Picking with Reyne – Vol 19 – Packing for Pickers

September 14th, 2010 by

Yesterday I was on an adventure with a friend of mine.  Destination?  A packing supply store.   I know what you’re thinking.  She really buys packing supplies at a retail store?  The answer to that is yes, and no.

Normally, I recycle.  I have numerous things coming in, therefore, I store the peanuts, the bubble wrap and most importantly, the boxes all this stuff comes in to use when shipping things out.  It keeps my overhead down, and saves a tree all at the same time.

Every now and then I have an overstock of boxes, and while I stack them one inside another, the pile of boxes can start to add up.

So think back to when I scored that pair of Louis Vuitton suitcases a few months ago.  The box that the trunk came in was “put together” if you will by my picker.  By the time I got the trunk out, the box was totaled.  I figured no big deal. I planned to sell the big trunk locally.

As luck would have it, I couldn’t find a buyer for the trunk locally.  So after several failed attempts I reached out to my client base in New York.  SCORE!

Fast forward to Friday where I spend the day driving around Houston looking for a box that will fit a trunk 32” x 21” x 11”.

One of my favorite places to buy packing materials when I do have the right size is Half Price Boxes.  I’ll never understand how this company turns a profit.  Walk in, walk out with 20 brand new cardboard boxes for $20 or less (not each, for all of them!)

So of course, this is the first place I look.  Denied!

Next..FedEx Kinkos. They have a packing department so I thought for sure…NOPE – try again.

I ended up at UHaul buying a small (optimum word) garment box. You know the kind with the metal pole inside to hang your shirts on when you move?  That’s the one.

Sadly, it almost didn’t fit in the back of my car, and I hadn’t even unfolded the box to build it.

Once I got the beast errr I mean the box home and unfolded it, I realized there would be no way this was going back into my car.  I’d have to think of a backup plan when it comes time to take it to UPS.

It was really the perfect size once I got the trunk inside. It had about 3 inches on each side, enough for me to pad the sides with cushion in case it gets tossed around.  Who am I kidding?  No one will be tossing around a 36” tall, 30 lb box.

Bubble wrap is lightweight right?  Well, the trunk weighed 24 lbs, and by the time I had the sides cushioned in-between the sides and the trunk itself, it weighed 30.

I can’t wait to see what the ground shipping cost is going to be.  I’m sure the $45 I charged will be nowhere near enough!

Lessons learned from this experience:

1.       Keep all packing material, not just some of it. You never know when you are going to need to ship a trunk.

2.       Own a truck, SUV or vintage Lincoln Towncar that has lots of room for packages for times like these.

3.       Only buy small items.  Easy packing and cheap shipping!

I’d love to hear any suggestions you have for cost effective shipping, packing materials, or unique ways to ship collectibles worldwide!

Happy Hunting!