Monthly Archives: October 2016

Traveling and Packing Tips

Have you ever been traveling?  Of course you have.  At least, most of us have.  Even if it was just as simple as jumping on a plane for a couple hour flight that took you to Universal Studios.  Even if your flight was short, and direct, you probably noticed how uncomfortable the whole business was.  From start to finish you are lugging around heavy equipment, you can’t dig into your carry-on for chapstick because you packed it so full that you would never be able to close it again… The scenarios are never ending.


However, traveling isn’t limited just to flying.  Packing up your minivan and driving to your in-laws a couple states over is still considered traveling.

At this point in time I’d like to recommend that you consider introducing shipping supplies into your traveling experience.  What on earth?  You may find yourself saying this in all caps inside of your brain.  Hear me out.

How many times have you pulled your Louis Vuitton suitcases off of the baggage claim conveyor belt only to discover that the luggage crew was treating them like a couple of cardboard boxes?  (#notcool) Although I’ve never gone the couture route, I have probably wound up spending just as much money on multiple sets of cheap suitcases that keep getting decimated in transit.

So why not just handle the dilemma and actually use cardboard boxes?  See?  Cardboard boxes are shipping supplies.  So are masking tape and shipping labels.  Tape your stuff up in a cardboard box and you stand less chance of having your crap broken into and pilfered (#alsonotcool).

The same thing goes for driving.  Instead of trying to wedge a bunch of different shaped boxes in the back of your vehicle, use boxes.  Label the outsides and stack easily.  Who would have thought that a couple standard shipping supplies could make your traveling experience so much better?


On a different note, there are a couple tips to keep in mind when packing for a trip.  Contrary to popular belief, rolling your clothes does the opposite of saving you room.  When you fold something it lies flat, essentially using up all potential space. When you roll clothes, you wind up with a lot of unused cracks and crevices.  Put any fragile items in the very center of your suitcase.  This is also where you should pack delicate clothes, like suits or bridesmaids dresses.

Nowadays, TSA saves you the hassle of not knowing what to do with your toiletries.  You still need to pack tiny-sized personal care items and make sure they all fit into a pint-sized plastic bag.  This not only saves you a ton of space by forcing you to pack light, but it also saves you the possibility of your bottles busting open in transit and ruining the rest of your stuff.

Helpful Tips for Creative Packaging

The business world has become so competitive that it has become absolutely crucial to market your product in a way that sets you apart.  Most of the time businesses are trying to sell similar items with a different take, which makes packaging design a key player.  With the right marketing strategy and packaging supplies you should be able to brand your product in a way that will allow it to sell itself.  Here are some great ideas from businesses who are successful because they are creative:

A company that sells eggs found a way to draw attention to their product by indirectly incorporating it into the packaging design.  How is this possible?  Well, if you are trying to convince your customer that your eggs are the freshest compared to your competitors, how would you do that?  You would ask yourself: when is an egg at it’s freshest?  And then you would ask yourself: how do I translate that into the packaging design?  That’s right… Envision a chicken looking over it’s shoulder as it’s laying an egg.


A chewing gum manufacturer found a clever way to include their actual product into the packaging.  You can save a lot of money on packaging supplies when you choose a simple strategy that completely focuses on your product.  Sound impossible?  Not when you are trying to sell gum and your overall product design consists of a smiling mouth, using the gum to represent the teeth.  Now that’s clever marketing.  It just makes you want to chew gum.

Sometimes a simple and direct approach will give you the most results.  Consider the business that sells earphones.  They spent very little on packaging supplies because the earphones were the center of the design.  A simple cardboard sheet was all that was needed, and the earphones were folded in such a way as to represent a musical note, with the actual buds becoming the flags of the note.


Sometimes a completely different approach is what it takes to draw in your customers.  Sugar cubes aren’t that exciting, right?  Design them into a puzzle, with each cube being a piece of the puzzle, and you will give a consumer a reason to choose your product over your competitor’s boring, standard option.

Is there a way to make your packaging supplies interactive with the consumer?  For example, design your tea bags to look like a t-shirt and put them on a little hangar that hangs from a tiny wooden rod inside of the tea box.  People will buy them purely for the novelty of the experience, even taking into consideration how proud and pleased they will be to present it when they ask a friend if they’d like “a spot”.

Shipping Tricks You Might Not Know About

Most of the time, when we have something we need to ship we purchase the necessary shipping supplies, wrap it up, take it the post office, and send it off.  However, there are some general shipping tips that can help your package arrive in the best shape, at the best price.

  • Think about what you are shipping and the conditions it will be under. Sending a box of chocolates to your sweetheart is a great idea, unless it’s in the middle of the summer.
  • Use your best handwriting, clearly distinguishing between problematic characters: put a slash through a zero to separate it from the letter O. Put a slash through the letter Z so that it doesn’t get confused for the letter S.
  • Hang on to your receipt! That proof of shipping, which includes the date it was shipped and the address you shipped to, is going to make the difference if your package doesn’t wind up arriving at its destination.
  • Even though we like to assume that all personnel handling our boxes will treat them with respect, accidents do happen. It’s best to assume that at some point during a busy day in the shipping industry your box will be dropped, so make sure your items are properly protected.


  • Keep in mind that your package may very well have been successfully delivered on time, even if the tracking isn’t showing that it has. Not all services require that the package be scanned and updated.
  • Padded envelopes are often a forgotten member of the shipping supplies family, but you can wind up putting more in them than a small box and paying just about the same.
  • If you are trying to ship internationally, check the size and weight limitations for where you are shipping to before you go shopping. It can be shocking what a couple inches and extra ounces can do to the price of what you are trying to send.
  • Make sure that you check limitations of what you can and can’t ship across state and country lines. For most states it is illegal to ship alcohol.  Some countries will not accept certain materials, and they can be completely random.
  • Be sure to include customs forms on your list of shipping supplies if you are shipping internationally. Also, be sure you fill out those forms as accurately as possible, and label it is a gift to help your recipient avoid any extra customs charges.
  • Finally, stick to the USPS when shipping out of country. Courier services like Fedex and UPS charge customs fees.


Simple Tips for a Successful Shipping Experience

  • If you need to, take pictures of any items you are trying to sell and then package and weight them immediately. This provides accurate shipping information for your customer but also for yourself.  Trying to calculate shipping often results in an overcharge of your customer or your company having to absorb excess costs.
  • Use proper shipping supplies to carefully package your item. The whole point of sending them in the mail is for it to get to its destination in the same condition.  Proper packaging is crucial for this to happen.  Use boxes that are the right size, use enough filler to take up any empty space, and use the H taping method when securing the package.
  • The US Postal Service offers free package pickup, which will save you both time and money. You can purchase shipping online through your business, through the USPS, or even through third-parties (like  Don’t forget to purchase insurance!
  • You might assume that people want the cheapest shipping options, but you would be surprised by how many people prefer the fastest shipping options, regardless of the price. It is recommended to offer same day business or one business day handling, and then notifying your customer as soon as their item has been shipped.


  • Make sure to be stocked up on shipping supplies at all times. You can order them through the US Postal Service, or you can order them from online retailers.  Reuse shipping supplies like packing peanuts and bubble wrap when you can.
  • If you print your shipping labels at home you don’t have to stand in line at the post office. This one simple step will save you a bunch of time and frustration.  It’s definitely worth the investment in printer ink.
  • A lot of tracking is available for free when you print out your shipping label at home. Be sure to include this information for the customer, so that they can keep track of their item.  But you should also be keeping track to make sure that your product is getting where it’s supposed to on time.  If you monitor your service carrier you can more effectively calculate what your shipping needs are and even what kind of a discount you could be getting from them.
  • I like to include a business card or some other gift or note when I send off a package. I want to connect with my customer, recognizing that even though we will probably never meet face to face I still think they are important and I want to thank them for their business.  This tends to bring back repeat business and helps for being recommended to others.