eBay Packing – Essential Supplies

In: Packaging

26 Mar 2009

Before you ship, you have to pack which doesn’t sound too terribly difficult. However, if you pick the wrong container, don’t cushion the contents properly, don’t seal it securely, or mislabel the whole thing, you could risk damaging the contents during shippingor, even worse, sending it to the wrong recipient. Even if you think you know how to pack and ship, you still probably want to read the following sections. You never know; you might pick up a few useful tips!

Before you do any packing, you need to have some basic supplies on hand. I’m not just talking boxes here; I’m talking about the stuff you stuff inside the boxes, and seal them up with.

Any halfway busy eBay seller needs to have these basic packing supplies on hand so that they’re not constantly running off to the office supply store every time one of their auctions closes. These items should always be available and easily accessed.

Okay, so what supplies do you need to have at hand? Take a look at this checklist:

  • Packing tape, clear
  • Bubble wrap
  • Styrofoam peanuts or old newspapers
  • Scissors
  • Box cutter or similar kind of knife
  • Postal scale
  • Black magic marker
  • Large shipping labels
  • Return address labels
  • Other necessary labels: Fragile, This End Up, and so on
  • Labels or forms provided by your shipping service of choice

Now for some explanations. I recommend clear tape over the normal brown because you can use it not just to seal the box but also to tape over the address label and make it somewhat waterproof. (That said, brown tape can be used to tape over labels and logos when you reuse an old box.) I also prefer peanuts to newspapers because peanuts don’t leave ink stains, and because of the weight factor; using newspapers as filler can substantially increase your package weight, and thus your shipping costs. (Of course, newspapers are free and peanuts aren’tbut peanuts are cheaper than the added shipping costs you’ll incur with newspapers. And you can reuse all those peanuts that come in the items you purchase online!)

The other materials are somewhat self-explanatoryalthough you might ask why you need a knife when you’re packing. I find myself using the knife primarily to slice off old shipping labels from boxes I reuse for my eBay shipping. Although some old labels tear off rather easily, most don’t; to remove them, you have to cut (shallowly) around the label and then lift off the outermost layer of the cardboard box.

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