Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Wet Package

This is why all sellers should make sure that books are wrapped in plastic:

The package arrived during a rain shower. My postal carriers make no attempt to keep my mail dry, so I have received packages in this condition many times, and sometimes the books have significant damage. This package contained a valuable book, but because the envelope is made of plastic, the moisture did not reach the inside. Additionally, the book was enclosed in a Ziploc bag, so it would have been fine even if the moisture had reached the inside.

Notice that the delivery confirmation bar code is destroyed. I went into my PayPal account and found this transaction. Here is the information from USPS:
Your item was processed through and left our DALLAS, TX 75398 facility on August 10, 2009. The item is currently in transit to the destination. Information, if available, is updated periodically throughout the day. Please check again later.

Detailed Results:

Processed through Sort Facility, August 10, 2009, 10:54 am, DALLAS, TX 75398
Processed through Sort Facility, August 08, 2009, 12:37 pm, DES MOINES, IA 50395
Electronic Shipping Info Received, August 07, 2009
The book was not scanned when delivered due to the sad condition of the label, which is my carrier's fault. Per USPS, we are not supposed to tape over the bar code, because sometimes tape makes the bar code not scan. I may have to consider partially taping over the bar code so that if a label gets soaked, part of it remains intact.

While a valuable book should not have been mailed in an envelope, the seller did everything else right. Just keep in mind that mail does get wet. Books mailed in boxes are safer from moisture than books mailed in envelopes, but books mailed in boxes need a little extra protection as well. I have received books in boxes that have been damaged from moisture because the books were unwrapped.

1 comment:

Series Books said...

I've had similar experiences with wet packages, and always include a note to (eBay) seller(s) with my PayPal payment as follows:
"IMPORTANT - As a special favor to me, I would be very grateful if you would please place these books inside some type of plastic bag to protect from any rain. Many thanks"

As far as the Delivery Confirmation label -- I do NOT tape over the barcode -- BUT I do tape over the actual number just under the barcode. I think an alternative would be to edge the tape up a little higher and tape over the lower third of the barcode. This should avoid a "bad scan", but save at least part of the barcode from getting wet. Keep in mind though that a majority of bad scans are due to labels being run off on lower resolution inkjet printers which don't produce sharp enough lines. This very seldom happens with labels run on laser printers.