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Topic: Please, please, PLEASE!

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Subject: Please, please, PLEASE!
Date Posted: 9/8/2008 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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When sending oversized, trade paperbacks PLEASE don't try to use the two sheets of copy paper label as the only wrapping. I received a book today that I will be unable to repost. The single sheet of paper that was used to wrap the end of the book completely tore away and I received a book that was only halfway wrapped. The book is very soiled on that end. I am shocked that it was even delivered. I am disappointed. :(
Date Posted: 9/8/2008 9:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I hope you marked it RWP and asked for your credit back.  Poor packaging is a good reason to ask for your credit back.

Date Posted: 9/8/2008 10:30 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2008
Posts: 54
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I've received several books that were inadequately wrapped. I make sure to politely let the sender know that the wrapping was torn/loose when it was received and what I think the problem was (thin paper heavy book, not enough tape, wrong tape, etc). If we don't tell the senders how the book looked when it arrived, they won't know that it didn't arrive in perfect shape.
Date Posted: 9/8/2008 10:42 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I did mark it RWP but I think I chose the "Damaged by PO" option. I probably shouldn't have but there you have it. If the book had been properly packaged, it probably wouldn't have been mangled. I did send a message to PBS letting them know of the problem. I'm out the credit.
Date Posted: 9/8/2008 11:16 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I always let the sender know vwhat shape the book is in when I receive it both good and bad.  I want to know so that I can change my packaging if it isn't working.  Too many people have unfounded trust in their own packaging abilities and how the USPS will treat it.  If we don't tell them - they can't learn to do better.

Ruth

Date Posted: 9/8/2008 11:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2006
Posts: 322
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I had a similar situation last week... I received a trade paperback where the person only used the two sheets of paper and TAPED the paper directly onto the book.  I was very lucky that I was able to get it unwrapped without ripping the cover!

Date Posted: 9/9/2008 8:02 AM ET
Member Since: 11/26/2005
Posts: 84
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That also happened to me last week, but I did not say anything about it.  The entire edge was torn off. But, luckily the book was not torn up or damaged.   I just let it go.  I hate to complain too much as some people get very testy, and I only ask for a credit back if it is a really bad problem.  Luckily that has only happened once. :)  Susie

niffir - ,
Date Posted: 9/9/2008 12:04 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 495
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Part of the problem is that PBS tells people to wrap their books that way and even provides the 2 printed pages in which to wrap the book.  I can't really blame a person for thinking that the wrappings will be sufficient when the site itself tells them to wrap them like that.  But I do let people know when their wrappings didn't hold up well in transit.  I figure that letting them know what went wrong will help them improve their wrapping techniques.

Date Posted: 9/9/2008 12:41 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,696
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I've even gotten large hardcovers wrapped in just the two PBS sheets. They very rarely arrive with the wrappers intact. I wish the help file on wrapping would state that the standard PBS wrapper is recommended for mass market paperbacks only...

Date Posted: 9/9/2008 1:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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You can copy and paste the Help Center info to them and ask for the credit back if the wrapping is the reason the book was damaged by the PO.  Not sure how PBS could make it clearer. IF someone actually bothered to read the Help Center, its right there. Actually in two different places.

When I get a book wrapped well, I let them know. When I get a book wrapped poorly but still undamaged, I politely let them know that their wrapping has issues like "Thank you for the great book. I can't wait to read it. Thank goodness it made it here with only minor damage because the wrapping was torn off of the book and it was exposed in several places. To be on the safe side on heavier books, you may want to wrap in plastic/use a heavier paper or envelope/use more(better) tape on the edges/(fix whatever it was that the problem was) because the USPS can be really hard on Media Mail." Offer polite suggestions, but leave the blame on the USPS.

(1)How to wrap a Book

You are not required to use the PBS wrapper.  You can use alternate packaging for any shipment (heavier/larger and multiple-book shipments may require this), using the 1-page PBS Label (the far right layout choice on the Wrapper Settings page) as an address label. You can also hand-write the address on your package. 

Here are the options for how to wrap a book so that it is carried safely to its destination, and arrives in the same condition as it was when it left you!

The 2-page PBS Wrapper:

  • Works well for single paperbacks, or even two small books packaged together
  • See Using the PBS Wrapper: a tutorial for instructions, with photos, on how to use the 2-page PBS Wrapper to wrap a book. 
  • If you have a larger or heavy book, or a multiple-book shipment to send, the 2-page PBS Wrapper alone will not provide sturdy enough packaging on its own to protect your book(s) en route.  You will need to use alternate packaging methods.

(2)Wrapping Larger/Multiple Book Shipments

The 2-page PBS wrapper works well for single paperbacks, or even two small books packaged together, but if you have a larger or heavy book, or a multiple-book shipment to send, the 2-page PBS Wrapper alone will not provide sturdy enough packaging on its own to protect your book(s) en route.  You will need to use alternate packaging methods.  You can use the 1-page PBS Label (the choice on the far right on the Wrapper Settings page) as an address label.

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
  • Bubble or padded mailer
  • Tyvek or similar large envelope
    • tape it down tightly around the book(s) to prevent "flaps" that can get caught in postal machinery
    • taping tightly around the book(s) also prevents the contents from sliding around inside
  • Box
    • prevent your books from sliding around inside with crumpled paper (NOT newspaper--the ink can mark the books!) or (clean) plastic shopping bags, balled up.
  • Poor choices for alternate packaging materials:
    • Giftwrapping paper (too thin)
    • Newspaper (can smudge ink onto the books)
    • Priority mail envelope (this is illegal to use for MediaMail, even if you are reusing it, and even if you turn it inside out!)
      • if you do this, and the package is inspected, it will arrive postage-due at the requestor's, or be returned postage-due to you (the additional postage required will be the difference between postage paid and Priority Mail rate)

 

The aim is to have a sturdy package that will not permit the books to slide around inside, and which will not have loose flaps to get caught in postal machinery. It can take some experimentation to find the best method for you.