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Video games and Media Mail...


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#1 freakyzeeky

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 10:06 PM

Can you send video games (PS3, Wii, 360... as long as they are discs) through USPS Media Mail? I would like to know... thanks.

#2 sasukekun

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 10:09 PM

Yes, but I wouldn't recommend it. It can take up to 2-4 weeks to be delivered. It's a lot easier/faster to just send it First Class, it costs about ~$2.50 to ship anywhere in the lower 48.

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#3 MushaOne

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 10:11 PM

Yes, but I wouldn't recommend it. It can take up to 2-4 weeks to be delivered. It's a lot easier/faster to just send it First Class, it costs about ~$2.50 to ship anywhere in the lower 48.


Yea no point. Its a little bit more to ship first class and it will only take 2-3 days usually that way. Media mail will take forever.

#4 kell

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 10:14 PM

Yes, but I wouldn't recommend it. It can take up to 2-4 weeks to be delivered. It's a lot easier/faster to just send it First Class, it costs about ~$2.50 to ship anywhere in the lower 48.


Good advice. Game price for First Class through Paypal including DC range from $1.82 (4oz) to about $2.33 (7oz). I believe this is actually cheaper than Media Mail which starts at $2.33 for the first pound, IIRC.

#5 bigdaddybruce44

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 10:14 PM

Depending on the time of year, media mail is generally not that slow. Still, as others have pointed out, it's not worth it.

#6 freakyzeeky

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 10:17 PM

I just wanted to know, because supposedly Sony sent out the GoW PSP demos through Media Mail some time ago, and I wasn't even sure if video games were eligible for Media Mail.
Thanks for answering you guys.
I always ship First Class w/DC... Just for the record! :lol:

#7 emceelokey

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 09:23 AM

I know I have. I genrally ship games first class though. FC is usually a few cents more and it gets to where ever within a week. The best way to judge if you can sed something via media mail is to think wether or not it can be found in a library. In the case of games, if you were to x-ray the package it would look like a dvd and those you can find in the library.

#8 Trenchalicious

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 09:26 AM

First class all the way, besides... they don't really like it if you send video games media mail, so don't abuse the system or it will be more expensive to send real books.
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#9 mguiddy

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 10:46 AM

First class all the way, besides... they don't really like it if you send video games media mail, so don't abuse the system or it will be more expensive to send real books.


Why wouldn't they like it? I found this which is just stupid. Media mail allows DVDs/CDs/Computer Software so why would video games be any different?

recorded computer-readable media (such as CDs, DVDs, and diskettes).

I can see that there may be some gray area with DS, GBA, and other cart based games, but optical media seems pretty clear to me.

Funnily Go-Gamer's dirt cheap shipping is media mail, and they put an advertising flyer in the box, which makes it ineligible for media mail as

Media Mail can not contain advertising except for incidental announcements of books

.:lol:
Media mail's regulation actually states

Books may contain no advertising other than incidental announcements of other books.

So I guess that means no periodicals.

I've also found an old thread that claim video games are ineligible for media mail because "Video games are not educational." I didn't read the whole thread but I think that postal clerk needs to read the media mail regulations as they say nothing about media mail being exclusively for educational material.

#10 davo1224

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 01:28 PM

Video Games aren't eligible for medial mail. They're not computer readable. As such, it's cheaper/faster to send it First Class anyway or Priority Flat Rate if you have a bunch anyway. It's not really education limited but it's mainly just so educational institutions/hospitals and others providing reference info can send it cheaply back and forth.

Media Mail can not contain advertising except for incidental announcements of books. The maximum weight for Media Mail is 70 lbs. Media Mail is used for books, film, manuscripts, printed music, printed test materials, sound recordings, play scripts, printed educational charts, loose-leaf pages and binders consisting of medical information, videotapes, and computer-recorded media like CDs and diskettes.



#11 mguiddy

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 02:15 PM

Video Games aren't eligible for medial mail. They're not computer readable. As such, it's cheaper/faster to send it First Class anyway or Priority Flat Rate if you have a bunch anyway. It's not really education limited but it's mainly just so educational institutions/hospitals and others providing reference info can send it cheaply back and forth.

That's funny. My desktop computer can read video games. It can't do anything with the data it reads though. Good thing my game consoles (which are nothing more than specialized computers) can. Either USPS officials need to narrow down what they refer to as a computer or make a video game clause.

#12 jerfgoke

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 02:51 PM

This issue came up a year or two ago in another thread on media mail (a different one from the one in mguiddy's post above).

All speed issues aside, you should never send video games media mail because the post office can and will inspect packages occasionally. More than once I have had to pay postage due on a package sent media mail and found to have video games (one instance was Mario DDR from EBgames :bomb:).

Even if you manage to get the post office to accept the package media mail, they might not deliver it without charging the additional fees. From what I can tell, it seems they can do the inspection at any point along its journey. Better safe than sorry if you care about your ebay/trader rating/etc.

#13 mguiddy

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 03:43 PM

This issue came up a year or two ago in another thread on media mail (a different one from the one in mguiddy's post above).

All speed issues aside, you should never send video games media mail because the post office can and will inspect packages occasionally. More than once I have had to pay postage due on a package sent media mail and found to have video games (one instance was Mario DDR from EBgames :bomb:).

Even if you manage to get the post office to accept the package media mail, they might not deliver it without charging the additional fees. From what I can tell, it seems they can do the inspection at any point along its journey. Better safe than sorry if you care about your ebay/trader rating/etc.


Was it the bundle? Wait... you bought a game from EBGames and they shipped it media mail? And you had to pay the postage due? Did you complain to EB about that? If that was the bundle there is no way that should have been shipped media mail and EB should have known that. That would be like shipping an encyclopedia set, with wooden bookcase, media mail. Things like the DDR bundles, Guitar hero bundles, rockband bundles, Legendary edition halo 3, prey collectors edition, bioshock limited edition, etc should not be shipped media mail, as they all contain extras that are definitely not eligible for media mail.

And it is posted all over the post office (mine at least) that all media mail is subject to inspection. There is no right to privacy with media mail.

#14 jerfgoke

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 04:03 PM

Was it the bundle? Wait... you bought a game from EBGames and they shipped it media mail? And you had to pay the postage due? Did you complain to EB about that? If that was the bundle there is no way that should have been shipped media mail and EB should have known that. That would be like shipping an encyclopedia set, with wooden bookcase, media mail. Things like the DDR bundles, Guitar hero bundles, rockband bundles, Legendary edition halo 3, prey collectors edition, bioshock limited edition, etc should not be shipped media mail, as they all contain extras that are definitely not eligible for media mail.

Correct, it was the full bundle with pad and everything. I didn't bother complaining because it was the week before Christmas and I figured it wasn't worth the hassle for $3 or whatever it came out to. Probably should have though, for principle if nothing else.

The post office there was pretty clear that video games of any sort were not covered under media mail (they had signs up). It's probably less likely that you will be searched, though, if your package looks like a standard DVD mailer rather than a huge box.

I guess my point is that a main reason people ship via media mail (sending a bunch of games at once) is one of the things making it more likely you will get searched and possibly have to pay the difference anyway. Unfortunately, the policy seems pretty irrational and unevenly enforced, leading to all this confusion.

#15 mguiddy

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 04:20 PM

Correct, it was the full bundle with pad and everything. I didn't bother complaining because it was the week before Christmas and I figured it wasn't worth the hassle for $3 or whatever it came out to. Probably should have though, for principle if nothing else.

The post office there was pretty clear that video games of any sort were not covered under media mail (they had signs up). It's probably less likely that you will be searched, though, if your package looks like a standard DVD mailer rather than a huge box.

I guess my point is that a main reason people ship via media mail (sending a bunch of games at once) is one of the things making it more likely you will get searched and possibly have to pay the difference anyway. Unfortunately, the policy seems pretty irrational and unevenly enforced, leading to all this confusion.


Yeah. Sounds like some individual POs take it upon themselves to determine what is media mail eligible. Which is scary if the package gets inspected at a PO that thinks only educational material is eligible.

Were the signs official looking or some kind of printout?

#16 jerfgoke

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 04:15 PM

Yeah. Sounds like some individual POs take it upon themselves to determine what is media mail eligible. Which is scary if the package gets inspected at a PO that thinks only educational material is eligible.

Were the signs official looking or some kind of printout?

It's been almost a year since I was there, but I think they had both actually. The official ones basically just listed the types of things eligible for media mail, and the other ones were just a notice printed on white paper mentioning something about video games. Don't remember exactly what, but it stood out since at the time there was a thread on the forum here.

#17 Antic

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 04:20 PM

I send mine out through media mail. There was only one time there was ever a problem and I had to explain to them that the game is on a dvd, so that should count. They just went like "oh, ok". :)

#18 wubb

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 04:53 PM

IMO disc based video games qualify, but I've also heard similar things to what jerfgoke is saying that some POs won't do it. My suggestion is to be truthful about what is in your package if a clerk asks but don't say 'video games' if you can help it.

#19 mguiddy

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 06:17 PM

It's been almost a year since I was there, but I think they had both actually. The official ones basically just listed the types of things eligible for media mail, and the other ones were just a notice printed on white paper mentioning something about video games. Don't remember exactly what, but it stood out since at the time there was a thread on the forum here.


My local PO has the official signs, all probably do, at every register. Sounds like the printouts were a decision by a local or maybe regional postmaster, which I guess might be in their power to do, but seems wrong to me.

As to being truthful, it isn't a lie to say that there is a DVD/CD/Blu-Ray inside the package. 8-)

#20 davo1224

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 08:16 PM

Again, why try and skirt the issue? You'd usually overpay by doing media mail vs. first class. There's also no reason to send it out media mail and hope it gets there without being inspected and possibly lost/stolen.

#21 YoshiFan1

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 09:13 PM

All speed issues aside, you should never send video games media mail because the post office can and will inspect packages occasionally. More than once I have had to pay postage due on a package sent media mail and found to have video games (one instance was Mario DDR from EBgames :bomb:).



They sent me a Beatmania bundle through media mail as well. I didn't have to pay extra though even though the box was resealed saying the post office inspected it.

#22 CaoPi

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 11:31 PM

Wth media mail, they have the right to inspect the package, as of what I've seen. So you might as well go with 1st class.

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#23 Josef

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 05:03 AM

Some major game retailers (Gamestop being one of them) ship games through media mail.

#24 shrike4242

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 05:09 AM

Some major game retailers (Gamestop being one of them) ship games through media mail.

I've received media mail shipped games from:

Amazon.com
EB.com/GS.com
Buy.com
Walmart.com
JR.com
BestBuy.com
CircuitCity.com
CompUSA.com
Overstock.com

#25 eau

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 05:38 AM

I received console systems from Amazon via media mail. I'm pretty sure this isn't allowed.

For games only, I received them mostly via media mail from major retailers. They feel, sound and weigh like DVDs anyway.

#26 Sinnbox

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 05:55 AM

My Post office told me that Video Games Qualify, but systems don't. I ship about 10-20 games for my business each week, and i think that fist class is cheaper/much faster, The only time Media would be cheaper is if you are shippping a massive load of CDs

#27 phear3d

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 04:04 PM

save yourself the headache and send it first class. pretty much everything i received that was sent media mail received some sort of damage in transit.

#28 davo1224

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 06:53 PM

save yourself the headache and send it first class. pretty much everything i received that was sent media mail received some sort of damage in transit.

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#29 SuperFox

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 08:09 AM

save yourself the headache and send it first class. pretty much everything i received that was sent media mail received some sort of damage in transit.


But the whole point is we are cheapasses, and want to save as much money as possible. $0.30 saved on shipping is still $0.30 saved.
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#30 bigdaddybruce44

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 10:25 AM

No.