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Mailing Bags

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Mailing bags, media and communication

Eurostat has gathered some statistics on national post activities, including transport and delivery of mail and parcels, and other courier activities such as express courier services where private companies are now enlarging their services by not only providing delivery of business documents but also delivering packages and other mailing goods, making it hard to distinguish between courier and transport companies.

As stated by the data provided, there were about 100 thousand post offices in Europe in 2006, equivalent to one post office for every 5 thousand inhabitants.

In 2006 the number of postal mailers dispatched in Europe was nearly 118 billion, which accounts to, on average, 2380 mailings per person. Posting of ordinary parcels to domestic and international recipients accounted for 1 billion of the total postal mailers sent.

Based on the statistics shown above we can see that mailing bags is quite an important part of a business so we thought we well you out when choosing the right type of mailing bag that is needed by your business. We also provided here on our website and selected list of manufacturers and suppliers of mailing packaging. All in the UK (they all offer delivery to Europe and other countries) with free delivery options, some also offer customised printed mailing bags.

Post Office services

The Post Office offers lots of options for this Christmas, either if you are sending the UK or sending abroad.

Sending in the UK

The Post Office has a reliable UK parcel service which delivers usually within 3 to 5 working days, Saturday included. With prices starting from £5.30 you will be able to send parcels weighing up to 20kg and up to 1.5 metres long or 3 metres combined length and the measurement around the middle of the parcel. You will also be entitled to a free certificate of posting and up to £46 compensation for lost or damaged items.

Sending abroad

International parcel have a weigh limit of 30kg which may vary depending on the destination country - dimensions may also vary. The options go from the 'global value' with prices starting from £9.40 to the 'global express' with prices from £40.50 but offering next day delivery (disregarding the time the parcel is in customs clearance) to the USA, Canada and Europe and 2 days for the rest of the world. You will be able to claim a 100% refund if your parcel does not arrive in time and if case of loss or damage a £200 pound compensation.

Paper sizes and their equivalent envelope size

A series

A series is the standard ISO paper size. A paper sizes are based on a single aspect ratio - which is 1:1.4142 (square root of 2). The base sheet size is the A0 and it has an area of 1 square metre and is 841x1189 millimetres in size. Subsequent sizes, i.e. A1, A2, A3 and so on are found by halving the previous size along the larger side, this way keeping the same aspect ratio throughout.

C series

The C series is used only for envelopes and it follows the same characteristics than the A series but in a bigger scale. The C0 starts at 1000x1414 millimetres and has the same downsizing rules than A paper, always halving the previous size along the bigger dimension. The advantage of this system is that any C size paper will always be slightly bigger than an A size paper. A envelope size can be chosen knowing the paper size, for example, if a letter or document is written in A3 paper the correct envelope size will be a C3.

Postal bags and courier sacks

For a low cost alternative postal bags and courier sacks offer simple but effective protection. They are much lighter than paper envelopes, can be plain or coloured and with or without a pre-printed address window. Ideal for posting magazines and catalogues.

Jiffy bags and bubble mailers

Jiffy bags are light paper padded envelopes with a peel and seal strip for easy closure lined with bubble material to protect the contents.

Mailing envelopes

Maybe the most common type of mailer, envelopes come in a wide range of colours, sizes and materials. Mailing envelopes can be used to send greetings cards, letters or anything really. They can be bubble padded like the Jiffy mailers, security envelopes can also be found a they provide tamper evident self seal strip to ensure it is only open by the right person.

Online Buying guide for Mailing Bags and Polymailers

(1) Check Delivery Costs

As soon as you add an item to your shopping basket check the delivery costs! You may think you're getting a great deal and then by hit by a delivery charge at the checkout stage. Some mailing bag retailers offer cross-subsidised prices on certain products in the hope of catching you out with the extra delivery charge; others offer fairer prices with free standard delivery. Don't be fooled and be sure delivery charges are shown upfront before you buy.

(2) Buy your mailing bags from a reputable, accountable source.

When you source your supplier for your mailing bags and polythene mailers you should be careful to select a reputable well established retailer who is also a UK or European manufacturer. Many (particularly purely online) retailers are simply stockists of mailing envelopes which means that they often will import cheap and badly made mailing bags from countries where manufacturing standards are much less stringent. The product may also suffer during transit, particularly if it is biodegradable in nature and polythene itself often weakens, warps and perishes when transported in warm or unprotected conditions.

The use of far-off manufacturers may often allow stockists to sell marginally cheaper products. However this is clearly false economy for businesses wishing to deliver goods, because for every badly made bag there is a risk of splitting and subsequent damage to the goods in transit. When faced with the option it's often worth paying a very small premium to ensure your goods are made to the appropriate UK BSI standards and are therefore more likely to withstand the pressures of transit. The more valuable the goods inside the courier bag or mailing bag, the more important this is.

If you seem to be getting a deal that's too good to be true, then it probably will be!

(3) Cut out the middle man - buy mailers direct from an online manufacturer.

Most of the big postal envelope and mailing bag manufacturers now offer online sites. Some are very basic and frustrating but a few of the industry leaders have good sites so you can now buy direct from them rather than a trader and will normally get a much better deal. If you've already decided from (1) that you want your mailers to be of a sound quality then logic dictates it's best to by from a UK or European Manufacturer. Price isn't the only reason to buy from a manufacturer; the wealth of experience and knowledge of how to make good quality bags comes in to play evaluating stock bags too. A retailer that has no polythene bag manufacturing base will have sales staff that are not equipped with the same breadth of knowledge as a company steeped in polythene bag manufacturing history. Check the 'About Us' page - does the company manufacture too? Has the company been around a while?

(4) Don't evaluate a site by its colours or name - ask has the site been invested in?

You may not like the particular colours, look or branding of a mailing bag website but try to look beyond this to determine if it is smart and clean and well designed; if it has then you can bet that it has invested serious money in the design of it's site and it is more likely to be a serious company that is serious about what it does. Don't use clunky websites with insecure shopping carts or sites that don't allow you to buy online and steer clear of potentially unscrupulous ebayers (if you do use ebay ensure you have checked the sellers reputations thoroughly and are payment-protected or there may be no come back).

(5) Look at customer ratings and reviews - the real ones!

Some of the bigger, better and cheaper sites stocking mailing bags offer Google Checkout as a payment option. This means that their service is independently reviewed by Google users which prevents the use of carefully selected or 'exaggerated' customer testimonials. Look for a Google Checkout service rating and this will give you a good and tamper-proof idea on whether to steer clear or whether you've hit the jackpot.

Mailing Envelope Manufacturers

Mailing bags
Specialist supplier of mailing bags, polythene mailers, courier bags and plastic envelopes. Discount ranges and high-impact ranges for all your mail and postal packaging needs.

Mailing Bags is a dedicated division of Polybags Ltd. devoted to mailing bags. Polybags Ltd is a major international packaging company based in the UK working with mailing bags, plastic mailers and range of increasingly environmentally friendly products across the packaging spectrum.

Courier Sacks Direct
Supplier of mailing bags, polythene envelopes and courier sacks. Buy courier bags direct from the manufacturers at discounted prices. Big range of products including value despatch mailsacks, heavy duty courier sacks and security mail sacks.

Polythene mailers
Find more about the different types of polythene mailers, mailing bags and courier sacks available for posting packed items. With selected information on where to buy featured mailers and other types of mailing envelopes.

Discount Mailing Envelopes
Browse and purchase high quality, discount mailing envelopes from recommended wholesale suppliers of a wide range of polythene mailers.

Courier Sacks
Courier Sacks offers a big selection of standard courier bags and mailers for all you bulk mailing needs, find top suppliers with lots of options on mailers at discounted prices.
Polythene mailers in a wide variety of styles, shapes and sizes to choose from. Protect your mailing goods from bad weather or accidental damage with our high quality polythene envelopes and bubble mailers. offers next day delivery so you don't have to stop your business from getting to your clients.

Mailorder Bags
At Mail Order Bags you will find out more about mailing bags, mailing envelopes and plastic mailers, and most importantly where to buy all these mail order bags for the right price.
Online retailer of mailorder bags anf mailing packaging. Wholesale prices on a big range of mailing bags. also offers a custom printed mailing bags service with up to 4 distinct colour and a logo as well. Great value for money.

Discount Plastic Envelopes is devoted to mailing bags and plastic envelopes. Find help deciding wich type of mailing bag is better for your solution and where to buy good quality mailers.

Discount Mailorder Bags specialises in mailing bags, courier bags and envelopes. Provides answers to common questions about mail order bags and where to buy good quality polythene packaging products.

Dicount Mailing Bags
Get help, information and the best discounts sourcing your mailing bags, postage bags, courier sacks and mailing envelopes for all your business and personal mailing needs.

Research & Resources

For more detailed information about mailing bags, including how they are manufactured and the different types of mailing bags available, please visit:

Packaging Knowledge - Mailing bags articles
PackagingKnowledge provides articles and news for an in-depth understanding of the flexible plastic packaging industry including this article on mail order bags and mailing envelopes. - Mailing bags directory
Free packaging directory where businesses can add their mailing bags, polythene film and biodegradable packaging product listings for free.

Goldstork - Mailing bags directory
Interesting best of the web directory with links to useful mailing bags websites.

Eco-friendly mailing bags

If you care about the environment and think polythene is a bad choice, you will like to hear that there are environmentally-friendly alternatives to plastic mailers that bring all of the same benefits and features of the polythene mailing bags. These mailers are produced using a thin, high density plastic that is totally degradable meaning they are quickly broken down and therefore better for the environment. These eco-friendly alternatives are definitely the way to go if you have any environmental concerns about the use of polythene mailers.

For more information and a list of exclusively biodegradable mailing bag suppliers please see our biodegradable bags section.