ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What is the best way to ship a book? How to use Media Mail

Updated on March 11, 2013

A Bookshelf Full Of Vintage And Antique Books

You have to be extra careful when shipping older books. For particularly rare books, you should use a box with heavy padding inside.
You have to be extra careful when shipping older books. For particularly rare books, you should use a box with heavy padding inside.

The Correct Way To Ship A Book

I sell books for a living, among vintage, antique, art, and functional and other items. From my experience, I have learned how to ship most items. It is so frustrating to see so many people giving bad advice, so I wanted to explain how to ship books once and for all.

One of the easiest and cheapest items to ship is books! Due to the ability to standardize shipment for books, it is easy to keep costs low, efficiency high, storage space at a minimum, and protection during shipping a maximum. With any of the methods I will explain today, you can ship a book the safest, cheapest, and smartest, in just a few minutes! There are three ways that you can correctly ship a book, and I will explain the three ways of how to do it in this hub.

Using A Box

The safest possible method of shipping a book is to use a box. Unfortunately this method requires the most storage space, and costs the most money. If you were shipping a very expensive book, this would be the way to do it though. There is still a right way and a wrong way to use this method however, and it is done wrong more often than right! Amazon itself ships books in a very poor manner, as do most people who use boxes to ship books. Here are some things to remember when shipping a book using a box.

Video Review Of A Low Noise Tape Gun For Shipping Books

Things To Consider When Using Boxes To Ship Books

1) Pack the book so that there is little space between itself and the box. There should be only about an inch on each side, and it should be heavily padded with fill material. Foam would be best, but packing peanuts or bubble wrap, if packed tight will also work well. Thin bubble wrap is better than packing peanuts because it takes a bit more abuse due to all of the small, individual bubbles. Most importantly, you do not want your book to move at all during transit.

2) Don't use a cereal box. if you are going to ship using a box, use a clean, odor free box that has some rigidity to it. The last thing the recipient wants is a crushed box with a mangled book. If you are looking for cheap boxes, you can read my other hub about how I get boxes for shipping.

3) Use good tape, or at least tape the box up thoroughly. Some prefer using a lot of cheap tape or a little expensive tape. It is a personal preference, but either way, it is important that your box stays sealed during transit. Boxes can go through very heavy handling wear if they are sent through media mail.

Using Bflute With An Interior Wrapped Book

This is the method that I prefer to use. This method protects books the best in my opinion. The video above shows this process in great detail, step by step. First the book is wrapped with plastic wrap. This keeps the book tight during shipping and also protects against water. This prevents warping of the book as well. The next step is to wrap the book in Bflute which is a corrugated cardboard wrap. Some people use one layer, but I use two. It is debatable if two layers are truly necessary, but I feel that for most books it is. Lastly, you tape the Bflute wrapping around the book in a way that creates rigid corners. This protects the book in all directions, but specifically from corner and spine damage, the most vulnerable areas. You can order Bflute easily online on Ebay.

Amazon uses boxes to ship all of their books. Unfortunately they use incorrect fill material to save money, and so books rattle around inside the box, causing unnecessary damage!
Amazon uses boxes to ship all of their books. Unfortunately they use incorrect fill material to save money, and so books rattle around inside the box, causing unnecessary damage! | Source

Things To Consider When Using Bflute

1) You should keep the bflute tight enough so that it leaves little space between itself and the bflute, but not so tight that it warps the book. This protects it from sliding around. The benefit to this method of packing books is that the cardboard stays very close and acts as a skin of sorts. If it is not tight, it is similar to how you would get a blister if your sock or shoe was loose.

2) You can ship most books in a priority flat rate envelope for $5, but they can only safely fit in these envelopes if you wrapped the book in Bflute first. Due to space limitations because of the size of the envelopes, you won't have enough space to use a box, and Bflute offers just the right amount of cushion. If you were to use a box to ship priority mail, it will almost always cost more than $5.00

The Third way to ship using Bflute, which is also another good way, is to use the same method above, except that you use a poly bag on the outside instead of plastic wrap on the inside. The advantage is that it is a little bit faster and possibly cheaper to use. The drawback for me for this method, is that the book is not held as firmly in place from twisting. I can't say which is better, but with only one negative feedback unrelated to packaging, over 3,000 books this year, the method I am using must be good!

Do You Sell Used Books Online?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)