Swap Status, continued, with packaging tips

So, last week, I posted that I hadn’t gotten two packages. Correction: make that one package in MIA status.  Ironically, I got my package the day after I posted that on my blog. The outside of the bubble wrap mailer was ripped by about two inches on the end, but everything inside was intact, so no harm was done. It appeared to be a reused mailer. (Books wrapped with other items are tricky. Books wrapped alone are much easier and the easiest to wrap, in my opinion.) I left the swapper positive karma but mentioned the ripped mailer to her in a follow-up private message. It’s a friendly heads up because if she reuses a mailer in the future, she might want to take every precaution. I always use lots of clear packing tape at the ends and across each side (use a good brand, because cheap tape can rip easily), since I also reuse my packaging and tissue paper (you can use newspaper or plastic grocery bags). I take the best possible care in the packing of items. After all, I am a seasoned e-bay seller. Even after all this careful preparation, it’s no guarantee that the US Postal Service will also take great care with your package. How do I know this? I was a seasonal/temporary worker with the USPS one Christmas (seriously, one time was enough). After all the packages are unloaded onto a moving conveyor belt (think hundreds, maybe even thousands of packages, on a single night, during the holidays, especially as it gets closer to Christmas), the items are sorted into huge metal bins on wheels(about eight feet tall), specific to each zip code in the city and/or neighboring cities. Imagine these bins with lots of packages on top of each other. Often, these packages are thrown from across the room into these large bins. Sometimes, these packages end up on the floor. Once, a worker threw one small but heavy package from across the way, but instead of landing in the bin, it ended up on my foot.  Sure, I was wearing work shoes, but it still hurt! And keep in mind, that this is just one distribution center; the mail goes through several of these distribution centers while en route to the final destination city and state. (If possible, try not to send glass or other breakable materials, using the USPS, unless you use lots of bubble wrap and filler paper.) That’s a lot of wear and tear on a package. Ever since that experience, I have carefully wrapped packages, using lots of filler paper. In my experience, not all swappers take care with their packaging. But, the purpose of this post was to give you some tips with an inside look at the USPS.


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