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Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

tony5205
Adventurer
Can anyone say definatively yes or no? Some clerks will accept packages for this rate and others say No...claim its "Magazines and has advertising" etc. Its been a crap shoot at the post offices I use and I'm tired of getting burnt on large shipments if I can in fact ship Media Rate. They end up using this other rate that maybe saves a dime called Printed Material but is a variable rate based on where its going by Zip Code so many times its about the same as First Class. Tonight at the 24/7 Post Office I figure it cost me an extra $40. I try to kkep my shipping cost to a minimum to my customers but its getting to be a losing proposition when the post office will not cooperate! Please advise and thanks for input Tony
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Message 1 of 531
530 REPLIES

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

in reply to May 19, 2005 8:03:10 PM
drautosound
Enthusiast
If its has advertising it is not eligible for media mail.
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Message 2 of 531

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

in reply to May 19, 2005 8:06:12 PM
bnwflix
Thrill-Seeker
What a unique idea for a thread!

8,292 Views
Message 3 of 531

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

in reply to May 19, 2005 8:06:15 PM
fulltimer56
Thrill-Seeker
Tony, I'm sorry to say there isn't a yes or no when it comes to Media Mail. I think it is just the luck of the draw!!

Some post offices don't care but others have an hair up their a$$ about it and will not let you ship using it. I guess I'm lucky because both post offices close to me don't care.

Linda

Welcome to Fulltimer's Out of Storage Comics & Stuff

Make sure to come visit us at The Corral!! Check my ME page for the link!

Comics Board Birthday Link

Cooks Nook Board Birthday Link

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Message 4 of 531

Re: Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

Re: Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

in reply to May 19, 2005 9:33:57 PM
rawk_gurl
Enthusiast
I always am allowed to ship Media mail with my comics.


I was wondering if anyone ran into a problem with getting delivery confirmation? I ship my books in a padded envelope and a very rude Postal worker told me she cant put DC on a shipment unless it's Priority Mail, or in a box. Anyone know if this is the case, I've shipped many comics and never had this happen before?
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Message 5 of 531

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

in reply to May 19, 2005 9:39:31 PM
kenmacny
Scout
Padded envelopes should be fine, the restriction is based on the thickness of the shipment, has to be 1/2 inch or something small like that. If you have a couple of pieces of cardboard in there then you are all set... if you don't well don't get me started on how to pack comics for safe shipping... it never seems to help.
8,159 Views
Message 6 of 531

Re: Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

Re: Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

in reply to May 19, 2005 9:48:37 PM
tony5205
Adventurer
To rawk gurl I can answer the Deliv. Confirmation question. The package must exceed 3/4" thick. The way you get around that is to add shipping peanuts or crumpled paper or anything light so that it exceeds the minimum thickness. Its petty but that's how the are and that's how you get around the 3/4" thickness requirement/Tony
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Message 7 of 531

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

in reply to May 19, 2005 9:50:10 PM
rawk_gurl
Enthusiast
Thanks guys!
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Message 8 of 531

Re: Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

Re: Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

in reply to May 19, 2005 9:53:19 PM
nvcomics
Adventurer
I've never had problems with shipping comics media mail either. In fact, it was a postal clerk who suggested sending them media mail when I asked what my options were for shipping comics.

As far as delivery confirmation, that's never been an issue but I ship with boxes. If the size of the package (that sounded odd) is what determines what qualifies for DC, then use boxes or put more cardboard slabs in the envelope.
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Message 9 of 531

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

in reply to May 19, 2005 10:38:07 PM
drautosound
Enthusiast
It is 3/4" of an inch or be in a rigid (ie box) package. Cardboard inside if a bubble mailer should be rigid enough. Ask the clerk to show you the DMM, especially the new re-formatted one, for the description of this.

Nothing that contains advertisements is supposed to go Media Mail.
8,159 Views
Message 10 of 531

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

in reply to May 19, 2005 10:41:09 PM
gallinator
Thrill-Seeker
From USPS.com:

You can use Delivery Confirmation with:

First-Class Mail® Parcels - Envelopes and small packages weighing 13 ounces or less. Applies only to boxes or envelopes measuring at least 3/4” at thickest point.
Priority Mail® - Cost effective delivery in an average of 2-3 days.
Package Services Parcels - Send small and large packages, envelopes, and tubes. Includes Parcel Post®, Media Mail®, Bound Printed Matter, and Library Mail.
Standard Mail Parcels - Items weighing less than 16 ounces can be sent at discounted presorted and automation rates. Available only for pieces subject to the residual shape surcharge and mailed at the Electronic rate.
Parcel Select® - Send large volumes of packages at a discount.


So the 3/4" thickness requirement applies only to First Class Mail. I have not seen any exception for rigidity of the package, but that doesn't mean drauto is incorrect.

***************************

It's been a little while since we've had a Media Mail thread, so tony5205 cannot be expected to have seen one.

drauto is correct that items containing "advertising" are not eligible for Media Mail. The problem is that different USPS employees define or recognize "advertising" in many different ways. Ads in non-current comics (back issues) may or may not be seen as "advertising" anywhere in the process from mailing to delivery. If you tell postal clerks that you are shipping comics Media Mail, some will not accept them. Others will not care. Same goes for postal inspectors, who conceivably may be examining your package at any point in the process. If the contents of a Media Mail package are deemed ineligible for Media Mail rates at any time after mailing, they will generally be delivered with postage due from the recipient, usually in the amount of the difference between the rate for Media Mail and Parcel Post, which can be significant. Therefore, if you as a seller ship comics Media Mail, you must be prepared to indemnify your buyers if they face additional expense on their end.

That stated, I get approx. 80% of my comics delivered Media Mail. I mail approx. 90% of comics sales via Media Mail. I have never had a package opened and delivered with postage due either way. I have received a sales brochure from Saab - yes, a giant advertisement with no content other than advertising - via Media Mail.

IMO it is nice to be able to offer Media Mail shipping to your buyers. You are certainly not violating the spirit of the law by shipping comic books via Media Mail. The USPS has become more aware of people shipping non-media items like dishes, clothing, etc. at Media Mail rates, so it is because of that sort of thing that packages are or may be getting opened. Just be wary of overzealous USPS clerks at the time of mailing, state you are shipping "books" (which is not a lie!) and hopefully enjoy a greater eBay sales volume.
..........
Check out my "ME" page for a link to The Corral - sweet freedom is at hand!
8,066 Views
Message 11 of 531

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

in reply to May 19, 2005 10:49:57 PM
drautosound
Enthusiast
here we go

9.2.2 Eligible Matter
Delivery Confirmation is available for First-Class Mail parcels defined in 401.1.0 as machinable (with no minimum weight), irregular, or outside parcels; for all Priority Mail pieces; for Standard Mail pieces subject to the residual shape surcharge (electronic option only); and for Package Services parcels defined in 401.1.0 as machinable, irregular, or outside parcels. For the purposes of using Delivery Confirmation with a First-Class Mail parcel or a Package Services parcel, the parcel must meet these additional requirements:

a. The surface area of the address side of the parcel must be large enough to contain completely and legibly the delivery address, return address, postage, and any applicable markings, endorsements, and extra service labels.

b. Except as provided in 9.2.2c for machinable parcels, the parcel must be greater than 3/4 inch thick at its thickest point.

c. If the mailpiece is a machinable parcel under 401.1.0 and no greater than 3/4 inch thick, the contents must be prepared in a strong and rigid fiberboard or similar container or in a container that becomes rigid after the contents are enclosed and the container is secured. The parcel must be able to maintain its shape, integrity, and rigidity throughout processing and handling without collapsing into a letter-size or flat-size piece. [S918.1.2]

mmkay
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Message 12 of 531

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

in reply to May 19, 2005 10:52:33 PM
drautosound
Enthusiast
I menat to include this link, which is AWESOME for answering question realting to USPS and their guidelines. It is up to you to know the DMM (Domestic Mail Manuel) becuase the clerk can say whatever they want and claim to be right and they are until/if you can prove they are wrong.

Check it out:

http://pe.usps.gov/
8,066 Views
Message 13 of 531

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

in reply to May 19, 2005 11:05:35 PM
gallinator
Thrill-Seeker
Thank you, drauto. I was running into a problem where I was shipping sports cards in a small padded envelope and the clerk would not allow DC on them. I got around this by putting a styrofoam peanut inside, causing the package to exceed 3/4" thickness. It appears that this type of a package is a "flat" and not a machinable parcel, though. The clerk just explained it to me as all First Class Mail had to be 3/4" thick or greater in order to get DC.
..........
Check out my "ME" page for a link to The Corral - sweet freedom is at hand!
8,066 Views
Message 14 of 531

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

in reply to May 20, 2005 5:27:39 AM
ringfinger1999
Enthusiast
I just say I am shipping books.
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Message 15 of 531

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

in reply to May 20, 2005 5:29:45 AM
devils-posting-id
Adventurer
But media mail packages can be inspected anywhere along the route and if found not to be in compliance then the receiver will have to pay postage due or the item will be returned to you, postage due.It is really not worth the trouble since you can mail Bound printed matter for a few cents more.
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Message 16 of 531

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

in reply to May 20, 2005 6:02:30 AM
gifflefunk
Scout
(of course I'd show up for this...)

From one of the many threads on this topic...


----start----


gifflefunk (1012) (view author's auctions)
05/12/04 10:39 PM(#69 of 88)
Ok... I couldn't sleep so I went off to pe.usps.gov and I found the actual postal regulations.

The two areas that relate to our discussion here are the following sub-sections E610 Basic Standards (in the E600 Standard Mail section) and E713 Media Mail (in the E700 Package Services section).

E610 2.2 Printed Matter
Printed matter weighing less than 16 ounces may be sent as Standard Mail. For this standard, printed matter means paper on which words, letters, characters, figures, or images (or any combination of them), not having the character of a bill or statement of account or of actual and personal correspondence, are reproduced by any process other than handwriting or typewriting.

Ok, no mention of advertising here... just bills, statements of account and correspondence. So comic books are printed matter.

E713 1.1 Qualified Items
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.

c. Printed music, whether in bound or sheet form.
[b,d-i items deleted as they are irrelevant to the discussion]

Ok, this would exclude comics that contain paid advertisments that exist as pages. I'm not sure about the obsolete aspect for advertisments published in the 1950s, but for arguments sake we will call all paid advertising (be it current or obsolete) as advertising. So comics do not qualify as Media Mail.

E713 1.2 Loose Enclosures
In addition to the enclosures and additions listed in E610, any printed matter that is mailable as Standard Mail may be included loose with any qualifying material mailed at the Media Mail rates.

Look, a loophole! You can print out a sheet of music and include it in a package containing no more than 16 ounces of comic books and the package can be shipped as Media Mail. The sheet of music is qualified material and comics meet the definition for Standard Mail. So long as you are only sending 1 pound or less of comics, with the sheet of music, it can all go Media Mail!

Now, there is still that question regarding obsolete advertising still being advertising vs. historical text (the argument being "how can you advertise something that no longer exists?"). Has it become historical text and hence part of the reading material? If so, older comics may qualify under E713 1.1 a as Media Mail. I plan to take this post into my local Main Office to get a definition on "advertising vs. historical text".

----end----

----start----

gifflefunk (1012) (view author's auctions)
05/14/04 08:28 AM(#81 of 88)
Ok folks, I just got off the phone with the head of Media Mail at Rates and Classifications in Chicago, IL.

Here is his take on the situation... as E713 1.1 a says "advertising" and makes no provision for obsolete advertisments vs. current advertisments, he says that any postal branch is operating within the regulations to refuse comic books that contain any advertising.

Now he wasn't aware of the RIBBS precedent set for reprinted historical catalogs being allowed under Media Mail (PS-064 in the RIBBS system). But he understands the logical argument (by extension) that if a product is no longer being produced, or the vendor is no longer in existence, that no one can benefit from the advertisment and so it has become historical in nature and has become part of the reading text. The problem he sees is in verifying that all of the products are unavailable and that the vendors are out of business (and trying to determine such a thing could get messy and take more time than it is worth).

Now I explained to him that some people were getting comic books rejected, and others were not, based on their local POs interpretation of the Media Mail rules. He said the only way for us to get a National rule would be through a "hearing" on this issue. And it would work this way... someone who gets comic books rejected at their local office would need to appeal that ruling locally and get it worked up the ladder to Rates and Classifications in Chicago. This appeal is where we can present our our "case" as to why vintage comics should be allowed to qualify for Media Mail. Once it gets to him then he would investigate the matter, taking our position as part of that investigation, and then make a National ruling.

So we would need a damn good set of reasons to allow comic books otherwise we risk losing Media Mail privliges for all dealers that are currently allowed to send comics under that rate by their local POs. He said sometimes it is better to leave it alone.

----end----


My local PO told me that they classify any advertising more than 3 years old as obsolete, so any magazine (comic books, TV guides, etc.) are eligible for Media Mail if they are that old or older.
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Message 17 of 531

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

in reply to May 20, 2005 8:23:53 AM
gallinator
Thrill-Seeker
devils, the trouble with BPM is that it is truly low man on the totem pole. It is the last to leave a depot/station (as in, if there's no room, it sits), will be discarded if not deliverable (even if you write, "return service requested" or whatever the proper term is; it is supposed to be returned but usually ends up somewhere else) and if you think the Media Mail packages are treated roughly, BPM gets treated worse! This information is not just speculation on my part but was supplied by a number of people I know, including two USPS counter clerks, a mail carrier and a friend who used to work in the main sort facility here in Phoenix.
..........
Check out my "ME" page for a link to The Corral - sweet freedom is at hand!
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Message 18 of 531

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

in reply to May 20, 2005 8:24:16 AM
gallinator
Thrill-Seeker
Thanks for posting that, giffle!
..........
Check out my "ME" page for a link to The Corral - sweet freedom is at hand!
8,065 Views
Message 19 of 531

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

Can Comics be shipped through the USPS as Media Rate

in reply to May 20, 2005 9:52:59 AM
kelex
Scout
Here's a thought...Maybe we should start a thread simply titled "Media Mail" and get the Pinks to pin it to the top. I'm not criticising the OP, he's new to the board so he couldn't know how many times we've gone over this before...but given the completeness of Giff's research, I should think that one thread pinned to the top of the board, with the responses he received from the USPS caontained therein, would save everyone a little time...I assume it's already in the FAQ, but if you don't know it's Frequently Asked, you might not think to look there, y'know? So a threat with the title "Media Mail" or "Comics & Media Mail" or whatever...Just a thought...(8^)
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Message 20 of 531