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Subject: Question
Date Posted: 9/4/2009 11:17 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2009
Posts: 6
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I just mailed off two books & the woman at the post office said that it would be cheaper to mail them as media mail but they would be subject to inspection. Anyone know why they'd be inspected?

Amanda W

Date Posted: 9/4/2009 11:25 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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USPS reserves the right to inspect media mail to make sure the items inside the package qualify for media mail. Books defiinitely do.

No idea what would actually trigger an inspection, though. Random sampling? Package isn't the right dimensions/weight for media thereby arousing suspicion? Mood of the inspector? Orders to inspect everything (there was a thread a while back saying might be what's happening in one state)?

Date Posted: 9/4/2009 11:28 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2009
Posts: 6
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oh ok...thanks for your help :)

Date Posted: 9/4/2009 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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welcome :)

Date Posted: 9/4/2009 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,178
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I'd imagine that they are more likely to inspect, if the package seems like it might not contain just books (boxes, etc). That's one reason (among several) that I mail paperbacks in the PBS printer wrapper instead of a mailer. I think it has less potential of being opened for inspection.

Date Posted: 9/4/2009 12:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,223
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It's just a fact of media mail. Like others said, not sure what the triggers are but they do inspect.

Most of us send pretty much everything media mail. There are exceptions like sometimes it's cheaper with single, smaller paperbacks to send first class (under like 6.2 oz) or some send first class to any address that's APO/FPO.

It's your choice, but once you get going with PBS it could get way expensive to send first class all the time.

Date Posted: 9/4/2009 1:07 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2008
Posts: 3,898
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The only items that I have received with "an inspection slip" from the post office in it (when they open a package to inspect it, they put a piece of paper in there stating that it was inspected) was boxes of books that I have received. These packages were inspected for obvious reasons because they could contain something other than books. I have never had a package that looked like a book (either PBS wrapping or bubble mailers) inspected. if it is obviously a book, they will not inspect it.

Date Posted: 9/4/2009 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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Up to 8 oz it is (roughly) the same cost or cheaper to use First Class.

I've never received a package that had been inspected.


Date Posted: 9/4/2009 3:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome Amanda!!

7 oz. and under is cheaper to send first class, over that is cheaper Media Mail.  Although the 8 oz. weight break is only .03 more for First Class.

I've received hundreds of books, and not had one inspected either.

Last Edited on: 9/4/09 3:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/4/2009 6:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
Posts: 108
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I have received over 700 books between the two swap sites I'm on and have never had one opened for media mail inspection. However a package that came to me from the Phillipines with a guitar playing book in it was opened and inspected by homeland security. There wasn't a note, so the only reason I knew it happened was because the tape they reclosed it with said 'Inspected  by The Office of Homeland Security'.