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Topic: To the people that use a pound of tape to wrap their book....

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Subject: To the people that use a pound of tape to wrap their book....
Date Posted: 4/2/2008 2:57 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 25
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Please, please lighten up a little with the tape!!

I got a book today and this is the third one in a row that I got that was literally wrapped completely with packaging tape. I swear I thought I was going to damage the book trying to get it out!

Ok, sorry for the vent - I just had to get that out!

Date Posted: 4/2/2008 2:59 PM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2008
Posts: 1,658
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I use a lot of tape when I wrap books, but only because I got a book once that didn't have a lot of tape and it was ripped open and got damaged.

Date Posted: 4/2/2008 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 25
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I guess I can understand that but I feel like I'm performing surgery to get the book out. I actually had to use an exacto knife today to get this one open because the scissors were too risky.

I know everyone has their own methods but I buy 8.5 x 11 brown envelopes at our drug store that are 25 for $2.50, put my book in a generic ziploc bag, put it in the envelope and then print my label and tape it on the top. I've never had a problem with my mailperson taking them.

Date Posted: 4/2/2008 3:34 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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I always use an exacto knife to get into packages. I don't know how you get into any package without one. I'm sorry, but I'd so much rather use an exacto than have the book get torn in the machinery. I've had so many books narrowly escape damage, that I just don't mind the total taping at all. I don't do that, but DON"T think poorly of those that do. If you've ever lost a credit because someone harped that you didn't wrap it well enough, you'd probably mummify them with tape too :)

Date Posted: 4/2/2008 3:42 PM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2007
Posts: 63
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I'm one of those tape people.  I've had some books get bumped around in the mail, so their corners are all mashed and icky, and I hate that!  Especially when I'm sending out a book that's in new condition, I want it to get there looking as good as new.  So I always tape the corners really well.

I've found that the easiest way to open book packages is to use a box cutter - I have a little one that fits right on my keychain.  If the book is wrapped with a PBS wrapper, feel for the non-spine side and gently slide the blade up the side.  As long as you're careful, the blade slips between the pages and there's never any damage.  It also works on books in envelopes, much faster and easier than scissors.


Date Posted: 4/2/2008 3:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 965
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Yep I "mummify" (lol) my packages too but it's better to be safe than sorry. I've received way to many ripped packages to take any unncessary chances. I would think only those Tyvek envelopes wouldn't need extra tape/wrapping although I can't be sure since I haven't witnessed firsthand what kind of "torture" books receive in the PO.

Subject: tons of tape
Date Posted: 4/2/2008 3:45 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2008
Posts: 913
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Somewhere on the site I read to completely tape the ends and edges, so I wrap first in plastic, then brown paper, then tape the ends and edges which almost covers the whole book.  I got one from someone wrapped in a brown grocery bag, that was torn open on one whole edge.

Date Posted: 4/2/2008 4:04 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2007
Posts: 453
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I've gotten two books mailed in the brown envelopes with no other tape than over the seal.  Both were ripped 1/2 open and only by luck was the books still there.  I would consider reinforcing the edges with tape if you keep using the brown envelopes!

What do they do with these books at the post office...play football??????


Date Posted: 4/2/2008 4:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2007
Posts: 563
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 My thoughts on wrapping books for shipment:

All wrapping should be tight on packages. 

If it is loose, it will get caught in postal machinery.

Please pre-wrap in plastic,  as not everyone has a PO box,  or indoor mail receptacle.

And please do not use scotch tape!

Several that I have received in the last few weeks were loose inside manila, plastic, Tyvek, and bubble envelopes.

I have even received hardbacks in nothing but the PBS wrapper.

Many arrived on the verge of coming out of wrapper, and with some damage to the corners.

Most are not even wrapped in plastic, but thank goodness, no damage from weather yet.

I would much rather have to work a little harder to open a well wrapped book, than have the

disappointment of a lost or badly damaged copy of something I really wanted.


95% of what I mail out are hardback books.

So when I mail out any book it is wrapped in plastic.

I use 1 or 2 shopping bags from Wal-mart or wherever.

And, I turn the book on it edge and tape all around it.

Then I put it into a salvaged wrapper that some of my books came in, I form fit it and tape it down tight, all around the edges.

Sometimes at local stores like Dollar Tree, I buy a 3pk of small white gift boxes, (and still wrap the book in plastic) and use the shopping bags as filler, inside the ends and sides, before taping all around the perimeter of package.

I have had several compliments from receivers about the great conditon of the hardbacks when they got them.

This is not expensive, even with the extra padding, the usual hardback postage is $2.47. (at least until the next rate increase).

And my shipping supplies are minimal. I reuse what I have and buy what I need from $ type stores.

Just think of books you have received and any problems that you saw. 

If you do that, you can think of inexpensive ways to prevent damage in what you send out.


When I receive a book that is poorly wrapped, I note this in the comment section "for the   record."

And in the box that is intended for the sender,

I always thank them for sending me a book, and politely tell them about the condition of the wrapping when it was received. Most pm me back to say thanks, and that they will try something different next time.

Last Edited on: 4/2/08 4:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/2/2008 4:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2006
Posts: 387
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I'd rather use what some might consider too much tape than have the book damaged in transit.

Date Posted: 4/2/2008 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,360
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I'd rather too much than too little.

That doesn't mean that too much is optimal. I *have* damaged books that were too covered in tape too tight.

People would be much better off putting in a layer of thin bubble wrap than the extra three layers (and I've seen it) of tape.   TAPE IS NOT PADDING.    If you are that worried about the postal machine, please wrap it in bubble wrap then in paper then tape it shut.  Even if you then tape it everywhere it will be easier to open because there will be space between the tape and the book.

Yes, it's better to use too much than too little. But it's not optimal to make your package neigh impossible to get in safely either.

Date Posted: 4/2/2008 4:42 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 345
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I'd rather use what some might consider too much tape than have the book damaged in transit.


I'm with you.  I don't know if I "over tape" or not -- I don't think so.  But I haven't had anyone tell me the book didn't make it in good shape, either.  Actually, I hear from very few people, but that's another story. 


I received what looked like a brand new book a couple of weeks ago and tore the DJ all to shreds trying to get it out of the package.  I was heartsick, but it wasn't the sender's fault -- it was mine.  I got in a hurry and wasn't paying attention. 


For every person who complains about too much tape, there are plenty who complain about books arriving in poor condition because the person who packaged them didn't care what happened to them en route.  It does take longer to extract them, but you've already waited, probably, a couple of weeks for the book to arrive. 


On the other hand, people can use less tape (or no tape), and then it only takes a second to toss the book in the trash after it's been ruined by who knows what.  Much quicker. 

Date Posted: 4/2/2008 4:50 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 25
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Well, based on the responses my complaint is not exactly justified to you all but I can't help it - it annoys me.

Of course I don't want a book to come damaged but I send books not bound in lots of tape and I've yet to have a complaint of receiving a book in poor packaging.

I guess my point is - is that there are other ways to send books besides the taping the crap out of them. I'd hate it if my book that was taped up like that went to an elderly or disabled person that had to try to cut it open with an exacto or box cutter as to not damage the book.

I guess I try to make the receiver happy in any way I can. I want them to receive a book in the best condition AND have no trouble opening it.

But thank you for your comments it is always nice to see the other side...

Date Posted: 4/2/2008 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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you could always make it a RC to not use a lot of tape.  however you run the risk of being declined

Date Posted: 4/2/2008 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2008
Posts: 79
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I read on here to use a seam ripper (like the kind used in sewing).  It was a great suggestion and that's now what I do!

Date Posted: 4/2/2008 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,213
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I tape a lot, but always leave an area to get into the book and mark it. I also wrap in plastic first so it protects the book a little more when people are getting into it.

I would suggest NOT using those orange/brown mailing envelopes with clasps on books unless you then wrap it all in tape. The only time that any books in those things survived getting to me is when they were either a) in heavy, heavy duty plastic under it so that when the envelope was ripped up, the plastic protected the book (some still were damaged) or b)so taped on the outside of the envelope that the envelope couldn't rip.

Date Posted: 4/2/2008 5:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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Whenever I'm using just the PBS wrapper, it'll arrive with one layer of tape all around. Sorry, but it's just printer paper on that book! I try not to put multiple layers on the seams, so that if someone starts along the folded end, it can easily be opened along that flap.

But maybe I should consider going down to 1/2 lb. of tape in the future... :)

Edited because I can't spell after a margarita or two! :)

Last Edited on: 4/2/08 5:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 4/2/2008 5:45 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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Just weighing in:  I'm also one who very much overtapes on the theory that it's better safe than sorry.  I know the hazards of trying to open overtaped packages and I've slightly damaged a couple of books when I tried to get into those packages in a hurry. 

Now, I just take my time opening them and that works fine. 

I've had too many books arrive to me damaged and/or with damaged packaging and I don't want my sendouts to arrive to someone else that way, or go missing because they fell out of the packaging.  Besides, I've gotten compliments on what a fine wrapping job, many "well-wrapped" compliments, and I like those!!

Date Posted: 4/2/2008 6:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 5,297
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I got two books from the same sender (one package) that was wrapped in FOUR layers of packaging, each layer completely wrapped in taps. THEN each book was wrapped in saran wrap and then saran wrapped together! I literally took me 20 minutes to open the package! Those books would have survived the Great Flood for 40 days!

Date Posted: 4/2/2008 6:11 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2008
Posts: 4,470
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Leslie S. wrote: "You could always make it a RC to not use a lot of tape.  however you run the risk of being declined"  

Yes, this is when I wish we had eBay's Bidder Block feature. I pride myself on acquiring new or like new used books to trade out, whenever possible. I want the books to arrive that way, so the recipient actually sees that it is in that condition.  If the books get trashed, it's by choice of the new owner, not by the P.O.

It actually takes ME extra time & expense to wrap & mail this way when I could simply throw it in a loose envelope. Instead, I use padded mailers. Then I overwrap the corners & ends very tightly and if they are hardbacks, I will even insert extra cushioning to the ends. However, I do try to leave a space free of tape in the center, so someone can insert scissors or a box cutter to cut open the packaging.

My next batch of books going out are all Waitlisted items. Please do reject one of my books if you get the submission so it will go to the next person who might actually be grateful someone cares that they get a book in great condition.  

Date Posted: 4/2/2008 6:17 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2008
Posts: 341
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I am an over taper. I don't want to take the risk of not getting my Credit. I know that mail isn't treated very kindly when it is being delivered! I would suggest that you make an RC about this so that you don't recieve books like that if you don't want them to have so much tape. I would rather have more tape than not enough and get damaged books!....

Date Posted: 4/2/2008 6:24 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,649
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I'm with the firmly tape that book up crowd.

I put the wrapper (or brown paper) around the book (wrapped in plastic wrap first) and use scotch tape to stick it together.  Packing tape over the long seam them.  Ends get folded in and I use 2 pieces of tape on each end to go from the front of the book to the back of the book, sealing each end well.  One piece across the back so it goes over the 2 sides of the book without any tape on them (to prevent ripping) and then a piece over the address on the front of the book so it doesn't smear.

I'm always careful opening up books.  I'd rather spend 20 minutes unwrapping a book in great condition than getting one all beat up because it wasn't wrapped well.

Date Posted: 4/2/2008 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2008
Posts: 389
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And I have received books in the Tyvek wrappers that were ripped open.  So that's no guarantee.  That book was also wrapped in bubble wrap, so it stayed in the wrapper long enough to get to my mailbox.

I'm trying a double thickness of freezer paper with quite a bit of tape on the theory that the waxed side (which faces inward)  will help protect against humidity/wetness. 

Good luck, everyone!

Last Edited on: 4/2/08 7:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/2/2008 7:39 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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Please tape mine, I would rather spend 20 minutes to open a book than 5 minutes on here reporting that it is not readable or repostable because someone couldnt spend a little extra time making sure the package survives the PO machines!

I also PM to say "Thank you".

Date Posted: 4/2/2008 7:59 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 25
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I also PM every time to say thank you - even when I'm annoyed with the taping. Just because their packaging bothers me doesn't mean I'm going to be rude to them.

And no I am not going to do an RC that says "if you use a lot of tape I don't want it". Come on - that's just silly!

Once again to reiterate - there are different ways to send a book. Why does it have to be wrapped in a ton of tape? Maybe it is easier for you but not the receiver. Do the receivers a favor and come up with a better way to send it that protects the book and doesn't require 20 minutes and a sharp tool to open it. I don't package mine that way and I haven't had a problem. If I do at some point then I will reevaluate my packaging method but until them I am considerate of the receivers time and health - lord knows I wouldn't want someone to accidentally cut themselves prying open my book.