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Topic: Book Mailed with Duct Tape

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Subject: Book Mailed with Duct Tape
Date Posted: 8/20/2007 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2006
Posts: 1,324
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I received a WL book today that was a new experience for me. The sender used duct tape to wrap the book in the PBS wrapper and then wrote a note on the wrapper hoping i wouldn't have trouble getting the duct tape opened. Is using duct tape allowed? I checked the Help Center but couldn't find anything about duct tape. I marked the transaction received without a problem. Luckily, the book was fine, but the tape was really stretchy, so it made the wrapper hard to cut open. I know duct tape can react to temperature changes, and I wouldn't think it'd be good to mail books with it, but maybe it's just me?

T. -
Date Posted: 8/20/2007 2:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2007
Posts: 9,989
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I got one last week with duct tape as well.  No problems.  It sure makes for an ugly package, but hey, it worked.

Date Posted: 8/20/2007 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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I've had that, too, actually!  As long as they don't tape TO the book, then I don't think it would really be considered a problem.  Maybe she was just out of other tape??

Date Posted: 8/20/2007 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2005
Posts: 828
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I think USPS does not officially allow duct tape.  I have gotten a package or two sealed with it too, though.

Date Posted: 8/20/2007 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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As long as your book was fine..........

Date Posted: 8/20/2007 5:21 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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The only tape I've seen referenced on the PO site is scotch type and masking. Doesn't mean it is officially allowed, just that when looking up a reference on tapes allowed, I only found those two referenced.

Date Posted: 8/20/2007 5:52 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2006
Posts: 4,110
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I've sent tons of packages in the past using duct tape, no one at the PO ever said anything.  I think as others have said as long as it isn't coming in cotact with the book itself I can't see a problem.  Being tough to open might be a plus no chance of getting torn up in the sorting machine!

Date Posted: 8/20/2007 6:23 PM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
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I think we're going a bit far trying to look for problems when we're questioning whether a book is allowed to be taped closed with a certain type of tape, don't you?

As long as your book was not damaged, what difference does it make what it was taped up in?

An aside..

Tammy...LOVE your new wayward monkey. MUCH more loveable than that drunken beast from yesterday ;)

Date Posted: 8/20/2007 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 3/2/2006
Posts: 83
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I thought it wasn't allowed by USPS, but maybe I'm wrong.  I don't know if it's wrong or not, but I wouldn't like it for it's tendency to melt in heat.


Date Posted: 8/20/2007 8:47 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 35
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I tried back when I was a kid to send a friend a package that had duct tape used on it and the post office wouldn't take it.  I had to go home and use packing tape instead.  That was years ago, but I never did that again.  That was the same post office that educated me on reusing priorety mail boxes and other oopses.  I guess they were really on the ball.  I only use packing tape and it is great. 

I just googled the post office site and looked up duct tape.  They do tell you not to use it.  Some post offices are not as observent I guess, but mine doesn't let you get away with anything.


When preparing packages, consider the following:

  • PRINT addresses clearly.
  • Include all address elements (apartment numbers, suite numbers, directional information for streets – for example: 123 S. Main St. or 12456 Elm St. N.).
  • Include both "to" and "from" information on packages - but only on one side.
  • Always use shipping tape. Duct tape will not be accepted.
  • Cushion contents appropriately. For example, fill glass and fragile hollow items, like vases, with newspaper or packing material to avoid damage during shipping. When mailing framed photographs, take the glass out of the frame and wrap it separately.

Helpful packaging tips include:

  • Select a box that is strong enough to protect the contents. Leave space for cushioning inside the carton.
  • Pack the contents with shredded or rolled newspaper, bubble wrap, or Styrofoam peanuts. Plain air-popped popcorn is also good for cushioning. It's inexpensive and environmentally friendly. Pack tightly to avoid shifting.
  • Always use tape that is designed for shipping, such as pressure-sensitive tape, nylon-reinforced craft paper tape, or fiberglass-reinforced pressure-sensitive tape. Do not use wrapping paper, string, masking tape or cellophane tape.
T. -
Date Posted: 8/20/2007 9:07 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2007
Posts: 9,989
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Thank you Michelle---it is true--nobody likes a drunk monkey!

Date Posted: 8/21/2007 6:13 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2006
Posts: 1,324
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Michelle, I wasn't looking for a problem as you implied, just trying to figure out if duct tape is allowed by the post office. I marked the transaction as fine. With the heat here in FL, I wondered, that's all.

Hilary, thank you for finding the answer.

Guess duct taped PBS books aren't all that rare, from some of your comments, grin.

Date Posted: 8/21/2007 7:56 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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I didn't think you were looking for a problem.  :>)

Date Posted: 8/21/2007 9:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2007
Posts: 1,305
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I had one a while back that had duct tape and black electrical tape, the book was like new so I was okay. I'm sure the post office was thinking odd things. LOL