Sending books abroad

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In this world of internet shopping, shipping books around the world is big business. However, sending books by mail isn’t straightforward; they may not be breakable as such, but they can very easily be damaged. Your book may well pass through many hands on its journey, and the people who those hands belong to may not care as much about your book as you do!

With this in mind, let’s look at the simple steps you need to take if you want to get a book safely to the other side of the world by mail.


Boxing clever

The first thing to do is to choose how you are going to wrap it. Your local post office will almost certainly have a selection of postal boxes on sale, some of which will be suitable for books, although you may find you need to add some extra packing to stop the contents rattling about inside.

However, don’t be limited by what you find on the high street when choosing your book packaging! Look online and you’ll discover a number of specialist wholesalers – and if you’re going to be doing this regularly (if you’re selling your entire book collection on ebay, for example!), you’ll get a better deal through them by buying in bulk. They’ll also probably carry a wider range so that you can more easily find the most suitable option.

Some book boxes are specially designed to fold down so that they perfectly fit the size of the book. Wrap it this way and there are two advantages: firstly, the book will not be able to move around, so further reducing the chance of damage; secondly, making the box a bit smaller might also make the postal charges cheaper!


Pass the parcel

When you’re happy with the packing, you want to decide who you’re going to trust to deliver your parcel. Mailing it direct from the post office is perhaps the simplest approach, but if keeping costs down is important you might want to dig a little and see if anybody is offering a cheaper rate. Also, an international carrier, who will take responsibility for the package from door to door, may take more care than a chain of national companies (who can all blame each other!).

Either way, you can never be 100% sure your book will reach its destination safely – the only way to do that would be to take it there yourself! However, as long as you do everything you can to protect it, and hope that anyone looking after it on its journey takes the same care, chances are that the eventual recipient will get their book in the condition they would expect – probably without a thought as to how that happened!

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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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