Wrapping a Parcel That will survive

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Background

I have been selling on Ebay for years and i've been a courier for the last 5 years. I have seen some nightmare wrapping on packages that are just not going to survive even the first stage of the shipping process.
The very nature of the courier business, handling millions of parcels a day, necessitates the bulk handling of parcels which also means that inevitably some will get dropped or knocked.  Small parcels, especially, are transported in sacks which are moved around quite vigorously.
Once i received a parcel for delivery, it was a large box with a table lamp in it. There was no packaging inside the box and the lamp, now in several pieces was floating around inside the box. I sent it back as 'damaged, needs better packaging'. A replacement arrived a few days later still with the lamp floating around the box but now with bubble wrap on the outside of the box. Needless to say that this lamp was also broken.
I would rather deliver unbroken parcels, well wrapped and secure so I thought i would make available my accumulated experience on this matter.

Securing Your Item

Firstly make sure the actual item is secured and protected.  Its no good having something floating around inside a box then covering the box in bubble wrap. If your item is breakable it will be smashed and if it's not breakable, the action of bouncing around inside the box will eventually burst through the skin of the box and get lost. So if your item is not secure in a box, secure it with bubble wrap,

To Box or Not to Box

If you have a box that your wrapped item fits tightly into that's fine. If not you can cut up a bigger box and tightly wrap your item in cardboard. Cardboard offers penetration protection so make it thick. 
Don't be tempted to pop your wrapped item in a box too big for it because it may break out of the box and get lost. Sometimes it's ok to forget the box altogether if your item is wrapped in a very thick, tightly bound ball of bubble wrap, these parcels, even when the item inside is breakable, can provide very effective protection.

Rain!

So you've wrapped your item, and boxed it securely, you stick your label on and off it goes, right? wrong, we live in Britain, half the time it's raining.
The ink you have used to print out your label is NOT water proof!  As soon as a few drops of water hit your printed label, the bar code, address, etc are rendered unreadable (Common cause of lost parcels).
The other problem with rain is that it likes to soak into wrapping paper and cardboard rendering it useless. At best a soft wet package, at worst a pile of mush.
I fully recommend you wrap your parcel in clingfilm, black or clear it doesn't matter. however if you use clear you can put the label underneath the last layer of clingfilm to protect it. Please only put the label under one layer or the bar code readers won't be able to read it and it will have to be torn open putting us back to square one. An alternative to this are plastic label envelopes. These are very good and protect you label well.

Summary

So secure you item internally, protect it with cardboard or a thick layer of bubble wrap, cover that with clingfilm and make sure your label is also covered. A parcel to be proud of and will probably arrive intact.
Misterton Dismantlers


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