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Topic: Paperbackswap.com "note to receiver" not Media Mail ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

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Subject: Paperbackswap.com "note to receiver" not Media Mail ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
Date Posted: 1/16/2008 5:15 PM ET
Member Since: 10/3/2007
Posts: 1,056
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I  find this odd. I just received a book in the mail today from a paperbackswap.com  member wrapped up in the printed paperbackswap.com label. There was a note inside from USPS saying it does not quailfy for Media Mail.

I received the book with a stamp from the Postal Service on it that it was"opened for inspection by USPS".

It was also stamped on the outside postage due 87 cents.


Inside is a note from USPS with a note stating "Contents did not qualify as Media Mail. Written by hand it says "informational letter enclosed".  The informational letter is just the information for the receiver from paperbackswap .com     That seems just crazy to me because if I receive a book in the mail I may not remember off hand if I purchased it off of another site or if I ordered it from paperbackswap.com without the enclosed informational letter or getting onto paperbackswap.com and checking.

It says "Media Mail may not contain advertising except books may contain incidental announcements of other books,and sound recordings may contain incidental announcements of other sound recordings and guides or scripts prepared solely for use with such recordings. "

This Postal Worker that marked this must be a little goofy. I just can't believe you can't give enough informtion to let the receiver know where the book came from.


Has this happened to you ?



Date Posted: 1/16/2008 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2006
Posts: 9
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Ugh - sorry that happened to you!

I don't normally include the slip of paper, since the PBS label has the name of the member on the front, and when you go to mark the book "received", you don't need to know who it came from anyway unless you have multiple copies of the same book coming to you.

But still -- I find that slip of paper in a lot of books I receive from PBS members, and can't believe they consider that inappropriate for Media Mail.  Whoever was inspecting needs a bonk on the head. 

Date Posted: 1/16/2008 6:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/3/2007
Posts: 1,056
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Yes, I beleive this was just a mistake.  They do  need a bonk on the head. LOL

Date Posted: 1/16/2008 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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Media Mail can contain invoices or receipts, so to me, that's what the PBS info sheet is all about.  I would send this on to R&R and let them know.

Date Posted: 1/16/2008 7:57 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 422
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I specifically asked about this when I first mailed some books. I described the sheet and was told that it would not be a problem. Actually they said it was nice to have to address inside in the event the package was damaged and the address on the front was illegible.

Nina (handing Sherry a rubber mallet, suitable for bonking)

Date Posted: 1/16/2008 11:32 PM ET
Member Since: 10/3/2007
Posts: 1,056
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LOL ~ Thanks for the rubber mallet. It may just come in handy when I go to the Post Office next.

Date Posted: 1/17/2008 8:50 AM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2005
Posts: 438
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Here's a link to the USPS website describing what is allowed in media mail.  Invoices are allowed but the wording is so convoluted.  I guess the postal worker didn't see it as an invoice.  I can't remember what the thing looks like now.  Does it say invoice on it?  Perhaps it should be re-worked to look more invoice-ish and less informational-ish so the random USPS worker having a bad day doesn't flag it wrong.  Has anyone notified R&R?


Rebecca W.

Date Posted: 1/18/2008 12:18 AM ET
Member Since: 10/3/2007
Posts: 1,056
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I think unless there are other complaints of it not passing for an invoice there is probably really no reason to bother revamping the form. I have not seen anyone else complain on here about this so I am assuming this was rare.


At first I wasn't sure if this happened due to a recent change in USPS policy or not ,but  i don't think it was due to a change, just an error.


Thanks again, everyone, for your input.



Date Posted: 1/18/2008 2:32 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2006
Posts: 184
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I know they can consider it a message if you WRITE on it - like Thanks!  Enjoy! or whatever.

I normally don't put it in, since I tend to print them, then use them to do postage with from my computer.

I've had a lot of media mail opened lately and a lot of media mail - 2 or 3 books? go missing either to me or from me. 2 books last month were opened and then put in plastic bags - it is not nearly as safe as just to write it tight or to put it in bubble mailers like most members do.  The USPS puts stuff in big old plasti bags just rattling around in there with a note they inspected my  mail. 

It is getting old.  I am starting to think I must be on the terrorist watch list or something.

(forgive my typing, I'm missing letters b/c I need a new keyboard!)

Last Edited on: 1/18/08 2:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/27/2008 9:21 AM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2007
Posts: 3,220
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About a year ago I was mailing a book via Media Mail. I got a post office worker who must have been PMSing that day. She really grilled me on what I was calling Media Mail. She told me that the inside paper can only have the name and address plus the name of the book and the cost (I was sending a book via Half.com at the time).

You can not write "Thank-you for your order" or "Have a Nice Day" or anything like that on your receipt. You can not include advertising for other books. You can not have a cute little picture at the bottom or top of your page, not even a smiley face.

Page 2 of the PBS mailers do give Information for the Receiver which maybe the Post Office does not think is appropriate.

I have mailed out close to 50 PBS books and never had a problem, that I knew about. At times, I have cut page 2 down just to show intended recipients name and address, but most of the time I just throw the whole page 2 in there, because it is faster and easier to do it that way.

Hopefully, what happened to Sherry was a  rare occurence. The post office can get rather picky about what they do and do not accept as Media Mail, but you have to realize that they loose money on variations from what they  term as Media Mail. I have gotten Media Mail that is full of all kind of advertising brochures. (Not from PBSers - other sites where I paid for the book.) Actually, Media Mail is probably not a Post Office money maker so they may be stricter than usual on it.

Just keep up the good work everyone. PBS is a great institution. I consider it a form of recyling.

Happy coming Spring,

Marla Maye