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  December 26th, 2022 | Written by

5 Tips for Shipping Atypical Items

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Let’s say you got something shipped in the mail for a birthday or holiday. Someone you dearly care for told you that they were sending you a special surprise. You were excited at the prospect, full of hope and curiosity. Then the day comes, and you receive your package. But the experience isn’t quite like you expect.

Maybe the gift wasn’t so much of a surprise. The gift you received was wrapped thoroughly, but it looked exactly like the item inside. You started to slowly open it, and wow, wouldn’t you know it, it is exactly what you thought it would be. It was awesome to get the gift, but a little bit more of a surprise would have been nice.

Or maybe the item you received was wrapped, but not thoroughly enough. You opened the package only to discover that the special gift someone picked out for you was bent, broken, or damaged. This really affected your experience, and when you told the person who sent it, they also expressed disappointment. There may not have been a way to salvage the item or seek a refund.

Listen: Packaging up oddly shaped or fragile items for shipping isn’t easy. Luckily, there are some ways to improve the experience and decrease the chances people receive broken items. Here are four tips to help you ship delicate, atypical, or oddly shaped items:

  1. Look for a sturdy box or container.

If you have something that is oddly shaped or delicate, you need a box or contain that is bigger than the item you are shipping. There must be enough room for you to cushion the item, ensuring that whatever you send doesn’t get broken or damaged. Honestly, it doesn’t matter what size the item is. If the box or container is bigger, you should be able to ensure the safety of your item while keeping the element of surprise (if it is a gift).

  1. Don’t get a box that’s too big.

However, if you package something in a container or carton that is significantly bigger than the item you are shipping, there is a greater chance that it will get broken. The less space an item has to move around in, the fewer chances there are that it will break. For example, if you are dealing with custom awards and trophies, measure the height and width of the item and find a container that is only slightly bigger than that to have it sent off. Can you make a container that is way too big work? Of course. But it will require a lot of extra packing materials, which in the end is very wasteful.

  1. If necessary, utilize more than one container

If you are worried that you won’t be able to secure an item inside of a container, maybe try using two containers instead of one and a bunch of packing material. For instance, if you are shipping a music box, you could put it in a box and have that box placed in a sturdier, but still snug, outside box. This will help eliminate any of the bumps and bruises that your item might incur during the duration of its trip.

  1. Use plenty of filler

The best option might wind up being the one where you load up your package with different fillings. Whether you use a corrugated wrap, packing peanuts, old newspapers, or some other item of your choosing, they will help to increase the stability inside of the package. One of the easiest ways for something to get broken in transit is the jostling that occurs. By using plenty of filler, you are mitigating that risk.

  1. Purchase custom-made inserts.

These might even be offered by the company that you purchase your item from. It’s not unlikely that a guitar company would have custom-made inserts to make sure that the instrument you purchased to send to someone else will stay intact for the entire trip. If that’s not the case, you could have custom inserts made for you. Granted, this is more expensive way to go about it, but it could be the best way to protect your item.

By smartly sending your items, you can give a loved one a perfect gift that will be intact and a great surprise.

Mike Szczesny is the owner and vice president of EDCO Awards & Specialties, a dedicated supplier of employee recognition products, branded merchandise, and athletic awards. Szczesny takes pride in EDCO’s ability to help companies go the extra mile in expressing gratitude and appreciation to their employees. He resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.