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How do you use the USPS Media Mail® shipping service?
How do you use the USPS Media Mail® shipping service?

Learn what qualifies for Media Mail® and how to access it

Updated over a week ago

Media Mail® is the cheapest way to ship books, vinyl records, or other music with the United States Postal Service®. However, USPS® does not allow the package to contain anything besides the qualifying media products they've defined, and they reserve the right to inspect packages to ensure they only contain qualifying Media Mail items.

Qualifying USPS Media Mail® items:

  • Books that contain at least 8 pages.

  • CDs, DVDs, records, tapes, or other sound and video recordings.

  • Scripts for plays, 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.

Media Mail® packages may not contain advertising

Media Mail® packages cannot contain advertising of any kind, and USPS® explicitly forbids comic books from being shipped with Media Mail®.

Can book subscription boxes use Media Mail®?

A common question is whether book subscription boxes can use Media Mail® to ship their packages. If the package only contains books, and does not include other items such as T-shirts or bookmarks, then Media Mail® is a great service to use.

How to access Media Mail® with Pirate Ship

To purchase Media Mail® postage with Pirate Ship, open the "Extra Services" area below the dimension & weight inputs when you're creating a single label from your Ship Page (NOT the Rates page), and check the "Qualifies for Media Mail" checkbox:

A screenshot showing the Extra Services menu that appears when creating a label. The option at the bottom of the Extra Services menu reads 'Qualifies for Media Mail. Educational material only. Books, music, or films, other products or any advertising prohibited.'

This will allow you to see Media Mail® rates for your packages 👍

Note: When you ship Media Mail®, you're responsible for sourcing your own packaging. If you're looking for some places to get packaging, check out this guide.

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