How to Lower Shipping Costs – Use Media Mail
When it comes to shipping books, DVDs and other media, nothing beats U.S. Postal Service’s Media Mail rate. This cost-efficient shipping class allows you to send pounds of media for a fraction of the cost, which can save your small business money.
Media Mail rates can be 50% lower than Priority Mail
Media Mail starts at $2.38 for the first pound and 39 cents for each additional pound. If you mail a 3-pound package of books through Media Mail, it will cost $3.16 compared to the $10.20 it would cost to mail the same weight placed in a Priority Mail Flat Rate Medium Box. That is a 69% savings! Packages shipped via Media Mail can include other USPS services, such as package insurance, Delivery Confirmation, Signature Confirmation and COD.
Items that can be mailed include books that are at least 8 pages, film that is 16 mm or narrower, printed music, printed test materials, video and sound recordings, play scripts, printed education charts, medical information contained in binders or loose-leaf pages and computer-readable media.
USPS has restrictions for Media Mail
Although Media Mail is a great way to send media while saving money, it does have some restrictions. The package can’t contain advertising except for incidental book announcements. All Media Mail packages are subject to inspection, and if postal employees find something that isn’t supposed to be included, like a birthday card, your package will be returned to you.
Another common complaint about Media Mail is delivery time. It can take 2 to 9 days for Media Mail packages to arrive (some message boards claim even longer during the holidays), so items that need to be delivered on a short time frame should be sent using other services, such as the 2-day Priority Mail.
USPS assumes no liability for packages sent through Media Mail unless you buy package insurance. That means that if you are using Media Mail to send items of value to your customers, you should request the buyer to purchase package insurance and delivery confirmation tracking. Stamps.com customers only pay 19 cents per package for delivery confirmation (the post office charges 70-80 cents), which is an inexpensive way for a business to give its customers piece of mind about the location of their package.