Online bookselling: the packaging debate…

By Sharon Fussell, October 2, 2014


During the years I have been selling books/media online, I have always used Mail Lite ‘Jiffy’ bags to package products I’ve sold. I use various sizes – D1, G4, F3, H5. They are usually very reliable and customers are happy with my packaging.

However, it is possible to use other types of packaging that are cheaper, but you need to be careful that this packaging does not push the item into a higher rate of postage.

Online bookselling: the packaging debate...

Online bookselling:
the packaging debate…

Conversely, using alternative methods of packaging can allow you to post your item at a lower cost: for example, I have, on occasion, used postage bags that enable me to send an item as a large letter as apposed to a packet.

This makes a worthwhile postage saving, but the packaging needs to strike a balance between being robust and appropriate for the item it’s used for and the cost of buying the packaging.

Here are some examples of packaging that you can use:

  • Mail Lite ‘Jiffy’ bags
  • Plastic postage bags – Amazon states these must be at least 1.5mm thick
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Cardboard envelopes
  • Brown wrapping paper – IF the item inside is duly protected by card, bubble-wrap or something similar.

I do not really recommend using regular paper envelopes; they are unlikely to weather the handling by postage services. Customers will not be impressed if their goods arrive damaged. Nor will you be when you have to issue refunds!

Looking on the Amazon seller forum, I have found a few comments in relation to packing…

I sell books and often send my paperbacks in a bag, wrapped well and taped up well, and have not had any negative feedback about the packaging. In fact, the only time I have had a negative response was when I used bubble wrap and parcel paper.Boo

We send products out in a mixture of Jiffy bags and plastic bags, as, not only can we buy the plastic ones cheaper, but using the plastic ones often means that an item can be mailed as a large letter, whereas the same item in a Jiffy bag would push beyond the large letter size into small parcel size. This can represent a reduction in postage cost for a single item of as much as £1.63 and we are then able to pass this saving onto the customer by way of a lower shipping inclusive price. Where an item would still be charged as a parcel rather than a large letter, or is likely to be easily damaged, then we still use Jiffy bags or wrap the item in bubble wrap first and then place it into the poly bag.Sweetly Special

Padded envelopes are cheaper and give much better protection. Not only that, they look so much better and the feedback is always better…Nightingale Nurse

Where can you purchase low cost packaging?

I use eBay and Amazon: it’s possible to order small amounts and I have found they are sent out quickly. This is very useful, as I always leave it until the last minute before ordering them when stocks are low.

Books for sale (from Sale in Cheshire)!

From time to time I am asked to advertise book stock that for various reasons are being sold. Here is a request From Paul. If this offer is of any interest, please contact Paul directly.

To Fellow Book Lovers

Owing to illness and advancing years, I have to cut down on my passion for acquiring and selling quality non-fiction books of all genres. Manual handling in storage, book fairs and car boot sales has taken its toll. I live in Sale, Cheshire, and have successfully used Sharon’s program for seven years. To start with, I want to sell off my extensive stock of up to two thousand, unlisted non-fiction books at realistic attractive prices to like-minded book enthusiasts.

If you are interested, have time, transport and storage, and would like to make contact, meet up and view my extensive stock, please email me on [email protected] or text me on 07941059993, using the title ‘Passion for Books’.

Many thanks, Paul Jones.

That’s all from me this week.


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