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Topic: Question about packaging padding rules

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Subject: Question about packaging padding rules
Date Posted: 10/19/2015 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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Ok so I got an order for 4 huge hardcovers weighing almost 2 lbs each.  So they have to go in a box so that they get there without damage.  Finding a box sometimes to fit your needs can be a pain in a smaller area where we don't have shipping stores, and a small walmart or dollar general are all you have to choose from.  So I finially found a box fits the books width wise only its too long lenght wise.  What I need to know is can I use old newspaper and roll it up in the ends so that the books don't shit length wise to much?  Generally I can find a box thats closer in size to what I need to ship out when I'm making big shipments and I use paper bags from the grocery store but I'm all out of those.  All I have for recycled products to put in it are old newspapers right now.  I didn't know if the adding of the newspaper would violate media mail rules or not.  

 

Date Posted: 10/19/2015 10:28 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2013
Posts: 61
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As long as anything else in the box is being used as padding, it should be fine.  Anyone checking it should be able to see it is just filler for padding and not an actual item you are sending.  I can't see it breaking any Media mail rules.

Date Posted: 10/20/2015 1:47 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,672
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newspaper is one of the worst thing you can use for padding. You would be surprised how much weight that adds to the package. but if that is all you have.

Date Posted: 10/20/2015 3:00 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2014
Posts: 833
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Be sure to cover the books with plastic wrap or at least some tissue paper before adding the newspaper as the newspaper print can and will rub off onto the books.  Bubble wrap, air pillows, styrofoam peanuts, and similar materials don't weigh as much as newspaper if you have any of those on hand.  Newspaper is fine otherwise used as packaging materials for media mail.

-- Jill 

Date Posted: 10/20/2015 6:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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Thanks guys!  I had alredays wrapped them together in plastic so they wouldn't knock into eachother.  I actaully finally found some styrofoam squares that fit better, reduced the movement to pretty much nothing, and reduced the weight.   Though it still didn't put me under the 8 lbs media mail.  It ended up not really mattering weight wise if I'd use that news papers as that still had me under the 9 lbs so it was 8 lb media mail rate either way!  I wouldn't have worried about the shiftage so much either if they were regular hard covers and not book club hardcovers, and if the person hadn't told me she wanted them to give to a family member.    

A week ago I'd have had what ever I needed in my garage as I had stacks of boxes with variouse packaging stuff.  Only fall clean up came and my BF actually cleaned and threw out most of my spare boxes.  All he left were the really large ones he though he could put some stuff in! 

Date Posted: 10/20/2015 7:31 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2014
Posts: 833
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I'm a bit confused by the weights you gave.  If the package weighed say 8 lbs 3 oz, it would need to be shipped at the 9 lb rate since the weight is over 8 lbs.  Only if the weight of the package (with everything in it) weighed exactly 8 lbs or under could it be shipped at the 8 lb rate.  Each increment over a pound, no matter how small, even .01, would make the rate one would need to pay to be at the next pound rate.

-- Jill

Date Posted: 10/24/2015 12:35 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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Sorry Jill for any confussion me not explaing myself better caused you.  It ended up weighing 7 lb and 5.8 oz  with the styrofoam squares.  I estimated when I said each hardcover weighted 2 lbs each.  When I weighed them they were a total of 7 lbs 1.3 oz the packaging weight 4.5 oz.  Even with the newspaper it put the package up to 7 lb 10 oz so it would have still went for the same rate.  It was over 7 lbs so it went at the 8 lb media mail rate.  I ment that it would not have been over the 8lbs either way packaging so weight wasn't really the issue.  Had it bumped it over 8 lbs to begin with I might have worried about it more.  When I posted I wasn't really worried about it bumping the price from 6.22 to 6.72.  What I really wanted to know was if I could send rolled up newspaper in the package as padding.  I didn't want to violate the media mail rate on a package that was almost 8 lbs so that the requestor didn't end up paying a huge price when she recieved it!  My original post said nothing about prices, I only mentioned mailing rate ranges when others said adding newspaper would add to much to the packaging.  Even had I just stuck these in the larges bubble mailer at walmart they still would have gone at the 8 lb media mail rate.  Me adding them to the box with packaging was my way of trying to make sure they got to the person who is a friend on here in the best condition, I was never worried about the price of mailing for me.      



Last Edited on: 10/24/15 12:36 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/24/2015 11:29 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2014
Posts: 2,793
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I love it when I have wiggle room on media mail packages.  I just mailed a box of DVDs  and it weighed over 1 lb.  I was able to pack it securely where nothing moved around without worrying about going over 2 lbs. I used big bubble wrap and 2 of those "Air" packs we get with Amazon orders.  I recently got rid of good Amazon boxes and then I needed 2 boxes.  Took me awhile to find the small stash of boxes I kept. Sometimes I use crumbled newspaper but those Air packs work great. 



Last Edited on: 10/24/15 11:30 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/25/2015 1:44 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2014
Posts: 833
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Elizabeth, thank you. smiley  Sorry for my confusion.

Newspaper is fine for packaging material for media mail.  Postal workers recognize it as such.

-- Jill

Date Posted: 11/5/2015 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,725
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You can make your own air packs, buy cheap (like at the 99 cent store) ziplock sandwich bags, and lock them up with as much air in them as you can get. You can even tape them shut if the ziplock is especially cheap too.

I also use crumpled up plastic grocery bags as filler sometimes. I think they are lighter than paper.  (I save them in my pantry until I have a bunch to recycle anyway.)

You can also bend a piece of cardboard (as long as it's bigger than the dimension that you start with) into a zig-zag or curve shape (if it starts out longer than the dimension you are trying to fit it into, that's good, the box will hold it in the zig-zag or curve and the books will stay in place.) I cut pieces off of larger boxes sometimes to keep stuff in place in a smaller box. It works.