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Topic: Book wrapped too well?

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Subject: Book wrapped too well?
Date Posted: 1/17/2013 11:17 AM ET
Member Since: 3/2/2010
Posts: 80
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I just received a PM from a recipient who is complaining that I used too much tape then I wrapped the book and she damaged the book cutting the wrapping off.  She is asking for her credit back.

 

I wrapped the book exactly as I've wrapped every other book I've shipped out, inside a light plastic bag (from my dailiy newspaper), in the two paged printed,.  I then run a strip of lightweight clear Staples packing tape around all four edges of the packages and then, because my mailbox is outdoors and not watertight, I wrap a single layer of tape around the exterior of the package to cover the address and keep the lpaper dry.  I have received wnough books less securely wrapped and don't want to chance mine arriving damaged.

 

So is it my fault that the receiver damaged the book opening the package? 

ETA:  I just saw on my Transaction Archive that she has RWAPped it saying "Sender Damaged Book"  I did NOT. I also received another PM from another recipient complementing me on my secure packaging. 



Last Edited on: 1/17/13 11:21 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/17/2013 11:22 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2011
Posts: 2,958
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Sounds like you wrap yours about the same way I wrap mine. I would say no, it's not your fault.

Date Posted: 1/17/2013 11:52 AM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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Absolutely not. She damaged the book, not you. I don't know how you respoded (if you did yet) but I'd have given her a piece of my mind.

Her marking of the book "damaged by sender" is false. You might want to point out her error and ask her to revise it. I don't know if it's reportable, but it is a lie.

Date Posted: 1/17/2013 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Although not a fan of mummy books, it's no grounds to RWAP per PBS guidelines.  Neither you nor USPS damaged the book, she damaged it opening the mummy brick...I've done this, and it's frustrating but hardly the senders fault.  Now if you had taped the wrapper directly to the book, she could claim sender damage.  Otherwise, just politely explain that you wrapped the book per PBS guidelines and therefore decline to refund a credit.  If she can find something different in the Help Documents, she's free to point it out.

Date Posted: 1/17/2013 12:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,327
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I agree that unless you taped something to the book itself, it was not sender damage.  I can't tell if you leave at least a square inch of the package untaped to allow the receiver to get the point of the scissors in, but in past discussions about mummifying books with tape, I thought that was a good suggestion.

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 1/17/2013 3:36 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
Posts: 5,767
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I've had it happen many times where the book is mummified and I have damaged some opening them. It is very annoying and makes me dislpike the sender very, very much but it's not a RWAP situation. I might pm someone and tell them that they are overwrapping but I would not ask for a credit back. It really is not a good thing to wrap books like that, especially if you aren't using packaging that can be ripped. It's diffcult to open them in any situation but someone with any physical difficulties is really going to have a hard time. I don't have a lot of hand strength, I can just imagine someone with arthritis trying to open those over-taped books. Just stop, please.

Date Posted: 1/17/2013 4:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2010
Posts: 4,314
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I use a lot of tape too, which my reasoning is so that USPS has a much less chance of damaging the book.

Yes, it does take more time/effort to get the tape off, but I've gotten books that were damaged when the books weren't wrapped very well.

With that said, I don't think it's your fault.  Maybe suggest to her that she add a Requester Condition about how she wants books wrapped, or rather, how she does NOT want them wrapped.

Date Posted: 1/17/2013 5:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 695
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I think a big problem is that people don't have sharp enough tools. 

Date Posted: 1/17/2013 5:59 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2011
Posts: 593
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Sounds about like the same way I tape mine.  Yes it can be frustrating getting them open, but at least they get where they are supposed to go and are not damaged enroute!

My taping story . . . .I got a PM from someone telling me that the Delivery Confirmation was saying something about going to a Recovery Center in my town.  I called the PO immediately and they found the book (it was getting ready to be forwarded to the Recovery Center in Atlanta).  They said they couldn't read the address. 

All the way to the PO, I'm thinking "How could the address be missing? I taped over it."  Well, apparantly the one piece of tape I put over the address got pulled off which pulled off the address underneath it.  Now I put another piece around the ends and around the center of the book.

Date Posted: 1/17/2013 6:04 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Darla- tape the address first, that way all the other pieces go on top :)

Date Posted: 1/17/2013 6:33 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I used to wrap books that way too and I did it because for me it was a form of waterproofing the package.  I remember reading here in the forums how many people didn't like it, but more people thanked me than complained.  I don't do it as often now, not because of the complaints, but rather because I have so many used bubble wrappers and other envelopes to use when I send out books.  I do it every now and then, but I as I now prewrap in plastic (I cut open those little air pillows from shipping), so I don't feel the need to use as much tape.

Date Posted: 1/17/2013 7:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2011
Posts: 2,958
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I didn't take the OP to sound like she mummified the book at all. If you're taping the 4 edges and putting tape over the address so it stays dry there's still a lot of space that doesn't have tape.

Date Posted: 1/17/2013 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
Posts: 11,733
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I have problems sometimes opening those PBS wrappers so I took the suggestion from someone here and bought a seam ripper.  It works great and when too much glue clogs it, use a cotton ball with alcohol to remove the goo.  Make sure it is pointed away from you when you use it.  I also have a small pair of scissors, not nail ones, but a tad bit larger that are very sharp.  They may have been barber or hair cutting ones as they work very well.  I got them second-hand from a thrift store for a few bucks.

Date Posted: 1/17/2013 8:52 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,576
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OP said she covered ALL the paper with tape so YES, THAT IS MUMMIfIED and many, many people have complained about such wrapping here in the forums for years.

I agree that trying to open such packages can lead to damage to the book.

Date Posted: 1/17/2013 9:20 PM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2012
Posts: 1,482
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I first wrap book with a cut-apart plastic grocery bag, then a layer of plastic wrap for water-proofing (the grocery bag is to protect the book from the plastic wrap. Then comes a layer of shipping or craft paper, then the printed PBS wrappers. I secure the book with shipping tape around the edges and corners, but leave a small opening so the recipient can insert a finger or knife to get it open. I draw an arrow to the opening and write "OPEN HERE". People seem to like it.

Date Posted: 1/18/2013 2:25 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,400
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That is just so wrong.  To ask for your credit because you do not know the PBS secret.  SEAM RIPPER!

Date Posted: 1/18/2013 1:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Call me stubborn, but if it requires specialty tools to open the package is probably over-wrapped.  Personally, I own several seam rippers...they stay in the sewing room and I use scissors to open packages.



Last Edited on: 1/18/13 1:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/18/2013 2:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Call me stubborn, but if it requires specialty tools to open the package is probably over-wrapped.   yes

I agree with Heather. If I have to buy special tools to open my mail, it's a bit much. 

That said, this person damaged their own book. Annoying, but they should take responsibility.



Last Edited on: 1/18/13 2:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/18/2013 10:55 PM ET
Member Since: 3/2/2010
Posts: 80
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Thank you all for your responses.  I replied to the recipient stating that while I was sorry that she didn't like my packaging but that I had followed PBS guidelines for wrapping.  I also said that I was sorry she had ripped the book while opening the package, but, since the book had not been damaged by meself or the post office, I would not be returning her credit.  I have not heard back from her but the "damaged by sender" RWAP is still on the tranaction.  I don't like it because t isn't true but it's the only RWAP I have out of 130 transactions so I will let it go. 

The funny thing is the very next PM I received (from a book wrapped and sent at the same time as the complainers) complemented me on my safe and secure wrapping.  :)

I do like the idea of leaving a space to slide scissors in and marking t with an arrow. 

Again, thanks

Date Posted: 1/19/2013 9:45 AM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2008
Posts: 9,884
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Personally, I own several seam rippers...they stay in the sewing room and I use scissors to open packages.

yes

Using seam rippers on paper will dull the blade.  Unless you have a seam ripper dedicated solely to opening packages, I would not recommend this.  Especially if you're using someone else's seam ripper (DH and my tweezers come to mind).

I have not heard back from her but the "damaged by sender" RWAP is still on the tranaction.  I don't like it because t isn't true but it's the only RWAP I have out of 130 transactions so I will let it go. 

I would contact TPTB using the Contact Us link.  Explain that it was wrongly marked RWAP and that you have PMs to show the recipient damaged the book.  Too many RWAPs can hurt your account standing.

 

Subject: Another idea
Date Posted: 1/19/2013 1:54 PM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2012
Posts: 756
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In the markdown bin, I found a tool for opening difficult packages.  You presss a button and a small razor blade comes out.  You select the spot you would like to start and make a small incision.  Release the blade, and put the hook above it in the opening, and rip it open.  I bought this at Big Lots.  It is wonderful for opening battery packages - gosh, don't they wrap them like atom bombs?  You can use it on numerous other hard to open packages.  Is it really necessary to plasticize a ittly bitty bottle of nail polish?  You get the point. 

I happen to like my books mummified.  Think of it being dropped out of a helicopter onto the deck of a battleship.  I do troops, and that's what actually happens to my boxes of books sometimes.

Maysied, Judye

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 1/19/2013 3:04 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
Posts: 5,767
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I happen to like my books mummified.

You're probably able-bodied. A lot of us aren't. Let's face it, reading is a sedentary hobby, you're gonna get more people with physical issues than a lot of other types of trading sites may have. I don't see how anything with a razor on it is safe for opening a mummified book.

There has to be a happy medium. I just received this package in the mail, not 20 minutes ago.

Photobucket

In the dreaded "Sorry we damaged your package so bad we had to put it ina  bag" bag

Photobucket

It's torn completely open, then taped up again. Luckily both books are inside and don't seem to be damaged. The one is kind of scuffed but from the tape on the dust cover I think it was before it was sent. You can see how much bigger the envelope is than the books, which is why it tore. If you tape the ends down so the package fits the books firmly this won't happen, and you can do that without mummifying the book. There's no reason to under wrap or over wrap the books, just use your head.



Last Edited on: 1/19/13 3:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/19/2013 3:53 PM ET
Member Since: 4/24/2008
Posts: 310
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When I receive a book that is mummified I know that I have to take a little extra time to open the book so that I don't damage it.   It's not your fault the receipient got impatient and tore her book when she opened it up.

 

Date Posted: 1/19/2013 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
Posts: 11,733
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Having worked for the Post Office, I do mummify and I state that in my bookshelf header.  In total of over 3650 books mailed, I have had one complaint and lots of compliments.  Not one has arrived damaged.  I also wrap the book in some type of plastic.  I will honor anyone's RC about not using a lot of tape but only if they accept the responsibility if the book gets damaged.  But I also leave space for the person to make a small triangular cut and then insert your scissors and cut open along the edge. 

I do have a seam ripper just for those books in PBS mailers.  and it works fine and has for almost 4 years now.  The cost was $1.89 and it is worth it.  Let's face it, some folks really do not know how to packge a book or books correctly for mailing.  From way too much space and the book(s) slide around tearing the wrapper to ones who cram it into a manila/bubble envelope or PBS mailer and do not use plastic which I know is not required but it is on my RC, I have seen it all.

I would contact TPTB and ask if they could remove the RWAP and refer them to the PMs exchanged between you and the requestor.  You did as you were supposed to and it was her fault it was damaged, IMHO.



Last Edited on: 1/19/13 6:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/19/2013 8:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,400
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I do have a dedicated seam ripper.  It is cheaper and easier to clean sticky tape off than a pair of scissors.  It will not rust like my scissors do.  I really do not have to worry about the blade getting dull and how much it will cost to sharpen it.  It is tiny and fits in the pencil cup right next to the mail.

And the removal of frustration?  Priceless.

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