As an avid reader, you might be wondering about the best way to ship books or how to ship books efficiently. Shipping books might seem like an easy task, but shipping them so they reach their destination in perfect condition requires some extra care. No matter why you need to ship books, you surely don’t want them to get damaged by rain and moisture, or rough handling. The key is to package them properly, and to choose the right shipping option.
Here is a simple how-to guide on the best way to ship books:
Step 1: Shipping just one book
If you only need to ship one book, you might want to use a book mailer or a padded envelope instead of a box. However, most book mailers and padded envelopes offer no protection against rain or excessive moisture, and they will probably not protect the books placed inside if they are being tossed around during transport.
Whether you want to ship your book in a book mailer, a padded envelope or a box, you should start by wrapping it carefully in plastic. You can use a plastic bag, or a piece of clear plastic food wrap. This will protect your book against any liquid spill it could encounter during its journey.
To make sure your book doesn’t get bent during transport, place it between two pieces of plain cardboard that are just a bit larger than its cover. Finally, wrap it with a piece of brown paper, tape it in place, and put it inside your book mailer or padded envelope.
If you want to use a box, make sure you add some extra padding so your wrapped book doesn’t move inside the box.
Step 2: Shipping many books
If you have many books to ship, it’s not necessary to wrap them individually. However, you might want to take this extra step if the books are valuable, or if they are of different sizes and shapes.
Choose a sturdy cardboard box that is large enough so your books can lay flat inside it, and so you have enough room to add packing material for padding. Line the bottom of your box with either brown paper or bubble wrap, and add your books.
If you are shipping books of different sizes, the best way to ship books to separate them by sizes, and wrap each stack in bubble wrap.
Add packing material such as bubble wrap, crumpled paper, or packing peanuts around your stacked books for lightweight padding. If your books can move freely inside the box, their corners could get damaged. Don’t forget to add some padding on top of the books before you close the box.
Close the lid of the box, and tape it with strong packing tape. Don’t use too much tape, as it will only annoy the recipient of the package.
Step 3: Addressing your package correctly
Now that your books have been packaged securely, you can either write the address and the return information directly on the box, or print out a label. To make sure your address label doesn’t get damaged during transport, tape it down with clear packing tape.
If there is a barcode on your label, try not to put tape over it so it can be scanned more effectively.
Step 4: Choosing the right carrier
If you only have to ship one book, or one box full of books to the next town, you can simply go to your local post office. But if you have to ship many boxes of books, and if you have to do it regularly, you will need to consider other options. Choosing the right carrier is an important step on how to ship books properly.
Shipping one, or many heavy boxes full of books is not going to be cheap, no matter which carrier you decide to use. However, don’t hesitate to do a bit of comparison shopping so you can find the best shipping rates available to send your shipment. Ask for a few different quotes, and choose what seems to be the best price for the best service.
Depending on how many boxes of books you want to ship, you might be able to get a discount with your carrier. It’s worth asking your carrier if there is a possibility for you to get a discount on the price of your large shipment.
If you need to send large shipments of books across the border, or overseas, it would be easier to deal with a third-party logistics company.
Step 5: Purchasing insurance and tracking
If your book shipments are valuable, you will need to protect them with shipping insurance. Buying insurance is the only way to make sure you won’t lose any money if ever your packages get lost, stolen, or badly damaged.
Finally, make sure you add a tracking number to your shipments, so it will be easy to track their status in real time, from pick up to delivery. Tracking your book shipments is also an extra precaution to make sure your precious books will not get lost during transport, and will safely reach their destination.