Packing shipments is an art. After watching our in-house PowerSeller do a few nifty things to pack awkward items, I started thinking, what do other sellers do to ensure their items make it to their destinations in good condition, while keeping packing and shipping costs in check?
Miriam Otto, the owner of Blue Frog Shoes and an eBay-certified educator, was kind enough to share three of her packing tricks. They’re simple tips that will make a lasting impression.
Packing Tip No.1: Tissue, anyone?
Her first tip was to wrap all items in white tissue paper before putting them in boxes.
“Buyers absolutely love it!” Miriam notes.
The paper makes shipments appear professional and provides protection for the bumpy road that may await your shipment. A nice thing about tissue paper is that you can frequently find it at dollar stores, meaning you won’t have to spend much.
“It can also be purchased in bulk at some club stores during the months of November and December,” she adds.
And if you want to add a little color by using colored tissue paper, you can, just be sure to wrap your items in a plastic bag in case the package gets wet somewhere along the way to your buyer’s doorstep.
“You don’t want the color to run,” Miriam explains.
2. Packing Tip No. 2: Make your own box
Don’t worry; you don’t have to go to a paper factory to do this. You just have to gather a few boxes you have lying around. You can do this to create large or small boxes. For instance, if one of your items is too big for the box you have, or is an odd-size, tape two smaller boxes together to get the right fit.
“I sell oversized shoes,” she says. “If I don’t have the right size box for a pair of large shoes, I sometimes tape two Priority shoe boxes together.”
But don’t skimp on the tape. You want the boxes to hold together and look professional.
If you have a box too large for a smaller item, don’t be afraid to cut down the box to size, either. A box cuter will come in handy here, just be sure to cut along the folds—and take your time. You don’t want to end up with a crushed mess.
Packing Tip No. 3: Reduce weight when you can
Cutting down larger boxes won’t just help you get the right fit for your items, it can also help cut your costs by reducing the weight of your shipment.
“A few ounces can sometimes make a huge difference when it comes to price,” Miriam reminds us. “Cutting down boxes can often reduce the amount you pay at the post office.”
Just be sure to leave enough room in your box to add enough packing peanuts and packing paper to give your item, or items, cushioning so you’ll have a happy buyer at the end of the transaction.
What are some of your simple packing tips? Tell us below.
Olga Munoz is assistant editor of The Online Seller, an online publication that covers news and writes feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, eBay policy, online marketing and other topics of interest for online sellers. She also manages The Online Seller’s social media efforts.