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Carolyn J. Bickford

One Fast Shipping Option now Standard

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Current USPS shipping rates show little difference between sending a package first class/priority or parcel post. As a result, we have streamlined the Atomic Avenue checkout page to only show one shipping option. Buyers will expect their orders to arrive in 3 to 6 shipping days. You can use any shipping method appropriate to the medium you're shipping (i.e. books or comics), as long as the package gets to the buyer within that time frame. Also make sure that however you ship, that you have a method of tracking the order, such as USPS delivery confirmation so both you and the buyer can confirm the delivery.

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I just buy some stuff from 2 different sellers. Was charged $8.95 for both orders. A seller sended media mail who from what I understand shouldn’t be used for comics and in an used gemini box. So technically I was overcharged shipping. What do I do in this case ?

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We  do not specify which shipping service the seller is required to use, as long as the order is received by the buyer within 3 to 6 business days. USPS has been notably capricious about whether comic books may be shipped via Media Mail or not, both accepting and rejecting packages with comics shipped via Media Mail. Sellers often opt for media mail when shipping for free or shipping oversized or large books. If you believe the shipping method the seller used was inappropriate or grossly exceeded the seller's cost, you may leave feedback on the order -- your feedback will appear publicly on the seller's store and will affect the seller's rank and rating.

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You should take note of which sellers use media mail and if that concerns you, perhaps contact them about it and ultimately not buy from them. I personally ship 99.9% of my shipments with 1st class or priority mail, but have used media mail for TPB's that have no advertisements (a key restriction for media mail). To be fully honest, I did recently use media mail for an order with 80 books because I wanted to make sure the books were packed well, but I didn't want to lose my shirt as many were less than a couple dollars and I was giving free shipping, but that is the exception instead of the rule for me (seller: fourstar77; Store: Anti-Hero Collectibles).

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As to the original post - I'm not a fan of the shipping setup with Atomic Ave. I should be able to set up my own shipping prices. ComicCollectorLive does it perfectly where they let their sellers determine the scenarios for shipping and how much they want to charge. 

Some customers are being charged over EIGHT dollars to send 2 measly comics ... I can send those to half the country for under $5 and the other half for under $6 with First class. That can make a big difference in making a sale or not, when a buyer has to spend about as much on shipping as they do for the books. 

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On 5/19/2020 at 1:54 PM, Carolyn J. Bickford said:

We  do not specify which shipping service the seller is required to use, as long as the order is received by the buyer within 3 to 6 business days. USPS has been notably capricious about whether comic books may be shipped via Media Mail or not, both accepting and rejecting packages with comics shipped via Media Mail. Sellers often opt for media mail when shipping for free or shipping oversized or large books. If you believe the shipping method the seller used was inappropriate or grossly exceeded the seller's cost, you may leave feedback on the order -- your feedback will appear publicly on the seller's store and will affect the seller's rank and rating.

While I agree that the USPS examining/opening Media Mail packages and either returning or asking for additional postage if comic books are sent is not consistent, they have been completely transparent - not capricious - about whether comic books are allowed.  In fact, they have specifically stated that comic books cannot be sent via Media Mail.  Personally, as a seller who does not use Media Mail for this reason, I would like to see AA take a stand here and specifically add into the seller rules/agreement that Media Mail is not permitted if you sell via AA.  It would level the playing field, IMO.  AA postage rates that are added should also not take into account Media Mail pricing (I don't think it currently does). 

If you have any questions about whether the USPS is not specifically saying no comic books in Media Mail, here's from the official USPS Media Mail Service description:  "Media Mail packages may not contain advertising. Comic books do not meet this standard."

https://about.usps.com/notices/not121/not121_tech.htm

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