12 steps to safely package books for shipping

Posted by Temando on Monday, October 21, 2013
If you are about to send a book then you want to make sure that you have packaged it well. It needs to arrive in perfect condition, you want to ensure that it doesn't get damaged in transit so make sure that you follow these useful steps to safely package books for shipping and you will get them there in good condition every single time.
  1. Clean the book before you pack it. Get rid of any of the dust so that it is totally clean.
  2. Add a letter or card if you want to give one to the recipient. Put it between the cover and the first leaf so that it doesn't move and they can find it easily.
  3. Protect the book from potential moisture damage. You want to wrap the book in a plastic bag and seal it shut with tape.
  4. Work out what packaging it needs. While a paperback book can be sent in a padded envelope or satchel, a box is still the best packaging container to use, especially if the book is valuable or important to either you or the recipient. Paperbacks don't have the overhanging cover and exposed corners that hardbacks do, so they can be put in a padded envelope. You can put the box into a satchel as well to make sure you receive satchel pricing.
  5. If you are using a box make sure that it is just a bit larger than the book. For hardcovers books you want to find a cardboard box that is a little larger than the book, while paperbacks can be jammed in to a smaller box.
  6. If the box is not new make sure it is clean and doesn’t have lots of writing on the outside. You want to make sure that the box is in good condition and that it is strong enough to hold the book.
  7. It may pay to tape the seams. You never know how old the tape is so put more over the top to ensure it is strong.
  8. Add packing material to make sure the book doesn't move around. There are lots of packing materials -- packing peanuts, Styrofoam, air bags, crumpled plastic grocery bags, or crushed newspaper as a last resort though you should note that newspaper is relatively heavy and adds to the shipping cost.
  9. Once the bottom of the box is filled up to about a third you put the book in on the layer of packing material. Then fill in the space around the book with packing material and fill the box to the top. The book should be sitting in the centre of the box.
  10. Check the book is secure before taping the box. Before closing it properly you should shake the box. If you can feel or hear any movement, then you need to add more packing material until the book cannot move.
  11. Write the address, or preferably print it and stick it on the top flap of the box before you tape it closed. Make sure you put your address as well.
  12. Finally you can tape the box closed. Make sure you use a good packing tape and not masking tape or sticky tape.

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