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Old 07-11-2011, 04:24 PM   #1
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How to pack stuff for shipping

If you're like me you LOVE getting packages, wether it be a new tool, a part for your Toyota or a package of Omaha steaks, getting packages always seems to make the day brighter. BUT there is something that can darken even the brightest of brown box days.

Yep that's right, seeing a smashed box or hearing the unmistakeable sound of 1000 pieces of your 1 piece item. No one likes that feeling of dread and the overall feeling of disappointment that you get when you receive a smashed item.





That's what this post is for, to prevent you from giving someone that feeling of dread and despair and in its place give them a feeling of ecstasy and joy!

They key to packing a box that will be safe is simple, always remember the #1 rule;

- Your item/box must be able to withstand a drop from 5ft.

First you must pick out a box that will be best suited for the item you're shipping. I know this sounds easy, and for the most part it is, but i've received a number of packages that have gotten destroyed because the wrong box was chosen. Here are a few things to remember when choosing a box.

- Make sure the box has no rips or tears in it, duh common sense here!

Not good


- Picking a box too small is no good because this places the item too close to the box walls where it could get easily damaged by something running into the box, also this does not leave sufficient room for packing material (which we'll get into later).

Too small


- Picking a box too big is also no good, where it does allow you to put packing material in, if you don't put enough the item could slide around inside and get damaged. Also a larger box means more costly to fill with packing material and a higher shipping cost.

Too big


- A medium sized box is good, one that is big enough for you to cover your item in about 2"-3" of packing materials.

Perfect


- Never "make" a box by taping 2 together, it won't hold. If you don't have one that fits, go buy one.

Remember, your item/box must be able to withstand a drop from 5ft.

Let's move on to packing materials shall we?

Bubble wrap, air packs, foam, packing peanuts and even crumpled up newspaper and old rags (in certain circumstances) are good packing materials assuming they are used correctly.



Things like, empty boxes, rolled up tape and empty bottles (yes it's happened to me) they are not okay and should NEVER be used.

Ok so you've got your box picked out, and your packing materials ready, now it's time to pack your item for shipping.

- Pointy items, i.e. screwdriver, bolts or anything else that can poke through the box and stab someone need to have the ends wrapped in multiple layers of packing materials and then taped off to ensure that no one will get hurt by an item sticking out of the box.

- Be sure to wrap your items with a few layers of material (I prefer bubble wrap).





- Make sure your box also has a good layer of padding in it because, your item/box must be able to withstand a drop from 5ft.






Now last but not least, taping up the box;

- Use a good amount of tape to ensure that a 5ft drop won't rip the tape and leave your box exposed.

- Please use packing tape, that's what it's there for.

Other things to note;

- If the box is heavy label it as such, remember we are trying to avoid accidents.

- When you apply your label make sure it is in a clean, flat spot to ensure visibility and durability.

By following these simple guidelines you will ensure that your package will make it to it's destination safely.

Happy shipping everyone!

*The author (me) has worked for both the United States Post Office and for the Federal Express.*
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Old 07-11-2011, 04:57 PM   #2
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I agree with this totally. Very nice post.
I have bought and sold hundreds of thing on eBay. Pack like crap= negative feedback especially if you charged $15 and sent it to me in your kid's shoebox from Payless shoes.

I have bought 30-40 things from YT members and I can only recall one thing that wasn't packed great.

If you ask nicely at some businesses they will give you old packing material.
I get packing materials from the recycle area where I work.
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Old 07-11-2011, 05:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ocdropzone View Post
I agree with this totally. Very nice post.
I have bought and sold hundreds of thing on eBay. Pack like crap= negative feedback especially if you charged $15 and sent it to me in your kid's shoebox from Payless shoes.

I have bought 30-40 things from YT members and I can only recall one thing that wasn't packed great.

If you ask nicely at some businesses they will give you old packing material.
I get packing materials from the recycle area where I work.
I wrote this in the hopes that at least 1 person will find this helpful. I recently received a set of wheels for my Galant and it was a miracle that they weren't lost or damaged, that's what prompted me to write this.
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:02 PM   #4
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Bumping for exposure
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:36 PM   #5
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dude, nice post!

when I was in training at my current job, people were complaining that I was taking too much time packaging parts and using too much material, lol. apparently, they don't know now to package things either... but yeah I'm OCD when it comes to packaging stuff that I'm shipping...


seriously though, well done on the thread! I love the pics
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:45 PM   #6
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dude, nice post!

when I was in training at my current job, people were complaining that I was taking too much time packaging parts and using too much material, lol. apparently, they don't know now to package things either... but yeah I'm OCD when it comes to packaging stuff that I'm shipping...


seriously though, well done on the thread! I love the pics
Thank you very much!

I think it should be a sticky!
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:58 PM   #7
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I think it should be a sticky!
it already is
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:18 PM   #8
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how much for the alternator shipped to 08062??? JK

awesome write up though, i hope this gets alot of views!!

p.s. the majority of my family from my mothers and fathers side worked upper management for usps (thats where my parents met) and ive heard 1876674 times NEVER to work any position whatsoever for usps, apparently it SUCKS workin there. But hey thats just oppinions, right?

anyway, back to topic, and props to you for a great thread!
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Old 07-13-2011, 02:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by iamsuperbleeder View Post
it already is
Yes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 85gijunk4x4 View Post
how much for the alternator shipped to 08062??? JK

awesome write up though, i hope this gets alot of views!!

p.s. the majority of my family from my mothers and fathers side worked upper management for usps (thats where my parents met) and ive heard 1876674 times NEVER to work any position whatsoever for usps, apparently it SUCKS workin there. But hey thats just oppinions, right?

anyway, back to topic, and props to you for a great thread!
Yeah the USPS isn't the most efficient place in the world... But they do pay well and if you can manage to land a good job there, they have awesome benefits (I was only a temp.).

Thanks for the compliments!
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:30 PM   #10
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Thank you very much!

I think it should be a sticky!
dude I stuck this when I replied to it
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:32 AM   #11
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Nice job! I agree with everything on here. I work freight for a store and even large corporations sometimes don't package things well enough.. lots of things get broken, most often packs of soda cans, plates, bleach sometimes(goodbye work clothes) and cups.. Many injuries from people picking soda can 6 packs up without looking and slicing a finger open on a cut up can.
Oh and my dad has been working at USPS for 15 years.
Anyway great thread.. never had anything broken but i have been mad at how poorly something was shipped to me.

Last edited by Crimson Yota; 07-14-2011 at 04:35 AM.
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ocdropzone View Post
dude I stuck this when I replied to it
Awesome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crimson Yota View Post
Nice job! I agree with everything on here. I work freight for a store and even large corporations sometimes don't package things well enough.. lots of things get broken, most often packs of soda cans, plates, bleach sometimes(goodbye work clothes) and cups.. Many injuries from people picking soda can 6 packs up without looking and slicing a finger open on a cut up can.
Oh and my dad has been working at USPS for 15 years.
Anyway great thread.. never had anything broken but i have been mad at how poorly something was shipped to me.
Glad to hear you like it! lol

It really amazes me what people use to pack stuff with...
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:50 PM   #13
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All the bubble wrap around here gets put under the rug at the office to watch people jump when they step on it

I always pack stuff as well as possible.

off topic, but what is that toyota 4wd emblem off of?
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Old 07-17-2011, 08:30 PM   #14
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This is good. I dont know how many times I've been let down due to poor packaging. When packing a heavy, expensive, yet fragile item such as a turbocharger, heres an idea, its time consuming an pricy, but very effective.

1: Pick the appropriate sized box.

2: Set a flat 2-3 inch tall item, such as a couple books in the bottom of the box You are not shipping the item/book, it is a temporary riser.

3: Set the item centered on top of the box.

4: Take a small trashbag and line the box with it as if it was a trash barrel. the item you are shipping is UNDER the trash bag, not in it. You do not want the bottom of the trash bag to be more that halfway down the side of the item.

5: Proceed to fill up the bag with minimal expanding great stuff so that it will fill the box to the top. Keep in mind you only need to get the great stuff on top of and next to the item you are shipping. Also keep in mind that even the minimal expanding great stuff stuff is still gonna expand.

6: Let dry. Trim any overflow. Then remove everything. from the the box. Leave the trashbag over the great stuff, but trim any excess trash bag.

7: Place your foam mold flat side down in the bottom of the box. Your item should set in it nicely.

8: Repeat the trashbag and foam process.

You should now have two custom foam molds to protect the item. It will make it to its destination, and your buyer will be impressed.

Drawbacks:
Great stuff is expensive
Pain in the ass/ time consuming
If bag rips you will get great stuff on your item, so use good quality trash bags.

But when your shipping your turbo out, you want it to be safe even when its not in good hands.
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:11 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by yeehaw1 View Post
All the bubble wrap around here gets put under the rug at the office to watch people jump when they step on it

I always pack stuff as well as possible.

off topic, but what is that toyota 4wd emblem off of?
That emblem is off an 80's Toyota Corolla (or other small Toyota car) I believe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lewis15498 View Post
This is good. I dont know how many times I've been let down due to poor packaging. When packing a heavy, expensive, yet fragile item such as a turbocharger, heres an idea, its time consuming an pricy, but very effective.

1: Pick the appropriate sized box.

2: Set a flat 2-3 inch tall item, such as a couple books in the bottom of the box You are not shipping the item/book, it is a temporary riser.

3: Set the item centered on top of the box.

4: Take a small trashbag and line the box with it as if it was a trash barrel. the item you are shipping is UNDER the trash bag, not in it. You do not want the bottom of the trash bag to be more that halfway down the side of the item.

5: Proceed to fill up the bag with minimal expanding great stuff so that it will fill the box to the top. Keep in mind you only need to get the great stuff on top of and next to the item you are shipping. Also keep in mind that even the minimal expanding great stuff stuff is still gonna expand.

6: Let dry. Trim any overflow. Then remove everything. from the the box. Leave the trashbag over the great stuff, but trim any excess trash bag.

7: Place your foam mold flat side down in the bottom of the box. Your item should set in it nicely.

8: Repeat the trashbag and foam process.

You should now have two custom foam molds to protect the item. It will make it to its destination, and your buyer will be impressed.

Drawbacks:
Great stuff is expensive
Pain in the ass/ time consuming
If bag rips you will get great stuff on your item, so use good quality trash bags.

But when your shipping your turbo out, you want it to be safe even when its not in good hands.
Yeah with big expensive items, spending a little money to ensure that the item is safe is never bad.
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:01 AM   #16
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Thats classic!
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Old 06-15-2013, 03:49 PM   #17
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This is a great and very informative post. Good stuff.
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:23 AM   #18
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I work at FedEx... You have no idea how much a well packed package can save the item you're shipping. Stuff happens. People accidentally drop boxes. I accidentally drop boxes. Boxes fall off of the shelves in the delivery trucks sometimes. Boxes sometimes get stuck in the corners of the conveyor belt. It's life.

Usually boxes that are not packed/taped efficiently get squished by other well packed/taped boxes. And please, PLEASE use sturdy boxes. Especially if you're shipping something heavy. Tape only helps so much, when people cheap out on flimsy boxes, theres not much I can do besides stack it separately and hope I don't break anything inside. Happens all the time... People ship glass with one layer of bubble wrap around the item in a box that's too big or flimsy. The slightest mistake and it's gone.
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Old 06-25-2015, 12:29 AM   #19
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How about packing and shipping big items like rear axle assemblies? I need to send one and got a quote from UPS for 3K - anybody know where to go and how much it will cost? Was hoping to avoid a big drive between Oregon and AZ
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Old 06-25-2015, 01:24 AM   #20
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How about packing and shipping big items like rear axle assemblies? I need to send one and got a quote from UPS for 3K - anybody know where to go and how much it will cost? Was hoping to avoid a big drive between Oregon and AZ
https://www.fastenal.com/en/22/third...logistics-(3pl)

https://www.uship.com/
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