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Best Packing Materials 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated December 1, 2018
Best Packing Materials of 2018
The best packing materials will make your fairytale dreams come true! I’ve based my selection methodology on customer feedback, the size, functionality, and budget to meet various demands. I review the three best packing materials on the market at the moment. You can make a choice based on the my list as you shop.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this packing materials win the first place?
I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days.
Why did this packing materials come in second place?
The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice.
Why did this packing materials take third place?
It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. We are very pleased with the purchase — the product is great!
Packing Materials Buyer’s Guide
An adequate amount of bubble wrap will provide a surprising amount of protection by distributing pressure and impact across a wide area. Bubble wrap does two important jobs: 1) cushions the art in the event of impact 2) fills empty space, preventing unwanted movement within your packaging. For these reasons, bubble wrap should be your padding and filler of choice.
Garbage bin bags
You don’t want your artwork associated with garbage, so DON’T use garbage bin bags to pack it. You want your collector to remain absolutely confident in their decision to purchase your work. Using items like garbage bin bags, second-hand filler, or other items not intended for shipping artwork will, more often than not, leave a bad impression on art collectors.
Keep Your Customer Informed
Communicating clearly with your customer throughout the order process is arguably as important as how you pack your items. For starters, set clear expectations about how long it will take you to prepare and ship an order within your item’s processing times. For example, if it takes three days to personalize, package and ship an item, and it takes the postal carrier three to five days to deliver, you’ll need to communicate to customers that it will take up to eight business days to receive their purchases.
Make sure your shop policies spell out whether you’ll accept returns and exchanges. If so, explain who is responsible for shipping costs and the length of the return window. “I’ve also added FAQs to address common inquiries about things like overnight shipping, cancellations and what happens if a customer supplies a wrong address,” explains Julia. “And I’ll update my FAQs and policies if I think of something I haven’t covered.”
When your item sells, the customer receives an email, which includes your Message to Buyers if you’ve written one. After you’ve shipped the order, notify the customer that the item is en route. You can do this quickly by going to Your shop > Orders > Orders. Click the Mark as Shipped button next to the appropriate order, which will send a notification to the buyer. When possible, it’s helpful to provide tracking information, so buyers can monitor their item’s progress and troubleshoot any delivery issues directly with the carrier. If you’re worried about the additional cost sometimes associated with the service, consider offering tracking as a shipping upgrade, so buyers can choose to pay the additional cost if tracking is a priority.
Pack Your Order
Once your item sells, it’s time to ship the order safely and securely. In addition to packing materials like bubble wrap, adding a few other ingredients will make the package feel more complete and professional. Many sellers like to include a packing slip and a quick thank-you note for the buyer. (If you have a business card or other branded material that includes your shop name, you can include those, too.)
While you’re likely familiar with the general packing process, it’s important to take additional care when shipping more delicate items. “Writing ‘Fragile’ or ‘Do Not Bend’ means nothing if a 25-pound box falls off a belt onto your package — and it will,” cautions Julia. She suggests double boxing fragile items in order to leave “crush room,” filling the space in between the boxes with packing peanuts mixed with newspaper. Similarly, Donna recommends leaving at least 2” of padding on all sides of fragile items once in their container.
If you’re shipping an unusually sized item, consider customizing your own box using cardboard, a knife and packing tape. Read How to Ship Anything for more tips on building your own boxes and shipping oversized items.
How to choose packaging tape
Packing tapes generally have two applications: sealing storage boxes and sealing shipping boxes. It makes a difference what kind of tape you use in either case. There are three factors to consider when choosing your packaging tape:
Tape dispenser size
Your packaging tape roll needs to be the right size for your dispenser.
This Packaging Tape Buying Guide will help you find the best packaging tape for your office.
Do you need packaging tape for storage boxes or shipping boxes?
Acrylic packing tape is your best bet for storage boxes. Acrylic adhesive can handle a variety of temperatures and setting, including warehouses, garages and storage facilities. Plus, acrylic packaging tape can maintain it seal for more than three years.
Hot melt shipping tape is the best for shipping boxes because of its superior holding power. Shipping boxes are typically subjected to rough handling in transit. Hot melt packaging tape ensures your boxes stay sealed. You can also use hot melt tape to strap boxes together.
The five golden rules
We have written this guide and are sending it to you absolutely free of charge because – you guessed it – we believe that if you are in posession of all the facts you will understand why Admiral’s Yard Self Storage is probably the best choice for you – assuming that we have one of our storage facilities in your area.
Now established for over ten years, we have served and gained the loyalty of thousands of customers who are themselves the best advert for our business – some have been with us for years, some just a few months and many we know well use us again and again – we must be doing something right!
How to get the most for your money
The fact is that most of the time when people start using self storage, they find it so good that they rent their unit for longer than they expected to. This means that when you make your initial choice of which company to use, you need to remember that your total cost of storage might be more than you expect – price is therefore very very important. Make sure that unless you already know the company, get more than one price.
Avoid the loading bay rules
If you are using a professional removal company they will probably be charging a minimum of £4per hour. Loading an average 80 sq ft self storage unit via a loading bay – unloading the van, filling a trolley, probably using a lift and then a walk to your own unit can take up to hrs – that’s a minimum of £90 and that assumes that trolleys are available and that the lifts are not busy, under maintenance or even worse out of action.
At Admiral’s Yard Self Storage you can unload your van directly into your own unit in a maximum of 30 minutes and usually a lot less.
Avoid flashy showrooms and overpriced boxes and packing materials
Everyone who has even vaguely considered using self storage will have noticed the large number of expensive looking self storage buildings which have sprung up in our towns and cities over the last few years. It does not take much thought to realise that these companies are backed by big business and making huge profits from your pockets.
Some companies make a very substantial part of their profits from selling cardboard boxes and packaging materials at hugely inflated prices
At Admiral’s Yard Self Storage we recognise that packaging materials can be very useful and although we advise customers to try to source their boxes free from supermarkets or electronics retailers, we try to keep the cost of our materials to a minimum as a service to our customers.
How self storage works
Self storage is an easy way for people to store their belongings in a clean and secure environment. It can normally be taken either long term or short term dependant on your needs. Many people use self storage for a variety of reasons. Some people want to simply reduce the amount of clutter at home; others might be moving house and can’t take all their belongings, while other people might use the storage as part of their business needs. The number of applications for self storage is extensive. The customer is normally responsible for moving in and locking their own unit. In general you will supply your own padlock and keep all the keys. This way only you will have access to the unit. Access to your belongings will vary from company to company with some offering 24/access.
Eagle Creek Pack-it Specter Full Cube 3pc Set
The specter range of Packing Cubes from Eagle Creek take their original pack-it range and make them ultralight and ideal for times when you need to pack even lighter like hiking or carry-on luggage.
Made using a 30D Silnylon Ripstop fabric these cubes are durable, light weight and also water repellent and compress the contents of your travel bag or suitcase when zipped. Specter Compression set is also available which adds even more compression by using a secondary zip system.
The Specter starter set offers a Specter cube, half cube and medium garment folder which is a perfect entry into the world of packing cubes and available in a range of colors. Each of these offer a Quick-grip handle making it easy to remove the cube from your bag.
This garment folder is 1x 1inches (4 x 30 cm) and includes a folding instruction board which is used to help folder your t shirts or shirts prior to packing. After you have folded all your shirts the edges of the folder join together to compress your luggage further. This is a great idea and very useful.
Also included in the Specter starter set are x Specter Cube which is 1x x inch (3x 25.x cm) and great for bigger items as well as the Specter Half Cube x x inches (24.x 1x 8cm) which is ideal for socks and smaller garments.
Eagle Creek packing cubes have become the household name and was was the first brand we looked at when researching the best pacing cubes and organizers. They offer some of the most popular cubes including their Pack-it and lightweight Specter models. They are a little more expensive than some of the competing models but are well made and a great choice.
The online store eBags have been selling all types of luggage online since 199and offer a great range of packing organizers including cubes and compression bags.
Sea to Summit
Sea to Summit also sell a great range of travel gear and various options when you are looking for packing cubes and organizers.
Pro Packing Cubes Pro Packing Cubes are slightly different to the other brands listed as they specialize in Packing Cubes only and offer a wide range of styles and designs. back to menu ↑ back to menu ↑
Another compression option to consider are actual compression bags similar to the
Travel Space Saver Bags. These bags work by using a one-way valve at the end of the bag, to use you just zip the bags and roll. The rolling of the bag causes the excess air to escape out of the valve and shrinks the volume of the contents by anywhere from 50- to 80%. These are incredibly useful for jackets or for storing clothing in an attic or basement over along period of time. back to menu ↑ back to menu ↑
Valley Box demonstrates what is possible beyond just the typical wooden box. This specialty packaging manufacturer works with a wide variety of materials from wood to plastic, corrugate, metals and more. Discover how to take specialty packaging to the next level.
Techlite Diamond Nylon
Talk about spoiled for choice for color. These eBags packing cubes are not only backed by a well-known brand, but they also come in a bajillion different colors. If you’re like me and color is everything, then you’ll love these packing cubes.
These are advertised as being made out of “Techlite Diamond Nylon.” If you ask me, it sounds pretty fantastic and sturdy. Also, if you’re not much of a crazy packer, three of these packing cubes should do the trick for a weekend trip. These cubes are enclosed with double zippers to make getting in and getting out fast and efficient.
So, if you’re the type that does judge books by their cover, this is a book you won’t want to take your nose out. Check out the color options and see for yourself!
If you’re the type who has a hard time with overpacking, these are the best packing cubes for you. This set is a seriously mondo set that comes with plenty of different organizers to keep your things tidy and in place. Also, it comes with a separate shoe bag and laundry bag to keep your dirty items away from the clean ones.
The packing cubes themselves are made of thick polyester that is tear resistant and water proof. The packing cubes also have a mesh front so you can easily find what you’re looking for. For your viewing peleausure, the cubes come in five different patterned colors to choose from.
B. How Many Products Do You Estimate Shipping
This can be very difficult to determine in the beginning. This is something that can be done after a few months of baseline sales are established. Once baseline sales figures are gathered more accurate forecasts can be made. We recommend forecasting out sales and production levels for two to five years in six month increments.
For established sellers, an estimate in the number of products being snew and shipped is much easier to obtain. Looking at past sales figures will allow easier and more accurate forecasting.
Proper and accurate sales and shipping forecasts are important for future purchases. Accurate shipping and sales forecasts can save money by ordering materials in bulk. The right machinery can save time and increase efficiency. In Part 6 and below, we will explain in detail the benefits of bulk packaging material purchases and the proper machinery.
C. What Commonly Bundled Items Ship Together
This can be another difficult question to answer if only beginning to sell online. Knowing common complimentary products that often ship together will help determine the right packaging materials to buy and what carrier to ship with. The ability to ship two separate products as one saves on shipping costs.
If there are clearly defined sales records of two products often being shipped together, an exterior box to accommodate both products should be invested in. If there are two products often shipped together but vary in size, there are a few packaging options to consider below. • Corrugated Boxes – The most popular and preferred way to bundle multiple products together. Corrugated boxes can be printed on to increase company branding and advertising.
The main drawback of corrugated boxes are costs. Purchasing enough boxes to accommodate a variety of complimentary products can be costly. Boxes too large do not offer the best presentation and can cause damage in shipping without proper void-fill. • Strapping – Aside from corrugated boxes, strapping is one of the most common ways to bundle one or more products. We recommend checking UPS strapping guidelines before sending strapped products. FedEx and USPS do not allow exterior strapping. • Shrink Wrapping – An excellent option for bundling multiple products together. Bundling multiple products together with shrink wrap saves on shipping costs and presents a professional looking package upon arrival to the customer. Shrink wrapping is accepted by FedEx, UPS, and USPS as long as the bundled boxes are uniform.
We recommend nothing less than a 100 gauge shrink wrap thickness for polyolefin shrink wrap and up to a mil polyethylene shrink wrap depending on the size and weight of the products being bundled together. • Tape – An affordable bundling option for lighter uniform products. Taping two or more boxes together does not offer the best presentation, but does get the job done. We recommend tape if there are no other options available.
UPS is the second most popular shipping carrier. They offer better options for shipping expedited packages and are often more reliable that USPS. Below are some helpful links for shipping UPS. • An All-Inclusive Guide For Shipping UPS – A long 18page guide for shipping UPS. Includes everything in detail needed to ship UPS. • UPS Packaging Guidelines – A real brief explanation of UPS packaging guidelines. • A Step-by-Step Packaging Guide From UPS – A multi-page packaging guide for preparing shipments to ship via UPS
C. Fed Ex • An All-Inclusive Guide For Packaging FedEx Shipments – A 4page guide detailing how to package products for shipment when shipping FedEx. • FedEx Restrictions – Since FedEx is often used by sellers to ship international, becoming familiar with international shipping restrictions is important.
D. DHL • General Shipping and Packaging Page – A general page with several different links for packaging and shipping via DHL. • Prohibited Products for International Shipping – A long list of items DHL will not ship internationally.
B. Secondary Packaging
Secondary packaging is often the first line of protection for a product. For retail brick-and-mortar sales, secondary packaging can be a variety of materials. For online sales, corrugated cardboard is the most commonly used form of secondary packaging.
Corrugated boxes are the most frequently used form of secondary packaging because they provide protection during transport by major carriers. The shipping guidelines for the four major carriers we linked to in part all require a corrugated box for the exterior packaging.
The type of corrugated boxes and the option of customization are important for a seller to consider. This is discussed in further detail in part – A. The external box or envelope is the very first thing customers see when the package is delivered.
We recommend printed boxes if viable, but a good looking, more affordable alternative is branded stickers. Branded stickers with company logos, contact information, and any additional information are inexpensive. Below are a couple online sticker companies to consider. • Sticker Giant • Sticker Mule • Sticker You
One more thing to consider when discussing secondary packaging; secondary packaging is any packaging that is not primary packaging. The external box is secondary packaging, but often sellers use a chipboard carton or something similar within an external corrugated box as another form of secondary packaging. This container can be branded as well to enhance the customer experience and increase brand awareness.
Void-fill is used to fill the empty spaces within the secondary packaging. It works as a shock absorber and cushion to protect products during transport. Probably the two most well-known forms of void-fill are: packaging peanuts, and bubble wrap. Though these two are the best known, there are many other options available.
So why is void-fill included in presentation and branding? The type of void-fill a seller chooses should not contradict the brand and the message being presented. If a company selling environmentally friendly products is using packaging peanuts as a void-fill option, it is directly contradicting the message the company is sending. If a company is attempting to be the lowest costing product on the market, the lowest costing void-fill would help in accomplishing the message. Below are some void-fill options to consider that may help further the message a company is trying to present.
Foam Packaging Peanuts – Popular low cost option, not environmentally friendly. Bubble Wrap – Air-filled plastic bubbles often available on rolls. Affordable and effective, but not eco-friendly. Starch Packaging Peanuts – Environmentally friendly option often costing more that foam peanuts. Completely biodegradable within months. Kraft Paper – Available in recycled paper and completely biodegradable. An affordable and effective packaging option. Shredded Paper – The repurposing of a product for environmental concerns. An affordable and biodegradable option. Can be messy for customers opening products.
A. Corrugated Packaging Options
Essentially all of the major carriers prefer parcel shipments to be packaged in a corrugated carton. Corrugated containers can be expensive and difficult to source multiple sizes. An easy way to reduce or remove the cost of corrugated containers is shipping via USPS flat rate. The post office allows you to order flat rate boxes online or pick up at a local hub at no cost.
Sometimes flat rate boxes are not an option for shipping and purchasing boxes is the only option. We recommend sourcing corrugated boxes from the closest source possible. Shipping charges for corrugated products often cost as much or more than the cost of the boxes themselves. A local corrugated supplier will save time and money.
A great way to brand shipments is with printed corrugated boxes. If the same box sizes are used often enough, the use of printed boxes can add a professional touch. A plate fee is often required to get started, but costs are fairly reasonable after the initial run depending on quantities ordered. Most local corrugators have printing capabilities to fill large and small orders. The association of Independent corrugated converters has a great directory for finding nearby corrugators that can offer printed box quotes.
B. Mailers and Envelopes
Envelopes and mailers are an inexpensive way to ship smaller products. Determining the best type of mailer or envelope to properly protect products during shipping can be trial and error. We recommend if you are unsure, go with a bubble mailer for added protection. Below are some mailer and envelope options to choose from. • Standard Envelopes – Available in different sizes and colors. Often the cheapest external packaging option for supplies and shipping costs. • Flat Envelopes – Envelopes typically larger than standard envelopes with a variety of closure options available. Flat envelopes are inexpensive in cost and inexpensive to ship.
C. Flexible Packaging • Poly Bags and Tubing – A very popular and common flexible packaging option for sellers. The bags can be sealed, taped, stapled, or come in re-closable form. Poly products are commonly available in thicknesses ranging from 1-mils. Printed poly bags are fairly easy to source to add extra branding to product packaging. • Heat Shrink Film – Available in a variety of forms, thicknesses, materials, and colors. Heat shrink film is used for primary packaging, secondary packaging, and a bundling option. For packaging with direct food contact, polyolefin shrink film is required because it is FDA approved.
Colored shrink film is easier to source in a PVC material. PVC has the same consistency as cellophane prior to heat being applied. For bundling two or more products as explained in section – C a polyethylene or polyolefin shrink film is recommended depending on the size and weight of the products. The polyethylene is required for heavier products with sharp corners. • Vacuum Packaging – An excellent way to preserve and extend the shelf life of perishable items. Vacuum packaging also protects products from moisture, dust, and any other exterior elements.
Vacuum packaging is most often used as a primary packaging. The difference between vacuum packaging and shrink wrapping is the way air is removed from the package. Shrink wrapping uses vent holes in the film to allow air to escape when the film shrinks. The small holes keep shrink wrap from being completely sealed off from exterior elements. Vacuum packaging uses suction to remove air from a package and then seals the package completely from exterior elements.
D. Rigid Containers
Rigid containers can be made of glass, plastic, wood, rubber, and a variety of other materials. Below is a list of popular rigid containers used for primary packaging by online sellers. • Bottles – Plastic or glass, bottles can offer great branding and presentation to customers. Bottles are normally tapered towards the top and are available in many different sizes. • Jars – Like bottles, jars are available in plastic or glass. Jars have a variety of closure options available. Customized Mason Jars are very popular with Etsy sellers. Many Etsy sellers use mason jars for primary packaging as well as sell customized mason jar products
E. Carton Closure
Carton closure often deals with secondary external packaging closure. The most popular carton closure option for online sellers is tape. Tape can come in a variety of forms and is also used for primary package closure as well.
Other carton closure options include: string/twine, strapping, and staples. Below are a couple popular tape varieties and explanations of other carton closure options.
Packing Tape – Clear and tan packing tape are by far the most common packing tape for sellers shipping online. Clear packing tape is most commonly available in and inch widths. There are multiple thicknesses available depending on the product weight and size
Kraft Reinforced Packing Tape – A very popular packaging option for online sellers. Reinforced packing tape use fiberglass yarn to create a strong and durable seal. Reinforced packing tape is most commonly water activated.
String/Twine – Recommended for primary packaging to add extra presentation of products. All major carriers do not allow string or twine for secondary carton closure.
Staples – Commonly used for heavy products. Often coupled with double or triple walled corrugated boxes and strapping.
Strapping – Used to assist in heavy carton closure and bundling of more than one product. Strapping kits are available online for minimal costs.
C. Bag and Pouch Fillers
Bag and pouch fillers are commonly specific machines for small products and liquids. Bag and pouch fillers are designed to ensure a pre-set amount of product fills the same every time. Bag and pouch fillers also reduce headache from manually filling products.
Like any packaging machine, fully automatic bag and pouch fillers can attain amazing efficiency levels. Larger fully automatic fillers can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the size of the line and production levels. Smaller manual and semi-auto fillers can range from a few hundred dollars up to a few thousand dollars.
The conveyor industry is a multi-billion dollar industry in itself. Aside from packaging applications, conveyors are used all over the world for production. Conveyors have a very large range in size. An accurate definition of a conveyor is a horizontal, inclined, or vertical device for moving or transporting bulk materials or objects in a path predetermined by the design of the device.
For packaging, a conveyor can be used to transport unpackaged products into a machine or packaged products out of a machine or production area. Conveyors used to transport products into a machine are referred to as infeed conveyors. Conveyors used to transport products out of a machine or area are called exit conveyors.
An infeed conveyor in the packaging industry is almost always powered with adjustable speed settings. Infeed conveyors are commonly used with fully automatic machines. Infeed conveyors allow products to maintain a consistent speed when entering the machine.
An exit conveyor can be powered or gravity controlled. A gravity conveyor is simply placed at an angle to allow gravity to carry the product down the conveyor. Workers or an exit bin are placed at the end of the conveyor to catch the packaged product.
View some images of commonly used packaging conveyors below.
How to Pack for Moving House
Pack early. The time it will take you to pack all your items depends mainly on their number. However, in most of our articles with packing tips, we state that you should start the packing process earlier. So, for a large house, two months should be enough if you pack one box a day. For smaller homes, one month should be just fine. Of course, this is not an exact number, but you get the idea.
Pack one room at a time. This is one of the most important packing tips which for some reason often gets neglected. Doing this will help you stay organised and will later tell the movers, or anyone unloading, which box goes where.
Fill empty gaps. Use old newspapers, packing papers, or just old rags to fill gaps in the boxes. This should secure the items for the ride.
Label your boxes. Write the contents on each box with a marker. Write on the sides of the boxes and not on top, as this will make it easier to recognise them if they’re are stacked. It’s also advisable to use a different colour for every room. Ask your children, if you have any to help you. Kids love drawing and colouring, so what better way to reduce the stress of moving? This is just one method of helping your kids cope with the move.
Put heavier boxes on the bottom. Packing tips like this one might be common sense, but they’re still important to mention. By putting your heavy boxes underneath the lighter boxes, you ensure no breakable items will get crushed during the move. Boxes full of books and furniture parts are great examples of what you should load first.
Two rail protection ideas.
For protecting your rails either buy an insulation foam tube or foam protection that carpenters use for protecting furniture edges during transport. The later can be put on the rails right away, some even have small sticky glue bubbles on the inside so they stick to the rail. If you use a foam tube buy one that is a few inches longer than your board. Then cut it in half lengthwise but leave the top joined. Stick your board into the split tube so the joined part sits on the nose and the cut tube runs down the rails.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Packing Materials wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Packing Materials
- №1 — Cushion Foam Sheets 12″ X 12″
- №2 — Foam Wrap Cup Pouches 11 7/8″ x 12 1/8″
- №3 — peng 175′ Small Bubble Cushioning Wrap 3/16