When I first started, Mail Lite bubble wrap envelopes were the main product to use.
Re-using Mail Lite bags was and is a very good idea. I did this, then as my sales increased, and thus profits, I invested in a few boxes of new Mail Lite envelopes: they are easy to use and are very robust.
Some sellers use other materials, such as brown paper and even, in some instances, wall paper.
Recently though, I have noticed that there is an increase in the use of plastic mail sacks, the cost of which appear to be quite reasonable. They are cheaper to buy than bubble-wrap bags, such as jiffy bags and Mail Lite.
I can understand why: they are light in weight – every gram counts when it comes to paying postage costs.
I think in some cases they are OK, but sometimes it is an inappropriate packing material: products can be spoiled when they are placed into a bag and there is little protection overall.
In the main, I still like to use Mail Lite bags: I have a selection of sizes to suit whatever item is going into them.
Sometimes even Mail Lite bags are inappropriate, due to the size and weight of an item. In this instance only a cardboard box will likely do.
On occasion we actually use brown paper, if we are packing a boxed item that just needs covering to hide the contents. This works out very inexpensive and, so far, does appear to be OK with customers.
Which packing materials is best to use is really a matter of ‘horses for courses’.
To be honest with you, if you have any packing materials that are clean and will protect your item, taking into account how robustly parcels are treated in transit, then use it.
It pays to ensure you protect your goods: sometimes it might cost a little more to do so, but you don’t want to if you have goods returned because they have got broken in the post, or you upset your customer if they receive an inappropriately packed product.
Even today, 10 years on, I often re-use packing materials: I feel that this is an economic and environmentally sound practice.