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Topic: Book Packaging Savings tip

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Subject: Book Packaging Savings tip
Date Posted: 9/24/2012 3:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2012
Posts: 13
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Unless you are hooked using bubble envelopes this can save you a lot of money over time, especially if you send out lots of books on a regular basis. Instead of buying envelopes, try Postal Wrapping Paper instead.

Postal wrapping paper is a plain brown paper rolled into a tube shape, much like Christmas Wrapping paper. Simply package the book as you normally do (such as seran wrapping to water proof it), then wrap and tape the book like you would a christmas gift, substituting scotch tape with Packing tape. If the book is hardcover or packing multiples, place a reinforcing strip of  packing tape on all four sides from front to back of package. And voila, you have a clean, well wrapped book for pennies.

Dollar Tree sells 30 inches X 15 foot rolls of Postal paper for a 1.00 plus your local sales tax. Dollar General and Walmart sells both the rolls and packing tape for a bit more, pricing varying by brand and region.  I average about 15 to 25 books and dvds per roll from the dollar tree.

Date Posted: 9/25/2012 11:36 AM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2011
Posts: 708
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I love that stuff!! The couple books I have wrapped in it, I do layer twice *three times for an audio book* because it doesn't feel as thick as a paper bag, but it's great! I have a few tubes from the dollar store!

Date Posted: 9/25/2012 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2010
Posts: 2
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That's a great idea. I've seen it at the Dollar Tree. I'll have to pick some up next time I'm there. Thanks for the tip.

Date Posted: 9/25/2012 4:26 PM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2007
Posts: 1,253
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I always reuse envelopes but if I ever run out, I will buy this. I also use shopping bags. I've also gotten in the habit of saving the little plastic bag that shirts come in when ordered online and wrap the book in that so it's waterproof. 

Date Posted: 9/25/2012 4:31 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2012
Posts: 13
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I do like those ideas as well. Mosrt stores in my area only do plastic bags though so I do not get that free extra paper very often, so the paper wrap makes the next best alternative. :) Will definitly keep the shirt wrap idea in mind too! Thanks.

Date Posted: 10/17/2012 11:41 AM ET
Member Since: 10/3/2007
Posts: 93
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Instead of buying it, you can get it for free from packing material.  My office orders a bunch of stuff online and a few vendors now use crumpled brown paper as stuffing rather than styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap or those air bag things.  I've been rolling up the brown paper on old gift wrap tubes to store until I need it.  Taping over any perforated sections will allow you to wrap larger books.

Date Posted: 10/23/2012 10:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 300
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I started using brown paper grocery bags, file folders with the tabs cut off, and old calendar pages.  These work well and count as recycling!  I've had compliments on the calendar pages packaging, which surprised me but I was pleased others could like it.  I also re-use those puffy envelopes I receive from others.  I haven't bought book packaging materials in ages.  The only thing I buy is packing tape.

Subject: Savings Ideas
Date Posted: 11/9/2012 2:12 AM ET
Member Since: 9/17/2008
Posts: 3
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Sometimes I use a box of cereal bars (any kind of box in your pantry really) and disassemble the boxes at the natural joints.  Then I turn them in-side-out so the cardboard part is a clean, blank exterior. from here I stuff old news papers or the ads you get in the mail that are like newspaper advertisements to cushion the contents if needed.  Then tape the flaps shut and TA-dAH!  A nice safe way to send more fragile items like hardbacks with the corners that can rip other stuff and not have to waste tons of tape.

Subject: I never buy shipping envelopes
Date Posted: 2/23/2013 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2008
Posts: 5
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I found the best thing to use for shipping my books.  I save the plastic shipping bag that I get things in.  When I order anything from the internet especially QVC these things are shipped in a heavy duty plastic envelope.  I pull off the shipping label, turn it inside out, and cut it to fit leaving a corner intact.  I slip the book in the corner and proceed to wrap it.  This takes care of the plastic wrapping to protect the book, I'm reusing something that would end up in the landfill and I don't have to spend money to buy a bubble envelope or other type of cover.  I've been doing it for 2 years now.  Works for me !   Swindy48

Date Posted: 3/4/2013 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2009
Posts: 866
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Wish more people would chime in on this thread. I think it's a good one. Even one new (to me) idea would be helpful.

We save paper from the printer that's only printed on one side in a "scrap paper" box under the file drawer of the desk. We keep it in a box (or maybe it's the lid?) that printer paper once came in, so it fits perfectly. Many times we've had to print something and messed it up or had an extra sheet because it printed the URL of the webpage or something. Sometimes, we've picked up extra (unwanted) copies from DH's work or from church. We're actually able to do quite a bit of printing on these sheets, for personal use and for printing the PBS shipping label. And I only use one sheet of paper, except for the rare occassion when I'm mailing just one small paperback.

I usually use old calendar pages. I actually picked up 3 new calendars on clearance for $1 each the other day because I thought they'd made fun packaging. Some of the calendars that I get for free from businesses are a little thin and flimsy, or maybe not quite big enough. Then I use 2 sheets and stagger them as needed. I've only ever had one person tell me that the packaging tore and DH had wrapped that one because I was sick. (He has since wrapped lots more packages, as I've been teaching him how to defend against postal machines.) These work well for larger paperbacks.

My new favorite thing to keep costs down on mailing hardbacks: DH used to bring home cardboard boxes from work for me to mail books. Very sturdy, but I little heavy for just one book. From a tip on here, I've started using inside out cereal boxes and crackers boxes. I cut them down to size to get ride of excess weight. They seem to be good enough, because hardbacks are strong enough on their own, except at the corners.

I also keep a supply of plastic for wrapping books in. Most of my magazine subscriptions come in plastic these days. That plastic is great for trade paperbacks or some larger books. Lots of things we buy come in good, reusable plastic. I've been saving the plastic wrapper from my a/c filters. Enough thin (but adequate) plastic to wrap several books.

And, of course, it goes without saying that I reuse the enevelopes and things that I get books in.

I know I'm repeating some stuff that's already been said here. Just hoping to jog somebody's memory for some other tips. I like not having to buy anything but tape. yes

Date Posted: 3/26/2013 5:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2006
Posts: 368
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Someone has perhaps mentioned this before - I reuse the tyvec packages our meds come in - that's that heavy plastic-looking stuff that's usually gray inside. So far - no problems over the years! I turn it inside out and have the gray showing. With hard back books I wrap them with painters drop- usually painters will give you the ends that are too small for them to use to cover any kind of area. So far, the PO has NOT found a way to get through that stuff. It does weigh a fraction more than plastic, but boy! Does it ever work!!!  

Date Posted: 4/1/2013 5:40 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 460
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Thanks for the tips!

I love the idea of re-using food boxes that have been turned inside-out.

I've picked up things at yard sales, thrift stores, and even my office (when they were cleaning out old supplies).  A co-worker often orders books and software from Amazon.  They arrive in the cardboard "envelopes".  He saves those for me.  I especially like using those on hardcover books or audio books.   At a    

At a yard sale, a woman was selling a box of mailing envelopes that were a really weird shade of orange and had a pre-printed return address of a company that had gone out of business. The box had  well over 50 envelopes in there.  She wanted a dollar for it.  SOLD!   

I've used file folders like another member posted!  They were used in my office and when we starting shredding old files, I cut off the tabs and used them to wrap paperbacks.

I've also re-used mailing envelopes by turning them inside out or just taping the address label over the original.

The printer paper used at my office is wrapped with a glossy type paper.  My boss saves the wrappers (she's a PBS member too!).  She turns the glossy side in and tapes them around the book.

At my thrift store, I found 3 boxes of extra large plastic surgical gowns.  Each box contains 15 gowns.  These are HUGE!  I bought all 3 boxes for less than $2 including sales tax.  I cut them down to size and use them to waterproof my book mailings.  I've only used about 10 gowns in the last year.




Date Posted: 6/9/2013 4:05 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2009
Posts: 210
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I just got a load of thick brown packacking paper that a store was throwing away (products came wrapped in them, and to get them ready to sell and put on shelves they have to remove the packaging). I think alot of stores probably go through a ton of packing materials... if you work for any grocery store, office store, book store... really any store that recieves large loads of product, asking for their discarded shipping materials is worth it! 

Aside from that any plastic lining I get that is clean, I keep. Stickers I keep, and I havent bought paper for wrapping (people throw away some really nice paper, and brown paper grocery bags can always be reinfocred with tape). I don't think I have purchased package material for a few years now!

Date Posted: 6/24/2013 2:10 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2013
Posts: 9
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This is a great idea! So far I've been doing brown paper bags turned inside out and extra computer paper to get a decent wrap job (lucky for me I haven't had to send out a huge book yet!) I'm going to keep this in mind

Date Posted: 11/7/2013 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2005
Posts: 27
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I save the plastic bags that my newspaper is delivered in- these work for most books, and then I wrap in brown paper bags I get at the supermarket.

Date Posted: 11/27/2013 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2013
Posts: 21
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I find that plastic wrap works well to waterproof my book without adding weight or volume to the package. If it is a paperback, I tape 2 pieces of cardboard that I would otherwise recycle on either side of the book and then wrap it in thick brown paper that is in shipments I recieve from different companies.

Date Posted: 4/16/2014 7:50 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2006
Posts: 2,552
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Last Edited on: 4/24/15 2:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/8/2014 1:05 AM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2010
Posts: 31
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Lots of tips for shipping!!

I'm another person who hasn't bought anything but tape in years! And when I do I got to staples and get the 12 pack of double rolls of not too heavy stuff & use my handy-dandy 3M plastic dispenser that I picked up as purchase #1 with a couple rolls of tape when I first started. I always, always reuse the bubble and non-bubble envelopes that people send me. God love those people! No way I could spend a dollar or so every time I shipped something! 

My favorite recycle items though are the big plastic bags that our wood pellets come in for heating. They're nice and thick too! We use one 40lb. bag (like a bird seed or dog food bag) each day all through the winter and the transfer station won't recycle these for some reason! So I cut them open and wrap it a couple of times inside-out around the book. We also haven't had to buy kitchen garbage bags for several years. (Whew!! That's 3 tons -- my back can attest to it!)

I use the plastic grocery bags to waterproof the books if I'm using paper instead. Just cut off the handles and the seam at the bottom and you can get 2 or 3 out of one bag! Or give your bread & roll bags or produce bags a wash & dry. I never use saran wrap for anything so I don't buy it just for books. Also I just always use the single page printout for the shipping label. If I'm just sending a paperback, I take the printout and cut across below the address part, flip the bottom over and packing tape it back together on the front side. That way the rest of the page is blank and you've got packing tape across one edge of your package already. The underneath page I'll use whatever's around -- newspaper, recycled copy paper, magazines, whatever. A couple thin pages of the old phone book is great for this!  As long as there's extra protection for your book -- it does n't have to be pretty. Although sometimes I do get fancy and use calendar pages, wrapping paper or interesting articles & crossword puzzles :)

This tip seems silly but it saves money if you're shipping a lot -- use scotch tape or masking tape on the inside of the package and save your expensive packing tape for the outside. I've used up our not-so-sticky old packing tape, old painter's tape, whatever's crappy that's around instead of using your nice packing tape to hold together your plastic bag or inside paper bag or whatever. Save the good stuff for where it counts! Oh well, I'm a penny-pincher. What can I say?

If I'm sending multiple books or a hardcover, usually I use inside-out cereal boxes that I refold to a better size, with some bubble wrap that my hubby brings home from work. Any box is fair game really. You just have to score the edges so they'll fold and I tape them just in case. I do some shipping for ebay also so I'm pretty practiced on packaging and have gotten into the habit of recycling almost anything. Sometimes it's fun seeing what you can do with something unusual. Sometimes I get a little obsessive but I enjoy the creative challenge :)

Last Edited on: 7/8/14 1:06 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/4/2014 3:03 AM ET
Member Since: 7/11/2009
Posts: 354
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Walmart ICE CREAM BROWN BAG inside out along with plastic bag inside for waterproofing.

If overnight shopping at Walmart, stop by shoe dept and ask for the black and/or white bags that slippers & shoes come in. Just put small piece of tape over the (hole punch size) holes.

Frozen Pizza boxes

Date Posted: 9/4/2014 9:44 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2006
Posts: 2,552
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Last Edited on: 4/24/15 2:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/26/2014 11:42 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 12
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I started using the pharmacy advertisements that come with the rest of the grocery store circulars.  Even though they kind of look like newsprint, but they are glossy, so they don't mess your hands or the book like a newspaper or the grocery store circular would.  I usually double up two sheets and extra tape the corners!  Sometimes funny items that the pharmacy is selling end up showing on the outside of the package (laxatives, preparation-h, etc.) but it's nothing anyone hasn't seen before!  And they arrive in the mail every week!  Endless supply and +1 for recycling!

Last Edited on: 9/29/14 9:25 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/26/2014 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2006
Posts: 2,552
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Last Edited on: 4/24/15 2:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/28/2014 11:58 AM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2007
Posts: 34
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I use paper grocery bags and cut off the bottoms and use them- this is extra heavy and good protection for the book. I use small manilla mailing envelopes for small books such as paperbacks. I buy packing tape from walmart in packs of three or four since I have an Etsy shop and used to sell heavily on ebay-- it's less expensive to buy the tape in bulk.  

I like the idea of saving ore recycling cereal boxes or those thin cardboard boxes, great idea. 


Date Posted: 9/28/2014 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2006
Posts: 2,552
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Last Edited on: 4/24/15 2:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/20/2014 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/26/2007
Posts: 33
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You can also use brown paper shopping bags if you already have them available. I also recommend recycling other packages that have been sent to you.