Smart Packing Strategies

Make sure your products get to your customers in one piece and save money, too, with these strategies.

There's a method to everything, including packing andshipping. Here's a list of smart tips for shippers to help youhelp yourself and your customers.

  • Take a tip from the box boy down at the supermarket. Placeheavier or larger items on the bottom of the box and lighter oneson top.
  • After you've got each piece of merchandise in the box,place a piece of cardboard on the very top. This way, if yourcustomer gets carried away with his penknife while slicing open thebox, he won't slash his brand-new goodies as well.
  • Use shredded newspaper or actual (unbuttered!) popcorn insteadof Styrofoam peanuts. Your customers will appreciate your concernfor the environment, and if you get hungry while packing, you caneat your materials!
  • Indicate which end of the box should be opened first or faceup. Sometimes breakable merchandise will make an entirecross-country trip in one piece, only to smash on thecustomer's floor because he opened it wrong side up.
  • Make sure your shipping label is clearly visible to thedeliverer. Some shipping companies will refuse to deliver a packageif any part of the ad-dress is obscured or too small to read.
  • Absolutely do not ship to a P.O. box. Most shipping firmscannot deliver to a post office box. Make sure your order takersask for an actual street address.
  • Include all invoices, receipts, thank you letters, new catalogsand other printed materials in one envelope with the customer'sname on it, placed on top of the merchandise. This saves yourcustomer the time and frustration of having to dig through packingmaterials to find these things.
  • Reuse boxes. It's not only ecologically sound but alsoeconomically smart. When you reuse a box, make sure all old labels,addresses and postage markings are covered up. Stick another labelon top so the delivery man doesn't mix up whom your package isintended for.
  • Design packing models so your shippers (and you) know howproducts fit into boxes, how merchandise is folded, stacked ortissue-wrapped, and how packing materials are used. Weigh eachpacking model on a scale and make sure it doesn't go evenone-eighth into the next pound. This cuts postage costs, reducesreturns from damaged goods, and adds to your income by creatinghappy repeat customers.

Source: How to Start a Mail Order Business

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