Custom Packaging for your online books sales

Are you beginning to setup your online bookstore and wondering what the best method is for packaging books? Should you use custom packaging or regular bubble mailers? Seting up an online bookstore to sell on Amazon or eBay is not an overly complicated excersize but you will have to make some key decisions at the start.

  • What type of books will you sell?
  • How will you organize your bookcases?
  • What sites will you list your books on?
  • How quickly will you grow your inventory
  • Will you use custom packaging?
  • What will your pricing strategy be?

Many of these topics are discussed on this blog so feel free to follow some of those links around. You can also do a search from the sidebar over on the right. In this post I’ll just mention a word or two about the custom packaging decision. This is one that we made when we started to sell books online back in 2004. At that time we were only selling on Abebooks and Amazon. We made a choice to go with custom packaging. I had read a couple articles on how to wrap up books with b-flute cardboard and make a sturdy, bump proof, water proof package for just a about thirty cents a book. I was fortunate to find a packaging supplier not too far away and bought six rolls of b-flute. We never changed from our original choice of custom packaging. One very important note on this topic is that we have been selling books online for six years now, shipped tens of thousands of books and have had exactly zero returns and zero complaints. That’s quite a statistic and is the primary reason why I highly recommend choosing custom packaging for your online book sales. Inexpensive, superior protection, water resistant, fast to assemble (once you get a nice system in place), b-flute packaging is the way to go.

b-flute cardboardThe other choice that many book dealers go with is plain Jane bubble mailers. I think this is an acceptable (and also rather inexpensive) choice if you are selling paperback books. The big problem with this choice for hardcovers or textbooks is that the books often slide around inside the packaging. I have had the unfortunate experience of buying nice first editions that showed up in less than perfect shape. Now these weren’t thousand dollar books, I’m sure if they were they would have arrive in an appropriately expensive box. These were books in the fifty to a hundred dollar range and I guess these dealers had less experience in selling collectible books. This leads me to wonder why they listed them in the first place but that’s for another day. It is quite disheartening when you are anticipating the arrival of a new addition to your library and it shows up with banged up corners. This movement just doesn’t happen with custom packaging which is why I strongly endorse it. I’ve had to send a few back. We’ve even received books where the bubble mailer wasn’t closed properly and water got in. How unprofessional is that. I can tell you that the name of that dealer stuck in my mind and not in a very positive way.

You can find detailed instructions, with photos, of exactly how to assemble these book mailers on this site as well as a lot of other info.