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 $6.35 and up with Priority Mail (using the Stamps.com discount) and only $2.66 with Media Mail. Using Media Mail in this situation will save you around 53 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.
An approved licensed vendor of the USPS, Stamps.com allows you to buy and print mailing and shipping labels for all USPS mail classes using a standard ink-jet or laser printer. There is a monthly service fee of $15.99 to use the service.
Media Mail is based on weight and size, not the zone-based distance system that First-Class Package Service – Retail, 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.
USPS will allow you to add additional services for Media Mail parcels. USPS Tracking is included for free and you can purchase insurance, COD, USPS Tracking and Signature Confirmation for your item through the Stamps.com software.