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Topic: RWAP:  is this damage by sender or PO?

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SoBe -
Subject: RWAP:  is this damage by sender or PO?
Date Posted: 5/23/2012 9:13 AM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2008
Posts: 658
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So yesterday, for the first time in the 4 years I've been on PBS I received a book with a problem and I can't seem to figure out if the fault lays in the senders wrapping or the PO's sorting/ inspecting.

The book in question is a wish-listed hardcover title with currently over 350 wishers ( it was one that I was hoping to put on my keeper shelf) , and was sent in a bubble mailer, with no plastic wrapping. The adhesive on the mailer was reinforced with tape, however when  I  received it, it looked like the envelop had been opened, and only been haphazardly sealed again...    No other tape was used. ( I only mention this because in comparison, I may go over board with tape...I reinforce all sides as well as the label, so there's little to no  chance  the ink will smudge )

The last fourth of the book itself is entirely  water damaged. The rest of the book has only slightly noticeable water damage. 

We have had a lot of rain recently, but it's hardly the first time,  and like I mentioned above, I've never had any issues before. 

Also, I have received  books in a similar state of wrapping, open envelops or even mostly torn wrapping but the books were still in good  - in some rare cases great- condition. So have I just been lucky with my PO until now, or did the sender do an inadequate wrapping job?

I'm not sure of this means anything, but the member who sent it, has been with PBS for 3 years (according to their profile), so they aren't exactly  a newbie.

Another side note, though again, I don't know if it's necessary, I have received unpostable books before, but in those cases they were part of a deal, or at the very least I knew what I was getting.  Thanks for any help in figuring this out.


edited to fix grammar/formatting.

Last Edited on: 5/23/12 9:16 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/23/2012 9:32 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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If the envelope looks at all tampered with, then I'd put it down as Post Office damage.

I know they're supposed to document that they've opened it for inspection, but I've gotten some in the past that I'm pretty sure were opened for inspection then just tossed back into the pile. I don't think everyone along the line follows procedures.

I think you've been lucky with your P.O. until now.

The good thing is that if you list it as an Upostable in the Bazaar, and it's greatly wish-listed, you'll probably get an order for it pretty quickly.

Date Posted: 5/23/2012 9:42 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
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I agree with Cindy.  I'd mark it Post Office damage.

Date Posted: 5/23/2012 9:48 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,212
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The adhesive on the mailer was reinforced with tape, however when I received it, it looked like the envelop had been opened, and only been haphazardly sealed again... No other tape was used.

Are you saying no other tape was used besides on the resealing of the flap? This sentence is a little confusing. As long as the flap was sealed, the book was adequately wrapped and it would be postal damage. It is not required to put tape on other places of a bubble wrapper to protect against possible excessive postal handling, a bubble wrapper should be more than enough to get the book through the the receiver safely.

The site does not require water proofing of the packages. They recommend plastic wrap, but do not require it because the post office should not be getting our mail wet. Unless the sender left the book exposed, water damage while in the USPS hands would be damage by the USPS.

SoBe -
Date Posted: 5/23/2012 1:00 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2008
Posts: 658
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Are you saying no other tape was used besides on the resealing of the flap?

sorry, yep that's what I meant. It was taped shut, but it looked pulled open, and then pressed shut again...does that make sense?


If the envelope looks at all tampered with, then I'd put it down as Post Office damage.

that's what I thought at first, then I think i fell into the trap of over analyzing it...then reading a bunch of different RWAP posts/threads and thinking I was missing something, so I thought I'd get some extra opinions...so thanks, all, for your help!


I love having my inital thoughts validated, lol cheeky

Date Posted: 5/23/2012 2:35 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,983
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Sounds like Po opened it for inspection and didnt include the note on the outside saying so. of course, I have gotten inspected pkgs where the Po's note was torn almost all the way off too! and I agree a bubble mailer since it's lined in plastic IS protected against wet weather and doesn't need any tape other than across the flap. i have rec'd dozens of books packed like that ( though I don't use bubble mailers myself) without a problem.
Date Posted: 5/23/2012 3:38 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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If it was that wet, the tape may have come undone and the mail person just tried to stick it back down before delivery.  The book was wrapped correctly so it's PO damage.

While this is a wished for book - in the eyes of PBS - it is no more special than the over posted books.  The conditions are the same for all books.

I guess I don't understand why people state that it's a wish list book.  That makes no difference at all.

Not meaning you in particular, Sobia.  It is just something that I notice a lot when people discuss their RWAP's.

Date Posted: 5/23/2012 6:42 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,388
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Yep, sounds like PO damage.  *Unless* it was a recycled envelope and poorly taped shut.

The good part about it being a WL book is that the system will put you back in line so that you can get a keeper copy for yourself.

Date Posted: 5/23/2012 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Just to throw some thoughts out there, was the book actually wet when it arrived?  Did the envelope have signs of liquid damage?

If the book got that wet enroute, it's unlikely to have dried all wrapped up with no air circulation (not in the few days it takes to travel).  If this was a bubble mailer (with plastic inside) ... again, it's unlikely to have gotten that wet inside the envelope unless the envelope also sustained alot of liquid damage.

I have received wet book packages, one appeared to have been very wet enroute (possibly a leaky blue box?) and the other got wet in my mailbox when it leaked during a rain storm.  Both mailing labels/envelopes were clearly water damaged (one almost illegible) ... both books were wrapped in plastic underwrap and arrived in great condition.

Date Posted: 5/23/2012 8:43 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
Posts: 11,880
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You know it could have been that the tape did not hold closed so the book may have slid out and gotten wet.  Then the Post Office put it back inside and reclosed it.  Although when I handled these in the processing plant, I always added more tape to secure it better.  Just my two cents.  One piece of tape to hold a flap with a hardback inside is not that adequate, IMHO. I agree with Denise about the water damage. Most times it is apparent on the mailer if it occurred enroute. I do not use the blue boxes as folks use them as trashcans. I have dealt with coffee, water, urine, used condoms, used syringes, blood and some even more nasty things dropped in them. I advise dropping mail inside the post office.

Last Edited on: 5/24/12 6:18 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/24/2012 3:05 AM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
Posts: 11,880
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I think the sender mailed it with liquid damage. If the bubble wrapper did not appear wet or damaged, my opinion is it was not done by the P. O. How many days did it take to arrive? Is there a postmark or is it printed postage? Some members do not always mail the date on the printed postage. Again one piece of tape to keep a Hardback inside is often not enough, IMO.

I wanted to add that I recently received 3 unpostable books from a member who has been at PBS for 3 years. Two had liquid damage and the other had writing in it. She refunded my 3 credits. I was glad this was resolved so quickly and painless but being a member for a few years does not mean they will not send out unpostable books. I was so surprised at the condition of the books and even Hubby made comments about them.

Last Edited on: 5/24/12 7:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
SoBe -
Date Posted: 5/24/2012 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2008
Posts: 658
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the book wasn't wet when I got it, but what does a water damaged bubble wrapper look like? There wasn't any noticable differences to any others I've seen. Though the sender did use permanent marker to hand address the envelop...does permanent marker bleed, or smudge, when wet? 


and Priscilla, thanks for the info about the blue boxes...i don't usually use them,  but now think I may avoid them, altogether.