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Topic: How much, on average, does it usually cost you to send a book?

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Subject: How much, on average, does it usually cost you to send a book?
Date Posted: 12/30/2008 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2008
Posts: 14
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It's not really an issue but is it somewhere around a dollar or two? I don't have a scale at home so I won't be able to do the postage myself... I'll have to run up to the post office. (How much is a scale anyway?)

Also, what types of envelope/box do you use? Just the cheapest ones at the P.O.? Just wondering as I haven't sent a book yet. :) (I wouldn't mind though ... check out my bookshelf! ha ha)

Subject: How much $$$ to send a book
Date Posted: 12/30/2008 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,448
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Between $2-3  and a bit more for a hardbound book.  There are unlimited ways to send a book, but I would suggest wrap in a layer of plastic first and use planty of packing tape.....

Date Posted: 12/30/2008 9:48 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2008
Posts: 14
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Do you think that perhaps a good way to recycle paper bags would be to first wrap the book in plastic to prevent water damage and then use the blank brown side of the paper bag to wrap the book with a good amount of packing tape?

This is for a single book of course, wouldn't want to ship multiple books that way... but it doesn't seem like it could really hurt a single book so long as they don't get wet?

Date Posted: 12/30/2008 10:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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You are right Ashley, that type of wrapping works.   The main thing to remember is use plenty of PACKING tape. 

Date Posted: 12/31/2008 12:31 AM ET
Member Since: 2/1/2008
Posts: 3,550
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The method of wrapping you described actually works very well for multiple books.  It keeps the books together tightly, provides water protection, and does not have any edges sticking out for the PO machines to grab.  And like Cozi said, packing tape is your friend.  I usually do all the seams, reinforce the corners at the very least.

I am a total dud when it comes to wrapping anything so I use bubble mailers that I get from Sam's Club.  I buy one box of 25 in 3 different sizes (I do the larger size only because I run a perpetual deal)  Even with those, I reinforce the closure with packing tape.  These are also frequently recycled by many members, just remove the previous label and add your new one, retape and send out.

One really good piece of advice I got when I first joined was to cover the label with tape.  This helps protect it from water damage if the package gets rained on or otherwise exposed to the wet.

Welcome to the club!


Date Posted: 12/31/2008 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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I have shipped up to 10 books using the plastic wrap/wapping paper/packing tape method. As long as the books are all the same size and you wrap tightly and use plenty of tape, it works perfectly.

Plenty of tape = one full piece of 2" packing tape run all the way around all three directions.

Date Posted: 12/31/2008 10:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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You can over tape though. I have damaged 2 books rendering them unpostable because there was so much tape on them.  I ended up cutting the book trying to cut the wrapper off.  Very annoying.  I always get the corners and seems.  But every inch does not need to be covered. 

Most mmps cost about 2:13-2:41 to mail.  Sometimes if they are lighter ones they can go first class for $1.98.   I bought a cheap scale at Walmart for around $10.  It's a kitchen scale but it has a flat top and goes up to 5lbs.  Perfect for weighing books.  If you are going to the PO to buy postage they will weigh them for you. If you are going to add stamps yourself or use the PBS postage-I highly recommend getting a scale.  The PBS weight is not always accurate.  The other day it told me a thin little paperback was over 1lb. 

Date Posted: 1/22/2009 3:48 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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I average around $3 per book, using pre-printed postage and DC through PBS.  (I get my book credit immediately that way)

For packaging, I buy bubble mailers in bulk, usually costing me about 20 cents each that way.  I use half sheet gummed labels to print the postage and address on, and those run me about 5 cents each. 


This all makes sending a book about as easy as can be.  Stick the book in the bubble mailer, put it on the scale ($12 at a local store for a 5 lb. postal scale), punch in the weight, put a label in the printer, print it, slap it on the package, peel the adhesive strip on the mailer to seal it, walk it outside to the mailbox, come back and click "Mailed".


Total elapsed time, maybe 3 minutes.

Date Posted: 1/22/2009 10:06 AM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 553
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On single-book requests the average is probably around $2.10. 

However  for BOB trades, by sending multiple books at once at media mail rates, the averagecost per book is probably under 50 cents.  The postage savings is one of the big advantages of the Box of Books feature..