How to safely package: clothing

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Like many other products, the sale of clothing and shoes over the internet has really taken off in recent years. Nearly all the major chain stores now sell their products online, as well as on the high street, with the advantage that if you decide you don’t want the item in question, or it doesn’t fit, you can usually take it to your local store without the need for paying to return it by post.

Meanwhile, small businesses selling niche clothing lines are popping up all over the web, taking advantage of their new-found ability to reach out and market to the whole world, if they have the technical skill and knowledge, rather than just in their local area or at craft fairs.

There are also other specialised sites where you can find second-hand designer brands sold on at bargain prices by those who no longer need or want them, or buy vintage clothes lovingly restored and made available by skilled people running small businesses from their own home.

If you’re one of those selling clothes and/or shoes online, it’s essential that you give serious consideration to how you’re going to package your items safely before you send them to your customers. Yes, you can quickly stuff them into a polythene mailing bag, and that may be slightly cheaper to post, but is that really how you want your customer to receive your parcel? The clothes inside will more than likely arrive badly creased, which isn’t going to give a very good impression of you or your business.

Dispatching clothes to your customers in boxes gives you the very best chance of making sure that your customers receive your mailing in exactly the way it left you – which should hopefully be neatly folded, just like it would be if you bought it on the high street.

For clothes like dresses, skirts, shirts and trousers, that should mean using strong cardboard boxes with lids, which will offer the right level of protection, while also being a nicer form of packaging to open than a box which has been sealed with tape.

When looking for a solution, your starting point should probably be specially designed garment dispatch boxes. They’re manufactured from high quality brown or white single wall corrugated board, but, because of the way the box is constructed, you get more than one layer of board on most sides to ensure you end up with a reliably strong container. The lid folds down into place and is held in place with a secure locking tab.

Telescopic boxes are another great way of packaging clothes. They’re two-piece cartons comprising a base and a separate lid. They’re called telescopic because the way the lid slides over the base allows you to vary the internal height according to the size of the contents; that means one box can easily be used for a wider variety of items. That in turn means you can significantly cut your costs, because many packaging suppliers will give you a bigger discount the more you buy of each product.

Whichever boxes you decide to use, we’d recommend some light inner packaging as well, to keep the clothes free from any danger of dust or moisture. Light duty clear polythene bags are always a good idea, but if you want the insides to look even better when your customer raises the lid of the box, how about some packing tissue?

Sending shoes by post will definitely need a strong box, otherwise they really could get damaged. Although you’ll easily find any number of cartons that would work, the best will usually be the ones that have been specially designed for the job. Traditionally-styled shoe boxes usually have separate lids (like the telescopic boxes) and come in two sizes in both brown and white board.

The most recent addition to our range, however, has a hinged lid, and is available only in white, but adds some useful extra strength, thanks to multiple layers of board on each side, and a real touch of class to shoe packaging. There are three sizes available, so you should be able to easily find something that is big enough to hold boots as well as shoes.

Again, using some nice tissue to wrap around the shoes would make a great finishing touch to the final parcel you send out, and with everything from everyday white packing tissue to extra soft, colourful and luxurious ‘machine finished’ tissue easily available, you should have no trouble finding a practical solution with the right look.

Of course, if you want to add some branding to any of these boxes, or even have custom boxes made to a specific size, it’s easy to get that done as well. Why not take a look at our special custom boxes page to see what is possible?

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Rick Stanford

Rick has been a salesman in the packaging supplies business for more than thirty years. Now semi-retired, he divides his time between tending his allotment in north Devon, getting depressed at the continuing travails of his home-town football club Macclesfield Town, and sharing his considerable experience and knowledge with the readers of the Davpack blog. Davpack

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