Can I Combine Items into a Single Media Mail Shipment?

You can combine different items into a single Media Mail shipment, even if the items aren't identical in design, dimension, and weight
single media mail shipments can't contain items of different sizes
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As shipping prices continue to increase every year, the ability to save with USPS Media Mail is all the rage. In case you haven’t heard of it, Media Mail offers special discounts that you won’t beat anywhere else. However, it’s tough to qualify for these special rates…and there are a lot of questions about what the Postal Service allows for. One question shippers frequently ask us is whether a single Media Mail shipment can contain different items inside of it. In a nutshell, the answer is yes.

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You Can Combine Non-Identical Items into a Single Media Mail Shipment

If you read the definition of Media Mail on the USPS website, you may be under the impression that you can only combine items into a single Media Mail shipment if the items are exactly the same. By the same, we mean literally the same—same product, same weight, same size, same everything. Basically, this stipulation only refers to shippers injecting bulk packages directly into the USPS network. If you’re a small business or an individual shipping single packages, you don’t need to worry about this!

Even if you’re sending different items, you can take advantage of weight-based Media Mail rates for a single package. In other words, you can combine different items into a single shipment…and this is worth it. Even if the package ends up being heavier, sending it all in one Media Mail shipment is still cheaper than breaking it out into several smaller shipments.

Can I Get Media Mail Discounts?

Unfortunately, since USPS already discounts Meia Mail so highly, there are no further discounts for USPS Media Mail available. Whether you buy postage at the Post Office or through online shipping software that sells discounted postage, Media Mail rates are the same everywhere.

More to this point: you may think you’ll save money by breaking up your items into multiple Media Mail shipments. It’s hard not to fault that logic; each shipment will cost less because they weigh less, right?

Don’t Separate Your Media Mail Shipment into Several Smaller Ones

While each different package will be lighter and cost less to ship, we don’t advocate doing this for a number of reasons. Number one, you’ll need to pay for extra packaging for the additional shipment(s). Doing so may actually make your costs higher than it would have been to send all your items in one package in the first place. Number two, separating your items into multiple shipments increases the chances that one package gets lost during transit. We hate to err on the side of pessimism…but when you’ve been shipping for as long as we have, you learn a thing or two about missing shipments. It happens!

The good news is, you can always purchase extra insurance for your packages that will cover you in the event that anything goes wrong. Since Media Mail doesn’t include any built-in USPS coverage like Priority Mail shipments have, protecting your package with shipping insurance is something we always suggest!

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  1. Linda

    I know media mail goes by weight but what about size. Are there restrictions?

  2. Steve

    Thanks for this post and the post about media rate introducing me to the term “subscription box.” Let’s say I sell a “gift pack” on my Shopify site and buy postage via Pirate Ship (also discovered here, thank for that too). In the gift pack, there’s a book, a coffee mug, and a package of nuts. 3 items, 1 shipping carton. Will this carton qualify for media rates?

    • Rockwell Sands

      Hi Steve – happy to hear the site has been helpful! Unfortunately this one won’t qualify for Media Mail rates…the only product in there that would qualify is the book, but you’d have to send it by itself. Sorry I don’t have better news! You can see which items USPS allows to qualify for Media Mail here.

      • Steve Johnson

        That’s what I would have guessed. Thanks for confirming.


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