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Topic: Using plastic wrap

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Subject: Using plastic wrap
Date Posted: 10/30/2012 2:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2009
Posts: 13
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Out of the last 8 or so books I have rec'd only two had plastic wrap under the paper wrap, is this not being done anymore? 

Date Posted: 10/30/2012 2:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,056
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Betsey,

Some people elect not to use plastic.  While it is recommended, it isn't required.

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
      • 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 product called Goo-Gone will remove the residue from the book cover.
Date Posted: 10/30/2012 3:04 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2010
Posts: 4,314
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For a time being, I used it to wrap books, thinking it was a good idea to keep water out, but then someone posted that when it gets too hot, the plastic can sometimes melt onto the books so I stopped using it.

I'm not sure if it's a good idea to use or not.

Lisa N. (LDN) - ,
Date Posted: 10/30/2012 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 10,824
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Personally, I'd rather use bubble envelopes and skip having to do all that extra wrapping to the book itself.  I live in South Texas where it gets plenty hot and I've never seen plastic wrap melt onto the books, but I guess it could happen.  Odds of melting plastic wrap vs the odds of water damage to a book - you'll have to figure that to decide which is greater.  I've received hundreds of books and rarely had any that were damaged in transit due to the packaging, no matter how they were packaged.

Date Posted: 10/30/2012 3:51 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2010
Posts: 4,314
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I like bubble wrap envelopes too.  They seem to work well, but I have learned to reinforce them with tape because I've received some that were ripped open. Fortunately the books weren't damaged but tape could have held the envelope together.

Date Posted: 10/30/2012 4:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,222
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I too use bubble envelopes and can get them pretty reasonably at Sam's.  Unless asked to use plastic wrap I don't use it.  I do tape the edge of the envelope flap to make sure it's snug.  Pat

Date Posted: 10/30/2012 5:12 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,321
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Not a requirement unless you have an RC requesting it.  I generally don't wrap in plastic; however, did wrap the few I sent out today in plastic bags before packaging because of the uber storm.

Date Posted: 10/30/2012 5:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,515
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Do not equate "wrap in plastic" with using Saran Wrap or another brand of plastic wrap for food. Many people who "wrap in plastic" use a ziploc bag or simply put books into a plastic store bag and tape it closed-- the hope is to secure the books from any water damage, not to seal them for perpetuity which it seems many of the Saran wrappers are attempting! I myself typically use the plastic bag the newspaper comes in daily --if it's not wet- and seal it well with a strip of tape.
Date Posted: 10/30/2012 6:12 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,387
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I get lots of plastic from work; the air pillows from packing (great to enclose paperbacks), other plastic that I obtain from (non-food) store items or in the mail, and even the heavy duty plastic that FedEx supplies come in.  I have never used plastic wrap or a ziplock bag unless it's to reuse it, but I almost always wrap in some kind of plastic. The mailer I use really depends on the package; sometimes if I have a used bubble wrapper it will fit, usually just one book though; but most times I just cut down a large recycled manila 9x14 envelope, either into a flat sheet or folded over since I often mail multiples.

Date Posted: 10/30/2012 6:41 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2011
Posts: 593
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I have had several instances where wrapping in plastic saved the books from water damage.  Although I have a nice big sealed mailbox, when it's raining hard like it does sometimes, the mail will get wet.

Date Posted: 10/30/2012 9:58 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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Plastic underwrap is not required (much as some members might wish otherwise).  That said, I usually use it unless the requester has an RC asking me not to.  Once in a while we hear of an RC asking for no additional plastic due to melting in the heat...she must have a black mailbox in direct sunlight or some other extreme situation. 

But frankly, it's fall now...so even our Southern states are enjoying cooler weather, and even some rain.  It should be acceptable (even desirable) to shift back to plastic underwrap again.   And like already mentioned, I've had several books saved from damage by the sender using plastic...the wrapper was soaking wet, the books inside the plastic underwrap were in pristine condition.

Almost all my plastic is recycled from around the house or somewhere I've been.  Use it again before it ends up in a landfill!!



Last Edited on: 10/30/12 9:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/31/2012 11:07 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,515
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I am one in the south who has a black mailbox that "cooks" packages. That being said, I still have never had any plastic wrap "melt" from sitting in that hot box.  I just really dislike getting books entombed in plastic wrap meant for food-- any other kind of protective plastic is fine with me, though I prefer to recycle non-food plastic for this purpose. 

Subject: Put it in an RC
Date Posted: 10/31/2012 1:46 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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Since I live in the very wet Northwest, I had to resort to an RC saying that all books must be wrapped in plastic.  If someone is too lazy to meet that request,, then they can deny my request for the book and the next person on the list will get my request.  Sad to say that I have had several people accept my book request and still not wrap the book in plastic.  It never ceases to amaze me how lazy people can be.

Date Posted: 10/31/2012 1:51 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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I'm getting increasingly creative about recycling plastic.  But I agree Jeanne, if it's already been used to wrap food, I don't trust that there's not a residue that could damage books. 

We receive a handful of monthly (unsolicited) trade magazines in plastic sleeves, I grab the mailers and recycle the magazines unopened lol.

Subject: What makes me Crazy
Date Posted: 10/31/2012 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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" I just really dislike getting books entombed in plastic wrap meant for food "

What makes me crazy is when people wrap the books in the paper wrapper they print out when they print the wrapper and then they "entomb" the package in tape.  I have arthritis in my hands and this makes getting into the package very hard for me.  It's almost as bad as those darn blisterpacks!  I usually result to using a box cutter (very carefully) to get a large enough opening so that I can then use my scissors to cut the book out of the wrapping.

I send all my books in poly wrappers.  They are cheap to buy on E-bay and they take care of the need to wrap a book in plastic.  And, they are easy for the person receiving the book to get into.  

 

 

Date Posted: 11/1/2012 7:25 AM ET
Member Since: 11/12/2011
Posts: 473
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Sad to say that I have had several people accept my book request and still not wrap the book in plastic.  It never ceases to amaze me how lazy people can be.

Ditto. I suppose we're within our PBS rights to mark these as RWAP. But the joy of getting a new, dry book short circuits my brain.



Last Edited on: 11/1/12 7:26 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/1/2012 9:01 AM ET
Member Since: 12/5/2009
Posts: 1,114
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I work at a hotel and use plastic ice bucket liners. Boss doesn't mind! lol   They are very sturdy and will not melt.

Date Posted: 11/1/2012 9:16 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I use poly mailers for everything. I'm not sure how effective they'd be if something was completely submerged, but for normal rain, etc. I think they work fine (anyway, I haven't gotten any complaints!). And they are so, so cheap. We have a walking mailman and it's pretty astounding how few books I've had arrive water damaged (almost none), plastic or no plastic.

Date Posted: 11/1/2012 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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Poly mailers seem to work great keeping books dry enroute.  But like manilla envelopes, don't provide much protection if left loose around the book.  Not much protection (especially for larger books) if the Sampsonite Gorilla is on sorting shift that day.  Tougher than paper tho, and it's unusual to see one actually torn open.   There's still the potential for damage to inside content, but the outer wrapper is tough, water resistant, and difficult to seperate from the address and contents.

Date Posted: 11/1/2012 12:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,670
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Sad to say that I have had several people accept my book request and still not wrap the book in plastic.  It never ceases to amaze me how lazy people can be.

Ditto. I suppose we're within our PBS rights to mark these as RWAP.

Yes, you can, However, you cannot ask for a credit back unless the book is damaged. TPTB do not support asking for credit returns for undamaged books, even if a wrapping RC was not followed.

I find that bubble mailers and poly envelopes often have holes punctured into them, even if the wrapper as a whole is still more or less secure.

I truly believe that the printer paper wrapper is the best way to mail mass market sized paperbacks. I've received hundreds of these completely undamaged. I think that out of the 400 to 500 of these that I've received, I remember ONE being ripped.

The worst damage that I've received has always been (in order of worst damage to least): 1. anything wrapped in brown paper bags (unless tape completely encircles the package and sticks to itself .... tape does not stick for long to brown paper grocery bags), 2. boxes (loose books move around inside and bust their way out), 3. bubble wrappers (rips, more rips, and punctures), 4. poly wrappers (punctures).

I wrap in plastic wrap under printer paper. Out of the probably 700 or 800 of these that I've sent, only one was ever received damaged.



Last Edited on: 11/1/12 1:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/1/2012 1:02 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,387
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I do have to repeat, a seam ripper is the best thing for mummy books.  I have one just for PBS as using it on tape will leave it gummy enough that it will not work on cloth.

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Date Posted: 11/1/2012 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,670
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I just use my scissors, and I have a handy bottle of Goo Gone that I use to clean them occasionally. (I use the same scissors to cut tape when I'm wrapping, so they get really gummy fast.

Date Posted: 11/1/2012 11:30 PM ET
Member Since: 11/12/2011
Posts: 473
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Seam ripper! Never thought of that. Brilliant.

Sara, after I posted, I did realize that I can't request a credit back. But getting a credit back isn't really my concern. In a bibliophile way, I get all protective about books exposed to the elements - especially precipitation. Even more so than the handling that comes during the shipping process. If water damage can be prevented, then yes, wrap those vulnerable books in plastic! I'd much rather be able to repost a book here than asking for credits back every time some one ignored my RC.

Come to think of it though... it is disconcerting to have an RC that is so easy to spot if the sender ignored it. Would my RC been as often ignored with something not as easy to spot? Smoke odor? Or pet hair?

 

Date Posted: 11/2/2012 8:10 AM ET
Member Since: 3/2/2010
Posts: 80
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Guilty of plastic bagging and mummifying with packing tape.  I figure that the receiver would rather have a clean, dry book than an easy-to-open package.  No one's complained yet anyway.

 

As for receiving books, my mailbox is old and fairly small;  the bigger mailing envelopes stick out and keep the lid from closing so that if it rains between the time the mail's delivered and the time I collect it, the envelope and it's contents can get soggy.  My mail carrier is nice and will somethimes put oversize mail on my porch out of the rain but that's beyond the call of duty and I don't expect it.  So I appreciate it when books come "protected" even it it does take me a little longer to get through the wrapping.



Last Edited on: 11/2/12 8:10 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/3/2012 8:36 AM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2011
Posts: 179
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My mail is frequently wet by the time it gets to me, so I have an RC requesting plastic wrap of any sort.

When I send a book, I wrap it in saran wrap for the same reason.  This has worked beautifully. 

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