How Long Does Media Mail Take?

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How Long Does Media Mail Take?

Media Mail is a type of shipping option offered by the U.S. Postal Service. Often referred to as "book rate," Media Mail is known for having a substantially lower cost than other delivery methods. However, there are other factors that should be considered before you decide to ship a package by Media Mail. First, as the name suggests, in order to use Media Mail, your item should be a form of media such as a book, movie or audio recording. With the exception of occasional book announcements, a package that is sent by Media Mail may not contain any form of advertising. Other ineligible items include books under eight pages long and films sent to or from commercial movie theaters. Additionally, certain types of attachments and enclosures are also restricted.

Media Mail Rates

As with many other shipping methods, Media Mail rates are based on the weight of your parcel. Unlike other options, however, Media Mail rates are based solely upon the parcel's weight and are not affected by the delivery zone (where the item is being sent to). Instead, you pay a flat rate (as of April 2010) ranging from less than $2.38 for packages under 1 pound to $29.29 for parcels weighing 70 pounds (the maximum weight allowed for Media Mail shipments). Presorted rates are also available if you are shipping more than 400 pieces by Media Mail. And, other than canceled stamps, you can also use any type of postage toward Media Mail shipping rates.

Delivery Time

The relatively low cost of Media Mail makes it a very attractive option to many people. Although it costs much less than parcel post, the estimated delivery time is the same. Depending on where you are shipping the article, it may be received in as few as five days. However, for areas that are farther away, it may take up to 14 business days to reach its destination. Note, however, that these delivery times are only estimates, as the postal service has no guarantee regarding the delivery time for packages shipped by Media Mail.


If you are considering using Media Mail to ship an item, be sure to include a return address. Additionally, be aware that your package may be inspected in order to verify that its contents are appropriate for Media Mail. Failure to provide a return address or mailing inappropriate materials could lead to the destruction of your parcel.


About the Author

Jessica Saras is a professional editor and copywriter. After earning an English degree from Reinhardt College, Saras completed the summer writing program at Sarah Lawrence College. A natural-born writer, she has more than six years of experience in web content development. In addition to being a full-time copywriter, she writes articles for Demand Studios,,, and

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