/1/2008 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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Here's what you're looking for Leslie and Mimi. I'll edit to include a link to the entire section of the DMM.

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 rate for the host piece is based on the combined weight of the host piece and the incidental First-Class Mail attachment or enclosure.

DMM 173 Rates and Eligibility (Media Mail)

173 4.0 Attachments and Enclosures spells out what's allowed to 'ride' along with media mail.

Last Edited on: 5/1/08 5:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/1/2008 5:37 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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thank you Connie, that is what I was looking for!

so it seems that you can include a personal note with the book and not be penalized as long as it is secondary in weight to the primary item (the books)

Last Edited on: 5/1/08 5:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/1/2008 6:08 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,513
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Thank you! I will go back to my "Enjoy" notes!

Date Posted: 5/1/2008 6:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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Be careful about including anything else, because even though the guidelines seem to allow it, there are PO employees that will reclassify it if ANYTHING else is in the package they inspect. I have even seen a few people say their PO person said that the PBS slip disqualified the package for MM.  Even if they would be in the wrong doing that, it would be a PITA for the receiver to go through the hassle of getting the book postage due and having to argue with the PO that they are wrong.

Date Posted: 5/1/2008 6:58 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I rarely include anything that is more than the packing slip but was having this discussion on a round robin that I'm doing and the PO person asked if there was anything more in the box.  I don't think she is aware of the rules or that they have changed but it isn't a PO I use often and the only reason why I used it was because I needed DC and I didn't know how much the box weighed to use paypal.

niffir - ,
Date Posted: 5/1/2008 9:20 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 495
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When I've mentioned having a card enclosed with a book (like a birthday card), I was not allowed to use media mail.  So it sounds like, at least in my experiences, they are *not* allowing little "first class" items to be included.  At least the clerks I've run into aren't.

Date Posted: 5/2/2008 6:52 AM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2008
Posts: 1,080
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I allow an invoice and brief comments to be included with media mail with no extra charge. Something like a card I would charge for first class enclosure as noted in section 4.3 from the above link. This means that the package is weighed and goes for media mail and then I ask how much the card/letter weighs. First class postage is applied for just that weight (usually one ounce, so currently 41 cents). I mark the outside of the package media mail and first class enclosure so if it is inspected they should know it is paid for and send it on.

If you are trying to educate your postal employee, have the DMM reference 173.4.3. If they have the POS computer system at the counter, the screen where you add services like insurance has a button to select first class enclosure. The computer will guide them from there asking for the weight of the enclosed piece.

Date Posted: 5/2/2008 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 2/18/2006
Posts: 58
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Actually here is the DMM reference which is the official determination for media mail.  Note  it says personal correspondence or markings require additonal first class postage.  Then it lists the exceptions to the additional postage requirement:  You can write a note like Enjoy or happy birthday as it pertains to the item being mailed.  However a birthday card or letter enclosed within would require you to pay the first class postage. 


Written Additions

Markings that have the character of personal correspondence require, with certain exceptions, additional postage at the First-Class Mail rates. The following written additions and enclosures do not require additional First-Class Mail postage:

a. The sender's and the addressee's names, occupations, and addresses, preceded by "From" or "To," and directions for handling.

b. Marks, numbers, names, or letters describing the contents.

c. Words or phrases such as "Do Not Open Until Christmas" and "Happy Birthday, Mother."

d. Instructions and directions for the use of the item mailed.

e. A manuscript dedication or inscription not having the nature of personal correspondence.

f. Marks to call attention to words or passages in the text.

g. Corrections of typographical errors in printed matter.

h. Manuscripts accompanying related proof sheets and corrections of proof sheets including corrections of typographical and other errors, changes in the text, insertions of new text, marginal instructions to the printer, and corrective rewrites of parts.

i. Handstamped imprints, unless the added material is in itself personal or converts the original matter to a personal communication.

j. Matter mailable separately as Standard Mail printed on the wrapper, envelope, tag, or label.