HELP FOR PACKAGING FRAGILE ITEMS INLCUDING CERAMICS, POTTERY AND GLASS
Over the past few years moving into a big house and then downsizing I have enough items to keep selling on for quite a time and what a learning curve it has been to package items securely so hope the following will help.
SCALES are a must some pottery can be very weighty and if you want to sell items all over the world stick to under the 2kg limit which must include the packaging. The Royal Mail price for over this weight is prohibitive especially if items aren't very valuable.
BUBBLEWRAP is a must for these items it is light and is extremely protective, for items a minimumn wrap of at least 4 times. If you are sending quite a few items it is certainly cheaper to buy the large rolls, a nuisance to store but I cut long lengths and put these in a re-usuable shopping bag, can be squashed into small spaces.
FREE BUBBLEWRAP - at the supermarket the fresh fruit boxes often have loose bubble wrap so ask a member of staff and usually they let you take it away and the size is very useful for small items. Think of shops and businesses around you that may have items delivered in "bubble" ask if you can have their spare, again they may have POLYSTYRENE pebbles, chips and large pieces. This polystyrene is light and can often be cut into shape to nestle items into. BIG RECOMMENDATION - IF POSSIBLE CUT OUTSIDE, it can make quite a mess. Excess small pieces can go inside cups, bowls etc.
CARDBOARD BOXES can often be found at local shops again they will be pleased to give them to you to get rid of them, my hairdresser saves hers for me they are strong and in different sizes. Cereal boxes cut and doubled up make secure boxes. Shoe boxes useful again you can ask the shoe shop if they have any spare .Dishwasher tablet and washing powder tablet boxes extremely strong and not too heavy. I look at any box and think is it sronng enough, can be cut to be made into a box that fits the item/items I am sending. Keep cardboard sheets from packaging, ie sheets, curtains, clothes etc. can be used as extra stifftening for a light box or can be fashioned around an item to make it secure. Cardboard tubes from kitchen rolls useful for small items, jewellery etc.
PLASTIC BOXES if light and strong with good lid also can be used to send items in, I always use brown paper to wrap in for extra stability.
BROWN PAPER I always buy a large roll of this as it covers patterned boxes and gives an extra layer of wrapping, cut it to fit and then it doesn't weigh too heavy.
TISSUE PAPER ideal for putting inside cups, bowls etc. so items don't implode in the parcel, also useful for wrapping around handles, knobs and spouts, just stick loosely. Too much tape if an item is delicate can cause the handle to break if buyer isn't careful when unwrapping.
PLASTIC BAGS I use spare carrier bags to fill in corners, put inside large bowls etc. and also I wrap the whole parcel in plastic before putting wrapping paper on.
TAPE Good strong tape is a must I buy mine from the packaging people where I get bubble wrap, its much cheaper and a roll of FRAGILE is essential. When sending plates I use tape to seal each plate when wrapped so that they don't move against each other.
SHREDDED PAPER although it can be used to fill in corners and spaces, it can weigh heavy and if possible I prefer to use polystyrene or plastc bags, i.e.carrier bags.
So now you have sold an item or items find a box strong and big enough for your items. Wrap each item carefully and when you have wrapped it/them take a photograph of wrapped item ( you may need to prove you have wrapped securely). Put a bubble wrap lining in box so item can be lifted out easily. Put items in and fill spaces with polystyrene, bubble etc. Seal box and if necessary wrap in brown paper. Stick address label on and customs label. Custom label must be used for parcels outsider the EU. Stick your own address label on. STICK FRAGILE TAPE OR LABEL ON. Take to Post Office and ask for proof of posting.
Return home and wait for good feedback, when I am listing items I always ask them to contact me first before they leave a neutral or negative feedback so that it gives us a chance to sort problems out.
PITFALLS of sending china etc. cannot take a chance of packaging thinking that will do, I have received some items in a jiffy bag that is a no no for sending breakable items. Just because its says fragile on box does not mean it will be treated kindly and carefully so again assume it might break and pack accordingly. Steer clear of sending certain types of china/pottery I have only had breakages with one type of pottery so will not put that for sale again. I sent some delicate china and buyer sent photos of supposedly broken items I had sent, I gave a big refund and then found out that this buyer had tried this on several sellers!!! 99.9% of buyers are honest so I have refunded broken or lost parcels although I don't take responsibilty for this but I want to keep buyers happy. MY BREAKAGES UNDER .5% OF ITEMS SENT
I LIKE SELLING ON E-BAY, THE SALES AND PEOPLE I HAVE HAD CONTACT WITH FAR EXCEED THE NEGATIVE ONES. ALSO I AM CLUMSY AND SO HAVE PUT THE ODD CUP, TEAPOT LID FOR SALE AND THEY NEARLY ALWAYS SELL AS OTHER PEOPLE HAVE BREAKAGES AND ARE GLAD TO BUY REPLACEMENTS.
FINALLY FIND A GOOD SPACE AND RIGHT HEIGHT TO PACKAGE ON, KNEELING ON THE FLOOR NOT A GOOD IDEA CARPET FLUFF, KIDS CAN PLAY HAVOC AND BACKS SUFFER.
I hope you find these points useful.