It can take a lot of steps to actually sell used books, you have to find them, evaluate them, buy them, store them, organize them, list them and sell them. However, after all that there is one last step, and as far as your customer is concerned, it’s probably the most important of all: sending your books to their new owners.
Shipping brings with it a new set of questions: what carrier to use, what speed, what cost, can you get tracking, insurance, etc., etc. etc. All of those are important, and I may go into them another time, but today I want to talk about how to pack your books, what it is that you actually ship them in.
Just as with most other aspects of how you sell used books, you have a number of choices when it comes to packing your books. You can go quick and dirty (and cheap!) all the way up to having dedicated machinery for just that purpose. There are a few different factors to consider when selecting the method that’s right for you, including its cost, the image it projects and how well it will actually protect the books.
Brown Paper Bags
It was good enough to cover your 5th grade history textbook, so shouldn’t it be good enough to cover the books you send across the country? Well, maybe not. While brown paper bags do have the advantages of being cheap and/or free and readily available, you should think about the fact that it may not create the greatest image of you in the mind of your customer. Even if a paper-wrapped book gets to the customer in pristine condition (which it might not) the cheap wrapping could have a conscious or unconscious effect on how the customer views you, which in turn affects how they rate you. If you are running your own site, it also can affect whether they will give you repeat business or recommend you to others.