Media Mail Thoughts?

Thoughts on using Media Mail to send out comics? OK or not? I personally don’t care how someone mails me something if it’s packaged right. I’ve read people say it’s wrong to send comics that way but see a huge company like Newkadia use it.

According to USPS, they don’t allow books with ads within. Yet many still send via Media Mail. I do it myself since it was an option on eBay. I normally used Media Mail for cheaper sells. Anything approaching the $50 mark though I try to use Priority, since insurance is already included.

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Here’s what the USPS says directly:

There is a good bit of discussion on Media mail here:

I don’t send out books via media but have received them via media mail.
I have no issues getting them that way, as long as the books are packaged well.
If they ship them media mail, there is no excuse for it not to be packaged well because you have a pound weight limit for the first tier, lol.

On ebay, I’m looking at about $2.85 vs. $5.50 for first class give or take a few cents, under a pound. One big thing is I don’t get a discount (or almost none) if I ship via media mail on ebay whereas I do via first class. That is why I usually choose first class. The extra discount gives me slightly more profit.
Now, anytime I sell something heavy that qualifies (Hardbacks/LPs), I always give the option because $2.85 vs $7-9 for priority is a big difference for many buyers.

Don’t do it. I hate when I pay for priority and get media (some publishers that rhyme with stout do that). Also ebays that do it I request a refund on postage.


What if I’m up front about it? I’ve gotten all sorts of deliveries and see that most of the time it doesn’t matter what the type of delivery is if it’s not packaged well it’s gonna be a mess. I just got a comic delivery I ordered from Mercari. It’s First Class shipping and was a bent mess. I had to request a refund. An Amazon envelope and two flimsy pre-bent pieces of cardboard around two comics.

You are very unlikely to run into any problems using media mail. Just pack well and ship using the level of service you said you would.

Some people reuse stuff but I just order supplies. I order Gemini mailers and the comic shipping boards they offer. I charge a 1.25 handling fee and that covers the cost of all the materials. I don’t have to mess with cutting up boxes which is a time saver.

Personally I use media mail for trades and Hardcovers, first class for single issues. I also always drop off in their drop box and don’t interact with the employees at USPS

I drop off at post offices or my job some time. I’ve never had a post office worker every asked me anything about my packages even when I’ve needed a receipt instead of just leaving them.

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Yup. If you pay for Priority, then ship via Priority. Only time it’s okay to ship another method is if you upgrade for free.

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The main concern I would have is if it gets selected for inspection, they slap the extra postage on it if it doesn’t qualify. So as a buyer, I’d be pretty pissed to have to go through the process of getting refunded what I paid. Otherwise, you drop it off at USPS, they mail it back, and then the seller / sender pays it.

I recently just changed all my ebay comic listings to offer media mail or priority shipping. The issue I have is the competition is choosing media mail. So, in order to sell books, I either need to eat the shipping cost, or offer the media mail option. I always charge a flat fee because the ‘calculated’ cost that ebay uses just doesn’t work well enough. My total fee includes shipping + handling, and as someone mentioned, buy your own supplies, saves time and space.

What I’m curious to see is how many people will choose priority shipping as the option. I am expecting not many will. I really want to stop using media mail, but when you have someone charging $2.89 for their comic, and yours is $4.95… its hard to up that to $6.00 (depending on their location) for First class, and that does NOT include your materials.

Slabs and higher value items I either charge a flat $15 priority, or calculated priority. Toys / Action figures I let the person choose between parcel select ground or priority. Bottom line is, protect the item inside so you don’t have to go through the refund game. Hate doing that.

I don’t see where it says prosecuted to the full extent of the law if you violate this policy @drunkwooky

Seems like postmaster general is sending you threats that can’t be followed through.

  1. Knowledge of the law is not a prerequisite for violating the law. In other words, USPS doesn’t need to tell you they’re going to enforce it in order to enforce it.
  2. If you are informed that your contents do not qualify for a lower rate and continue to use that rate, you are attempting to defraud USPS of the higher rate and so at a minimum it is mail fraud which is a criminal offense which is prosecutable.
  3. They likely have more specific fines for this type of behavior.
  4. The fact that I got any sort of communication from the postmaster general about it is enough for me to stop. Even if they can’t convict me of a crime or slap me with a fine, I choose not to spend a moment debating it with the Postal Inspector, their law enforcement officers, or paying to defend myself against criminal charges. In my book, if you’ve been charged with a crime, you’ve already lost a great deal of liberty, time, money, and productivity.

Send Media Mail all you like, but if you start getting communication from USPS to stop, you’re on notice. It’s also an agency that’s really hurting right now in terms of cashflow, so I wouldn’t test their willingness to start cracking down and making examples.


I can’t believe you received correspondence, thats wild. If i received anything like that I would immediately stop as well as I’m not a fan of going to court, or wasting my time with speeding tickets, drunk tanks, warrants, etc. I’m with you man.

Didn’t someone on this forum in a prior conversation about media mail talk about getting busted for using media mail? I seem to remember a comment along the lines of “trust me, it’s not worth it.” To me, that implied some sort of fine or threat of prosecution.

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I don’t know about anybody else, but I said that.

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I believe @drunkwooky that he got notice to stop shipping media mail, but the majority of people are going to have no problem. I mean it’s the first eBay option for comic shipping I don’t understand why people are worried about this. Unless you get some over zealous postal worker or have a package break apart during shipping they have bigger things to worry about than your comic book.

Why take the chance on it being inspected to save a few cents? I also don’t like my packages to be in the post offices hands for long periods of time and media mail takes forever. I do free shipping for the most part and only use First Class or Priority. I’ve had to deal with one of my incoming packages being inspected and I was charged more money at the post office because comics don’t meet the criteria for the discounted Media Mail rate. And you never downgrade postage upgrade only. If I pay for Priority and it’s shipped in a different way you’re well on your way to negative feedback in my book.

Over the holidays, all my media mail packages were arriving in around 3-5 days while my priority packages were taking up to 3 weeks. :wink: