Shipping out orders to clients is basically like leaving your baby with a new babysitter and hoping she doesn’t spend the whole night on the phone with her boyfriend while your child runs around the house with scissors. Basically, it can be scary. I mean, I’ve seen my UPS guy chuck boxes from halfway down the sidewalk to my front door. Really?!? So, you have to do your best to ensure that your product (aka the baby) makes it to your client in the same condition as when you put it in the box.
I’m lucky…I’m buying supplies all the time, so I typically have stacks of boxes ready and waiting for me to use for client orders. I really recommend this “recycle” method…better for the environment and your bottom line too. I also reuse my packaging materials. I have one supplier that ships everything double layered in plastic and brown paper — wahoo! Another supplier ships everything with packing peanuts. So, I reuse these too.
When I get ready to ship an order, I pick a box that is bigger than the items that have to go into it — this may seem like a no-brainer, but I can honestly tell you that you don’t want a perfect fit! Because I ship cardstock, they have delicate corners. Nothing is worse than an invitation with a bent corner. So, I protect my invitations by placing the items in the center of the box. Then, I put my packing material all around the sides of the items and on top. Overstuff the box…shake it a bit….and make sure it didn’t settle too much. When you close the top, do the shake test. If nothing moves inside then you are ready to go. Seal with packing tape — lots of it — top and bottom — both ways. If you have a special “branded” packing tape, you can still use that, but I recommend using it at the very end, just over the top seam. Your box still looks perfect, but it is not going to bust open in shipping. (I’ve seen it happen…trust me…)
I use USPS.com for my shipping. I can do everything online and get a savings on shipping costs too. I print the label out, tape it on the box and leave it for my mail carrier or drop it of at a post office. Easy peasy! USPS also provides shipping insurance. It’s free for a value of $50 or less — but a nominal charge over $50. I highly recommend this insurance option. For me, if USPS lost my package or sent it to the wrong address, I can get back the cost of the invites and have money to re-purchase supplies.