Like most people on Open to Export, you’ll have some experience of shipping goods internationally. Of course, the rules for doing so via freight are very different to those for an online business. We’ve provided a list of things to think about if you’re performing the latter – take a look.
If you own an online business, you need to put careful thought into the packaging that you use to ship your orders.
First and foremost, the bags or boxes that you ship your products in should be appropriately sized. If they are too large, not only will it cost you extra money for shipping, but it can also give the impression that your company doesn’t care about the environment. By choosing postal packaging materials that are the right size for the products you are shipping, you can reduce shipping costs while at the same time acting in a way that is environmentally responsible.
Jiffy bags are a great choice for shipping lightweight products that are somewhat fragile or delicate.
Poly bags, on the other hand, are better suited to more durable products that won’t break in the mail such as clothing.
If you are shipping books, CDs, video games, or DVDs, book wraps are an excellent choice. They wrap directly around the item without the need for extra padding.
When choosing boxes for your shipment, there are several different factors to consider. For items that weigh a lot, the box needs to be strong enough to support their weight. Look for double-walled boxes with sides made from two pieces of cardboard layered on top of one another for extra strength. Not only will these boxes avoid breaking under the weight of the items inside, but they can also be stacked on top of one another. For smaller, lighter weight items, single-wall boxes are usually more than adequate.
Padding and Fill
Depending on the packaging that you choose, you might not need to add extra padding. However, if the item you are shipping is breakable, you most likely will want to protect it by packing it in a layer of bubble wrap. Use the bubble wrap with the bubbles pointing inward and the flat side toward the outside. After the item is wrapped, place it in the box and add extra packing material such as brown paper or packing peanuts around it to fill in the extra space. This will help keep the item from shifting around inside the box during transit, minimizing the chances of damage. Typically, damage occurs when the item comes in contact with another item inside the package or with the walls of the box itself. By preventing it from moving, you can help avoid this type of damage.
Tape The Box Shut
The best way to seal boxes for shipment is by using a tape gun to apply high-quality packing tape to the seams of the box. Make sure that the bottom of the box is properly secured by applying tape in both directions across the box. Don’t hesitate to add a second layer of tape if you are shipping an item that is particularly heavy. If the item you are sending is breakable, don’t forget to mark the word “fragile” on the outside of the package.
Addressing The Package
To minimize the chances of the package getting lost in the mail, take extra care when writing down the address. You may even want to check the address online before writing it on the package to make sure that it is accurate. You can look it up using Google’s map tool, or by checking with the U.S. Postal Service. Don’t forget to include a return address so that the package can be sent back to you if there are any problems with the delivery address.
Getting your packages to your customers in a timely manner is essential if you want to build a solid reputation. The happier your customers are with the service you provide, the more likely they are to return to your store and make additional purchases again in the future.