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Topic: Time to receive local media mail

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Subject: Time to receive local media mail
Date Posted: 12/19/2009 7:04 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,875
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OK, I know it usually takes up to 3 weeks for typical book to travel 1000-3000 miles in US via media mail.   Should it take a much shorter time if the town I mailed it to is only 2 hours drive time away from where I live and mailed it from?

Mailed book 10 days ago and still not given a credit so I guess I could have driven it there when I went Christmas shopping recently! No answer yet from PM I sent to recipient asking if she got book.

Date Posted: 12/19/2009 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I've had books take a month to go what should just be a few hours. 

I wouldn't have PM'd this person.  There is a reason PBS gives 26 days before marking a book lost.

Date Posted: 12/19/2009 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2009
Posts: 6,852
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I had a book that if I drove it to their house it would have taken 45 mins.  It took 5 days. 

Date Posted: 12/19/2009 8:08 PM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2007
Posts: 7,605
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I think I have all of you beat (insert evil grin). I ordeed a book from a member less than 15 miles away - it took 2 weeks to arrive.

Date Posted: 12/19/2009 9:01 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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Media mail is pretty crazy--and unpredictable!  On 12/2 I mailed a book from California to Maine--using DC.  The last DC scan was in Southern California (I'm in Northern California) and hasn't arrived yet. 


But I sent out a few books last Friday (12/11) from California and they arrived on Monday 12/14 at their destination in Maryland!!  I was schocked at how quickly they arrived!  Then I sent out another book from CA to Maryland on Thursday 12/17 and according to the DC it arrived at its destination today (Saturday 12/19)!

I guess it must be the distance from Maryland to Maine that's the problem!! LOL!

Last Edited on: 12/19/09 9:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/19/2009 9:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,382
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Media Mail is the last thing placed on trucks.  Given the holiday season, those trucks are pretty full which can cause the media mail to sit a few days before going anywhere.  The person could also possibly be traveling for the holiday.

Date Posted: 12/19/2009 10:56 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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The last batch I received media mail made it across five states in a little more than five days.

This is the reason why I always use DC, so that I know when someone has received a book.  You can print postage at PayPal including DC (for 19 cents) at https://www.paypal.com/shipnow.  I sent out two boxes of books today and since I printed out my postage at home, I was able to park in the 15 minute slot in front of my PO and walk up to the box to drop off the packages.  The line to the counter was out the door!  I felt very smug.

Date Posted: 12/20/2009 7:32 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I have also had books sent within the same state, just a few miles away, take weeks to arrive, and books sent across the country just a couple days. It's very unpredictable.

Kate, as an FYI, just because the DC is scanned delivered, you don't really KNOW the person has received the book. You know it was delivered 'somewhere' but there's no guarantee it was to the right person. I have had packages misdelivered to neighbors--fortunately honest ones who did bring the packages to me--but the DC showed it scanned as delivered for several days before the book was actually in my hands. If those neighbors had been jerks, I would never have received my book regardless of what the DC said.

I also use printable postage, but not for a credit guarantee since I've had only a handful of books go lost in the 4+ years I've been here, I couldn't justify the cost if it was just to make sure sure I got a credit--I use the PBS version to support the site, and for the convenience. I have a blue box right in front of my work so just drop my books in there regardless of weight. I drove past the PO on my way to the store Saturday morning and like you noticed the line coming out the door...was VERY glad I wasn't having to be standing there wasting my time. LOL


Date Posted: 12/20/2009 7:59 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Thirty miles, three weeks, First Class Mail. And once had a Parcel Post box move from California to Virginia over the weekend.

You just never know. And of course Blizzards don't help move anything along.

Kate, as an FYI, just because the DC is scanned delivered, you don't really KNOW the person has received the book.

I've had DC's scanned as deliver up to three days before I actually got the package. I think some PO. scan DC as delivered when it hits the last P.O. on the route, before it's loaded into the final delivery truck. (Like I think mine does.) I don't think they're at all consistant in how they handle DC items.

Date Posted: 12/20/2009 11:26 AM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2009
Posts: 129
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I mailed a book from Chicago to Hammond IN, about 30 minutes away.  It wandered up and down the East Coast and visited Boston, Philidelphia, and Cleveland before it made it to Hammond.  Both the requester and I enjoyed following its travels!

Date Posted: 12/20/2009 12:58 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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Kate, as an FYI, just because the DC is scanned delivered, you don't really KNOW the person has received the book.

I know that.  But at least I have some idea what is happening with the book.  I have sold a lot on E-bay and participated in sites like PBS and have yet to have a DC scanned as delivered and the person on the other end claiming it was not delivered.  I did have it happen to me once.  It turned out my mail person had left the item with a neighbor who neglected to inform me.  Knowing it was delivered gave me the incentive to check out and see what happened to it.

Date Posted: 12/20/2009 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 433
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I have DC on Media mail that I posted end Nov that have yet to show up on any scan. And I've had 2 different media mail packages reach the east coast from HI in 4 days this month with Media mail.  it's all in the hands of the USPS Gods ;)

Date Posted: 12/21/2009 4:50 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Jeanne, I mailed a PBS book to an addy about 10 minutes from me.  Pm'd after two weeks, and took days for member to answer.  The book had been received, but she was 'busy' . . . and still didn't log it into PBS as received.  I waited several more days, pm'd again, waited several more days...receiver finally logged the book in shortly before it went lost.  For my own sanity, I now use DC.

OTOH, as already mentioned, Media Mail is unpredictable.  So delays for this rate can go either way, especially this time of year...patience and graciousness are the best option 

Date Posted: 12/21/2009 9:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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I'm not a P O employee, but I suspect not only does Media Mail go standby long distance, but once it's in the "penalty box" upon entering the system, I suspect it can wait several days just to be sorted at point-of-origin. I had a Media Mail book take a couple of weeks to go less than 20 miles. i kept wondering why I'd never seen a team of those "USPS burros" before - LOL!

Date Posted: 12/24/2009 4:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I have books I mailed 1st class on Monday that didn't have far to go and still haven't arrived.  The DC hasn't even been scanned on the audiobook I sent. I bumped it up to 1st class.  It's only going about 2 states away. 

Date Posted: 12/24/2009 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2007
Posts: 192
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While not media mail I used to ship Christmas presents to friends in the US (Michigan and Georgia) and international (Canada and England).

I shipped directly from the main post office at the airport in Tampa, FL the packages arrived.... England, Canada, Michigan and Georgia.

Gotta love the USPS.

Date Posted: 12/31/2009 3:09 PM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2009
Posts: 2
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USPS Media Mail is its own little world. They are not only the last to go on the truck, but if the truck is full ... they sit and wait. Media is fill-in room only, thus the discounted price. When I used to eBay, I found media mail across country was consistently faster than in-state (days vs. weeks), to the point that I often upgraded in-staters to a different mailing class to avoid the headaches. I figure the local trucks must be smaller/fill up faster than the cross country ones. Once things start piling up, I'm not at all convinced they handle things in a FIFO manner ... more likely the opposite. Each area will have its own bottleneck ... or blackhole ... once cleared from there life usually improves. ;-)

Date Posted: 12/31/2009 3:47 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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Media Mail is unpredictable to say the least.  I have had good luck with it, but I have also had an occasional package that took weeks to get to me.

Just remember, if you are sending a single book and it weighs less than 14 ounces, you can send it first class.  The price difference between Media Mail and First class doesn't start to get significant until you hit 10 ounces.

First Class vs Media Mail

7 oz 2.24 2.38
8 oz 2.41 2.38
9 oz 2.58 2.38
10 oz 2.75 2.38