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Packing jewelry for shipping


#1

This question is for those of you who have Etsy shops, or who
regularly ship your jewelry. What do you find to be the best,
economical, and environment-friendly way to pack your jewelry for
shipping? For example, if you ship a pair of earrings that you put in
a 2 x 3 box, would you use a padded envelope or a box? If you use a
box, what kind, and what do you use for fill? Do you put extra cotton
in the 2 x 3 box? How about larger items, like cuff bracelets and
necklaces?

I just opened an Etsy shop, so I need to be prepared to ship items.
Since many of you have done this already, I figured it was a good
idea to learn from your experience. Thanks!

Delpfine
http://www.DelpfineWelchDesigns.com


#2

Hi Delphine,

After much trial regarding packaging of jewelry for shipping I must
conclude that its necessary to use hard walled boxes. When I first
opened my shop I wanted to use as much recycled material as I could
and so I wrapped my pieces in used bubble wrap, etc. While it
sounded good in theory, it fell short in actually protecting the work
for its journey into the hands of the customer. After having 2 pieces
returned because they were squished, I now ship in boxes and padded
paper envelopes only. I have 3 different sizes of boxes so that I can
always use the smallest size possible for the item to be shipped (2
sizes of earring boxes and a bracelet box seem to cover all my
needs). I also often put the jewelry in a small plastic baggie
inside the box to keep it pristine and clean. Let me also add here
that wrapping and packaging your wares is a great opportunity to be
creative and add some extra little touches for the person opening
the parcel. People LOVE opening thoughtfully packaged items and you
are smart to get this aspect of your Etsy store dialed in:) Because
people are purchasing handmade wares, they really appreciate that
personal touch from the artist they are supporting.

Welcome to Etsy!
Sasha


#3

A great place for shipping supplies, and cheap too uline.com

David S. Geller
JewelerProfit


#4

Hello Delpfine -

I’ve also been starting to sell some pieces on Etsy.

My packaging includes:

Placing the item in a small zip bag w/an anti-tarnish square or two,
Put it into a 2x3 jewelry box, Gift wrap it, Bubble wrap/newspaper
padding, whatever is currently available to be recycled, Then it is
placed in a corrogated(sp?) cardboard box & labeled for mailing. I
cut my small corrogated boxes from larger corrogated boxes. I found a
cardboard cracker box that was the perfect size and use it as a
template to cut down the larger corragated boxes for reuse. Hope
this helps, Your Esty shop looks great, you should do very well=)

Deanna



#5
This question is for those of you who have Etsy shops, or who
regularly ship your jewelry. What do you find to be the best,
economical, and environment-friendly way to pack your jewelry for
shipping? 

In a normal year I ship more jewelry than I sell in person. For
larger items or for orders with more than one item, I use the USPS
priority mail boxes (free–you can order from their website). For
small items I use 5"x9" padded envelopes from an office supply store.
I use the USPS priority mail stickers to mark these envelopes for
mailing (stickers are also free from their website).

I use white cotton-filled cardboard jewelry boxes. I don’t like the
look of the brown recycled ones, and the plain white ones are the
next
cheapest. Each piece of jewelry gets its own box. This is to protect
the items from each other while in transit. Earrings go on paper
cards together. I recycle used bubble wrap as much as possible to
cushion everything I ship. It’s cleaner than using newspaper, which
sometimes dirties up the white boxes with ink that rubs off on them.

I put each piece of jewelry in a small plastic baggie with a square
of 3m anti-tarnish paper. The baggie helps to protect and cushion the
item inside the jewelry box. I include a card that instructs the
customer to keep the jewelry in that bag when it’s not being worn, so
hopefully the bags don’t go into the trash on the receiving end.

I hope this helps!
Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Jewelry
http://www.fgemz.com


#6

Hi Delpfine,

Shipping to Etsy customers isn’t quite like other shipping. More
like gift wrapping than commercial wrapping. They like pretty,
creative packaging; thank you notes; a business or"moo" card thrown
in as well as the invoice. They’re also fond of recycled and
alternative wrapping. And think about taking a picture of your gift
wrapping and including it in one of the five photo slots.

As far as the actual shipping goes I ship priority with delivery
confirmation, so the box is free! If there’s extra room in the
smallest Priority box, I use the shredder on all my junk mail and
fill the space with that.

Be sure to hang out in the labs (after the holidays) and join in or
just lurk in on a Newbie chat. The Virtual Labs are located in the
Community section of Etsy.

I’ll be happy to mentor you if you have any other questions. Just
send a convo to LoraHart.

Good luck!
Lora


#7

Hi Gang,

A great place for shipping supplies, and cheap too uline.com 

I have to 2nd David’s suggestion On top of having good prices, their
service is outstanding. Usual disclaimers, just a happy customer, for
many years.

Dave.


#8
This question is for those of you who have Etsy shops, or who
regularly ship your jewelry. What do you find to be the best,
economical, and environment-friendly way to pack your jewelry for
shipping? 

I get all of my packing peanuts for free from a local bird watchers
supply store. He carries quite a few bird houses and feeders that
come carefully packed in peanuts. I get a call a few times a year
when he has 3 or 4 very large bags of peanuts. We’re both happy to
recycle them! I put a note in each package to let people know the
packing material is recycled, and let them know they can drop
unwanted peanuts off at any Shipping store to be re-used again.

Happy Holidays!
Pam


Newburyport, MA


#9

I’m way behind my orchid reading so others may have better answered
this already.

I put the jewelry into a small cardboard gift jewelry box (ordered
from Rio). I wrap the jewelry itself in a small piece of tissue
paper which is placed on top of the cotton. I then put this little
box into one of the USPS’s priority mail boxes size 8.5 X 5.25 X 1.5
inches and wad up 1 piece of tissue paper to cushion the small box. I
order the larger boxes from usps.com - they come 25 to a package and
are free. I send most things via Express mail, so I put the usps box
into an Express Mail envelope, also provided by the PO. Of course if
you are sending Priority Mail, you don’t need the outer envelope but
they are available for Priority Mail too. They give you a little
extra security.

Hope this helps.
Jan
www.designjewel.com


#10
I get all of my packing peanuts for free from a local bird
watchers supply store. He carries quite a few bird houses and
feeders that come carefully packed in peanuts. 

Ah, then I guess you haven’t seen my Squidoo Lens, I Hate Packing
Peanuts. I’m all for re-using other packing material, but I also
don’t want my customers to feel that I’m passing trash on to them, so
I never use shredded junk mail. I don’t use packing peanuts because
they go everywhere and people don’t like them.

I also partner with a local retailer, and take their extra packaging
materials, boxes, clean paper. My favorite packaging material is the
air pillows, it’s not justified, but I’d love to have the machine
where you fill them with air yourself!

Elaine
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com


#11

Hi all. I, too, have taken the Etsy plunge, into a very deep pool it
appears. There is a TON of jewelry there! I have read here and
elsewhere about the lengths many jewelers are going to in the
packing and shipping department. Maybe it’s because I’m a guy, but I
don’t get it.

First of all, if you’ve looked at typical prices on Etsy, you’d
swear there was a race to the bottom. At one woman’s site,
everything was under 89 cents!? I couldn’t bring myself to charge
anywhere near what I can(or used to) get at a retail show. Now, I’m
sticking to two types of earrings for now, that only top out at
about $65 at full retail. But I’m about at wholesale level on Etsy.
I can see this becoming an issue with my show customers, but if they
know about me on Etsy, I can always give them the lower price. I
don’t do much wholesale, but Etsy prices could be a problem there
too. I tell myself there’s no booth fee or expenses, no driving, no
time away from the studio, etc. Plus, with the economic craphole the
world is in, it’s almost unrealistic to try and get full price when
nothing is selling anyway. I know you brick and mortar folks have a
different dynamic.

So, to the packaging. The purpose is to get it there unharmed. With
prices already at the low end, I want to keep the shipping costs low
too. A wrapped gift box sent Priority mail with a return receipt,
via a trip to the post office, seems like overkill for a $30 pair of
earrings- both in expense and time spent. This isn’t exactly
Tiffany’s. What do people paying $30 really need or expect? Is all
that handholding and pampering really worth the extra expense? So,
I’m experimenting with charging $1.25, shipping in an uninsured
4"x8" bubble mailer with a short cardboard “tube” around the
earrings, which are in a small anti-tarnish ziplock bag. If I ever
decide to offer some higher-priced stuff, I can always modify this
approach.

The customer is already getting a low price and probably wants to
keep the shipping down too. And buying Postal insurance is certainly
no guarantee that it will get there or that I can collect if it
doesn’t. I think I’d rather just stick the package in my outgoing
mail and take my chances. If something goes astray or a customer
tries to screw me, I could make a new pair of earrings in the time
it takes to make a couple of trips to the Post Office. This form of
self insurance may be naEFve or ultimately impracticle, but for now
the risk seems relatively small. Plus, I’d like to think that the
customer’s continuing love affair with their new earrings is far
more important than the pretty box that’s in the trash.

Allan
www.silvermason.com


#12
I Hate Packing Peanuts. I'm all for re-using other packing
material, but I also don't want my customers to feel that I'm
passing trash on to them, so= I never use shredded junk mail. 

Elaine, sorry to disagree, but I for one appreciate people recycling
packing materials, be it peanuts, shredded junk mail etc., and don’t
feel that people are “passing trash,” to me. The more we reuse
things, the less the burden on our environment. I have received
expense items from companies which have used recycled paper, peanuts,
air pillows, etc… They have always enclosed a nice little note to
the effect that the packing materials have been recycled. It gives me
a warm feeling to know that people are concerned about mother earth.
I in turn, try to recycle these materials again.

Every little bit helps. Alma


#13

Hey Allen, just make sure there is sufficient support around the
posts so they do not get bent, and sufficient stiffness so the hoops
do not get bent. I have received John Hardy birthday pins in the
mail with the post bent almost sideways even though it is in a hard
foam pad.

As long as your packaging looks clean and professional, and you are
not advertizing gift packaging, I agree with your approach. Use and
reuse the precious resources of this wonderful earth.

jeanette


#14

One thing you might try for shipping by mail is Priority Mail.

The post office (usps.com) will provide Priority shipping boxes &
envelopes FREE. All you have to do is go to usps.com & select the
’Shipping & Mailing Supplies ’ button. The shipping supplies can be
ordered in quantities & are delivered free to your door.

If you want, you can print the shipping labels (both domestic &
international) with postage on your computer. When printing
international labels the customs forms are also completed. You can
even have the post office pick the pkg up. If you drop it off at the
Post Office, there’s no waiting in line. You just pass the line up &
lay the pkg on the counter. In some post office locations there is a
large secure container in the lobby for depositing packages that are
ready to mail.

There are also several web site (stamps.com, indicia.com) that
provide the label & stamp printing. Usually these have a monthly
membership fee. I’ve found them to be faster & easier to use than the
usps.com site. There monthly fees start around $14.95 The postage
rates are the same as the post office charges.

For packing material you can go ‘green’ & use your old newspapers.
Just separate them into 1 or 2 pages, crush the page up & stuff it in
the box after the item/s are in it. Depending on the weight of the
item in the pkg. the paper doesn’t have to be crushed very tight. The
lighter the item, the less dense the crushed paper needs to be.

The nice thing about printing labels online is that you can select
the method you want the pkg shipped & options like insurance,
delivery signature required etc. If you ship by Priority, your get a
delivery confirmation number that will allow you to track (up to a
point) the pkg.

Usual disclaimers. Just a happy customer.

Dave


#15
I Hate Packing Peanuts... 

I hate buying packing materials almost as much I hate paying at the
local land fill to dispose of perfectly good material.

Some one with a lot more shipping experience than me deemed the
stuff professional enough. I even enjoy reading snipets from crumpled
newspapers printed in far away places before forwarding them.

Jeff
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#16
I also partner with a local retailer, and take their extra
packaging materials, boxes, clean paper. My favorite packaging
material is the air pillows, it's not justified, but I'd love to
have the machine where you fill them with air yourself! 

Why not get an old vacuum food sealer and see if you can reverse the
suction so it inflates the bags instead? I don’t know if it would
work, but it might be an interesting project!

Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Jewelry
http://www.featheredgems.com