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Postage

I was just wondering what most people do regarding postage, do you sent books recorded delivery or just send with a return address in case it gets lost?

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I was just wondering what most people do regarding postage, do you sent books recorded delivery or just send with a return address in case it gets lost?
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I have been bookcrossing for five years and although I have had some delayed they usually turn up.

One bookbox didn't make it to me and no sign of it yet. it is frustrating however not regular enough to warrant paying extra postage for.

Welcome to bookcrossing, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do :)


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Thank you that's what I thought. I am enjoying it already, can't believe how generous people are, I've already won 2 raffles and am looking forward to receiving my very first bookcrossing books!
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I was just wondering what most people do regarding postage, do you sent books recorded delivery or just send with a return address in case it gets lost?


The details vary according to local postal regulations, package destinations, and individual preference - if it costs extra to get delivery-confirmation, for example, some folks won't bother with it. In the US, there's a media-mail option for books, the most inexpensive available, and it comes with tracking by default, so at least one can find out whether the package shows as having reached its destination or not, but if you want explicit "I received it" confirmation then you'd have to pay extra for signature-required.

I do recommend including your return address on the package, and I also recommend putting a copy of the destination address inside the package, in addition to the one on the outside. The exterior label might get damaged by weather, bad handling, etc., so having another address-label inside may improve the odds of the package reaching its destination. [Double-checking the address and postal code is good, too; most postal services now have web sites where you can verify a postal code, and if the address doesn't show as valid it's worth verifying the address with the recipient before mailing.]

Packaging is important. Re-using boxes or envelopes is fine as long as they're still in good shape, but once they start to get torn, worn out, or overly-marked up, it's time to replace them. I check for loose edges of tape, for holes in boxes, etc., and repair anything that seems likely to snag on other packages or on sorting machinery.

When mailing boxes I line the boxes with plastic trash bags, so if the box tears or gets damp the books are still protected. I also make sure the boxes are tightly packed, using crumpled newspaper, bubble wrap, or other materials to fill in any gaps.

If the books are hard to replace - some bookboxes are loaded with nearly-new hardcovers or manga or other pricey books - I may insure the box, though most swaps/bookboxes don't include a requirement to replace things that get lost in the mail. US postal insurance doesn't cost much, though, and in cases where I really would like to be able to replace things in case of accident, I make use of it.

All that said, I've only had a few packages of mine go missing - and one or two of those actually did turn up, just got misplaced by the recipient. The saddest occasions are when the mail carrier delivers an empty bag or box with a "sorry, damaged in transit" note from the USPS - unless the package was insured there's nothing to be done, and it's very frustrating. But with proper care in addressing and packaging you can minimize the odds of this happening.

Also: do watch your budget! It can be addicting to sign up for swaps, rings, and boxes, which tend to come due all at the same time, and you may find yourself exceeding your postage budget if you aren't careful {wry grin}.
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Thank you for the advice :)

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