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Topic: What packaging do you suggest for large books?

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Subject: What packaging do you suggest for large books?
Date Posted: 8/14/2008 2:16 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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Hi guys! Posted this is the USPS Regulations forum and only got one response. I'm looking for more of a variety of answers.

I have 2 large, approximately 4-6 inch books to mail and I'm unsure of the packaging I should use.

I have large bubble and poly mailers, these won't fit in them. I don't just want to wrap these books, but I don't know of another way.

I'm thinking this has come up before for some of you.. what do you suggest?

Thanks in advance! =)

Date Posted: 8/14/2008 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2008
Posts: 1,050
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Our post office down the street gives my husband boxes that fit my larger books for free. Take your books to them, they might have something that will work for you.


Date Posted: 8/14/2008 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,579
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If you have a couple of empty cereal boxes on hand you could tape them together to make a sturdy mailer.  I use them all the time and have had no complaints.

Date Posted: 8/14/2008 2:58 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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If you don't have a padded envelope (the easiest!) you can use a small box.  I have mailed hardbacks wrapped in a heavy paper before, you might want to add something so that the corners aren't crushed.


Date Posted: 8/14/2008 3:07 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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I mailed two larger books yesterday to an APO address and wanted to make sure they had lots of protection.   I wraped them using an old file folder, then put them in an envelope.  I think the file folder is stiff enough to keep the corners from being damanged.

Date Posted: 8/14/2008 4:04 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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All of these are good ideas and I'll file them away for future reference. thank you!

I ended up stopping at the post office and got a few really large padded envelopes.

Date Posted: 8/14/2008 5:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 10,623
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I use brown paper (such as from grocery bags) that I get free from work.  For larger books, I wrap in plastic then use a couple of layers of brown paper and make sure the corners are taped well.

Date Posted: 8/14/2008 9:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2005
Posts: 4,469
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You could just wrap them--maybe first in bubble wrap, then in brown paper(I usually go with paper bags a la grocery store).  Or, of course, a box is always good--or if you have stray cardboard in the right size you could create a box. 

Date Posted: 8/15/2008 9:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2007
Posts: 563
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95% of what I mail out are hardback books.

So when I mail out any book it is wrapped in plastic. I use 1 or 2 shopping bags from Wal-mart or wherever.

And, I turn the book on it edge and tape all around it.

Then I put it into a salvaged wrapper that some of my books came in,

I form fit it and tape it down tight, all around the edges.

Sometimes at local stores like Dollar Tree, I buy a 3pk of small white gift boxes, (and still wrap the book in

plastic) and use the shopping bags as filler, inside the ends and sides, before taping all around the perimeter

of package. In a pinch, go to your cabinets and use things like cereal boxes, ect.

This is not expensive, even with the extra padding, the usual hardback postage is $2.58.

And my shipping supplies are minimal. I reuse what I have and buy what I need from $ type stores.

Just think of books you have received and any problems that you saw.  If you do that, you can think of

inexpensive ways to prevent damage in what you send out.

I agree that all wrapping should be tight on packages.  If it is loose, it will get caught in postal machinery.

And the corners of the books can become damaged in transit.

And please do not use scotch tape!

Several that I have received in the last few weeks were loose inside manila, plastic, and bubble envelopes,

I have even received hardbacks in nothing but extra printer paper sheets and the PBS wrapper.

Many arrived on the verge of coming out of wrapper, and with some damage to the corners.

Most are not even wrapped in plastic, but thank goodness, no damage from weather yet.

I would much rather have to work a little harder to open a well wrapped book, than have the disappointment

of a lost or badly damaged copy of something that may have been on my wishlist for quite some time.

Date Posted: 8/16/2008 4:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,350
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Yes, for hardbacks it's good to find a way to protect the corners. 

Date Posted: 8/16/2008 7:29 PM ET
Member Since: 12/25/2005
Posts: 1,413
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If I have a book that is too big to fit in a padded envelope, I will bubble wrap the book and then I will cover that with brown postal paper.

Otherwise, I use the padded postal mailers.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 8/16/2008 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I'll use a small box and pack with newspaper.  Sent by media rate, even a fairly large book is only a few bucks.