I'm finding more and more that there are a small but significant number of people who are selling on-line who, simply put, don't know how to pack.
You are absolutely correct. This is why I send the following set of packing guidelines to my sellers and make using the guidelines part of the deal.
K4ICL.com Packing Guidelines
HOW TO PACK YOUR ELECTRONIC GEAR FOR SHIPPING
Proper packing of shipped equipment is the single most important step in conducting business on the Internet, yet often receives the least attention.
A gorilla, larger than you can imagine, will throw your package at least 30 feet to another large gorilla. The second gorilla will not catch it and it will slam against the brick wall and drop to the concrete floor.
You will have to file a damage claim if you do not PROPERLY pack the item. Dealing with damage claims is a REAL hassle, likely to involve much paper work, extra expense and hard feelings. It will make you very cranky.
All nationwide shipping carriers, including the U.S. Postal Service, have automated their distribution systems, using bar codes to route packages. It is likely your shipment will be moved through the read-and-sort process using conveyer belts. The conveyer system will drop your package from one belt to another at heights of up to 40 inches. This means that your package will experience a free fall drop(s) at some phase of being carried from your QTH to its destination. IF YOU DON'T PACK IT PROPERLY, IT WILL BE DAMAGED.
The picture below shows a power supply packed by a UPS franchise store, shipped to via UPS, dropped by UPS, and delivered by UPS. This is one of many such UPS shipped and damaged deliveries.
Always insure the package for one and one-half times its ACTUAL REPLACEMENT VALUE.
Any package should be packed in such a manner that the contents of the package will not be damaged if the package is dropped from the height of a normal shipping counter to the floor, a distance of about 40 inches or three and one half feet.
Step by Step Procedure to assure it getting there undamaged
1. Please note. MOST SO-CALLED PROFESSIONAL PACKING SHOPS (UPS Store, Kinko’s, etc.) HAVE NO EXPERIENCE PACKING THIS KIND OF EQUIPMENT!
If you MUST have it packed using these services, make sure you provide a copy of these guidelines and you watch to see that the job is done properly.
2. Locate and secure all needed packing materials. (1) At least two suitable heavy duty boxes [an inner box and an outer box], (2) Large size bubble wrap (1/2 inch bubble height), (3) two-inch wide HEAVY DUTY packing tape, (4) dense sheet foam [Home Depot, etc. one inch insulation sheets work great.] This is NOT the place to skimp on costs. The packing materials will be far less costly than a damaged unit.
3. Place equipment in plastic bag or other suitable plastic cover to protect it from packing materials and moisture. Same with any extra small items, manual, accessories, etc. Remember, the vibration of a long haul truck can completely wear the paint off a surface rubbing against packing materials such as cardboard.
4. Using bubble wrap, secure loose cables and plugs so they do not contact the equipment and scratch or ding the surfaces. Then, TIGHTLY wrap the equipment in at least five layers of large size bubble wrap. The more the better. This is to avoid VIBRATION and SHOCK damage.
5. Place item(s) in suitable size “inner” cardboard box, one that snuggly fits the bubble wrapped the item(s . Fill any remaining spaces in the box with additional bubble wrap material so the items fit TIGHTLY in the box. Leave nothing loose in the box. If you are shipping more than one item in the box BE SURE they are wrapped so they cannot bang against each other. Put the heavier bubble wrapped items on the bottom of the box and separate them from the lighter top items with a sheet of cardboard material.
6. DO NOT USE NEWSPAPER, WADDED PLASTIC OR ANYTHING NOT DESIGNED FOR THE PURPOSE. DO NOT use Styrofoam “peanuts”; they will be pounded to dust.
7. Seal each box carefully. Double tape everything. The better it is sealed, the better it will absorb the shock of being dropped.
8. Next, cut the one-inch dense foam sheeting into suitable sizes to allow you to fill the space between the smaller inner box and the larger outer box, on all six surfaces. The purpose of the foam is to isolate the inner box from the sudden shock of being dropped when in transit. The spaces between the two boxes should be completely filled and the smaller box should not be able to move within the confines of the large box. The inner "first" box(es) MUST be securely held in place so it will not shift when you shake the package. Leave nothing loose in the box!
9. Seal the larger outer box with packing tape then over the top and bottom "lids" again. Double tape everything.
10. IMPORTANT: place on each surface, except the bottom, stickers or signs indicating that the contents of the package are FRAGILE ELECTRONIC INSTRUMENT and DO NOT DROP. If you fail to do this, your package MIGHT BE HANDLED AS IF IT WERE A BOX OF ROCKS! Also, the existence of these signs will go a long way towards getting a fair settlement if the is any damage caused by the shipper! Why? Because you have told the shipper the equipment was fragile and they should handle it accordingly.
11. Place address label on top of package, completely taping over with clear packing tape. Using UP ARROWS, clearly indicate which end should be up at all times. Be sure to insure the package as noted above. Also include our email address (K4ICL@K4ICL.com
) in the shipping paperwork to be sure we receive reports of the progress of the shipment.
12. SHIP THE PACKAGE USING FEDEX. DO NOT SHIP USING UPS or USPS
, no matter how convenient it is to do so. You can call FedEX at 800-238-5355
and arrange for FedEx to pick up your package when you have it ready to ship. IMPORTANT: Immediately after shipping, email the tracking number to K4ICL@K4ICL.com
so we can make arrangement to be available to sign for the package when it arrives.