The Hang Fire Books Blog

The rantings of a bookdealer in Brooklyn, New York.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

How to Pack Books with a Fresh Direct Box, Part 2

Continued from "How to Pack Books with a Fresh Direct Box, Part 1"

After cutting off the four long flaps, cut the remainder of the box into two "manta-ray" shaped pieces:

Place your oversize / coffee-table book between the "wings", lined-up with the bottom crease, then trim off the excess at the top (if you're clumsy, mark the cardboard and remove the book before cutting):

Now fold the "tail" around the book and tape it on the reverse:

Lastly, flip over, fold the "wings" around the body and tape:

That's it. Each box will do 6 books (4 trade size, 2 oversize). They're even freshness dated! Now drop the book in a puffy or wrap it in B-flute and you're done. Overkill...perhaps, but my method has been called "bomb-proof" by more than one customer (did I mention the kevlar wrap?).

If you don't live in one of the urban centers served by Fresh Direct, move to one. But until then this method will work with any clean strong boxes and it fits well with the general recycling ethic of buying and selling used books.


sarahsbooks said...

Nice technique! I get free cardboard book boxes from the children's bookstore across the street, cut them into four pieces, and use each side for packing one book. I turn the cardboard over, though, so the outside is clean and devoid of markings. I use small-bubble wrap and sometimes plastic as well, then the cardboard. Extra cardboard if the book is particularly scarce. My goal: to create a brick that the postal service will find nigh impossible to destroy.

I'm enjoying your blog and will check back in from time to time. I particularly like the stoop sales reports... Happy hunting.

ijk said...

Nice reuse of materials and, overall, far better packing than many books I receive. It does, however, require a considerable amount of your *time*. The $0.30ish per box (Uline mailers, crush adverse >200 pounds) I spend is more than covered by my *not* spending the time to fabricate my own box. It depends, of course, on how much time you have...for better or worse, I am always trying to discover extra time (hidden behind piles of books, benieth piles of plates, etc...sad, very sad).

I think booksellers are far too prone to discount or dismiss the value of their own time. Speaking of which, I should be cataloguing. Great blog...hope to see you in NY during my next jaunt down...

William Smith said...

I agree that finding the right balance between time and care is valuable. Just as valuable to me though (especially since I'm paying NYC rent) is storage space. I don't think I could fit and keep access to a large variety of uline boxes (though I do keep about of 100 of so of the standard HC size at the ready). BTW Are you taking Uline shipping costs into account for that $.30 per box? I bet that kicks it up over $.40

ijk said...

Completely understand re space and NY *shudder*. [One of my more favorite moments was when a friend told me, shortly after I had spent about $65K on a really lovely four bedroom house in Cleveland Heights that his PARKING GARAGE went condo in Manhatten and he had bought his "space" (8 by 11 feet) for $65,000...and paid a couple of hundred or so a month in condo fees). Have I mentioned how much I love not living in NY *g*].

The trick with Uline is two fold: try to hold off for their very predictable sales (presentation boxes in June/July; multi-depth in March; bubble wrap in August, etc.) and/or try to top $300. They do *not* advertise it (don't ask, I don't know), but if you spend over $300, shipping is free. they just waived shipping on 300 pounds of shippment...and got it to me the next day. They have also been really good when there has been a problem...generally a good sign.

Finally, they have been very cool about shipping samples to me when I've been curious about trying some different items but did not necessarily want dozens of them on spec. blah blah blah *chuckling*. I just wish the swag wasn't so NASCAR/NFL centric. They did just send me a better than average Pink Floyd shirt (front and back printing, even *laughing*).

William Smith said...

Good tip about the secret sales and sample materials. There are still a few items I can't get locally and I should coordinate .

Wish I could find a biodegradable plastic wrap for the waterproofing layer. Don't think the corn-based plastics have made it to warehouse supplies yet...