AdMar Trade Collections Guide to Packing and Posting
Post offices often have great savings if you buy in bulk up to 40% in some cases. Clear packing tape is your friend, and will probably be your most costly packaging material. You can never have enough.
Always keep an eye out for boxes and padding materials. There are always companies and small business that will often give away or sell their waste materials. These make very useful and economical packing. For example, foam off cuts from furniture stores, Styrofoam off cuts and old packaging from large department stores, bags of rags and old cloths that can all be bought from second hand op-shops. Keep your newspapers and magazines, and the dreaded supermarket plastic bag. All these items are free or extremely cheap and make for excellent shock absorbing materials.
Boxes - These are the single most difficult item to find. Surprisingly large department stores and many businesses would be happy to sell you their old boxes rather than just throw them away. Just go and ask. Remember that a box can be cut down and re-shaped. It takes a little work but it can turn one very large box into many small ones. Packing tape is your friend.
Remember to recycle your own boxes from Christmas, Birthdays, Shopping, and Gifts. Keep all the padding materials, and gift wrap. Ask your family and friends. Going to a baby shower? Once presents are unwrapped, everyone is happy to have someone willingly take the massive pile of wrapping paper, boxes and stuff off their hands. Weddings, birthdays, and other special occasions can often offer the opportunity for cheap (free) wrapping and packing materials. Just ask, be polite, it works!
Basic Packing Rules
Australia Post do not offer a fragile handling service.
In fact, many postal organizations do not offer a fragile service. Something to remember when you send your item overseas.
Now that you have all the stuff, wrap your item in one of your shock absorbing materials.
Bubble wrap, newspaper, rags.
Do this with any item that may be broken. Remember that if it is hollow – Stuff it.
Once your item is covered, get some packing tape and Start Wrapping. Cover your item (if practical) completely in plastic packing tape.
This offers two main advantages. One, it keeps everything in place. Two, it keeps everything water-proof.
Never wrap two items together. Always wrap separately. If possible package tape them together.
Stuffing Them in a Box
Make sure you have a good box. Line the bottom of the box with lots of shock absorbing materials such as newspaper, rags, foam.
When you have a nice bed, place your precious well wrapped treasure in the middle. Then, stuff everything around the outside until the item is completely covered and cannot move at all.
Close box. Go mad with the packing tape (again).
For overseas customs declarations - Never Lie. Ever. Give the true value, and clearly describe the item.
Make sure your label is clearly printed on a large white piece of paper in black ink. Always remember post codes and zip codes.
Use your packing tape to safely secure the address completely to the box. Leave no part of the paper exposed.
Have your return address clearly labeled as well. Treat it the same way you do the receiver’s address, only smaller and on the bottom of the box.
It is a good idea to add a This Way Up and / or a Fragile Content printed label to your box. This may not help, but it certainly won't hurt. Treat it the way you do all other labels, lots of packing tape to secure it. Remember the more packing tape, the more secure.
eBay offer a wonderful labeling service. Use it. Print out the label and the invoice. Include the invoice in the packaging. Tape the label to the parcel. And away it goes! Okay not quite…
Good idea to make sure you send everything by Registered Post if possible. Remember some destinations do not allow overseas insurance. Try to make arrangements to offer alternative insurance means. Warn your customers that this will be expensive.
Keep all receipts, address details, eBay invoice details. You may need these for taxation purposes, or to send to people who consider your postal charges excessive.
A Few Things to Ask at the Post Office
Ask them to sticky tape any postage stamps or labels Firmly to your package.
Remember to find out what time last post is. Normally five o’clock but you never know.
Australia Post provide a form that lists items that cannot be insured or posted. Ask for one. You may need to make use of a private courier company.
Australia Post provide a bulk registered mail form. This greatly cuts down on your paper work.
Make sure that you list your postage fees and other expenses clearly in any listings. It is a very good idea to offer insurance, registered mail, and express services. Remember your customer pays for these. Give a very realistic time frame from the moment you receive payment to the moment the item is posted. I personally allow 21 days.
If there is ever a delay, please contact your customer. If there is an unexpected increase in costs, postal expenses, again contact your customer. Most people are more than happy to re-negotiate postal fees.
Postal charges are not just how much it costs on the stamp. Take into consideration the time and materials to pack the item, the reasonable costs of transporting items to and from your post office and any extra insurance. Let your customers know this. Most people do not mind paying extra to improve the chances of their item arriving in one piece.
With lots of small expensive items I recommend not packing them all in one box. Remember the old saying, Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. A couple of thousand dollars worth of coins in a small package can make for a very tempting target. I am a coin collector and am happy to pay for multiple postings. It reduces the chances of all my coins being stolen. Yes everything is insured, but that doesn’t replace that coin you’ve been chasing for five years.
It is a good idea to list your posting conditions in your About Me page. This helps your customers and reduces confusion.
Always better to Over Pack. Read my feedbacks, I’ve sent crystal all over the world, even into war zones and I’ve never had an item broken in transit.
AdMar Trade Collections