more re the USPS
On Mon, 9 Feb 2009, Don Sweet wrote:
When new issues were coming out, I sent all the European subscribers' issues by M-bag to a friend in London who remailed them to the UK & the Continent, which, strange as it sounds, was a saving on postage definitely worth the trouble (tho that was in the days of surface mail & the M-bag probably went surface also). Now, for just one set of P-F (9 issues) $44 postage would be a bit much, & much more than regular airmail... tho my local post office changed its hours and was closed when I got there Saturday & when I rushed there this AM with 6 different things hanging fire at home, I forgot to ask how much that was, but I will....But even in these rapacious times USPS offers a concessional rate for printed matter sent in "M-Bags". The concession may be motivated by a desire to encourage international cultural exchange, although the criteria are fairly broad: http://pe.usps.gov/text/imm/immc2_024.htm#ep967275 Posting to Denmark an M-Bag weighing not more than 11 pounds would cost you $44.
thanks for the reminder...
PS. My experience suggests that the PO is unconcerned about "cultural exchange," as the M-Bag these days is useful only in quantity (practically mass media compared to small "cultural" not-for-profit press").
I note also that the great cultural institution of CDs & DVDs can be mailed by domestic "media" rates, but NY State not-for-profit Post-Factory is, among others, reclassified as "magazine" & ruled out. Unless a "magazine" has a large enough circulation to be pre-sorted by zip code, which gets a much better rate. (Of course a single issue is also sorted by zip code, but the PO is only literal when it wants to be.)
But the PO makes the law & damn-all to do about it. For instance, someone in its upper reaches decided that the only kind of packing tape allowed is clear cellophane tape, and will not accept a package bound with anything else. That duct tape makes a safer, stronger, neater package is a reality they are in denial of, and if someone brings a package taped with other than cellophane (at least in my local "law abiding" PO), they sell them a roll of TERRIBLE thin cellophane tape for more than it costs at the local stationery, to cover that excellent duct tape with junk (and just try operating the fiendish roller it comes in).
And so forth...