Best cost effective way to send 10lb Philatelic package?

Consists of an album, 2 FDC albums and covers



  • 51 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Where is it being sent from and being sent to ?
  • I have been selling (in the USA) empty cover albums on eBay this year, 2 at a time and they fit nicely into a medium size priority mail box. Your cost on PayPal is about $13:50 but then you also have to figure in the commissions to get a true cost. It looks like you might have to move up to a large size USPS box depending on the size of your albums
  • media mail is the cheapest but not fastest. I consider an album as a book
  • if you going priority order some free A boxes on usps website as they not available at post office
  • I don't think that albums and covers fit any of the categories that USPS considers Media::::

    Media Mail® service has special eligibility requirements for permissible contents. Media Mail rates are limited to the items listed below:

    Books (at least 8 pages).
    Sound recordings and video recordings, such as CDs and DVDs.
    Playscripts and manuscripts for books, periodicals, and music.
    Printed music.
    Computer-readable media containing prerecorded information and guides or scripts prepared solely for use with such media.
    Sixteen millimeter or narrower width films.
    Printed objective test materials and their accessories.
    Printed educational reference charts.
    Loose-leaf pages and their binders consisting of medical information for distribution to doctors, hospitals, medical schools, and medical students.
  • Albums and covers are NOT eligible for media mail. Keep in mind that media mail can be opened anywhere along the route for inspection. Our post office regularly inspects both outgoing and incoming media mail. If inspected at the destination post office your customer will have to pay the priority mail price if they want the package.
    In my case it was a box of old magazines I ordered.The seller charged $10 S/H - the post office said because they contained advertising it would cost me over $70 postage due if I wanted them. Seller pled ignorance but returned my purchase price.
    Probably doesn't happen often in most places but I always ask how an item is going to be shipped if it looks too good to be true.
  • honestly I think I have received almost every type of article in the book via media mail at some point, some very innovative sellers pack the box with newspapers, music sheet printouts and the like to mask the main item.
  • Just because others do it, or you consider it to be so, doesn't make it right (or legal). Damn! Justification for bad behavior runs rampant among stamp collectors, but they complain to high heaven if they don't get what they bought, or they get defrauded. Still they're willing to do it to others. Just makes me sick!
  • edited February 25 2 LikesVote Down
    I've bought comics, which also do not qualify as Media Mail, from a major online dealer where the parcel weighs at least 3 pounds, and the shipping label he printed says 4 oz Media Mail. How does the PO not catch this kind of abuse? He probably figures, if the PO does catch it, I will be the one stuck with the postage due.
  • You can beat around the bush a album of stamps is the same as a book with stamps or book of stamps. Plus you stick stamps on the box as postage. If you are sending car parts via media mail I can understand that it may seem not right but stamps c'mon.
  • Do what you want to do - just remember it is illegal, it is theft of services, it causes postal rate increases if enough people cheat, repeated violations can lead to fines and other legal action and etc.

    Why stamp collectors feel it is perfectly fine to break the law to save money and defraud the government is beyond me. Makes me wonder if the IRS should include stamp collectors on their audit list....if they feel it OK to cheat the post office they must feel it is OK to cheat on their taxes. That's what brought Al Capone down - taxes.
  • " it may seem not right but stamps c'mon. "

    We and you don't make the laws. I doesn't matter what you think, or what it seems. Do you walk into a store and pay $1.00 for a gallon of milk that is supposed to cost $4.00? Theft is theft.
  • If a seller is not honest about the shipping why would anyone expect honesty about what they sell?
  • "You can beat around the bush a album of stamps is the same as a book with stamps or book of stamps. Plus you stick stamps on the box as postage."

    Just plain and simple , it does not meet the criteria of Media Mail. Probably one of the reasons that the USPS does not make money. Their rates are also lower than most developed country's
  • If its found to be inappropriate and that is highly unlikely in case of stamps item will arrive either postage due or will get returned to sender. With those same standards 1/3 of Amazon and other etailers stuff would be "illegal" as batteries, perfume and other liquids are frequently shipped via USPS.
  • Just because other people do it does not matter. It is against the law. If you are a member of the APS you would be kicked out of the organization.
  • edited February 26 4 LikesVote Down
    The 2010 USPS Inspector General annual report called for postal clerks to be more watchful for short-paid mail. The Inspector General report blog stated that in 2009, the USPS lost $600 million in short paid mail, most of the short pay being improper use of Media Mail.

    In 2009, the USPS had a deficit of $3.8 billion. So the Media Mail fraud amounted for 16% of the USPS deficit, if I calculated that correctly..
  • Hopefully we can put this to rest.
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    A stamp album is a book, often loose-leafed (to allow for expansion), in which a collection of postage stamps may be stored and displayed.

    Media Mail service has special eligibility requirements for permissible contents. Media Mail rates are limited to the items listed below:

    Books (at least 8 pages).

    So according to the printed material if your album has at least 8 pages its good to go.
  • The USPS postal regulation DMM 173.4.1 qualifies its definition of what a book is with "...consisting wholly of reading matter or scholarly bibliography".

    That means the Wikipedia definition is not applicable and anyone who is delusional on this is defrauding the USPS.
  • Nice clarification Rod!
    I think we all know what the correct answer is to the original question, follow the USPS rules and therefore stay in compliance with multiple codes of ethics that we have all signed on to at multiple stamp organizations.
  • First most people do realize that media mail is a one way only service to begin with. If the buyer refuses to pay the postage due the seller in order for that item to be delivered MUST make up the difference or pay the full priority mail price to receive it back. The buyer in those cases where they use Paypal will be covered for non-delivery if they refuse to pay the postage due.

    Secondly it is a felony to defraud to the post office. That includes shorting the required postage on any mail being sent by the required method. Which includes sending items that do not qualify as media via media mail,sending merchandise to international address via first class letter rate,using a label and shorting the weight etc.

    Now as most of the sellers in here would be classified as businesses and since act of doing so is classified as a CRIME,on some of these each time a seller would do so would be committing multiple crimes per each time,the PO can charge you with postal fraud in which case if the PO goes after that seller and the seller is convicted that seller could be charged all back postage due,fined for each time,be given a criminal record (With all the loss of any rights that a convicted felon loses and possible prison time.)

    If one is sending merchandise internationally and not sending it via first class parcel or better one can also be charged with smuggling goods which is also a felony each time,so that's double the charges per each and every time.
  • First off its far from a clarification!
    2. Its an "opinion" based on a vague guideline that can be argued either way
    3. the determination of fraud is made by the courts not a public forum and would not hold up
    4. postal authorities are know to have vague and outdated guidelines
    5. you are within your rights to ship an album of stamps via Media Mail with the "reasonable" expectation that it meets the guidelines of a book. I'm sure you can argue that some types of stamps within an album adhere "more to the guideline" than others. The fact is that the USPS main website specify s "Books (at least 8 pages)" and any reasonable individual would take that at face value without digging into the detailed regulation. Postal inspectors don't even do such an in depth philosophical inspection of the content weather its a tomayto or tomahto.
  • No one believes you.
  • edited February 26 2 LikesVote Down
    Dariusz Tyszkowski: Please provide any written documentation from the Postal Service specifically stating that you can ship a "stamp album" via media mail.
  • Examples of postal service (post office) fraud

    When companies do mass mailings, the amount of underpayment of postage can add up. One example of postal service (post office) fraud is when a company is not eligible for non-profit rates or misclassifying nonprofit mail but lies or uses the nonprofit rate. Other examples of postal service (post office) fraud occurs when a company lies about the classification, weight or number of pieces. In one case, a credit card company repaid the postal service $6 million to settle allegations that it committed postal fraud because its credit card bills did not qualify for a discount rate that it was receiving. The whistleblower obtained $1.2 million for reporting the fraud.
  • As business people (and that is how we should think of ourselves), it is our duty to get the product we sell to the customer as quickly and inexpensively as possible. If the inexpensive is not possible we have to choice but to make up the difference outselves. I don't complain when I charge $1.00 postage but only put a 55 cent stamp on it. The reverse must also be true if we wish to remain in business as honest (that ugly word again) businesspeople. I can't waste the time to try to figure out a legal/illegal way of mailing something that won't go well in a 9x12 envelope - I reach for a padded priority envelope and mail it, taking that 45 cents from the other guy to help cover the cost. You would be surprized how acting honestly keeps customers coming back. And that is the whole idea.
  • Wayne the post office gives a vague guideline prone to interpretation and possible court challenges. In reality it is somewhat of a grey area. You can ague that a stamp album filled say with "Credo" usa stamps fits more the description of a book than say an album filled with pictorials of butterfly's. Ultimately there are better ways to ship items like priority that offer a better customer experience but classifying mailing stamps as a definite crime is incorrect.
  • edited February 26 1 LikesVote Down
    If you ship internationally it is illegal to simply use a first class envelope for a stamp. It has to be sent as a package. Is that sane? NO, of course not. But it IS the law.
  • DT. No one trusts you.
  • edited February 26 3 LikesVote Down
    Dariusz - every person replying here depends on selling stamps as a part of their livelihood. Some are part time, some are full time. I have been registered as a business in NYS since 1985. Others have been around longer. We would all like to help you.This media mail issue has been banged around for over a decade on numerous stamp forums and other sales platform venues - dozens if not hundreds of threads. Stamp albums cannot be shipped via media mail - it is not a gray area. This from an old Ebay forum back in 2011 - "4. Binders/albums can generally be shipped just like books. Wrap carefully and pack in a properly sized box with fillers like bubble wrap if necessary, and mail. They must go parcel post rate not book rate, however." Note - "NOT BOOK RATE" and yet 9 years later the arguments by people persist.

    As for the Feds not being interested that is simply not true - it is a matter of lack of personnel rather than a lack of interest. Media Mail fraud is on their radar when staffing allows. As I said earlier our postmaster does a pretty good job of spot checking. My husband spent almost 20 years working for the government. The majority of those years were spent in an investigative capacity .They were always interested in the little things - they are either a slam dunk with no push back or they lead to bigger things.

    Frankly I don't care what you do. What I care about is that your advice could get innocent newbies in trouble - that is why this thread is active when it should have been abandoned long ago
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