USPS Media Mail
What is Media Mail?
Media Mail is a cost-effective way to send media materials through the U.S. Postal Service. You can send books, videotapes, DVDs, CDs, printed music and other sound recordings through Media Mail as long as they weigh less than 70 pounds. Although you won't pay as much to send these items via Media Mail, they can take longer to get to their destination. USPS estimates that your item will arrive in 2 to 10 days.
The savings with Media Mail can add up. If you're a Stamps.com customer sending a 1-pound package, it will cost $5.05 or higher with Priority Mail (using the Stamps.com discount) and only $2.53 with Media Mail. Using Media Mail in this situation will save you around 50 percent in postage costs.
The drawback of Media Mail is that USPS has a right to open and inspect your package to check for abuse of the system. Therefore, you shouldn't mail advertisements (except for a book announcement with a book) or other non-media material through Media Mail because you will risk having your package sent back to you for insufficient postage. Even including a birthday card in the package can cause your parcel to be sent back because the card isn't an approved form of media by the U.S. Postal Service.
How does Media Mail work?
Media Mail is based on weight and size, not the zone-based distance system that Parcel Post, Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express use. Once you've addressed and sealed your item, you should weigh it. If your package weighs less than 8 ounces, it will be less expensive for you to ship your item using First-Class Mail. If it weighs more that, just print your postage using the Media Mail option in your Stamps.com account. Stamps.com will calculate and display the expected delivery time of your package.
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USPS will allow you to add additional services for Media Mail parcels. You can purchase insurance, COD, USPS Tracking and Signature Confirmation for your item through the Stamps.com software.
Sending Media Mail with Stamps.com is Easy
Organize Your Media Mail with Cost Codes: USPS offers a presorted rate for 300 parcels or more and a bar code discount for Media Mail. Keeping track of all of those packages is simple if you use Stamps.com's Cost Codes feature, which allows you to put items that you ship into different categories. This works particularly well for mass mailings, and allows you to keep track of your business expenses more easily.
Hidden Postage: If you don't want your customers to know how much you spent to mail them a book or movie, you can use Stamps.com's hidden postage feature which blocks the postage cost from appearing on the shipping label. Just choose this option before printing your postage. Keep in mind that you must mail your package on the day that you print hidden postage, or else you'll have to print new postage and request a refund from Stamps.com.