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Topic: Comment to sender about wrapper question

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Subject: Comment to sender about wrapper question
Date Posted: 2/13/2009 10:00 AM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 284
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I received a book yesterday. The wrapper was badly torn but the book was ok. I thanked the sender and said that the book arrived in good condition but the package was torn open. The response I received was she wasn't responsible for the postal service.

I was trying, in a nice way, to say you should use better packaging. I want to reply and this is what I want to say.

"Sorry, I realize you are not responsible for the postal system. I should have been more specific. Your packaging was unable to stand up to the rigors of the postals system. Perhaps next time you are sending a larger book you might consider using sturdier packaging. You were lucky the book was not damaged in the mailing."

Is that too rude? Am I out of line?

Thanks. susan/vt

Date Posted: 2/13/2009 10:21 AM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 284
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I just went to look at the sender to see if maybe they were new and I don't think they are. The kicker is I found at least 4 books on their bookshelf that I would like. They are craft type books and most of them seem to be only ones listed. Great. If I complain about her packaging she is probably not going to want to send me some books but I would really like those titles now I found them.

What to do? What to do?


Date Posted: 2/13/2009 10:27 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I would leave out the last sentence about her being lucky it wasn't damaged in the mail.  Other than that, the first 2 sentences are ok in my opinion.

perhaps you could also add that you see 4 books on her shelf that you are interested in and wondered how she would send the 4, would she use a box?  (I'm not sure how big the books are but that is what I would do!)

Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 2/13/2009 10:44 AM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
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I just had the same situation - wrapper ripped, wrapper taped to the book (with scotch tape, so it came off the book without damage); book OK.

I sent a PM to let her know - I think she was new because all her books were posted in the past month. But I was really delicate. I just said I always tape the edges, because that's where it rips. I may not have gotten the point across, though.

Date Posted: 2/13/2009 10:59 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,730
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I'd leave out the "you're lucky" part also and describe where the package had torn open and suggest that she might want to concentrate on taping those areas of the package better to help prevent tearing.

Date Posted: 2/13/2009 11:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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Considering you want more books from her.. maybe something like this:

Thanks so much for the book and I see quite a few more I like on your shelf I would like to order.  If I order 3 or 4 from you, would it be possible to put them in a box.  We seem to have the Samsonite Gorrilla at a postal depot somewhere between you and I and I want to be on the safe side to  make sure the books get past him.



Date Posted: 2/13/2009 11:19 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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You know, maybe this is just me...I think it is fine as written.  Your response to her response is clear and assertive and not at all rude.  My judgement may be a bit clouded, though.  I think I  have read one too many posts around here lately where someone as politely PMd someone to let them know of an issue, such as bad wrapping, and gotten a snarky response, and I feel like saying (to quote Twisted Sister) WE'RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE!!  Send it!

Date Posted: 2/13/2009 11:20 AM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 284
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Thanks for the input. I think I'm just going to take a chance on her and order the books. I'm going to try and assume that the book got rough handling and leave it at that. It wasn't really bad packaging, it just wasn't really good packaging. So I'll order the books and hope the best. It's great to be able to come here and sound people out.


Date Posted: 2/13/2009 11:59 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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I'd change the "you're lucky" to "we were fortunate".  That changes the tone from a reproach to a shared experience.  It's not you vs. her them, it becomes the two of you, as a team, vs. the PO

Date Posted: 2/13/2009 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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I'm not sure why you need to reply again at all.    You told her what was wrong and she disagreed.   Somehow, I doubt if you telling her again is going to change her mind. 

But good luck with trying.

Date Posted: 2/13/2009 3:42 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 284
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Bernhard, I really like your suggestion. That is exactly the right tone and I'm going to remember it if I ever need to again. I've been very lucky here at PBS, I've never had a bad trade. A couple that have been lost but I've never had a damaged book. I did have one book that I probably shouldn't have posted. Someone had glued the two covers on a romance novel together so you couldn't see the bodice ripper picture, I pm'd the requestor and then sent it but then I thought that wasn't right even though they ok'd it and sent them the credit back.

I didn't send any message. I went and ordered 9 books off her shelf.


Date Posted: 2/15/2009 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 253
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I like Lita's answer!

Kate -
Date Posted: 2/15/2009 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2008
Posts: 534
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Last Edited on: 3/28/09 9:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/16/2009 11:45 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 1
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I actually think it might be a good idea to suggest using something like a padded envelope in the "how to wrap" help section.

In this help section, it basically just says to wrap your book in the sheet printed from your computer and drop in in a mailbox - well I can tell you after extensive experience shipping and receiving a variety of stuff, a sheet or two of paper doesn't cut it in most cases, and I'd be very surprised if paperbacks don't get completely mangled if they are shipped this way.

Date Posted: 2/16/2009 11:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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Actually Steven, I find that books correctly wrapped in the two sheets of paper come to me in better shape than ones put in padded envelopes. Often the envelopes are not tight and the book can move around getting beat up and sometimes beating its way right through the envelope. I hate sending in envelopes and only do so to recycle the ones I get. Most of my MMP go out in the 2 sheets + plastic wrap + good tape applied to all edges. My bigger books go out in similar wrapping, but I replace the computer paper with a few layers of Postal Paper. I've never had a complaint on my wrapping and have had quite a few compliments.

I always send a polite message when I receive bad wrapping letting them know that the USPS system is very hard on MM and extra good wrapping is needed to protect the books. I've never had anyone get snippy with me.

Date Posted: 2/17/2009 12:44 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I agree with Melanie. All books I send are wrapped in plastic.  I do cut up larger mailers I receive to wrap books in present-style so that everything is form-fitted.  If there is more than one book I wrap each with plastic then tape them together with the mailing tape across and around the books both ways so there is a really big brick shape to wrap. For more than 3 books, I wrap each in plastic and then put them into a box that is just big wnough to get all of them inside - or use some padding to fill the empty space. The plastic wrap in this instance is to keep each book from being battered and damaged from being thrown aroun in the box if the filler doesn't protect the.  If it's a HC, I make sure that the wrap I'm using for the outside is very tough - no grocery bags and no manila mailers unless they are padded.  I've had no complaints yet so I guess I'm doing okay.


Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 2/17/2009 8:53 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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I received a package that did go through the Mail Maul system.  It could have been wrapped a bit better but I knew that the sender was new.  So this is what I sent:

Thanks for the books. Just a quick note to say the package went through mail h*ll. Good thing you wrapped in plastic! One corner was torn open but the books arrived high and dry. Phew!!

Wrote back thanking me and said she'd continue to use plastic and a better tape.