How to guide: Proper packaging and shipping

Discussion in 'Forum Rules & Guides' started by Psycho Pixie, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. Psycho Pixie

    Psycho Pixie Vacations are a grand thing

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    Lately, we have had lots of newer pin traders joining us. I know I personally have gotten to be an "official first trade" with a couple of them. While so far I have recieved soundly, perfectly packaged pins via these trades, I wanted to share some packaging tips with the general populace.

    Please feel free to add your input as well! I hope this can be done well enough to deserve a sticky status.

    lets do this in simple focus points:
    • First, always wrap your pin(s) in a layer or two of userable unpopped bubble wrap, and be sure the post has a rubber back on it to prevent damage to the post or the mail man. As mentioned in some replys below, basically, the more you protect it, the better. some people add a cloth wrap, I use ziplock bags quite often.
    • next make sure the bubble wrap cannot slip off in the envelope. I use tape, or a rubber band.
    • VERY IMPORTANT, that you use a bubble envelope. A regular white letter envelope is NOT a safe way for your pin to travel.
    • Finally, shipping. always always get a DC or tracking number (these are the same thing) the best way to ship is First class 3-5 day delivery.
    • A package needs to be at least 3/4 inch thick to "qualify" for DC/tracking. And easy way to ensure that is to add a bit of extra padding to your pin. OR some folks drop 2-3 pieces of packing popcorn in there.

    Less discuss price points briefly.... Paypal is the cheapest way to ship your US only packages. Via paypal, you can ship first class with free dc/tracking. **DC= Delivery Confirmation**

    Paypal charges:
    • $1.64 for up to 2oz
    • $1.81 for 3-4oz
    • $1.98 for 5oz (I think)

    Rarely will you have a package wieghing over 5 oz. One safely wrapped PODM with a standard small bubble mailer is just under 4 oz, and I always pay the 5oz rate for a PODM to be safe. I have had up to 5 pins in a mailer weigh under 4 oz. so, always wiegh it with a digital kitchen scale! You do NOT want to have the pin brought back underpaid.
    The thing I love most about paying for my shipping via paypal is that I don't need to go to the post office. I pack, wiegh, pay, print and label my pin trade from my desk and my mailman picks it up with outgoing mail.


    Some folks wrap their pins more, some less. but my guide above is about average.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  2. derrickb

    derrickb Member

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    It is 1.64 for up to three ounces, 1.81 for 4 ounces. for Paypal/shipnow you need to select First Class Mail Parcel as the service type, and Package/Thick envelope as the package size. Also the envelope must be at least 1/2" thick - If you use a bubble envelope and wrap the pin in bubble wrap as well you will be fine.

    To protect backer cards I also use a piece of cardboard slightly larger than the backer card and attach the card/pin with bubble wrap so they can't get bent as easily.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  3. LuvSimba

    LuvSimba Just can't wait to be king.... DPF Charter Member

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    Unpopped bubble wrap. You wouldn't believe how many pins I receive without any protection at all (just tossed in the envelope, or better yet, a paper envelope) or bubble wrap that has been stomped? on--flatter than a pancake. What's the point? Don't use trashed bubble wrap.

    Don't wrap pins too close to each other or toss them into the envelope together, they just scratch each other up. Wrap them up so they don't hit each other.

    Make sure one's pin has proper postage, it's unfair to expect the other trader to pay for their pin's postage as well as yours. Postage dues are a royal pain. I have received so many postage dues that my carrier knows to refuse them.
  4. HauntedMission

    HauntedMission Member

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    Here is an interesting tip I learned from another trader: For extra protection of a pin back during the mail journey, the clean cap of a used soda or drinking water bottle fits perfectly around the black rubber Mickey ears (somewhat similar to an athletic cup worn by football players for protection). If the pin is wrapped in a plastic outer sleeve you can add a bit of tape for stability. This can help prevent the bending of a pin back in transit. >^..^<
  5. Disxar

    Disxar the one and only.

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    Whenever I
    package pins I put them in a small cloth bag as well as bubble wrap :) It adds extra protection and it looks nice!
  6. doodlebug86

    doodlebug86 Switzerland

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    1. I found that highly amusing, for some strange reason
    2. Sometimes I get really badly packed pins, and sometimes I get pins from Judy, in which case it's like trying to break into the packing tape version of Fort Knox to get my pin. So it kinda all evens out. (That is not saying people shouldn't package correctly, and in no way is that a jab at Judy because its an adventure to open mail from her and it keeps it interesting)
  7. shls062167

    shls062167 Member

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    The postmaster told me today that the package has to be at least 3/4" thick in order to request DC.
  8. Psycho Pixie

    Psycho Pixie Vacations are a grand thing

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    Thank ypu for the price correction, I coulda sworn my prices were right when I packed a bunch of stuff up the other day. lol
  9. Psycho Pixie

    Psycho Pixie Vacations are a grand thing

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    Oh my gosh! I forgot to mention that... Editing post! Thank you!
  10. SoraPandora

    SoraPandora I'm SoraPandora again!

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    Great guide, Psycho! :like:
  11. Bryana

    Bryana Professional Lurker

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    Great guide PP! I pack and ship for a living (internet store owner) and you would not believe how rough the PO is with the packages.

    A tip to bulk out thin packages if you don't have any packing materials such as peanuts, you can always crumble up paper, tissues, or even toilet paper to pad out.
  12. Jacqui8374

    Jacqui8374 Jacquis back DPF Charter Member

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    Having just had to pay over $25 in customs chanrges can we also remember that if you are posting abroad not to put more than $25 value on the package and mark it a a gift!

  13. imp

    imp Evil Fairy DPF Moderator

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    This is a great point! I almost always value the pins at around $3 each for the customs declaration, BUT with an occasional exception - if the pin is a higher-value pin, such that I want it to be insured, a higher value is required...the PO isn't going to buy your claim that they lost a $50 pin if you only gave it a declared value of $3.
  14. Psycho Pixie

    Psycho Pixie Vacations are a grand thing

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    I asm actually planning on a whole separate thread regarding international shipping. This one was mostly to get the pins packaged safely.
  15. starry_solo

    starry_solo Judge of the Dark Court Staff Member DPF Super Moderator

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    Bumping up psycho_pixie's thread to the first page :) This should be stickied!
  16. dawny

    dawny Active Member

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    this is excellent. Now just to screw everyone up...i do have one tiny complaint/tip...there is such a thing as OVERWRAPPING...meaning (yes pu the pin on something-backer or foam and bubble it) BUT then if you tape and tape so tightly that the receiver can not pull the tape off, then i find i have to take a scissor to the tiny ball of pin and have actually nicked a with all things good in life my friends....wrap with in reason--they are not light bulbs. xo

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