Preparing and packing an item so that it arrives at its destination safely is always important. If you’re sending gifts, then you want to make sure that the recipient isn’t disappointed by a broken or damaged gift, and if you’re a seller shipping items to customers, then you will want to make sure that you ship items carefully so that you don’t get complaints from your customers.
The Challenges of Shipping
Even if you send your item via courier, and carefully label it to indicate that it’s fragile, there’s a good chance that your parcel will be dropped, tossed around, and stacked under heavy items in the delivery van. That’s why it’s important to make sure that your items are well protected in sturdy cardboard boxes, and with plenty of layers of bubble wrap to prevent them from rattling around.
Choosing Packing Materials
One common debate, especially among eBay sellers, is whether or not it is acceptable to use recycled packing products. Most people are happy to receive products which are packaged in clean recycled products, however clean is the operative word here. Clean cardboard boxes, Styrofoam pellets and bubble wrap are all things that can be re-used. If the bubble wrap is damaged, or the box is scuffed and dirty, then discard it, and use something else instead.
Don’t let the temptation to save money, or the desire to be environmentally friendly, carry you away. Don’t re-use food cartons, torn jiffy bags, or boxes that clearly bear the label of a different product. Damaged boxes can be weak and if you use them you risk the product getting broken during shipping. Dirty boxes don’t create a good impression for buyers.
Make sure that the cardboard boxes you use are the right size for the product. Ideally you want the box to be slightly larger than the product, but not so large that it is left rattling around all over the place. If you’re sending a product that’s already in the box, use some air-pak or some packing foam to pad the shipping box so that the product’s box doesn’t shift around too much in shipping. If the item you’re shipping is lose and easily damaged, wrap it in newspaper or tissue paper, and then add a layer of bubble wrap.
Insuring Your Packages
Even if you pack carefully, things can still go wrong. For this reason, you should research the insurance options offered by your courier. Some courier services offer free insurance up to a certain amount on even basic postage methods. If you’re shipping more expensive items then you may need to pay extra for insurance that covers those high value items. However, the insurance is worth having.
Most couriers will only pay out on insurance claims if the items were packaged correctly. If you fail to pack your items securely, then you will have no recourse if they get damaged. Make sure that you always securely wrap and protect items, use high quality boxes, and tape the boxes securely.