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Topic: Am I being a butt?

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Subject: Am I being a butt?
Date Posted: 12/8/2009 2:16 PM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2009
Posts: 868
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My RC says: Please no books from homes that have cats or are in a currently smoking home ... I have allergies. Because rainy season is upon us, please wrap books up in plastic to prevent water damage in transit. Thank you!

I received a book yesterday in a bubble mailer that was not wrapped in plastic.  It was not damaged, however I stated to wrap the book in plastic.  I didn't mark it RWP, however I sent the sender a note saying to please follow RCs as they agreed to the conditions when they accepted.

Same thing happened today with another book ... send in a bubble mailer and book not wrapped in plastic.  Should I mark this RWP? I'm wondering if people think because they're putting in a bubble mailer (manila envelope that has bubble cushioning inside) they think that's ok and qualifies as "plastic".

Any advice?  Maybe if I need to clarify my RC?

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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meldster--

I've always considered that bubble envelopes qualify as being wrapped in plastic.  I'll be interested to hear other peoples opinions.

Have you had any books that have arrived water damaged that were in bubble envelopes?  I ask because I used to always wrap in plastic, but recently, I bought a bunch of bubble envelopes and thought by using those I wouldn't have to wrap the books in plastic because the bubble wrap would protect the books from weather.  But if the bubble envelope isn't sufficient for protection, I'll certainly start adding a plastic layer as well!

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 2:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I've lived in 2 heavy rain areas and have never received a damp book. I didn't have a porch on either house either.  Since the books arrived OK I probably wouldn't say anything. I would probably just make them want to decline any other requests for plastic wrap.

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,339
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As the bubble wrap is a plastic lining, I don't see the problem and can understand why the senders thought it was ok.  Would have been similar to someone sending it in a plastic tyvec envelope as those are waterproof.  If you require something you feel is more protective you may want to reword it as: "Because rainy season is upon us, please wrap books up in a plastic bag or plastic wrap before packaging to prevent water damage in transit."

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2009
Posts: 868
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Laura T.

 

I've always considered that bubble envelopes qualify as being wrapped in plastic.  I'll be interested to hear other peoples opinions.

---------

yeah that's what I'm wondering.

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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I generally don't plastic wrap books I mail in padded/bubbled envelopes.  One problem is the plastic wrapping makes it nearly impossible to get the book in and out of the mailer, as it sticks to it.  Also, I personally feel that it's enough protection in the padded envelope.

M.E. (ryenke) -
Date Posted: 12/8/2009 2:42 PM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2009
Posts: 625
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I understand why others feel the buble envelopes qualify as plastic wrapped - but I would never rely on that alone.  Too many of those wrappers come to me damaged in such a way that water would easily get to the book inside. 

I wouldn't mark it as a problem, though, I think it is a difference in interpretation. 

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 2:42 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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IMO many members consider the inner plastic 'bubble' portion of those mailers to be their 'wrapped in plastic'.  Never having crawled inside of one, I'm not sure if there are any gaps or holes when the envelope is properly sealed.  For me, given your RC, I would probably used another plastic layer JIC.

I prefer to trust the requester on this matter, as they are the best source of info...some have those walking mailpersons where the mailbag is exposed to the elements and frequently arrives wet.  Other members have careless rural carriers that leave mailboxes open or partially open and allow rain to funnel onto the mail.  I've no idea what mail challenges other members endure when making RC :-)

I also live in a heavy rain area, and have received a couple damp packages and one that had been very wet.  All books have been fine, luckily to date the ones arriving wet have been wrapped in plastic *crossing fingers*



Last Edited on: 12/8/09 2:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/8/2009 2:45 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I've had 3 or 4 books damaged by weather, but I think it's pretty reasonable to think of a bubble mailer as wrapped in plastic.  i.e.  Will a bubble mailer protect a book if it's dropped in a swimming pool?  No.  But it will protect it pretty well in most ordinary circumstances.

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Too many of those wrappers come to me damaged in such a way that water would easily get to the book inside. 

Bubble mailers are not waterproof. Any nick or torn corner and water will get in. Especially if the wrapper gets soaked. Been there, done that, didn't save the book.

But I can see how people would assume they would be water proof.

Because rainy season is upon us, please wrap books up in plastic to prevent water damage in transit. Thank you!

Could it also be that people are assuming the allergy thing is the RC to be followed, but the wrapping think is just a request?



Last Edited on: 12/8/09 2:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/8/2009 3:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
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If you do not consider a package made of plastic as plastic wrap, you will need to make that clear in your RC. I really doubt you would get a credit back from someone in this case, I certainly would not give one back and would probably contact the site to ask that the RWP be removed from the transaction if I'd sent a book in a bubble mailer. I fail to see how packaging completely lined with plastic bubble wrap does not consitute "wrapped in plastic". Just because it can become damaged and that barrier breached doesn't mean make it not covered in plastic at the senders point. If you expect a specific wrapping procedure then you need to be much more specific in your request. (I actually HATE bubble mailers so I am not a supporter of them by any means, I just think you are expecting something specific that your RC is not stating.)



Last Edited on: 12/8/09 3:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/8/2009 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,154
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I had a like new book arrive last week in a bubble mailer that had been torn open and the bubbles had been ripped so that the book was exposed.  I will say that the bubble envelope was being re-used so it probably wasn't as strong as it was when on its first use. 

Fortunately the book was not damaged.  I am one of those who still wraps in plastic wrap even if I use a bubble envelope.

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 4,412
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I always wrap in plastic, unless I use the plastic-lined bubble mailers.   It would be difficult to slide a platic-wrapped book into the mailers I use & would be, I'd always assumed, overkill (I don't live in a wet area, but know that requesters may).  Personally, I think they complied with the spirit of your RC, FWIW :) 

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2009
Posts: 248
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I consider a bubble wrap mailer to be plastic. So if you want ADDITIONAL wrapping I think you need to state that explicitly.

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 10/28/2008
Posts: 3,529
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I always, always, always cut 2 pieces of cardboard 1 for top and 1 for bottom of books, then I wrap them in plastic bags, I read about rainy areas so I really do try to wrap the books I mail the way I would want  the books I get wrapped.  So far everyone has to me I really do a good job wrapping LOL

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 3:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Fortunately the book was not damaged.  I am one of those who still wraps in plastic wrap even if I use a bubble envelope.

I do too after finding out bubble mailers get ripped open just as easily as any other wrapping.

I usually don't have trouble getting a plastic wrapped book inside a bubble mailer. But then I don't use the bubble mailers that often to start with. I worry more about the book falling out of a ripped envelople or liquid damage more than I worry about the book getting dings.

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 4:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I logically assume that people want plastic wrap to insulate from water or moisture damage, rather than as an extra layer of cushioning or protection from the hazards of media mail - which is what bubble mailers do best.  This is due to the fact that I've received wet books in bubble mailers, so I know they aren't an effective barrier against water damage.  If I use bubble mailers - which is rarely, I still use my standard procedure of putting books in plastic bags before wrapping.  I agree with Melanie however:

"If you do not consider a package made of plastic as plastic wrap, you will need to make that clear in your RC."

Exactly.



Last Edited on: 12/8/09 4:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/8/2009 4:41 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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One of the books I received that got soggy was wrapped in plastic - rain managed to seep in anyway.  I think if a package gets well and truly soaked it's hard to keep the contents dry no matter how it is packed. 

I honestly wouldn't worry as long as the books arrived safely.

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 4:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I advocate the practice of pre-wrapping in a good plastic wrapper from a free source.   I do pre-wrap in plastic and seal the pre-wrap before putting the book into whatever outer wrapper I'm using because I've seen what can happen.  I have never bought bubble wrappers, but I do re-use them.  Because they are being re-used I never trust that they are water-proof or even water resistant.  I've never had any trouble putting a plastic wrapped book into a bubble wrapper/mailer. (In fact, I prefer to put pre-wrapped books into a bubble mailer because it means the corners and edges of the book is less likely to be damaged by sliding around even a little bit if snug fit can't be achieched.)  I have received books in new bubble mailers that have been damaged so that they could become very wet in a rainy situation.  But I wouldn't complain if it happened.  We can only do so much to damage proof the books that go on the USPS journey.  I  do what I can because I don't want to receive a RWAP.  I don't insist that others do what I do.  If they have taken precautions for wet weather possibilities, I blame it on the USPS and take the hit.  If they have wrapped it in accordance with current PBS rules and conditions, I usually take the hit (this assumes all edges and corners and ends have been adequately taped).  I don't have RC's even though I would prefer books to be pre-wrapped in plastic and I have a careless carrier.  Life is too short to make people miserable over a $3.50 item.   Everyone owes the recipient the effort to make the books able to arrive in good shape.  But it is pointless to make it an ironclad rule that the books arrive dry.  Just do what you can.

Ruth

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 4:45 PM ET
Member Since: 12/5/2009
Posts: 52
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I can see where this was an honest misinterpretation.  Since the site provides "wrappers" that are nothing more than your own computer paper, I can totally see how someone thought they were going a step above and beyond by wrapping with a bubble mailer, even without an additional plastic wrap.

I'm new to this site, but have been trading elsewhere for some years, and have never received any, or had any complaints of, soggy books when bubble mailers are used.  And...since its been misinterpreted by more than one person, I wouldn't personally leave any negative feedback unless a future book wrapped similarly comes damaged.  And...has others have suggested, I'd try to make the wording a little clearer, and perhaps even PM a sender to reiterate the request.

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 5:02 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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I would consider the bubble mailer sufficient for wrapped in plastic and would suggest being specific that you want a book wrapped in plastic wrap no matter the outside mailing material.

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 6:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,600
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I would also recommend rewording the RC. I don't wrap in plastic, but I do use those waterproof Uline mailers. However, if the RC specified "wrap in plastic" i would decline because I take RCs literally--and if they aren't clear, I decline. Someone else might think, "well, this is plastic material, that should be okay" (as with a bubble mailer) and send it.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 6:26 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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I have found that quart size zip lock baggies 7" x 8" fit a paperback perfectly.  Make sure they are not 8" x 7".  The 8" needs to be the height because paperbacks are a little over 7" tall.  I get my zip baggies at the dollar store 25 to a package.  Then, even when I use a bubble mailer, I put the book in the zip lock bag anyway.  Never can be too careful.

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 6:28 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2009
Posts: 433
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I'm with the  bubble mailer being a plastic wrap gang.   Completely agree with Leslie and what some of the others have said.

Date Posted: 12/8/2009 7:19 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,517
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I wouldn't consider a bubble mailer to sending the book wrapped in plastic.  I use plastic mailers to send stuff out in.  I still wrap plastic wrap around the book first.  The book just slides right in.

To me, wrapped in plastic means the book itself is wrapped in plastic before it's put into whatever kind of envelope or box you're going to use to mail it in.

I do see how wrapped in plastic can be misinterpreted so if you really want an inner layer of plastic wrap, I'd re-word the RC to reflect that.

I would not RWAP anything sent in just a bubble envelope unless it was damaged.  I HATE the re-used bubble envelopes.  Most should have been thrown away long before I do it.  So beat up and torn up I can't believe anyone would think it's good for another trip thru the mail.

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