John's Modern Postal History Section
Auxiliary Markings

Subject to Inspection


     The Postal Service's Domestic Mail Manual describes Media Mail: "Used for books, film, manuscripts, printed music, printed test materials, sound recordings, play scripts, printed educational charts, loose-leaf pages and binders consisting of medical information, videotapes, and computer recorded media such as CD-ROMs and diskettes. Media Mail cannot contain advertising."
USPS Subject to Inspection handstamp From Seattle WA

     Here is a scan of a package used to return books to my company. The bubble-envelope had been folded to 12"x13 and weighed 3 pounds. The PVI (from either the Lake City or North City Station in Seattle)  value of $3.26 correctly corresponds to Media Mail rate for >2 and < 3 pounds plus the Return Receipt for Merchandise from ZIP 98125 to ZIP 99347.  The package has been handstamped "Media Mail/Subject to Inspection" and "Return Receipt/Requested". The Post Office does follow through on its promise to inspect packages.

USPS Subject to Inspection handstamp From Scarborough, Maine

   Another "Subject to Inspection" handstamp marking, this example from Scarborough, Maine. Used to mail a combination of Precancel catalogs and CDs containing software, the $2.26 postage corresponds for the Media Mail rate of >2 and <3 pounds.  The "Subject to Inspection" on this stamp is smaller than the "Media Mail" portion and is "parenthetical."  closeup of a Media Mail/(Subject to Inspection) handstamp



      If you are interested in Auxiliary Markings on the mail, visit the Auxiliary Markings Club.