Thursday, 26 August 2010

BOOK PACKAGING - Brand New or Recycled - Help Please!!

Since opening my store in 2001, I have always packaged books for mail-out using recycled cardboard and bubble wrap. I make sure that whatever we use is clean and durable enough to protect the books on their journey through the post (which is often a bumpy one). My philosophy has always been that if we can use recycled packing material then we are not only reducing the end cost for the buyer, but also the environmental impact of our business. In almost 10 years of operation, we have received no complaints about this packaging method.

The only negative I see with using recycled materials is that upon opening their parcel the buyer is not presented with visually appealing packaging. Let's face it, recycled cardboard and bubble wrap can look a little scruffy. The only solution to this negative impression that I can come up with is to have a small sticker made to put on the packaging highlighting the environmental benefit of using recycled materials (and my logo of course).

After some web surfing, I've noticed that among my secondhand bookselling counterparts there are some pretty extreme views on packaging. Most believe that brand new packaging is best as it leaves the buyer with the best buying experience. However, I wonder whether in a climate change conscious world my little sticker might, in fact, pack more punch.

So I thought I'd ask your thoughts on the matter. What kind of impression would recycled packaging have on you if you opened such a parcel? Is my sticker idea a good one? All feedback, pro or con, is welcome and thanks in advance for helping me out.