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Topic: off to send my first book and..

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Subject: off to send my first book and..
Date Posted: 12/15/2011 2:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/13/2011
Posts: 15
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would it be better to send it via post office?

the book is in really good condition and i really dont have anything to wrap it up in. i wouldnt want it to get there damanged so maybe i should just go to the post office and tell them i wanna send the book and have them help me?

Date Posted: 12/15/2011 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
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Is it hardcover or softcover?

With hardcovers, I use the bubble mailers because it offers extra protection.

With paperbacks, I just wrap the PBS wrapper that prints out around it.  As long as a person used postage tape, I've always received books wrapped this way without any problems.

Date Posted: 12/15/2011 2:55 PM ET
Member Since: 12/13/2011
Posts: 15
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its a paperback.

Maybe ill just wrap it in postage tape.

Thank you :D

Subject: wrapping books
Date Posted: 12/15/2011 3:35 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2006
Posts: 50
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I bought a box of manilla envelopes and use them to send books.  I put the book in the envelope, then roll the excess back and tape it with pkg tape.  After you belong for awhile, you'll have a supply of padded envelopes to reuse.  I use these for hard back books.  I always thought it was interesting how far a book traveled, but I am guessing some of the padded envelopes have logged many more miles.

You are going to love pbs!

Date Posted: 12/15/2011 3:38 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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From the Help Center:

How to Wrap a Book

How to wrap a Book

The basics: you are creating a sturdy package that will totally enclose the book(s) in your shipment, using shipping (not Scotch) tape, so that the contents will get to the destination safe and sound.

You are not required to use the PBS wrapper.  You can use alternate packaging for any shipment (heavier/larger and multiple-book shipments may require this), using the 1-page PBS Label (the far right layout choice on the Wrapper Settings page) as an address label. You can also hand-write the address on your package.  

Here are the options for how to wrap a book so that it is carried safely to its destination, and arrives in the same condition as it was when it left you!

The 2-page PBS Wrapper:

  • Works well for single paperbacks, or even two small books packaged together - the contents need to be enclosed completely in the packaging.
  • See Using the PBS Wrapper: a tutorial for instructions, with photos, on how to use the 2-page PBS Wrapper to wrap a book. 
  • Reinforcing the packaging with shipping (not Scotch) tape over seams and corners is a great idea.
  • If you have a larger or heavy book, or a multiple-book shipment to send, the 2-page PBS Wrapper alone will not provide sturdy enough packaging on its own to protect your book(s) en route.  You will need to use alternate packaging methods.

The 1-page PBS "Label"

  • Cannot be used alone to wrap a book
  • Is intended for use as an address label on alternate packaging (ie, for multiple-book shipments)

Alternate Packaging:

  • Suggestions for alternate packaging materials:
    • Heavy brown paper (from a cut-down grocery sack)
    • Manila envelope
      • tape it down tightly around the book(s) to prevent "flaps" that can get caught in postal machinery
      • if your envelope has a metal clasp, this can rub against the book cover and cause damage--a piece of tape over the inside portion of the clasp will prevent this.
    • Bubble or padded mailer
    • Tyvek or similar large envelope
      • tape it down tightly around the book(s) to prevent "flaps" that can get caught in postal machinery
    • Box
      • prevent your books from sliding around inside with crumpled paper (NOT newspaper--the ink can mark the books!) or (clean) plastic shopping bags, balled up.
      • we recommend putting tape around the entire box in both directions - this will help keep the box together as it travels to its destination.  Strapping tape (the one with fibers in it) is great, but packing tape applied tightly around the box will also help with this.
  • Poor choices for alternate packaging materials:
    • Giftwrapping paper (too thin)
    • Newspaper (can smudge ink onto the books)
    • Priority mail envelope (this is illegal to use for MediaMail, even if you are reusing it, and even if you turn it inside out!)
      • if you do this, and the package is inspected, it will arrive postage-due at the requestor's, or be returned postage-due to you (the additional postage required will be the difference between postage paid and Priority Mail rate)
      • since this is illegal, a habit of doing this can put you in trouble with the law; it also harms the club to have members breaking the law, so if you break this law it can jeopardize your membership here.

General Guidelines for Wrapping:

  • Your book(s) must be completely enclosed in the wrapping

  • 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
  • Make sure that all flaps and folds, on whatever type of wrapping you use, are secured tightly to your package.
    • It is easy for flaps or folds that are not secured to get snagged by sorting machines in the USPS system, and this can cause damage to (or loss of) your book.
  • Consider using an inner layer of plastic
    • You can use Saran Wrap, or clean plastic grocery bags, or any kind of clean plastic material
    • please do not use "Press and Seal". This product contains some type of glue that sticks to the books.
      • If you wrap your book in this and it is then damaged when the package is opened, you will not receive a credit.
      • If you get a book that was wrapped using Press-and-Seal, a little rubbing alcohol will remove the residue from the book cover.

If you receive a book that you think was inadequately wrapped

  • We ask that you give gentle feedback to the sender, to help him or her improve wrapping technique.
  • Doing this not only helps the sender, but also all the future members she or he swaps with, and is a service to the Club as a whole.
  • There are many options for wrapping a book. Everyone needs to experiment a little, to find the method that works best for him or her!
Date Posted: 12/15/2011 4:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/13/2011
Posts: 15
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Thank you everyone for your help.

Just got back from the post office and things went smoothly :D

Date Posted: 12/15/2011 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,365
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Welcome, Brittany!

Date Posted: 12/15/2011 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome to PBS Brittany!

Date Posted: 12/18/2011 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2009
Posts: 621
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Welcome, Brittany!

As time goes on, you'll become an expert wrapper, but for now, here are my top 5 tips (some came from other people in this forum):

1.  Subway sandwich bags are perfect to protect books in.

2.  When packing tape goes on sale, buy it!

3.  I use the 1 page mailer printout, and put the entire bottom half in the book with the receiver's address sticking out of the front cover (and inside the Subway bag) so that if the package gets opened or damaged, USPS might be able to get the book to the receiver.

4.  Sending more than 1 book together is often cheaper than sending them singly.  (I recently sent 20 Harelquins to 1 person for about $5, instead of 20 to 20 people for about $45).

5.  Relax and have fun!

Date Posted: 12/18/2011 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2008
Posts: 9,884
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If you're using PBS postage, I'd recommend a kitchen scale.  That way you're not paying too little or too much for postage.


ETA: Welcome!  You'll have fun here.

Last Edited on: 12/18/11 1:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/18/2011 1:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,283
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When packing tape goes on sale, buy it!

I buy all my tape at the dollar store.

Date Posted: 12/18/2011 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Once you start receiving books you'll have mailers that you can reuse as most people seem to use bubble mailers. 

Date Posted: 12/18/2011 8:23 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2009
Posts: 177
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If you do online shopping and receive packages in the mail, you should have plenty of materials you can reuse for PBS . For example,  I order most of my husband's clothes online (he's an unusual size) and they mostly come in the very heavy plastic bags.  I cut these down to wrap books.  Since the bags are designed to withstand the postal machines that like to eat wrappers, they are a perfect material to send books in.

Date Posted: 12/19/2011 11:04 AM ET
Member Since: 12/13/2011
Posts: 15
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Thank you all of you for sharing your Warm welcomes with me :]

I will keep all of these ideas in mind. I plan to make a trip to the Store this week to pick up some supplies.


Date Posted: 12/25/2011 12:11 AM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2008
Posts: 346
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I buy rolls of brown paper at the dollar store. I can wrap a lot of books in that. Just make sure packaging is smooth so it can't catch on any machines and enough take is used so that in case the paper tears, the tape will still hold it together.

Date Posted: 12/29/2011 8:56 AM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2007
Posts: 3,430
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Brittany, once you start receiving books from other members, you can keep the bubble mailers that others used to mail books to you.  I never have to buy bubble mailers now because I always have a used stash of them from shipments mailed to me.  I've even learned how to cobble different bubble mailers together to fit large books. 

Date Posted: 12/29/2011 9:10 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
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And if the bubble mailers have labels, etc., that are too hard to remove, cross out all the old info, then put the book in the mailer and wrap the mailer (or put it in a manila envelope).

I use enough manila envelopes (for this and other things) that I buy them in bulk at Costco, but you may not.  Someone elsewhere said that if you want bubble wrap free, furniture stores are good places to ask, as they usually have more than they know what to do with from incoming items.

Do not, under any circumstances, buy shipping supplies at the Post Office.  They are way over-priced.  The dollar stores are your friends.

And do not re-use Priority Mail packagaing (even inside the envelope) unless you are shipping via Priority Mail.  If the Post Office catches you, they will ding the recipient for Priority Mail fees!