How to tape a box for shipping: avoid damage and returns

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If you’re an ecommerce business owner, you know that successfully packaging and shipping items is vital to your operation. 

But if you’re not careful, you can easily damage your products resulting in more returns, unhappy customers, and bad reviews. These problems can compound into a loss of revenue, so it’s better to avoid them in the first place.

In this blog post, we’ll teach you how to tape a box for shipping in a way that will help you avoid costly mistakes. 

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Choose the right box

When running an ecommerce business, choosing the correct shipping box is essential to avoid damage and returns. 

Here are a few essential things to keep in mind when selecting a box for shipping:

  • The dimensions of the box should be slightly larger than the item or items you’re shipping. This will provide some cushioning in case the package is dropped or jostled during transit. However, you do not want to pack your items in a box that is too big because extra space can make your shipments more prone to being crushed.
  • Choose a sturdy material that will protect your items from being crushed or scratched. Cardboard is a good option, but you can also find boxes made from plastic or metal.
  •  If you’re shipping fragile items, be sure to choose a box that offers adequate space for padding. 
  • Seal the box tightly with tape to prevent it from opening during transit. It’s also a good idea to label the box with “Fragile” or “This Side Up” to avoid mishaps.

Following these tips, you can choose the perfect shipping box to deliver your products to your customers.

Choose the right packing tape

Not all packing tape is the same, and the quality of your shipping materials can make a significant impact on keeping your products in excellent condition as you ship them out to customers.

Always use high-quality, reinforced packing tape to secure your boxes and prevent damage during transit. 

But with so many different types of packing tape on the market, it can be challenging to know which one is right for your business. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing packing tape for shipping:

  • Thickness – The thicker the tape, the more durable it will be. Choose a tape that is at least 3mil thick.
  • Width – The wider the tape, the easier it will be to apply. Choose a tape that is at least 2 inches wide.
  • Length – The longer the tape, the more coverage you will get. Choose a tape that is at least 60 yards long.
  • Adhesive – The adhesive should be strong enough to hold the box closed but not so strong that it is difficult to remove. Water-based adhesives are a good option for most applications.

So, in summary, the best packing tape is at least 3mil thick, 2 inches wide, at least 60 yards long, and uses a water-based adhesive. 

Finally, you may want to consider the color of the tape. The color of the tape can be important for branding purposes. Choose a color that coordinates with your company’s logo and packaging design.

With so many options on the market, choosing the right packing tape for shipping can seem daunting. But if you keep these factors in mind, you’ll be sure to find a tape that meets your needs and helps ensure safe delivery.

Choose packing materials

For ecommerce businesses, shipping is a critical part of the customer experience. High-quality packing materials can help ensure that orders arrive safely and without damage. 

However, choosing the right packing materials can be challenging with many options available. 

Packing materials, such as air cushions, bubble wrap, and padding materials, are available in eco-friendly versions. These packing materials are highly versatile and may be used to ship a wide variety of objects, making them an appealing choice for ecommerce businesses.

Here are a few tips to help you choose the most effective packing materials for your business:

  • Consider the type of product you are shipping. Some products are more fragile than others and require special care when packing. Make sure to choose materials that will protect your products from breakage during transit.
  • Think about the size and weight of your products. Choose packing materials that will provide adequate support and cushioning without adding unnecessary bulk or weight.
  • Use eco-friendly packing materials whenever possible. There is a growing trend among consumers for sustainable and eco-friendly packaging options. By using eco-friendly materials, you can show your customers that you care about the environment.
  •  Keep cost in mind when choosing packing materials. You want to find a balance between quality and cost-efficiency. Compare prices and look for discounts or bulk pricing options to get the best value for your money.

By following these tips, you can choose packing materials that will help to ensure the safe delivery of your products while also keeping your eCommerce business profitable.

Different ways to tape your boxes

There’s nothing worse than having a customer’s order arrive damaged at their door. That’s why proper box taping is essential for any ecommerce business. 

No matter what taping method you use, you’ll need to start with a good foundation.

  1. Use a new flat box and identify the bottom. 
  2. Use a tape gun dispenser to take the center seam and create the bottom of the box. The tape should extend past the edge by approximately two to three inches, providing additional support.
  3. Carefully package your items in the box.

Now you just need to finish taping the box. There are three different methods to do this:

  • The Basic Method – The most common way to tape boxes involves taping along the box’s seams. This method is quick and easy, but it doesn’t provide much protection against damage.
  • The Reinforced Method – This method is similar to the basic method, but you also reinforce the corners of the box with additional tape. This provides extra protection against damage, but it can take longer to do and involves more tape.
  • The Heavy-Duty Method – This is the best way to protect against damage but is also the most time-consuming and costly. Use multiple layers of tape along all seams and corners of the box. This creates a strong barrier that will help to prevent damage during shipping.

The more tape you use, the more secure your box is. However, you’ll quickly find out that more tape means more time and fewer orders out the door. Over the long haul, you’ll need to determine the costs and benefits of your tapping strategy.

No matter which method you choose, proper box taping is essential for keeping your ecommerce orders safe during shipping. By taking the time to properly tape your boxes, you can help avoid damaged goods and unhappy customers.

Don’t forget to label

Use a label or sticker to mark the contents of the box. This will help prevent confusion (and potential returns) down the line. Plus, this is another opportunity to reinforce your branding with customers.

Frequently asked questions about taping a box for shipping

How to ship batteries

If you sell products that require batteries, you’re probably wondering how to ship them safely and efficiently since batteries are a fire hazard. Different types of batteries have their own safety precautions, so make sure you are familiar with the specific risks involved with the batteries you are shipping. 

Here are a few general battery shipping tips to get you started:

  • Make sure the batteries are securely fastened in the product. You don’t want them jostling around during shipping and potentially becoming damaged. 
  • If possible, ship the product with the batteries installed. This will not only be more convenient for your customers, but it will also eliminate the need for extra packaging. 
  • Include clear instructions on the packaging on how to install and replace the batteries. Your customers will appreciate having this information readily available. 
  • Make sure you comply with all applicable regulations when shipping batteries. This includes appropriately labeling the package and including any necessary safety procedures and documentation. 

By following these tips, you can rest assured that your batteries will arrive intact and your customers will be happy. You can learn more about shipping batteries from the official UPS guide.

How to palletize boxes

Palletizing helps to stabilize and secure your boxes, making them less likely to be damaged in transit. Plus, it can help you reduce shipping costs and maximize your shipping space, allowing you to fit more boxes on a single pallet. 

Be sure to pay close attention to procedures for loading and shrink-wrapping your pallets. 

Here’s how to palletize your boxes for shipping:

  1. Start by finding a stable and level surface on which to build your pallet. This could be a concrete floor or a flat piece of plywood.
  2. Next, lay out your boxes in the desired configuration. Make sure that they are evenly spaced and that there is enough room for them to be secured to the pallet later on.
  3. Once you have your boxes arranged, begin securing them to the pallet with straps, shrink-wrap, or other suitable materials. Make sure that they are securely fastened so that they will not shift during transit.
  4. Once all of your boxes are secured, check the overall stability of the palletized unit. If everything looks good and is secure, you’re ready to ship!

How to ship liquids and aerosols

Ecommerce business owners who sell liquids or goods in aerosol form, such as shampoo, cooking oil, or hand lotion, often wonder about the best way to ship their products.

The U.S. Postal Service and UPS have strict regulations about shipping liquids and aerosol goods, so it’s essential to be familiar with the rules before you attempt to ship any of these items.

When shipping liquids and aerosols, make sure you’re following these best practices:

  • Make sure that your product is appropriately packaged. Before it can be shipped, seal all liquids and aerosol goods in leak-proof containers. 
  • Properly label your container with critical shipping information, including the Hazmat class of the product. Be sure to include a complete description of the label’s contents and the net weight or volume of the product.
  • Choose a shipping service that offers special rates for Hazmat shipments. The USPS offers a flat rate for shipping hazmat classes 3 through 9, which includes most liquids and consumable goods. UPS also offers special rates for hazmat shipments, but you will need to contact their customer service department for more information.

With some planning and preparation, shipping liquids and aerosol goods can be simple and hassle-free. Just be sure to follow all of the rules and regulations to avoid any problems with your shipment.

Learn more from the Federal Aviation Administration’s how to ship dangerous goods guide here.

Shipping next steps

Choosing the most appropriate packaging materials, tape, and methods can help your ecommerce business to avoid damaged products and unnecessary product returns. Following best practices, including those we’ve outlined above, can ensure that your packages arrive safely at their destination – saving your business money and increasing your customers’ satisfaction. 

Now that you’ve secured your shipping package, it’s time to figure out how to determine shipping costs and how to ship products from home