Old Computer Magazines

From: Frank McConnell <fmc_at_reanimators.org>
Date: Tue Aug 19 00:33:00 2003

Vintage Computer Festival <vcf_at_siconic.com> wrote:
> On Mon, 18 Aug 2003, Al Kossow wrote:
> > FWIW, you CANNOT ship these USPS media mail, since that
> > rate cannot be used for any publication that contains
> > advertizing.
> I've done it plenty of times with old magazines, and I don't have any
> qualms with it because the ads are no longer current or even relevant.

I think it's a goofy requirement too, but frankly it depends on your
postal inspector(s). Maybe you've seen signs at the Post Office
informing you that any USPS employee can open a package sent Media
Mail and inspect the contents? I have, in Mountain View, California
(deepest darkest Sillycon Valley).

I don't know what happens if they open it up and find vintage computer
magazines loaded with advertising, but "Media Mail can not contain
advertising except for incidental announcements of books" (from
and I'm not sure how the bureaucracy will interpret the 25-year-old
advertisements in 25-year-old magazines, but it probably depends on
how irritable its local rep is feeling that day. I expect that if
they go after anyone it will be the shipper, as he's the paying

I'm pretty sure I've read posts over on rec.collecting.books by
booksellers angsting over this. Maybe Al's run into that too.

> Anyone who's ever shipped me old magazines has done it using Media Mail
> and they've never had problems.

The way you're probably supposed to do this (according to the
bureaucracy) is Bound Printed Matter. But that has problems which
recommend against it. First, parcel weight is limited to 15 pounds.
Second, "Bound Printed Matter with no ancillary service endorsement
that is undeliverable-as-addressed is disposed of by USPS." (from

-Frank McConnell
Received on Tue Aug 19 2003 - 00:33:00 BST

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