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Cafe Press - shipping/packaging issues


Hey, gang, I'm curious to know how you've found the condition of the books (and other merchandise) you've been receiving from Cafe Press. Specifically, have your books been shipped in oversized boxes with plenty of bubble wrap to protect them, or are you getting single volumes shipped with just a thin wrapping of cardboard around them, and getting books with dented corners?

My volume one - which was the only thing I ordered at the time - came in a nice, large box, with bubble wrap, and was in pristine condition. Volumes two and three, however, even though they were ordered with additional merchandise (which you'd think would necessitate a larger box), came with a thin wrapping of cardboard taped around each. This wasn't a rigid, single-book box like you get from Amazon - it was more like the cardboard you get when you cut down a large box with an exacto knife, and cut just enough to fit around the single book and wrap it tight with packing tape. In other words, like merely a 'skin' around the book, with no padding to protect it. The other merchandise came under separate cover, but if they had used a larger box and sent everything together, I'd have avoided the dented corners I've gotten with both volumes two and three (three was quite damaged, sad to say).

Cafe Press offered to replace volume two when I called about it. Since it wasn't that bad, guilt prevented me from accepting a second copy from them. I did, however, ask them to note in my account that I want subsequent shipments to be in large boxes with bubble wrap. Having received volume three last night, in the same kind of packaging as volume two - and with much worse damage - I'm moved to find out how everyone else's experiences have been.
I posted something similar to this last month when only 1 out of 2 of my copies of Volume 2 were sent to me, and I had to call Cafe Press to ask for the 2nd one. I believe it was Jan who had the exact same problem I did.

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I ordered 2 copies of Volume 1, but I ordered those separately. Both came in the nice box with bubble wrap. I ordered two copies of Volume 2 together, and got them separately, both in the cardboard "skin" you describe. I also ordered two copies of Volume 3 together. They came together this time, but they were still wrapped in the cardboard skin like Vol. 2, just a bigger piece of cardboard than before, to fit around the extra book..

Volumes 2 & 3 at least came in a plastic bag inside the cardboard. I don't know how much that would have helped if it had rained on my porch, because none of the bags have been sealed. They're all just open at the end.

However, I have had the good fortune to have no rippled covers, folded corners, etc. The books are in great condition, despite the downgraded shipping quality.

My guess is that Cafe Press was drastically un-prepared for the volume of B5 books they would sell and have either run out of nice boxes and/or bubble wrap or are conserving them as much as possible, perhaps using them on larger orders or new customers only.
All books fine - with bubble wrap and without.

Oddly enough, for me the change of packaging coincided with no longer having to pay VAT or customs fees.

Could have been the lack of a big CafePress sign, or having the content clearly classified as books.