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Topic: Bears Repeating: Wrap Well, Sealing Tape Important

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Subject: Bears Repeating: Wrap Well, Sealing Tape Important
Date Posted: 6/12/2010 11:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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I picked up my biggest jackpot of requests this morning: 13 books. Ten were wrapped quite well, some with inner plastic wrap to protect the books. Three paperbacks (category romance sized) were loose in a reused, oversize manila envelope; the books weren't wrapped in plastic (individually or together) for protection; the envelope only had sealing tape to hold the shipping label in place. No tape across the 4 sides of the envelope. Two sides were ripping open and it was pure luck the books didn't rip a side wide open and fall out, since they were floundering around inside the env. I'm an admitted mummifier but there's always wiggle room where the package can be opened.

Mummifying is one of the age-old bones of contention here but I'd rather struggle a bit, take a little time and care to open a well-wrapped package. I will be care to avoid this member in the future, even though the books were in decent shape.

Gail in Book Heaven Right Now

Date Posted: 6/12/2010 11:50 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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I hope you let the member know that the packaging was ripped open and only the grace of the bibliogod held the books inside without damage. So many people say they've never had a complaint so they don't change the methods because it an accepted PBS method.

Date Posted: 6/12/2010 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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Yes, I did. I kind of felt guilty doing it because in spite of everything else the books were in very decent shape. The book goddess was definitely watching over us.

Date Posted: 6/12/2010 12:07 PM ET
Member Since: 5/8/2009
Posts: 2,454
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I was complimented by a postal employee for the way I wrap my books.  She said my wrapping was very good.  I use heavy brown paper.  I protect the book with plastic wrap.   I seal all ends very well and I run a strip of packing tape down both sides for extra reinforcement.  The package ends up being pretty much encased in packing tape.  But, in words of the post office worker, "These things do get tossed around, you know."

Kathy

Date Posted: 6/12/2010 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2010
Posts: 185
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I use a ton of tape as well. Though whoever gets my books may have to use scissors to get it open, at least I can have a little more security that they will get to their destination in one piece. I just got a package today with two books only wrapped in the PBS wrapper and held together with Scotch tape. Needless to say, it had completely ripped open on two sides and probably only got to me because some kind postal employee put a rubber band around the whole thing.

Date Posted: 6/12/2010 1:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,399
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Last week I got a trade sized book with the PBS label scotch taped to the book.   Argh.  How could anyone do that to a book? 

I now use old maps rather than brown paper bags.  I have a pile of them, they hold up better to moisture than bags.  (Paper bags just are not as sturdy as kraft paper.)  And they sure look pretty.

Date Posted: 6/12/2010 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,327
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Some grocery bags are great.  The bags I get from Lucky's barely make it home, but my Whole Foods grocery bags are heavy weight paper and I love wrapping with them.

Subject: Sealing/packing tape
Date Posted: 6/12/2010 4:53 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,421
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For the heck of it I bought a roll of sealing/packing tape at $$$$Tree today. I generally don't buy tape there, but thought i would check it out. I already have 4 rolls-not from $$$ Tree.

Date Posted: 6/12/2010 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2009
Posts: 7,851
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Patty- I love the Whole Foods grocery bags too... they're a lot thicker than an average grocery bag!  I use them for trade size PB when I'm out of bubble wrappers, or if I don't have one that will fit snugly enough for the book to keep from getting too tossed around inside.   I always wrap the book carefully in a plastic baggie first, though- paper bags aren't weather-proof!   (And I tape corners well!)

Gail- I'm glad your books all made it to you!  Sounds like you'll be busy reading! 

I hate it when members simply toss books loosely inside a paper manilla envelope... I've not had one arrive yet that has not either been ripped open somehow or contained some really "banged up" books (the edges tend to get really damaged when they're shipped this way.)   I actually had one arrive that had ripped completely open, and had been taped closed with scotch tape by the P.O.- Yes, sadly, some were missing :(

Date Posted: 6/12/2010 5:29 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 35,649
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I agree - much rather have it mummified than loose in an envelope.  I don't quite mummify, but all sides are taped well with packaging tape,  address covered with scotch tape so it doesn't smear and books are put in an inner plastic bag first to protect from water.

I received a book today, wrapped basically according the the rules, except instead of 2 pieces of computer paper, they used 3 pieces - wrapped in plastic first and all sides taped well with packing tape and it arrived in pristine condition.

Date Posted: 1/28/2011 10:47 AM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2011
Posts: 1
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I have had so many problems with this in the past, I don't know if it's the post men and women in my area (I doubt it) but they always arrive as if we're in the 1700's and they've survived a long and treacherous boat juorney from across the globe! I've found that proper [url=http://www.labellock.com/tamper-proof-security-sealing-tape.php]Security Sealing Tape[/url] and thick paper in layers works well in protecting the book, and possibly encourages people who are handling it to treat it with respect! Because of this I've stopped having such trouble sending and receiving them.



Last Edited on: 1/28/11 10:49 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/28/2011 11:37 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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If a book has reached me despite some poor packaging decisions and is still swap worthy, I never hesitate to contact the sender to thank them for the book and suggest better packaging techniques.

Mind you, I've only had to do this a few times; but so far no negative feedback from the sender.

-RD

Date Posted: 1/30/2011 8:55 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2010
Posts: 3,533
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Since receiving an empty box, to my anguish, I added an RC requesting just a little extra tape with boxes.  But with envelopes....I have received so many that are torn and, as mentioned, only by the grace of the bibliogods did the books not fall out.  I also contact the sender whenever I get torn envelopes, just FYI.  I also compliment expert wrapping jobs.  I have had books that I sent go missing but I guarantee they are still in their wrappers, wherever they are!   Terry

Date Posted: 1/30/2011 4:27 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Definately PM and let your sender know the packaging was damaged enroute, they cannot fix a problem if they don't know it exists.

IME manilla envelopes travel very well when folded down (even just in half) and taped . . . loose is about the worst option a sender can choose and probably accounts for over half of books damaged by USPS.

Date Posted: 1/31/2011 11:23 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,263
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I agree that there is nothing more disheartening than the arrival of a much-anticipated Wish List book that you have waited years for, only to receive an empty envelope! Almost all the damaged books I have received have arrived in a manilla envelope, loose, and usually it has obviously been caught in a piece of postal equipment, or worse yet, torn open and one or more books are missing. There is nothing wrong with manilla envelopes as long as the envelope is taped tightly around the book.

I would much rather get complaints that someone found my package difficult to open, but the book was just fine, than complaints about books missing or destroyed because they weren't wrapped tightly enough and wanting their credit returned!

Date Posted: 1/31/2011 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 4/24/2008
Posts: 310
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I mummy my books too after wrapping the book in plastic.  I imagine all the worse case scenarious that can happen and want to cover anything that can happen such as the letter carrier accidentally dropping the book in a puddle of water or the package being eat by the post office machines.

Date Posted: 1/31/2011 12:50 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2009
Posts: 598
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For any newbies here, I made a good post with tips for making paper mailers work best: http://www.paperbackswap.com/Tips-Making-Paper-Mailers-Work/topic/224782/

Keep in mind that with paper, thicker is not always better. Computer printer paper is generally stronger than most brown paper. Paper bags can work fine if ample tape is used and the books is wrapped tightly, but there seems to be less room for error if the sender does not package properly. 

Date Posted: 1/31/2011 2:37 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 160
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I'm just going to chime in here with my two cents.  I send all my books out in bubble envelopes with the flap taped down.  I've never had a RWAP.  HOWEVER for the people that mummify their packages, I have severe Rheumatoid Arthritis and I literally can not open your packages because quite frankly it just hurts too bad.  sad  PLEASE, pretty please,  for those of us who aren't as agile in the fingers anymore, can you leave one part of a corner not taped to death so we can stick a nail file or something in there to open the  package?

 



Last Edited on: 1/31/11 2:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/31/2011 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2008
Posts: 64
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I'm a poor wrapper.  My packages look kind of lumpy.  So, partly to compensate & partly to protect the book, I belong to the mummifier group. 

But I'm wondering, for people with hand problems, whether this works:    I wrap & tape 3 sides of the book as usual.  But instead of folding down the paper on the last end to make the edges flush with the book, I pinch the edges of the paper together and tape them together to form a kind of "tab."   This flat "border" on one side of the package makes it clear which side you'd cut along, so as not to risk damaging the book.  It may require a bit more hand strength to cut through this taped paper edge, though.

I remember seeiing someone suggest a seam ripper for opening packages.  Has anyone else had any experience with this?

I do also like to re-use mailers if they're in any kind of decent shape.  Sometimes this means putting extra pieces of tape across spots where the paper looks worn or where there's been a small puncture.

Date Posted: 1/31/2011 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,399
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Dear luv2cook, a seam ripper is the best tool I've found to open mummy books.  I now have two, one all sticky from books and one in my sewing kit. 

They make them with thick eronomic handles as well.  NMC085219.250x250_thumb.gif

Date Posted: 2/1/2011 8:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 160
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Thank you Emily!  I hadn't thought of that! smiley

Date Posted: 2/1/2011 8:46 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,399
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Much easier to slip in than scissors.   Just be careful where you store the sharp point.

Subject: packaging
Date Posted: 2/3/2011 8:29 AM ET
Member Since: 2/1/2011
Posts: 9
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Hi 

 

I am new to PBS.  What is the best way to package a book to ship out. For instance, what type of plastic is best to wrap it in that won't damage the book.

 

Thanks



Last Edited on: 2/3/11 8:30 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/3/2011 8:44 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,263
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You can use any sort of plastic, under a wrapper, such as cut up plastic grocery bags, saran wrap, packaging that paper towels or toilet paper comes in -- it is only limited by your resources. (Whatever you do, do not tape anything to the book itself) You could cover the plastic layer with the PBS wrapper, brown paper grocery bags, manilla envelopes, file folders, etc. The secret is, what ever you use, make sure that the outer layer hugs the book(s), with lots of packaging tape, not scotch tape...You don't want any loose flaps that can get caught in PO machinery. Or some people purchase plastic mailer envelopes or padded envelopes. Check out the help documents for how to wrap a book.

Date Posted: 2/3/2011 8:44 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,263
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That's weird, a double post from one submission...



Last Edited on: 2/3/11 8:44 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
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