Packing & Shipping of Valued Electronic Items
In my experience in recent years on EBay, I have never seen so many sellers / people who just don't know how to pack! I have heard more horror stories about EBay items arriving broken and the buyer being a little more then ticked off!
Lets discuss packing materials for a moment. FIRST OFF: Don't pack in paper! Paper just doesn't provide enough cushioning to pack anything and your asking for trouble from the start by using newspaper. Any item, be it a heavy radio transceiver or amplifier needs to be packed tight in its carton. That is to say: IT CAN'T MOVE AROUND. If the packing breaks loose and the item shifts, it will shift around in the box the entire trip form point A-to-point-B. The antique, radio or amplifier needs to be COMPLETELY WRAPPED IN SEVERAL LAYERS OF BUBBLE WRAP first. I usually wrap amateur gear in plastic to protect the paint finish, then I wrap it in several layers of bubble wrap. If you can't find plastic to wrap your radio in, go to one of the large hardware department stores and get some from their garden department. It's usually free for packing soil in the garden department.
This is key. Once the radio, amplifier, antique or glass item is packed put it in a box that it fits tightly (Again so it doesn't shift) Then you need to find a bigger box to put it into. YES DOUBLE BOX. And when I say double box, that doesn't mean another box that just fits snug around the inner box. THE UNITED PARCEL STANDARDS FOR PACKING IS BASICALLY THIS.... Pack your item in the first box tightly with enough packing so it doesn't move. Then pack that box into a second box with at least one full inch of peanuts or packing material around the inner box.
I repeat ONE FULL INCH OF PACKING MATERIAL SUCH AS PEANUTS FULLY AROUND THE INNER BOX. Then tape the HELL out of the box! The reason you need to tape the box up extremely well, is that it take only one small tear or leak in the outer compartment for all the peanuts to leak out. I've seen it happen even by professional packed items from STAPLES here in the states. The tape came loose, the peanuts all leaked out and a computer bounced around in an empty box from California to the North Carolina in an empty box!
Finally a rule of thumb: Always Double box and wrap the piece of equipment first preferably in bubble wrap. Then use one inch of packing material as a MIMIMUM around inner box. It's that simple, but getting people to do it is almost impossible. It can take 30 minutes to an hour to pack a box like this correctly. If you don't follow these guidelines for packing your item is guranteed to arrive on the opposite end either smashed, dented or some way damaged and unusable. If you follow these instructions exactly I can just about guarantee you will never have a broken china, antique, radio, stereo or amplifier on the other end.
One last thing: When shipping electronics items that have knobs that stick out beyond the front panel, remove that knob and put in a safe place inside the box. For instance when packing amateur radio transceivers type FT-101, FV-101B VFO, FL-101, FR-101, FT-620B, FT-200 or Tempo One transceiver, that is any item with the spinner type knob on front of the VFO. Remove the spinner knob.... DON’T LOSE it like some people I know have done. Put it in a plastic bag and tape it inside the rig so it doesn't get lost. If the shipper drops a Stereo or radio transceiver like this on its face with the spinner in place, all the force of the fall will go directly into the front of the knob, the Jackson ball drive and VFO and front panel. Just do it, remove those big knobs, especially if it has a spinner knob attached that sticks out well beyond the front panel, pack it away inside the rig. Even better packing jobs, you will see people remove the tubes in the case of large heavy amplifier and ship the tubes separately. Or in the least it’s wise to pull all the tubes in older equipment and wrap them individually and put them back under the bonnet. If you’re too tired or lazy to do this (Like I am at times) then in the least stuff the stereo, radio transceiver or any piece of electonic equipment where an item may come loose with a styrofoam packing material or at least newspaper (newspaper is ok inside the equipment.) If you don't secure the componets internally a tube might just bounce out of its socket, but it won’t go very far if you have some kind of packing inside the gear. It will remain snug in the paper inside of the equipment.
I know I got carried away here, but I ship electronics and ceramic items all the time. If I don't spend an hour wrapping an expensive radio transcevier, I am not convinced it's gong to get there in one piece. Lastly these are not all my suggestions. UPS says double box with 1” peanuts around the inside of equipment, then put the box inside another box with 1” of packing around the inside box.
Again [-1”--[Radio]--1”-] these are the requirements as specified by United Parcel Service here in the U.S.A. (Brown)
What can Brown do for you is their motto!
If you don't pack they way I'm telling you Brown will smash your equipment! That's what they can do for you.
This works for almost anything you ship, dishes, china, pottery, not just electronic equipment. You may pay a wee bit more in shipping charges but you won’t loose an irreplaceable item or piece of equipment.