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Topic: Is it my place?

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Subject: Is it my place?
Date Posted: 10/9/2007 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 2,039
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Okay, I've been a member for just a few months and having a great time here.  

My question is:  if I receive books that have been sent incorrectly but the books have arrived still in postable shape, is it snarky of me to pm them and tell them so?

I did pm the newbie that mailed a book taping the wrapper to the book, and only using a few pieces of scotch tape that were barely holding the wrapper together even though my book arrived fine and in great condition.

Now, to the seasoned PBS member who sent me a book wrapped in newspaper but no plastic wrap,  do I say something to them?  The cover of the book was fine but the edges of a very new paperback are now stained with news ink.  The book is still postable, but I believe they were lucky this time.  Should I say something or  just be glad that the book is okay?

What are your opinions, because even helpful criticism can read as being snarky in a pm.

Last Edited on: 10/9/07 6:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/9/2007 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 5/17/2007
Posts: 3,129
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I would definitely want to know if my packaging wasn't adequate.  I often wonder if all my books have been received in good condition; no one has ever said otherwise but I would certainly make adjustments if I had to.  Of course, you would want to inform them politely.

Date Posted: 10/9/2007 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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perhaps send a message saying that you appreciated receiving the book and it arrived fine but they might want to review their wrapping techniques since it is possible that they could have easily not made it to their destination.

I'm not good at wording but something along those lines.  not snarky but just a "hey, you might want to know...."

Date Posted: 10/9/2007 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Well its up to you. Id give them the benifit of the doubt and explain that what they did was potentialy harmful to the book and could cost them a credit from another member in the future.

Date Posted: 10/9/2007 5:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2005
Posts: 12,167
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I would definitely PM them, gently and politely.  I think it's worth risking coming off as snarky, because it might save them serious grief in the future.

Date Posted: 10/9/2007 5:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 5,093
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I always think it's best to let the person know of a potential problem.  As long as you are polite (you know - I really appreciate the book and I'm glad to get it, but wanted to let you know a book wrapped in newsprint can get ink all over the cover...) then it's not only fine, it's the polite thing to do.  How is the person supposed to know that the way they wrap a book could be a problem if no one ever tells them?

Date Posted: 10/9/2007 5:46 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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I always tell the member if there was a problem with the wrapping, even if it didn't damage the book.  I word it like, "Hey, just an FYI - you taped the wrapper to the book and although it didn't damage the book, it could have ripped the cover.  This has been known to happen to other members.  I just wanted to give you a friendly head's up so that you know this when you are wrapping books in the future."

Date Posted: 10/9/2007 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 2,039
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Thanks for the advice, I just feel that lately I've been pm-ing so many complaints between receiving unpostable books and miswrapped books that I started doubting myself and wondering if I'm being too picky.  As extensive as the help center is, there sure are a lot of grey areas, so I'm so glad for the forums and everyone's help. 

I would definitely want to know if I did something wrong, so I will assume that others feel that way as well and act accordingly.  I did send a pm about the newspaper, stressing that the book was fine, but for future reference..  etc.

Last Edited on: 10/9/07 6:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/9/2007 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/5/2005
Posts: 30
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Has wrapping the book in plastic wrap become a requirement?  I started doing it awhile back, but not every book I receive is wrapped in plastic--and none of these books have been received damaged. 

If wrapping in plastic is not a requirement, then I would not send a PM telling a person that they should do so, no matter how friendly.  Instead, if I expected my books to be wrapped in plastic, I would state it in my conditions section. 

Date Posted: 10/9/2007 6:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/31/2006
Posts: 1,405
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 Has wrapping the book in plastic wrap become a requirement?

Nope.  It's still listed in the 'How to Wrap a Book' section of the Help Center as a suggestion.

Date Posted: 10/9/2007 6:03 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 5,093
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No, plastic isn't required it's just a really good idea.

I think the "no plastic wrap" referred specifically to the book wrapped in newsprint.  I assume that she meant that newsprint would be okay as long as the book was wrapped in plastic first to protect it from having the ink rubbed off, which I agree with.  In this case, I assume she said something like "newsprint is okay as long as the book is wrapped in plastic first..." That type of thing.

Date Posted: 10/9/2007 6:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 2,039
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I understand plastic is not a requirement, but it should be when using newspaper as a wrapper.  I accidentally typed newsprint instead of newspaper in my OP and edited it accordingly.

Date Posted: 10/9/2007 6:47 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2006
Posts: 3,172
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I will sometimes send them the wrapping guidelines with a note that says "FYI, wrapping in X or taping to the cover can harm the book and may cause the recipient to ask for their credit back. Here's what the Help Center says in part:

  • Poor choices for alternate packaging materials:
    • Giftwrapping paper (too thin)
    • Newspaper (can smudge ink onto the books)
    • Priority Mail envelope (this is illegal to use for MediaMail, even if you are reusing it, and even if you turn it inside out!)
      • if you do this, and the package is inspected, it will arrive postage-due at the requestor's, or be returned postage-due to you (the additional postage required will be the difference between postage paid and Priority Mail rate)
General Guidelines for wrapping:
  • Your book(s) must be completely enclosed in the wrapping

Use plenty of tape (2" shipping tape, not Scotch)

  • especially at the corners and seams.
  • You can get shipping tape at any store that sells stationery or shipping supplies.
  • Do not apply tape directly to the book! This can damage the book when the package is opened.
    • If you apply tape directly to the book and it is then damaged when the package is opened, you will not receive a credit.
Date Posted: 10/9/2007 7:11 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,817
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I wouldn't mention the plastic except to say that the INK rubbed off onto the book and clean paper Or plastic might keep that from happening.  Plastic is completely optional. 

Date Posted: 10/9/2007 7:52 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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I do write nice notes to people about mailing issues.  Typically I find out they're new members who don't have the experience of receiving different wrappings on their rec'd books.  Most people are really happy I let them know.  Just last week someone sent me a book with one layer of newsprint.  It had mailing tape vertically, but not horizontally.  The paper ripped completely open on one side (the open side of a thin, large paperback).  I'm surprised it made it in one piece.  The large, thin size must have helped since it was most likely sent as a "flat".

The member was very thankful I wrote her.  I told her the newsprint was fine with enough tape on it.

I've had issues with hardbacks sent in manilla envelopes.  They nearly always tear out at the corners.  So I always let people know about it.

A few weeks ago I rec'd a PM from a member telling me my book was the best wrapped that she'd ever rec'd.  I've sent so many I don't even know what I did :-)  She wanted to put somewhere on the site feedback about how "great" I was - LOL!  I just try to learn from what comes in to me - good and bad!

Date Posted: 10/9/2007 10:45 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 21
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I have not wrapped all of my books in plastic.  I use the bubble wrap envelopes most of the time.

Date Posted: 10/9/2007 11:28 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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I've gotten one wrapped in a manila envelope, which is fine, but whatever they used to stick on the label was inadequate.  I was amazed that it reached me, since the label had about the stickyness of a post it, and was only still stuck on in a 2" x 1" piece near the top.  I did PM the sender, so they'd know how close the label was to falling off.