Retail Mailing Guide: How to Prepare Small Items For Shipping

Consider this – in 2024 it is predicted that worldwide e-commerce sales will exceed $6.3 trillion US dollars – that is a lot of packages whizzing around the globe! 

With the explosion in online shopping, preparing items for shipping or postage has risen to an art form. Whilst clothing and other non-breakable items can be easily and safely sent, there is a wide range of fragile items like glass and collectables that require careful and considered preparation with the correct mailing box to ensure they arrive safely at their destination. 

Today we will look at techniques to pack and wrap a variety of smaller items for shipping to ensure they arrive safely with their new owners.

Preparation For Retail Sending

If you intend to send goods regularly by mail, it makes sense to equip yourself with all the necessary packing paraphernalia and mailing boxes to be able to swiftly and safely pack and ship items of all shapes and sizes. Invest in a set of scales, suitable for the type of products you are posting. Weighing goods allows you to estimate postage costs and incorporate them into your selling price.

Glassware and Ceramics - Wrapping and Mailing Fragile Items

Shipping and mailing boxes for glassware and ceramics should be made from sturdy cardboard, with thickened sides to prevent the risk of them being squashed or crushed in transit. 

When selecting a box for mailing, size matters, not only to limit the movement of the product inside but to save on postage costs. To prevent items from knocking together small items can be individually packed into boxes within a larger box. Bubble wrap creates a buffer to prevent glass and ceramics from inadvertently knocking together, which is one of the biggest hazards. Alternatively, create a shock-absorbing cushion using foam wrap or bubble wrap around each item and then fill any voids within the box with packing peanuts, cardboard squares or sturdy paper. 

Finally, place an EB Packaging FRAGILE, PLEASE HANDLE WITH CARE label on every surface of the box as a final precaution.

Comics and Books 

Collectables such as comics and vintage books require unique packing. Comic collectors are extremely particular about the way comics are sent in the mail and can be scathing in their criticism of even the slightest lapse. For eBay sellers, this translates to poor feedback ratings.

The optimum wrapping for comics is as follows:

  1. Place the comic between two pieces of sturdy cardboard, slightly larger than the comic, ensuring all edges of the comic are covered by the cardboard.
  2. Carefully place ample bubble wrap around the entire surface of the cardboard and secure it with masking tape from end to end. NEVER let the masking tape touch the comic!
  3. Place the comic inside a sturdy mailing box, ensuring the package fits snugly, with minimal movement.
  4. Write ‘fragile, do not bend’ on all surfaces or use EB Packaging’s FRAGILE labels to get the message across.

CDs and Records 

Vinyl records should be wrapped in bubble wrap and secured in a fit-for-purpose container like our 345 x 345 LP rigid mailing box.  These mailing boxes come in packs of 50, so those selling their record collection are well-catered for. Our boxes are clearly marked ‘Please do not bend’ but if you are covering them with gift wrap or brown paper, remember to mark the outside ‘FRAGILE, DO NOT BEND!’ on all exterior surfaces.

A jewel CD case is particularly fragile so begin by wrapping it in bubble wrap and secure this down with masking tape. Secondly, place this package in a rigid box and fill the void with packing peanuts or more bubble wrap to secure it. 

Small Electronics

There has been a significant increase in the transit of small electronics like iPhones and iPads in recent years, the majority of which contain delicate components, easily damaged in the mail. 

Ideally, you will have the original packaging which will contain an interior shell, perfectly moulded to fit the product. If not, a Styrofoam container cut into a rough facsimile of the shape of the item will suffice. Failing that, wrap multiple layers of foam wrap around the exterior. Foam wrap offers the benefit of significant cushioning without adding bulk. 

Wrap the cable and other components individually and place them in a separate box, as the metal prongs on the charger present a risk of damaging the device. Place the device and cable boxes into a slightly larger, rigid box and add cushioning material like balled paper to ensure it doesn’t move in transit. Stick a FRAGILE label to each external surface.

Insurance for Packing and Sending

For valuable items, senders can get extra peace of mind by taking out insurance which covers loss or damage cover. Let’s face it, no matter how well you wrap an item, it doesn’t prevent it from getting lost in the mail! Registered mail is another affordable option to verify delivery.

EB Packaging stocks a wide range of packing and mailing boxes and courier bags to suit every budget and situation. High-volume customers can benefit from our wholesale, bulk discount prices.  

Check out our eco-friendly range of cardboard products along with protective packaging accessories like bubble wrap, foil, stretch film, strapping and foam wrap as well as tissue paper, packing peanuts and so much more! With easy online shopping and shipping, EB Packaging is a one-stop-shop for all your shipping, postage and packaging needs.
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