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.