04/15/2018 at 10:05 am #37649
Items in the store are all over the place in size, weight, and often I find myself searching for an appropriate box – or making them out of other boxes and loose cardboard. Sad news is that sometimes this takes forever – really impacting efficiency. Even worse, it has led to a very bad habit of saving, scavenging, heck, even BUYING odd sized boxes – and SAVING THEM.
Guilty of cutting down regular boxes to shave off an ounce or two. And packing materials can quickly take over the space. Not to mention running out of dunnage just when a box needs to be stuffed.
At least always get great marks for secure and fast shipping!
Was using the seal-a-meal to re-inflate sealed air pillows today – works great but seriously – yikes!
For those of you shipping odd sized (its always the 13″ long item when you have plenty of 12″ boxes), or large objects – run into this kind of issue?
Where do you store your large boxes? how large of a stock do you keep on hand? Does anyone else cut up boxes to fit or save on weight?
04/15/2018 at 11:47 am #37657
Oh yes, I can relate to this question. I save most of the boxes that come into my home.
I keep the large broken down ones in an out of the way area behind a shelf in my basement. They take up about 3′ square. The smaller ones are above my freezer also broken down and in a large box.
I do send them out to the recyclables sometimes. I’ll try to post a photo or two.
- This reply was modified 4 days, 23 hours ago by Sue Saving.
04/15/2018 at 11:53 am #37659
- Location: Virginia
Like sue, we save lots of weird sized boxes. We break the down and stack them.
But you bring up a good point about how much work it takes to pack and ship weird sized items. This is why some sellers just deal with items that can be shipped in a poly mailer. They dont want the hassle.
But we like to ship anything and everything. There’s a lot of money to be made if you enjoy shipping. Ryanne (thank god) enjoys the challenge.
04/15/2018 at 12:28 pm #37662
So Cal JoeParticipant
Yes, selling large or oversize items, is clearly a choice.
The more often you cut and resize boxes, the better you’ll be at it.
I used a metal straight edge (1/2 of a yardstick) and a small pairing knife. I resize a lot of boxes, sometimes just to save my packing materials.
New boxes are the easiest to work with and store. Having known sizes also means you don’t have to go on the hunt, searching and checking.
I buy cheap packing tape in bulk, so how much I use, is never an issue.
Whenever possible, I use newspaper to pack with, but have a variety of supplies, bubble wrap, stretch wrap styrofoam etc. They all take up space.
Life is about choices..
04/15/2018 at 12:31 pm #37663
- Location: Naples, Fl
I can relate to all very well except I never used the seal a meal air pillows that you mentioned.
Everything you mention I did and do. Shipping efficiency is a work in progress unless you have a large space devoted to it and can stock a dozen different sized boxes, sliding each size into those metal upright frame organizers, like the ones we dream about that Uline carries. Then you would have to add the large sturdy craft type table, the massive bubble wrap rollers wall mounted in two sizes and the giant packing peanut bags hanging down from overhead. Finish it off with one of those long wall mounted plastic wrap rolls.
As scavengers this is a dream but an obscene dream, unless you have tons of amazing in demand higher end stuff sitting in a temp controlled room next to your shipping space. Then we could justify! So we share the shipping agonies that you mentioned and then wear like badges of honor! Here is a recent example of shipping woe and solution.
I found for free a Couple of dozen old wooden typesetter trays. I Started selling them on eBay and etsy for $65.00 each, blowing away the competition. I did not mind a lower price since my cost was zero and I had many. When they sold, it took forever to make or scavenge boxes for these things, measuring a flatish 32″ X 18″ and fragile.
I stopped listing them, purchased boxes to fit, raised my price to $85 and life was much merrier when one of these sold! I have one left sitting at now $95.00, a couple of more on deck, but out of boxes. So I will list them as I run into the right size boxes scavenger mode. I’m not purchasing anymore since you buy 12 of these big boxes at a time, and when will I stumble again into free typesetter trays!
Now, if I purchase the larger odd size item, I insure that it will be worth the time, packing material, and effort boxing it. I will find and fit a box before listing.
Sometimes I purchase packing material, and certainly go for the free boxes on eBay to Store Owners, especially during busy times. I cannot get over scavenging the free packing materials and boxes however. Like I mentioned earlier, things would really have to change for me to tighten and sweeten things up for myself shipping wise. Or I would have to be selling full time, maybe.
04/15/2018 at 12:44 pm #37666
So Cal JoeParticipant
There is a local company that sells the huge rolls of bubble wrap for a reasonable price. At first, I didn’t want to spend the money, but it is just so convenient and takes up such little space that it’s a homerun.
I get a discount if I buy them four at a time for $88.00 total out the door. Last time I did this, I resold two of them for $35 each. My net cost was $18 for 1500 sq feet plus gas and time.
I also have a dedicated shipping area. It’s a must if you’re dealing with volume and anything other than small easy items.
04/15/2018 at 12:54 pm #37667
I’ve also started using huge bubble mailers for large items that don’t need to be boxed. Although they aren’t free, they do save time.
These are the ones that I’ve bought.
04/15/2018 at 12:59 pm #37670
- Location: Naples, Fl
So Cal Joe
Some great points. I do have a local contact for much better priced rolls of bubble wrap, much better priced than what Walmart carries and what you would find online. I like your deal though! As for space, my garage would be fine if I could store inventory elsewhere. I rented a 10 X 10 temp control storage two minutes away a couple of months ago to handle a large buyout. Even at $200 a month (I’m in SW Fl), I may keep it. Big issue is it closes at 10:00pm, so what to do if an item sells after closing and I cannot get to it? I go for the 24 hour shipping, and with a regular job, I would get jammed. I am growing however so… Choices, trade offs, sacrifices, and decisions! Nobody gets to have it ALL!
04/16/2018 at 10:28 am #37754
A thousand thanks – y’all are great.
It is so good to know you’re not alone!
Good advice from all, my boxing set up is a large cloth cutting board with grid from Joanne fabrics, metal carpenters square ( 24″ x 16″), 3′ metal straightedge yardstick, utility knives, tape measures, markers and the almighty hot glue gun!
Should probably get a franchise for a FedEx or ups store for elegant storage of all these supplies!
And of course today have to pack a very large building set and had 2 saved boxes that were about 1/2″ off in every dimension. Off to the cutting board.
PS Sam’s club has sheets of flat cardboard from between product and they encourage people to take any extra boxes.
Still hard to store!
Sincere thanks to the Scavenger Life forum!
04/20/2018 at 4:04 am #38012
I was able to acquire more than 75 various sized, heavy duty moving boxes, along with all of the packaging paper for free on Craigslist. It took me driving 40 minutes to get them, breaking them all down, putting the packaging paper in bags, and three trips to haul everything in my pickup. It has been well worth the effort. I’ll have enough packaging paper for all that I’ll ship this entire year. I store the paper in 33 gallon black plastic lawn and leaf bags. All of those are stuffed into two Gaylord boxes and covered with a tarp under my carport. I store an assortment of the boxes at my house and the rest are in a storage locker about 10 minutes away. I keep a list of what sizes I have in storage, what each box weighs when totally stuffed with paper, and I use that list to help me whenever I am guesstimating the shipping charges for eBay listings.
04/20/2018 at 9:45 am #38020
I also picked up a carload (literally) of trash bags filled with moving paper that I found free on Craigslist. After returning home, I did my best to flatten each sheet of paper and stack for a smaller storage footprint. It was a big job, but every time I grab one of those sheets, I’m grateful that I grabbed it. Used to use newspaper and it was so messy.
04/20/2018 at 10:58 am #38029
This is a kind of therapy. Have flattened out crinkled paper (yep, even after Christmas morning) and stored it, and piled cardboard everywhere. Good to know I am not nuts, eh?
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