There are many aspects to being a great seller, whether you trade via sites like eBay or run your own home business; not only do you have to offer customers the right product, you have to make sure it arrives to them in a way that means they will happily do business with you again. Unfortunately, this can mean lots of boxes and packing materials, which, if you are not careful, can cost a lot of money. The following tips on free packing supplies are designed to help you find that ideal mid-way point between great packaging and low cost.
Finding the right box
Let's start with the most important aspect of all: something to put the item in. Free boxes can be easily found from a range of sources, from workplaces and different shops to helpful friends and neighbors. Shoe boxes are in great supply and a great medium size, but if you need something smaller then glasses boxes from opticians are ideal. The strength of the box may be a concern if it has already been flattened and used but just remember that wine shops and book stores tend to have stronger boxes with bases that are more secure. Recycling bins can be great too – one man's rubbish bin is another's treasure chest – but they may be seen a last resort depending on their condition. If it is exposed to the elements then it is best to move on but if it is safe and dry, say part of the recycling scheme in your apartment building, there is no harm in reusing them.
Be creative with the free packing supplies
Again, family and friends can be a big help if you ask them to save their own packaging, even if that simply means they bag up the foam peanuts from their latest purchase. Failing that, furniture stores and offices can be great source of unwanted packing materials on a larger scale; you could buy a bulk roll of bubblewrap at a reasonable discount but there is just as good a chance that these establishments will have just as much going free. Alternatively, you could think outside the box – excuse the pun – for materials that will provide just as much security without breaking the bank. We all desperately save newspapers when we are moving so why not here, especially when a buyer is unlikely to care if their item is wrapped in plastic or last week's sport's section as long as it is intact.
An extra touch to seal the deal
One final tip to add in here, before highlighting the golden rules, is to save paper so you can write little thank you notes to the customer, such as from the backs of envelopes. Not only will this add a friendly, personal touch that the buyer will appreciate, it may help you if you are feeling a little guilty for cutting corners.
Those final, golden rules on free packing supplies
#1 – Check all your possible sources. There is no harm in asking your kid's school for items that will be thrown out if you have a good relationship with them and you may be surprised by some store policies.
#2 – Be creative with materials that are around. The most important qualities are that it is free and it is secure, not how conventional it is.
#3 – Be aware of balancing low cost with decent quality. A moldy, torn box full of smelly foam or soiled papers is unlikely to bring buyers back!!
#4 - Christmas and birthday parties are your friends. Save all gift wraps and re-use them!
Remember, there is nothing wrong with free packing supplies: you are not only saving money (and can pass the savings to your buyers) you also help mother nature!
What's your favorite Free Packing Supplies tip?