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How to Pack Fragile Items for Shipment

January 23rd, 2019 by Skip McGrath

If you merchant fulfill anything breakable, you have to pack it and ship it to your buyer. Remember, what you are selling. That antique plate or collectible sugar bowl is now someone’s treasure. And when someone receives their treasure broken, they are pretty unhappy and you are risking a negative feedback or an A to Z claim. Feedback percentage is very important to any seller, but it is especially important in the art, antiques and any collectibles categories where people are always worried about getting fakes or misrepresented products.

Remember, Amazon offers a 30-day, 100%  money back guarantee on everything I sell.  Well in 10 years of selling on Amazon I average about two items per year that is returned for a refund. When we had an antique shop I lost more than that in shoplifting. So think of it as a cost of doing business. Believe me you will make more money if your feedback is 99.7% or better, than if it’s lower.

How you pack depends a lot on what you are shipping. If you sell glassware, pottery, or any breakable item, then you need to be careful. So let’s look at how to pack and ship really fragile items:

1. Proper materials. The first step is to get all the materials you will need. These will include Styrofoam peanuts, bubble pak, boxes, tape and tissue.
2. If you are shipping a hollow item like a vase, then you want to pack the inside too. I usually use newsprint for this. (You can buy blank newsprint at office supply stores. Don’t use old newspapers).
3. Now bubble wrap the item with the bubbles facing inward so the flat side is out. This makes it easier to tape.
4. Place the wrapped item in a box within a box that will fit with at least one inch of space on all sides, Then fill this space with newsprint, bubble pak or Styrofoam peanuts.  This is called the box within a box method and is simply the safest way to ship breakable items.
5. Lastly double tape the box seams top, bottom and the side flaps.

Remember that all of this packing material will add a pound or so to your shipping cost. So when you calculate shipping for your auction listing, you may wish to add a pound to the item weight.

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