Don’t rely on the USPS to forward PLY!

I know, I know, you look at the USPS website and it promises that it will forward your periodicals (magazines) to you, at no cost, for 60 days. But it’s a lie. Or at the very least, it is likely to be a lie. I know that every once in a while they get forwarded but there seems to be no good way to predict which will and which won’t. So, I can’t explain why but I can tell you what is really likely to happen to your magazine when you move and rely on the USPS to forward your PLY Magazine to you. There are 3 different scenarios, each more gruesome than the last.


The first one is that they take the plastic wrapper (either the whole thing or just snip off your address), write on your new address, put it in an envelope and mail it to PLY with a postage due of .57 (for the mailing of the plastic with your new address).  And then they shred the magazine.




The 2nd and slightly more common one is that they print a label with your new address right on top of the plastic wrapper (or stamp “can’t forward”), photocopy the whole thing, mail the photocopy to me with postage due of .57. And then they shred the magazine.




The 3rd and most common is that they open the plastic wrap, tear the cover off the magazine (or sometimes, just the part that says PLY, put both the plastic (either with your new address or with a stamp that says “can’t forward”) and the cover of the magazine in an envelope and mail both to me with postage due of $1.17. And then they shred the rest of the magazine.


About a month after we ship each issue I get somewhere between 50 and 200 of these. It breaks my little heart and it keeps you from getting your magazine! And the costs of it all is starting to really add up. If you’re interested, here’s how it breaks down: if we reship it to you, we can’t reship your original mag because the PO has shredded it, so the original printing of the mag – $5, plus the $1 periodical shipping is gone and now it’s another $5 (new issue’s printing cost) plus now that we can’t use periodical postage (that only works for the initial shipping, from the printer), the new shipping cost is $6 because the magazine is so heavy! Plus the postage due for the USPS shipping me the notice that you didn’t get the magazine is either .57 or $1.17. So when you work it out, that one issue costs PLY $11-$12 extra to get it to you, which is exactly or a little more than what each domestic subscription brings in above the cost of the 4 mags (printing and shipping). And since we rely on that $12 from each subscription to pay all the bills and salaries, it’s rough.

Plus, you don’t get your magazine (or you don’t get it in a timely fashion).

Plus, they shred the magazine!

So please please please don’t rely on the USPS, log in to your PLY account on the subscribe page (choose resubscribe or change address) using your (previous) zip code and mag code (on the label of your magazine) or, if you don’t have that, your email and password. If you don’t have either, email us at and we’ll help!

Let’s put an end to senseless shredding together!

4 replies
  1. Deborah Willard
    Deborah Willard says:

    It is up to the subscriber to change their address with Ply. The postal service will forward for the first 60 days after that notice is sent back to the publishers. This is the subscribers responsibility not the postal services. To easy to blame the postal service.

    • Jacey
      Jacey says:

      I agree, it’s up to the subscriber but the USPS is not so cut and dry with their policy, I’ve discussed it with the USPS workers at the PO and they don’t understand why these magazines get returned and shredded either. People will change their address just days or weeks before we send them out and they won’t get forwarded, instead we’ll get the cover sent to us with a bill. But some, they’ll forward them for several issues. It’s confusing and sad and in the end, alerting us is definitely the way to go.

  2. Patricia
    Patricia says:

    We’ve had an issue also with the USPS. We go to NH for the summer, and paid the USPS $18.50 per week for premium forwarding service (which means everything is sent) and they would send our mail maybe every other week if we were lucky but still charged us the $18.50 per week. And even then, not all our mail was sent. So we now pay our neighbor to collect our mail and send it to us weekly. That way we are assured to get ALL our mail and at a much lower cost. I really think it all depends on who is working at your PO and the management as to how things are done.


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