When we first opened for business back at the beginning of October, we did face a few teething issues with postage. A handful of orders had failed to arrive at their destination in the condition that we sent them in, This, naturally, mortified us. However, we appreciated all of the feedback and began to take it on board and looked for ways to improve.
We were, we now realise, slightly optimistic at the strength of brown paper vs. books, as well as Royal Mail and their handling (we do strongly believe that SOME of the issues were caused by Royal Mail as the majority of orders were received with no issue...but hey, you live, you learn!)
So, we began working on ways to rectify these issues, whilst keeping costs down as well (because we charge literally what it costs to ship). Obviously, recycling/reusing is an important factor for us, so we began collecting boxes of all shapes and sizes, as well as those cardboard mailers that certain large companies use.
If we have a box or mailer that is the perfect size, brilliant! You may also notice that we like to flip certain branded ones inside out...
And if we can't find the perfect size box..Simon (aka Mr. Little Bird) gets creative and fashions a new box out of a pre-existing one. Apparently it is a pretty simple task, but I have yet to master the engineering of it. As a result, the perfect size box can be custom created. These boxes may not always be pretty, but they work! (If needs be, we pad out with recycled bubble wrap or paper.
Then of course, we wrap it in brown paper, stamp it, add the postage and voila!
We did look at recycled cardboard mailers, but finding the correct sizes was proving incredibly difficult. Maybe in the future we may upgrade again, but at the minute, our process works! And besides, he enjoys it.
For example, one box we used to post an order out in was on its THIRD use (at least) when we used it. It had held tealights originally, and then was used to post something to us, and then we used it again to post a book order out. And who knows if it had yet another lease of life!?