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Media Mail Rules Made Simple: Learn What Qualifies and What Does Not

Media Mail Rules Made Simple: Learn What Qualifies and What Does Not

If you regularly ship via Media Mail, then it is essential you understand what qualifies for reduced Media Mail shipping rates and what does not. Remember that if you send something that does not qualify, you could potentially be charged with mail fraud. More likely, your customer might end up receiving a “Postage Due” envelope with their package.

Keep reading for the basics on what is and what is not qualified as Media Mail shipping and then contact Square One Business Machines at (972) 370-3664 for help with the latest shipping options.

A Disclaimer About this List

This list is accurate as of the date we are writing this, but the post office does change the rules. Note too that this only covers the basics – there are many others that are not on this list. If you are in doubt, you can use the USPS’s full website to get details on what can be shipped and what cannot be shipped via Media Mail.

Basic Items That Do Qualify for Media Mail Shipping

If you are sending any of the following, then it likely qualifies as Media Mail:

  • Books of at least eight pages
  • Printed educational reference charts
  • Sound recordings and video recordings like DVDs and CDs
  • 16MM or narrower films
  • Playscripts and book manuscripts
  • Computer-readable media with pre-recorded information and guides prepared solely for use with that media
  • Printed music
  • Printed objective test materials (and accessories)
  • Loose-leaf pages and their binders with medical info for doctors, medical schools and students, and hospitals

You Can Only Combine Media Mail with Non-Media Mail Items in Specific Situations

Generally speaking, you are not able to combine approved Media Mail items with non-qualifying items in the same package and still get the Media Mail rate. This includes something as small and simple as a personal note or card.

However, there are specific situations in which you can add an enclosure. These exceptions all involve an item that pertains specifically and strictly to the Media Mail approved item. For example, an invoice or bill, a brief note with an introduction to the media, instructions for the use of the media, and corrections to any printed info on the media.

Items That Cannot Be Shipped Via Media Mail

Put simply, the items that cannot be shipped via Media Mail are the items that are not approved. This includes any type of advertising, puzzles, video games, vintage magazines (even though their ads are old, they are still ads), pencils, and empty binders.

Limits on Packaging

Your Media Mail package can weigh as much as 70 pounds and measure as much as 108 inches in length and distance around the thickets area. Note that if the package weighs less than eight ounces, it will be cheaper to send via First Class mail.