Sending Large Items Cheaply, Safely and with Couriers

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Some Tips on how to send large items cheaply, safely and packed well using couriers

Many buyers and in turn seller loose out because an item has arrived damaged. Unless you paid out the extra for insurance you wont get anything back from the post office or courier and if they deem it was down to poor packaging you wont get anything even if it it was insured!

Think of how you will send the item before you list it on ebay not after its sold!

A simple thing to do but so many sellers ive dealt with email me "i will send it as soon as i find a big enough box" - surely that should have been done before hand? If you know how it will be packaged beforehand you can send it the most efficient way.

Think of what can move about!

Packing is not just a case of putting it in a box and wrapping more tape around it than you can shake a stick at. For example I recently bought a record turntable which was well packed in a large box - or so I thought - upon opening the box the arm had been flying about inside which resulted in a broken stylus, also the arm weight had come off the back of the arm and had been flying about like a stone in a can. As a result the turntable was badly damaged. Things can come loose in transit so secure anything loose - or that could come loose with a bit of sticky tape or a cabletwist/pipecleaner.

Bigger isnt always better!

Putting a small item in a huge box isnt always a good thing. For one thing you will probably end up paying more postage than you need to and another is it doesnt necessarily provide more protection as it will be liable to squash, split or fall apart. If you are putting something in a much larger box - cut the packing box down the corners to reduce its height and fold the sides over the packed item. This doubling up will provide a much more secure package than a huge box. You will also save on filling material as you can alway use the cardboard you cut off as buffers by rolling it into a tube or triangle shape and packing it round the item.

The Post Office isn't the only option

The post office isnt really the best option for larger items - it works out very expensive and in my experience larger items are more likely to get damaged. You can use a courier which are designed for parcels and have the peace of mind that it is trackable and very often cheaper too. Obviously there is the option of Parcel Force which is the parcel side of the post office which are alot better but again quite expensive. Check the prices online to save yourself a trip to the post office:
I would recomend checking these online couriers as a comparision:
These can give you prices online and you can normally pay straight away with paypal when you book the collection. So the payment you got from the buyer can be used to pay the courier immediately, then you transfer what is left into your bank as normal.

If you know of a local courier depot most are happy for you to take your parcel in for a quote but you will have to pay with a debit or credit card before they will take it. Always give them a ring - dont just turn up.

Tracking Details

Dont forget to pass the tracking number onto the buyer! The best way to do it is to log into your paypal, click on the transaction to view it, scroll down to the bottom and click " add tracking information". This will automatically send an email to the buyer saying its been sent and give them the details.

Always keep hold of all your courier paperwork and receipts for at least a month - even if the buyer has left you positive feedback. As even if they have left feedback some unscrupuelous buyers can make a claim with paypal and say they havent received it and if you cant prove you sent it paypal will refund them and demand the money back from you. The tracking number is not enough - you must have paper receipts. After 30 days the buyer cannot put in a paypal claim so you can dispose of the paperwork.

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