Standing lamps and desk lamps are one of the many common household items that you can send inside boxes with major shipping carriers. However, before you start the process, there are some critical things to keep in mind when it comes to packing up your lamp, the shipping services you should use, and keeping your overall costs low. Lucky for you, Shipping School is here to shed light on the matter (get it?). This guide is all about how to ship a lamp, including the proper way to package it, insure it, and save the most money throughout the whole process. Let’s get into it!
Table of Contents
- Package the Different Parts of Your Lamp into the Smallest Possible Shipping Box
- Use the Proper Packaging Material to Protect Your Lamp
- Don’t Include Light Bulbs in the Lamp
- Purchase Shipping Insurance
- Save Money on Lamp Shipments With Online Shipping Software
Package the Different Parts of Your Lamp into the Smallest Possible Shipping Box
The first steps to shipping a lamp are to separate its base from its shade and to secure a brand-new, corrugated cardboard box to fit both pieces inside. Shipping costs depend on the size of your box, as well as its weight and how far it needs to travel. Keeping your box as small as possible is a surefire way to keep your costs low. Generally speaking, your box should be large enough to fit all of the pieces of your lamp inside, but small enough so that there’s hardly any wiggle room once everything is in there.
Learn more about where to get boxes for shipping.
Does Your Lamp Break Down into Multiple Pieces?
When shipping a lamp that breaks down into several different pieces (a lot of standing lamps are like this), you’ll need to make sure it’s totally broken down before you ship it. Basically, you want your lamp shipment to be as small as possible…and breaking it down into its different parts is the best way to keep your lamp nice and compact. Any way you can make that happen, be sure to do it! As we said before, the smaller your box is, the less it will cost to ship it.
Note: If you can’t fit all the lamp parts in the same package, then you may have no choice but to separate them into different boxes.
Use the Proper Packaging Material to Protect Your Lamp
Many lamps are delicate and require ample packing material to protect them from taking damage during transit. In addition to using a sturdy cardboard box for the outer packaging, your inner packaging is also critical to protecting your lamp. The types of packing material you should consider using for your inner packaging are protective bubble wrap (to wrap around the lamp base and the shade, if your lamp has one), air pillows to provide cushioning on the bottom and sides of your box, and packing peanuts to fill out all the empty space in your box once you place your lamp inside.
Once you’ve got your box all packed and taped up, a good test to see if you’ve used enough protective material is to lightly toss and catch it in your hands. If nothing moves around in it during that process, you should be good to go!
Don’t Include Light Bulbs in the Lamp
Here’s another big one: if your lamp has a light bulb in it, take it out! Leaving a light bulb inside the lamp is a recipe for disaster, because of all the exposed glass that’s sure to crack at some point during transit. You can include an unopened, sealed box of light bulbs inside your package if you want, but you shouldn’t include any unopened and unprotected light bulbs by themselves.
If you do include a new set of bulbs inside your box, you’ll also want to wrap that box in bubble wrap or air pillows to keep the bulbs from shattering during transit. The more protection you can use, the better!
Purchase Shipping Insurance
Since lamps and their different parts can easily break, we suggest springing for shipping insurance to cover the full cost of your package. It only costs a buck or so per every $100 of value that you declare, and it’s worth it in case anything happens during transit. Your package might get lost or arrive with damaged parts, which we see happen all the time. When you protect your packages with insurance, you’ll be able to file a claim for the full amount of your lamp in case anything goes wrong. This way, you can ship with zero risk and can sleep better at night!
Save Money on Lamp Shipments With Online Shipping Software
When it comes to the cost of shipping, every single dollar and cent counts. The trick to keeping shipping costs low is saving as much money as possible—and the best way to do that is to use shipping software to purchase labels at significant discounts.
When you use shipping software, you gain access to special levels of pricing that carriers usually reserve for huge shippers who send tens of thousands of packages per year. For USPS, these discounts are known as Commercial Pricing. For UPS, the discounts come as part of the Digital Access Program. With these special pricing tiers, you can sometimes save tens of dollars per package compared to what you’d pay to ship the same box at your local Post Office or UPS Store!
Shipping software companies are able to offer you these deep discounts because they have such a large customer base. As such, these companies enter into special partnerships with shipping carriers like USPS and UPS to provide postage at prices typically reserved for huge commercial shippers. In essence, you’re paying for all of the services that both USPS and UPS offer…just at a much cheaper price.
Choose a Slower Service to Save Even More Money on Lamp Shipments
On top of using shipping software, the speed of the service you opt for also affects the price you pay for shipping. If you can afford for your lamp to not be delivered as quickly as possible, opting for a slower service like USPS Parcel Select Ground or UPS Ground will always be the smarter choice. Ground services are always cheaper than air-based services like Priority Mail or UPS 2nd Day Air…and since lamps don’t contain any time-sensitive or perishable parts, it’s always smarter to choose a slower shipping service when sending them. Believe it or not, using a slower service like UPS Ground can keep dozens of dollars in your pocket…and your shipment will still reach its final destination within 1-5 business days!
Learn more about the difference between USPS Ground and UPS Ground, and which service is the better choice for your business.