Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Wrapping in brown grocery sacks -- not a good idea

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Wrapping in brown grocery sacks -- not a good idea
Date Posted: 3/12/2010 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 4/24/2008
Posts: 310
Back To Top

I used to wrap books in brown grocery sacks but no longer do so when I noticed that every time I receive a book wrapping in the brown paper the paper was torn.  Today I received a mass market paperback wrapped in the brown paper and sure enough it was torn all along one side where the edge of the paperback was.  It's a wonder the book did not slide out.   Book didn't even have a protective layer of plastic wrap and it has been raining buckets the past couple of days.  Luckily my book didn't get wet.  Currently a lull in the raining when mail was delivered.


Just a tip for all you folks that want to save money.  Don't use brown paper sacks.  Instead reycyle all envelopes that come in your mail.

Date Posted: 3/12/2010 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
Back To Top

In my opinion, it's not the brown grocery bag that was the problem but the taping.  I've used paper bags, wrapping paper, the PBS wrapper and calender pages.  Doesn't make any different IF they are taped well.

Plastic isn't required but can be helpful.

Date Posted: 3/12/2010 1:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

I agree with Cozy.  If properly taped, brown paper is fine.  I normally don't use it because I use the reusable grocery bags. But the few times I have-I tape the edges and corners really well.  Even when I use the PBS wrapper I tape the edges and the sides of of the book well not just the seem.

Date Posted: 3/12/2010 2:15 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2010
Posts: 388
Back To Top

I've been using brown grocery bags but I've been very careful with the taping.  I remember the site saying that you can never use too much tape so tape it up pretty good.  Are the brown bags more likely to tear than the copy paper?  I figured it would make it stronger. 

 

Anyone else have any bad luck with them?  I want to make sure these books are ok.

Sue

Date Posted: 3/12/2010 3:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
Back To Top

Agree with the taping as being important.

Other important ingredients in a successful brown paper packaging include:

  • no slack (the book can not move around in the wrapper -- often involves taping down excess packaging)
  • making sure that any ink from store logos etc does not transfer to the book. I've had a couple of books which arrived from a brown paper bag wrapped inside out where the ink transferred from the bag to to book, without any water contact. I think this can be avoided by:
    • using brown paper with no printing on it
    • putting the book in a plastic wrapping layer first.
Date Posted: 3/12/2010 3:34 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2009
Posts: 585
Back To Top

I use Trader Joe's brown paper bags for the books I sell on Ebay and have never had a problem.  I do enclose the books in bubble wrap first and carefully tape the ends.  Since I'm selling the books I think the buyer would have notified me if there was a problem.

Date Posted: 3/12/2010 5:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
Back To Top

I've used paper bags, wrapping paper, the PBS wrapper and calender pages.  Doesn't make any different IF they are taped well.

 

Agree with this.

Date Posted: 3/12/2010 6:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,471
Back To Top

The brown rolls of kraft paper seem to hold up better than paper bags.  I switched to old maps or envelopes after I noticed how many paper bag wrappers I received had problems on the edges and corners.

Date Posted: 3/12/2010 7:50 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
Back To Top

I have been using paper bags and brown kraft paper exclusively. I think the paper is pretty tough and does a good job as long as it's taped properly. I haven't gotten a complaint yet. I used to use the yellow envelopes with the built-in bubble wrap on small paperbacks but, I noticed that the ones I was receiving from others seemed to be getting pretty scraped up along the edges by postal machinery.



Last Edited on: 3/12/10 7:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/12/2010 7:57 PM ET
Member Since: 10/28/2008
Posts: 3,529
Back To Top

I always wrap in brown craft paper ( hubby bought me a bigggggg roll about a million yards  lol)

I have never had anyone tell me it was not a good thing.  I do also cut a piece of cardboard to place on the top and also the bottom of the books for added support, then I place every thing in a plastic wrapper before I wrap in the brown paper.  Dang I really do wrap my books very well lol  that is what most people I send to tell me

Date Posted: 3/12/2010 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
Back To Top

I do also cut a piece of cardboard to place on the top and also the bottom of the books for added support...

I do that for large floppy paperback books. I just save pieces of cardboard and styrofoam packaging. I don't like when my packaged book can bend easily. I start having visions of postal equipment folding, squishing, and mangling it.

Date Posted: 3/12/2010 8:49 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 2,470
Back To Top

I just received a book today wrapped in a piece of brown paper/grocery bag.  It had printing on the inside, but this didn't transfer as the book was wrapped first in plastic.  It's been raining here for almost 24 hours, so the brown paper was damp, just from moisture in the air, but the book was fine.  The package was taped well on the folded edges and seams.  One thing I noticed was that the brown paper bag was of a much thicker gauge then those my grocery store gives out.  The folded edges did not show much wear and tear at all; the texture seems almost as though it has sizing on it, which I think may be less common for brown paper bags. This paper is even heavier than the craft paper I use sometimes when I can't find a used envelope that's big enough.  In fact, it's much heavier than the mailing envelope paper.  Perhaps part of the issue with using grocery bag paper is not so much that it's from a grocery bag, per se, but that some bags are just made of superior grades of paper (regardless of tape use)?

Date Posted: 3/12/2010 10:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2007
Posts: 213
Back To Top

Every book I have ever received that was wrapped in a brown grocery bag arrived either damaged or with a damaged wrapper. The paper used for most grocery bags is very coarse and does not stand up well to abrasion or to moisture. You can make this work if you use TONS of tape on the corners and edges. Otherwise, the book will most likely arrive with the corners torn open and you are playing Russian Roulette with your packaging. Do yourself a favor and re-use your grocery bags for something else. If you want to wrap in paper, then please consider choosing a smoother paper (like craft paper, postal paper, or even printer paper) to wrap your books. Thin paper that is nice and smooth stands up better in shipping than thicker paper that is coarse.

Date Posted: 3/12/2010 10:50 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2005
Posts: 12,167
Back To Top

I've mailed over 800 books now and quite a lot of them went out with either brown paper grocery bags or brown kraft paper. 

I don't "mummify" my books with tape, but I tape all seams and all four edges.

Since I've never had a book arrive damaged, I have to believe it's about how you wrap and tape and not about the paper.

Date Posted: 3/12/2010 11:25 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
Back To Top

I've used and received books in recycled brown paper bags, they seem to travel just fine.  Although some paper seems more brittle than others, expecially the dollar store gift wrap and kraft paper...both split and tear very easily.

Subject: brown grocery bags
Date Posted: 3/13/2010 1:48 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2009
Posts: 1,362
Back To Top

are a good idea............

Subject: Brown paper use
Date Posted: 3/13/2010 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,724
Back To Top

Hey guys-- I ran federal drug testing offces at two different locations and we wrapped small boxed urine samples in brown paper and mailed our samples to the lab. This is the mandatory way we had to do it. Packages were NEVER damaged or they would have changed the way we had to wrap them--think it's about how well you fold your ends in and tape them up!

Date Posted: 3/13/2010 10:44 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,038
Back To Top

The problems I have are when I receive a book wrapped in a brown paper grocery bag is the ink transfer onto the book so I dread opening the wrapping when I get a book wrapped that way as I need to mark it RWAP if the printing ink transferred.

Date Posted: 3/13/2010 12:34 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
Back To Top

The problem could be a combination of the brown paper and rain.  Brown paper bags are made of a very porous material.  If they get wet or even moist, they are prone to tear.

I recently purchased a mixed quantity of poly envelopes on E-bay for a very reasonable price.  The bags ended up in costing me pennies apiece.  That's what I use to mail all my books now.  The stuff is waterproof and is almost impossible to tear. 

BTW, brown craft paper is much less porous than brown paper bags, so it will stand up to moisture much better.

Date Posted: 3/13/2010 1:41 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
Back To Top

Who knew that brown paper wrappers could be so controversial, lol!

Date Posted: 3/13/2010 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
Back To Top

I have received over 300 books and the most damaged books have been in poly bags!!  The machines seem to love to pull and punch holes in these, which then of course makes them not waterproof.  I've never had a book fall out of a poly bag but I can seldom recycle them because of the holes in them.  IF the bag is taped tightly around the book on all sides, then the poly bags don't get holes.

Date Posted: 3/13/2010 5:42 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
Back To Top

Brown paper is fine with the right amount of tape.

Ya aint getting a plastic wrap layer unless you ask for it in your RC.

Date Posted: 3/13/2010 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 13,203
Back To Top
Huh. I've never had a problem receiving books wrapped in brown paperbags. I don't use that method all that often myself because I prefer other methods but I never viewed it as a problematic way to mail books. And, to be honest, I still don't view it as problematic.
Date Posted: 3/13/2010 7:16 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
Back To Top

I never viewed it as a problematic way to mail books. And, to be honest, I still don't view it as problematic.

 

Date Posted: 3/14/2010 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
Back To Top

I have used grocery bags without complaints, but I always do a form-fitting double layer. And wrap the books inside in plastic.