A guide to postage and packaging for electrical products
Posting anything delicate can be a daunting task, as there's always a risk your item could get broken. Electrical products can be particularly difficult to send because some postal services will not insure them due to the fact they are such delicate items. However, it is possible to package your valuable electrical items in such a way that will ensure they are as secure as they possibly can be, which will hopefully save you from a lot of heartbreak.
First of all, you should think about what size and type of box you'll need. Make sure you don't pick a box that is too small and remember that your item will need much more room later on after it's been wrapped in bubble wrap. It's best to pick a cardboard box that is thick, sturdy and able to take a lot of pressure. This is important because if your box ends up stacked underneath other boxes, the box could crumple under the weight - which could lead to the item getting damaged.
You also might want to consider double boxing. This is most advisable when you're shipping an item that is quite large and heavy but there's not much need to if you're only sending something small.
There are several different ways in which you could potentially package your electricals. Some people like to use newspaper but this is not always a good idea. Even if you use a lot, newspaper is very thin and can get flattened during delivery.
The best way to package electricals is to use a combination of packing peanuts and bubble wrap. Bubble wrap comes in three different bubble sizes: small bubbles for fragile and light items, medium bubbles for larger and less delicate items and large bubbles are mostly used to fill up space rather than to protect items.
Once you've chosen your needed bubble size, wrap it round the item in several layers but be sure not to use too much. Otherwise the recipient won't be able to get the item out and might break it trying to do so. When taping the bubble wrap up it's best to use sellotape as, again, it's easier for the recipient to remove than parcel tape.
Packing peanuts are used to fill up the box to make sure your item doesn't move around and break when it's on its way to its destination. One of the best ways to use them is to fill up two or three inches of the box, depending on how big your item is, with packing peanuts before you've placed the item in there. Then simply put the item on top of the layer of peanuts and continue to fill the rest of the box.
If you're double boxing, make sure to place packing peanuts down the gap between the outer box and the inner box. This will stop the inner box moving around.
A good courier company will ensure that your package is handled with care but it's always a good idea to place a clear reminder on the box itself, so buy plenty of 'FRAGILE' or 'Handle With Care' stickers and place them on the outside of the box. If your item needs to be opened or left a certain way up, you can also purchase 'This way up' stickers.
It's always best to include your name (or your company's name) and address on the inside and outside of your package in case it needs to be returned for some reason. This is especially important if you've sold the item your sending because if there is a problem with it the buyer will want to know where to send it back to. So including a business card with your contact details is always a good idea. In addition, placing a return address on the outside of the box is useful for the courier company or depot if the parcel can't be delivered, or remains uncollected by the receiver.
Most couriers will insure their parcels up to a certain amount but additional insurance can always be purchased if your item is particularly valuable. The most important thing to remember with insurance is that the majority of couriers will not compensate you if your item is broken as a result of you not packaging it correctly. Some postal services do no cover electricals at all as they are a breakable item so make sure to check with the courier beforehand if they will insure your item.
By packaging your electrical products correctly, you not only ensure that they are as secure as possible, you also cover yourself should your item get broken on its journey. No one wants to have to refund a buyer their money or to apologise to their grandma about breaking a precious family heirloom in the post, so make sure you choose a trustworthy courier company who you know will look after your item.