Media Mail is provided by the United States Postal Service. It allows you to get a discounted postage rate on certain items. Media Mail is a cost-effective way to ship heavier books. It usually costs less than First Class Mail if you are sending large items. You might want to use Media Mail if you sell books online or swap CDs or DVDs. Using Media Mail is easy, but there are a few tricks and precautions that you should be aware of.

Step 1.

Check to make sure that your item qualifies for Media Mail. Your item shouldn't weigh over 70 pounds. You can send books, videotapes and computer-readable media as long as it's not blank. This includes DVDs and CDs. You can't include any other items in your package, even promotional materials or advertisements.

Step 2.

Package your item. If you are sending a book, you might want to wrap it in plastic or bubble wrap first so it doesn't sustain any water damage. If you are sending an opened DVD, consider padding the spindle with a small piece of bubble wrap or tissue. This prevents the DVD from sliding off the spindle and becoming scratched. Place CDs between two sheets of thick cardboard. You may also want to write "non machinable" on CD packages so the disc doesn't get broken in a machine. There may be a small added fee if your item isn't machinable. Use lots of packing tape on the outside of your envelope to make sure the item is secure.

Step 3.

Mark the package as Media Mail. Write "Media Mail" in large letters under the receiver's address. You may even want to write this in a different color such as red so it isn't missed.

Step 4.

Deliver the package to the post office. Media Mail is based on weight. Instead of trying to figure out the exact amount of stamps you need, have a label printed out at the post office. The postal worker can properly weigh the item and packing materials.