How robust does your packaging need to be?

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Packaging is one of those things which often catches sellers out. You don’t want to overspend on packaging because not only does it cost money but the extra weight and size also affects your shipping costs.

There are any number of examples of too little packaging and Tamebay recently received a split jiffy bag stuffed with so many components we couldn’t even get them back in.

Thankfully the postal service had caught the tear and dropped the whole lot into a plastic sack before everything was lost.

Amazon have some packaging advice for their FBA sellers, and it’s worth a review for all sellers:

Packaging

• A fragile unit must be packaged in a six solid-sided box so the unit is not exposed in any way.
• All units must be individually wrapped to prevent damage. For example, in a set of four wine glasses, each individual wine glass must be wrapped.

Drop test

Any breakable unit must be able to pass a 125 cm drop test onto a hard surface without the unit breaking. A drop test consists of five drops:
• Flat on base
• Flat on top
• Flat on longest side
• Flat on shortest side
• On a corner

Full Minute of Vigorous Shaking Test

All breakables must be able to withstand a full minute of vigorous shaking (FMVS) test without the units breaking.

If you’re packaging to Amazon standards then you should have no problem with your items making it through delivery, unless there’s an accident like a forklift truck fork going through your package (yes that’s happened to me in the past).

The question really is should you pack for the worst case, or is it more economical to use less packaging and accept the odd breakage where you’ll refund or replace? For Amazon you want surety that your items will be protected, but for your own website is there a business case for less packaging, less cost and a few replacement items to send out?

3 Responses

  1. Only one thing is important in packaging that is safety.

    You don’t necessarily have to spend money on packaging. You can always source recycled products like boxes & used shrink wraps from Cash & Carry for FREE.

    We have been using this since July 2005 and have not had problems.

    A bit of common sense will do !

  2. .
    We use recycled internal packing & minimum exterior packs.

    We had 7000 transactions last year & 1 [Yes One] claim for item damaged.

  3. In amongst the Books that I sell I also have old(but New-in that they have never been sold and read) magazines. If you subscribe to a magazine you are likely to find that it is delivered in a plastic bag.

    The reason is that a magazine in a plastic bag will “ride” almost everything and be delivered in good and undamaged condition.

    So by all means pack Wine Glasses carefully but some items can “ride” the likely shocks and survive them. With experience you soon learn which items fall into what catergories.

    Sheets of bubble wrap can be picked up in the fruit and veg departments of your local Supermarket and if anybody wants “peanut” polystyrene chips I have boxes of them. Help yourself.

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