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Topic: Probably a really dumb question but......

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Subject: Probably a really dumb question but......
Date Posted: 1/23/2010 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2010
Posts: 17
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.....do you guys really mail the books just wrapped the way PBS recommends?  I'm brand new to this site, but I've been swapping (seeds, books, CDs, DVDs, etc.) on other sites for years and when I was getting my books ready to go this morning I just could not bring myself to mail them in something that seemed so, well.....flimsy.  Maybe I am just being overly cautious....?

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 2:14 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2007
Posts: 2,090
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Last Edited on: 3/4/10 9:45 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 1/23/2010 2:16 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
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If it's a regular sized paperback, yes, I wrap the way the site recommends. Two days ago I mailed two paperbacks together in two sheets of paper.

I do wrap the books in plastic (old shopping bags). Also, for larger hardbacks I wrap in heavier paper.

I've mailed 77 books and never had a RWAP.

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 2:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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I use the envelopes for Large Cards that you can pick up most stores, and run about 10 cents each. trim the sides off and they open up to just about the perfect size for most MMPB. Otherwise I use brown paper or cut down a manilla folder so it fits snug.

I don't trust printer paper. It's just not quite heavy enough for me.

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 2:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,220
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I get tons of MMP books wrapped in the basic PBS wrapper that get here fine. The key is a good tape job with packing tape.

 I don't personally mail out in just the wrapper. I will mail MMP in the wrapper with a plastic underlay (usually a recycled airpak), I wrap larger books or a couple of MMP in plastic and then a couple layers of brown Postal Paper or I recycle the manila envelope. Anything more goes into plasitc and then a box.

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 2:21 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2008
Posts: 370
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I did when I first started.  After awhile, I switched to using bubble mailers.  But, sometimes, I just use the printer paper.  Like today. 

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 2:27 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2010
Posts: 17
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Thanks for the input!  I'd always shipped my stuff out in bubblemailers (which I recycle from/for other swaps) or in heavy brown paper. 

Glad to know I am not being overly paranoid after all.  :)

Last Edited on: 1/23/10 2:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/23/2010 2:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I'll send smaller mmps with just the wrapper. Once you start receiving books you'll end up with a supply of reuseable bubble mailers.  

Periodically I'll buy a box of those document type envelopes at Staples.  You know where they come to hold legal sized papers and have a stick down flap.  I find most mmps and tradesize will fit in them sideways.  If you buy a big box they only cost about .15/each.  THen I fold it over and tape up really well. Do NOT let the book just float around in there. 

The wrapper is fine if you tape it up well.  You do not have to mummify it with tape. I hate it when people do that and I've damaged 3 books now.  I use scotch tape and wrap it up like a present.  Then I use mailing tape on the seems, edges and corners. 

The only time I had a book get damaged enroute to me with the PBS wrapper-is recently when someone taped the wrapper to the book itself and then only used a few pieces of scotch tape.  It was a tradesize book and I don't trust the wrapper for them even though you can get them to cover one. 

For hardcovers-I use a bubble mailer or a small box.  Which is part of the reason why I don't post too many hardcovers-they're a pain to wrap if you don't have a bubble mailer handy and I'm too cheap to buy new bubble mailers on a regular basis. 

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 3:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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When I first started here, I read the wrapping guidelines & thought "Printer paper?  No way":P  I had a big roll of plastic coated freezer paper I wasn't using for anything else, so I started using it as an underwrap for the PBS wrapper.  When I ran out of that, I used Saran Wrap, and then finally went to generic food & bread bags from the dollar store, & started printing my wrappers on cardstock.  I've recently decided not to buy more "new plastic" than I absolutely need, so when the bags I have left run out, I'll go to the grocery bags I have on hand (I bought cloth shopping bags & have stopped bringing these home), & then whatever plastic packaging I get from household products I buy, plus still using the cardstock wrappers, which I honestly think protects single books from a lot of the hazards of media mail.

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 3:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2010
Posts: 400
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I'm new here also; so I have wondered what was the best way to send them.  Looked at the printer and though "forget it, no way"  But that is me, what I do I don't expect others to do.

Right now, I am wrapping in heavy brown paper and taping up good the corners.  I put the book(s) in a ziplock bag, with the address printed on a slip of paper case the wrapper gets torn off.  So far the cost is averaging out to $2.24, a couple at $2.60 ( such as the thick book, Covert by J.R. Ward, 500 pages or more). 

Maybe I won't be so particular after being here for a year, who knows, but for right now, that is how I am doing it.  The ziplock bag, or any type of bag will protect the book in case it hits wet weather.  Nothing worse than finding your book has been soaked by rain, snow or mud.  

It could be anything plastic, a Wallyworld bag, air bags that come with orders in the mail, I'I'm not particular,  I'd take a book wrapped in a bread bag, just turn it inside out, I don't want crumbs on it :) .   

I read here not to use press and seal, it sticks to the book, I wonder if you could put a paper towel around it and then wrap it with the press and seal? 

hope that helps, I am still learning lots as I read the forums.


Tina D. (tinad) - ,
Date Posted: 1/23/2010 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2009
Posts: 350
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If I am mailing out one regular sized paperback, I always use the PBS wrapping (I first wrap the book in either a plastic grocery bag or regular saran wrap and then wrap printer paper around that and then wrap it again with the one with the address printed on it.)  The trick is to make sure everything is wrapped tightly and then taped (with packing tape) really well.

I've received the majority of my books like this with absolutely no problems and have not had any problems with the ones I've sent out.  More than one book or bigger ones, I either recycled bubble envelopes I've received books in or I will take a manila envelope, open until it is flat and use that to wrap around the book(s). 



Date Posted: 1/23/2010 4:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2006
Posts: 35,125
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I use these white poly mailers.  They're lightweight, easy to use, are offered in different sizes, and are tear & water resistant.  I really like 'em.

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 4:36 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,442
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regarding the "two paper wrapping technique" my rule of thumb is:  if the book fits within the 8.5x11" pages and is not exposed on any part of it, I use this method.  I always secure the ends with mailing tape.  Have never had a problem.

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 4:53 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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.....do you guys really mail the books just wrapped the way PBS recommends?

I mail books wrapped the way they recommend including making sure the book is wrapped in plastic or is in a zip lock baggie to protect the book from the elements.  Wrapping multiple books in plastic has the added benefit of securing the books together in case the outside wrapper gets ripped, so that the books don't tumble out of the package.

I also just recently purchased a quantity of poly envelopes on E-bay and I use them to ship my books unless there are so many I have to ship in a box.  I use plastic, even when packing in a box, because if the box gets wet, the contents will be subjected to moisture.

I also use Paypal shipping.  I generally ship my books the same day I get the request since all I need to do is to print out PayPal postage (https://www.paypal.com/shipnow), wrap the package and put it in my mailbox for the carrier to pick up.  If the package is too big, I park in the 15 minute parking at the PO and drop the box in their drop box.

The reason why I love using PayPal shipping is that I can track the package from the link on my PayPal account and I can send the recipient the tracking number when I ship.  People seem to really like getting a tracking number on their package.

mistie -
Date Posted: 1/23/2010 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,024
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I have received many books mailed in the "pbs two sheets of paper" and never had any problems. Personally, I like to wrap any book I send in plastic first - and then wrap. I have yet to purchase any packaging to mail pbs books in - I have always been able to use recycled packaging - which is my personal preference.

The only time I have received books that I could say appear to have been damaged in any way in transit are books that are loose in bubble envelopes, with too much room to "move" and get somewhat battered in transit.

Last Edited on: 1/23/10 5:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/23/2010 5:19 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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The problem books I've had have been loose in manilla envelopes, though amazingly enough most of the books make it even when the sides tear open, as they invariably do.  For mass market paperbacks, the pbs wrapper works just fine. I do add a layer of plastic and most people who use the wrapper to mail to me seem to as well.

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2008
Posts: 9,884
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Sometimes.  It depends on the size of the book.  I bought a book of cardstock from Martha Stewart's line.  The book cost about $5.00 at Walmart and covers most of the books perfectly.  For the bigger books, I use two and have yet to have a book RWAP.

Last Edited on: 1/23/10 5:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/23/2010 6:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,926
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I sent my second book out that way (fhe first was a hardcover) but wasn't very comfortable with it. I use a multitude of materials...bubble envelopes, tyvek, boxes, etc., but not the wrapper. That said, I've received tons of books using that method, and they've been perfectly fine.

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 6:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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I follow the guidelines and use the two sheets of printer paper. The only time I vary it is when it's a hardback (or exceptionally thick paperback). I then take from my stash of bubble envelopes that I save from other swaps or online purchases. In the summer I don't use plastic unless I'm sending somewhere that I've heard has had bad weather (for example, when sending to Florida during hurricane season). During the rest of the year I usually include a plastic wrapper just in case. I've been doing this for a few years now and have never received an RWAP. And the only damaged books I've received have been damaged en route.

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 12/5/2009
Posts: 52
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I'm ALWAYS running low on computer paper, so no...I don't use it to wrap, lol.  To me, it also just doesn't seem too environmentally friendly in many cases.  I can't make the recipient recycle that paper (if there's any left after getting the tape out of the way), and the amount of tape it takes to secure it just isn't economically friendly for me, either.

I swap enough between this site and another that I have a plentiful supply of bubble mailers in a variety of sizes that I can re-use, and are generally in good enough condition for the recipient to re-use as well.  I wrap the book in plastic, which I also have an abundance of from different sources that I can re-use.  I've never actually BOUGHT any plastic specifically for book use, and usually only end up having to purchase a few new bubble mailers once a month or so.  I do go through a roll of packing tape in about a month and a half, though, lol...I don't think I overtape, but I definitely make sure the edges are sealed, and any weak spots from previously used mailers are secure.

I've received seven books since I've been on this site, and NONE have been sent in just paper only.  In fact, I think there may have only been one that wasn't sent in a bubble mailer with protective plastic underneath...and that book was sent wrapped in saran wrap, and then wrapped in a sturdy brown paper bag.  It was taped well, but not so well that I couldn't open the package.

Last Edited on: 1/24/10 12:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/23/2010 8:03 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2006
Posts: 35,125
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Kate said:  <<The reason why I love using PayPal shipping is that I can track the package from the link on my PayPal account and I can send the recipient the tracking number when I ship.  People seem to really like getting a tracking number on their package>>

Kate, why not use PBS postage?  You can track the package here and there's  no need to send the recipient the tracking number, as their account shows the DC# as well.  Plus, you have the added advantage of receiving your credit as soon as you mark the book mailed and no need to worry about a book going lost and losing your credit. 

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 10:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 13,147
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Kate, why not use PBS postage?  You can track the package here and there's  no need to send the recipient the tracking number, as their account shows the DC# as well.  Plus, you have the added advantage of receiving your credit as soon as you mark the book mailed and no need to worry about a book going lost and losing your credit. 

Not to mention that you are supporting PBS in the process. :)

Date Posted: 1/23/2010 10:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,223
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In previous posts Kate has mentioned that the extra .43 is something she said she doesn't want to pay.

If I'm sending a paperback that fits within the two PBS wrappers then that is usually what I use. Usually layered with plastic first.  If I have bubble mailers, I use those and I also will use manilla envelopes, however, I fit them to the book, crisscross the tape and seal the seams. I never put them in an envelope to flop around. 

I also use boxes when sending out several and I try to put hardbacks in a box but that doesn't always work out. 

Last Edited on: 1/24/10 2:05 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/24/2010 12:44 AM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2007
Posts: 3,430
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When I first started, I used the recommended method of packaging of 2 pieces of paper (along with plenty of packing tape), and included an underlayer of plastic most of the time.  After trading for a while, I built up a supply of bubble wrap mailers & manila envelopes.  I cut and tape these mailers to the size of the book order I'm mailing. 

Date Posted: 1/24/2010 5:25 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome to PBS Paula!

Yes, I often use two sheets of printer paper when mailing one or two MMPB (with plastic underwrap) and have found it to be adequate when used with good packing tape.  I also re-use tyvek, bubble envelopes, and heavy paper.  So by all means, feel free to upgrade your shipping materials!

One of the upgrades most appreciated by receiving members, is the use of plastic underwrap.  PBS recommends it as optional, but many members live in wet climates or have mail situations that expose their mail to the weather.

Last Edited on: 1/24/10 5:26 AM ET - Total times edited: 1