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USPS Media Mail

 

lc98
 lc98
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June 2, 2009 2:43 pm  

Good morning islanders,

I have a bunch of books to ship down and was wondering about your experiences, good or bad, with using USPS Media Mail plus insurance and delivery confirmation. How fast the packages arrive is no worry; I'm concerned only with improving the odds that they will actually get there! *-)

I saw someone post recently about a media mail package that never arrived at all; is that common for media mail? Should I spend the extra $$ to ship Priority (of course with insurance and delivery confirmation)?

Thank you!


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divinggirl
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June 2, 2009 3:06 pm  

I'm not sure what kind of volume you are talking about but the Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes are great for sending heavy stuff. You can send up to (I think) 70 lbs in one box. I used them to mail some SCUBA weights down and it only cost about $8! Just be sure you tape the box up really well. I believe there are now 4 different sizes of Flat Rate boxes. Also, you can go to the USPS website and request boxes be mailed to you at no cost. I have done this several times and stock some at home since the local Post Office seems to always be out of the size I need. The last time I picked up the pack of flattened boxes the PO clerk asked me how I managed to get them because she said they can't get them!


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lc98
 lc98
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June 2, 2009 4:30 pm  

Thank you divinggirl -- I had thought about doing that, but it looks like the largest flat-rate box is 12" x 12" x 5.5" for $13.95 per shipment. Or is there another size? Anyway, for that price I can send 31 pounds of books in a single box via Media Mail -- no way I could get that amount of books into the USPS flat rate box. It certainly is a good deal for small heavy items, though.

Anyone have experience with using Media Mail to receive items on island? Thank you!


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dntw8up
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June 2, 2009 4:33 pm  

When I'm in the states I buy thrift store books, and now that checking luggage costs $, I use Media Mail to ship the books home. Media Mail works as well as other classes of mail, it just takes much longer, and even that is sometimes not the case.


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lc98
 lc98
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June 2, 2009 4:59 pm  

dntw8, thank you! That helps ease my mind. I'm planning to send the boxes from the East Coast about 3 weeks before I hope to pick them up -- does that sound about right? I'm definitely not in a rush for them, though.


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DL
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June 2, 2009 5:12 pm  

I used them a couple years ago. It was only $20 to send 70 lbs of books, the maximum weight allowed. Took about three weeks....


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dntw8up
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June 2, 2009 5:33 pm  

Three weeks sounds about right.


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speee1dy
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June 2, 2009 5:46 pm  

media mail can take up to 4-6 weeks. i used to get books from booksforfree.com and it took forever as they were shipped media mail


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suebee
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June 2, 2009 6:12 pm  

I shipped a small package Media Mail down here last summer. It took 6 weeks. The package was pretty beaten up when it arrived, but everything was there. If time is not a concern, it may work for you.


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lc98
 lc98
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June 2, 2009 7:16 pm  

Thank you, everyone! Sounds like about what I was expecting, somewhere between 3 - 6 weeks.

I've double-boxed my book cartons in preparation for the inevitable PR processing facility abuse, and I've put my to & from addresses on all the inner cartons, too. Hopefully that's enough invested paranoia that nothing too terrible will happen. *-)

I'll let you all know how things turned out, hopefully in a couple of months' time....


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bethburnett70
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June 2, 2009 9:07 pm  

My friend sent me 60 boxes of books through media mail, and I got 59 of them... Some of them in a week, some in two months and others in between. One was lost forever. Pretty good as far as I was concerned.


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Betty
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June 2, 2009 9:33 pm  

I second media mail, I used it all the time to ship back books from cheap bookstores stateside. Like others have said, sometimes it took a week sometimes 6 weeks, but the savings was totally worth the wait.


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East Ender
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June 2, 2009 9:53 pm  

Does anyone have an update on their Kindle??? I am very interested, but it seems the technology is very quickly changing...


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Betty
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June 2, 2009 10:05 pm  

My update is I love it!!! Whatca wanna know? My sis just got one two and now she's an addict as well. It makes reading and getting books so much easier here. I don't have to worry about my bookcases filling up anymore and I don't have to pay shipping or over inflated prices on island. I find I'm reading even more then before, its so light I take it everywhere and its so quick to download a book. I really thought I would miss the books, but I haven't so far. The only thing that different is I can't lend them out anymore. 🙂


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lc98
 lc98
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June 2, 2009 10:30 pm  

Google just today announced that they will be releasing e-books for purchase (that won't work on Kindle but that will give publishers more favorable terms that Amazon currently does) -- it will be interesting to see whether the Kindle eventually turns out to be another iPod (many satisfied customers linked to a single-source proprietary format) or a Zune (plays every format, but nobody wants one).

I'd get a Kindle in a heartbeat if Amazon would allow me to automatically load it with the e-version of every book I've purchased from them since 1997. 🙂


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East Ender
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June 2, 2009 11:57 pm  

Betty: Couldn't you just loan it to me so I could see what it is like? 😉 Do you think the Kindle DX will be worth the price for the changes in format? Will the prices drop once it is out? I would gather that the real money is in the books and magazines they are selling, not the equipment? Do you take any newspapers? If so, are they any easier to read than the on-line versions?

Inquiring minds, y'know!8-)
Thanks!


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Betty
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June 3, 2009 12:20 am  

Be happy to loan it to you or at least let you play with it for a couple of hours if you weren't on stt. 😉 I was very fit to be very jealous when the DX came out, but then I looked it up on Amazon. It really is just too big for me. I want something I can fit in my purse and easily take around. I can see where it would be good for text books or even newspapers. It really does read like a book, the screen looks just like it and you can adjust the font size to how you like it. I was most worried about holding it with all the buttons on it (thinking i would be accidently flipping pages all the time).

The screen is NOT like a computer screen its like a book. There's NO glare, it won't hurt your eyes, like the computer screen will.

I do not take the newspapers, I've always like to read the local new of the town I'm in (wish there was home delivery for the avis). Getting the rest of my news from tv and the internet. The kindle also has internet and mp3 like features. The internet is kinda goofy like cell phone internet. And I can't figure out how to get music on it, which I would really like. I figure my nephews will have it figured on my sis's when I see her next and I'll learn then.

I don't really think prices will drop, but maybe with all the netbooks out there it might. The problem is there is no real competition right now. Sony has the ebook, but its no where as cool as the kindle.

If you have limited storage space for books and you like to reread your books then this will pay for itself. Most books range between 5 and 6 bucks, with alot of older books and classics being free. The new popular authors and bestsellers are $9.99 to $15. Also you can download samples of books for free and see if you really like it before you buy, which has already saved me money.

They say it will hold 1500 to 1700 depending on your book sizes, but you can also upload them to your account to make more room.


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Edward
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June 3, 2009 5:22 am  

"Just be sure you tape the box up really well. " Excellent advice!

I've been sending boxes of books long distances around the world by post for many years.

Use high quality 3M or Scotch Brand filament-reinforced strapping tape. Tape every edge as well as the top flap.

Mark each box "1 of 5", "2 of 5", etc. Keep the USPS receipts.


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