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Shipping Video Games.

hughtronhughtron __BANNED USERS
edited March 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
So I've sold some NES and SNES games, and now I need to figure out the best (and cheapest) way to ship them.

Should I box them? Use those bubble-envelopes? Does anybody have any tips or experience for ensuring these precious cartridges reach their intended targets safely, quickly, and cost-effectively?

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hughtron on

Posts

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    hughtron wrote: »
    So I've sold some NES and SNES games, and now I need to figure out the best (and cheapest) way to ship them.

    Should I box them? Use those bubble-envelopes? Does anybody have any tips or experience for ensuring these precious cartridges reach their intended targets safely, quickly, and cost-effectively?

    What speed? The cartridges are generally pretty sturdy, so bubble-envelopes would probably be fine. Then again, for what you pay for the envelope you could darn near upgrade to the smallest Priority Mail box, which is provided free of charge. Crumple up some old newspaper or something that you find for free and voila! almost the same price, but faster service.

    EDIT: FUCK! You're in Canada. You have access to some kind of smallish cardboard box? Do the same. Personally I usually save a few of the boxes amazon.com mails my shit in for just this kind of thing.

    mcdermott on
  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Wrap in bubble wrap, and put in a small box. Office supply stores frequently have a good selection of all sorts of parcel delivery containters (boxes). Probably cost you $3 or so.

    Gabriel_Pitt on
  • StonecutterStonecutter Registered User
    edited February 2007
    I worked in a pack and ship part time for over 5 years.

    I can't speak for shipping in Canada, but here's my packaging advice, and some shipping advice should anyone south of the maple curtain be interested.

    Packaging: Bubble envelopes are the way to go. If you're shipping them with original boxes, fold the box flat and put the box and cart in the envelope. If you're exceptionally paranoid, wrap the game in an extra sheet of bubble wrap and then put that into the pac. The only thing I might recommend boxing would be jewel cases, I have seen jewel cases that were shiped in pad pacs crack, it was rare and the disc was always fine, but it's not unheard of.

    Dont.
    Use.
    Newspaper.

    EVER

    It is useless it will not add to the overall strength of the box. No items, not even a video game cartage, will be kept immobile by wadded up newspaper. No matter what company or service you use to ship your package, it is going to be thrown, flipped, tossed, dropped, hit by other, heavier boxes, etc. etc. etc. the weight of the cartridge alone will completely compress the newspaper, and your cart will be laying in a corner of a box. If you're worried about the box being crushed, use packaging peanuts, if you're worried about the item you're sending shifting around in the box, use crumbled up kraft paper, or see if you can find some of those giant air packets.

    Oh, and don't wrap your packages in brown paper. You can ship in a rainbow, polkadot box, it doesn't matter, a shipping label, with a barcode, is going on your box. This is what's going to get it from point A to point B, the private carries are all instructed to IGNORE anything but this label. Brown paper can rip, quite easily, in fact, and if it does, the label goes with it. Try and cover up any other barcodes, especially old shipping labels, but don't wrap, you're wasting time and it's self defeating.


    Shipping: First of all. NEVER EVER EVER EVER say you want something cheap and quick. I was asked this five to ten times a day, every day I worked. I haven't done it for over a year and this still infuriates me. It's like going car shopping and asking for the cheapest, most luxurious car. You can have cheap, or you can have fast, you can't have both. Fortunately, in most industrialized countries, you can have something somewhere relatively fast, for relatively cheap.

    Post office is probably your best bet for video games, if you're REALLY cheap, you can send them third class mail (that's that 'allow 4-6 weeks for delivery' option) I couldn't even quote you rates because it goes almost completely unused, I'm thinking you're going to want to go first class or priority mail, depending on the overall weight.

    Under a pound you'd want to send it first class, over a pound, priority mail Americans, Priority Mail and First Class Mail are THE EXACT SAME SERVICE. Priority is just the post office's way of getting you to spend $4.05 on something that costs between $.39 and $3.27 if what you're sending weighs less than 13 ounces, send it first class, you're welcome

    Once you hit 4 pounds, you're cheapest option is usually UPS. If you want insurance or tracking... well your cheapest option is already UPS. All UPS packages come with $100 of insurance (assuming they were packed properly, if you try and make a claim on a package that you packed with newspaper, UPS will laugh at you, and hang up.) Fed Ex and UPS compete for the same market, so the services try to parody each other as closely as possible, but for the most part, UPS's ground service is faster and prices are almost always +/-5%

    Wish I could help you more with the Canada thing, any other questions, fire away.

    Stonecutter on
  • embrikembrik Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Wise shipping-related words...

    This stuff should be stickied or added to the AFK or something. All of this is true. I used to work in shipping/receiving for a store, as well as a copy shop, and this is dead-on.

    embrik on
    "Damn you and your Daily Doubles, you brigand!"

    I don't believe it - I'm on my THIRD PS3, and my FIRST XBOX360. What the heck?
  • borzou99borzou99 Registered User, ClubPA
    edited February 2007
    If you are delivering with USPS, I strongly recommend insurance and delivery confirmation.

    I quote them from when they destroyed something I sent through the mail and I called them about it: "We are not responsible for mail."

    borzou99 on
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  • locopostallocopostal Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    stonecutter, you are my hero.

    if you've sold them online, i would definitely recommend getting at least a tracking number attached to that. If you're using a service like fedex or ups, that'll give it some accountability, and you can check up on it. if it disappears, you can call em up and they can track it down for you. generally better than the post office (at least, the US post office..)

    locopostal on
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  • StonecutterStonecutter Registered User
    edited March 2007
    embrik wrote: »
    Wise shipping-related words...

    This stuff should be stickied or added to the AFK or something. All of this is true. I used to work in shipping/receiving for a store, as well as a copy shop, and this is dead-on.

    Customer: DO YOU SHIP PACKAGES?
    ....no sir, this is a liquor store.

    Customer: I NEED A BOX!
    ...ok, what size is what your shipping
    Customer: OH IT'S PRETTY BIG
    ...how big, what are the dimensions
    Customer: I DON'T KNOW, LIKE 12x10!
    ...sssssooo you're sending a piece of paper
    Customer: NO IT'S A LAMP
    ...a flat lamp? I need three dimensions
    Customer:............
    mur.gif

    Every. Fucking. Day.

    Stonecutter on
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