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USPS announces changes to how media mail returns are handled

by Vervante •

Media mail is one of the most economical ways to send a package, and we know that many of our clients choose media mail for their preferred shipping method. However, the USPS recently announced a changes to how media mail returns are now being processed.

USPS Changes to Media Mail Returns

In the past, the postal service did not consistently return undeliverable packages sent via Media Mail. We were told they were discarded to save return handling and postage fees. Now the USPS has announced that as part of internal changes, they will be charging the same amount of postage to return it as it cost to send it. Think of Media Mail as a one-way plane ticket.  If it is returned, we now have to pay for the return part of the trip.  When this happens, we will mark the order returned and add the charges for the return postage in your author account.

Effective immediately, when we receive returned Media Mail packages you will see a line item invoice in your account for the returned postage fee. 

From a cost perspective, paying for an occasional returned Media Mail package is generally still less expensive than shipping Priority Mail.

For example:

  • If you send a package for $2.80 via Media Mail and it is returned, you will be charged $2.80 for the return, for a total of $5.60 charged to your account. 
  • If you choose to ship the package via Priority Mail the least expensive option is $9.60, so even with the new policy of paying for returned Media Mail packages you still save $4.00 over Priority Mail.

Media Mail is a cost-effective way to send materials such as books, videotapes, DVDs, CDs, printed music and other sound recordings through the U.S. Postal Service. This service has certain rules and restrictions, however, and we’ve provided a detailed look into how Media Mail works, and the benefits and risks when using it for shipping your own products on our blog, which can be viewed here: “The Pros and Cons of Using Media Mail.”