General tips for sellers .. how to wrap successfully

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If you, like I, wish to give good service and have a successful sale, here are some of my tips that you may find helpful....

Remember that all posted articles these days are NOT carried gently by hand through the postal systems of the World, the volume of mail is just too great, this is a quote from my local delivery man when we chatted a few months back as he delivered an ebay buy for me....

 "I shouldn't really be telling you this, but all people think we carry their parcels gently by hand through the system, but nothing could be further from the truth, they go through vast machines banging around and against other parcels as they go, these machines resemble massive tumble driers, with the parcels being automatically scanned and read by lasers, and 'dumped' out the other end into the various destination sacks.  It always amazes me how things arrive undamaged"  he said!


  • RULE!... 9 times out of 10... insufficient packing or filling around your goods in a box will always result in a breakage.
  • ALWAYS pack your item well, ensure the box it is going into, whilst not being too big and therefore more costly to fill with filling besides increasing it's weight, is sufficiently larger than the item itself.
  • Fill or pad out any empty spaces within the object  ie; inside a pottery teapot, then proceed to protect any vulnerable points like the handle or spout, then proceed to roll the item in layers of bubble wrap, remember the larger the bubbles or the more there are, the safer it will be.
  • Make sure on NO ACCOUNT does the wrapped object touch any inside surface of the shipper or another article within the same box... objects need a cushioning gap between the cardboard outer and the object itself,   which you will have to fill or pack with either poly chips of extra bubble wrap, this helps stop any vibration from transit being transmitted through into the article packed within....  So place a layer of polly chips and bubble wrap inside the base of the box, place goods on top of that then fill around each side with packing, place packing and extra polly chips on top before sealing.
  • For items that contain glass, say a picture frame, remember that the glass pane in it's frame is actually touching the hard wooden surround,  and can slide back and forth sharply even beneath the packing youve added, thus cracking, try and stop this happening with either pressure against the glass by means of polystyrene sheet of a wad of bubble wrap, another way is to use strips of light masking or paper decorators tape, stuck diagonally in a 'X' over the glass and frame, then wrap, (I always tape an extra flat layer of cardboard over the protected glass side)...  Large picture frames can be packed easily and simply by being slid into a un-made up or flattened cardboard box, so the box acts as a sort of envelope, add a wad of bubble wrap to thicken out the middle and also to the rear (think flying saucer shape here) and seal both side openings by pinching them together and taping securely, this method provides excellent protection to all edges of the picture as well as being robust and thick enough not to be bent .. it is also very cost effective with regards to packing materials.
  • If in doubt, you can add a layer of bubble wrap to the outside of any cardboard box and then cover with brown wrapping paper, like the padded envelope principle. 
  • For very heavy object, ensure they are well wrapped and in case the box is dropped and to stop the pressure of the heavy item 'bursting open' the box, tie string or cord around the outside as a double safety measure.  I also use taped on rolled up 'bands' of bubble wrap around the outside, (think Car bumpers here) ... better safe than sorry!
  • If the item to be sent is very delicate and fragile, it can be 'double boxed' with a filled gap between the outer and inner boxes. failure to have this gap defeats the purpose of double boxing.  
  • Another method for adding strength to a box is to roll up tightly, then tape so they do not unwind, tight tubes of cardboard, lay them across the interior and tape securely in place or stand them up like internal supporting rods, this will stop the box being crushed, (liken them to the props used in coal mines)
  • For small items,  a useful packaging medium are lengths of strong round cardboard tubing, cut to size into which the wrapped item can be slid, but remember to ensure it does not rattle about and there is enough space all around the wrapped item so it doesn't touch the outer tube and either end has extra padding (allow enough distance just in case the recipient opens the tube with a knife) use cut cardboard squares as ends, tape these over the inseted wads of bubble wrap at either end.
  • Books can be cheaply and safely posted without the costly padded envelopes by the following method, wrap in a double layer of bubble wrap, cut strips of cardboard and fold these over each of the 4 corners and tape onto the bubble wrap, cover all in a layer of brown paper... your books edges will be well protected against damage!


  • Newspaper by the way is not a good medium for protecting articles, it has not got the 'springiness' that is required, once flattened it stays flat, thus allowing your article to bounce around inside the box and break.. so best to not use it.

Finally - address your box (inside and out) , double check the right goods are being sent to the right person!... then you are all set to go and que up at your local post office with all the other ebayers sending off their parcels.. but as you stand there, you can smuggly grin to yourself, in the knowledge, if you have followed these tips,  that you have done every thing you possible could of to ensure YOUR package arrives safely


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