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Shipping to customers

Hi
I am getting ready to ship to customers and I was wondering what other people had come up with for packaging and shipping processes. Is a padded envelope enough or is a small box better?

Please let me know what you have found to be economical and protective.

thanks
Heather

Presentation is important. Start what you will box the jewelry in for presentation. I use a fairly inexpensive box into which I place an equally inexpensive velvet bag with whatever jewelry I am shipping in it. Add whatever paperwork you are sending, including a business card, and then look for a study cardboard box that will contain your presentation box and paperwork without much room to spare. Add whatever it takes to secure the presentation box inside the shipping box, seal it up and add your shipping label. ULINE has a lot of options for shipping boxes. There are many places to buy presentation boxes and supplies. Once you decide on the presentation box, look through the ULINE site for a box that, once assembled, will contain your shipment. Remember that the paperwork and labeling of your shipment all reflect on you to. Design an invoice that serves your purpose and look for a label printer that you can use to print your shipping labels. I use a Brother label printer. Its software integrates well will a PC or Mac and, if you need a lot of labels, you can do batches from a database app. Lots to think about. Good luck…Rob

I do mainly Art Fairs. When I sell a piece of jewelry, whether it is a pendant, ring, earrings, or a bracelet It is wrapped in tarnish resistant tissue and placed in a 3" x 3" x 1" bracelet box along with a business card and invoice. The piece has to fit it can’t be just jammed in the box. The box goes in a gift bag. We will use holiday style bags depending on the time of year. But generally speaking the bags have deep sides and twine grips. Most people expect Forrest Green or Craft paper boxes from me. I think consistency with appearance is important.

Uline has small card board boxes that are great for all the domestic shipping I have done. I buy one size of box only and I will ship the jewelry wrapped as if it were purchased at a show. I print a label large enough to cover slightly less than one side of the shipping box with my standard word processor program.

A single size of box has benefits when going to the post office. Generally speaking every shipment will cost the same except for additional insurance. Giving the customer an accurate estimate of postage is always nice.

Good luck

Don Meixner

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Just a different view here. I sell almost exclusively online. While presentation is important, I also value ecological footprint. (I’m in the wrong business, I know!) I use recycled and recyclable paper padded mailers from EcoEnclose. They also started offering zero waste thermal labels, which I’m excited to try once I run out of my stash of regular ones. My boxes are also recycled and recyclable, currently from Nashville Wraps. I also have them heat stamped there, but I used to hand stamp them all when I had lower volume. I do not print an invoice as all my customers have a digital copy of their receipt. I get recycled paper box inserts custom cut at Uprinting (I snip two notches for necklace chains or small hole punches for earrings. Rings I just slit the fiber fill, or put in a small cotton pouch). I also get recycled business cards where I write a simple personal thank you on the back. I tie my box with blue cotton twine. It all looks nice and there’s no plastic (except probably in the box fiber fill, which is at least supposed to be recycled.)

Padded mailers fit in more mailboxes than boxes do. My mail person will always try to stuff a mailer in the box rather than leave it on the floor to potentially be stolen. Don’t forget that many people live in apartments with teeny mailboxes! Something to keep in mind when dealing with customers who like to say the package never arrived. :wink: (If you are primarily shipping fine jewelry via Fed Ex or Malca Amit, it’s less of an issue as someone will have to sign anyway.)

I am not a fan of Uline. Check them out for yourself and decide what you think.

4 Likes

As far as I know, everything I use to present and ship my jewelry is basically paper and, as a result, is recyclable with the exception of the faux velvet bag. I agree with not liking ULINE either as a corporate entity or the politics of their owners, I just happen to have a lot of their product on hand. When I run out, I will look for another source. I think that it is a good idea to have something inside your shipment that identifies the source and destination in case the contents get separated from the package. I tried soft mailers years ago, but had too many packages and their contents damaged in transit, so I looked for a sturdier shipper. I ship through the USPS as I live in a rural setting where other shipping options are not really available. The spirit of your reply is, however, not lost on me and I must admit that it prompts me to look at ways to improve how I ship. I will take a look at the sources that you suggest and, if I can find a less wasteful way to ship while still delivering a package that isn’t wrecked and a good presentation, I may adopt them. Thanks for offering them…Rob

I was just in Indiana looking at shops in New Albany. The owner of a fine shop in New Albany directed me to Nashville Wraps and showed my much of the product available. It is good quality solid stuff. And from her I was told the prices are good. When my small supply of packaging is done I will look deeper into Nashville Wraps.

The products I have bought from Uline was adequate for my needs. I have always been paper and recyclable which is my only concern about packages. Cost balance with my need and the quality of product has been the motivator for what I purchased. I have never been aware of a need to investigate that supplier until now.

Don

Hi Heather,
I sell both in-person and online, and for mailing orders I put small items (rings, chains, etc.) in tarnish-resistant bags and use 3"x3"x1" silver or gold gift boxes with matching elastic bows, my business card and a couple of Scotch tape bits to close the lids. The box plus the receipt (which I print out and hand-write a little note on) I place in 9"x7" padded envelopes. I use Pirate Ship (the absolute best!) and print out labels to attach to the envelopes. Each has a tracking number, which I send to the customer so we can both track the order’s progress. My postie picks up the envelopes daily or I drop them at the post office. I use larger 12"x 10" envelopes for more than one gift box, but when the item doesn’t fit or multiples are ordered, I will mail a larger cardboard box. I find using the padded envelopes to be quite economical and I’ve never had an item arrive damaged. I do take the extra step of adding a piece of packing tape to secure the envelope flap though, even though it does come with an adhesive. Good luck, and happy shipping!

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About half my sales are online and I place the items in a small gift box, I have a label printer that prints the packing slip. Those go in to a small bubble envelope with a fun print. If it’s larger or more expensive I’ll use priority mail packaging for quick shipping and I don’t have to pay for the boxes, which saves me a bunch of money upfront., and I can’t ship 13+oz stuff cheaper if you are including the cost of packaging, might as well get it there faster too. Small flat rate boxes cost about $8 to ship. That’s my go to.

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Hi,

I switched from small cardboard cartons, to the yellow jiffy padded envelopes, after researching apartment mailbox size variations…if

I wash worried about the cartons not fitting in the smaller apartment mailboxes, and not all apartment buildings have lockboxes for larger parcels…and packages are sometimes left at the doorstep…

so far, it has worked well.

Julie

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Thanks Rob! I hadn’t thought about labels yet and I appreciate your advice!

I like the idea of tarnish resistant bags! where do you get those? thanks for the help!

i checked out nashville wraps, Nice Stuff!

Hi Heather,
I use the Intercept bags, which you can get from Rio Grande (#401834) or pretty much any jewelry supply place. When they go on sale I stock up. Mostly I buy the small size (2" x2"), but there are larger sizes for items that need more space. These are great additions even if your jewelry is displayed on a larger card or box, since when the customer is finished wearing it they can just keep it in the zip-lock anti-tarnish bag.

Hi ,

here is a link to mailbox sizes…i was primarily concerned with the the smaller horizontal and vertical apartment mail boxes…where parcel lockers were not yet available…as my smallest cartons were 3x3x3inches…

https://www.mailboxes.com/united-states-postal-service-mailbox-regulations-and-specifications/#Height%20Guidelines%20-%20Residential%20Mailboxes

here is a pic of the section with links to the various apartment styles and sizes…and regulations for new versus renovation/ retrofit…the main thing being that not all apartment mailboxs have the parcel lockers…which are now required for new or renovatiins.

it takes a bit of clicking around to get to the vertical and horizontal box measurements…some are short and wide like a fedex bix, some are tall and narrow like a 3 ring binder…some are small squares and deep…

julie