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Topic: How would you nicely let a member know.....

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Subject: How would you nicely let a member know.....
Date Posted: 5/11/2011 8:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2008
Posts: 7,301
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that they may want to change their wrapping style? I received a book that was stuck in a manila envelope. That's it. No tape or anything. Just the metal prongs to hold the book in and the book barely made it to me. I was able to shake it out of the package without having to rip anything open. I am happy I got the book but would really like to give the member a gentle heads-up in case it happens to someone else on their next swap or should I just mark it received and leave it alone? Thanks!

Date Posted: 5/11/2011 8:27 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 3,308
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Where the wrapping was severely damaged, I have sent messages that read something like:

Thank you so much for sending BookX.  It is a lovely copy, and I can't wait to read it.  I did want to let you know that the envelope was really torn apart when I recieved it, and I was actually able to shake the book out without having to tear the packaging.  I think the USPS sorting machines must be harder on wrapped books than I would have imagined, and it has made me personally resolve to use more secure taping when I send books in the future.  Since I'd hate for you to send a book only to have it go lost, I just wanted to give you a heads up about what the machinery did to your package.  Thanks again for sending me the book.

Last Edited on: 5/11/11 8:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/11/2011 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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You wrote out your concern very nicely I think you could easily make your point very gently to the other member. I once received one category romance in one of the big manila envelopes, sealed exactly the way you received your book. Luckily it was a small book. I think if it had been a historical romance or bigger paperback like that it may not have made the voyage.

One of the prongs was broken, all the corners were chewed a bit and bent, the book rolled around inside. I mentioned this in my feedback to PBS in case this was an ongoing situation with the member, hopefully it was just a one-off. I thanked the member for the book, mentioned that it arrived safely but.......she never wrote back, but hopefully the nudge would help in the future.

I once received a thank you for a book I'd sent with a gentle chuckle re how she had to work at opening the package (I'm a mummifier), so over-wrapping is almost as frustrating I think. I'm learning to be less compulsive.


Date Posted: 5/11/2011 8:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2006
Posts: 35,125
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It's also a good idea to remind members that taping the envelope tightly against the book, so the book can't slide around, will help immensely.

Date Posted: 5/12/2011 7:32 AM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2008
Posts: 7,301
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Date Posted: 5/12/2011 8:08 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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This usually gets their attention....."If you were going to be wrapped and sent through the mail, would you want to be wrapped that way?" wink





Date Posted: 5/12/2011 9:24 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
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I use a manila envelope for most of my PBBS mailings, but I put the book in sideways and then wrap the remainder of the envelope around it and tape it down as well as using the glue strip.  I then tape the edges so that nothing can slip in between the folds and tear it.

Date Posted: 5/12/2011 10:47 AM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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I would consider it a nice gesture if I were to send a book that wasnt wrapped well. Even if it made it safe and sound this time, it will surely only be a matter of time before those evil machines eat one of their packages.

And a note on manilla envelopes: Those metal clasps can play havoc on a book cover. I always snip them out witha scissor so they dont scratch up a book's surface.

Date Posted: 5/12/2011 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I'd tell them that a book sliding around in those envelopes can get damaged but luckily yours made it safely. Maybe next time they might fold the end of the envelope to fit the book so it wont slide and they wont risk the USPS damaging a book they sent. 

I have sent PMs about wrapping, I also comment on a good wrapping job.(if I notice the member is a newbie).  As long as you make it seem like you are trying to help PREVENT an RWAP event, most take it just fine. I've never had anyone be rude back about suggestions.

Date Posted: 5/12/2011 12:58 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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You may also wish to use the "comment" box to mention the type of wrapping, in case the sender is developing a history of packages arriving damaged.

From the help documents:

  • Suggestions for alternate packaging materials:
  • Heavy brown paper (from a cut-down grocery sack)
  • Manila envelope
    • tape it down tightly around the book(s) to prevent "flaps" that can get caught in postal machinery
    • if your envelope has a metal clasp, this can rub against the book cover and cause damage--a piece of tape over the inside portion of the clasp will prevent this.