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Topic: "Received Open" Oh No!

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Subject: "Received Open" Oh No!
Date Posted: 10/20/2009 1:49 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2007
Posts: 135
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Yeah, oh no...with no book! I just got a big envelope stamped "Media Mail Subject to Inspection"...and I have no book! Grrr!


I just needed to rant, folks!

Date Posted: 10/21/2009 12:07 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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*comforting hugs*  stuff happens, so frustrating tho  :(

Last Edited on: 2/27/10 2:01 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/22/2009 9:25 AM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
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There's a form (should be online) that the sender can complete to put a trace on the book.

Date Posted: 10/22/2009 8:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
Posts: 1,619
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You know, I don't mind them inspecting the mail, but at least seal the envelope back where it won't fall out!

Date Posted: 10/23/2009 2:44 AM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2006
Posts: 99
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Do you think that whoever opened to inspect the book started reading it and it was so good that they forgot to put it back in the package?  ;)  If so hope they enjoyed reading it!  LOL  I an sorry for your loss of book do you know which book it was, Maybe someone would have it and could help you out, if I have it I would be more than happy to send you a frebbie...  pm me with infor and I will see if I can help you.  I offer 2for 1 on my shelf, and there are smokers in my home and dogs also. 


Now reading Wild Card by Lora Leigh    this would be one of the hottest books I have read, get frisky go to bed hubby loves me to read before I go to bed :)

Date Posted: 11/1/2009 4:53 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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I just got a big envelope stamped "Media Mail Subject to Inspection"


It says SUBJECT to inspection...not that is WAS inspected. The person who mailed this to you is at fault for not packaging properly. A paper envelope is not an appropriate container for a book, unless it is sealed with a good quantity of 2" packing tape.

Subject: Paper wrapping is OK
Date Posted: 11/1/2009 6:56 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 10,057
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PBS states that paper wrapping is OK.  It's what they suggest and teach new members to use!

The USPS can open ANY package thats meets certain criteria for inspection.  Media mail has always been subject to inspection due

to the limits for using this class of mail and the many  who commit fraud to get the cheaper price for media mail.

Date Posted: 11/1/2009 7:56 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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yes paper WRAPPING is OK, a paper envelope is not, unless it is WRAPPED around the book. a book sliding loose in a large envelope is not good packaging. There is a huge difference between tightly wrapping a book in paper and a book sliding around in an envelope.

Date Posted: 11/2/2009 12:49 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I'll agree with Brandy, paper or manilla envelopes simply are not sturdy enough to withstand Media Maul if there is excess envelope loose around your book(s).  When folded down to a size that fits snugly around the book, and well secured with packing tape, these envelopes make fine mailers.

A package noted as 'subject to inspection' does not necessarily mean it was inspected...merely that USPS reserves the right to inspect the package if they wish.  When inspected, it is required that USPS insert an official document that informs the receiver that their package was in fact inspected...but if the book falls out afterwards, I'm sure the document is also lost.

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 12:17 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2009
Posts: 1
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I have wrapped my books such that the packaging was very tightly and COMPLETELY sealed in the 2" clear postal tape and there was no way to misinterpret that the package was a paperback book.  However, the postal service still cut off the packaging and all the tape.  They did cut out the address part of the label and put it in a new envelope.  The person I was sending it to eventually received the book, a month later.  So, even if you enclosed the entire package in the tape, the USPS can and will still cut it all off (for reasons known only to them) to "inspect" the book.

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 11:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2009
Posts: 10
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Postal Inspectors can watch every move postal employees make via cameras, microphones and one-way mirrors directly over counters. Most employees will not risk their job for reading a book, but rest assured several have been fired for simply reading a magazine that was intended for someone else.

That said, media mail is sent for education purposes at a highly discounted price. The USPS actually loses money delivering books, so the packages are subject to inspection to ensure they are mailed at the correct rate. Most will be marked up as "Inspected by the USPS" if it is inspected. Very few PBS books will be inspected, since the only thing PBS does is books and music, both eligible for media mail. Most employees of the USPS know this company well.

Lastly, there is actually a Customer Support Ruling stating how books must be packaged, based on their weight. Plain paper and scotch tape doesn't do it folks, especially from one side of the country to the other. It's common sense.

A great way to package your books safely and as economically as possible to save weight.... poly bags. I just bought 75 of them for for less than ten dollars.

Last Edited on: 11/17/09 1:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Subject: poly bags
Date Posted: 2/26/2010 6:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2007
Posts: 14
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i have been buying them since the first winter. i got my books all wet. i buy 2 dif sizes. there are several sellers on ebay and not bad pricing.

Date Posted: 2/26/2010 8:50 PM ET
Member Since: 9/9/2009
Posts: 916
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There certainly are postal employees fired for taking or reading books - I know one personally that help herself to a Harry Potter book that was separated from box and she was fired. Don't use paper envelopes with books slidding inside - and remember the packaging tape is your friend - use it generously as the media mail is subjected to miles of conveyor, pnuematic pushers arms, dropping down chutes, pressure of other mail on top and around it.

Date Posted: 2/27/2010 1:43 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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I've found that the PO machines punch holes in the Poly bags making them no longer water proof. I was so disappointed when I got several with LARGE holes in them. I had been using them myself but went back to wrapping in paper with lots of tape - have never had a problem that way.

Date Posted: 2/28/2010 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
Posts: 11,897
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I discussed wrapping parcels on another discussion forum as I used to work at the P.O. Use a thick clear tape to reinforce your parcels. I mail using these poly bags and even manila envelopes but I put clear tape on the entire parcel. A good clear plastic tape is Staples brand and does not cost much or even Walmart carries a Duck brand , which is a little thinner and you will need to use more. That makes it much more difficult to puncture or rip. I have mailed over 700 books with no problems. Also tape the corners/edges a little extra and tape extra over the address label. You want your parcel to glide/slide smoothly not sticking to anything. Use an appropriate size packaging, too, not something too big. And, most importantly, if you can, drop the parcels inside the Post Office. People drop some very nasty items into the blue boxes outside that can damage your letters and parcels; I have seen coffee, ink, gum, used condoms, needles, liquids and other disgusting things inside the tub of the blue mailboxes. They are used like trash containers or someone thinks it's funny to drop whatever inside. Package well and make sure it can withstand weight on top and on its sides. This is not a foolproof method because someone else's parcel may jam and yours, which is next, gets damaged, too, but it may lower your chances of damage/loss. DO NOT USE SCOTCH TAPE.


Date Posted: 3/3/2010 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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So was the envelope torn open or does it look like it was opened in an orderly manner. If the book was in a paper envelope without the corners tightly taped around the book, it probably got ripped on one of their sorting machines and the book got separated from the envelope. You need to do a RWAP on it and if the book was not tightly taped around the book (you will be able to tell by how the tape was on the empty package), ask for your credit back.

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 2:02 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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Also tape the corners/edges a little extra and tape extra over the address label.

I tape over the return address and the sender address along with taping over the numbers under the barcode for the postage. That way if the package gets wet the PO will have the address information and the numbers work the same way the barcode works. I was told by a postal worker NOT to tape over the barcode since that interfers with their ability to scan the barcode.

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 2:04 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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PBS states that paper wrapping is OK. It's what they suggest and teach new members to use!

This is true. But the wrapping instructions also say to tape the paper wrapping securely around the book. The problem occurs when people put a book in a paper envelope and allow the four corners to remain free of tape. Those corners easily get caught in sorting machines and often result in books becoming separated from the package.