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Topic: Opened Packages

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Subject: Opened Packages
Date Posted: 1/28/2009 4:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2008
Posts: 204
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An odd thing is happening. 3 of the last 4 books I received arrived opened. (The neighborhood watch says nobody is entering my mail box). It looks like someone is forcing their way into the packages and making no attempt to reseal. I'm not familiar with postal policies. Are certain packages subject to an inspection?

Today it rained heavily. Miraculously, the book didn't suffer water damage.

Date Posted: 1/28/2009 4:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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perhaps they aren't being packaged well?  I'm not sure how they were sent but did they use just the paper wrappers and perhaps scotch tape?  or did they use envelopes?

Date Posted: 1/28/2009 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 5/24/2007
Posts: 35
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Media Mail is subject to inspection. However, from what I've read around the forums here, if the PO opens it they usually leave some sort of indication that it's been inspected. (Again, this information is simply what I've gleaned from trolling the forums, I've never had a package opened myself.) :)
Date Posted: 1/28/2009 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,136
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Media mail is subject to inspection, but the post office should reseal the package and stamp it with a notice that it was inspected.  If your mailbox is out in the open I'm not sure how the neighborhood watch would know that no one is tampering with it, unless they stand outside your place and watch the entire time!  Are the envelopes cut open, or just open at the flap like they might be if they weren't sealed properly?  I would call the post office to report it if nothing else, it wouldn't hurt. 

Date Posted: 1/28/2009 6:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2008
Posts: 204
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Thank you all for the info. I was unaware that media mail was subject to inspection. Yes, I will call the P.O. too.

It's still disconcerting though because I, too, think that the post office would attempt to reseal the packages or leave a note. I can tell the books were originally packed well by the shippers because the envelopes seem to be torn into...as if the inspector was losing patience.

If a potential thief is opening my packages, he must think I have the worst taste in the world since he never steals them (how insulting of him...haha). 

Date Posted: 1/28/2009 7:01 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 3,205
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In all the books that I have received from here only one has ever been inspectied.  The PO does put in a notice and they do reseal the package.

Date Posted: 1/28/2009 7:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,452
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I questioned our postal people about MEDIA MAIL and inspection, and was told that ANY postal employee can open media mail to check it.  Some time ago (and I don't  know exactly when it was happening) the postal people were required to open Media Mail to check it (and this may have only been our area).  I was also told that they don't usually open it unless they suspect that someone is trying to send something media mail that really isn't.  They also try to seal it up pretty much the way it was originally sealed, and they don't indicate that they inspected it. 

I've never had a package inspected (to my knowledge).  Pat

Date Posted: 1/29/2009 3:23 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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I would guess it is a hungry sorting machine along the way to you. Some of those just rip lots of packages open.

Date Posted: 2/3/2009 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
Posts: 1,520
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In the last five or six months, I have received three packages that looked as if they had been ripped open by an angry grizzley!!!!  Luckily, the books were OK.  I am old enough to remember when a letter or package was damaged by the PO, they put it in another clear envelope before they delivered it to you and marked it "damaged".   I guess that policy has gone the way of a lot of other PO services!  LOL

Date Posted: 2/4/2009 8:00 AM ET
Member Since: 11/16/2007
Posts: 745
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In the last five or six months, I have received three packages that looked as if they had been ripped open by an angry grizzley!!!!

Yeah, I get that too, but not with PBS books. I get it with catalogs and magazines sometimes. That's just the PO machines, the package gets caught in them.

Date Posted: 2/5/2009 2:59 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I've gotten my fair share of ripped open books.  Sometimes it's been a miracle that the book stayed in the wrapping at all!  It's always a sad thing.  I recommend to senders to use packing tape to cover all the edges and ends of the books to cut down on the odds of this happening.  but sometimes the ripping open happens in the middle of the address label.  I've learned to pretty much coat the entire label with tape.  I always give "feedback" to senders whose books have been ripped open because there wasn't enough tape.  Most are gracious about it - some ignore it.  At least I try!


Date Posted: 2/5/2009 3:09 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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I've found that the best way (at least for me personally) to mail out books is to use bubble mailers, self-adhesive labels, and sometimes a small strip of tape if the corners aren't smooth.

The bubble mailers do a good job of padding the book and are waterproof enough that I don't feel a need to plastic wrap the book.  The labels are fantastic time savers.  I use the kind that come two to a full sheet,perforated between each.  That's important because if you put the full sheet in you'll get the address on one label and the second will be wasted when the "Information For The Mailer" part prints on it.  Being self adhesive it's just a matter of print, peel, stick.  I use PBS printed postage and DC, so I can literally accept a book, wrap it, print the label and postage and have it in my mailbox in under two minutes.

Never had a book done this way lost or damaged yet.


(For those looking for a good price on bubble mailers, I usually buy from uline.com and they cost me around 17 cents each)

Last Edited on: 2/5/09 3:10 AM ET - Total times edited: 1