Advice for bidorbuy sellers: how to make sure your item arrives safe to its destination.
You may blame it on the courier or the Post Office. Still, the result of the merchandise arriving damaged is always a very disappointed customer, even if the parcel was insured.
To reduce such mishaps, sellers need to take care to pack items properly. This is especially important during the Christmas shopping season, when delays can leave someone without a gift – a major disaster!
Such heartbreaks can be easily avoided. All products, including fragile ones, will probably arrive to their destination in one piece if packaged well, even if the box is thrown around.
Here are some basic packaging tips:
- Use solid, sturdy carton boxes. Sometimes, you can get them for free from your neighbourhood store or business. It’s also a good idea to save and reuse every solid, clean box that comes your way.
- Use the smallest box that your item fits into, allowing about five centimetres all around it for padding with stuffing material. Remember that delivery services charge by weight or by volume (whichever is bigger).
- Glass and other fragile items should be packed in two boxes, one smaller, one bigger, with a layer of stuffing between the boxes.
- Wrap the item with white paper and bubble wrap or layers of old newspaper before putting it in the box. The white paper is there to protect the surface of the item, which might react to the bubble wrap or get stained from the newspaper ink.
- After wrapping the item, you may feel the urge to tape the whole thing… Resist it. There are many horror stories of items being damaged when buyers pull on the tape or try to cut it with a knife. If you must, secure the wrapping with a piece of masking tape.
- For stuffing, use polystyrene packing peanuts, or (if really pressed) torn newspaper. Egg cartons and pieces of Styrofoam are also great for cushioning the item snugly. Follow this method: place the stuffing in the bottom of the box; place the bubble-wrapped item in the centre of the box; add the stuffing all around the item, pushing it down; and top up with more stuffing, slightly overfilling the box. When the box is closed, the lid should feel firm on top; there must not be any sagging inwards. Also, gently shake the box to make sure there is no movement inside.
- Seal the parcel with several pieces of tape across the top and the bottom.
- And, lastly… Do remember that a perfectly packaged parcel will get nowhere if there is no address on it. So, use labels that do not peel away, or write the address on the box in thick water-proof marker.
Now, you can confidently wait for a positive feedback from yet another satisfied buyer!