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Old 07-24-2013, 02:49 PM   #1
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Why do companies use polymailers for damageable items?

This is not anyone on here - the majority of the time if I buy or trade with a person, I get well-packaged things. This is just a vent that it seems to be very common lately for companies to mail books, and even other items that can easily be damaged, in a poly-mailer only. Why?

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Old 07-24-2013, 04:05 PM   #2
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Re: Why do companies use polymailers for damageable items?

Because through incredible luck they've never had a postal issue, and most people only learn through hard knocks.

I received two GLASS baby bottles in a polymailer once. Sent by a senior swapper no less. They arrived unbroken. This is the sort of amazing luck some people have, and while it lasts, they persist in stupid shipping practices. Their luck will run out eventually and then they will learn.
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:08 PM   #3
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Re: Why do companies use polymailers for damageable items?

I guess they assume that postal service sorting machines are capable of detecting which items might be breakable. They incorrectly assume that mail isn't piled into heavy mailbags in order to be transported across the state. They want to believe that the post office is this tiny business that can handhold and manage every single package and protect it from harm.

I really do think they do it out of ignorance. Very frustrating. If a company sent me something in a poly mailer and it came broken and without insurance, I'd be on the phone with them in an instant to discuss their shipping practices. I don't think they *want* their customers to get damaged items, I just don't think they know any better.
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:23 PM   #4
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Re: Why do companies use polymailers for damageable items?

Quote:
Originally Posted by expaik View Post
Because through incredible luck they've never had a postal issue, and most people only learn through hard knocks.

I received two GLASS baby bottles in a polymailer once. Sent by a senior swapper no less. They arrived unbroken. This is the sort of amazing luck some people have, and while it lasts, they persist in stupid shipping practices. Their luck will run out eventually and then they will learn.
I'm filing a complaint for damage today, and it is with a big company that I thought would know better.
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:57 PM   #5
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Re: Why do companies use polymailers for damageable items?

Quote:
Originally Posted by expaik View Post
Because through incredible luck they've never had a postal issue, and most people only learn through hard knocks.

I received two GLASS baby bottles in a polymailer once. Sent by a senior swapper no less. They arrived unbroken. This is the sort of amazing luck some people have, and while it lasts, they persist in stupid shipping practices. Their luck will run out eventually and then they will learn.


I'm always shocked at the poor packaging some companies seem to think is acceptable.
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:59 PM   #6
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Re: Why do companies use polymailers for damageable items?

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I'm filing a complaint for damage today, and it is with a big company that I thought would know better.
Most big companies ship UPS or Fedex. Perhaps this company recently switched over to USPS to economize, so they don't know how roughly the USPS handles packages - especially Media Mail.
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:42 PM   #7
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Re: Why do companies use polymailers for damageable items?

I received broken Boingos from Cotton Babies due to being in a polymailer only. I called and in a couple days I received the new ones wrapped in bubble wrap in a polymailer. I hope it was a lesson.
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Old 07-24-2013, 11:24 PM   #8
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Call me ignorant but how would a book get damaged in a polymailer? I have received quite a few this way without incident. I didn't think anything of it.

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Old 07-25-2013, 06:11 AM   #9
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Re: Why do companies use polymailers for damageable items?

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Call me ignorant but how would a book get damaged in a polymailer? I have received quite a few this way without incident. I didn't think anything of it.

Sent from my not-so-smart-phone
I'd say about 85% - 90% of the time, a polymailer might be sufficient for a book or two.

But I've had a Priority Tyvek envelope containing one book get ripped and the contents lost. I thought tyvek was virtually unrippable.

I've had a 25 pound box of VHS tapes get torn open and all the contents lost. I had used a Pampers box, taped all over with packing tape.

I've had a small Klutz book that was shipped in a bubble mailer arrive to the recipient bent up and creased.

Media Mail goes through heck. I can't even imagine what they are doing to rough up these packages so badly.
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Last edited by expaik; 07-25-2013 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:30 AM   #10
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Re: Why do companies use polymailers for damageable items?

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Originally Posted by acwakip View Post
Call me ignorant but how would a book get damaged in a polymailer? I have received quite a few this way without incident. I didn't think anything of it.

Sent from my not-so-smart-phone
My experience is that the book corners get smashed. I frequently buy used and new books from various sources, such as Amazon sellers, eBay, and private individuals. Virtually every book mailed in an unpadded polymailer has sustained some kind of damage. Even those books mailed in padded mailers often have smashed corners. It's especially annoying when I specifically ask the seller to mail the books in a box, they don't, and I get a trashed book that was supposedly in "like new" condition when it left the seller.

I think sellers do it for a number of reasons. One reason is that shipping damage occurring to a used book is less noticeable. If a seller deals mostly in used books, most buyers won't notice or care enough to complain about minor damage to a book in used condition. Another reason is that many sellers of used books on the Internet deal with high volume and would rather refund for the occasional trashed book than switch to packing everything in more expensive padded mailers and boxes.

I sell our old books on Amazon, too, and I always use cardboard pieces inside a mailer or a sturdy box to prevent damage to the books. I only sell a few items from time to time, so I can use recycled boxes and take my time with packaging. I understand why bigger sellers don't, but it's still annoying to get a damaged book that was supposedly perfect when it was sent.
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