How to safely package: valuables

Package Valuables

Packaging anything properly is always to be recommended if you want to make sure it arrives safely at its destination, but, of course, you do have to take costs into consideration as well. After all, there’s no point spending several pounds on the toughest and most effective packaging for an item of low value.

When you’re dealing with more valuable items, on the other hand, that extra expense is going to be more than worthwhile if it prevents the far bigger cost of replacing something possibly worth hundreds of pounds.

So, what are the best options when mailing out items that you really, really can’t afford to get damaged on route?

1 A very strong box and lots and lots of protective packaging
This is the simplest and probably the lowest cost option as well. Basically, get the strongest box you can find, and probably a bit bigger than you’d normally need as well. Put the valuable item in question in the middle of the box, and fill the remaining space with some kind of void fill or bubble wrap, making sure the product is as far away from the side of the box as possible. That will allow lots of room for the parcel to absorb even very strong blows to the side without damaging the important bit of what’s inside.

There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s a very effective way of protecting your product. But, of course, when you’re sending something valuable, you often want it to arrive looking at its best, as well as being properly packaged. So, here are a few smarter ideas.

2 Foam lined boxes
Just as effective, but more aesthetically pleasing, is to use polyurethane foam lining in your box. It’s doing exactly the same job as bubble wrap and packing peanuts, in exactly the same way, but because it can be easily sized to fit into the lid and base of your carton, it’s much neater for your customer when he or she comes to open the box. It’s usually supplied in the ‘egg box’ style, so that it holds the product firmly in place, but has enough give to cushion it should the parcel receive a substantial blow.

3 Instapack Foam
This is a great idea, which gives the impression of a complex bit of packaging that has been specially made for your particular product. It’s supplied flat, which is already a great start, because apart from anything else, that makes it much easier to store than things like bubble wrap and packing peanuts. Then all you have to do is tap on a button to set the foam inflating, and place it within your carton. Nestle your product inside, then sit back and watch as the foam automatically moulds itself around your product, coming to a stop only when it reaches the top of the carton, giving secure, all-round protection and reducing the chances of damage in transit to almost zero.

4 Membrane boxes
Probably top of the range when it comes to protecting your valuables, membrane packaging takes a different approach. Instead of enveloping your product with lots of soft, aerated polystyrene or polyurethane, try suspending it in a thin – but very resilient – bit of polythene in the middle of the box. That not only keeps it away from potential damage caused by the box being crushed, but also leaves space for it to move into should the worse happen. It also happens to provide a very polished and professional image for the finished parcel.

5 Something luxurious
Of course, not everything valuable is necessarily at the same time easily breakable. That gives you the option of eschewing the merely functional kind of packaging described thus far and instead using something that will reflect the value and quality of your product. You can read more on jazzing up your parcels by clicking here, where there’s an in-depth look at things like shredded tissue, ribbons and custom boxes.

6 A reliable courier – or one who knows you can prove they caused any damage
No matter how carefully you pack your product, unless you’re making the delivery yourself, you still need to entrust it to someone else to get it safely to your customer. Videos easily found on YouTube of employees of well-known courier companies literally throwing people’s packages about, is enough to make any supplier of expensive and breakable products break out into a cold sweat. Building a good relationship with your courier is therefore highly recommended.

For even more peace of mind, you can these days buy labels that react if subject to excessive force – that at least will give you physical evidence that any damage has been caused by those that have been handling it. Basically, if it’s clear when it leaves you, but has changed colour by the time it reaches your customer (and they know that they need to check for it and refuse to accept it on that basis), then you can make sure that should the worse happen, you’re not the one that loses out.

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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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