Should I Use Media Mail to Ship Comics?
The age old question among the comic book community is if Media Mail by the USPS is an appropriate means of shipping books. The short answer is no. However there are two schools of thought about wether or not this is a good or bad thing. Let's break down the rules of media mail from the USPS and also look at both sides of the story.
The US Postal Service started using the term media mail back in 1938. The intended purpose was to encourage the flow and distribution of educational materials across the country. It's meant for books, CD's, DVD's, printed music and any several forms of literature. One thing that it clearly states is that comic books do not qualify for this type of shipping method. The main reason is that comics contain advertisements which make them far from educational literature and quite the opposite. Click here for the official rules from the USPS.
Now there are several sellers, mostly older, who believe in using Media Mail to ship comics. The main advantage sellers use this method is because it is the cheapest way to ship several books. Media Mail will be dramatically lower than traditional First Class or Priority. The biggest complaint I've seen from buyers is when the seller charges a much higher rate for shipping and then try and increase their profit by using the cheapest method of shipping. A sort of bait and switch of sorts, that is looked down on tremendously.
There's another segment of sellers, like myself, that don't use Media Mail and also discourage it. Mainly because the Post Ofice says it's not allowed in their rules. I have also heard several stories about Media Mail packages being inspected and returned back to their original sender. Personally I bought about $200 in variant comics that were taking unexpectedly longer to get to me. When I inquired further I found that the package was damaged in transit. And the only thing left of my package which was the box top with the mailing label sent back to me. As you can see from the picture I've posted.
What are your experiences with Media Mail? Do you use it? Against it?
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