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Topic: packaging

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Subject: packaging
Date Posted: 5/27/2014 11:40 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2014
Posts: 1
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Ok dumb Q. 

How do most people package their books on here? Are they using flat rate boxes or what? I'm trying to eliminate the need to purchase packaging, here. 


Date Posted: 5/27/2014 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,604
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You can use the regular label wrapper, which is two sheets of paper for most regular paperbacks. You can use bubble wrappers, Manila envelopes, and various other types of paper (and plastic) with well taped edges and corners. Once you've been swapping for a while you will be able to build up a supply of packages to reuse from books you receive. I have also developed a habit of saving certain types of plastic and paper to use for wrapping and have quite a collection to fit any possible book I need to mail. As long as there are no dangerous substances described on the label or previous bar codes, or if you can obscure these with a marker or cover with a label, you can reuse just about any type of wrapper. 

You do not want to use flat rate boxes because most books can be sent media mail, which is much less expensive. You cannot use the flat rate packaging, in any way or form, for anything except flat rate/priority mailing; the PO will collect postage due if this packaging is misused.

Scott (scalta) - ,
Date Posted: 5/27/2014 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2010
Posts: 723
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Here is a tutorial:


Below the tutorial are a number of other links for other packaging ideas.

Date Posted: 5/27/2014 5:21 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,895
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I use bubble mailers to mail my books. Sometimes I receive books that way too so can use those to mail out books.

Date Posted: 5/27/2014 8:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2011
Posts: 708
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It completely depends on the book and how much time I have. I prefer bubble mailers. I re-use if possible, otherwise I get them 2/$1 at the dollar tree. (For hardback books, I always use an envelope!)

For paperbacks, I will either use printer paper or I purchased a roll of mailing paper from dollar tree (It is a roll like wrapping paper, but it is brown, like a paper bag).   I will wrap it twice in that.

Date Posted: 5/28/2014 12:49 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome to PBS Jessica!  Not a dumb question...but flat rate is much too expensive, there are cheaper options that can travel Media Mail (much cheaper than flat rate).

For standard paperback/pocketbook size, I just use the standard two page PBS label/mailer and plastic underwrap (whatever I find around the house to re-use).  For larger tradesize or hardcover, I reuse bubble mailers and boxes.  Just remember to use a good amount of packing tape (not scotch).  I purchased a few at discount stores until I had received enough books to reuse the incoming padded/bubble envelopes.

If you watch the tutorials and still have wrapping questions, don't hesitate to ask!


Last Edited on: 5/28/14 12:51 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Subject: packing
Date Posted: 6/16/2014 7:05 AM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2009
Posts: 2
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I know a lot of us on here aren't rich so I thought I would give a few things I've used to mail books.

I go to the dollar tree and get those manilla envelopes. most of the time you get two to four in a package. a somelot cheaper than the ones for sale at the post office.

I also can get a roll of brown packing paper. the rolls of brown paper have quit a bit on them. they could last you quit a while.I then use a plastic shopping bag to wrap the book to help it not getting the damaged.

I get the clear packing tape from there also.  It's also helpful to get a sharpie to use if you can't print a label and have to hand write the address. I would also recommend using some of the clear packing to cover the address so that it doesn't get messed up and becomes unreadable. this can help keep packages from getting lost in the mail. I sometimes also write the address on a sheet of paper and put it inside the package. you never know if the wrapper gets torn during shipping.

If you don't have one of these stores near you, trying looking at any of the discount stores in your area. the packing envelopes at the post office are expensive. 

 Just trying to help save you guys some money on shipping supplies.  

Hope can this help everyone. kim 

Date Posted: 6/27/2014 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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These is from my post for my new members:


Be sure to mark books mailed.  This is a very important step.  If you do not click the button that you mailed a book, you risk not receiving your credit.

About wrapping books

I actually use the printed two page mailer for the small paperback books.
For small PBs: I will cut up a clean plastic bag to go around the book, tape the plastic with scotch tape, wrap the two page wrapper, tape that well with packing tape, then tape over the address (as I have an inkjet printer).

For larger books (IE trade sized) I use the one page mailer and sturdy paper. (I personally use old maps as I have a pile of them.) Again, plastic. Again, packing tape. Again, over the label.

I generally use an old bubble mailer for hardbacks. The corners always seem to get damaged on hardbacks. I will fold the mailer tight around the book so there is no wiggle room.

I think the most important thing to say is the never dos.

Never use press and seal plastic as it leaves the book gummy.

Never re use the priority mail free mailing material. This may cause the book to arrive postage due.

Never use scotch tape on the outside. I do use scotch tape to hold the plastic closed. But scotch tape comes off if there is any moisture. So I make sure to use packing tape on the outside.

Never tape directly to the book cover.

Never leave a book loose in an envelope. The sorting machines rip open loose envelopes all the time. Fold the edges down snug and tape them. Envelopes work fine. Just not loose flapping corners.

There are many different ways to wrap. Economically, it is what you have available. I'd recommend spending money on good packing tape rather than any other supplies. But then I have the space to save materials to use.