There usually comes a time when all sorts of different people need to ship furniture to a customer. Whether you make and sell your own handmade furniture as part of a small business venture, you deal in reselling furniture like antiques or perhaps you’ve sold a preloved piece of your own furniture on eBay or another marketplace, packaging and shipping your furniture properly is vital if you want it to arrive in one piece!
In this blog post I will share several tips (many from personal experience) of how to package your furniture properly ready to ship to your customers.
Never trust the couriers!
Firstly, never ever put your faith in the couriers to deliver your package with care and respect. Writing ‘FRAGILE’ all over a box just won’t cut it and if anything it seems to mean they sometimes handle it with less care!
Of course most couriers will respect your goods and take care with your packages, but in our experience the most well-known couriers seem to dropkick our fragile parcels down the street, no matter how well we package them!
So with that in mind, choose your courier wisely, especially if your beautiful furniture is very valuable or fragile. And make sure you take a photo of the goods before they leave and choose a delivery service with enough compensation to cover the entire value of the furniture in case there are any issues.
It’s also worth checking the couriers own terms and conditions as if they do damage an item, you may only have a certain number of days to submit a claim.
Even though it isn’t your fault if the courier treats your parcel poorly and delivers it damaged, it can reflect negatively on your business. Some customers won’t blame the courier, but will blame you for your choice of courier or if they believe you didn’t package it well enough to prevent damage in transit. In this instance you are potentially losing this customer and their order, losing their word of mouth recommendations and reducing your customer lifetime value which will all affect your future profits.
Package according to the courier
How far you need to go with your packaging efforts will depend on the type of courier you use. If you use the popular and well-known couriers and postal services then package well as learnt in the last point!
How can you package your furniture well? Here are some tips:
- Flat pack if you can. If the furniture can be flat packed and it won’t damage it, then flat pack and wrap each part sufficiently. Bag up all screws and fittings in a well-sealed bag within the main package.
- Protect corners with cardboard and extra padding. If the furniture has corners or any sticky-out bits then make sure you protect these with extra padding and stiff cardboard protectors to ensure they aren’t easily damaged or broken in transit.
- Wrap the entire piece of furniture. Once sticky-out bits and corners have extra protection, it’s time to wrap the entire piece of furniture for safe travels. Use bubble wrap and foam to cushion the furniture and add a layer of soft protection against damage. You can also use a cardboard wrap as the final layer. Wrap and wrap some more!
- Use a stiffened cardboard box. Once wrapped, use an appropriately sized stiff cardboard box for the furniture. Make sure the box is cushioned and the furniture is not loose. It needs to be a snug fit to prevent the furniture rolling about and breaking as it travels through the couriers shipping process.
- Secure the box. Finally, add several layers of packaging tape to secure the box and ensure it does not open during transit.
Some independent and specialist furniture couriers are a much better choice for furniture shipping. They often take greater care and will take your furniture in one-piece. Some don’t even require you to package the furniture at all, instead covering with blankets and appropriate wrap they provide.
With many independent couriers they will literally pick the item up from you and deliver it to the customer same day. This means it’s only in their van for a few hours and not going through any sorting centres or being unloaded and loaded onto several vans, again reducing the likelihood of any damage.
Keep it on brand
If you are sending furniture as part of a business and you consume large amounts of packaging then it’s worth researching your options for bespoke packaging with business branding or even to get boxes made to your products measurements for a snug fit.
Branded packaging, and the right size packaging, will help your business to appear more professional when customers receive their goods. Having your logo on packaging is also a great marketing technique to raise more awareness of your brand.
Finally, don’t forget to make eco-friendly choices whenever you can when it comes to packing your furniture for shipping.
There are lots of green options available for packaging today from cardboard boxes which can be reused or recycled, compostable packing peanuts, plastic-free bubble wrap, paper wrap and paper packing tape with natural plant-based adhesives.
You can also save all the packaging you receive from your own ecommerce deliveries to stop them from going straight into landfill or the recycling bin, saving money on packaging expenses in the process.
Please pin me!