Postal packaging tips for your Online Boutique
So you have set up your online boutique, you have the spare room or unit crammed full of stock that you’re going to sell. The orders come in and you now have to pick, pack and ship them. But did you know that one of the most frequent complaints customers have is that items arrived damaged or not at all? You don’t want your first reviews to be negative ones, so here are some tips from James and James Fulfilment on making sure your orders get to their destination on time, and in one piece.
Select the right packaging?
You want to select the packaging that is the most appropriate size for your products; businesses do not want to be accused of being environmentally irresponsible, nor do they want to increase their costs unnecessarily. Sensibly-sized packaging helps protect the product while creating minimal environmental impact.
- Jiffy bags are excellent for small, light items and provide a reasonable amount of protection.
- [easyazon_link asin=”B00COAI9MU” locale=”US” new_window=”default” tag=”onlinebout-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” nofollow=”default” popups=”default”]poly bags[/easyazon_link]are excellent for clothing and non-fragile lightweight products.
- Book wraps are (believe it or not!) good for wrapping books, DVDs CDs and games, as they are designed to hold these items easily without additional internal packaging.
- In the case of boxes, it is important to ensure you select the right box for the job. If you are sending heayv items you should use what is known as a double walled box. These are made from two layers of corrugated card and are much more likely to hold their shape and not break open. They also hold up to stacking by carriers. Single wall cardboard boxes are best suited to small light items that may be fragile.
If you’ve chosen the right outer packaging, you may not need internal protection, but if you are sending a fragile item, it is a good idea to wrap it in [easyazon_link asin=”B000CS787S” locale=”US” new_window=”default” tag=”onlinebout-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” nofollow=”default” popups=”default”]Bubble Wrap [/easyazon_link]. Make sure the flat side of the bubble wrap is facing outwards. The next step is to fill any empty space around the product; this is known as void fill. Brown paper void fill is good, as are air cushions. When you have done this, add a good quantity of loose fill such as packing peanuts on top. This should ensure that your products are held securely, surrounded by packing material that will absorb impacts and prevent the item from moving in the box. Most damage occurs when items move inside the box and hit the outer wall or other items in the package.
Seal it up
To seal boxes, use a good quality parcel tape and apply it with a tape gun. Take particular care with the bottom of the box, first taping the two outer flaps down the center then down the two edges of the flaps forming a letter H. If you are using a double walled box for heavy items it is a good idea to use a double layer. Add ‘Fragile’ stickers if needed and you’re ready to ship your parcel.
Getting it to the addressee
The postal service receive a vast number of complaints about lost and misdelivered items, yet the majority of problems could be avoided if extra care is taken when addressing and labeling packages. If something about an address looks wrong, check it. Google maps and the USPS postcode finder are cost-effective methods for ensuring you have received the correct address. As well as marking the recipient’s details, include your own address, postcode and phone number on the outside of the parcel, in case there are any queries during transit.
Getting packing and addressing correct is not going to make you more money in the short term. However, it will help ensure a good reputation, encourage repeat custom, positive customer reviews, save you money from sending out replacements for lost damaged items and it will save you time chasing carriers for compensation.