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Topic: How many people use just the print-out to wrap books?

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Subject: How many people use just the print-out to wrap books?
Date Posted: 5/7/2008 3:49 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 770
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Every book that I've sent so far I have sent in a padded envelope to protect the book.  I know that it's an extra cost, but I want to be sure that the book gets there in mint condition.  I am very careful that my books stay looking new and I want the next person to get the book in the brand new looking condition that I read it in.


Subject: I do
Date Posted: 5/7/2008 3:54 PM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2008
Posts: 111
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I use the print out, but I print onto cardstock instead of regular printer paper. I also make sure I tape the seams and corners well and I wrap in plastic wrap first.

Date Posted: 5/7/2008 3:55 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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I do, if it is a MMPB.  Usually books are fine if they are wrapped in a double layer of paper, are taped properly, AND are wrapped in plastic (underneath the wrapping paper).  Taping properly is key.  The only problem I've had with a book I sent out was when I was brand new and didn't know that scotch tape doesn't hold up on a cross-country trip- I now use clear packing tape and make sure to reinforce the edges and corners with it to prevent wear/tear in transit.  For anything larger than a MMPB, I use 24# white plotter paper (I take the end rolls from work), use two layers, then just tape the label on.  I have also used brown paper bags with success, again using double layers.


Date Posted: 5/7/2008 4:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2008
Posts: 346
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If it is a PB and 2 sheets cover it, I use that. I cut strips of the clear heavy packaging tape for all corners and most of the seams (I like leaving a little part so people can get into the book--small enough so machines won't snag it). I've never had a problem so far.

I did get one book that was just the PBS wrapper. A corner was not reinforced and some machine 'nibbled' on it...left a dark smudge and a few dents were worn into it. Puzzling.

Date Posted: 5/7/2008 4:28 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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Like previous posters, if I'm sending out a mass paperback and it will be completely covered by the two sheets of 8 & 1/2 X 11" paper, then that's all I use.    I always wrap the book in a layer of plastic wrap first, though.  And I ensure that the ends of the book and all open seams are well taped with packing tape.

I've sent hundreds of books this way and have never had a single person complain.   In fact, I've had several complements on my style of wrapping - which I never really thought was that unique!

Date Posted: 5/7/2008 4:31 PM ET
Member Since: 3/17/2008
Posts: 51
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I send in a large envie- I am too paranoid -I am not a great wrapper!!

Date Posted: 5/7/2008 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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depends on the size of the book...smaller books that will fit in the paper I wrap that way (but in plastic first and well taped ends/corners).  larger books go into an envelope because i don't want to mess with wrapping

Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 5/7/2008 5:05 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
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I wrap it in plastic (cut up grocery bag), and if two sheets cover it, that's it.

iluvsushi - ,
Date Posted: 5/7/2008 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2008
Posts: 3
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I'm a "newbie" to PBS--just joined this week and spent all last evening wrapping 15 books to send out this morning.  I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive about using only the printed wrapper.  Needless to say, I got more skillful with wrapping first with plastic wrap, folding, tucking, and taping as the evening wore on.  In the end, I was able to wrap all but three books which were all large, heavy hardcover books that required a padded envelope.  I hope they all survive their journey and arrive at the other end in good condition! 

Date Posted: 5/7/2008 5:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,840
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for MMPs, i often use just the two sheets of paper, plus wrapping the book in plastic wrap first in case it rains.  i tape all four of the edges, and once all the way around the middle, so hopefully the corners don't get damaged.  trade sized generally get wrapped in plastic, then a paper bag, then the label part taped to the brown wrapping.  HBs either padded envelope or a box.

doing it the 'standard' way takes me about 15 minutes to wrap a book, so i'm always happy to re-use any envelopes i get books in as i can just tape the label on and tape the (plastic-wrapped) book in, and it doesn't take as long.  i did go shopping for evelopes, but couldn't do any better than $1 for 2 at the Dollar Tree, so i bought a few for books in better condition or when i'm in a hurry.

Date Posted: 5/7/2008 5:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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If it is a small paperback or two that will fit, I wrap in plastic, then the two sheets. I put extra tape on all edges.

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 12:17 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 345
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I sent mine out that way when I was new.  Then I received a few and realized the condition they were arriving in.  I don't wrap them that way anymore.  Now, I use padded mailers for all the books I sent out. 

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 3:08 AM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,536
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I wrap in plastic first, then the print out (and an extra sheet or two if necessary)  I have never had anyone complain about the condition of the books received.  I only had 1 returned that got munched by the machinery--and that's in over 2 years.

I don't recall ever getting a book in bad condition if the person wraps in plastic and then the printout.

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 4:51 AM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2007
Posts: 1,334
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I use the wrapper.   First, I pad the book with a very thin sheet of foam padding.  This is the stuff that our flat screen TV was wrapped in when we got it.    When I run out of that, I'll go back to using the foam sheets I bought at Staples.  These are really made to pad dishes, when moving them.  Then, I wrap the book in plastic, to avoid any water damage.   Then the 2 sheet wrapper.   Then I tape it up really well.     I haven't had any complaints about my wrapping, and I've gotten some comments about how well the book held up during shipping. 

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 10:26 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
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I use the wrapper; heavy duty restauant quality plastic wrap, then the wrapper and maybe another piece of paper--for a single book. For more than one, I usually use a large paper envelope and cut the wrapper to use as its label.  In either case, I use packing tape to tape the heck out of it, especially the ends and corners, as those take the worst trouncing in the USPS machinery. I've not had any issues from my recipients and have gotten a few compliments on condition received in.

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 10:27 AM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2006
Posts: 547
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Another wrapper user here.  I wrap all my books in plastic, then I separate my MMPs from everyone else.  I print off the two page mailer on regular paper and wrap.  The bigger books get wrapper in brown lunch bags that I cut open.  These, I can just tape the label on to when I'm finished. 

With all the books that I have mailed, I have received no complaints about my wrappings.  The only complaints I've had about books that I received were either large books wrapped in the two page mailer or mailers taped closed with scotch tape.  Which is why I use lunch bags and am generous with my tape.


Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 5/8/2008 12:06 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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I generally use only the PBS wrapper as outer wrapping, no add'l envelopes.  I am very liberal with packing tape, however.

First, I wrap book(s) in plastic, then scotch-tape reinforce all edges.  Then I wrap in two layers of printer paper (PBS label).  Then I packing tape reinforce all edges.  Then, I cover the entire package with packing tape for more reinforcement and/or waterproofing.  If I'm sending more than two books, or flimsy book, I may include a piece of cardboard to reinforce the package stability and another printer paper layer.

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 12:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2007
Posts: 926
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I usually have enough used envelopes to use so that is my normal shipping material. I have never had a problem with receiving 1 or 2 books wrapped in the standard wrapper but I did receive about an 8 book deal wrapped this way and it was really torn up around the edges. I suppose more tape would have solved the problem but I would be a little afraid of wrapping a larger trade in just the paper wrapper.

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,372
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I have a cabinet of envelopes so I use those.  Seems a waste to print out paper when I have envelopes. Sometimes I use non-padded envelopes for the small paperbacks--I put them in a plastic bag (usually from the newspaper) first. 

Mine is less concern for the safety of the book--if it isn't big & floppy or hardback I'm not worried--and more just what I happen to have on hand.  The MMP books that are wrapped in the wrapper come through fine to me, so it seems to work.  If the wrapper doesn't easily fit, though, then you need something more.

Date Posted: 5/8/2008 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2006
Posts: 3,119
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I have a cabinet of envelopes so I use those.  Seems a waste to print out paper when I have envelopes.


Personally, the plastic wrap drives me nuts! I hate having to tear into that. The books that I receive that are in the PBS wrapping(paper) are usually wrapped in plastic wrap and taped so I have to call the National Guard to come out and use their bayonets to get those darn things open. Too much tape, too much paper and too much plastic.

I'll stick to the envelopes.

Date Posted: 5/9/2008 10:04 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2006
Posts: 670
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I use the PBS wrapper for mass markets, and recycle padded envelopes for anything bigger.  I have sent out over 400 books with no complaints yet, and received more than 500 that have mostly been wrapped well, even in the PBS wrapper.  The only ones that have had their wrappers come apart before getting to me were wrapped in single layers of brown paper/grocery bag material.


Date Posted: 5/9/2008 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,751
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If it fits easily in the PBS wrapper, that's what I use.  I use plastic and plenty of packing tape as well.  I've never had a problem.  Hardcovers and trade size either go in padded envelopes or brown paper.

Date Posted: 5/9/2008 10:54 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 3,765
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I had some padded envelopes hanging around, so I used those because I also feel the need to better protect the book.  I will also re-use a padded envelope from an item that I receive in the mail.  I also used the print out sheets, but I do wrap in paper and/or bubble wrap.  I always feel the need to really protect the item I'm sending.

Date Posted: 5/10/2008 6:50 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2005
Posts: 12,167
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I use the printed wrapper for all my mass market paperbacks, brown kraft paper for trade paperbacks and padded mailers for hardbacks.  I use packing tape on all the edges and corners and I've mailed hundreds of books without a problem or a complaint.

The only problems I've had with incoming books were ones that were not taped securely.

Date Posted: 5/10/2008 11:29 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2007
Posts: 563
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I never send out a book with just the PBS wrapper, (not even a mm pb). I just don't think it offers enough protection for the book.

95% of what I mail are hardback,  all packages are pre-wrapped, usually in 1 or 2 plastic grocery bags, then taped all around the perimeter. Then put in recycled mailer, or heavy brown paper, and taped up completely, especially the corners.

Just for myself I do not think that the wrapper is adequate protection from postal machinery and zealous mail sorters and some carriers. Having been on the other side of this, (as a former sub mail carrier),  I have seen how some stuff looks when it finally gets to the destination post office. I think most people do not have a clue what packages and other mail items are subjected to on a daily basis. Especially media mail that is not a high priority with the PO, and is shuffled repeatedly all around the country. I think sometimes that people may believe that these arrive at the post office neatly stacked in containers. Instead of dumped in large APCs, with the little ones on the bottom being worse for wear.

And I have a carrier now who either leaves packages on my open deck, or the hood of the car, at the mercy of the weather, or wedges books that are too large into the mailbox, and leaves the door standing open, because the book won't go all the way in.

(Still going round and round with the PO for these reasons).

Unless there is major damage to a book, rendering it unpostable, I do not mark these RWAP.  I am not someone who is going to complain over every little bump and blemish. What does irk me to no end though, is that a lot of it could be prevented with better wrapping.  I will email a sender, thanking them for the book, and politely explaining problems, and offer some suggestions for better wrapping. Most people are very receptive to polite suggestions.   I know that I would not be offended if someone sent me a pm with a suggestion about something I had mailed out.

I have received several books in just the PBS wrapper,  even hardback books. One of the most recent ones was one of the HP hardbacks, very new looking with the dust jacket.  It arrives,  with just several sheets of printer paper wrapped around it and minimal tape......needless to say it had bumped corners and other things that made it seem quite obvious that would not have happened had it been better wrapped. Thank goodness at least, that it did not get wet somewhere between point A and B. So, because of this and my PO problems, I now have a requestor condition that all books be pre wrapped in plastic. It seems so silly to send out a book that is in almost perfect condition, with minimal protection from the postal system, just to have it arrive in worse shape than when it was sent out. 

Usually if I receive a package with poor wrapping, I will try to think , "what would I do differently" so my packages that I send out  won't arrive looking that that.  I appreciate everyone who orders from my shelf and want them to be pleased with what I mail out. After all it just makes good sense, as I would hope to gain repeat swappers if I can send them something they are happy with.

I know that a lot of senders say that they have never had a complaint from just using the wrapper and I do believe that. Also I know that in previous threads this subject has come up before, and someone had said that just because no one complained doesn't mean there may not have been a minor problem. A lot of people just accept and say ok, rather than what some would consider the hassle of RWAP or pm'ing the sender in a friendly manner to offer suggestions. But if no one ever says anything, then it won't change or newer people joining the club will have to find out the hard way.