Have you ever been confused about the best shipping options for your needs? Maybe you’re moving or sending a movie poster as a gift and wonder what shipping option is best. How can you safely, effectively, and affordably ship your posters?
Media mail is one of the most affordable mailing options. However, the shipping system was designed for shipping educational materials only. This means most post offices will not allow you to send movie posters via media mail shipping.
If you can’t send your movie posters via media mail, what are your options? What options are the best, and which are the most affordable? We’ll give you all the pointers you need to find the best shipping system!
What Exactly Is Media Mail?
Media mail was a special designation of mailer designed to promote the distribution of educational materials. However, the media mailer became more expensive to include movies, music, and other media devices over time. This is usually cheaper than regular USPS mailers and can save you significant money.
The media mailer was originally created in 1938 as the book rate. The book rate was intended to make sending educational materials over vast distances easier and more affordable.
According to the USPS website, media mailer packages can include the following items:
- Books (8 pages minimum)
- Movie/video scripts
- Sound recordings
- Looseleaf pages
However, not all items considered educational can be sent in media mail. Things such as USBs and flash drives can’t be sent in media mail, even though the content may qualify as educational.
Additionally, comic books and other pamphlets are not considered media mail. This also includes adding additional materials to a package with educational material.
For example, if you’re sending a textbook to a friend and want to send a piece of candy also, you’ll have to send it in a separate package.
What’s The Difference Between Media Mail And Regular Mail?
The main differences between media mail and regular mail are the price and shipping speed. Regular mail includes all types of material charged at a rate per pound that is shipped in between 1-3 business days. Media mailers are typically much cheaper, only include educational material, and ship in between 2-8 business days.
Media mail is only one of the many mailing services offered by the USPS. They also provide a variety of traditional services and expedited mailing.
Also, media mail is known for being one of the slower and cheaper varieties of mailing. However, it’s the best option for anyone wanting to ship heavier materials (such as books) without spending a fortune.
Media mailers offer an affordable option that is predictable. These mailers do not charge you based on the destination, so the price is the same no matter how far you send something. The weight of the package determines the price, but it won’t matter if you ship it one mile or 100 miles.
In comparison, most regular mail services charge based on weight and distance. So if you’re sending books across the country, the shipping will be significantly higher than with media mailers.
However, media mail isn’t considered priority mail. Therefore, you can expect it to take a bit longer to reach its destination.
What Does Not Qualify As Media Mail?
Media mail does not include materials that are not educational. It can include posters, images, and film as long as they’re educational in nature. That means educational books, images, music, etc., are all considered media material as long as they’re for educational purposes.
The USPS is strict regarding what can and can’t be shipped by media mail. Media mail was designed to help promote the distribution of educational material and thus isn’t meant to distribute entertainment.
Unfortunately, this includes media such as films and film posters. The only posters which are permitted to be sent in media mailers are educational posters.
Art and movie materials do not fall under educational categories. This might seem strange since films, music, and art can be used for educational reasons. But they don’t qualify as exclusively educational and, therefore, can be used for various reasons.
Not sure where to get movie posters for free or cheap? Try this article: Can Movie Theaters Give You Posters? (Top Tips To Get Awesome Posters)
What’s the Best Way to Ship Movie Posters?
It would be best if you used a cardboard roller to keep the poster from crumpling or ripping safely. The USPS is “usually” the cheapest shipping option for the U.S. However, you may want to choose a different option for international shipping.
The USPS is the best option for most shipping needs. They offer insurance and flat rate options for shipping valuable collectibles. This is especially good when you have a poster you’re worried might get broken or damaged in the mail.
However, UPS offers some good shipping options as well. They pride themselves on speed and quality of service. They can also be a better choice for international shipping since they have more shipping options.
If you’re planning to send your poster in the mail, you’ll want to follow these steps:
- If framed, tape the glass portion with an X to keep the glass safe
- Use acid-free glass wrapping paper
- Wrap in plastic to prevent water damage
- Use a cardboard wrapper to prevent damage from moving
- Cover in bubble wrap
- Place in an envelope if shipping with a frame
- If shipping without a frame, wrap it in a cardboard roller
Some shipping companies offer the wrapping service themselves. If you aren’t sure how to properly secure your package, you can pay a little extra to ensure it’s protected. The UPS store is a good option.
We hope this article helps you make the best shipping choices for your movie posters. Unfortunately, movie posters don’t qualify for media mailers, but there are plenty of other shipping options!
Expedited shipping is a good choice if you want it to reach its destination quickly. However, if you don’t mind waiting, first-class mail is also a great option and is usually cheaper.
If you want to learn more about all things movie poster-related, check out more of our blog posts!
USPS: Return to Full list Computer Readable-Media Eligibility for Media Mail Prices
US Global Mail: USPS Media Mail Rules
Easy Ship: USPS Priority Mail vs. Media Mail
Shipstation: Media Mail Shipping Rates for 2023
Adventures with Art: Can art be shipped with media mail?
Poster Grind: What’s the Best Way to Mail a Movie Poster?
UPS: Print Banners, Posters & Signs