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Thread: HOW TO: Package Books Properly

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    Default HOW TO: Package Books Properly

    So, it is a major pet peave of mine when I receive books from sellers that are poorly packaged.

    I have decided to create a tutorial on the PROPER WAY to pack a book for shipment across the country, or across the world.

    I will edit this post later with photos.

    1. Select the right sized box. You need a minium of two inches between the book and box on the four sides that are most likely to sustain damage (top, bottom, spine, and side opposite spine). Don't be lazy and just ship your book in the first box you can squeeze your book into. And I'm not suggesting you need to go out and purchase your boxes either...with little effort one can find the right box for free.



    2. Lay down a layer of cardboard in the bottom of the box to prevent punctures.

    3. Lay down some padding (foam peanuts or bubble wrap). I like a minimum of an inch.

    4. Lay down a sheet of thick cardboard that is the exact dimensions of the inside length and width of the box. This will act to reinforce the inside of the box like a structural support, and prevent the box from being crushed.

    5. If possible, put your book in a NEW and CLEAN clear plastic bag. I buy them from my grocery store, and they are usually called BREAD BAGS. Tape the bag shut.

    6. Center the book in the box.

    7. Pour in foam peanuts between the book and box on all four sides, making sure they come up to the top of the book (and a little past), and are evenly distributed.

    7. lay down a couple sheets of bubble wrap.

    8. Lay down another sheet of thick cardboard that is the exact dimesions of the inside length and width of the box. This will act to reinforce the inside of the box like a structural support, and prevent the box from being crushed. It will also prevent an enthusiastic recipient from damaging the book as he or she slices open the box with a knife.

    9. Fill the empty space between the cardboard and top of the box with foam peanuts. You need to put enough in so it is ALMOST difficult to close the box and tape it shut.

    10. Tape the box shut. I put a piece of tape over the flaps, and pieces on the edge as well.

    11. Gently shake your box, if you feel the book flopping around inside, you DID NOT DO IT RIGHT. You either need to add more foam peanuts around the sides, or between the cover of the book and the top of the box. YOUR BOX MUST BE TIGHTLY PACKED...THIS IS A KEY REQUIRMENT IN PREVENTING DAMAGE.

    A little extra effort keeps your recipient happy, and keeps you from having to deal with returns. I spend about 15-20 minutes packing each book. I get all of my materials for free (except for tape) because I keep my eyes open. Foam peanuts and cardboad boxes are VERY easy to find.

    How do I know what I do works? Because I have NEVER had a complaint about an item I shipped arriving damaged in ten+ years of selling on ebay. Here are some feedback comments received in just the last year:

    perfect-great book and by far the best packed book ive received-thank you!!!!

    Flawless copy- the best I've seen. Very well packaged and quickly shipped.

    The book shipped immediately and was packaged with bubble wrap and popcorn.

    Book was well-packaged and arrived in excellent condition. Highly recommended!

    FAST shipping, EXPERT packaging (seriously, the best), and GREAT guy. Thanks!

    received item, well packed , great condition, received quickly for shipping rate

    wouldn't hesitate to buy from this seller again..great care taken packaging item



    I hope you have found the above useful.

    tippy4
    Last edited by tippy4; 12-16-2015 at 09:52 AM.
    FOR SALE OR TRADE
    Wizard & Glass Grant 1st Edition $100
    Dark Tower 7 Artist Edition $70
    The Waste Lands 1st Edition in Shrinkwrap $125
    1984 Grant Gift Edition of The Talisman $250
    Lisey's Story ARC $25
    Sleeping Beauties CD Gift Edition in Shrinkwrap $125
    The Shining Sub Press Gift Edition $125

    WANTED
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    Signed 1st Edition of The Bachman Books (1985 Omnibus Hardback)

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    You forgot step 12: hold up the box and yell to the wife, "CHECK OUT MY PACKAGE"... then you are done.

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    Owner Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg's Avatar

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    Pet peeve of mine: Don't wrap the book with 7 layers of bubble wrap, each with 7+ pieces of tape. Just gently and snugly wrap the bubble wrap around the book, and 2 or 3 small pieces of tape will keep it bound. It will also allow the bubble wrap to be used in the future to protect another persons treasure.

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    This is a GREAT thread idea! Now how do we make it required reading for booksellers in general and eBay sellers in particular?

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    One failure to do so by a seller= we abduct them and tattoo the rules on their face
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randall Flagg View Post
    Pet peeve of mine: Don't wrap the book with 7 layers of bubble wrap, each with 7+ pieces of tape. Just gently and snugly wrap the bubble wrap around the book, and 2 or 3 small pieces of tape will keep it bound. It will also allow the bubble wrap to be used in the future to protect another persons treasure.
    Agreed! Trying to get through all those layers of bubble wrap is a real pain!

    John

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    Better than no bubble wrap though

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    Quote Originally Posted by Randall Flagg View Post
    Pet peeve of mine: Don't wrap the book with 7 layers of bubble wrap, each with 7+ pieces of tape. Just gently and snugly wrap the bubble wrap around the book, and 2 or 3 small pieces of tape will keep it bound. It will also allow the bubble wrap to be used in the future to protect another persons treasure.
    Agreed...don't go crazy with the tape, and yes, for Pete's sake recycle your packaging materials!
    FOR SALE OR TRADE
    Wizard & Glass Grant 1st Edition $100
    Dark Tower 7 Artist Edition $70
    The Waste Lands 1st Edition in Shrinkwrap $125
    1984 Grant Gift Edition of The Talisman $250
    Lisey's Story ARC $25
    Sleeping Beauties CD Gift Edition in Shrinkwrap $125
    The Shining Sub Press Gift Edition $125

    WANTED
    The Plant Part 1 Signed Limited Edition
    Signed 1st Edition of The Bachman Books (1985 Omnibus Hardback)

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    Great packaging advice tippy! I like the extra cardboard for rigidity idea.

    I do it similarly.

    • I make sure each book is either; wrapped in paper, placed in a book bag or placed in a bubble wrap book bag. This contains the book and prevents rubbing damage.
    • I then wrap the prepared book in bubble wrap. I prefer using the smaller 'bubble' bubble wrap. I wrap it at least twice around the book. More for a large book. Three pieces of HD packing tape is enough; one for the flap and one for each end. HD tape is easily removable from the bubble wrap.
    • The next step varies slightly depending on the package and packing materials available. The main thing is to cushion your bubble wrapped book in the appropriately sized box so it doesn't shift around. You can use peanuts, more bubble wrap wrapped on the book, more bubble wrap layered or stuffed in the box or Styrofoam. Just make sure the book is centered and well padded so it doesn't move. I don't recommend crumpled newspaper or other material that can flatten. I don't like the big air pillows either; they pop and then there is no protection.
    • I put a piece of cardboard or thin Styrofoam on top prior to sealing the box to minimize possible box-cutter damage. Like Rick said the box has to be slightly overstuffed so there is no chance of movement.
    • Tape the box good with a quality packing tape. The HD type can be put right over the label.
    When I am done I could literally play football with the package. Even the USPS can't damage the books inside. I always receive positive feedback and compliments on the packaging. I've never had a complaint.
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    FWIW, sometimes the packing is really hard to un-ravel when received!! LOL Of course, good packing is essential, but take a mind to the recipient once in a while!!! LOL LOL

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    Owner Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg received positive rep from Stephen King Randall Flagg's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin1958 View Post
    FWIW, sometimes the packing is really hard to un-ravel when received!! LOL Of course, good packing is essential, but take a mind to the recipient once in a while!!! LOL LOL
    I think that's what he said in the second bullet point. Only 3 pieces of tape-easily removed.

  12. #12
    Fundraiser Emeritus Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Randall Flagg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin1958 View Post
    FWIW, sometimes the packing is really hard to un-ravel when received!! LOL Of course, good packing is essential, but take a mind to the recipient once in a while!!! LOL LOL
    I think that's what he said in the second bullet point. Only 3 pieces of tape-easily removed.
    Oops, my bad. Carry on.

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