What? No more Media Mail for DVDs?

This is the third consecutive DVD sale I have had where Media Mail is not a shipping option. Has Amazon changed their requirements? I can always use ShipStation but Amazon won’t guarantee the shipment.

Is your shipping on for SSA?

Many sellers have reported less shipping options when this is turned on.
Amazon will only show you the options that “they think” will make the package arrive in time.

You always have the option to purchase a label outside of Amazon.


What is SSA and how do you turn it off?

If you’re on the Professional Plan, you can toggle SSA on/off in Settings > Shipping settings > Shipping Templates.

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Thank you. I haven’t touched my settings in years so not sure why the change unless like Sundance said, Amazon is “thinking” for us. The Irony of that too, is Amazon has always sent me notices that my shipments are received too soon. Wasn’t a violation but just a notification that my settings were causing deliveries too early.

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I haven’t touched my settings in years so not sure why the change unless like Sundance said, Amazon is “thinking” for us.

Someone else mentioned a change in their media shipments recently too (media mail/BPM not available as expected). Maybe Amazon is messing around with the times they use for Buy Shipping.

That would be an Amazon “thinking” problem. In a nutshell, shipping options are offered/not offered in Buy Shipping according to the number of days Amazon has programmed as the ‘expected’ delivery time each will take.

You probably already know this part:

But what you may not know is that Amazon sometimes changes the formula they use to calculate the dates that Buy Shipping displays.

In this example (to a FL customer from me in OR), Amazon has first-class mail programmed in Buy Shipping as taking 5 transit days. That means, if I’m buying a label on Wednesday, Buy Shipping is going to show an estimated delivery date 5 transit days later - on next Tuesday. For USPS services, a transit day is every day except Sunday and holidays.

They arrive at ‘Tuesday’ like this… From the shipping date (Wed), count: Thur, Fri, Sat, Mon, Tue.

If Amazon were to suddenly change the programming to make OR to FL 6 transit days for first-class mail, the estimated arrival date would be next Wednesday instead.

If Wednesday fell after the required deliver-by date in the Order Summary section, first-class mail would not be offered.

Sometimes, if you suddenly see one of your shipping services no longer appear, this is usually the reason why. Amazon has changed the programming within Buy Shipping to assign that service a longer estimated transit time, which can cause it to disappear from your shipping choices if the newly calculated ‘estimated arrival date’ falls after the required deliver-by date on your order.

The easiest way to fix it is to edit your shipping template to included a longer ‘transit time’ (this controls the deliver-by date of your orders). You can adjust it by region if desired too, you don’t have to set a longer transit time for the whole country.

I would really like to work with a book/media seller to figure out the specific transit times Buy Shipping uses, as I don’t sell media myself so rarely deal with media mail.


Don’t you mean Amazon assigns a shorter estimated transit time which

Wait … the service is longer when compared to the calculated estimate delivery date which is in part based on the shipping template transit and handle time.

Sorry … never mind … for some reason we always get your wording crossed … we think the same and know the reason but we always say it different.

Don’t you mean Amazon assigns a shorter estimated transit time which

No, I mean that one day, Point A to Point B will be programmed into Buy Shipping as taking 4 days. The next day Amazon will change it to 5 days and poof, I no longer have the option to buy a first-class label because my shipping template is set based on the expectation that Buy Shipping considers A to B a 4-day transit.

They did that to me with San Francisco a while back. :angry:

Oregon to ‘northern California’ is treated as 3 days transit in Buy Shipping. One day, some programmer changed just San Francisco to be 5 days (grrrr…) while the rest of northern California remained as 3 days.

I didn’t want to extend my delivery promise to all of northern California just because some Amazon dude is stupid, so I have to buy any San Francisco orders off site because Buy Shipping thinks (wrongly) that deliveries there will take 5 transit days.

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USPS Media is 2 to 10 days …
So what you are seeing is that Amazon plays with the value based on the delivery location. One day that location could be 3 and the next day 4 when calculating the USPS Media service to that location. We always thought Amazon used the range (ie 2 to 10 days) when calculating and compared that to the Estimated Delivery Date range that is given to the customer.

First Class Package is 2 to 5 days so we always have the shipping transit time plus handle time to be one day longer than 5 to ensure we have First Class Shipping.

Could you set up to be one day longer at 11 or would that hurt your sales?

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USPS Media is 2 to 10 days …

When you say things like that, it seems that we aren’t looking at Amazon’s actions in the same way. :thinking:

Yes, USPS Media is 2 to 10 days in reality but that has - nothing to do with the values Amazon chooses to use in Buy Shipping

So what you are seeing is that Amazon plays with the value based on the delivery location.

No, its not. The fact that they assign 3 days transit time to all of northern California except San Francisco, where they assign 5 days is based on nothing but pure stupidity (or more likely, manipulation for some unknown reasons) on Amazon’s part.

It has nothing to do with ANY real world expectation about how long a package will take to arrive in San Francisco by first-class mail.

The “reality” is that first-class mail to northern California arrives in 2 days. Not 3 days (Amazon’s made up number) and certainly not in 5 days.

The “estimate” Amazon provides in Buy Shipping is not based on reality.

We seem to differ on this one key point. I’m not sure why. :laughing:


Wouldn’t say we differ as much as we experience different things with Amazon Buy Shipping.
Because we ship everything First Class Package, the zone is main concern because it effects the shipping cost. Last year, we were seeing odd things with the zones and were tracking. Items going from us to the LA metro were zone 5. We would see one town in the middle of LA metro that would come up zone 6. When we checked it on USPS site, the zone would be 5. Same thing happened with zips in the Seattle area. You could have two towns next to each other serviced by the same USPS distribution center, equal distances from the USPS distribution center and Amazon would have different zones (and one wouldn’t match USPS lookup). We provided several examples of this to Amazon and posted on OSFE about it. Never an answer. A couple of mods said they provided it to the proper channel but crickets.

After a few months of tracking and cross checking, we stopped the effort and wrote it off as something we couldn’t change even though we had solid proof it was happening.

We are watching to see what happens when USPS First Class Package and USPS Ground are merged into one service in July.

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Thanks for this info, and for taking the time to figure it out. We’ve been getting postage adjustments for first class packages of 3 cents and 5 cents and couldn’t figure out why, although it did seem like the amounts corresponded to a zone difference.

So far it appears every one of our postage adjustments has been due to Amazon charging us the wrong rates. We’ve given up on ever getting Amazon to admit fault.

Since all USPS Ground Advantage will use surface transportation, and Media Mail also goes by surface, it would seem that the service standards would be the same. They’re saying 2 - 5 days for Ground Advantage. Media Mail is currently 2 - 8 days. We don’t use Media Mail, but have to wonder if it will also become 2 - 5 days in July.


No … think we read that Media was getting the bump to 2 - 8 and the ground big packages were going to get a bump to the 2 - 5 to match the smaller (what use to be) First Class Package.

USPS Ground Advantage is suppose to get free (included) $100 insurance (like Priority Flat Rate).

First Class Package size pricing is to stay the same for now. Haven’t been able to verify larger package pricing yet.

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Here’s a link to the July rates

USPS Ground Advantage


Thanks … we see it just was released 5/26/2023. This past Monday we asked our post office about the pricing and when it would happen. They didn’t know as it hadn’t been distributed to them at that time.

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If your Post Office would like more information, you can let them know to look for the Retail Digest Special Edition dated 5/10/23. It’s an internal communication that’s available to them via eAccess.

Post Offices are usually the last to know the details of upcoming changes that affect Commercial customers. We have an outstanding relationship with our local small rural Post Office and always make sure they know these things. When the weight for first class packages went from 13 oz to 15.99 oz they had no idea - until we advised them of the change. They’re always current on retail changes - not always the case with commercial changes.

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Does the DVD in question qualify for media mail? Blank DVDs are NOT eligible for media mail…

What is Media Mail?

Media Mail® shipping is a special service offered by USPS® as a practical and very inexpensive way to ship educational materials. Deciphering what qualifies as educational materials, however, can be a bit tricky.

USPS defines educational materials as: Books, videotapes, DVDs, CDs, printed music and other sound recordings. It seems simple enough until you dig a little deeper and discover that items like blank cassettes, comic books and magazines with ads do not qualify for Media Mail shipping.

There are plenty of other rules and restrictions we’ll cover below. But suffice it to say, if you ship a lot of items that meet the Media Mail criteria and you’re not worried about longer delivery windows, it’s well worth your time to learn its peculiarities.

170 Retail Mail Media Mail and Library Mail | Postal Explorer (usps.com)

4.0 Content Standards for Media Mail

4.0 Content Standards for Media Mail
4.1 Qualified Items
Only these items may be mailed at the Media Mail prices:

Books, including books issued to supplement other books, of at least eight printed pages, consisting wholly of reading matter or scholarly bibliography, or reading matter with incidental blank spaces for notations and containing no advertising matter other than incidental announcements of books. Advertising includes paid advertising and the publishers‘ own advertising in display, classified, or editorial style.
16-millimeter or narrower width films, which must be positive prints in final form for viewing, and catalogs of such films of 24 pages or more (at least 22 of which are printed). Films and film catalogs sent to or from commercial theaters do not qualify for the Media Mail price.
Printed music, whether in bound or sheet form.
Printed objective test materials and their accessories used by or on behalf of educational institutions to test ability, aptitude, achievement, interests, and other mental and personal qualities with or without answers, test scores, or identifying information recorded thereon in writing or by mark.
Sound recordings, including incidental announcements of recordings and guides or scripts prepared solely for use with such recordings. Video recordings and player piano rolls are classified as sound recordings.
Playscripts and manuscripts for books, periodicals, and music.
Printed educational reference charts designed to instruct or train individuals for improving or developing their capabilities. Each chart must be a single printed sheet of information designed for educational reference. The information on the chart, which may be printed on one or both sides of the sheet, must be conveyed primarily by graphs, diagrams, tables, or other nonnarrative matter. An educational reference chart is normally but not necessarily devoted to one subject. A chart on which the information is conveyed primarily by textual matter in a narrative form does not qualify as a printed educational reference chart for mailing at the Media Mail prices even if it includes graphs, diagrams, or tables. Examples of qualifying charts include maps produced primarily for educational reference, tables of mathematical or scientific equations, noun declensions or verb conjugations used in the study of languages, periodic table of elements, botanical or zoological tables, and other tables used in the study of science.
Loose-leaf pages and their binders consisting of medical information for distribution to doctors, hospitals, medical schools, and medical students.
Computer-readable media containing prerecorded information and guides or scripts prepared solely for use with such media.
4.2 Enclosures in Books Mailed as Media Mail
Enclosures in books mailed at Media Mail prices are subject to these additional standards:

Either one envelope or one addressed postcard may be bound into the pages of a book. If also serving as an order form, the envelope or card may be in addition to the order form permitted by 4.2b.
One order form may be bound into the pages of a book. If also serving as an envelope or postcard, the order form may be in addition to the envelope or card permitted by 4.2a.
Announcements of books may appear as book pages. These announcements must be incidental and exclusively devoted to books, without extraneous advertising of book-related or other materials or services. Announcements may describe the conditions of ordering books and may contain ordering instructions for use with a separate order form. Up to three of these announcements may contain as part of their format a single order form, which may be a postcard. The order forms permitted with these announcements are in addition to order forms that may be enclosed under 4.2a or 4.2b.


I had three book sales on Amazon during the past week show up with only USPS Priority and even more expensive ways of shipping show up as the only options. I used Pirate Ship to send them via USPS Media Mail. 2 of the three books were delivered in 2-3 days with no problems.

The third book had an odd-looking address in Carmel CA. It got there in 2 days but was immediately turned around as undeliverable. I sent a message through Amazon to the buyer, who told me the PO does not deliver in Carmel, and that she had specified UPS delivery. I don’t offer it, and I can’t imagine why Amazon would have insisted I ship UPS for about 20 bucks for a 2 pound book v. $4.35 for Media Mail, which I comp for all books 25. and over on Amazon.

I told her I would refund her when I got the book back.

I have never heard of this happening on Amazon, but I guess I should not be surprised. Amazon offered USPS PRIORITY as one way to ship this book, so it is not just the Amazon timetable for delivery that is messed up. Like I should send your 25.00 book via UPS from NY to CA with free shipping?

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We changed our shipping template for books over 1lb to a 5 - 8 day transit time and Amazon stopped only offering Priority options on those. So far, I haven’t noticed any change in the sales volume resulting from the later expected delivery date.

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Have you checked the address on USPS site and/or Googled the address? It would be interesting to know.

Our PO doesn’t deliver to the physical address but will deliver it to the PO Box associated with the physical address. We are not aware of an address not having either delivery or an associated PO Box to deliver mail to. New addresses in residential developments are normally in the system within a month of completion and people have moved into the houses. Even houses out in the middle of no where Wyoming get mail … whether it is twice a week route mail or delivery to a PO Box.