Clothing is a very popular item when it comes to online commerce and mail-orders business. These items are not particularly vulnerable to shipping damage, so most people feel safe when ordering them by mail. While these items are not as fragile as many others, there is still a process that must be followed when packing and shipping clothes.
The Basic Process, Step One: Preparing The Garments
You should begin by folding the clothes neatly. Clear out a large, flat, clean surface so that you have plenty of room to work. Now, take each item of clothing and lay them flat before folding them in whatever way you see fit. It is important to lay the clothing flat before you fold. By doing it this way, you ensure that minimal wrinkling will occur.
For those who sell clothing, this is a matter of good presentation. When the customer receives the item, they want to open up the package and see a nice, clean, new-looking item of clothing. If they get a wrinkled mess, they will not be happy, even if the garment is otherwise in good shape. A good presentation shows a higher degree of professionalism. For those who sell used clothing, it is obviously very important to wash the garments thoroughly before selling them.
Step Two: Use Some Kind Of Covering
Once the clothes are neatly folded, you should cover them in tissue paper or some other thin paper. Some sellers will even use thin layers of foam, so pick your preference. In most cases, tissue paper sleeves will be the most cost-effective way to go. This measure is admittedly not all that important, but it helps to preserve a certain degree of freshness and provides an extra layer of protection against soiling, staining, or tearing. Some people like that “new clothing” smell and a layer of paper will help to preserve it. You might have to use some tape to hold the paper in place, but don’t go overboard here.
Instead of tissue paper, you may choose to use a plastic bag. This is a great option for high-value items like wedding veils and high-end tuxedos. When the cost of the clothing reaches a certain point, a cheap plastic bag becomes an essential point. Of course, this extra level of protection is not needed for most items.
Step Three: Prepare The Items For Shipment
Next, you will have to place the garments in a shipping container. This will normally be a cardboard box or a heavy envelope mailer. There are many options in this department, and we will explore them in greater detail below. For now, just understand that you will need to choose between boxes and mailers of various sizes.
If you use a container that is larger than the garments, you will need to use some kind of “filler” material to take up the extra space. This will prevent the item from sliding and moving during transport. Even though most clothing can hold up to this kind of abuse, it’s better to keep the garments nice and stable. When you are done, seal up the box or mailer and add any shipping labels that might be required.
As you can see, the process is quite simple. Most clothing doesn’t require any special preparation or packaging, although you can certainly go with some stronger options if you are shipping an item of exceptional value.
Boxes And Mailers
One of the biggest choices you make here will be your choice of packaging. As we said before, most of your options can be classified as boxes or mailer envelopes. Let’s take a closer look at some of the more common containers and consider their pros and cons.
Standard Shipping Boxes
These brown corrugated boxes are the most common choice for all sorts of shipping, and this mostly comes down to simplicity and cost. At Mid-Atlantic shipping, we offer box mailers of every conceivable shape and size. In addition, we offer boxes of varying strengths so that you can choose one that is durable enough to meet your needs. Some items just don’t require a large or thick box, so we give you plenty of options from which to choose.
These boxes offer the advantage of being cheap and plentiful. They are also easy to use and are familiar to pretty much everyone. Not only that, but these boxes are thicker and more durable than most other packages, and this is why they are preferred for long-distance transport. On the downside, they are not very attractive. That drab brown paper doesn’t offer much when it comes to visual appeal. We do offer white cardboard, but it is slightly more expensive. Corrugated boxes can also be damaged easily by water, while plastic products are not.
These are small plastic sleeves that resemble ziplock bags. Poly mailers offer several distinct advantages, with the biggest one being water resistance. Nothing sheds water quite as well as plastic, so these bags are a great way to keep things dry. Even though most packages arrive at their destinations without water damage, it always pays to be on the safe side. If a careless post office worker just happens to get your package wet, a poly mailer will protect its contents very well.
Apart from their water resistance, these packages are also very cheap. The tops are easy to open and close, and these packages can even be re-used. However, these packages do have a problem or two. Because they tend to be quite thin, poly mailers are more vulnerable to tearing and ripping, which removes their water-resistance as well. Also, not all of them are re-sealable. The cheaper poly mailers are held in place with adhesive and cannot be re-used.
Kraft paper is the same substance of which cardboard boxes are made. However, Kraft mailers are not layered like corrugated cardboard. It’s a single layer of Kraft paper, making it very cheap but not especially durable. Still, Kraft mailers are an extremely common choice. For items that aren’t particularly fragile, these mailers are usually more than enough.
Kraft mailers are affordable and easy to use, and they are tough enough to handle most shipping conditions. However, they are not very resistant to water, so they aren’t the best choice for water-sensitive items. Since we are talking about clothing here, water damage is a significant factor. Obviously, most clothing will not be ruined by a little bit of water. However, water in a closed package can promote the growth of mold.
Padded mailers are a great choice for those items that need a little extra protection. By padding the envelope, you get a lot more impact resistance. Impacts aren’t a huge issue for most clothing items, but some of them will benefit from this extra layer. In most cases, these mailers consist of a plastic sleeve with a layer of thick paper or bubble wrap inside.
On the upside, padded mailers provide more security than any other sort of mailer. Only a thick cardboard box is more durable. However, this level of protection just isn’t necessary for many clothing items. Because these mailers are a little more expensive than the plainer ones, they might not be a cost-effective option for everyone.
A bubble mailer can be found in several variations, and we offer all of them. This is just a sleeve made of paper or plastic which contains an inner lining of bubble wrap. These mailers might be paper or plastic, depending on your preference. At Mid-Atlantic Packaging, we offer several different bubble mailers to suit whatever needs you might have.
Like other types of padded mailers, bubble mailers are a little more expensive. While we work to keep prices as low as possible, more material will always mean a higher cost. Once again, you won’t need these heavy-duty mailers for most items of clothing. However, items that are going to be shipped over long distances can benefit from the extra layer of moisture protection that the bubble wrap will surely provide.
The Sizing Chart:
For those who aren’t familiar with these matters, choosing the right size boxes can be a daunting task. It can be hard to estimate the amount of space that will be taken up by a given item of clothing once it has been folded, so we have put together this handy sizing chart to help you.
- Sweaters: 12 x 15.5(poly mailer), 12.5 x 19(Kraft mailer), 10.5 x 15(padded mailer)
- T-Shirts: 9 x 12(poly mailer), 6 x 2.5 x 12(Kraft mailer), 8.5 x 11(padded mailer)
- Dress Shirts: 10 x 13(poly mailer), 6 x 2.5 x 12(Kraft mailer), 8.5 x 11(padded mailer)
- Two Shirts: 10 x 13(poly mailer), 9.5 x 14.5(Kraft mailer), 8.5 x 11(padded mailer)
- Three Shirts:12 x 15.5(poly mailer), 12.5 x 19(Kraft mailer), 10.5 x 15(padded mailer)
- Dress or Jeans:12 x 15.5(poly mailer), 12.5 x 19(Kraft mailer), 10.5 x 15(padded mailer)
- Socks:6 x 9(poly mailer), 6 x 2.5 x 12(Kraft mailer), 6 x 9(padded mailer)
While this is just a rough estimate, we think that you will find it helpful as a starting point. You might find other packaging options that serve your needs just as well as those that we have recommended, so always look around before buying. We want all of our customers to leave satisfied.
When it comes to shipping your clothing items, you have no shortage of options. Really, you just need to figure out how much money you are willing or able to spend on the process. If your buyer pays the shipping costs (as is common), you don’t want to shock them with a high shipping figure. From the customer’s perspective, this will look like a hidden cost, and everyone hates hidden costs.
USPS first class shipping is one of the best options. It is also one of the more expensive options, but this kind of shipping ensures that the item will reach the customer in the shortest time possible. However, the Postal Service has a weight limit of 15.99 ounces for the use of this service.
FedEx offers a “ship manager lite” option, which is very well-suited for clothing. The weight limit is 68 Kg, which should be more than enough for most clothing parcels. UPS ground shipping is also a highly trusted option and is probably a little more affordable than most of the others. As a general rule, you need to take advantage of plans that are meant for lightweight packages.
When doing business online or through the mail, it is essential that you learn to estimate shipping costs correctly. Otherwise, you could end up paying out-of-pocket to cover the difference. There are a number of online shipping calculators that can help with this learning process.
Conclusion: Why Choose Mid-Atlantic Packaging?
Mid-Atlantic Packaging is the best choice for all your packaging needs, and there are many reasons behind that fact. We have been in the packaging business for over 37 years, and we know all those little tricks that separate the pros from the amateurs.
We are very sympathetic to small businesses and new businesses because our company started with two people working from home. Our services are now available in all 50 states of the U.S., and we have even branched out to Canada, Europe, and the Caribbean. So you see, we know what it takes for a business to succeed from nothing, and we want to share that knowledge with you. If you would like to learn more, please fill out the contact form below