Selling Tips – Step 5: Postage and Packaging

Although you’re not posting you item quite yet, now is a good time to get your packaging ready, so you can measure and weigh up your item. Then you can provide an accurate postage quote on your listing. If you just take a guess, you may cut yourself short when you actually come to post the item. Or over estimate, such that buyers think your taking the p*%$ and be put off.

Don’t want to post your item? Understandable, if your item is huge, heavy or extremely delicate. However this will invariable have an effect on the price you’ll fetch and the time it will take to sell the item. Especially if you live somewhere rural or less densely populated.

Packaging up your item:

  1. Most couriers have strict terms and condition, relating to how an item should be packaged to ensure you’re eligible to claim in the event of damage in transit. So check these out first
  2. Items should be double boxed.
  3. Inside the box, your item should be padded all round, either with polystyrene, bubble wrap, soft chips, even scrunched up new paper works well. Close the lid and shake the box, if stuff moves or rattles, you need more padding!
  4. Wrap any cables and accessories individually, you don’t want the mains plug scratching the item in transit. You could pop these item in jiffy bags too.
  5. If the outer box has branding or logos of a high value item on it, wrap the whole thing in brown paper, in case it goes through the hands of a less trustworthy individual on route.
  6. Fix stiff card over the front of speaker cones/tweeters to prevent anything poking them on route.
  7. For heavy items, wrap strong tape (Gaffa/Duct tape) around the box a few times, to ensure the top/base of box doesn’t give out when carried.
  8. Delicate items like turntables and items with valves need special care when packing. See here for more details (link coming soon).

Who best to post your item with:

  1. Royal Mail: the default choice and usually the most cost effective for small items. Use their Price Finder to get a quote.
  2. Courier: Once you hit the £5-6 mark with Royal Mail, its often cheaper to post via a courier. One advantage is they’ll collect the item, but with the cheaper services, you will have to remain home for most or all of day. Alternatively, many couriers offer a drop off service at local newsagents and corner shops, which are often the cheapest option. Interparcel and Parcel2Go are good brokers who can give you numerous quotes from different companies/services to compare.

Finally, do ensure you take into account insurance for your item. For high value items you will almost certainly need to pay for extra cover. In fact a number of very cheap courier options offer zero insurance by default!

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