6 Essential Tips for Shipping Fragile Items

Shipping fragile items via mail that you have sold can be challenging in and of itself, never mind a situation where the product ends up being damaged en route. Following this guide will ensure your item is packaged appropriately and mailed successfully, the recipient is satisfied, and you do not have to worry about refunding any money. After all, improper packaging is the biggest cause of damages during transport.

1. Use proper packing materials

Buy bubble wrap to put around your item to keep it safe but be mindful of the weight of your item. If it is really heavy it could pop the bubbles on the wrap on its way to the destination, rendering it useless. Use newspaper to fill around the item when it is in the box.  Also have packing tape on hand for the outside of the box and scotch tape to hold bubble wrap and newspaper in place.

2. Ensure box is appropriate size

Your box should have a ½-inch space around each side of the item to be shipped. This will allow you enough room for bubble wrap surrounding the item as well as newspaper to act as padding. If you shake the box with your item and padding in it, it should not move around. If it does, add more bubble wrap and/or newspaper so it does not shift around at all.

3. Wrap item appropriately

Wrap your item in bubble wrap and hold it in place with scotch tape- you do not want the wrap to slip off when in transit. Don’t be afraid to use too much bubble wrap as long as it fits into the box. It is better to use too much and keep it safe rather than using too little and risk the item breaking. If the item is hollow, pack the inside of it with newspaper. Before placing the item into the box, add some newspaper to the bottom of the box. Place the item into the box and ensure each side of it has an ample amount of newspaper for padding.

4. Tape box

Tape the bottom and top of the box with a few layers of packing tape. Once again don’t be afraid to use too much- better safe than sorry. If you are shipping the item internationally, chances are the box may be handled more by shipping depots. In this case, add a few extra layers of packing tape around the perimeter of the box so it does not come undone. Make sure you get the right packaging supplies to ensure your box is properly sealed.

5. Write “FRAGILE” on top and sides

To make shipping and receiving employees aware that your item is delicate, write “FRAGILE” on the top and sides of your box in permanent marker so it is seen and the chances of the box being handled with care are maximized. The permanent marker will prevent anything from rubbing off the box in transit.

6. Choose a reputable shipping company, consider insurance

You have multiple options to send your fragile item. If you did not guarantee that the item will arrive on a specific date, you can send by regular post and insure the item for the amount that it is worth. That way, you and the recipient are both covered for costs if the item gets lost or damaged in transit. If you did give an approximate delivery date, you can send via courier and again purchase insurance. In the event that your item is extremely delicate and you do not want to take a chance of it breaking, you can hire a company that specializes in handling fragile items. These companies make the safe arrival of your item a top priority, even assisting with the packaging of the item and unpacking upon arrival.