For someone who is just starting a small home business which entails shipping items to clients, these small mistakes can add unnecessary costs or result in negative feedback from an unsatisfied customer. To guide first time shippers, here are some valuable shipping tips to ensure that shipments arrive with no problems or complications.
Use the Right Box
The shipping box is your item's first line of protection from outside impact. Only use sturdy boxes that are not too big nor too small for your products to be shpped. The box should snugly accommodate the item, as well as additional cushioning and packaging materials to prevent movement within.
Some cardboard boxes and other shipping containers such as envelopes and tubes, are usually available for free from the post office or shipping companies. If using previously used boxes or containers, make sure that they are still strong enough to provide your items with optimum protection.
Protect and Cushion
Packing supplies such as plastic bags, cushioning materials and fillers are key to keeping your items free from damage. Don't scrimp on these materials as they are essential in keeping the products protected from the elements (dirt and moisture) as well as from impact and vibration during transit.
Use plenty of bubble wrap, shredded paper, foam peanuts or any other forms of fillers on all sides, top and bottom of your item. The contents of the box should not move around or collide with each other. These materials should keep the entire container tightly packed.
Seal and Secure
Use a heavy-duty packaging tape to properly seal your packages. Reinforce all box flaps, including the ones in the bottom, with sufficient tape to prevent the package from bursting open during transit.
Address and Label Properly
A simple mistake on the recipient's address can spell trouble and complications. Make sure to write the recipient's correct name and complete address with Zip Code. Also write legibly or use big easy-to-read fonts when printing labels. Place the delivery and return addresses only on one side of the package to avoid confusion. Stick a strip of wide clear tape over the addresses and labels to avoid ink smudges or getting stripped off from the package druing handling.
Insure Valuable Items
Always insure you valuable items to protect you in case they got lost or damaged during transit.