How to Pack and Ship Books Sold Online

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Protect books with appropriate packaging when shipping.
Protect books with appropriate packaging when shipping. (Image: PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Books are not fragile items. However, when you sell them online, it is necessary to pack them carefully so that they arrive at the customer’s residence in the condition you promised, whether they are used or new. The process is not complicated. It involves using items that prevent damage to the covers and pages during shipping. The packaging process requires a few supplies that you may already have at home.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Bubble or plastic wrap
  • Masking tape
  • Newspaper or styrofoam
  • Packaging tape

Place the book on a piece of cardboard and trace around it with a pencil. Cut the outline out of the cardboard with a pair of scissors. Trace the outline of the largest book if you are shipping more than one.

Place the cardboard on top of the book. If you are mailing more than one, stack the books in order of size then place the cardboard on the book at the top of the pile.

Print out a copy of the receipt and other forms you wish to include. The receipt should include the customer’s contact information, and yours, in case the package incurs damage during shipping. Place the receipt on top of the cardboard.

Roll out a section of clear plastic or bubble wrap and place the books on top. Wrap the material around the stack twice and cut it. Tuck the ends of the wrap under the package and secure them with strips of masking tape.

Insert the package into a box just big enough to contain it comfortably. Include cushioning material around it if you wish to prevent it from moving around during shipping. You can use items such as styrofoam or old newspapers.

Seal the box shut with packaging tape that is at least 2 inches wide. Attach a mailing label displaying the customer’s mailing address to the top of the box.

Visit the website for the shipping service you plan to use to determine the cost of shipping. This depends on the weight of the box and the shipping service you select. You may pay the shipping fee online and schedule a pickup if you do not wish to go to the company's physical location.

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