The Well Stocked Shipping Station

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We ship thousands of books, cds, and dvds each year and regularly receive compliments and appreciation for the care we take with each item. It’s not hard to wrap well and it doesn’t take any fancy equipment. It does take a little time and a lot of attention to detail. See the post “Package and Ship” for the how-to. Here are the tools and materials we use.

a long sturdy table
shelves – for storage of supplies
wastebasket
scales – small one (up to 5 lbs.) and one for larger, heavier packages

roll of wrapping paper – easier to use on a dispenser stand
scissors
utility knife
black marker – for marking out old box labels
pen, pencil
stamp pad and “Media Mail” stamp
Scotch tape
wide clear package tape
brown package tape

roll of bubble wrap (small bubbles)
cardboard

assorted sizes padded envelopes – nice to have them all, but you can do well stocking every other size(#1,3,5 or #2,4,6)
#1 – for cds and dvds
#2 – for 2+ disc dvds and small books
#3 and #4 – fit most hardcovers and paperbacks
#5 – for extra wide books
#6 and #7 – for very wide/tall books, e.g. sheet music

assorted sizes folding cardboard mailers

assorted sizes boxes
paper, packing pillows, styrofoam peanuts etc

USPS priority mail labels, envelopes – all priority mail items are free
USPS flat rate boxes
USPS regional rate boxes and flat rate padded envelopes – available to businesses
Customs forms – necessary for international or military addresses (APO,FPO) unless you buy your postage online

roll of mailing labels printed with your return address

You can get a lot of used boxes, fillers, and cardboard mailers for free; people will be happy to give you the detritus from their online purchases. Your Library or other small businesses might be willing to let you scavenge useable material rather than trash it all – kind of a personal recycling service. Boxes are best for a lot of books, and it’s a great way to keep expenses down.

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