How to send a fragile item without it getting broken

If life boasts a more delicate process than the packaging of a fragile item, I'm sure we'd all love to hear it. The mere thought of a valuable or cherished possession succumbing to a crush or fall is sure to send shivers down the spines of collectors and online sellers alike. That's precisely why it's natural to ponder the likelihood of a fragile item travelling from one place to another without falling apart.     
 
However, just before you decide to rid your eBay clear out of every potential shipping disaster in sight, just remember one thing; thousands of fragile parcels are dispersed around Britain every single day. Anything can be packaged securely with the right tools and the help of a reliable parcel courier, while a little attention to detail always helps things along.
 
With the right instructions, shipping fragile items doesn't even have to be a chore. This particular lesson can serve you for many years to come, earning you a small fortune if you've got the items to sell.
 
So, before you decide that your item is too difficult for delivery, why not try following the tips below.
 

Wrap

A fragile item can be anything made out of a particularly delicate material, whether that's an ornament, picture, collectable or something similar. In truth it's anything that could suffer damage if it was to be dropped without sufficient protection, and only you can be the judge of that. Still, if you're sending an expensive item then it's best to pay the buyer some respect by taking the extra precautions.
 
The first thing you'll want to do is wrap the item to give it a protective jacket. Tissue paper and newspaper are just fine if you're working with a tight budget, otherwise you could provide added safety by sealing your items in bubble wrap or polythene foam. Strap in the end of the sheet with masking tape and stuff any big holes or gaps with whatever material you have left.
 
It's perfectively fine to package two or more fragile items into the same box but don't try wrapping them together. They will only knock against each other and possibly inflict damage on themselves.  
 

Box

Being as this will hold your item during its transportation, the cardboard box is where most of your packaging budget should go. 
 
It pays to use only high quality heavy duty boxes made from corrugated cardboard as only these will give you the level of protection you need. Find a box with a double or triple corrugated walls that's as close to the size of your item as possible. You can always pad up the box to ensure a snug fit, but do consider the outcome of your item rattling around in the excess space. 
 
Now, there's always a chance that dad has an old box lingering around in the loft that could do with being put to use. While this might save you a few pennies, you'll find a used box will be softer and less durable than something new. Thus, it's best to avoid cutting corners and just factor in the cost of a decent box into the price for delivery.  
 

Package

Once you've found your box and your items are wrapped, it's time to package everything up. Single items should be placed right in the centre of the box where they're away from the corners. If you're packaging more than one item, separate each object with cardboard dividers and place them all as close to the centre as possible.  
 
Use foam packing peanuts to fill corners and small spaces within the box. Even if you're only packing one item, cardboard dividers can still provide a good level of shock absorption for when the delivery driver needs to pass over those tricky speed bumps. 
 
Finish things off with more newspaper to fill the box right to the brim and seal everything up with packing tape, preferably a reel with 'FRAGILE' printed onto it. Applying fragile stickers to the box will also highlight the presence of a delicate item and, for the delivery driver, one which must not be dropped.
 

Delivery

Unfortunately there's no such thing as a fragile delivery service, although you can cover your back by increasing the liability value of your parcel. For instance, couriers will typically pay out around £25 in the event of something happening to your parcel, but you can always pay more to have the potential payout reflect the item's actual value.
 
On top of this, it's best to invest in the speediest delivery possible to minimise the time your parcel spends in transit. Remember, if you use a service that offers guaranteed next day delivery, any problems would have to happen within 24 hours rather than 48 or maybe even 72.

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Please note if you do not select the “signature required” delivery option, UKMail will not be liable should your items be subsequently lost or damaged after the delivery (see clause 11.7 of the Terms & Conditions). *We define a “Parcel” as a package with dimensions up to 80cm x 80cm x 80cm and a weight of up to 25kg.

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