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"Latest New Trick re: Media Mail" Topic

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Andrew Preziosi14 Feb 2017 11:01 a.m. PST

Just FYI, since it happened to me for the first time a few weeks ago. USPS now can open Media Mail packages at the PO proper and inspect them just to make sure they are what they're supposed to be. Randomly, but it is now happening.

Since they control the opening of the package, they also control the closing, so…if it was opened when you recieve it, you know who to discuss this with, especially if it was not insured.

Happy New Year!!!

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2017 11:05 a.m. PST

Good point. I have had it happen a few times myself; no problem with the regulation itself but how 'well' the package is closed can really vary!

Andrew Preziosi14 Feb 2017 11:17 a.m. PST


I mean I have a reputation to uphold. If you can open the book and read the title page within less than five minutes of opening a package I mailed, I did something WRONG!!!

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2017 11:33 a.m. PST

It has always been that way. Perhaps more people are using Media Mail now in order to off set rising postage costs, so the postal service is opening more packages in response.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2017 11:41 a.m. PST

Probably. Last week in the PO guy in front of me places a very large box on the scale and tells the clerk its Media Mail.

Clerk asks what is in the box. Response: magazines. Clerk informs him that since magazines contain advertising the box cannot be shipped via Media Mail.

It's worth the time to check the DMM if you are going to ship via Media and are not familiar with the reg:


Hafen von Schlockenberg14 Feb 2017 11:59 a.m. PST

Yeah,a couple of years ago, a clerk at one PO told me even a note saying "here's your books" would be disqualifiing. Seems kind of extreme to me.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2017 12:32 p.m. PST

It is and now I include the receipt inside the book and then wrap it up prior to shipment in whatever envelope/box I'm using.

zoneofcontrol14 Feb 2017 2:00 p.m. PST

The USPS has always had regulations as to what may be included in various classes/categories of mail.

Sealing any piece of mail or parcel gives the USPS authorization to open and inspect.

Enclosing a note such as the "here's your books" example listed above does change the classification of the shipment.

One of my "hats" at work was shipping. There are all sorts of classifications for all sorts of products. (There is even a special one just for printed music sheets and books.) You cannot co-mingle them without causing problems for yourself.

Magazines do (or did) have their own classification for shipping.

Oberlindes Sol LIC14 Feb 2017 2:17 p.m. PST

The regulation is not new. Postal workers have been authorized to open media mail packages since at least the mid-1980s, when I was a summer casual clerk.

Andrew Preziosi14 Feb 2017 2:20 p.m. PST

To open packages at some point but this is the first I or the staff at the PO ever saw a directive coming from their PC to OPEN the next package, which was mine.

Personal logo Mister Tibbles Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2017 6:00 p.m. PST

Been happening at point of sale at our PO for at least 9 years. Perhaps you've just been lucky all these years?

Andrew Preziosi14 Feb 2017 6:24 p.m. PST

I guess so, but the staff was surprised too.

Striker14 Feb 2017 7:35 p.m. PST

I had a clerk ask me about contents and did the KGB style "what if I opened it?" I said go ahead. Visions of Mr. Gant in Moscow.

emckinney14 Feb 2017 10:39 p.m. PST

Funny. I took the box unsealed. Clerk opened it, flipped through the magazine, and said no problem …

Problem with the USPS is the total lack of consistency.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2017 6:14 a.m. PST

^^That is true. Someone shipped me something in an empty alcohol (vodka, maybe) box once and, when I used to it to mail something to someone else, I was told that postal regulations prohibit mailing alcohol boxes whether they contain alcohol or not. But you guys delivered this very same box to me!

napthyme15 Feb 2017 8:54 a.m. PST

my post office opens all the media mail when it comes in, so your 100% guaranteed to have it opened here.

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