A Guide to Packing and Shipping Valuable Books

Antique or valuable books offer an excellent opportunity for any eCommerce business who wishes to sell them. If bought in bulk, with a bit of care and consideration, they can provide the owner with instant returns on their investment through just a few of the items included – and insuring that they’re packed correctly is central to the satisfaction of the customer.

With average, modern paperbacks, packing and shipping them is often simply a matter of stuffing them into a jiffy bag and taking them to a post office. However, hardbacks or older, rarer books require more care, and this care must begin with you: the eCommerce business owner.

Secure packing

A damaged book quickly loses its value, and likewise its value won’t increase over time. Firstly, descriptions must very accurately match the condition of the item, and there must be similar care taken with the edition and issue points of the item. Once a customer is satisfied enough with the descriptions given, it is of utmost importance that the item arrives in one piece, and as described. Many couriers and postal services can provide a great deal of boxes to suit books: ones that allow the items to be firmly and snugly packed inside, and allow for items of larger sizes or multiple volumes. Bubble wrap should be wrapped around the book, and also provide cushioning within the book itself, and the item should not be heard to shake when the box is shook. Securely taping the box’s lid is the next step: a thick, industrial clear or gaffer tape should achieve this.


Make sure that your courier is able to ship internationally, and that that is does so regularly. Customs issues often arise in shipping to places such as Russia or China, and can do quite easily to anywhere outside of the EU. Make sure that everything is correct at your end: ensure that custom labels are firmly adhered and compliant with the law.

Older books are far more desirable in the New World than in the Old World, and you may well be sending your items way outside the EU. Make sure that your books can withstand the trip.