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Topic: Scotch tape?

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Shelly -
Subject: Scotch tape?
Date Posted: 3/6/2010 11:48 AM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3,036
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Should I put a note in the note to PBS that the sender used scotch tape or just drop it? So far I've had 2 that have used it. I thought it was a rule that you couldn't use it but then again, maybe it was just a warning.

Date Posted: 3/6/2010 11:54 AM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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You can include it in the comment field at the bottom of the survey page after marking the book received.  I don't know that I'd call it a hard and fast rule (I.e. RWAP worthy) that you shouldn't use Scotch tape, but it's definitely included in the Help Docs as "Use plenty of tape (2" shipping tape, not Scotch)"

eta: you might also want to include a polite message to that effect in your overall receipt message to the sender.  the member might be new to the Swap and unfamiliar with the ins, outs, and common practices to which the rest of us have grown accustomed.  If so, taking this as an opportunity to inform is a great service you provide for that member and anyone else who requests from them.



Last Edited on: 3/6/10 11:56 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/6/2010 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 399
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It's a definite no if they taped to the book cover (any kind of tape), for the actual wrapping the guidelines say to use shipping tape.  I use Scotch to "tack down" the paper to the paper (like wrapping a present) then clear shipping tape over it to secure the book - I think the intent is that the shipper not use ONLY Scotch (as it's simply not sturdy enough) and *never* tape to the cover.  The following is under "General Guidelines":

Use plenty of tape (2" shipping tape, not Scotch)

  • especially at the corners and seams.
  • You can get shipping tape at any store that sells stationery or shipping supplies.
  • Do not apply tape directly to the book! This can damage the book when the package is opened.
    • If you apply tape directly to the book and it is then damaged when the package is opened, you will not receive a credit.
  • Do not tape over the postage (USPS does not accept this)
  • Do not apply postage to tape (it can fall off)
  • It is okay to apply clear tape over the DC barcode if you are sending a package with PBS-DC or Printable Postage
    • If you do this, avoid wrinkles in the tape that can interfere with barcode scanning


Last Edited on: 3/6/10 12:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Shelly -
Date Posted: 3/6/2010 12:06 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3,036
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These were only secured with scotch tape and nothing else. I've wraped in scotch tape then went over it in shipping tape myself. I also wouldn't mark these RWAP unless the item had been damaged in some way due to the tape used.

Date Posted: 3/6/2010 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 399
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I'd send the member a polite note and let them know that books can wind up damaged that way and the guidelines recommend packing tape.  Lots of folks don't realize that the USPS is tossing their books in big containers with other books, rocks, iguanas, etc. :)



Last Edited on: 3/6/10 12:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/6/2010 12:41 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2009
Posts: 1,393
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I received a book wrapped in scotch tape, and it arrived with rips on 2 of the edges of the package.  Luckily the book was fine, and didn't fall out.

I sent a polite pm to the sender,  just letting them know what happened and suggested that maybe next time they might want to use packing tape instead.  I said that the USPS is hard on packages,  and really puts them through the wringer while in transit.   

I got a nice pm back,  thanking me for letting them know and expressing relief that the book was ok.   She said that she wrapped the book while at work, and didn't have any packing tape handy.   She wondered if it would be ok, and now she knows that it's better to use packing tape.  

HTH :)

Date Posted: 3/6/2010 2:49 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
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A polite note to the sender wouldn't be out of line..."frequently, scotch tape is not adequate to withstand the stress of USPS.  Thus PBS highly recommends clear packing tape"  or something like that.

Also note in the comment section so TPTB are aware in case it becomes a problem in a future transaction.

Date Posted: 3/6/2010 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,399
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I always put a note in the comment box.  I live in a fog belt.  Scotch tape does not hold if there is any hint of moisture.  Have never received a book with Scotch tape where it wasn't starting to come off.  I want PBS to know that the sender has a habit of Scotch tape when the next book shows up as RWAP due to the tape.  I'm not always willing to take the time with a PM.  But a comment to PBS is quick and I do not have to worry about being polite and careful. 

(Can you tell that I've gotten the "but I've been a member for 6 years and have never received a problem with my tape" on a RWAP?  Problems with Scotch tape are the SENDER's fault in my eyes, not USPS's fault.)

Date Posted: 3/6/2010 3:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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There is nothing wrong with using scotch tape. 
But scotch tape should not be used as the ONLY tape.  Packing tape is difficult to work with so if I am wrapping a book with say, brown Kraft paper, I would wrap it like a present, using scotch tape.  Then I would go over seams and additional places with packing tape. 

I do comment in the "received book comment box" if the package was poorly wrapped, even if the book arrived undamaged.  I also mention that the book arrived undamaged.  Also, if it book is well-wrapped, or the sender pre-wrapped in plastic I give that praise that in the comment box too.

Date Posted: 3/6/2010 5:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,690
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speaking of scotch tape...hmmmm, just got a book in the mail and guess what it's only tape was...yep, scotch tape!!!

Subject: USPS
Date Posted: 3/6/2010 11:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2009
Posts: 2,469
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I am always amazed when in line at the post office that people have packages wrapped in the worst way possible , or they show up wanting the postal employees to provide the tape. They reuse any  kind of box even the ones that don't quite fit the object inside. This would be funny except for everyone waiting in line.