Book packaging: Packaging books and music for 21st-century shopping

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The internet has revolutionised the way we buy our books and music over the last few years. Traditional shops are disappearing fast as more and more of us do our shopping at home. Sales of digital versions of music and books for mp3 players and e-readers are growing all the time, although they are not likely to overtake sales of the traditional media for some time yet.

Thankfully, there are still bookshops and record stores on most high streets, and long may that continue! There’s nothing quite like browsing the shelves to see the latest titles, or finding a long hoped-for treasure among the dusty contents of a second–hand shop. However, there’s no escaping the fact that many people who do this are seeing what’s available and then going home to see if they can get what they have found cheaper online!

Figures from 2009 show that nearly half of the new books and cd’s sold in the UK were bought via the internet, through companies like Amazon and The market in second-hand goods is also flourishing online, via sites like ebay and AbeBooks. Supporting this ever-expanding band of online retailers, internet giants and individual traders is another group of companies, who are tasked with developing the kind of cardboard packaging books and cd’s need if they are to reach the customer safely.

Book packaging has come a long way in the last few years as internet shopping means that much smaller quantities are being entrusted to the postal system than before. It is no longer viable to make a ‘one size fits all’ carton and leave it at that. Such solutions are not suitable for the single item and are likely to lead to exorbitant and prohibitive costs.

Companies who specialise in book packaging supplies therefore need to provide the means to package items not only safely, but also in a way that delivery costs are kept to a minimum, no matter how many cd’s or books. Packaging needs to be strong (so that it can withstand the rigours of the post) and flexible (to fold down around the contents and keep the final package as small as possible), yet it still needs to be made of top quality or recycled cardboard.

Book packaging has therefore become something of an art, and one that is much in demand in the modern world.

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Rick Stanford

Rick has been a salesman in the packaging supplies business for more than thirty years. Now semi-retired, he divides his time between tending his allotment in north Devon, getting depressed at the continuing travails of his home-town football club Macclesfield Town, and sharing his considerable experience and knowledge with the readers of the Davpack blog. Davpack

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