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Topic: What Services Can Be Added to Media Mail?

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Subject: What Services Can Be Added to Media Mail?
Date Posted: 4/7/2015 11:14 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2006
Posts: 2,725
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Can you add:

- tracking?

- delivery confirmation?

- insurance?

As some of you know, my book collecting husband has been selling books on ABE since he's retired (although he spends a lot more time prowling around book sales, thrift stores, and flea markets than posting and selling....sigh).

For the second time, he has gotten a claim that a book was never received.  It always happens on a high-value book (this one was $67).  Both orders came from drop shippers (in other words, the order came from one buyer, who directed my husband to send it to someone else--who probably paid a higher price than the drop shipper did).

I've told him that on high value books it would be better to send priority or add services to media mail--but I'm not sure what can be added.  He said another dealer told him to add delivery confirmation to books selling for over $20...he's thinking of doing it on books over $40.

He doesn't know he has a drop shipper until he gets the order...the drop shipper might have made a mistake in the address, who knows?

I just told him he needs to protect himself and his investment (even though most of the books he sells were found in thrift stores).

Date Posted: 4/8/2015 1:55 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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PBS no longer offers Tracking only.  Possibly the pre-paid postage option will print Tracking, I'm not sure.  Alot will probably depend on your local PO and how well they are trained.  Many employees do not understand Media Mail and the last couple years USPS can't seem to figure out a consistent policy for Tracking only labels.

Counter Tracking can be added to most packages for .90 ea.  Before adding insurance tho, you might ask details of how to make a claim...last time I checked their criteria was going to exclude any claim I might make on the package anyway and therefore was a waste.

Date Posted: 4/10/2015 3:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 542
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How is your husband buying the postage? If he's just going to the post office and getting it at the counter, you can definitely add tracking - I have to do it for Games forum books even though I don't bother on regular PBS mailings. Presumably stamps.com, endicia, paypal postage, etc., have the option to add tracking too. I'd think this would be a solid investment of 90c - he can provide the tracking number to his customers which would make them happy and make claims of non-receipt a lot less common, I'd imagine.

Another option would be to stop offering media mail shipping and only offer priority - USPS has a flat rate bubble envelope sized to fit almost all books (except really big coffee table ones) and it's $6.95, I believe, with tracking included. Saves him money on having to buy packing materials, and might be worth doing for the pricier collectible books.

Date Posted: 4/10/2015 11:01 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I mailed a small/med hardcover today.  Media Mail was $2.69, counter tracking would have been an additional $1.05.  Even with, it's significantly cheaper than Priority.

mistie -
Date Posted: 4/12/2015 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,017
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I would suggest buying the postage through paypal.

Even though you have called it counter tracking above, I think you mean Delivery confirmation (DC). What this does is confirm when the package is delivered.

When using paypal shipping, for media mail, DC is an additional 23c. For first class & priority mail, there is no charge for DC. Also, the actual cost of the first class postage (many maybe media) is cheaper than over the counter.If I were your husband I would most definitely be adding DC to anything over $20, if not to every order.

 



Last Edited on: 4/13/15 1:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 4/13/2015 11:50 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 599
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He should add Delivery Confirmation to EVERY online order that involves money. You MUST have it to win a dispute. He needs to be shipping online if he is selling online, the money savings are significant. 

Date Posted: 4/13/2015 12:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 4,979
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For media mail, DC is an additional 23c

If I'm not mistaken, this is true for electronic DC, purchased online with electronic postage. To purchase DC at the counter is more expensive.

mistie -
Date Posted: 4/13/2015 1:37 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,017
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If I'm not mistaken, this is true for electronic DC, purchased online with electronic postage. To purchase DC at the counter is more expensive.

I edited my post to clarify I was talking abut cost for paypal shipping.

Date Posted: 4/18/2015 8:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2014
Posts: 844
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Last Edited on: 7/15/17 11:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/18/2015 8:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2014
Posts: 844
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Last Edited on: 5/10/16 10:05 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/20/2015 11:28 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 23,159
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The only requirements for being able to collect on an insurance claim is to have the item appropriately packaged and be able to provide proof of value.  The invoice showing the selling price of the book would provide the proof of value.  Insurance is ALWAYS recommended for high value items.  It can be purchased at the retail counter for $2.10 which would insure the package for up to $50.  Higher amounts of insurance are available as well for a little more.  I think your husband can get insurance with an online label of up to $500 (not sure about the amount here).  Items requiring more insurance than that are required to be taken to the retail counter.