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Materials guide for LEGO selling & shipping including postage box sizes

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This is really good advice.  I have been recipient of 15 x 10.3 x 2.8 sets (very common size LEGO box) squeezed into 15.3 x 12.4 x 3 inch Priority boxes and, while they fit, they do not hold up well during transit.  I'd only go down this path if you're selling an already damaged box.  
Then it's not packaged properly if it's getting damaged in a sturdy PM USPS box.
Remember air space is your enemy.

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52 minutes ago, pstebbing said:

Then it's not packaged properly if it's getting damaged in a sturdy PM USPS box.
Remember air space is your enemy.

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Yes, save/buy craft paper. It's worth its weight in satisfied customers. Bubblewrap as a second- or case-specific choice.

But that mostly helps with preventing the edges from collapsing which isn't the main risk. The sides of USPS PM boxes are thinner and less tear/puncture resistant. There's only so much good cushioning is going to do against that versus using a heavier corrugated box.

Again, depends on risk tolerance.

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Just ran out of ink for my printer. Had some cartridges stocked up, but I had three faulty ones in a row apparently. I am done with Greencycle remanufactured cartridges. Just dropped cash on some hp cartridges in target to get some shipments out...and am now looking for a better source. Any remanufactured inkjet cartridge recommendations here?

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Yes, save/buy craft paper. It's worth its weight in satisfied customers. Bubblewrap as a second- or case-specific choice.
But that mostly helps with preventing the edges from collapsing which isn't the main risk. The sides of USPS PM boxes are thinner and less tear/puncture resistant. There's only so much good cushioning is going to do against that versus using a heavier corrugated box.
Again, depends on risk tolerance.

I think the USPS Flat Rate Board game box is the perfect size for a number of long sets, like X-Wing or U-Wing. It sucks that it is $17+, but wrapping in a single layer of bubble wrap works well for me!


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8 minutes ago, Mark Twain said:
31 minutes ago, mizeur said:
Yes, save/buy craft paper. It's worth its weight in satisfied customers. Bubblewrap as a second- or case-specific choice.
But that mostly helps with preventing the edges from collapsing which isn't the main risk. The sides of USPS PM boxes are thinner and less tear/puncture resistant. There's only so much good cushioning is going to do against that versus using a heavier corrugated box.
Again, depends on risk tolerance.

I think the USPS Flat Rate Board game box is the perfect size for a number of long sets, like X-Wing or U-Wing. It sucks that it is $17+, but wrapping in a single layer of bubble wrap works well for me!


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24x16x4 boxes will pay for themselves in this case. 

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14 minutes ago, minicoopers11 said:

24x16x4 boxes will pay for themselves in this case. 

Yup. Flate rate boxes are usually only economical if they provide savings because of weight and/or zone.

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2 hours ago, minicoopers11 said:

Just ran out of ink for my printer. Had some cartridges stocked up, but I had three faulty ones in a row apparently. I am done with Greencycle remanufactured cartridges. Just dropped cash on some hp cartridges in target to get some shipments out...and am now looking for a better source. Any remanufactured inkjet cartridge recommendations here?

 

I switched to a thermal printer this year, and highly recommend it if you do a lot of shipping/labeling.

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15 hours ago, minicoopers11 said:

Just ran out of ink for my printer. Had some cartridges stocked up, but I had three faulty ones in a row apparently. I am done with Greencycle remanufactured cartridges. Just dropped cash on some hp cartridges in target to get some shipments out...and am now looking for a better source. Any remanufactured inkjet cartridge recommendations here?

I get all my toner from Ink Technologies, I've never had a problem 

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31 minutes ago, zaphoid said:

I get all my toner from Ink Technologies, I've never had a problem 

If you have a print option that works well and is cheap...make sure to stock up; ink and toner will always be there..but the printer may not be.

I had a workhorse laser brother printer for 7 years..always a generic toner available for a 5th (or less) of regular price. Long story short, the printer finally broke down...so i try ot get a replacement...no go (they stopped making those years ago and the new models do NOT allow the cheap generic)..so I check ebay and my original printer cost 10x RRP...and THIS is the "dance" the printer manufacturer and 3rd party ink/toner cartridge companies are doin...and I'll tell you right now pretty much anything made recently (last 5 years) do not work "well" w/ generics. Everything has a chip in it nowadays... If I knew what I knew now, I would have bought 5 of those Brothers machines which would have lasted me the life of my career. 

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Guest TabbyBoy
1 minute ago, $20 on joe vs dan said:

If you have a print option that works well and is cheap...make sure to stock up; ink and toner will always be there..but the printer may not be.

I had a workhorse laser brother printer for 7 years..always a generic toner available for a 5th (or less) of regular price. Long story short, the printer finally broke down...so i try ot get a replacement...no go (they stopped making those years ago and the new models do NOT allow the cheap generic)..so I check ebay and my original printer cost 10x RRP...and THIS is the "dance" the printer manufacturer and 3rd party ink/toner cartridge companies are doin...and I'll tell you right now pretty much anything made recently (last 5 years) do not work "well" w/ generics. Everything has a chip in it nowadays... If I knew what I knew now, I would have bought 5 of those Brothers machines which would have lasted me the life of my career. 

I have a Brother MFC-J5910DW and I had a mate to "re-engineer" the print driver so that I could use Office World ink from Amazon at £10 for 12 cartridges (3 each of CMYK). I've not had a problem in over 3 years. There's ways to bypass HP too, just Google it. Of course, I always use genuine ink while under warranty.

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1 hour ago, TabbyBoy said:

I have a Brother MFC-J5910DW and I had a mate to "re-engineer" the print driver so that I could use Office World ink from Amazon at £10 for 12 cartridges (3 each of CMYK). I've not had a problem in over 3 years. There's ways to bypass HP too, just Google it. Of course, I always use genuine ink while under warranty.

never thought of hacking into the software...

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16 hours ago, SpaceFan9 said:

I switched to a thermal printer this year, and highly recommend it if you do a lot of shipping/labeling.

So this ^...no more ink/toner, just the rolls of labels. No tape or cutting half sheet labels to fit. Plus, looks a lot more professional.
Must've had mine a year now and kicking myself for not going that route sooner.

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20 hours ago, pstebbing said:

Then it's not packaged properly if it's getting damaged in a sturdy PM USPS box.
Remember air space is your enemy.

I disagree about 95% with this.

The flatter USPS PM boxes are THIN. They don't even have an edge compression strength, they are so thin (yeah there is a number no doubt but they make 0 claim to it, what does that tell you?). So to be clear I am not talking about the more cubic shaped ones, those are pretty heavy duty, but don't really fit most Lego boxes that well.

So sliding a set for which condition is important into a nice close-fitting flat free USPS PM box, no matter how you wrap the thing (unless wrapping it in a cardboard type "shell" that will substitute as a second box vs. compression) will not protect it from the normal wear and tear of being handled, stacked, gently tossed, dropped, let alone any real abuse. And the tighter you pack it, the easier it is for it to get damaged due to compression. In fact, a stronger box with more dead space above and below the set is better, because compression is going to happen no matter what. Bubble wrap and most filler are only good for keeping a Lego box from clattering around and sustaining minor corner / edge damage in a box that is significantly bigger. Think about the trucks, guys. Your little 16x10x3 Lego set could be near the bottom of a 10' high stack of packages weighing hundreds of pounds, rocking back and forth for hours, hopping up and down across dirt roads, speed bumps, potholes, curbs, wildlife, whatever the case may be. That box is going to yield - and we all know there is plenty of space inside the Lego box, so guess what? once the outer box touches the Lego box, the force is transmitted to the Lego box and the item starts to become damaged. Common scenario is when a heavier, smaller box is put on top of these flat PM boxes, and the edge of the heavy box nearest the weaker middle section of your box grinds it's way down into both the PM cardboard and the Lego set over time. Bubble wrap and packing paper won't do anything significant to prevent this.

I worked in a UPS hub as a package unloader for a year in college. I am a collector of very nice condition Lego sets, with 7 years experience analyzing hundreds of packaging jobs from other sellers, about 2/3 of which have been inadequate, and about half of those got away with it, through dumb luck... and I sell to all kinds of customers - those who care about condition and those who don't. The ones who do care have been seriously impressed with how I protect their purchase. I see it from all angles, and I'm telling you:

 

DON'T USE FREE FLAT USPS PM BOXES IF YOU NEED TO REALLY PROTECT A SET.

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I agree that those flat, rectangular, free USPS Priority Mail boxes are terrible and frequently get crushed in transit. The square-ish ones are normally fine though.

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Grynn is absolutely correct when packing sets. Brickpicker has a video on shipping on their YouTube channel.

In my opinion, packing an item correctly is the most important thing. The second most important thing to do, is NEVER sell to collectors! They are the worst and I would rather not make a sale then sell to them🤫

If my items are mint, I will never disclose that. Typically, if I have multiple sets I find a box that has a crease or two to deter collectors from buying from me. ALWAYS include a description that states “that you may not receive the item in the picture, but all of them are in about the same condition. They do have shelf ware and DO NOT purchase from me if you are expecting a mint box.”

If any have damaged more then typical shelf ware then make another listing.

 

No seller ever wants to have to actually communicate with a buyer. I believe, more people are likely to contact you for negative reasons rather then positive ones. The fear of returns, complaints, and negative feedback are real for every item shipped.

97cc88ef08a3c9d73947c314a55980b5.jpg

 

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4 hours ago, lodibricks said:

So this ^...no more ink/toner, just the rolls of labels. No tape or cutting half sheet labels to fit. Plus, looks a lot more professional.
Must've had mine a year now and kicking myself for not going that route sooner.

Yeah, as soon as I read the first response I kind of kicked myself. I know about thermal printers, I just didn’t, well, THINK about it. Maybe it’s time!

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I must say I re-use as many boxes as I can get my hands on making sure the clean of any old labels or tape, re-securing both bottom and top and at times the sides if needed. I feel recycling is important and I dont think if done properly it looks unprofessional. Also even if the box is a bit bigger 9/10 times it wont bump you into a higher price point for shipping. I don agree with limiting pillows as much as possible but I do use them and they work well if you dont over stuff the box. Less is more.............:thumbsu:

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Might be old news, but I'd never seen them before.
I recently ran out of the common 11x8x4 size shipping boxes and saw Walmart has their own branded shipping boxes in-store for 62 cents each.
Decent if in a pinch or don't need bundles of 25+.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Pen-Gear-Pg-11-Ship-Box/909774291
Note: If you're hesitant to have "Walmart" labeling on your boxes, that flap should be hidden once folded and taped into box shape.

image.thumb.png.a7baa911fa957742a67de36ac8219ecc.png

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So, Staples is having a sale on several shipping boxes.  They are also allowing you bundle the sale with a Buy $100/save $20 and $200/$40. Thanks to odysea I was able to put together a small (but not encompassing) list of boxes you might wish to pick up. You have to spend $50 to get free shipping but it might be worth it: 

 12 8 3 - https://www.staples.com/12-L-x-8-W-x-4-H-Shipping-Boxes-32-ECT-Brown-25-Bundle-BS120804/product_557502
20 12 4or3 - not available but I did find a 12 high box - https://www.staples.com/20-L-x-12-W-x-12-H-Shipping-Boxes-32-ECT-Brown-20-Bundle-BS201212/product_411827
24 12 4 - found a 6 high - https://www.staples.com/24-L-x-12-W-x-6-H-Multi-Depth-Shipping-Boxes-32-ECT-Brown-25-Bundle-BS241206MD/product_2647440
24 20 6 - not available 

16 12 4or3 - https://www.staples.com/16-L-x-12-W-x-4-H-Shipping-Boxes-32-ECT-Brown-25-Bundle-PRA0086/product_426309

in addition I found these: 

8 6 4 - https://www.staples.com/8-L-x-6-W-x-4-H-Shipping-Boxes-32-ECT-Brown-25-Bundle-PRA0016/product_481792

16 x 12 x 4 - https://www.staples.com/16-L-x-12-W-x-4-H-Shipping-Boxes-32-ECT-Brown-25-Bundle-PRA0086/product_426309

Hope this helps!

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Shipping to the west coast is getting ridiculous. I have a couple non lego items I want to sell on ebay and figured I would sell them as a lot.  The dimensions of the box 14.5 x 11 x 16.  The 2 items (star wars dolls) take up most of the box and weigh about 4lbs total.  Shipping via usps to California would be $50.  Is there something I am missing?  This seems ridiculous.  I am in MI.

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Shipping to the west coast is getting ridiculous. I have a couple non lego items I want to sell on ebay and figured I would sell them as a lot.  The dimensions of the box 14.5 x 11 x 16.  The 2 items (star wars dolls) take up most of the box and weigh about 4lbs total.  Shipping via usps to California would be $50.  Is there something I am missing?  This seems ridiculous.  I am in MI.
I agree. I think USPS started factoring in dimensional weight into their prices this month. Every item I have shipped to the west coast has been cheaper using UPS lately.

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Shipping to the west coast is getting ridiculous. I have a couple non lego items I want to sell on ebay and figured I would sell them as a lot.  The dimensions of the box 14.5 x 11 x 16.  The 2 items (star wars dolls) take up most of the box and weigh about 4lbs total.  Shipping via usps to California would be $50.  Is there something I am missing?  This seems ridiculous.  I am in MI.
I agree. I think USPS started factoring in dimensional weight into their prices this month. Every item I have shipped to the west coast has been cheaper using UPS lately.

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Shortbus311 said:

I agree. I think USPS started factoring in dimensional weight into their prices this month. Every item I have shipped to the west coast has been cheaper using UPS lately.

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I agree. I think USPS started factoring in dimensional weight into their prices this month. Every item I have shipped to the west coast has been cheaper using UPS lately.

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It is literally cheaper to ship to separate boxes than combine into one package.  Fedex looks to be a lot cheaper but I have never used them to ship before. Check that about fedex, they just give me a huge discount but the buyer would still pay a lot.

Edited by stackables

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, iahawks550 said:

Staples still has some nice deals on boxes with an easy $20 off $100. Many popular sizes are 50% off.

thanks for this.  I was ready to drop much more than this on a lot fewer boxes just 2 days ago.

Edited by zaphoid

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