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Topic: Can you stretch the definition of media mail to include puzzles?

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Subject: Can you stretch the definition of media mail to include puzzles?
Date Posted: 1/4/2010 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2009
Posts: 58
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I recently received a 3 dimentional foambacked puzzle from a shipper on ebay, and it only cost me $3.77 - which is absurd! And awesome!  Ususally the puzzles cost between $8.00 and $12.00 to ship - which is usually what I pay for the item by itself.  She states right on her ebay page that she ships media mail, which surprised me.  Granted it took 2 1/2 weeks to arrive, but I didn't mind because it was so cheap!   But can she really be shipping puzzles media mail?  I would love it if there is no problem with that, then I could talk to other sellers on ebay offering those puzzles to see if they would also try media mail.

 

BTW, if you happen to have any of those Puzz 3D or Wrebbit puzzles and might be willing to part with them, PLEASE let me know!  I am addicted to them!

Date Posted: 1/4/2010 4:58 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
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No, she can not. 

Date Posted: 1/5/2010 12:56 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 13,238
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No, it's venders like that who give the entire Media Mail rate a bad name.  Can you report her to e-bay if she's advertising Media Mail & selling non-qualifying items?  If USPS discontinues Media Mail rates, it's senders like that who will be to blame.



Last Edited on: 1/5/10 12:57 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/5/2010 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2009
Posts: 58
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I knew it was too good to be true.  Bummer.  :(  Yes, I will report her to ebay.

Date Posted: 2/22/2010 12:22 AM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2009
Posts: 287
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Lol, if I send a package to someone thats full of clothes and other stuff I throw in a cd or something just to call it media. The guy at my post office (who is awesome, I might add), told me this was fine to do.

Date Posted: 2/22/2010 1:29 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 13,238
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Major bad info Katlynava. Media Mail rate cannot contain non-media items, none. Even a personal note disqualifies a package for the rate (some clerks even object to a packing slip). As Media Mail can be inspected at any point in its journey, you run the risk of getting caught at which time the package will arrive with postage due...the difference between Media Mail and First Class.

As a point of interest, awhile back my postal clerk mentioned some newbies to our community (from your geographic region) had come in attempting to use Media Mail in that same manner as yourself...send anything in the box, as long as it contains at least one legit media item. The customers were astounded and upset to find it's not allowed, b/c their former post office apparently did this frequently. My post office was actively tracking the former post office to inform them of their grave error...re-training was on the agenda.

I'm inside my post office frequently, and have yet to catch them in an error or less than very well informed. When I ask about some of the problems PBS members encounter in other areas, I get eyerolls and frustration over lack of adequate training in some regions. The entire crew is totally awesome, clerks and carriers!!



Last Edited on: 2/22/10 1:31 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 2/22/2010 8:49 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,101
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1st class only goes up to like 1lb so if it was over and they caught none media mail items being sent with media mail rates-they'd probably bump it up to Priority which could be pretty expensive when not using one of those flat rate boxes.

Date Posted: 2/22/2010 10:23 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
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It depends on the contents. If it weighs over 13 oz. and contained for example a cd and some clothes it would be bumped up to Parcel Post, still cheaper then Priority. If however it contained 1st class material and weighed over 13 oz it would go as Priority.

With all the pressure to make sure Media Mail contains only qualifying material and random inspections etc. it boggles my mind that there are employees out there who still don't get it. This has to reflect on their immediate supervisors and/or lead clerks who's jobs it is to hammer this stuff into clerk's heads.

Date Posted: 2/23/2010 1:59 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 13,238
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I agree Steve, it's mind boggling. There's even an official USPS handbook, and still some employees seem to make it up as they go.

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 2:24 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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NO! But this is typical of what many E-Bay vendors do. I have received clothing, blankets, computer accessories, etc, all sent at Media Mail rate. When it happens, I report the seller to E-Bay and to my local post office. My local post office notifies the sender's post office. Depending on the PO, their PO may notify them of their misuse of Medial Mail and if they continue, the PO can refuse to handle their mail.

It really chaps me when people misuse Media Mail. The post office is doing a great job and having a hard time staying in business due to their loss of mail caused by the internet. Between people misusing priority mail boxes and media mail, the PO is struggling to make a profit these days.

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 2:26 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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Lol, if I send a package to someone thats full of clothes and other stuff I throw in a cd or something just to call it media. The guy at my post office (who is awesome, I might add), told me this was fine to do.

The guy at your post office is seriously misinformed and you are ripping off the Post Office. Just because you can get away with something doesn't make it right. You shouldl be ashamed of yourself.