Monday, April 18, 2011

How to Package and Ship Jewelry

Someone left a note in my Shoutbox (rightmost sidebar) a while ago asking if I could do a post on how to package and ship jewelry. So here goes with some tips. Do you have more?  Please do comment!


Packaging
If you are shipping a gift or a sold item, packaging is the first thing that will indicate it's been handled with care and thought on the part of the jewelry maker. So wrap it up prettily. Also think about branding when packaging - what are your shop colors? Logo?  Whatever you do, keep it consistent.

Don't forget to slip in a business card, jewelry care card and discount card for loyal customers if that is your policy. Watch this DIY Packaging for Handmade Jewelry video by Sheryl Westligh for her tips.



Need some packaging inspirations?  Then check out the Etsy Packaging Group Pool on Flickr. There are over 3000 pictures of how different artisans tackle their own.

Courier or Post Office?
Aren't we lucky jewelry is usually small and easy to ship? Shipping via the Post Office is cheaper in most instances than via courier if there is no need for speed. They don't call it snail mail for nothing! Depending on the options you choose, they also have tracking codes if needed.

The Post Office rates vary depending on the country so you will need to check with your local outlet.

In Canada, the Post Office uses a plastic template to quickly check if the mailing is less than 2 cm. If it is larger than that, then it has to go via parcel post which is more expensive. That's why one Canadian Etsian called it the "Slot of Doom"!  

So I took a leaf from IKEA's books and ship my packages flat whenever possible because it is cheaper. The gift box I supply is a pillow box style rather than the conventional lidded box which makes the package too thick. 

Helpful article :
Shipping How-to : The Final Frontier

Customs Forms
If you have to fill out a customs form, try and avoid "jewelry" or such giveaway terms which might alert a potential thief. I'd like to think all Post Office employees are honest but play it safe and use "handmade fashion accessory" - a great tip I came across in the Etsy forums.

Insurance
Insurance is always preferable but is usually an option only if the recipient is willing to pay unless it is a gift.

One last thing, did you know Harry Winston insured the Hope Diamond for $1 million and then sent it to the Smithsonian via the US Postal Service? You can read about this famous jeweler in my past post, Harry Winston and the Hope Diamond's 50th Anniversary at the Smithsonian.

More Business Tips
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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 

17 comments :

Susanna Originals said...

Oh, Pearl, "the slot of doom" - love it! I've got one! My store is a retail postal outlet and many times I've sent my customers home to put their items in two envelopes that would fit through the slot instead of one that wouldn't. It's the difference between under three dollars and over ten dollars for the ones that don't fit. I'm going right now to tape the Slot Of Doom name to the template.

Mortira said...

Great tips! Packaging and shipping are some of the most important steps, but are often overlooked when it comes to details.

My tip? I really don't like the notion that buyers have to add insurance themselves to 'protect' their packages. The only person who benefits from insurance is the shipper, so if they want to add it, it should already be part of the price or fees.

Divya N said...

My tip is to pack pieces in bubble wrap covers rather than putting them in a regular zip lock. It reduces weight and protects the piece in one go

Heather said...

Great tips Pearl...I never put "jewelry" on my customs forms...in fact it was a postal worker years ago who told me not to, I wasn't planning on it but good of her to mention it.
I now just put beads or wire or something like that but your suggestion is a good one.

I also try to package flat...huge cost difference.
Cheers

The Beading Gem said...

There will be many chuckles at your postal outlet from now on, Susan!

The alternative to insurance is to opt for tracking. But either way, the cost is too high for shipper or receiver when shipping say just a pair of earrings.

Zip lock bags are already thin. I use them to hold the item and other cards. The bubble cushion of the padded envelop provides the protection.

Pearl

Cristina said...

Hi dear Pearl!

I have also been considering several different ideas for my packaging, and I do really like the pillow box, but... (let's see if my English is good enough to make myself clear) How do you put the jewelry inside the pillow box? I mean: Do you just "throw" it inside, or do you put cotton inside or maybe a card (for earrings) or something?
I have thought about the pillow box but I'm hesitant to just put the piece loose in the box, you know what i mean?

kisses,
Cris, from DeCris Creations - Blog
DeCris Creations on Artfire

TheVelvetBox said...

Normally I just use bubble envelopes, put the item in a baggie and wrap in tissue paper, but this is great info, Thanks!

The Beading Gem said...

I have to ship the pillow box flat for cost reasons. But I do supply a bit of tissue for the recipient to wrap the item in before inserting into the assembled box. An earring card will work too.

BetteJo said...

As a frequent shopper on Etsy, there is nothing like getting a shipping envelope and opening it to find the inside packaging is as pretty as the thing you bought. I recently bought some sachets and they came wrapped so beautifully in vintage look tissue and tied with a lacy ribbon - it felt like a present instead of a purchase. Adds to the experience! So anything you can do (inexpensively) to add to the attractiveness of the packaging counts too!

CHRISTMAS PIE CRAFTS said...

This is a great post, really helpful. Packing can be a nightmare - trying to keep costs down whilst ensuring the contents are safe and arrive neat and tidy.

Almost Precious said...

I really like the tip about filling out the customs forms "handmade fashion accessory" is a good description without shouting that it's jewelry.

hdavis said...

Pearl, thank you so much for the helpful info and great tips. I'm a new etsy seller and am ready to ship my first custom order and was at a loss as to how to package it. You have answered many of my questions.

Pearl Blay said...

Congratulations on your first order hdavis! May there be many more.

BJewelryBox said...

I love your tips! I make petal boxes using scrapbook paper. They fit perfect in the med. size bubble envelopes. I place the jewelry piece in a zip lock bag, wrap it with tissue paper and pop it in the petal box. Insurance is optional, but I always ship with tracking. Thanks for your wonderful post!

Pearl Blay said...

What a pretty system! Yes, tracking is always great if it is not prohibitive - it depends on the postal system.

Laura said...

Dear Pearl,

You always have such great tips and enterteining posts! I have been following you for years now and always read what you write. I love it.
I am reading with extra attention now that I am a seller. Do you think that on top of tracking we shold also request signature confirmation?

Tgank you,

Laura M.

Pearl Blay said...

Thanks Laura for reading my blog for years! Simply amazing!

I think tracking should be enough. Most people work so it is hard for them to be home for signing. Just my 2 cents worth!

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