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Topic: Using plastic "water resistent" padded envelope ?

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Subject: Using plastic "water resistent" padded envelope ?
Date Posted: 3/7/2014 8:20 AM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2006
Posts: 3,455
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I got some to try, but wanted to ask for some advice from people who have already used this type to mail their books. The small size fits a single paperback pretty snuggly. But do you fold down and tape all the sides to make it more brick like or just tape the area where it seals down? Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.


Date Posted: 3/7/2014 8:38 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Whenever I've used those I make sure there's nothing that can snagged on machinery and taped up the edges.  Sort of like wrapping a gift. 

Date Posted: 3/7/2014 9:07 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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Snug is the key word for me...I try to use envelopes that are a good fit for the book without much room for the book to slide around. With an appropriate sized envelope I just seal the end. If there are multiple books in the package or the envelope is much bigger than the book, then I will tape the sides down too, making it more brick-like. Books that I have received damaged by the post office tend to be loose in oversized, too large envelopes.

Date Posted: 3/7/2014 10:26 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 10,072
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I think those are great. I usually wrap books in a plastic bag before putting them in an envy or brown wrapping paper, but those white plastic envys never seem to tear during mailing like a lot of paper and envelopes do.   Online vendors tend to put stuff in them loose and I haven't had a problem, but I agree with other posters that making sure book is snug with no loose corners is best.

Date Posted: 3/7/2014 1:03 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2010
Posts: 6,829
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For a single book, I use a small plain manila envelope covered all over in funky patterned duck tape.  It fits inside perfectly wrapped in a plastic sack.  I tested it with an old paperback, submerged the package completely in the sink, and the book came out dry as a bone.  It seems to fare well in the postal machinery too, as far as I know. 

Date Posted: 3/7/2014 1:38 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 5,751
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They work very well if you still use tape to make it a tight fit. Loose edges get caught in machines.


Date Posted: 3/7/2014 3:45 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Padded envelopes tend to travel well in my experience.  I don't necessarily tape them down snug to the book...sending and receiving, I've had few (if any) issues with padded envelopes.  Extra tape on the flap, and over any signs of wear when reusing them.

Non-padded envelopes (manilla & plastic), yes, I would fold those down and tape snug to the book as they seem to acquire damage from sorting machines.  The heavy duty plastic ones may arrive mauled but intact, but loose manilla will not...those arrive damaged, open, empty, or with damaged contents.

I also use plastic underwrap of some type (usually recycled).  Under plastic envelopes it's more to retain the 'packing slip' with the book (emergency address in case of a mishap) than to protect the book itself.

Last Edited on: 3/7/14 3:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/9/2014 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2010
Posts: 2,411
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I usually make my packages as brick-like as possible to protect the contents, and always use an underwrap cuz i've seen what can happen.

Everytime I receive an unwrapped book in an oversize envelope the books arrived in awfull condition. sliding around in that oversize mailer they get the crud stomped out of them. The most recent one arrived accordian folded. Don't ask me how, maybe something heavy was placed on top of it while it wasn't flat. the envelope arrived without a scratch and I know the sender didn't send it out in that condition, she's way too good a swapper.

Date Posted: 3/10/2014 2:05 AM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2010
Posts: 28
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I don't like it when i receive books that have been taped like a brick. They're impossible to open easily without damaging the book. I prefer it when the books are a bit loose in the padded envelope. I've never had problems with receiving books loose in padded envelopes.

Date Posted: 3/10/2014 8:51 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,672
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I use the white plastic non-padded mailers.  I always fold over and tape the excess so it fits snugly around the book.

Date Posted: 3/10/2014 9:15 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 220
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I tend to use kraft bubble-pak envelopes (#0 for mass-market, #1 for trade paperback).  I've never had a problem, and my friend who uses them a lot for her amazon sales has never had a problem.  I suppose if you get a mail carrier who carries the package exposed through a rainstorm it might be an issue.

Do not, under any circumstances, use those awful envelopes padded with shredded paper!!  When they get wet, they are just giant sponges!  (And when they are not wet, they shed paper bits all over the place.)

Date Posted: 3/10/2014 10:06 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Do not, under any circumstances, use those awful envelopes padded with shredded paper!!  When they get wet, they are just giant sponges!  (And when they are not wet, they shed paper bits all over the place.)

Those are the absolute worst. They always explode all over the living room.
Our mail carrier walks with the mail in a semi-exposed cart.  Even so, I can count the number of items that have been water damaged in transit on one hand. 

Last Edited on: 3/10/14 10:07 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/10/2014 4:10 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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The plastic envelopes catch easily in the machines and they snag.  They don't tear open but it puts holes in the envelope. 

I always put tape all the way around in each direction, no matter how I mail it.

That is not over tapping, it is just making sure this book CAN NOT fall out unless the tape is destroyed.