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Topic: Sort of along the lines of "Is it So Hard?" thread

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Subject: Sort of along the lines of "Is it So Hard?" thread
Date Posted: 2/3/2009 9:43 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I'm a little flabbergasted tonight.  I don't claim to be the expert on book packaging.  I've had lots of different things packed different ways come my way.  But today a miracle must have happened.  It is Kentucky that got hit so hard with the winter storms and ice, right?  Well, in my mailbox appears a mmpb wrapped in a double layer of printer paper with address label out.  That's okay.  But the ends of the book were left completely open to the elements!  Packing tape across the middle of each to keep the wrapper in place.  Somehow, this book made it here to me in VA without being harmed in any way and no water damage. No tape damage. I cannot believe it.  I'm shocked and amazed.  I am also at a loss of what to PM the sender about this.  Obviously (I hope) a new member.  Does anyone have a good idea of what to write that won't sound just really condescending?  Especially since it arrived in great condition - completely repostable.  Amazing!

Ruth

Date Posted: 2/3/2009 9:51 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Ruth--

I usually go with the "here's some feedback that I found helpful that I was new ....." and end with something along the lines of "I hope you find this friendly and helpful, as it is intended :-)"

That's all the advice I can offer.  You might also point them to the help center info on how to wrap a book.  I'd be sure they're new first, though -- I've been amazed at stuff I've gotten, and I look and the member's been here since 2006 or something ...

Cheers,

Catt

Date Posted: 2/3/2009 10:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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I always go with something that lets them know it wasn't adequate but blames the USPS, something like 'Thanks for the book, I can't wait to read it! I am so glad it made it here undamaged with the ends wide open to the elements and those abusive postal machines. The USPS is very hard on Media Mail and you may want to make sure that all end and edges of the book are completely covered with strong paper and a good layer of tape. I'd hate for you to lose a credit if any of your books to get damaged or slip out of their wrappers and go lost."

Date Posted: 2/3/2009 10:49 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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And, whatever you say to them, end it with, "By the way, could you help me pick my Lotto numbers for next week?" because obviously they're on a roll.



Last Edited on: 2/3/09 11:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/3/2009 10:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I live in Kentucky, Ruth, and yeah, we had the snot smacked out of us by the weather last Wed.  It's been an all out mess and still kinda is.  Just got my power back on Sunday and all of my book orders I had to hold are sent out.  My yard has tree limbs everywhere, stacked ten feet high.  It looks like an obstacle course.  That said, all that held me up was actually getting them mailed on time.  I took the ones I knew for sure I had to send to my sister's place where the kids  & I camped for most of last week, and I wrapped & got them ready there.  I also took plastic, packing tape, and my printed labels, which thankfully I had printed all in advance of the storm, just on the off-chance that we would lose power here.  What happened though, was that I had been running a special, and I got a lot more orders while my power was down & I couldn't log in.  I know - I should have put my shelf on hold right away... Anyhoo, several of the local POs had to close or close early, and everything I had needed to go to the PO and not in a blue box,  It was rough, and I didn't get everything mailed until Monday, but at least I did get it mailed.  The point being, all of the mess and inconvenience here didn't effect my ability to wrap everything properly -and include plastic - at all.  All of my pkgs looked great, were insulated in plastic, and well secured.  Coming from unlucky KY, and a lady who had a downed power line right across her driveway until Friday:P  Granted, I was a few days late on my mailings, but everything else was the same as always.

Date Posted: 2/3/2009 11:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
Posts: 1,924
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Bernhard! LMAO!

 

   It is a miracle you got the book and it is still postable. Thank you kind USPS gods! I would be kind but very very firm and clear that sending a book like that is not acceptable.

Date Posted: 2/4/2009 1:00 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I appreciate the help. and the advice.  And, Bernhard, you might be right.  I never have any luck at lottery tickets.  So maybe I should ask that guy.  Or tell him he should invest in some!  ;D 

I'm too tired tonight to write a delicately worded PM on  the finer points of wrapping a book for the rigors of the USPS - and apparently, even though I've gotten more than my share of wet books, this guy might not believe me anyway since his got here okay.  I'm still incredulous. 

In the interest of diplomacy I feel justified to sleep on this and do it in the morning!

Ruth

Date Posted: 2/4/2009 8:15 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2006
Posts: 472
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I had a similar wrapping job once and the book arrived perfectly intact.  The person apologized and admitted she had flaked out very politely.  Maybe you will be that lucky.

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 2/6/2009 4:33 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,088
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I received on today from Oregon that looked like it had been through USPS h*ll.  The outside packaging was torn in a couple of spots but the books were individually wrapped in plastic so they arrived in beautiful condition.

In my thank you note that's what I told the person who sent it.  That the outside packaging was in bad shape but because of the plastic the books arrived in beautiful condition.

That's what counts right?

Date Posted: 2/6/2009 6:15 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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You are so right.  I always thank senders who use plastic.  Some are surprised that it means that much to me.  But just like Geri, I've had books escape damage because of the plastic and not just water damage, either.  In fact I just PM'd a sender that I would be watching his shelf because he did use plastic and he has a lot of books in common with my interests on both his shelf and his WL.  Too bad I haven't read the ones he wants yet! ;D

Ruth

Date Posted: 2/6/2009 6:48 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I would say something like this:

Hi, your book arrived in one piece, thankyou for it. In the future so your books do not get damaged ,make sure the packaging encases both ends of the book. This stops the wrapping from being seperated from the books. Using plastic is a great way to ensure the book does not get wet enroute. If you have not read it already PBS has a great help page on how to wrap books.  Once again thanks for the book.   (put link the page here).

I dont this this would offend anyone, it does not point fingers or accuse the sender of anything.

Date Posted: 2/6/2009 10:20 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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That's just about what I did write!  Thanks, Pam.  See the new thread I'm about to write!  I think I'm cursed and people need to not send me books!

Ruth

Date Posted: 2/10/2009 9:29 AM ET
Member Since: 11/16/2007
Posts: 745
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Go to the "My Account" link, then "Transaction Archive". There you will see the name of the person who sent you the book. Click on their name to go to their profile, and somewhere should be a link to send them a PM.

 

Date Posted: 2/10/2009 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Plastic wrap just can't be overrated, IMO.  It can compensate for a lot of things.  I've recently run low on packing materials, so I've been using a lot of brown paper (I have tons of paper & not much money to buy boxes:P), which unless it's plastic coated, is notorious for tearing open in-transit.  I also always buy lots of plastic food & bread bags because I use them for different things.  I had bought a roll of Duck brand (:P) shrink wrap ages ago at WalMart and it has just lasted forever.  I send a lot of multiples due to the specials I always run, so what I've been doing is putting the books in bread bags - usually two to a bag, and when I have 5 or 6 books to send, I put the second PBS label sheet with the receiver's address on top of a stack of those bagged books, and then double or triple wrap all of that in the shrink wrap, until it's all in a tightly bound square bundle.  Then, I put a double layer of brown paper wrap over that, and tape good & heavy with packing tape.  Worst case, if the brown wrap manages to get torn completely off, you still have a secure & waterproof package with the shipping address on it.  If you use enough shrink wrap, it makes for a great padding as well.  I fold the sheet with the address on it backward, so that the address is visible under the plastic wrap, and all the USPS would have to do is rewrap it and slap an address label on there.  This is just making do until I can afford to stock up on boxes again, but it seems to work really well.  I got a note from a PBS buddy last week that the brown paper I used had torn at the edges, but that everything was secure & watertight, and her books were in great shape.  What had actually happened was that I was low on packing tape during the aftermath of that awful ice storm, and was staying with my sister & nephew who works for the USPS, because my power was out, so I couldn't secure the corners & edges as well as I would have liked.  I taped both ends securely, and ran a single long strip around the entire package both ways; like a + sign.  My nephew actually took my shipments in with him when he went to work because my car is a little compact that tends to get hung up in heavy snow & ice.  Emergency postal sevice, which was so nice, I wish I could get it every day.  It sorta compensated just a little bit for the inconvenience of being stuck away from home:P