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Topic: Told that USPS as of 9/11/08 that Media Mail is not an option for individu

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Subject: Told that USPS as of 9/11/08 that Media Mail is not an option for individu
Date Posted: 9/30/2008 10:35 AM ET
Member Since: 8/29/2007
Posts: 3
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Has anybody else discovered this yet?  I always mail via stamps.com and was told this morning that they were as shocked as anybody because it was not publicized.  Per them the USPS has suddenly done away with media mail rates (aka bound printed matter) will not be available to individuals, only businesses that can obtain and purchase a permit. 

This is really hard news for me as I mail many heavy books.  This mornings mail would normally have cost $2.19 each for three packages, but instead is costing me around $6 each!  How is this going to affect PBS??

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 10:46 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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You were informed incorrectly.  Media mail has always been and still is available to individuals!  I just used it today, in fact. 

ETA:  I just checked the USPS website and it does not say anywhere on the site that individuals cannot use media mail.  Also, I am sure PBS would have gotten wind of this if it were true (since it was allegedly implemented 9/11) and informed us by now since most people use this to mail books.

Last Edited on: 9/30/08 10:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: ugh
Date Posted: 9/30/2008 10:52 AM ET
Member Since: 8/29/2007
Posts: 3
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Well, I'm disgusted that Stamps.com didn't give me the correct information but am totally upset that I will have to go to the post office to take care of books when I have always had them picked up at the house. I am disabled and getting out and around is a challenge.  Oh well, can't change it.  thanks!  I'll be heading to the PO soon then.

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 11:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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That is really weird. I think the problem is that they are calling bound printed matter the same as Media Mail when they are different in the postal system. The Bound Printed Matter (which included magazines) did get phased out this year. I would definitely do some royal butt chewin' at Stamps.com. The USPS site still offers the Media Mail rates. That should be their biggest clue.

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I used media mail on Friday with no problem.  I think Melanie is right and people are confusing media mail with bound matter.

Subject: Media mail
Date Posted: 9/30/2008 6:24 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,448
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Melanie....I really should count myself lucky that I can jump in the car with out a problem a go  without a problem.  Would it be an option for you to use PBS postage....you can leave it on the mailbox and the mailman should pick it up---or put it in the blue box.  You won't havetogo to the PO at all-unless U WANT to!!


Subject: forMegaMom9
Date Posted: 10/1/2008 11:14 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 382
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you dont have to go the post office you could use the PBS  printed postage on this site

instead of using stamps.com

then you can have the mail carrier pick your books

(its cheaper too since you dont have to pay  monthly fee  to use the PBS postage like you do with stamps com


Date Posted: 10/3/2008 3:06 AM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 1,883
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You can also use paypal postage as well. That's what I mainly use. It also does not have a monthly fee like stamps.com does.

Subject: I don't think so
Date Posted: 10/3/2008 6:25 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2008
Posts: 6
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i just mailed several books yesterday.  The heavy one went media mail.  The others -- all slim paperbacks -- went first class as it was cheaper to ship first class than media mail.  Be sure to check first class rates before sending anything media mail.

Date Posted: 10/4/2008 4:55 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2005
Posts: 1,741
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Lisa Ann, I'm a little confused.  Are you saying that stamps.com is not letting you mail stamps with media mail printed on stamp?  I use this service also and have had no problems.  Still printing media mail stamps.  Just wondering.

Subject: reply to media mail
Date Posted: 10/5/2008 11:44 AM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2008
Posts: 552
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you're welcome. I have my bookclub meeting today, and there is a postal worker in our group so I'll ask her and let you know later today. Man, what a bummer if thats the case.  It would be one more thing that would put us little guys out of busines.  I have been selling books on amazon.com now for 6 years.  I started out going to sales, picking up good books and making a few extra dollars to help my disability payments.  I could plan a trip, and rent a large SUV to go out of state, stay in a motel and spend about 800. on books.  I would then come home and sell them on amazon, and usually I would make back my money within 2 months, which would be put aside for the next trip, then for 3 - 5 months would make some small profits.  It got me a nice vacation and a couple hundred extra every month.

However, huge business took over.  They pay people to go and stand in line for hours and hours FIRST for sales, and then they merge whenthey open like bees, swooping up thousands of books, then sit in a corner and scan the books - any book not bringing lots of money is thrown back (littely) on the tables.  The small guy doesn't stand a chance anymore.  Then, people like thrift.com will underprice EVERYONE, and even underpricethe used books listing new books cheaper.  Now if they can be the only ones mailing out media mail, that will all but eliminate us small time sellers because I can't afford 300.00 a year just for a permit. 

Most people don't know this, but the reason MEDIA MAIL takes so long is not from us small sellers who actually mail MEDIA MAIL.  Huge sellers actually mail their packages Bound material rate, which is 4th class mail, and goes as slow as a turtle.  They pay far less for it, so profit big on the shipping charges.  Where we pay, say, 2.63 to mail a media mail package, the huge companies shipping bound may pay 1.99, which slows up your delivery, and pockets the remainder.  Amazon tells you it can take up to a month to receive MEDIA MAIL. Well, thats just not true.  Media mail nearly ALWAYS (not counting December) will be delivered within 2 weeks, but BOUND rate takes up to a month.  They clearly are mis-advertising when they say media mail takes 30 days. 

Plus, amazon.com pockets over 1.15 of the "shipping charges."  While you pay 3.99, the seller only gets 2.49 of that, no matter how heavy the book is, and you receive only 5.99 of the 6.99 charged for PRIORITY.

Ebay's half.com does not do that. They charge by the weight of the book and all of it goes to the seller, so you save money.  But amazon has 6 million+ books so it often pays to shop there. 

I am sorry I am going on and on but this has ruffled my feathers, as I am sure it has with everyone. 


Date Posted: 10/5/2008 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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Unless half.com changed their shipping reimbursement policy recently, they do the same thing as amazon.com -- pocket some of the money paid for shipping.  The reimbursement is one flat amount for paperback books and one flat amount for hardcovers (slightly more for expedited shipping) and the weight of the book is not taken into account.

Date Posted: 10/5/2008 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2006
Posts: 436
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Yes, I was thinking the same thing about half.com. I have about 50 books not obtained from PBS that I have listed on half.com. I only started tryign to sell them to earn a few bucks to go out to lunch every month about March. I can't tell you how displeased I was to see that they pocket a portion of the shipping. I remember the first book I sold was an old school textbook. Big, huge fat thing. I accidentally put that it was available for expidited shipping. Someone bought it, and I realized that to mail it would actually put me out of pocket. To make a long story short, the lady had to actually send me some extra money because she really wanted the textbook for her daughter ASAP. I just don't feel it's right for us to have to do that.


Anyway, that's not part of the topic at hand. However, I was looking up shipment costs for a few books I have to mail and I still saw media mail listed. So I agree with the others here. It might've just been vonfused with something else. Go and get a second opinion from another worker to be sure.


Good luck,


Date Posted: 10/6/2008 5:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,452
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As stated above BOUND PRINTED MATTER has been phased out (per USPS employee).  However, as of right now the postal employee I talked to said that MEDIA MAIL is not being phased out.  Having said that, she also said that if anything was going to happen they'd announce it in May. 

If I'm not mistaken Bound Printed Matter is magazines, etc., - stuff with advertising in it.  Libraries used it a lot. (I could be wrong, so don't write this in stone). LOL.  Pat

Subject: using stamps to mail books & leaving for carrier to pick up-no longer allow
Date Posted: 10/16/2008 11:39 AM ET
Member Since: 9/10/2008
Posts: 13
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I did not know about this rule but if you use the old fashioned postage stamps and leave them for the carrier to pick up, they will either not pick it up or it will be returned. It must be dropped off to a Mail Clerk inside the Post Office.  My Mail Carrier also took the package in to drop it and he was told he could not do that if stamps were used.  So it came back and I took it to the Post Office and handed it to the Clerk behind the counter.  The rule does not apply to the printed mail labels that include postage from PBS. Thanks

Date Posted: 10/17/2008 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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Sharon, it all depends on the mail carrier but they WILL take books with stamps as long as it weighs less than 13 oz and isn't close on the weight where they can't tell.  you do NOT have to give it to a postal worker if it is under the 13 oz rule

Dara (dwm) - ,
Date Posted: 10/20/2008 9:07 AM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2008
Posts: 1
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I went to the PO on Friday (10/17) to mail 4 books.  I do not purchase postage thru PBS or other means.  The clerk told me no "Media Mail" or "Bound Material" anymore (since Sept) and actually put a sticker over the "Media Mail" words on the PBS label.  The 4 books should have run me about $10-$12 to mail and was almost $20.  I started using PBS just to clean out the booksshelves and possible get a few new books for myself & the children, but the increase in cost of postage may become too much.  Can someone at PBS verify this?

niffir - ,
Date Posted: 10/20/2008 9:31 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 495
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There is definitely still Media Mail.  It was Bound Printed Material that was phased out in September. Your clerk was wrong and charged you more than you should have had to pay.  I use Media Mail to mail out probably at least 90% of the books I mail, including the 8 or so I sent last week.

niffir - ,
Date Posted: 10/20/2008 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 495
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I just went on my nearly daily trip to the post office and mailed out 2 more books using Media Mail.  It is alive and well and saving book-mailers money.

Date Posted: 10/22/2008 8:20 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2006
Posts: 288
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Here is a link to the media mail section on the USPS website. I would print it out and take it into the post office next time if you re still having issues


Date Posted: 10/24/2008 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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I also mailed books at the post office yesterday at the media mail rate with no issues.  I think there might be an misundertanding for some postal workers and hopefully the link above will help PBSers help their postal working understand.

It's probably harder for non-computerized places.  At my post office, the sticker printed is all done by computer and media mail is certainly an option.

Bast -
Date Posted: 10/24/2008 11:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
Posts: 547
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Bound printed matter isn't media mail. Bound printed matter can still be printed by individuals, online, but cannot be purchased at the counter.

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 12/5/2008 9:09 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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I send books overseas on occasion and I have purchaed something similar to the PBS postage.  It allows me to print a label and the postage.  All you'd need is to be able to weigh it, do the label and I put mine in the mail box for my mail carrier.  No trip to the post office for me if I can help it.  Even though I'm not in a rural area the po is not around the corner for me.  It's on a very busy street and in order to get home I'm driving out of my way - no left turn out of the parking lot so I have to go four miles out of the way just to get back to the beginning for the 10 mile trip home.

This is the site and I did register.  Then I got to Ship Online from Start to Finish.  

Hope that helps. 


Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 12/5/2008 9:12 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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Shipping & Mailing



Select an option to ship or mail your packages, letters, or documents, and find tools to help you send them. 


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From the USPS site - Bound Printed Matter is not Media Mail! 

Last Edited on: 12/5/08 9:12 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Postal Employee
Date Posted: 12/10/2008 7:53 PM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2007
Posts: 8
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Hi all,

I am a Postal employee of 31 yrs.  If I can be of any help here, do not hesitate to contact me.  Very interesting posts.  No media mail IS NOT being elimininated!! 


Judy in FL