Packing lists now violate USPS standard for media mail


You fill your post office tubs with packages.
You tape the scan form on top.
You set them on the counter.
You get a nod of acknowledgement from the nearest clerk.
You go home.
There is no “dealing” with anyone.


Some magazines and scripts qualify. What will disqualify them is if they contain advertising. You could probably defend the advertising inside a fifty year old commercial magazine as educational/historical material but not without having to jump through some hoops to get a ruling.


Here is a chart from USPS which explicitly states that magazines are never eligible for media mail, regardless of age…

+Media Mail - Is it eligible? Jan 2013+


+New magazines+


+173.4.1.a Advertising is not eligible for Media Prices+

+Old magazines+


+173.4.1.a and Customer Support Ruling PS-091-Age of documents is irrelevant+



How did they know?

I’m not saying to lie to them, but I have found that the less that I talk to postal employees, the better that I am.


You have won the battle but you are losing the war. Just put your packing slips or invoices inside the package to avoid any delays to your customers. There is no doubt in my mind, your local post office will continue this wrong practice. Your late shipments will cause complains from your buyers.


A decade ago my local PO had 1 clerk who made it her mission in life to open EVERY media mail package put in front of her… and i’m not exaggerating. If you shipped 75 books… she opened all 75 packages. She was so consistently nasty, that everyone nicknamed her the book Nazi. If you mailed in a bubble poly bag, the pkg was so destroyed that you had to take it home, redo it and lose a days time and of course the next day she would do it again to the same package that you just fixed. It was really a no-win situation. In the beginning, I would just let other customers go around me while I waited for a different clerk but after so many arguments with her being unreasonable, I think she had it out for me. She would walk down to whatever window I was at and still open and destroy my packages even though she was waiting on someone else. I finally started shipping all my Media Mail in the next town over.
In 3 decades of shipping, I have found that shipping issues always occur in larger cities or bigger Post Offices. Small Towns with small Post Offices are always more friendly and helpful.
And yeah… the coffee and donuts thing is a must! I leave treats and sticky notes at the end of my PO box. In return, my PO lady spoils me and over the years we’ve become wonderful friends. She’s now my walking partner and we occasionally meet up for lunch.


“And it may sound easy, but nothing could be harder. It will test your head, and your mind, and your brain too.”


I recently bought some batteries on Amazon. I purchased a name brand and received a generic brand. When I asked to return them, the seller sent me a media mail label. (I don’t recall if it was sent to me using media mail.) I refused to return them with that label and the seller eventually sent me a regular label.

The BS that Amazon Sellers achieve on a daily basis amazes me.


It’s all open to case-by-case rulings if you feel like taking the time to justify it as “educational materials”. And there is the matter of definition as there are books that appear to be magazines and magazines that are constructed like books. Even differentiating between an educational date book and a calendar is an ongoing process. The only widely disseminated policy (deliberately vague in the interest of administrative simplicity) is this:

  • Perfect for sending books and educational materials.

[Commercial Pricing Available|]

h4. Rules & Restrictions

  • Maximum weight is 70 lbs.
  • The material sent must be educational media. Video \ games, computer drives, or digital drives of any kind are not items \ qualified for mailing at Media Mail prices.



Was that in the late 90’s, early 2000’s? That is very similar to the issue I had. Including the clerk butting in on other windows. He was the one I had to get transferred - he ran that PO like a tyrant even though he was not the manager - the manager and the other clerks all seemed afraid of him.
All the employees and the manager seemed to much more relaxed after he was transferred.

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