Presentation is paramount for a small business. I want my customer's purchase to feel like a special gift. Each vintage treasure is carefully packaged and customized using ample protective packaging to keep finds reaching their destination intact. Shipping supplies can be prohibitively expensive, so I've found ways to cut corners and save money while providing customers with the best experience possible. Here are my 10 tips for getting shipping supplies for free- or close to it!
1) Ask: friends/store owners if they have packaging to spare
2) Create: a system where nearby stores set boxes/supplies aside for you
3) Assault: dumpsters behind grocery stores for boxes, peanuts, and bubble wrap
4) Estate Sales: sometimes have office/packing supplies for low prices
5) Save: boxes and packing supplies you receive in the mail and re-use them
6) Pillage: your workplace, use supplies they're going to toss
7) Cut: existing boxes into the shape you need; then tape it up!
8) Use: what you have around the house, be creative
9) Exploit: coupons for supply stores like Staples, Joanne's, and Michael's
10) Customize: utilitarian up-cycled packaging with stickers and stamps
A fellow reseller friend of mine does shipping and receiving at a local organic food store. He provides me with boxes of all sizes and high quality bubble wrap that the company would otherwise throw away. This helps me ship my wares to customers around the world while keeping prices as low as possible. I'm brainstorming on more professional, attractive, and inexpensive packaging ideas, but this environmentally (and wallet!) friendly way works for now.
Where do you order your packing supplies? How do you get supplies for free or close to it? Do share in the comments!