PaperBackSwap Blog

Shipping Suggestions from Members: Newsletter – January 2006

At PBS, we encourage feedback and suggestions from you, our members. Your helpful input has led to many improvements to the club in the past year. We continue to encourage your input, and we would like to occasionally share with you some of the things we hear from members. The following is from Ellen F. (profile nickname: How-toCollector).

“Dear PBS Librarian,
I’m a new member of the PaperBackSwap and am pleased with the service so far. I’m very excited about it and want to help make it the best site of its kind. I’m very well versed in shipping books. My one concern with your instructional materials is that I feel you are encouraging insufficient wrapping and packing of books. I’m sure you may have heard this before. (I couldn’t resist adding my two cents.) I feel we all would be well served if you would encourage the use of recycled materials. Even one layer beyond what you are currently suggesting would be helpful. In my personal opinion, white printer paper is suitable for nothing more than a label. Brown paper bags and saran wrap (as per your suggestion) are an appropriate minimum. And something that most of us have around the house. And of course, use your label.(Your labels are excellent by the way.)

I know what the USPS can do to a package. I’ve received padded mailers back that have been cut almost in half. We have to think beyond a single mailing. Preserving a book’s condition is very important. They receive enough abuse with just normal handling. I would like to see these books exchanged over and over again. Just because this service is “free” doesn’t minimize the intrinsic value of the books. So we shouldn’t skimp in this area. I’m sure those involved with your service would not mind this minimal, extra effort. Thanks for taking the time to review my suggestions.”
——Ellen F.

Additional Mailing Reminders:

  1. When shipping books, a few simple reminders and suggestions:- If using envelopes, when oversized, please fold envelope to avoid excess movement of book within the envelope. This prevents the book from becoming trapped in the postal machines.
  2. Members shouldn’t reuse envelopes without using lots of tape…adhesives don’t work as well a second time….envelopes may open up and books may slide out.
  3. Use the wrapper or cut it out and attach it to the book EVERY time!
  4. You may want to use Saran Wrap to protect your books (to keep them from getting wet) before wrapping. Plastic bags, wax paper or plastic grocery bags also work well. But please DO NOT use Press and Seal as it sticks to the covers.Be sure to include the Request ID. If it isn’t on the package, you will not receive credit.
  5. Be sure Media Mail is prominently displayed on your package.
  6. If your package is one pound or more, it MUST go to the post office due to USPS regulations after 9/11.
  7. Use packing tape to wrap the wrapper. Do not put tape on the book. If you must use tape to hold it to the book cover, please use scotch tape.
  8. Do not place tape over stamps.

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