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Topic: So even if I take this crazily wrapped book to USPS....

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Subject: So even if I take this crazily wrapped book to USPS....
Date Posted: 4/3/2011 11:04 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2011
Posts: 4
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they will send it? To be more specific, I just wrapped my first book and although it gets points for being well protected, the wrapping job is sub par. I basically cut up a shopping bag (thick don't worry, also wrapped in plastic) and used creative folding and lots of tape. I plan on putting the label on the flat side. Will they ship it? Is there anything they won't ship? I know you can't see it, but any guidance is much appreciated.

 

I'm new, sorry!

Date Posted: 4/3/2011 11:18 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,468
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Did you use one whole grocery bag for 1 small book?  I cut the bag flat and  wrap as I would a gift, folding the corners down. Only doubleing the thickness if it is a heavier book. Taping the edges , ends and over the address. I pre-wrap in plastic the same way. You might want to invest in some mailing envelopes at a office supply. I reuse them all the time too.

Date Posted: 4/3/2011 11:34 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2011
Posts: 4
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Well it was like a department store bag cut up, and it was wrapped like a gift (well a shoddy one). I probably will just go to the dollar store and get some envelopes, but I thought I would try the homemade way first since I seem to collect shopping bags. blush

Date Posted: 4/3/2011 11:37 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,398
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The post office takes weird wrapping.  Too much wrapping might up your price.  Odd shaped will get a surcharge. 

I've received books wrapped in just a plastic bag and another in a cereal box. 

The thing to look out for is addresses, labels, and bar codes.  And don't use wine or beer cases if the print is outside.

Date Posted: 4/4/2011 1:17 AM ET
Member Since: 10/5/2010
Posts: 196
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Emily, I did that once with the beer case print on the inside. I didn't think it'd be a problem cause it wasn't showing, but since my package was opened for inspection the receiver was charge for the print according to her because of the beer advertisement.

Date Posted: 4/4/2011 1:39 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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You can mail in any type of box you want EXCEPT boxes that once held forbidden items such as alcohol and bleach.  You do not have to turn the boxes inside out nor do you have to mark out any writings.

They don't care what it looks like.  I've seen some pretty strange things mailed including a suitcase not in a box!  Mail your odd package and don't worry about it.

Date Posted: 4/4/2011 1:49 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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Odd sizes and shapes are mailed all the time.  FYI, you can address a coconut with a permanent marker, add postage, and mail...your unique creation will be fine (so long as the wrapper is secure).

Date Posted: 4/4/2011 1:55 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,398
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They might add the surcharge for the coconut.  Square envelopes and odd (non rectangular) packages risk the surcharge.  Non Machinable?  It's like 20 cents.

Two of my friends had a contest with each other, mailing paper plates and other odd items.

mistie -
Date Posted: 4/4/2011 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,017
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'You can mail in any type of box you want EXCEPT boxes that once held forbidden items such as alcohol and bleach."

Also, don't try to re-use USPS priority mail boxes (even turnd inside out). You, or yhe received, will be charged for thr priority mail rate.

As for othe boxes, whether necessary or not, it doesn't hurt to use a thick black sharpie to cover any other markings on the box.

Date Posted: 4/4/2011 5:31 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 4,313
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Also, watch for any boxes that held cosmetics.  My niece sold Avon for awhile and gave me some wonderful boxes that the company used to ship her products.  I packed my first BoB in one of them and had to bring it back home from the PO and pack in a different box.  It has all sorts of letters and symbols indicating 'chemicals'.... 

You know, all that stuff that's 'So-o-o-o good for your skin'!  lol

Date Posted: 4/4/2011 8:28 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,468
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I guess I have always believed in the whole USPS guidelines thing." Duh, What was I thinking", and yes I have used an inside out cereal box and cracker boxes ( like Ritz) they were just the right size. I have even used gift bags for wrapping---the paper was so sturdy...LOL



Last Edited on: 4/4/11 8:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/4/2011 10:17 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2011
Posts: 4
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Thanks everyone! Got my books wrapped & ready to send off.

Date Posted: 4/5/2011 12:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,186
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...I plan on putting the label on the flat side....

I find it cute that it sounds like there is only one flat side to a package holding a book cheeky I remember some of my first wrapping jobs -whew!- in no time you will be wrapping like a pro.

Date Posted: 4/5/2011 3:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2008
Posts: 346
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I like to get the rolls of printed brown paper from the dollar store. They are a bit thin, but with three lines of packaging tape across the front over the address, all 4 corners secure, and a line of tape around the middle, I haven't had a problem yet!

Date Posted: 4/5/2011 6:25 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2011
Posts: 628
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Just thought I'd share my story quick. I'm new to PBS and I got my 1st Box of Books request today for 2 books.......grabbed the books set them by the computer and thought now how am I supposed to wrap these? Printer paper is not going to work not thick enough, no paper bags cuz the store uses plastic, no boxes or cardboard around the house because we heat with wood stoves so hubby is always using those to start the fires. So I start wandering around the house trying to figure out what I can use without having to go to town and spend money on packing supplies, I am having no luck at being creative so I decide to call hubby at work and ask if he has boxes that he can bring home for me...........well as soon as he answers I figure it out!!  He says "Hello" and I say "The macaroni box!" then promptly hang up the phone and empty the macaroni into a tupperware container. Needless to say hubby calls back and wants to know if I've totally lost my mind........nope I'm shipping books in the macaroni box! So he proceeds to tell me I better at least turn the box inside out or the post office is gonna think I've lost my mind too! He's also bringing boxes home for me because he said he doesn't think we have enough tupperware in the house for me to go emptying all the food into.

So for those creative folks out there how about posting what you've come up with to mail books in to give us non creative folks ideas!

Date Posted: 4/5/2011 9:21 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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Adding to the other don'ts, please don't use a box that held anything smelly like detergent.

Date Posted: 4/6/2011 6:00 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2006
Posts: 136
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Lisa, I got a good laugh from the macaroni box story.cheeky

I've also used boxes from dried foods like pasta and cereal but they're really not that sturdy. If you are going to use them to ship hardcovers then it is a good idea to stuff wadded up plastic bags or paper towels around them to cut down on any movement in the box. When the books are loosely packed they sometimes move around so much they break through the box.

Date Posted: 4/6/2011 9:19 AM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2010
Posts: 13
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I tried the envelopes from the dollar store for a while, but that got pretty pricey after a while.  I then bought a roll of the brown mailing paper from the dollar store and one roll lasts quite a while.  Also, the printer paper seems to work just fine too as long as you use a lot of packaging tape.  If I am out of the brown paper I print out the mailer paper and then take another sheet of printer paper and criss cross them so they're covering the whole book.  Then I use tape to wrap it kind of like a present but then I use extra tape and go around each edge making sure to wrap around the whole book, leaving the barcode uncovered so that there is no issue with reading it.  I've never had a problem sending them this way and I've received some in the mail this way too and it's always gotten to me fine.  Oh, I do want to add that I always put the book in a ziploc baggy (gallon sized) before wrapping so that even if there is a tear in the paper the book will arrive safe!

Subject: wrapping
Date Posted: 4/6/2011 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 4/15/2010
Posts: 4
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I tried to post but lost the message

 

I request paper bags from the grocery store, cut them flat and turn any store IDs face up.  Cut to size of book and wrap like present.  I request free label sleeves from USPS website (they deliver right to your house) and use PBS labels (it's worth the surcharge and helps PBS).  I use the plastic sleeve to hold the label folded in half and put the sleeve on the untaped side of the package (which protects it even more.  If you are looking for the sleeves they are on the international tab on USPS.  The post office will pick up books from my home for free if I call for pick-up. 

Date Posted: 4/6/2011 12:43 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 9
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PBS prints labels on 2 pages of plain white copy paper--FREE unless postage is added. Folding the two together around a single book, putting tape on the ends to cover the corners, is the fastest cheapest CLEANEST way to do it. Doesn't anyone else use them?

If I have a hardcover, or two or more paperback books, I just link several pieces of copy paper together, wrap it around, and cover the joins with tape.

There can never be too much garlic or too much tape...

(Of course, if I GET a book in a package of some kind, I reuse it gladly.)

Date Posted: 4/6/2011 5:30 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I use the PBS wrapper without problems. But I think if it gets to the point where you're using massive amounts of tape, you might as well use some kind of wrapper. Packing tape isn't free either.  Also, if you're talking hardcovers or multiple books, I don't think the PBS wrapper is adequate for the job.  Have seen lots of comments about this.

Date Posted: 4/6/2011 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2011
Posts: 628
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I was worried about using the PBS wrapper because I was afraid moisture might get to the books so thanks for the idea of the ziploc bag I'm definately going to use that one! Hubby did bring me some boxes home as promised too. As far as using a lot of tape...... I've always had a problem with over taping everything anyway so that ones easy for me. I'm lucky tho because my friends husband works for 3M so every year at Christmas I get a big basket of 3M products so lots and lots of tape in there! smiley

Date Posted: 4/7/2011 1:01 AM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 36
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As I not only belong to PBS, SwapaCD, and SwapaDVD, but sell on Amazon and eBay, and am lazy, I keep a stock of padded envelopes on hand; the smaller #0 envelopes were about $24 for 100 on ebay; the larger #2 envelopes were about $26; both prices were after shipping. These are lined with bubble wrap so they're waterproof.

If I have something that's too big for one of the above envelopes, I reuse an envelope/box I've received from something I mail-ordered; around here, woot boxes are quite common and happily repurposed.

Date Posted: 4/7/2011 11:14 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,720
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I get all my packing tape at the dollar store ... it is a brand I never heard of, and it is thinner than more expensive tape ... but the rolls are quite large, and of course, very cheap.

So, I can go wild with tape without breaking the bank.

I also get rolls of strapping tape there for large book packages and boxes.

Date Posted: 4/8/2011 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2007
Posts: 76
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I use the brown paper bags that are at the end of the freezer sections of my grocery store to hold the frozen food in while on the way home.  Nice and sturdy!  I also save as many of the envelopes that I get books in to reuse.  I haven't had to resort to macaroni boxes, but I'm totally keeping that piece of information for future use if needed!  :)

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