Business Planning Process Planning & Strategy

Fragile Items: 6 Tips for Packing Your Products Like a Pro

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If you sell delicate products on your online store, shipping them can be absolutely nerve-wracking. Even if your items aren’t particularly fragile, they can still get chipped, scratched, or damaged when they leave your store.

Fragile items are breakables like glassware, ceramics, musical instruments, electronics, and even baked goods like cakes – but shipping them is always a gamble

Even if you do everything in your power to make sure your products reach your customers safely, there are no guarantees that everything will arrive in one piece

Fortunately, there are six ways to lessen the likelihood of your package getting damaged along the way.

1. Choose the Right Cushioning and Packaging Material

To protect your products, choose a cushioning material to line your box and fill any void space – this will prevent your products from moving around and colliding with each other or the side of the box. You can use chipboard sheets, bubble wrap, packaging peanuts, or crumpled paper – but try to choose eco-friendly options wherever you can.

While some people opt for lighter, cheaper boxes to save money on shipping, thin cardboard boxes are more likely to tear or break. But is a slightly lower cost really worth it if your fragile items get smashed during transit? The answer is always no.

Instead, you should use a sturdy box to transport your goods. Corrugated cardboard is a good option because it won’t cave or get crushed

Because corrugated cardboard comes in different thicknesses, you can pick the one that’s right for you. Corrugated boxes are inexpensive, too. For an even cheaper option, you can re-use boxes – just make sure they are not damaged.

2. Select the Right Sized Box

When choosing a box or padded envelope to pack your products in, the size you use should be just right – only slightly larger than its contents. If the box is too small, you run the risk of it tearing or breaking open because it is overstuffed.

If the box or envelope is the same size as your product, you won’t have room for any protective cushioning material.

Too big, however, will mean that you need a lot of protective cushioning inside the box to stop the contents from shifting – and it will cost you more in shipping and packaging materials.

3. Pack Items Strategically

If you’re shipping more than one fragile item in one package, you must wrap each product in its own layer of protective cushioning and make sure that there is enough material between each item to prevent them from knocking into each other.

You should also place each item in the box in an organized and strategic manner – heavy items should be laid at the bottom, and lighter or more fragile items should be placed on top.

Don’t fill your box to the corners, though – stuff protective materials in the corners and along the sides of the box to protect your items from external pressure.

4. Label Packages Accordingly

Make sure your package is handled carefully during transit by labeling it with a warning message. You can label it “FRAGILE” or “HANDLE WITH CARE,” just make sure that the label is large enough to be spotted easily.

The label itself won’t magically protect your package, but it will remind everyone who handles it that there are breakables inside.

5. Make Sure the Packaging Label Is Secure

While the shipping label won’t protect your fragile items, it will be useful if any issues should arise. You can print shipping labels yourself – just make sure that the ink you use won’t smudge, rub off, or become unreadable.

Affix the shipping label securely to the package to ensure it won’t come off and get lost. It is also a good idea to print another copy of the shipping label and place it inside the box, just in case.

6. Cover Yourself with Insurance

While you may have done everything to protect your fragile products while they are on their journey, things do go awry. Your package could still arrive broken, damaged, or not arrive at all.

While purchasing extra shipping insurance won’t prevent anything from happening to your parcel, it will cover your expenses by refunding you for the loss.

Basic shipping insurance generally doesn’t cover the cost of the items inside the package, but additional insurance will protect you from the cost of damage during transit. Be sure to keep all your receipts or other proof of the items’ value though – you’ll need them if you request a refund.

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