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Topic: Some newbie questions about wrapping and such

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Subject: Some newbie questions about wrapping and such
Date Posted: 12/30/2009 10:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2009
Posts: 465
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I'm a new member (just joined tonight) and I've looked through the help files, but I still have some questions-

Of the 16 books I posted from my shelves, 6 have already been put on 48 hour holds.  However, every book I've looked up hasn't been posted by anyone, so I've had to put them on my wishlist.  I'm a bit disappointed by that- I'm not looking for newer books.  Is this typical?

When a book I have on my wishlist does get posted (assuming I'm the next in line looking for it), do I still get an e-mail about it if I don't have any credits?  Or does it just move on to the next person in line who does have credits? I'm just thinking that until I send out some books, I'm going to lose out on any wishlisted books that get posted because I won't have credits for them.

Any suggestions for the cheapest but most secure way to ship books?  I don't have much money, but I want my books to reach their new owner in the best shape possible.  I plan to wrap them in plastic store bags, but what would be the best thing to wrap over that? Some of the books are larger hardcovers. 

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 10:24 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,441
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It really depends on the book if it's got a WL line or not.  The mass market bestselling authors, those WL lines move pretty darned fast once the book's released.  They'll have hundreds on the WL before release but within a month or two, there's hundreds in the PBS system and you can't hardly give them away. 

One thing PBS teaches you is patience.  It's great if you can resist buying every new book that comes out and just wait a month or two to get them.  Of course, someone's gotta buy the new books to put into the system.

If one of your WL books gets posted and it is on auto-request, then the system will automatically order it for you if you have credits.  If you don't have credits, you get an email telling you your wish has been granted and the book goes on 48 hr hold for you to get a credit to request it or decline the request.  You can buy credits in the Kiosk or from other members via the Book Bazaar forum.

For mailing, there are lots of ways to go.  Some wrap in the PBS wrapper which is 2 sheets of printer paper.  Great for mass market sized books.  I've used that or brown kraft postal wrap to wrap books up in.  Now, I use poly mailers, just plastic envelopes with no padding to them.  Some members use bubble envelopes or even boxes.  You've just got to figure out which is the easiest way for you to go and make sure you use plenty of packing tape no matter what you wrap the books in.

The Help Center has wrapping tips.

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 10:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,384
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If you don't have credits, put your WL on hold.  Then you will move up towards the top, but won't be offered books.   This is great to do when you know you will be getting credits.  To get your credit quick, use PBS DC.

I save the old bubble mailers to use when wrapping hardbacks.  The PO sorting machines are very nasty to HCs.  I think it is the lip.  If you use an envelope, fold it tight around the book and tape it down.  Loose flaps get stuck in the post office machinery.

I use old maps.  I used to use paper bags, but too many arrived ripped.  Kraft paper seems sturdier than paper bags.

If you have an order that goes overseas (HI, AK, PR, Guam, and APOs), these may take really long by media mail.  I try to use either PBS DC or first class on those books.  Depending on weight.  For a 8 oz book, it is worth the extra to send it first class.  A 2 lb hardcover?  Media with DC.

 

There is a red thread at the top of this forum.  Lots of hints and help there.  You should have a Tour Guide to ask questions.  The Live Help at the bottom is to connect to a Tour Guide that is online.


ETA Typos!



Last Edited on: 12/30/09 10:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 12/30/2009 10:51 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,664
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Hi Jennifer, Welcome to PBS.

A few thoughts on your Wish List ... it is pretty common for new members to PBS to find out that the books that they have posted are requested quickly, or even on other people's Wish Lists. I took a peek at your Wish List, and it seems that quite a few of the books you are interested in are non-fiction ... cookbooks or animal care .... non-fiction does tend to get posted more slowly than fiction, and there will be a longer wait for some of those books. Don't get discouraged, they do get posted, but you do tend to wait longer than you might for fiction.

About wrapping .... the printer paper wrappers are great for mass-market sized paperbacks. Many senders use inexpensive plastic to provide a waterproof layer under he paper ... typical things that people use are plastic wrap (but NOT Press-N-Seal, which can leave a residue); or recycled grocery bags, newspaper delivery bags, (clean-n-dry) produce bags, etc. One cut up trash bag can protect quite a few books, etc.

The outer wrapper for hardcovers .... people use different things. Heavy brown kraft paper can work, and once you start receiving books you can reuse bubble mailers. I have used things like cheap school folders (they are nice and thick, almost like cardboard, you can cut them to fit, and if you get them at the right time of year they cost something like 5 cents apiece), some people use things like cereal boxes, etc. to protect the hardcovers.

Also, for hardcovers, if you have large cardboard boxes around, but not small ones, you can cut up a larger cardboard box to make a "sheet" of cardboard the size of your hardcover book or maybe a smidge larger .... put one on top and one underneath the book, and then wrap in plastic and/or paper ... the cardboard will help to protect the book from dings and damage.

The secret to any wrapping method is .... don't skimp on the packing tape. And, don't skimp on the packing tape. Tape all of the seams on the package. It doesn't hurt to tape over the mailing label, so that if the package gets wet, the label is still legible. And, whatever wrapper you use, make sure that it is wrapped tightly around the books. A mailer with the book(s) loose inside, where they have space to move around ... as the book gets tossed around by the USPS, quite often it will tear mailers open from the inside out ... and then the books can fall out abd become lost. I have had bubble wrappers that were mailed loose around books arrive at my house ripped open with the books almost falling out.

So, wrap tight with packing tape! Best advice there is.

Also, if there is a dollar store near you, that an be a good place to pick up mailing supplies .... I get huge rolls of packing tape there for (you guessed it)  ... $1, and I also pick up plastc wrap there for the interior wrapper.



Last Edited on: 12/30/09 11:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 12/30/2009 11:24 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,690
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well, just looked at your shelf...if you posted 16 books then you should have credits soon as you only have 5 left on your shelf...

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 11:37 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2009
Posts: 465
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Yes, I'm quite surprised at how quickly my books went- I'm going to have go through my shelves and find some more to post!

Thank you everyone for replying- I got a lot of good tips and I'm also exploring old posts in the forum.  One more question- if I put my wishlist on hold, what happens if I'm next up to get a book on the wishlist? Do I go to the bottom of the line or do I hold the number 1 slot until I take myself off hold? Same question for what happens if I'm not on hold when I hit the number 1 slot, but I don't have the credits for the book- do I get sent back to the bottom of the list?

I just got in an order of about 30 books from Amazon, so as soon as I'm done with them I'll have plenty to post.  I'm really happy I found this site- it seems like a great way to find new reading material while keeping costs down.

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 11:42 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,664
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One more question- if I put my wishlist on hold, what happens if I'm next up to get a book on the wishlist? Do I go to the bottom of the line or do I hold the number 1 slot until I take myself off hold?

You stay #1 until you take yourself off hold.

Same question for what happens if I'm not on hold when I hit the number 1 slot, but I don't have the credits for the book- do I get sent back to the bottom of the list?

If you cancel the Wish List offer (or let it time out without responding)  insted of accepting it, yes, you actually get taken off the list and will need to put yourself back on ... at the end.

If you are offered a Wish List book and you don't have a credit, you can buy credits from PBS (I think the price is 3.45-ish) or you can buy credits directly from other members in the Book Bazaar. The going rate tends to be somewhere between 2.50 and 2.80 right now). You will have 48 hours to accept the book when it is offered (provided you haven't put it on auto-request.)



Last Edited on: 12/30/09 11:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/31/2009 7:34 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,442
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For hardcover books, I've found cereal boxes to be just the right size, with some crumpled newspaper to fill in the gaps.  Nearly ever time I've sent a HC book this way, I've gotten positive comments from the receivers that the books arrived in pristine condition. 

Date Posted: 12/31/2009 9:47 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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You won't get any WL offers if you don't put any books on your WL. I just looked to see if I had something in my TBR but your WL is blank.  Honestly it might take a month or two for the WL books to start moving in but they will unless you only WL expensive, hard to find, out of print books.  I don't know what genres you read but most likely there's something posted that you'd like.  When I first joined you couldn't find any paranormals or erotica without a WL and now I'm starting to see htem in the system because the membership has grown so much. Same with audioboo CDS.  When I first joined there were very few in the system and now there are. 

Don't let the mega long WL lines scare you on the super popular books like The Lost Symbol or the latest Nora Roberts books-those lines move really fast  (especially after Christmas) and books like that go from heavily WL to heavily posted before long.  Maybe not as quickly in this economy but still pretty quickly. 

 

Also if you hang out in the forums you'll get people who will post directly to your WL.  Check out the forum for your favorite genres.  Most of them have an Is This On Your WL thread where people post WL books they have.  They're usually hoping to find someone who wants more than one to save on postage.  There's even a Multiple WL Thread in the Book Bazaar.

Date Posted: 12/31/2009 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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Any suggestions for the cheapest but most secure way to ship books?  I don't have much money, but I want my books to reach their new owner in the best shape possible.  I plan to wrap them in plastic store bags, but what would be the best thing to wrap over that? Some of the books are larger hardcovers.

I use Paypal postage (https://www.paypal.com/shipnow).  If the book weighs less than 7 oz the cheapest way to send it is first class.  Over 7 oz the cheapest way is Media Mail.  If you use Paypal postage, it automatically includes delivery confirmation (.19 cents), and you will be able to track the package through your Paypal account. 

I put my books in dollar store quart zip lock baggies (25 for $1.00).  Make sure to get the 7 x 8" size since the second number is the height and you need the whole 8" for the paperback.  The reason why I use these zip lock baggies is that the person receiving the book can then re-use the baggie to send books to others.  I like to recycle when possible. 

After the baggie I wrap in the PBS wrapper for 1 book making sure to tape well.  For more than one book I use boxes I have saved from book shipments I have received.  If you put the book in a manilla envelope, try to wrap the envelope tightly around the book and tape well.  I received a book once that was put in a manilla envelope and the end of the book blew a hole in the envelope.  That won't happen if you wrap the book tightly in the envelope.  The best thing you can do to protect a book (other than wrapping in plastic) is to TAPE WELL!  I know it's kind of a pain to the recipient to receive a mummified book, but I know I would rather have to cut the book out of the wrapper than to receive a damaged or wet book.

Finally, make sure you tape over the address to make sure the post office can read it when it's time for delivery.

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 1:08 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,182
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Welcome!

One thing I'd like to point out, which has nothing to do with packaging a book but is still relevent for sending, is that if you use preprinted postage with delivery confirmation from anyone other than PBS, it's not guaranteed.

In other words, you can track the book but that's it. If a book you send out goes lost you'll lose your credit. With PBS delivery confirmation (DC) you keep your credit whether the book goes lost or not.

Some swear by PBS DC,  some don't ever use it.  Just something to be aware of.

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 7:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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well i looked at your wishlist and I have never heard of most of the books on there.   Most of the books say how many have moved in the week if its a high number you migh get it soon.  Hoerver I've figured out that it if says NA or less than 3 and your high on the wishlist you better be ready to wait.  Some of the older books dont get posted a lot and you have to wait just as long as you would have for a new book.  Sorry if that dissapoints you but its true