I know that many AW2K users sell books and printed matter. Until last week there were only Media Mail rates available. Sometimes the Old Bound Printed Matter rates were less expensive than Media Mail. However, when this May 14, 2007 rate increase came through the Post Office decided that they wouldn't suggest or quote that rate for customers - they would mention Media Mail and then push for Priority. Otherwise shippers had to know the rate schedule and apply their own postage. Well they have had a change of heart and procedure. Clerks will now be allowed to answer questions and sell postage over the counter for "Nonpresorted bound printed matter". They won't volunteer the service - customers must specifically request it. This rate is a relatively inexpensive service for mailing parcels weighing up to 15 pounds that contain catalogs, books, directories, manuals and other permanently bound volumes.
This is a broad category and is very useful for many types of things mailed that can't go under media mail. The rates are figured on weight and zone. The cheapest rate at 1 pound is $2.12 for zone one up to $2.62 for zone eight. Finally at 15 pounds zone one is $4.55 and Zone eight is $9.50.
If this rate is something you can use all you have to do is ask the clerk and they now have to assist you with the rate and figure the postage. Here is what the Postal Service defines as the class of mail:
Content Standards for Bound Printed Matter Parcels
Basic Content Standards
Bound Printed Matter (BPM) is a subclass of Package Services and must:
a. Meet the basic standards in 2.0.
b. Weigh no more than 15 pounds. Pieces might be subject to other minimum weights or dimensions based on the standards for specific rates.
c. Consist of advertising, promotional, directory, or editorial material (or any combination of such material).
d. Be securely bound by permanent fastenings such as staples, spiral binding, glue, or stitching. Loose-leaf binders and similar fastenings are not considered permanent.
e. Consist of sheets of which at least 90% are imprinted by any process other than handwriting or typewriting with words, letters, characters, figures, or images (or any combination of them).
f. Not have the nature of personal correspondence.
g. Not be stationery, such as pads of blank printed forms.
h. Consist of mailable matter that is neither mailed or required to be mailed as First-Class Mail