In this age of ebooks and the internet, textbooks are still primary educational tools that students can’t live without. Many enterprising students sell their old textbooks in online auction sites and earn a few bucks in the process. Others give them out to family or friends who might have the need for them or donate them to libraries or charitable institutions just to clean up clutter from their bookshelves.
But textbooks are bulky and heavy items that could be expensive to send via the conventional shipping methods. Here are some tips on how to ship textbooks without spending too much.
The United States Postal Service’s “Media Mail” option allows an individual to ship a package of textbooks to just about any location in the US at a nominal fee, making it the most economical way to ship all sorts of media materials including books, CDs and DVDs. A package of up to 70 pounds can be domestically shipped via this method at a fraction of the cost when using another commercial parcel service. However, media mail is not the fastest service around and may take 7 to 10 days for a package to arrive in its destination, which is not bad considering the amount you will be saving on shipping costs.
Just like any other item, pack your textbooks properly to avoid damages and loss during transit. Only use an appropriately-sized and sturdy shipping box that can snugly accommodate the textbooks and have a few extra spaces for packing materials. It is also a good idea to reinforce the bottom flaps and seams of the box with heavy-duty packing tape before packing the textbooks to prevent it from bursting open while in transit.
If shipping several books in one package, pack the textbooks in three’s using brown packaging paper and secure with tape. Then, arrange the packed blocks of books in a pile with the largest book on the bottom and smallest book on top. Secure the pile with packaging tape like you would tie a present with a ribbon. This will prevent the textbooks from shifting inside the box. wrap the pile with bubble wrap for added protection.
Line the bottom of your shipping box with a thick layer packing peanuts or bubble wrap and then place the textbooks on top, Fill in any spaces in the box with more bubble wrap or packing peanuts to stop the textbooks from shifting to any side of the box. Close the package and seal securely with packing tape.
Address, label and take the package to the post office. Ask the post office personnel that you are shipping via media mail. Add delivery confirmation or insurance if desired.
If shipping a single book, avoid using padded envelopes as they can easily tear during shipment. If you are intent upon sending a book in an envelope, Bubble Wrap the book first, then place it between two pieces of cardboard and completely cover the sealed envelope with clear packing tape after addressing it.