Handle With Care: How to Avoid Products Breaking in the Mail

A few weeks ago I ordered business cards – I was in under a time-crunch so the place I usually order from couldn’t deliver in time. I chose a company with a faster turnaround time and a pretty good reputation. Having only ordered from the previous company, I had pretty high expectations. They don’t just send you the business cards – they include holders, bingo cards; It’s really great packaging! The next day I received a tiny box in the mail stuffed with the 200 business cards I ordered. The box was exactly 1/4 of an inch larger than the business cards smashed together and everything was packed so tightly that there was an indent in the majority of the business cards from something that squished into it on the truck.

Not only was I disappointed but I felt robbed. I had to throw away half of the cards. Needless to say I have not ordered from them since.

What the printing company didn’t take into account was travel. Shipping – no matter how many fragile stickers you put on the box – is rough on your boxes. So in order to make sure you’re not “that company” with a reputation of exploding lotions in the subscription box or broken products here are a few things you can do to ward off worst case scenarios.

Find the right-sized box

Two mistakes people often make is cramming everything into the box or using a box too big with no filler paper. Both can cause your products to break or spill everywhere. Find a box size that allows everything to fit comfortably and include some packing material that keeps everything in place.

TIP: It is a really good idea to send your package to a friend or family member who is willing to take pictures and let you know how it shipped.

Customize it

Uline boxes are awesome – I rave about their customer service and variety of box sizes every chance I get. The problem is that Uline boxes are pretty generic. Use this as an opportunity to add your company’s personality to it. Mantry sends out crates that they nail shut, Kiwi Crate includes a nice handle on the top so you can bring the supplies from room to room with your kids. It doesn’t have to be that complicated though, Barkbox just stamps their logo on the front of the box. Really simple. Getting an actual custom made box can be expensive, so if you’re not ready to spend the money, order stickers to put on the box instead.


From Barkbox.com

Be reasonable

I received a box with a T-shirt in it and the person shipping the box had wrapped the entire box in packing tape 3 times. It probably could have withstood a tornado with the shirt in tact. You don’t have to prepare for the worst case scenario – accidents will happen and thats okay – just prepare for the the most common scenarios. Something as simple as just taping the box shut makes a difference (I know, you just rolled your eyes at that suggestion… you’d be surprised).

At the end of the day the biggest thing to make sure of is that your boxes not only look great before they ship, but also after they’ve completed the trip. You cannot account for every accident – but you can make sure that your boxes can hold up against a typical trip.

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