Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Please - scotch tape will not hold up!

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Please - scotch tape will not hold up!
Date Posted: 1/17/2009 7:55 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2007
Posts: 357
Back To Top

I work in a contract postal unit.  I see PBS books shipped a lot (that's how I first learned about this site).  Yesterday when I was helping to load the bins into the postal truck, I saw a PBS label on top of the bin.  One of my co-workers must have taken this.  It looked like a trade paperback, wrapped in brown paper with the PBS label taped to the front.  WITH SCOTCH TAPE.  I picked it up and the label had four pieces of tape holding it to the wrapper, not even completely taped from side to side.  And I turned it over and the brown paper was also closed WITH SCOTCH TAPE!  argggggg!!!! It was too late for me to fix it because it was being picked up.  If I had waited on this person, I would have educated them that scotch tape is NOT appropriate to hold that wrapper together on the journey the book is taking..... or if I had seen it earlier, I would have taken shipping tape and covered it well.


Please..... do not use scotch tape when shipping books!  I only hope this book makes it to the receiver intact.

Date Posted: 1/17/2009 11:06 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,213
Back To Top

Now thats service above and beyond Terri :)

I agree on the scotch tape. I am amazed when I get a package with it that it actually held up long enough to get to me.

Last Edited on: 1/17/09 11:06 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/17/2009 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,649
Back To Top

I only use scotch tape to hold the edges together so I can tape the seams firmly with packing tape.  I can't believe people would consider just scotch tape sufficient to hold a wrapper on a book.

Date Posted: 1/17/2009 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
Posts: 1,619
Back To Top

Why would anyone use scotch tape.  You can get a roll of clear packing tape at the dollar store.  I sure hope that book wasn't on it's way to me!  LOL

Subject: ran out of mailing tape issue
Date Posted: 1/17/2009 2:56 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 63
Back To Top

The last paperback I mailed out received tape we use at the hospital. It's gridded, sticky, made by 3M, & can take adhesive remover to get completely off in some instances. I ran out of clear mailing tape, it was 4:12pm Friday afternoon, & I wanted to get the package off before PO closing as I had to buy stamp & DC.

I used double coverage on the ends, so I'm praying it makes it.


Date Posted: 1/17/2009 8:15 PM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2008
Posts: 123
Back To Top

Even masking tape seems to make the journey fine, I don't know why you would just use scotch tape.

Date Posted: 1/17/2009 11:49 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 2,027
Back To Top

When I was at the post office today, they refused a box that was taped together with scotch tape.

Date Posted: 1/18/2009 12:22 AM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
Back To Top

Thanks for the great reminder, Terri. I once received a book with a duct taped wrapper. And a note inside apologizing since that was all they had in the house. It made me happy that they went all the way to the tool box instead of the gift wrapping box to make sure the book arrived in a wrapper that was secure.

Date Posted: 1/18/2009 4:59 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
Back To Top

Using any tape that will stick throughout the USPS journey is okay with me as long as it isn't stuck to the book itself!  Scotch tape is not the tape to use for this.  I'd rather wait a day until the sender can get the packing tape.


Date Posted: 1/18/2009 8:00 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2007
Posts: 357
Back To Top

Now thats service above and beyond Terri :)

My boss does not agree with that because it costs us money.  Here is the secret of contract postal units for those of you who don't know what that is - it is basically "outsourcing" by the post office.  Our town has expanded and grown by leaps and bounds in the last ten years, and our post office is extremely busy.  When our owner built our facility, he contracted with the post office to run a CPU.  So the post office doesn't have to build a facility, maintain it or pay for utilities, and most important they don't have to hire more postal employees.  We work for barely above minimum wage.  And because we are extremely busy, we have to have three people on staff all the time because we also have our main business to run.  The post office pays the owner 10% on all stamp and meter sales.  That's it.  So we wait on you, put a $2.23 meter stamp on your book, and our owner gets a whopping 22cents for that transaction.  22 cents.  Now, if we have to tape up your book, it comes dangerously close to costing us money.   We have to buy stamps from the post office and put our money into the postage meter.  We sell all of that at the same cost as the post office and at the end of the month, the post office gives us 10% on what we've sold.  So you can see that it is a huge initial outlay of money - thousands of dollars.  And after labor costs, it's really not much of a profit.

The only supplies we get free from the post office are the same things you get free from them - forms, priority boxes and labels, priority tape.  And you all know the story about priority supplies - they must be used with priority mail only.  So we have our own inventory of boxes, envelopes, and tape for sale.  And you won't believe how indignant people get when they find they have to *gasp* pay for their non-priority mailing supplies!  This time of year is particularly stressful because of xmas returns.  Those things people ordered online or through the mail and they are returning.  They'll come in with their postage paid label and the box open, and expect us to tape the box up and tape the label to the box and ship it - for nothing.  Because we get zero for pre-paid postage.  So that is costing us money to tape up the box and the label...... and they get positively livid when we charge them $1 for the tape.   So we suggest they buy a roll of tape for $2.89 and take the rest of it home with them, and sometimes they will or sometimes they'll just cough up the dollar, but they'll always complain.  And after awhile, it just gets really old and it's no fun.  You have no idea how we cringe when someone walks in the door with an untaped box because 99% of the time it means conflict.  That includes printed on-line postage.  We have to take it...... but darnit, have the box and label taped before you drop it off.  We get zero for that.  Zero.  That money goes to the regular post office in our zip code, not us.  And if we have to tape it up for you, it costs us money. 

So my manager will whine if we are taping things for free..... and rightly so.  But if she's not around, sometimes I'll add extra if I don't think it's taped well enough, especially for books which are near and dear to my heart.    But I will always tell people if they've done a lousy tape job and give them the option of a "do over".  I just can't always do it for them....

And here's a secret - your attitude will get a little more from anyone working behind a counter.  There are some people that won't get a thing beyond what I have to do for them because they are condescending or disrespectul or rude, and there are others that I will go above and beyond  because they aren't......   But honestly, I think that is true in any kind of business.

Last Edited on: 1/18/09 8:17 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/18/2009 8:27 AM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
Posts: 1,619
Back To Top

I once received a book with a duct taped wrapper.

I've had a couple of those and one last week taped with blue painters tape.  Anything is better than scotch tape!

Date Posted: 1/18/2009 8:39 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2007
Posts: 357
Back To Top

I've had a couple of those and one last week taped with blue painters tape

NOOOOOOOOO!!  Painters tape is made for "easy release".  In other words, you put it on a painted wall and it comes off easily without taking the paint or finish with it!  That is almost even worse than scotch tape.  Unless you have mummified the package with it, and even then you run the risk of it coming off.

Duct tape isn't a bad choice, although not recommended.  The safest bet is 2 inch shipping tape of any kind, even masking tape which will usually hold up but isn't preferred.