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Topic: The Excuse Doesn't Pertain To Just Books

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Subject: The Excuse Doesn't Pertain To Just Books
Date Posted: 8/9/2011 5:58 AM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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The excuse for sending a bad book - "I got it that way".

Well, I just received a message re a badly wrapped book, very thin paper, on the edge of being tissue-like. I commented that the USPS put a rubberband around it as the paper was shredded pretty much everywhere.

The excuse for the wrapping was she usually received books that were wrapped in one layer of the white paper (copy paper probably) and the books arrived in so-so shape. Yup, so the Golden Rule won't apply to anything this member sends out.

It took her over a month to reply to my gentle comment. I darn near RWAP'd the book but it miraculously arrived in good shape, it was just the paper she used that didn't stand up to the USPS.

Gail - thank you for listening

Date Posted: 8/9/2011 7:57 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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Gail, I had to comment because I feel your frustration too. When I was new I am sure I made some mistakes but I learned. Unfortunately, there are members who just don't care whether they are following guidelines, or wrapping books inadequately.

I received a book from a new member wrapped in newspaper. Of course, it was absolutely shredded and a miracle it got to me, but before it was shredded the newsprint transferred ink to the cover of the book. I was tempted to RWAP but because it was a new member, I too sent a gently worded message to the sending member about newspaper not being sturdy enough and that the wrapper (which she had cut out and taped to the newspaper) was really strong enough plus newspaper transferred ink all over the book, which I was able to clean off but it took some work. Months pass and one day I receive another book wrapped in newspaper hanging on only by the tape around the book and guess who sent it? Yup, the same member, and this time I did RWAP it. I never did hear from her but she's probably still out there mailing books wrapped in newspaper!

Date Posted: 8/9/2011 5:11 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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OMG Sally, what are the odds? It's funny that people are always saying "don't worry, you'll never see this person again" when responding to complaints about bad transactions.


And I have noticed that about 90% of the damaged packaging I get is due to the sender using two or three little strips of scotch tape, instead of packing tape. No matter what material they wrap in, it's almost always popped open, unraveled, or shredded. And I never get responses when I send gentle PMs advising against this, so I've stopped doing it. They will get an RWAP from me if the book is damaged though. 

Date Posted: 8/9/2011 5:18 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 626
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I just received a book published in 1976.  The book was absolutely pristine until the sender scotch taped the printer paper wrapper to the cover in two places.  The tape stripped off the top layer of the cover.  It's not pristine anymore.  *sigh*

Date Posted: 8/9/2011 5:54 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2010
Posts: 4,318
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I am hoping none of my books get to their destinations in badly wrapped form.  I always try to think of it in terms of whether or not I'd want to receive something sent the way I have packaged it.  If not, I package it a different (much better) way.  I have only received a few 'badly' wrapped items from this site, but for the most part it wasn't too bad in the end.  But yes, I know the frustrations. I buy on ebay sometimes & once in awhile I get items sent that the wrapping hasn't been very good.

Date Posted: 8/9/2011 7:46 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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The site actually tells people to wrap with the printed out pages.  And to use tape.. I am guessing she just skips over the using tape section.  And yes scotch tape or 'desk tape' is terrible.   I am lucky and can use book tape which is even stronger then packing tape. Have yet had an books sent out with packaging issues and yes I usually print out the wrapper, wrap the book in the two sheets and tape around the edges, side and back of the book. My Post office goes NUTS if you tape over the barcode so that does get left untaped.

Date Posted: 8/11/2011 10:20 PM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2010
Posts: 19
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I had someone send me a book that had been wrapped in a Target ad once. I thought that was bizarre! I usually send all my books in bubble mailers, unless they're small enough to fit in the normal wrapper, but I make sure I use lots of packing tape to securely wrap them.

Date Posted: 8/12/2011 3:47 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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I heart my Post Office. 

I mail books all the time with taped over barcodes.  I buy counter postage and they just scan them in...never any problems, they scan the first time every time.  If I ask, the staff says it's not recommended to tape over barcodes...but they never whine or complain when I hand them over.  I am careful to purchase very clear tape and not have wrinkles over the barcode portion of the label.

ETA - holiday wrapping paper is also very brittle.  If used to wrap books, it usually arrives damaged.  Some of the brown paper is sturdy enough to wrap books, but alot of it is thin and easily damaged.

Last Edited on: 8/12/11 3:49 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/17/2011 8:12 AM ET
Member Since: 12/4/2005
Posts: 2,320
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I use the two page PBS mailer option using my printer paper ($2.97 a pack) and good shipping tape and haven't had any complaints.   I wrap the book in plastic most times first then in the printed mailer with scotch tape to tack down the seams then I use 3 pieces of shipping tape to reinforce that, one down the back seam and a piece for each end and they are really secure.

When I joined I sort of skimmed the important instructions and was eager to send out my first few book requests and was all pleased with myself that I decided to use Glad Presss & Seal, not realizing we we're advised against   using it.  Luckily I hadn't damaged any books and my first people didn't have any complaints.

Date Posted: 8/17/2011 2:32 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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Ah, the dreaded Press 'n Seal...you are lucky that you didn't get blasted for that! I agree that the wrapper and packaging tape is sufficient for most mass market paperbacks. It is the people who get creative and use gift wrapping paper and newspaper, or worst of all, no wrapper at all, just tape the label around the book leaving the ends open and unprotected...there are just so many ways to wrap a book badly. Sadly, it doesn't take any more effort to wrap a book adequately as it does to wrap a book badly.