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Topic: Can this be enclosed with a book?

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Subject: Can this be enclosed with a book?
Date Posted: 10/16/2007 2:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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I received a book today and enclosed in the package with my book was advertising for another book trading site.  Is that allowed? 

ps, before you speculate, it was not overlooked or unintentional, I assure you it was meant to be seen

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 10/16/2007 2:27 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,225
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No, this is not allowed.

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 10/16/2007 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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I don't think advertising is allowed when using Media Mail, as many of these trades do.

Date Posted: 10/16/2007 3:05 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I don't think it is allowed....it wasn't a bookcrossing thing was it?  that isn't the same as another site but rather just tracking where a book has gone. 

I think I got a book one time with something like that in there but just ignored it and threw it away. (not bookcrossing but another swap site)

Date Posted: 10/16/2007 3:08 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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It may be technically not allowed, it may be wrong, but it's not a big enough deal to fuss over, IMHO. Throw the card away.

Date Posted: 10/16/2007 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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I have received bookcrossing books before and was able to tell that because of the number and such written inside the cover.  No, it wasn't anything like that.  I'm not bothered by it.  Of course I threw it away.  I just want to know if it's allowed or not. 

Date Posted: 10/16/2007 3:12 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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It wasn't one card.  It was 13.  And, I'm not fussing over it.  I only asked if it was allowed.  Do you see any emotion in my post?  Anything to give you the impression I was fussing?  What the hell is this forum for if I can't come here and post one question!

Date Posted: 10/16/2007 3:27 PM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2007
Posts: 6,567
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I've traded on Bookmooch.com and I've written people about it before here on Paperback Swap thinking they may enjoy the site as well. So I would think it was more like a little note  "Hey I trade on this site too. You may enjoy it." Something friendly like that it would be ok.

 But like others said advertising isn't allowed in media mail. But also isn't advertising meant as a way to SELL something? I mean if it's free I don't see the big deal. As someone else said just ignore it and toss it out.



Date Posted: 10/16/2007 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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When it comes to this type of thing, I suppose the real issue for me is: if the USPS decided to inspect the package, would I receive the package postage due? I've had members put little niceities (such as tea bags, bookmarks, etc) in with my books and I really do like them. But somewhere in the back of my mind, I wonder, "What would have happened if this package had been inspected?"

Date Posted: 10/16/2007 3:34 PM ET
Member Since: 11/27/2006
Posts: 1,768
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Anytime I send out a book the anyone other than a PBS member it contains a PBS bookmark. I figure the person requesting my book my not have heard of PBS....I feel obligated to share the wealth :-)

Date Posted: 10/16/2007 4:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2005
Posts: 828
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I got 11 of those bookmooch cards in a book once. I thought it was tacky, and I told the sender so.  Also not permitted by USPS regulations for Media Mail.

Date Posted: 10/16/2007 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
Posts: 7,143
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Doesn't matter if it was sent first class or media mail. It was wrong of them to advertise another book site by placing something in your package.

Date Posted: 10/16/2007 5:08 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,592
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I recently received a book with a dozen or so Bookmooch business cards stuffed inside.  Wonder if we ordered from the same person?  I just tossed them in the trash.

Date Posted: 10/16/2007 5:09 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Well I know that PBS says no to advertising, but that is under the section regarding media mailing.  I couldn't find that PBS discourages advertising of the competition.  Do they?  Have I just not found it yet?  I'm reading the help docs, but have other stuff going on at the same time, so it's going slow.

If someone finds that PBS itself, having nothing to do with media mailing, restricts this I would really like that info too.  Thanks. 

edited to say, Maybe Sandy.  I just threw them away too, but am now curious as to the actual rules on this.

Last Edited on: 10/16/07 5:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/16/2007 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2006
Posts: 3,171
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Here ya go.....


Can I include anything with my book? Media mail regulations are very strict: only media (books, CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes) and an invoice (page 2 of the PBS wrapper qualifies as an invoice) are allowed to be sent using Media Mail rate.  No advertising, commercial solicitation, political materials, religious tracts, non-Media items, letters, cards are allowed.
  • Media Mail is subject to postal inspection
  • If your package is found to be in violation of Media Mail regulations:
    • Your package may be returned to you
    • Your package may be delivered to the requestor postage-due
    • Your package may be destroyed.
What is Allowed in a package sent using Media Mail rate:
  • Media, as described above
  • A note with a simple accompanying message,
    • such as "Happy Birthday!" or "Hope you enjoy it!"
  • An invoice or notification of the shipment
    • The second page of the PBS Wrapper falls into this category.
    • The USPS eligibility guidelines for enclosures and attachments for Media Mail say: "Attachments and Enclosures"   2.4.1 Invoice
        An invoice, whether it also serves as a bill, may be placed either inside a Media Mail piece or in an envelope marked "Invoice Enclosed" and attached to the outside of the piece if the invoice relates solely to the matter with which it is mailed. The invoice may show this information:
        • a. Names and addresses of the sender and addressee.
        • b. Names and quantities of the articles enclosed, descriptions of each (e.g., price, tax, style, stock number, size, and quality, and, if defective, nature of defects).
        • c. Order or file number, date of order, date and manner of shipment, shipping weight, postage paid, and initials or name of packer or checker.

Including anything but the ALLOWED materials above in your package is a serious infraction of not only PBS rules, but also Federal law. Including inappropriate materials with your books will jeopardize your membership at PBS.


Date Posted: 10/16/2007 6:35 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Thank you Charlie. 

Ok, I did read this, but I got the impression it was a media mail rule, not a PBS rule, as it's sorta mentioned off the cuff in the first little paragraph, but not really in the bullet point or outlined rules, but I see now, in re-reading it here that the last sentence covers it all in a big lump, but does cover it.  I obviously read just the outline portions and quit.

Thank you again Charlie and everyone who offered helpful responses.

I am going to send the gal a friendly PM before she causes someone extra postage. 

Date Posted: 10/16/2007 6:39 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2006
Posts: 3,171
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Welcome.  I received a pile of BM business sized cards a while ago tucked in with a book  just tossed them. But, in thinking about it - does BM work like PBS re: referrals? I know the cards I received were generic, they didn't have a person's name or anything to specify who sent them.  Idle curiosity.

Date Posted: 10/16/2007 6:43 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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We must have received the same cards.  They were generic.  I'm not offended by it.  I just tossed them.  But if the PO had opened my package and charged me extra, then I would have been offended.  I wanted to research it because I want to be correct in the information I PM her.  She can be excited about the other site all she wants, fine with me, but her actions could cause some problems with people wanting to be reimbursed and stuff.  She may know this, but if it were me I would appreciate a heads up.

Date Posted: 10/16/2007 6:56 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2006
Posts: 11,985
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In addition to the info Charlie so nicely found - at  the top of the discussion page it says

Also, please do not use the discussion board to bash PBS.com or to promote other commercial websites.

Even though this is regarding the discussion forums, I would think it would hold true for including items in the books you mail.

Date Posted: 10/16/2007 9:03 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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That's true Lori G.  Thanks for reminding me of that.

Date Posted: 10/16/2007 9:19 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2006
Posts: 200
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With that many stuck in there, did they think you were going to pass them on to friends.  Sheesh!

Date Posted: 10/16/2007 11:38 PM ET
Member Since: 12/18/2005
Posts: 1,807
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It wasn't one card.  It was 13.  And, I'm not fussing over it.  I only asked if it was allowed.  Do you see any emotion in my post?  Anything to give you the impression I was fussing?  What the hell is this forum for if I can't come here and post one question!

While Sherry has been here much longer than I have and certainly didn't ask and doesn't need me to do so, I would like to step in to her defense. I hope I'm safe in saying that she wasn't implying that you were "fussing". Substitute the word "worry" into her original post - "not a big enough deal to worry over". I don't believe for a second she was implying you couldn't ask the question. I believe she was simplying saying to don't let it bother you, shrug it off, and just throw the ads away. They're not a big deal.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

Date Posted: 10/16/2007 11:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2005
Posts: 4,469
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Advertising is verboten in media mail.

Date Posted: 10/17/2007 12:24 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2007
Posts: 369
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Last Edited on: 9/18/13 3:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/17/2007 12:49 AM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2006
Posts: 3,171
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If you mean this as an example of  the  BM cards being acceptable "Either one envelope or one addressed postcard may be bound into the pages of a book." - usps.com)"  , they are not bound into the book, therefore do not comply.


Additionally, the regs also state:

Content Standards

Only these items may be mailed at the Media Mail rates:

a. Books, including books issued to supplement other books, of at least eight printed pages, consisting wholly of reading matter or scholarly bibliography, or reading matter with incidental blank spaces for notations and containing no advertising matter other than incidental announcements of books. Advertising includes paid advertising and the publishers' own advertising in display, classified, or editorial style.

Business cards are a form of advertising and should not be included.