You might be bored in the house right now, but that doesn’t mean the wheel of technology has stopped turning. Each day, new improvements, inventions, and advances in tech continue to happen. As we look for new opportunities to connect during a time of social distancing, shipping the latest and greatest electronics can be a great way to stay plugged in. Maybe you’d like to send your friend a Nintendo Switch. Maybe you’d like to send an old laptop across the country. Whatever the case, this guide will run you through the basics of shipping electronics, and how to do it correctly!
Package Your Electronic Items Thoughtfully
As is the case with delicate items, you’ll need to package your electronics carefully and with ample protection. However, with super sturdy electronics, you won’t need to sweat too much about packaging them up a ton. Some basic padding and a study box will do the trick. Other electronics may be quite fragile, and will require extra attention. Don’t skimp on packaging in these cases! You’ll definitely want to take as many pre-shipment precautions as you can to protect your items so they don’t take damage during transit.
Here are the basic steps for packaging your electronics for shipment:
- Start by separating the item into different pieces: bag up cords, chargers, adaptors, and all the extra stuff. Detach any extra pieces on the main equipment and package them separately, if possible.
- Once you’ve taken your item apart, carefully wrap each piece and add protective layers of bubble wrap to anything fragile. Consider popping each piece into a waterproof bag if you’re concerned about weather damage to your items.
- Pack each item into a box snugly with at least 2-3 inches of padding around the most fragile pieces.
- Seal up your box with good tape. Once it’s packed, give it a good shake to make sure that nothing shifts around! This will ensure that the items will go through transit with a much lower risk of damage to each part.
In any case, always opt for the right kinds of packing material. In our experience, materials such as air-bags, bubble wrap, and scrunched kraft paper will provide much better padding than packing peanuts! Peanuts won’t protect as well against damage during transit for heavier items.
Pro Tip: You might also want to consider purchasing custom packaging to ensure that your electronic items arrive unharmed. If you have the original packaging from when the item was first purchased, this will also do the trick! You can just slap the label on the outside of this box if you don’t want to drop money on external packaging.
Study Insurance Coverage for Shipping Electronic Items
You’ll always want to add insurance onto these shipments to cover yourself against any damage that may occur in transit. Before shipping your electronics, do some research to ensure that the insurance you’re using includes the items you’re shipping! If the insurance company excludes the items from coverage, there’s no use in spending the extra money to cover your shipment.
Here are some of the things that shipping insurance companies typically won’t cover:
- LCD monitors or screens
- Laptop computers (including tablets, iPads, etc.) without Signature Confirmation
- Mobile telephones without Signature Confirmation
Taking photos of your item pre-shipment will also work in your favor, should you need to file a damage claim. This will help the insurance company determine the loss of value and repair estimates quicker. If possible, snap a few pictures of the items you’re shipping before you get packing.
Pro Tip: Dig into the terms and conditions for your insurance company to ensure that the items you’re shipping are included in the coverage plan! If the insurance company won’t cover them in the first place, then purchasing extra coverage won’t do you any good, anyway. You’ll just have to cross your fingers and hope for the best!
Use Online Shipping Software to Ship Electronics for Less
Now that we’ve gone over packing your electronics properly, let’s talk about the cheapest ways to ship. Generally speaking, Priority Mail services will likely be the best way to ship your electronics. Depending on the size and weight of your shipment, either weight-based Priority Mail or Priority Mail Cubic will be the way to go! USPS also includes $100 of insurance in Priority Mail shipments, so check that out as well to see if your item will be covered by those services before you add on additional insurance.
Shipping electronics super safely can definitely be expensive, given the amount of time, energy, packaging, and postage that you’ll invest in your shipment. You’ll definitely want to save as much cash as you can, so using online shipping software will be the way to go as you ship your items out.
Buying postage online with shipping software doesn’t just allow you to access the deepest commercial discounts available through USPS. It will also let you add on special services like Signature Confirmation and third-party insurance from the comfort of your home. That way, you can keep these valuable items in your possession for as long as possible, right up until the point when you hand the shipment over to USPS. Easy peasy, right?
You’ve got this!
As long as you plan ahead, carefully package your items, and cover yourself against any damages or losses that might occur during transit, you’ll be all set with your shipments! Online postage is just the cherry on top that will keep a little more money in your pocket. You’re ready to ship from there, so grab your bubble wrap and get going!