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Old 05-24-05, 05:28 PM   #1
fender69
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Has the Post Office ever opened your package before they let you ship it?

It's not really a trade offer but i figured it was only a relevent question to people who trade.

I went to the post office to ship a rather large package of DVDs (14 to be exact). I wanted it shipped media mail so they went through the same talk about it only being for books and other media. I told them it was DVDs and the clerk insisted that he open the package to check. I told him fine as long as he repacks it as good as I had packed it to begin with, which he said ok to. Ho opened the package found 14 DVDs and some old newspaper and sealed the box back up.
Nothing else really came of it but I just wondered if the USPS has been having a problem with people abusing the media mail rates or this PO was just being a little crazy. Then i was thinking "What if I was mailing a bunch of porn?" I wouldn't want the guy (or girl) at the post office to discover that I collect and trade all anal asian preop transexual midget porn. I think next time I'll stand my ground and keep the box sealed if it comes up again.


jk, about that all anal asian preop transexual midget porn thing.


They're regular height
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Old 05-24-05, 05:38 PM   #2
aeron
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I've never had them open a package, but not long ago I noticed a sign at the post office that stated that they reserve the right to open any package being shipped Media Mail to verify its contents...It made me wonder whether they really would do that. I guess you've answered that question!
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Old 05-24-05, 05:42 PM   #3
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From a while back, there have been signs posted at our post office that anything going Media Mail is subject to being opened (I take that to mean not only at the window but en route.) I'm sure it has to do with people taking advantage of the cheaper rate. If you DID have something "embarassing" in there, I guess you could have declined and tried another clerk or branch.
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Old 05-24-05, 05:42 PM   #4
J-Flow
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At my regular post office they don't, but I had them open one before saying "If you ship media mail, bring it in unsealed so they can look at it" Makes sense, too many people try to ship anything media mail and they really don't make much money on it is what they tell me.
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Old 05-24-05, 06:08 PM   #5
spartanstew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fender69
I collect and trade all anal asian preop transexual midget porn.

Do you have a trade list?



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Old 05-24-05, 06:35 PM   #6
btlives
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1. Have had my boxes opened because they thought
was using their priority boxes turned inside out.
They weren't...I just used their design as a template.
(I have since changed it.)
2. In the past, seen 2 people in line get nailed for
trying to ship media mail items that were not.
One person had a huge box that he said
was harry potter books. Ended up being
everything but potter.
3. I had a box opened with a form letter from the
post office that it was inspected.

Finally..I turned in 2 companies for abusing
the media mail system. Have no idea if?
anything was done. But overstock sent me
a letter and I recieved a couple of corperate
calls promising me it would not happen again.

I use to ship a boat load of stuff though.
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Old 05-24-05, 11:27 PM   #7
TequilaYuen187
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damn, i have sometimes used priority mail boxes turned inside out (boxes are a pain to find/buy).....guess i better stop doing that! lol
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Old 05-25-05, 12:13 AM   #8
hurricane
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What are you selling?
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Old 05-25-05, 12:47 AM   #9
legend42
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I received a book recently with a sticker on the package that said it had been opened by U.S.P.S. and inspected for Media Mail material, or something like that.

It was so ridiculous, becuase it was a plain envelope where all you'd have to do was feel the outside of the mailer in the most cursory manner to know there was definitely a paperback book inside. Meanwhile cardboard boxes which could contain nearly anything go routinely uninspected. Whatever.
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Old 05-25-05, 08:47 AM   #10
mookiemeister
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My post office never opened my package when I want to ship media mail. But they did ask me what it was. Once, I told them I was shipping DVD with a sheet of paper. And she made a big deal about how I can't ship a regular paper using media mail. I told her that the piece of paper was an invoice of what the package contains. Finally, another co-worker convinced her that it was ok to mail a sheet of paper as media mail if the paper is a receipt or invoice.
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Old 05-25-05, 09:58 AM   #11
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Media Mail is reserved for just that: media.

It appears that there has been a rash of people shipping all kinds of items just to get the lower postal rate.

I would urge anyone going to the post office to keep the package open just in case (unless, of course, you're shipping items of a (ahem) sensitive nature, whereopon, you're just taking your chances offending the person at the window).
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Old 05-26-05, 12:00 AM   #12
TequilaYuen187
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I had things opened by customs, never any problems with damaged merchandise or anything...this was DVDs coming from China/Malaysia/Japan in the weeks after 9/11 though.
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Old 05-26-05, 09:06 PM   #13
stonecountry
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I've had a bunch of problems in the past with packages being opened by the post office. I really only ship things at 2 post office locations, and since I've shipped things so often for a number of years now, they've pretty much learned who I am and what I do. Anyway, I've had multiple items that I've sold on ebay and shipped that got opened before they reached the people, not just things that I sent via Media Mail either, but things that were sent First Class and Priority too. Apparently, the post office can just open any packages they want to and can't even be held responsible when the items aren't repackaged well and arrive broken or in poor condition if they arrive at all. They can just say that the box/envelope looked suspicious or something like that, especially since those problems a couple years ago with people sending anthrax and bombs and stuff in the mail. Since the post office is a governmental service and institution, they have the right to inspect any and all packages at any point they choose from the time you hand them the package until the time it arrives at its destination. It's not entirely fair, but that's how it is. Also, if they don't re-package the item(s) well and they don't arrive at their destination or arrive all beaten up, it's impossible to tell who opened the package, unless you saw them do it on site yourself...which I've never seen personally.

I've sent stuff I've sold on ebay and maybe even on here before that got opened by the post office sometime during transit after it left my local office. Every time that's happened, the post office people didn't re-seal the package right, if at all. I once sold an old college text book on ebay for like $35-$40, and when it arrived, the package had been opened and torn and not even really sealed back up. The paperback text book was torn all over, and I had to give a full refund to the buyer. Different varying degrees of this problem have happened to me on several other occasions, and it's really frustrating when you have to give a partial or full refund for reasons that are beyond your control. One time I sent something, and only the torn up package arrived. Apparently, the post office opened the package and didn't reseal it well at all, and at some point they lost what was in the package and still had the little sense to give someone a shredded up envelope.

I've confronted the post office with this, but there doesn't seem to be anything that can be done. They have those policies, not only to enforce the "strict" rules of media mail, but to also have the liberty to inspect any packages they may feel seems like a threat. Thus, thousands of people get to send off everything but the kitchen sink (maybe even the kitchen sink) at media mail rate every day, while people like me and other honest people get randomly picked on by a government agency that's supposed to be a service to the people, but often falls short in the customer service department and at the cost of the customers who can't even seek any kind of redemption or compensation when something does go wrong except by going thru the same governmental system that passed the very laws that give the post offices the right to make those little inspections, and the thus the mistakes that inevitably go with them. In other words, if you're a victim of the system, it's the price you pay for living in a "free" society, and honestly, I guess it is a small price. In any event, unless you happen to be sending something priceless thru the mail, which isn't wise in the first place, it's not even worth the trouble of disputing a problem with the postal system. There's too much red tape, as there is with any government institution.

Now, aside from that, I had a problem last summer with the new postmaster at my favorite local post office. He insisted that only books and magazines could be sent via media mail. The proof he gave me to support his argument was a paper that contained a detailed listing of the material that could be sent via medial mail. He then proceeded to show me the section that said you could send "Sound Recordings...Which Included Amongst Many Other Things Videos & DVDs". THAT WAS HIS PROOF!!!! He said you could only send a video or dvd if it ONLY had sound. That was probably one of the most ludicrous things I'd ever heard, and for several months we had a heated dispute over this very topic which ultimately culminated in me having to call the postmaster in charge of either the whole county or the whole state, I don't recall...anyway, it was definitely an official over that guy. He went and had a long talk with that new postmaster who apparently didn't even know what a dvd was. The evidence I used to solve this matter was, ironically, the very paper that stupid guy gave me when he told me I couldn't send dvds with media mail. The problem has been solved now that the postmaster was personally scolded by his superior and made to look rather foolish. I explained multiple times to that guy that the "V" in DVD stood for "VIDEO", meaning a visual image. Thus, a DVD IS a sound recording with VIDEO. I hated to get the guy in trouble, but as much stuff as I was sending, especially over the summer, I was having to spend a lot more money by no longer having a media mail option. I mean the prices of some larger boxes are ridiculous when you have to send them priority as compared to the media mail rates.

......I may have strayed a little off topic here, but it's good to finally have an outlet to get that mess off my chest.

Also, I use priority mail boxes all the time. I just buy some of that thick packing paper that's brown and comes on a roll like wrapping paper, and I wrap it around the box. I write the addresses on the paper, and no one knows the difference. You can get a big roll of that paper for like $2.00, and it's really thick and sturdy. Sometimes I just wrap a single dvd in a layer or two of that paper, and it works just as well as an evelope and is much cheaper.

Another bit of advice...There's another mail option know as Parcel Post, which is almost the exact same thing as Media Mail. It takes about as long, cost about the same, and you can send anything that way.

OK...I'm done with my rants now.

Last edited by stonecountry; 05-26-05 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 05-26-05, 09:23 PM   #14
inri222
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I have never had a package opened but the post offices I go to try to discourage customers in every way possible from using media mail. I had one clerk tell me that you can only send educational videos through media mail. I had another tell me that the padded envelope had to be thicker than 3/4" (which actually applies to first class). I had another one tell me that I was using a priority mail label with the logo on the top cut off (which was bull, I had a full 8.5 x 11 label sheet which I cut a small section off with a scissors to use as a mailing label) so I was obligated to ship priority. Another told me that it was only for books. And the list goes on & on.
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Old 05-26-05, 10:09 PM   #15
rkndkn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stonecountry
Also, I use priority mail boxes all the time. I just buy some of that thick packing paper that's brown and comes on a roll like wrapping paper, and I wrap it around the box. I write the addresses on the paper, and no one knows the difference. You can get a big roll of that paper for like $2.00, and it's really thick and sturdy. Sometimes I just wrap a single dvd in a layer or two of that paper, and it works just as well as an evelope and is much cheaper.
stone, sorry to hear of all your mail troubles -- it sounds very frustrating.

I was wondering if perhaps some of your boxes may be opened because the size and shape "looks" like a Priority Mail box even though it's covered with wrapping paper and that's actually prohibited for other use than Priority. I've recycled other similar boxes and have been questioned whether it was a Priority box turned inside out. (Though nowadays, they stamp the inside of the boxes to prevent this.)
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Old 05-26-05, 10:34 PM   #16
stonecountry
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Actually, oddly enough, I've never had a problem with recycling priority boxes. Every instance where something was opened and screwed up was with other boxes and envelopes that weren't even issued by the post office.

Concerning the 3/4 inch envelope size issue, one post office I use doesn't care what size the envelope is, they'll let me ship however I want. The other that I use from time to time will let you send an envelope that size any way you want to, but they won't let you get delivery confirmation on it unless it's atleast 3/4 of an inch.

The more business I do with different posts offices, the more it seems like there are no set rules...all the individual offices and even individual employees just sort of make it up as they go along. Either that, or the rules are so unclear that they can be interpretted about a million different ways...kind of like the Constitution.
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Old 06-01-05, 10:52 AM   #17
mookiemeister
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Question about USPS Media Mail

I'm not sure if the Store Forum is the proper place to post this message. Please let me know if it isn't.

My question about USPS Media Mail is this...

Today I went to post office to mail a DVD. The lady at the post office asked me if the package only contain the DVD and nothing else. I said there is a receipt/letter describing the content of the package, which is the DVD. She said that any kind of letter or receipt is not allowed in a media mail. She said I will have to ship the receipt separately using 1st class mail.

Does anyone know if this is a new rule about the media mail? I remember a few months ago I tried to mail a DVD and another lady gave me some problem with it. But after I mentioned that it's a paper that describe the content of the package, she let me mail it using media mail. If a receipt is not allowed anymore in a media mail, then how can a lot of DVDs I buy from online stores like DDD and amazon.com which mailed using media mail also have receipt inside?

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 06-01-05, 11:01 AM   #18
dick_grayson
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I'd lie and say it's just a dvd. I've never heard of that rule before. I'm pretty sure she's in the wrong since most dvd stores send me my stuff via media mail and it always includes a receipt.
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Old 06-01-05, 11:08 AM   #19
mbs
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Maybe next they will stop allowing inserts to be shipped...

If it's a new DVD, I'd tape the receipt to the shrinkwrap and if used, just put it inside the keepcase. That way, even if they check your package (which they reserve the right to do), they won't notice anything amiss.

Seems like an utterly stupid rule, however.
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Old 06-01-05, 11:20 AM   #20
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I believe she is, well, incorrect. You are allowed to send an 'invoice' or 'packing slip'. You can't send advertising or personal correspondence. *looks* I swear I've seen something about including an 'invoice/packing slip' but I can't find it now. If asked that again, I'd say it was a packing slip and go with that.

Some postal people also ask if it's a video game as well, and won't send that Media Mail.

" Generally used for books (at least eight pages), film (16 mm or narrower), printed music, printed test materials, video and sound recordings, playscripts, printed educational charts, loose-leaf pages and binders consisting of medical information, and computer-readable media. Sound recordings may include incidental announcements of recordings and guides or scripts prepared solely for use with such recordings. Books may contain no advertising other than incidental announcements of other books."

So technically console video games don't apply. Hmm....although modern video games do have 'video and sound recordings.'
And that last line is very specific, I guess it's talking about the 'Check Out Other Books by This Author' in the last few pages of lots of paperbacks.
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Old 06-01-05, 11:42 AM   #21
Easy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtcarson
Some postal people also ask if it's a video game as well, and won't send that Media Mail.
That's stupid. If a game console isn't a small computer what is it?
So a game played in an xbox doesn't qualify as "media" but a dvd played in an xbox does? A game played in a computer qualifies as "media". A game played on a console doesn't? Typical of the government.


Quote:
"Books may contain no advertising other than incidental announcements of other books."
So I guess newspapers and magazines (which seem to me about 80% advertisements) aren't "media" either?
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Old 06-01-05, 12:20 PM   #22
marty888
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I'd consider a receipt as part of the item, and not mention it. I use Media Mail a lot (for VHS tapes mostly) and have NEVER been asked that sort of question.

Incidentally, if you are mailing a single DVD, it is usually cheaper to use 1st Class. Media Mail is minimum $1.42, and most single DVDs (unless they have heavy inserts) will cost either $1.06 or $1.29 for 1st Class.
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Old 06-01-05, 12:25 PM   #23
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Mags/newspapers shouldn't be considered Media Mail, but they could be shipped Bulk Printed Mail, which is probably even cheaper than MM for eligible material.

Yeah, i never understood the video game exclusion. The one time my PO asked me, I was actually sending a music CD, so I didn't have to fudge the truth.
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Old 06-01-05, 12:50 PM   #24
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merged this with the one in exchange.
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Old 06-01-05, 01:04 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stonecountry
I explained multiple times to that guy that the "V" in DVD stood for "VIDEO", meaning a visual image.
Heh, actually that's the old definition. Today, DVD stands for "Digital Versatile Disk" because it can be used for storage of any digital data, not necessarily video.

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