Whether sending a birthday gift to a family member through the postal service or a company mailing a client their order, mailing bags are used to ship small to medium sized objects. Since virtually anything that can fit can be mailed for a fee, manufacturers offer an extensive an array of options to choose from. Sellers on eBay have nearly every colour and size to choose from.
But shoppers need to think less about how the bag looks than how it functions. Each style of bag has its own set of advantages. The eco-friendly postal user might want to use biodegradable mailers instead of traditional ones. Fragile items are best shipped in padded bags or rigid mailers. If keeping contents private is a top priority, then high security mailing bags may be the right options. With so many reasons to use mailing bags, eBay shoppers should take some time to learn the features among the different styles.
Types of Mailing Bags
Because not all people using the postal system have the same needs, many styles of mailing bags have been designed to fit these needs. For example, lightweight, non-breakables are best packed in economy postal mailers. Fragile items should be packed in a padded mailing bag or in a cardboard box. Some shippers like to give a preview of what's in the bag, while others prefer fun colours and metallics for a flashy entrance.
The sections below outline the most common styles of mailing bags and when to use each. Shoppers should note each style comes in a variety of sizes, and items should be measured before purchasing mailing bags.
Economy Lightweight Postal Mailers
Economy lightweights are the least expensive option to choose from. They are made from thin plastic in a variety of colours, including clear. These types of mailers are often used for shipping magazines and other literature. The benefits of using these mailers over paper options are that they are sealable and waterproof.
Blue Opaque Mail-Order Bags
The blue opaque mailing bags are quite popular with mail order sales. The attractive metallic blue plastic is thicker than the economy lightweight options and has been a popular option for years, which is why it gets its own category from other colours. Like other plastic mailing bags, the blue opaque options are water resistant so contents stay dry.
Coloured Mailing Bags
Since blue opaque bags have been proven to be quite popular, mailing bag manufacturers have been offering a variety of colour options. Sellers on eBay have every colour of the spectrum available in a variety of sizes.
Metallic Mailing Bags
To add some shine and pizzazz when shipping out a package, metallic mailing bags have become quite the sensation. They are used to really grab the receiver's attention. Metallic bags are great for sending gifts, awards, certificates, and more. Like other plastic mailing bags, they have a peel and stick adhesive to secure contents.
Biodegradable mailers are a great option for the eco-conscious shipper. Traditional plastic is hailed for being durable, including over time. Customers who want to ship parcels in a container that eventually breaks down into industrial compost should opt for biodegradable bags.
Featherpost "Jiffy Style" Padded Mailers
"Jiffy style" padded mailers are a flat envelope with a paper exterior, and all have some sort of padding protecting the contents. Many of the less expensive options are lined with pulp, and others are filled with bubble liner. Regardless of which option shoppers choose, their goods should be safe and sound in these lightweight mailers.
Superlight Bubble Mailing Bags
Similar to the "Jiffy style bags", superlight bubble mailing bags are renowned for the ability to provide padded protection to mailed items. What sets these apart from other lined bags is they are made of plastic, which helps create a waterproof barrier around the contents.
Heavy Duty Mailing Sacks
Heavy duty mailing sacks refer to any opaque mailer made from a strong, co-extruded material to ensure contents are kept safe. Heavy duty options are designed to be thicker than average, making sure all the contents make it where they need to go. Some models have double seals for a backup.
High Security Mailing Bags
For those who like to take more precautions with security when shipping items via courier or postal service, there are several options of security mailing bags available. The chart below outlines the four main styles of security mailing bags.
Type of Mailer
Designed to keep contents confidential; many have double seal options
Heavy duty opaque envelopes typically white or grey; extra thick plastic and often double sealed
Not technically mailer, but this tape is placed over to seals, and when broken reveals "VOID" text
Mailers with unique tracking code and tear-off receipt so receivers know where the bag has been; available in clear and opaque
Security mailers are most often used to ship flat contents although larger envelopes allow for more wiggle room. Security tape is a great add-on for contents that should be kept out of the hands of those who should not be snooping. Tamper evident mailers are the newest security options on the market, and those who like to know just where their mail has been favour them.
Rigid mailers refer to any type of mailer that uses corrugated board instead of plastic. These mailers can be boxes or flat. Rigid mailing boxes are best for small items that need to maintain their shape when being shipped. They are often packed with some sort of material to cradle it. Flat rigid mailers are ideal for photos, certificates, transparencies, and other documents that should be kept from being bent.
Considerations When Buying Mailing Bags on eBay
With thousands of options to choose from, finding mailing bags on eBay is easy. In addition to understanding the differences between each type of mailing bag, customers should have purchase bags based on the contents they are mailing. Shoppers should assess what size mailers are best suited for them. They should also consider the features they need for their contents to arrive the way they were shipped.
Moreover, buyers must determine how many mailers they need and the quality of the materials; lightweight items should be fine in economy lightweights, but photos may want something more rigid. The sections below help shoppers weigh each of these factors to choose the right mailing bags on eBay.
One of the first considerations to make when buying mailing bags is how they should be used. For example, if shippers are sending out photos or transparencies, then a form holding mailing envelope, such as a rigid mailer, is a good option. Additionally, if the contents should arrive without getting water on them, only a plastic mailer can do.
In addition to function, the overall size of the mailing bag is crucial. Shoppers should have an idea of how much space they need before purchasing mailing bags. On eBay, a small mailing bag's dimensions are 170 by 250 millimetres, and a medium bag is 220 by 340 millimetres. The largest marketed size on eBay is 220 by 340 plus. When in doubt, customers should always buy bags bigger than they anticipate.
It is also important to consider how many bags are needed. If shoppers intend to periodically use mailing bags throughout the year, then buying a dozen or less makes sense. However, if buyers are running a business and need to ship on a consistent basis, buying in bulk might be the least expensive options.
Perhaps, one of the most overlooked features when buying mailing bags in the overall quality. Before choosing a supplier or brand on eBay, shoppers are encouraged to conduct research before committing to a purchase. Therefore, it might be a good idea to read online reviews when choosing mailing bags. Many bags come in opaque for privacy or double lined for added security.
Buying Mailing Bags on eBay
eBay has one of the most comprehensive collections of various mailing bags available. Moreover, many of these bags are sold in bulk, which is a great way to save some money in the long run. When shopping for mailing bags on eBay, remember to include a few keywords to help limit your search. These keywords can refer to colour, style, or size. For example "metallic mailer" is a good search, but "silver metallic mailing bag" is even more precise. Should you find you are not receiving a lot of results back, remove a few keywords to refine your search.
One benefit of shopping on eBay is buyers can custom sort results based on their priorities. For example, if looking for a few mailing bags, then consider arranging items from lowest to highest price. On the other hand, if you are looking for bulk quantities, from search highest to lowest price. eBay also allows you to search for new or used products and also by distance from seller.
Clear, padded, or super secure, eBay has thousands of mailing bags that are used to ship items via the post or courier. Shoppers only need to enter in a few keywords to get them started shopping on eBay. Buyers must always remember to keep in mind the contents of their shipment to choose the right sized mailer. Plastic is the best material to keep contents from water. Photos, documents, electronics, and other liquid sensitive items need to be placed in the appropriate mailer.
Security is also a common concern for those who ship items. Shippers can keep out unwanted eyes by taking a few additional measures to ensure the privacy of client's orders. Whether using security tape or tamper resistant mailers, eBay has suppliers to keep everyone stocked. Buyers are always encouraged to stay within their budget; however, that does not mean sacrificing quality for quantity. Fortunately, with the abundance of items available on eBay, shoppers can get both for one great price.