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To Media Mail, or not to Media Mail...


Rowsdower70

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Many of the folks here do some eBay selling,  including myself.   The use of Media Mail could save me or anyone tons of money, but eBay is pretty specific on what they think qualifies for media mail.

http://www.ebay.com/gds/WHAT-QUALIFIES-AS-MEDIA-MAIL-know-before-shipping-/10000000001868882/g.html

However, after doing a bit of research they make some unfounded claims.   For example, nowhere on any USPS site does it say your CDs and DVDs you mail can't be homemade.  That seems to simply be eBay's opinion.  

I was a bit alarmed that a recent Shopgoodwill auction sent a batch of Xbox 360 games to me via Media Mail.   I mean, these guys should at least be trying to be legit.  They are a business, right?   So I was going to contact them with my concerns.   I decided to do a bit of homework before I started complaining and brought up the USPS site:

https://about.usps.com/notices/not121/not121_tech.htm


Hmmm, on the list of what IS allowed:


Computer readable media containing pre-recorded information and guides or scripts prepared solely for use with such media

eBay adds to this: (e.g. commercially available instruction vidoes/DVDs)  which is their own interpenetration and not documented anywhere on any USPS site.

Computer readable media containing pre-recorded information (games) and guides or scripts prepared solely for use with such media (instruction manuals, even guides)  

Further down eBays page it specifically excludes video games (again, seemingly their own conclusion) saying "Video Games or Blank Media Disks.  Since there is no media on the disks they do not qualify.  (What?)


Conclusion:

Media Mail is perfectly legit for software and/or games.   eBay is smoking crack.


Thoughts?

 

"For you - Rowsdower from the 70 - have been appointed Omnivisioner of the Game Grid."  ~ Atari Adventure Square

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This is the first I've heard of Media Mail. Is it less expensive than first class?

 

And that is pretty strange that eBay doesn't consider video games media. 

Well, First class has a very small weight allowance....but even so I'd guess media mail is cheaper.   It's cheaper than parcel. 

"For you - Rowsdower from the 70 - have been appointed Omnivisioner of the Game Grid."  ~ Atari Adventure Square

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Sorry. Video games do not count as Media Mail according to USPS. It's not just an ebay thing:

 

From USPS.COM: 

"In conclusion, video games, whether on CD-ROM, diskettes, or similar software, regardless of form, or playable systems including computers, do not meet the standards for Media Mail."

http://pe.usps.com/text/CSR/PS-334.htm

 

Media Mail could also be considered Educational Mail as I think the original purpose was to cut the shipping on books and educational materials for schools and libraries.

 

Media Mail can be slow, but cheap. I usually use it when I sell heavy books or DVD sets that weigh more than first class mail (13oz).

 

However A LOT of people misunderstand Media Mail. I'm guessing that whoever made the package for Shopgoodwill was just ignorant in your case.

 

I have received A LOT of stuff I won off ebay shipped incorrectly via Media Mail including video games, comics and magazines (Comics and magazines don't usually count since they include advertisements aka ads, which is not allowed in media mail). I even had a group of NES systems sent Media Mail.

 

So a lot of stuff does get shipped wrongly via Media Mail, but USPS can inspect Media Mail packages and if they find it is not Media Mail eligible they can charge the receiver for the difference to get the package (I think they charge the Priority Mail rate which can be very pricey for heavy items)

The No Swear Gamer on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChtJuo040EOCTVziObIgVcg

Host of The Atari 7800 Game by Game Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and YouTube

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Sorry. Video games do not count as Media Mail according to USPS. It's not just an ebay thing:

 

From USPS.COM: 

"In conclusion, video games, whether on CD-ROM, diskettes, or similar software, regardless of form, or playable systems including computers, do not meet the standards for Media Mail."

http://pe.usps.com/text/CSR/PS-334.htm

 

Media Mail could also be considered Educational Mail as I think the original purpose was to cut the shipping on books and educational materials for schools and libraries.

 

Media Mail can be slow, but cheap. I usually use it when I sell heavy books or DVD sets that weigh more than first class mail (13oz).

 

However A LOT of people misunderstand Media Mail. I'm guessing that whoever made the package for Shopgoodwill was just ignorant in your case.

 

I have received A LOT of stuff I won off ebay shipped incorrectly via Media Mail including video games, comics and magazines (Comics and magazines don't usually count since they include advertisements aka ads, which is not allowed in media mail). I even had a group of NES systems sent Media Mail.

 

So a lot of stuff does get shipped wrongly via Media Mail, but USPS can inspect Media Mail packages and if they find it is not Media Mail eligible they can charge the receiver for the difference to get the package (I think they charge the Priority Mail rate which can be very pricey for heavy items)

So clearly this has come up before and apparently was cleared up last year.   Thanks NSG.    I've never shipped anything other than books on eBay via media mail.    

 

I'm curious about the comic books thing (because they DO specify that on their main page about media mail).   If they are vintage comics and/or magazines, it seems silly to claim they have valid advertisements.   By that token you could eliminate a 1932 sears catalog because it had ads. 

 

I do think USPS should open it up a bit more.   Their argument is weak, especially against computer software.   Video games are, in my opinion, media as much as movies and music. 

"For you - Rowsdower from the 70 - have been appointed Omnivisioner of the Game Grid."  ~ Atari Adventure Square

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So clearly this has come up before and apparently was cleared up last year.   Thanks NSG.    I've never shipped anything other than books on eBay via media mail.    

 

I'm curious about the comic books thing (because they DO specify that on their main page about media mail).   If they are vintage comics and/or magazines, it seems silly to claim they have valid advertisements.   By that token you could eliminate a 1932 sears catalog because it had ads. 

 

I do think USPS should open it up a bit more.   Their argument is weak, especially against computer software.   Video games are, in my opinion, media as much as movies and music. 

I totally understand and would like them to expand, or update their definitions as well.

But yes, an old Sears Catalog wouldn't count either. 

The No Swear Gamer on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChtJuo040EOCTVziObIgVcg

Host of The Atari 7800 Game by Game Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and YouTube

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Boo! Sears catalog! Those things probably cost a fortune to mail.

A Sears catalog or Sears Wish Book from years ago are fetching big bucks right now on online auctions.

 

My fav (because of the back cover):

post-52-0-42622000-1446009972.jpg

post-52-0-87398000-1446009989_thumb.jpg

Brian Matherne - owner/curator of "The MOST comprehensive list of Atari VCS/2600 homebrews ever compiled." http://tiny.cc/Atari2600Homebrew

author of "The Atari 2600 Homebrew Companion" book series available on Amazon! www.amazon.com/author/brianmatherne

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the idea was to promote cost effective measures for educational purposes ....

 

the restriction on "no advertising" is so it wouldn't be used for commercial enterprise .....

 

I have asked a postal clerk if it'd be ok to send a game manual & box only via Media Mail & they thought since it's not an actual game they didn't see whats wrong with it ... but the savings only really kicks in when you get higher in weight.

 

also Media mail is subject to "postal inspection" which can further cause delays , epescially if the contents do not meet their guidelines

 

under 13 Oz. first class is the most economical & the receipt # will work as tracking

 

anything over that weight I try & stuff a flat rate box as full as possible :rofl:

 

there are ALSO boxes that LOOK like flate rate boxes but NOT marked as such & your charged by weight :P 

kl0I2PH.jpg

 

your better off NOT going media mail unless it's a fat stack of literature

 

I would probably complain to Goodwill because they charge an exorbitant rate for shipping & sometimes a handling fee based on the highest bid ( I guess if a low bid they don't handle it as well  :wreck-it-ralph_anim:   ) 

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Wait, I have a copy of the 1996 Sears Wishbook. Is it worth anything?

the older the better value......70-80's issues are going for $15-25 and some closer to $50

Brian Matherne - owner/curator of "The MOST comprehensive list of Atari VCS/2600 homebrews ever compiled." http://tiny.cc/Atari2600Homebrew

author of "The Atari 2600 Homebrew Companion" book series available on Amazon! www.amazon.com/author/brianmatherne

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