Here’s a story on failed packaging that could've been easily avoided:
A while back we ordered a tabletop from a large retailer. It arrived in a plain cardboard box with minimal Styrofoam inserts – and a big crack down the middle. We called customer service and another tabletop was sent. This time, to our great annoyance ― but not surprise ― given the lack of adequate packaging, three corners were smashed. After much ado, we received a full refund, but decided this particular retailer would never again receive our online business.
The example illustrates just how important it is to get the packaging right.This retailer didn’t only waste money on damaged tabletops, but also missed out on our future purchases. While national chains might be able to sustain such losses, it could spell doom for a small business.
- Gift or shoe boxes have no business going on an unprotected cross-country adventure. Add a corrugated outer box to ensure the content arrives in the same condition as you left it. And use a double-wall box for heavier items.
- Fragile items deserve some extra cushioning. Take a double box and use 8 cm (3") of cushioning such as loosefill peanuts in and around the smaller box. Make sure to wrap each item individually and place them in the center of the inner box, away from any potential hits. (Fragile products should be shipped individually). And while we’re on the topic of double boxes, the second box should be at least 15 cm (6") longer, wider, and deeper than the inner box.
- Non-fragile items don’t necessarily like bumpy rides. Unless the item can bounce wall to wall unaffected, use fillers like crumpled newspaper, loosefill peanuts, or air-cellular cushioning material to fill void spaces and ensure everything stays put from start to finish.
- Even a normal ride can be a rough journey. Items that are sensitive to normal handling such as soiling, marking, and application of adhesive labels, should be placed in a protective outer box.
- Don’t let your products poke their way to the end destination. Sharp edges and protrusions need ― at the very least ― some extra wrapping and tape.
- No one wants a soaking wet package. If you ship liquids, the inner packaging must be able to contain leaks.
- There’s one great way to close your package. Each box should be sealed using the H taping method to prevent any accidental openings. And it won’t hurt if you use pressure-sensitive plastic tape, water-activated reinforced tape, or water-activated paper tape for items in excess of 27 kilos (60 lbs.)
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