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Topic: What is your preferred way to pack?

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Subject: What is your preferred way to pack?
Date Posted: 4/13/2010 2:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2010
Posts: 388
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I'm feeling a little guilty now.  I received a request today and immediately (within an hour) had the book mailed out.  Timing is everything with the mailtruck.  lol  The guilt trip is concerning how I wrapped it up.  I wrapped it in a plastic bag and then (because it was a small book) I wrapped it in one sheet of the PBS wrapper.  It's in there tight and I taped up the sides and the ends all pretty good. 

So why am I feeling guilty? 

Because on that same mailtruck I received a double order of books and the sender shipped it in a UPS bag.  Cushioned.  Beautiful.  The bag itself was priced at $1.39.  I suppose it could have been a reused bag but it carried through pretty well.

How do you prefer to wrap?  I mean, trying to keep it economical and yet as safe as possible.

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 2:46 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
Posts: 1,207
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Good question!  I want to see the answers too.  Personally, I wrap in a plastic bag, with some packing tape, then I put it in a tyrek(sp) tear-resistant mailing envelope (Usually reused from the office)  and wrap well with clear packing tape over the PBS label.   I haven't had an compalints but I worry!  



Date Posted: 4/13/2010 3:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,348
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Slip it in a plastic bag (I recycle the bags my newspaper comes in), slip the packing slip with address in there (if I remember.)  Tape it closed with one piece of packaging tape.  Then if it is small, I use the double printer sheet.  If it's larger, I cut up a grocery bag (we have nice thick ones.)  Packaging tape on all corners, edges and seams.  Tape on the wrapper label.

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2005
Posts: 7,500
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A layer of plastic covered with wallpaper and taped well.  If I'm feeling particularly lazy or strapped for time, a recycled bubble or poly envelope.

For multiple requests of varied-sized books, I use recycled boxes.  The books are placed in plastic bags or wrapped in bubble wrap if extra 'cushioning' is needed to help fill the box.

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 3:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2009
Posts: 1,369
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PBS computer paper is the least acceptable way to send a book even when well taped, in my opinion...............

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2005
Posts: 403
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I like to wrap every book in plastic then use the bubble mailers. When I run out of mailers, I'll use heavy brown grocery bags (well taped).

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 3:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2010
Posts: 388
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"PBS computer paper is the least acceptable way to send a book even when well taped, in my opinion..............."


Bummer.  I've received books that way and had no problem with it.  I've also received books in the brown grocery bag  (done that myself) and most of the time had no problem.  I did find that it split a couple of times in the side but thought that additional tape would have solved that problem. 

Used a couple of mailing bags that I already had in the house. 

Never had an occasion to use a box.  Never mailed more than 2 at a time but I am still new.

*sigh*  Well...it's in the mail truck now.  No turning back.  I haven't had any complaints yet (crossing my fingers on that one) but like Margaret T says, I still worry.  Like to keep things nice and neat.  (smile)


Stop ignoring member

Tina D. (tinad) - ,
Date Posted: 4/13/2010 3:49 PM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2009
Posts: 350
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I always wrap the books in either plastic or plastic grocery bags.  If I am sending out a single book, I use the 2-pages printed from PBS.  I wrap them tightly around the plastic-covered book and tape it really well, especially around the corners. 

If I have 2-3 books, first plastic and then I may re-use a larger bubble envelope from something I've received or I will use a manila envelope that I've opened along the seams, with the flap cut off and then wrap it tightly around the books.  It kinda resembles a brick but it makes a nice, tight little package.


Date Posted: 4/13/2010 3:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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I use the two sheets of printer paper. Although here lately I've been using a big roll of paper that is very similar to printer paper (my mom got it as recycled paper at the company she works for). I wrap the book around two times as if it was two sheets of printer paper. If I am sending multiples, a hardback, or larger trade paperback, I usually reuse a bubble mailer I've received from someone else. I always secure the ends and make sure the book is tightly wrapped.

The only variation to this is in the winter. I use a layer of plastic then. I've stopped using plastic since the end of March now that the weather is nice. I'll only use it this summer if it's in an RC or I'm sending to a state and there's supposed to be a hurricane coming through.

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 4:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,353
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Unless I have an order of more than 4 books, my books are all shipped in bubble envelopes.  I get them at Sam's for less than $5.00 for 25 for the small ones that will hold one paperback book, and about $7.,00 for 25 for the larger ones which will hold up to 3 paperback books.  If I need something larger I use an envelope that isn't bubble lined, and use bubble liner or plastic wrap.

Like someone else said, my least preferred wrap is the computer paper wrapped book.  They're very hard for me to open.  Pat

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 4:02 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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I use plastic first, then a bubble mailer or box, depending on the book(s). I recycle what I can. From the books that I have received I can say that tape is the most important part of the packaging. Any form of paper will rip. So, put tape on all the areas where the edges of the book are. Use packaging tape, not scotch tape.

Another important tip is to prevent the book from moving around in the package. If using an envelope larger than the book, fold it over so it is the same size as the book, preventing it from sliding around. Or, use bubble wrap around the book.  Also applies to a book loose in a box. Use some kind of filler to secure the book. I usually use bubble wrap around the book.

Last Edited on: 4/13/10 4:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/13/2010 4:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,212
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 I wrapped it in one sheet of the PBS wrapper  the two sheet PBS wrapper should be used unless you are using an envelope or some other wrapping. One piece of paper isn't enough.

I don't really care as long as the book gets to me. I get plenty in the basic two sheet PBS wrap that arrive fine as long as they are taped on all edges and corners. I use an exacto knife to open so that's never a problem. I prefer they have plastic under that to protect from moisture and add a bit of padding. I hate the manila envelopes with no extra tape added. I don't like bubble wrappers, can't get the book wrapped snug imo, but I reuse when I get them.

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 4:17 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,088
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I've mailed out more than 600 books, probably 80% of them in a single piece of printer paper. (I wrap in saran wrap first, and cover about 80% of the surface of the paper with packing tape). I have had a total of 1 book that I mailed arrive damaged.

Of the more than 500 books I have received, I find it is very rare to get a white printer wrapper that arrives damaged. They seem to hold up really, really well, in my experience. The paper is tight around the book, and that is always the best method for wrapping any book, no matter the actual paper or wrapper type. I get quite a few in single white paper wrappers (instead of double paper).

I receive a lot of bubble wrappers that are torn or have holes in them by the time they arrive (although the books are rarely damaged cause I live in a dry area). I have also received 2 empty packages, both of multipel books wrapped in brown paper. I find that brown paper wrappers are the worst for dmaage, even if they are tightly taped. The paper itself disintegrates if it gets wet and also is worn away quickly by rubbing against other things.

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 4:24 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2010
Posts: 211
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I send out a lot of deals and multiples, for which I usually saran wrap them together, back the books with a larger piece of cardboard - sometimes I'll sandwich another piece of cardboard on top if the package is large - then use brown paper and tape over all corners and edges and around the girth of the bundle.  My packages often come out trapezoidal due to the cardboard being larger than the books.  That way I figure if it gets squished, the cardboard will take the hit and not the books.

If it's only 1 or 2 books I reuse bubble mailers.  If it's really heavy, like over 4 pounds, I'll box it, but I'm pretty lucky in that regard; I have easy access to different sized boxes at work.  Either way I still saran wrap just in case (and to keep books from knocking around all over the place), and I stuff excess room in boxes with a plastic bag or two.

I don't mind paperbacks in printer paper, so long as there's a plastic layer and well-taped edges.  I wonder, though, if people realize how beat up hardcovers can get when wrapped that way.  I received one recently that looked as if it started its trip looking practically new, judging from the rest of the book and jacket, but by the time it arrived all the edges were squished in and the jacket was abraded at the corners.  It's still in good shape, but if you're sending out a great-looking book, wouldn't it be nice if it arrived that way?

I guess I'm a little overzealous in my wrapping, but that's just me; I never owned that many books growing up (always used the library) so I've always treated what books I had with lots of TLC.

Edited for typo.

Last Edited on: 4/13/10 4:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/13/2010 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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I use a variety of materials, but not the wrapper or brown paper. I put the books in plastic, usually newspaper sleeves, and then I have tyvek envelopes, poly envelopes, a few sizes of bubble mailers, and boxes. I also sometimes also "make" a box for a stack of pbs. I tape well, but don't mummify. If it's a hardback, I cover the ends in [--shaped cardboard before bagging it and inserting in the envelope or box.

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 4/13/2010 4:43 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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Nothing wrong with reinforced computer paper.  I've received many books safely, and I always use a variation on it myself:  I wrap in plastic, reinforce the edges, then wrap in computer paper, tape all side edges and wrapper address.  No complaints thus far, and I've gotten some compliments.  I used to mummy-wrap with tape, but out of consideration for those who have trouble with those, I've cut back a little on the tape reinforcement.

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I use the U-line poly mailers...two sizes, small for mass market or smaller trades, larger for big trade paperbacks, multi-book orders or hardcovers. The large ones I also will tape down the edges so they are snug to the book. I don't use plastic or other waterproofing under that.

I sent about the first 800 books I sent with the 2-page PBS wrapper, and then did a mummy wrap on the outside with the thick Scotch packaging tape. For larger books or multi-orders, I wrapped in freezer paper first and then the PBS wrapper, and again, mummy taped. I am trying to recall, but pretty sure I've never had a complaint about a wet or damaged book using any of these methods.

It has been ages since I've had a book damaged in transit. Most of those in the PBS wrapper arrive just fine, provided they're taped securely. The things I've had the most damaged books in are manila envelopes not secured to conform to the shape of the book (the edges get stuck in the USPS machinery, I think.) and the other is bubble mailers--same problem--using a mailer that's too big for the book inside, the machinery catches a corner and rips it open.


Date Posted: 4/13/2010 5:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I usually recycle mailers from books I receive (I haven't been posting many WL books lately and have huge stash of bubble mailers now).  If it's a small paperback then I just use the PBS wrapper. I don't normally wrap in plastic unless I happen to have some on hand.  I use reusable grocery bags and so my supply of plastic bags is limited-plus I like to recycle those. I don't usually have saran wrap in the house and don't create plastic trash to wrap a book. But I will save plastic off packs of toilet paper, papert towels etc..., and any plastic I can on books I get. 

I also bought a box of 100 legal sized mailers from Staples. It was like $10 or around that. Those work great for mailing books and pretty cheap. Just don't let the book float around in the envelope.  I fold it in half after I put the book in and tape it together so the book doesn't move around.  I'll save any junk mail large envelopes as well. 

I've even used a cereal box to wrap hardcovers, audio books and multi-book orders. 

I don't mummify the books I send out.  I have yet to receive a wet book and I've lived in pretty damp areas my whole time here.  So when I hear about people having repeated wet book problems I have to wonder if it isn't their mailman or their mail box that's the problem. 

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 5:55 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2010
Posts: 388
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A cereal box!!!  Hmmmm.  I like that.

Subject: How do i wrap?
Date Posted: 4/13/2010 6:14 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,442
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I'll put the book in plastic-either the sleeve the newspaper came in or the plastic bags from work. I am currently using a length of brown wrapping paper that came as suttfing on something i ordered. I also have the air bags from another on line order.  I'll either wrap in the two sheets of printer paper or it is bigger, I'll go the brown wrapping pper route.  I'll wrap it well in packing tape, making sure I get it going in both directions. No damage as far as I know, in 5 years of sending books.

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 8:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/11/2009
Posts: 219
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If I have plastic lying around (trying to get away from that as much as I can, but I'll save any I do get for this purpose) I will wrap in it. Other than that I'm just going to continue to use the PBS wrapper -- I can get as much copy/printer paper from work as I want and it's all printed on one side already so I just run it through the printer on the other side. I do save the bubble mailers I get and will save any other appropriate material.

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,543
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I've started wrapping in plastic first, usually a deflated packing pillow or grocery bag and then the two page printer paper mailer if it's a mmpb.  For those I do mummify.  If I have a mulitple book order and they're all the same size I use extra sheets of paper to get a double layer and wrap it into a box shape.  If it's a trade size I try to reuse a mailer; those are mostly manila envelopes, I cut them down to size and once the book's inside I reinforce all the edges/sides.  Sometimes I have to make a wrapper from brown shipping paper, I usually do that for children's books and also add a piece of cardboard to make it rigid.  I tape all edges and corners on those too.  Once or twice I've had large multiple book orders and I just reused a shipping box (when I get these I flatten them and to save them stick them between the wall and my filing cabinet).  I wrapped the books in plastic first, used more scrunched plastic for filler and taped securely to close the box.

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 10:29 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,804
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PBS computer paper is the least acceptable way to send a book even when well taped, in my opinion...............

This has not been my experience with the 300 plus books I've received.  I don't recall any that were damaged simply because of the computer paper.  My experience has been that it really doesn't matter what you wrap it in if you tape it correctly.   While not a requirement, wrapping in plastic first gives an added layer of protection.   The most damage to packing I've seen are those plastic tykec bags.  Holes punched in almost every one I get and often punched and pulled open by the mail handling machines.  I used these for awhile until I realized how many damanged packages I got using them.

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 11:10 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I always use plastic (usually those packing air pillows cut open then taped shut) but never saran wrap type because I always end up being what's wrapped up in it.  Then I use good shape mailers I've received, or I open up tyvek mailers and wrap the book(s) like a present using plenty of tape but not mummifying it.  Or  I use the poly mailers and tape down anything that is sticking out like corners.  Or I've used manila folders and wrapped it like a present.  I've also used the large heavy duty wedding invitation type envelopes.  Of course everytime plastic is used first.  The "invitation" envelope also gets packaging tape.  But they come in colors and look nice.  They are about 5 3/4 inches by 8 3/4 inches and small books that can go 1st Class fit into them.   But as has been mentioned packing tape is key.


Date Posted: 4/14/2010 3:56 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Welcome to PBS Susan  :)  and thank you for using plastic underwrap!

I've send and received hundreds of books in the standard PBS mailer.  With adequate packing tape, I find it entirely adequate for mailing one or two mmpb books.  For off sizes, hardcover, or larger orders I recycle bubble mailers or small boxes. 

But remember, PBS recommends wrapping in both (two) sheets of printer paper.  As somebody above mentioned, I try to remember to place the 2nd sheet under the plastic underwrap (emergency address) and substitute a sheet of scratch/recycle paper to go under the shipping label sheet.  I place the two papers together (mailing label on top) and pretend they are a single sheet.  With good packing tape on the package (and over shipping label) your books should arrive in fine condition.

Somebody mentioned hardcovers?  I agree, printer paper is not adequate Media Maul protection for hardcover books.  They often arrive with rounded corners and bent covers, unless packaging is upgraded.

Last Edited on: 4/14/10 3:58 AM ET - Total times edited: 1