Whether you run an online business that deals with delicate antiques or simply sell something through eBay, shipping fragile items always add an extra element of risk. All it takes is for one wrong move to cause breakage.
This might lead to not just a customer refund and the expense of re-shipment but also potentially an item you can no longer sell. Plus, due to the issues they went through, the customer could decide to forget about returning in the future.
The good news: there are various steps you can take to minimize shipping damage. With the right packaging and approach, you can feel more confident your fragile item will successfully reach its destination in one piece. Here are some important practices to keep in mind:
1. Pick the right box
The box you place the fragile item in is an important component. That’s obvious. However, you cannot go with any type of box you find. You need to find one which is only slightly bigger than the item itself. Why? Well, it means there’s less empty space you need to fill in, which means the item won’t be bouncing around the box.
2. Protective materials
To restrict movement and supply ample cushioning, you need to use the correct protective materials. This can be packing peanuts, air pillows, crumpled newspapers, or any other type of suitable padding.
3. Pack individually
Are you sending multiple fragile products within the same box? If so, these should be packed individually. Go with a cushioning material with at least three inches of thickness. Then it’s simply a case of repeating the above process by filling up the empty space with peanuts, pillows, or other protective materials.
4. Select a courier
You have to take extra care when selecting a courier to ship a specialist item like a fragile antique. Without an expert pair of hands taking care of your package, there’s a greater possibility the item within will go through more trauma than it can handle.
There’s also the topic of cost. When you add in the extra insurance alongside this expertise, the delivery cost can reach astronomical levels – and this either cuts into your profit margins or scares away potential customers.
With both points in mind, this is why it is recommended to use a courier auction; acourier auction is where you receive quotes for your planned shipment. As couriers compete against each other, you can receive a quote from a professional outlet that is lower than if you went with a standard service.
5. Slap on a “fragile” label
Even if you have carefully considered a courier, it’s vital you take the necessary steps to make everyone aware the item is fragile. One simple but effective way of doing so is by sticking a “fragile” label onto the box. This lets everyone, from the courier to the recipient at the end of the journey, know they have to take extra care when handling the box.