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173 Rates and Eligibility

1.0 Media Mail Rates and Fees

1.1 Rates

Media Mail rates are based on the weight of the piece without regard to zone. The single‑piece rate applies to pieces not mailed at a 5‑digit or basic rate. [E713.2.0]

1.2 Determining Single‑Piece Weight

To determine single‑piece weight in any mailing of nonidentical‑weight pieces, weigh each piece individually. To determine single‑piece weight in a mailing of identical-weight pieces, weigh a sample group of at least 10 randomly selected pieces and divide the total sample weight by the number of pieces in the sample. Express all single‑piece weights in decimal pounds rounded off to four decimal places. [P013.1.3]

1.3 Media Mail Rate Application

The Media Mail rate is charged per pound or fraction thereof; any fraction of a pound is considered a whole pound. (Rate application is identical for the single‑piece and presort rates.) For example, if an item weighs 4.225 pounds, the weight (postage) increment is 5 pounds. The minimum postage rate per piece is that for a piece weighing 1 pound. [P013.5.4]

1.4 Barcode Discount—Machinable Parcels

Barcoded Discount. The barcoded discount applies to Media Mail machinable parcels (see 101.3.2) that are included in a mailing of at least 50 pieces of Media Mail. The pieces must bear a correct, readable barcode for the ZIP Code shown in the delivery address as required by 708.5.0, Barcoding Standards for Parcels. [E713.2.0d]

1.5 Media Mail Rates

For barcoded discount for single‑piece rate, deduct $0.03 per parcel (machinable parcels only, 50‑piece minimum). See Exhibit 1.5 Media Mail Rates. [R700.3.0]

Exhibit 1.5 Media Mail Rates

Weight
Not Over
(pounds)

Single-
Piece1

1

$1.42

2

1.84

3

2.26

4

2.68

5

3.10

6

3.52

7

3.94

8

4.24

9

4.54

10

4.84

11

5.14

12

5.44

13

5.74

14

6.04

15

6.34

16

6.64

17

6.94

18

7.24

19

7.54

20

7.84

21

8.14

22

8.44

23

8.74

24

9.04

25

9.34

26

9.64

27

9.94

28

10.24

29

10.54

30

10.84

31

11.14

32

11.44

33

11.74

34

12.04

35

12.34

36

$12.64

37

12.94

38

13.24

39

13.54

40

13.84

41

14.14

42

14.44

43

14.74

44

15.04

45

15.34

46

15.64

47

15.94

48

16.24

49

16.54

50

16.84

51

17.14

52

17.44

53

17.74

54

18.04

55

18.34

56

18.64

57

18.94

58

19.24

59

19.54

60

19.84

61

20.14

62

20.44

63

20.74

64

21.04

65

21.34

66

21.64

67

21.94

68

22.24

69

22.54

70

22.84

  1. Machinable parcels may be eligible for barcoded discount of $0.03 per parcel (50-piece minimum).

[R700.3.0]

1.6 Computing Postage—Media Mail With Permit Imprint

To compute the total postage for a mailing, for each weight increment multiply the number of pieces by the applicable rate per piece. [P013.9.1]

1.7 Computing Postage—Media Mail With Postage Affixed

For each piece, affix the postage for the weight increment as shown in Exhibit 1.5. [P013.9.2]

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2.0 Basic Eligibility Standards for Media Mail

2.1 Service Objectives

The USPS does not guarantee the delivery of Media Mail within a specified time. Media Mail might receive deferred service. The local post office can provide more information concerning delivery times within its area. [D700.1.0]

2.2 Postal Inspection

Media Mail is not sealed against postal inspection. Regardless of physical closure, the mailing of articles at Media Mail rates constitutes consent by the mailer to postal inspection of the contents. [E710.1.3]

2.3 Delivery and Return Addresses

All Media Mail must bear a delivery address. The delivery address on each piece must include the correct ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code. Alternative addressing formats under 602.3.0 may be used. Each piece must bear the sender's return address. [E710.3.1]

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3.0 Content Standards

3.1 General

Mailable matter meeting one of the specific eligibility standards in 3.2, and that is neither mailed or required to be mailed as First-Class Mail nor entered as Periodicals, may be mailed as Media Mail. [E710.1.1]

3.2 Qualified Items

Only these items may be mailed at the Media Mail rates:

a. Books, including books issued to supplement other books, of at least eight printed pages, consisting wholly of reading matter or scholarly bibliography, or reading matter with incidental blank spaces for notations and containing no advertising matter other than incidental announcements of books. Advertising includes paid advertising and the publishers' own advertising in display, classified, or editorial style.

b. 16‑millimeter or narrower width films, which must be positive prints in final form for viewing, and catalogs of such films of 24 pages or more (at least 22 of which are printed). Films and film catalogs sent to or from commercial theaters do not qualify for the Media Mail rate.

c. Printed music, whether in bound or sheet form.

d. Printed objective test materials and their accessories used by or on behalf of educational institutions to test ability, aptitude, achievement, interests, and other mental and personal qualities with or without answers, test scores, or identifying information recorded thereon in writing or by mark.

e. Sound recordings, including incidental announcements of recordings and guides or scripts prepared solely for use with such recordings. Video recordings and player piano rolls are classified as sound recordings.

f. Playscripts and manuscripts for books, periodicals, and music.

g. Printed educational reference charts designed to instruct or train individuals for improving or developing their capabilities. Each chart must be a single printed sheet of information designed for educational reference. The information on the chart, which may be printed on one or both sides of the sheet, must be conveyed primarily by graphs, diagrams, tables, or other nonnarrative matter. An educational reference chart is normally but not necessarily devoted to one subject. A chart on which the information is conveyed primarily by textual matter in a narrative form does not qualify as a printed educational reference chart for mailing at the Media Mail rates even if it includes graphs, diagrams, or tables. Examples of qualifying charts include maps produced primarily for educational reference, tables of mathematical or scientific equations, noun declensions or verb conjugations used in the study of languages, periodic table of elements, botanical or zoological tables, and other tables used in the study of science.

h. Loose‑leaf pages and their binders consisting of medical information for distribution to doctors, hospitals, medical schools, and medical students.

i. Computer‑readable media containing prerecorded information and guides or scripts prepared solely for use with such media. [E713.1.1]

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4.0 Attachments and Enclosures

4.1 Loose Enclosures

In addition to the enclosures and additions listed in 4.0, any printed matter that is mailable as Standard Mail may be included loose with any qualifying material mailed at the Media Mail rates. [E713.1.2]

4.2 Enclosures in Books

Enclosures in books mailed at Media Mail rates are subject to these additional standards:

a. Either one envelope or one addressed postcard may be bound into the pages of a book. If also serving as an order form, the envelope or card may be in addition to the order form permitted by 4.2b..

b. One order form may be bound into the pages of a book. If also serving as an envelope or postcard, the order form may be in addition to the envelope or card permitted by 4.2a..

c. Announcements of books may appear as book pages. These announcements must be incidental and exclusively devoted to books, without extraneous advertising of book‑related or other materials or services. Announcements may fully describe the conditions and methods of ordering books and may contain ordering instructions for use with a separate order form. Up to three of these announcements may contain as part of their format a single order form, which may also serve as a postcard. The order forms permitted with these announcements are in addition to, and not in place of, order forms that may be enclosed under 4.2a. or 4.2b.. [E713.1.3]

4.3 Written Additions

Markings that have the character of personal correspondence require, with certain exceptions, additional postage at the First‑Class rates. The following written additions and enclosures do not require additional First‑Class postage:

a. The sender's and the addressee's names, occupations, and addresses, preceded by "From" or "To," and directions for handling.

b. Marks, numbers, names, or letters describing the contents.

c. Words or phrases such as "Do Not Open Until Christmas" and "Happy Birthday, Mother."

d. Instructions and directions for the use of the item mailed.

e. A manuscript dedication or inscription not having the nature of personal correspondence.

f. Marks to call attention to words or passages in the text.

g. Corrections of typographical errors in printed matter.

h. Manuscripts accompanying related proof sheets and corrections of proof sheets including corrections of typographical and other errors, changes in the text, insertions of new text, marginal instructions to the printer, and corrective rewrites of parts.

i. Handstamped imprints, unless the added material is in itself personal or converts the original matter to a personal communication.

j. Matter mailable separately as Standard Mail printed on the wrapper, envelope, tag, or label. [E710.1.4]

4.4 Invoice

An invoice, whether it also serves as a bill, may be placed either inside a Media Mail piece or in an envelope marked "Invoice Enclosed" and attached to the outside of the piece if the invoice relates solely to the matter with which it is mailed. The invoice may show this information:

a. Names and addresses of the sender and addressee.

b. Names and quantities of the articles enclosed, descriptions of each (e.g., price, tax, style, stock number, size, and quality, and, if defective, nature of defects).

c. Order or file number, date of order, date and manner of shipment, shipping weight, postage paid, and initials or name of packer or checker. [E710.1.5]

4.5 Incidental First‑Class Attachments and Enclosures

Incidental First‑Class matter may be enclosed in or attached to any Media Mail piece without payment of First‑Class postage. An incidental First‑Class attachment or enclosure must be matter that, if mailed separately, would require First‑Class postage, is closely associated with but secondary to the host piece, and is prepared so as not to interfere with postal processing. An incidental First‑Class attachment or enclosure may be a bill for the product or publication, a statement of account for past products or publications, or a personal message or greeting included with a product, publication, or parcel. Postage at the Package Services rate for the host piece is based on the combined weight of the host piece and the incidental First‑Class attachment or enclosure. [E710.1.6]