Media rate shipping?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JJR512, Oct 22, 2001.

  1. JJR512

    JJR512 Supporting Actor

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    What is "media rate shipping", and how much is it for a standard DVD, typically? Or is there an online source that gives general rate info? Is this service provided by the USPS, or by any shipping company?
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  2. JJR512

    JJR512 Supporting Actor

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    Also, what is the most common method of payment you guys here use amongst yourselves? Does the seller wait for payment like a check to come before sending the goods, does the seller send the goods first and then when the buyer receives them, send out a check, or do you both send out at the same time? Same question for trading.
    Of course I realize that transactions between members here are between the members only, and HTF is not involved in any way nor can be held responsible.
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  3. Mike Wegimont

    Mike Wegimont Stunt Coordinator

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    Media Mail is (I think) the cheapest way to send something and also takes the longest to arrive. I try to avoid this since I want my disks ASAP.
    In my opinion, your best bet with regard to payment is to set up an account at http://www.paypal.com. Money is transferred directly to your account when you sell something. This way you get the money before any goods are shipped.
    Most people I've dealt with either ship via Priority Mail or First Class. You can also add insurance (so if the package gets lost, you'll get some money back from the PO) and/or delivery confirmation so you can track your package. Ask the person you're trading with what form of shipment they prefer and match it. That usually works.
    With my first few trades, I offered to ship first to get some credibility. Once I was added to the GTL, it wasn't really an issue. Most people ship at the same time. Always check the GTL to see who you're dealing with and take it from there.
    Good luck trading!
    Mike
    PS - It's a good idea to stick a folded napkin, or piece of thin foam inside a DVD case (unless it's sealed) to stop it from bouncing around during shipping. Another good idea is to line the box you're shiping your disk in, with bubble wrap or newspaper so as not to hurt the case. Most people here take their collections seriously and won't be happy if they get a banged up case.
    Got anything to trade?
    [Edited last by Mike Wegimont on October 23, 2001 at 12:13 AM]
     
  4. John Besse

    John Besse Supporting Actor

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    Media rate is the cheapest method of shipping. Yes, the USPS does have media rate available. They are the only company I have ever used to send via Media Rate. As far as pricing goes, in a standard semi-small bubble wrap type envelope... You should be able to mail a disc for well under $2. I've sent put huge boxes only, and for 18 movies in a 12" by 12" box it was somewhere around $4.50.
    Media Rate is supposed to be used only for educational type services. I've heard that DVDs aren't categorized under that, but supposedly a post master wouldn't care about a DVD since they are somewhat educational.
    As far as selling movies myself. I wait until payment is received and then ship out the disc(s). I would say this is the most common method.
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  5. Elizabeth S

    Elizabeth S Producer

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    "Media Mail" used to be what is known as "Book Rate" by the USPS and applies to things like printed matter, film, video, etc. One good thing is that you can get delivery confirmation with Media Mail for $.40, as you can with Priority Mail.
    Keep in mind, however, that media mail can take from 4 to 6 weeks, depending where in the U.S. you send it. (I'm in Hawaii, and it's common to take over 4 weeks so I don't use it.)
     
  6. Lucas Dang

    Lucas Dang Stunt Coordinator

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    I prefer media mail, its sooooo much cheaper. 1.35 for 1 disc. 1.75 for a well padded Laserdisc. 2-3 discs for under 2$. I admit it can be a little slower, but if you ship on the same coast its almost just as fast. I ship stuff priority and it gets there two days, media mail to the same guy took 3, big woopdeedoo.
    Media mail has certain qualifiers, you have to know your stuff and argue with postmaster sometimes. it clearly states media of music, and film, and computer software. I even stretch that to cover nintendo cartridges because they are technically computer software. Cds, vhs, dvds all qualify. LD's are a type of film, and computer software if you consider original cdroms were ld barcode players. but if they sweat you just tell them its an LP, as in album, same size they wont know the difference, LP LD same thing.
    Book rate is also sometimes called media mail. Now if you send actual printed materials, you can go bound and printed rate its even cheaper.
    The best way to go is always ask what the different rates will be sometimes local in state shipping is just as cheap for a dvd for priority vs media mail.
    here is a link to usps and an excerpt:
    Generally used for books (at least eight pages), film (16 mm or narrower), printed music, printed test materials, sound recordings, play scripts, printed educational charts, loose-leaf pages and binders consisting of medical information, and computer-readable media. Advertising restrictions apply.
    Packages must measure 108 inches or less in combined length and girth.
    Mark each package "Media Mail" in the postage area.
    Media Mail Rates
    Weight Not Over (pounds) Single-Piece
    1 $1.33
    2 1.78
    3 2.23
    4 2.68
    5 3.13
    6 3.58
    7 4.03
    8 4.33
    9 4.63
    10 4.93
    http://new.usps.com/cgi-bin/uspsbv/s...&U2=H#standard
     
  7. Andy_A

    Andy_A Second Unit

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    Media rate runs almost universally $1.33 for a dvd in a padded envelope. It is actually $.50 for delivery confirmation with media mail. It is, however, only $.40 for delivery confirmation on priority. Delivery confirmation is not available on first class. Media rate is insurable. It is $1.10 for up to $50 of insurance. It is the shipping method I normally use to mail dvds and have never had any problems. It actually gets there about as fast or slightly slower than first class. I always pack dvds extremely well, so media rate works. If not packed well, though, they can get banged up.
     
  8. JJR512

    JJR512 Supporting Actor

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    Please explain how to pack a DVD well.
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  9. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Justin: This is the USPS Domestic Rate Calculator . So long as you have an accurate weight and your destinations zip code, it's spot on. I use it all the time. I bought a very accurate 4-lb. digital scale at Sam's Club for about $20. More sophisticated models are available, but unless you are a business, they're unnecessary.
    As for packing a dvd, most use bubble mailers, as do I. Don't get the 6 x 9 - it's too tight - get the next larger. If you're shipping a large number of dvds, I suggest going to Office Max or someplace similar and getting a box of 25 bubble mailers. The cost per is so much cheaper than buying them individually.
    This may be overkill, but I always add another layer of bubblewrap around the dvd.
    Alternatively, use the boxes online retailers send you. Free boxes that are designed for videos can be obtained from USPS, either at your local post office or online ( USPS - look under Buy Stamps & More, then Shipping Supplies), but these can only be used for priority mail. Bags Unlimited also has a selection of dvd boxes and mailers.
    Media rate is the cheapest overall, particularly at heavier weights (I deal mainly in laser discs, which are quite a bit heavier than dvds) but not always cheaper than 1st class. My experience says typical delivery times are on the order of 5-7 days, but it can take longer, especially around Christmas and other holidays.
    I recommended delivery confirmation - it can save you a hassle. Delivery confirmation, however, is not available on 1st class (don't ask me why). One thing - delivery confirmation is not a tracking number, although it sometimes displays in-between points. All it's guaranteed to show is when a package was mailed and when it was delivered. I'm a little ticked about this. UPS uses a real tracking number and doesn't charge for it. USPS charges for delivery confirmation and it does only the minimum.
    I guess that's all you need to know.
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    [Edited last by alan halvorson on October 23, 2001 at 07:06 AM]
     
  10. Mike G

    Mike G Stunt Coordinator

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    First Class is faster and usualy cheaper if your only sending one disc in a padded envelope (I'm only talking about $0.08 cheaper). With media you can get confirmation for an extra $0.50, you can't get confirmation with First Class.
     
  11. Bill Balcziak

    Bill Balcziak Supporting Actor

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    Media Mail rate is NOT necessarily the lowest postage rate. The lowest of the low rates is reserved for "bound printed matter." The caveat associated with this class of shipping is that if, for whatever reason, the item is undeliverable, it is destroyed rather than returned to sender.
    [Thanks to the Prior Lake, MN USPS counter staff for their endless patience with my endless questions about all things postage. Great folks!]
     

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