Can Board Games Be Sent Using Media Mail?


Can Board Games Be Sent Using Media Mail?

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One of the downfalls to having a large board game collection is that there will be games that do not get played enough to justify the space they take up in your game storage area. No matter how big of a space you dedicate to your board games, eventually you will run out of space. 

When this happens, one of the first things people do is look at selling the board games that are not played very often.

In order to maximize the amount of money you can get for a board game, you will generally end up selling it online. When a game is sold online, there is an added cost to selling it in shipping. 

If you understand the postage system, you might have heard about a program they have called Media Mail.

Media Mail is a special rate to ship educational materials through the United States Postal Service. Using Media Mail, you can ship packages up to 70 lbs at rates that are significantly lower than standard shipping rates. 

Media Mail was formerly known as “Book Rate”, and the intent of this service is to allow for shipping educational materials with a significant discount when compared to First class or Priority mail. 

When considering shipping board games, one could likely make a strong and logical argument that they are educational. With that being the case, the discounted rate of Media Mail would make sense; however, there is a specific list of items that can be sent using Media Mail, and all Media Mail packages are subject to search to determine if the correct postage is paid.

Unfortunately you can’t ship board games using Media Mail. The cheapest method to ship board games is by using Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes. 

You can use Media Mail to ship books, up to 16mm film, printed music, test materials, video and sound recordings, play scripts, manuscripts, printed educational reference charts, medical loose-leaf pages and binder, and computer-readable media. 

You cannot ship things like video games, computer drives, and digital drives or anything else not listed above. 

If you send a package via Media Mail and the contents are deemed as ineligible, you will receive a bill for the balance of the rate you should have paid if sent with standard Parcel or Priority Service.

So although it might be tempting to try and sneak one past your Postmaster General, don’t be surprised if you end up spending more than you expected, or getting a negative rating from your buyer if they end up having to pay the bill when the package arrives on their end.

To see the most popular board games currently on the market just click here. 

How Do You Ship Board Games?

Whether you are selling a board game, allowing a friend to borrow one, or shipping it ahead of a vacation that you don’t have room in your luggage for, sending board games in the mail can be expensive, and there aren’t a lot of ways around it.

A couple things to keep in mind when you are shipping board games. Although most board games come in boxes, they aren’t necessarily the sturdiest boxes available. In addition, many games lose value if the box is damaged in any way. 

For this reason, it would be best to protect that game box when you ship it. 

You can do this by using a sturdier box and packing materials like Styrofoam peanuts or bubble wrap to protect the game box.

Once you have the board game properly packaged, you can ship it through any parcel service. The most common companies to ship board games with would be USPS, UPS, and FedEx. 

Each of these options have nationwide service, and can deliver packages as quickly as the next day in the majority of the contiguous United States. 

The rates between these different companies will vary some, but in general the price will be similar between each of these major shipping companies.

One thing to consider is the “Flat Rate” boxes that are available through USPS. These are free boxes with a set shipping total. If you are planning on shipping a board game, checking to see if your game will fit in one of these “Flat Rate” boxes will help you know an exact price for shipping. 

This could help you save some money in shipping, but be sure to check the rate for a similar package with the other carriers, as the “Flat Rate” boxes are not always the best deal.

How Do You Ship Board Games?

When the time comes to ship a board game out after selling it, you want to make sure you package it correctly so it stays in one piece and isn’t damaged when it arrives to the buyer. There are few things you will want to be sure are covered when you start packing your board games to be sent through a parcel service.

To ship board games properly you will want to use a sturdy exterior box and plenty of bubble wrap. Wrap the board game up with the bubble wrap and then put it inside the sturdy box to prevent it from being crushed. 

When you calculate the cost for shipping there are three things to consider: the weight of the game, the box used to package it, and the materials needed to protect it. If you spend a little money on a scale, you can calculate the cost of sending your board game through all the major parcel services to determine which would have the best rate.

Once you have determined what service you are sending the game with, you will want to box up the game. Make sure the box you use is slightly larger than the box the game comes in. 

You will also want to make sure the box has some structural integrity. These two components will help you ensure the game gets to its buyer without damage. 

Next, be sure to use packing materials. Bubble wrap, air cushions, and shipping peanuts can all help ensure a hard drop by the mailman doesn’t end up in a ruined game.

If you are selling a game online, make sure you build the cost of shipping into the sale. Most sites will allow you to list a shipping price, so having a scale and the materials to ship it on hand will help you determine it beforehand, and keep you from surprising someone with a hefty shipping bill at the last minute.

Conclusion

If you are trying to ship board games, remember that they are not indestructible. Package them properly, and they can get to their destination in the same condition they left your home. 

If you don’t package them correctly, you could have trouble on your hands with an unhappy customer.

Finally, don’t try shipping board games using Media Mail. The savings might be tempting, but the packages are subject to search. 

If the Post Office finds the contents don’t align with what the Media Mail service allows, you will get hit with an extra charge that could be higher than if you paid the standard rate to begin with.

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