Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mailing books and packages -- some tips

I use for most of my shipping.  It's surprising, but a governmental agency actually created a website that is fairly easy to use.  My only peeve is that you have to choose a date for shipping and then pay; and they don't alert you if you've chosen a holiday with no service.  If you've chosen a holiday, then you have to cancel your paid labels and do the process all over again, and wait a few weeks for a refund.   I use Priority Mail all the time since it is easiest and USPS will pick up Priority Mail packages from your mailbox. 

Media Mail is the cheapest way to ship books, and all the vendors on Amazon's used bookstores use it.  I just tried it again (rules keep changing).  You simply put a book in a large padded envelope, mark Media Mail on the front, and put Media Mail postage on it.  You can use the website's "calculate price" function to find the cost.   However, you will generally have to take this to the post office to mail as they do not accept packages over 13 oz (except Priority Mail in your own mailbox) in mailboxes.  It depends on your carrier and if you know him personally.  It also seems that if you want tracking for Media Mail, you have to buy that at the PO.  I just sent a book to Florida, the postage for Media Mail was $3.10, and the tracking will cost $0.85.  I detest standing in lines so my wife is taking the package there for me on Friday...

Rules -- no personal letters, only the book itself can be in the package marked Media Mail. 

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