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Topic: Shipping help? What packaging do you use?  (Read 790 times)
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trickypink
« on: November 19, 2008 07:06:46 AM »

I just started an Etsy this weekend and have already gotten 2 sales (yay!), so now I'm figuring out shipping issues. For one thing, trying to find boxes that aren't enormously bigger than my teacups. Do you guys just scrounge boxes for free, or do you buy packaging supplies in bulk? Any suggestions for a good place to buy boxes and packaging? I sell pottery and fragile items, so everything needs to be well packed. Also, how important is packaging that looks nice, versus wrapping items in old newspaper? Is this considered unprofessional? I'm a poor art student, so I'm trying to use as much free or recycled, or at best inexpensive materials as possible...

Any advice from the more experienced out there would be greatly appreciated:)
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barbolot
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2008 05:58:20 PM »

Congrats on your sales!  How exciting!

One fantastic source you may want to consider -- the post office will provide you with boxes for FREE, as long as you're shipping Priority.  You can even order them online (http://www.usps.com) and they will deliver them to your home (again, for free!)  They have a wide selection of sizes to choose from, and most of their boxes are made from recycled materials.  I just placed a large order myself the other day!  I'd go ahead and order them now, as they take about a week to deliver.  You can go into the post office and ask for some boxes for now, and they're usually happy to give them to you.

When I first started, I purchased bubble envelopes or boxes from the big Box stores in packs of 5, whenever I needed them.  That was pretty expensive, really.  But once my sales increased, I began shopping at http://www.papermart.com, and I now order most of my packaging from them (boxes, bags, padded envelopes... except for the free ones from the PO!)  They are very reasonable, and offer a large assortment of sizes, packaging, styles, etc.  Many of their products are made from recycled materials, so I try to buy those whenever I can.

I understand your situation, and I also try to incorporate free/recycled materials whenever possible too.... BUT -- in my opinion, it shouldn't look like it was found on the street.  They should still look as close to new as you can get.  I ordered something on Etsy once, and it was wrapped in wadded up (smelly) newspaper and tissue paper.  It looked messy and unprofessional to me.  I knew right then that I didn't want my shop to come across that way.  As for newspaper in particular, I probably wouldn't use that because I'd worry about the ink transfer (and smell.)  Newsprint paper would probably be fine, though.

If you decide to use recycled packaging, just be sure to make a note of it in your listings and/or shop policies.  Many people on Etsy are fine with it.

Best of luck to you! Smiley
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trickypink
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2008 06:58:40 AM »

Thank you for the great advice!
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BoxOfRocks
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2008 06:32:03 PM »

Try Uline, too.  Offers shipping items at pretty good rates.
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Eliea
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2009 11:54:11 AM »

This is an older thread but I had to reply.
I use a lot of boxes from dry goods (individually packaged candies, cereals etc) as well as shoe boxes, and such for my shipping not only on etsy but in swaps here on craftster. I make a note of it though when I send. It's one way I can keep my shipping cost down but you pretty much have to save everything. So it can take awhile to get an inventory of different sizes.
I also reuse boxes sent to me in swaps and even envelopes. I do make sure to remove any previous shipping labels and replace with my own, and to also tape really well.
Works fine so far! I do make sure to use new tissue paper if I am packaging and I typically avoid newspaper for the reasons above and becasue some people tend to use it around their animals and the ink is not always safe. I'd rather recycle it than encourage that.But that's just me.

Good luck!
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midnightsky1686
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« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2009 04:57:58 PM »

I use recycled packaging and for just 1-2 items a shipping envelope. I use pretty much all recycled packaging (including tissue paper if I have it in stock).  It is part of my business structure to package this way.  Yes, I could package it more like a gift- and some businesses should- but for me it works.
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