Our sales have been growing on eBay and as a result we are shipping more and more things to more and more places. I feel pretty well versed on packing and have a pretty good track record with getting items to customers without the shipping services beating them to near death. Simple things sometimes make all the difference from using sturdy boxes, USPS Priority Flat Rate boxes etc, and just preparing the box for a 3 foot fall. I mentioned that I or "We" have a pretty good track record, but not perfect of course as I have had a few items get destroyed along the route.
My guide is a simple trick that I learned about packing recently. It does not replace the Craigslist Searching for recycled packing peanuts, bubble wrap and boxes but is a big, inexpensive help. Again, it is simple: Purchase large sheets of styrofoam which is easier than one may think. I am fortunate to have both a Lowes and Home Depot near to me and assume that most home improvement stores carry it. It seems to be sort of way in the back in the most obscure of places. One store carries Giant sheets and the other carries both Giant Sheets and smaller sheets from 3/4 thick to 4 inch thick. It is really light, easy to carry to the register and easy to cut. I use a sharp knife to cut a line in one side and then "Snap" and re-cut but I see that eBay has several sellers offering Styrofoam Cutters
ranging from really cheap to a couple hundred bucks.
When cut, the Styrofoam makes a nice little box that is easily taped into a square or rectangle to help protect that wonderful item that you just sold. I am personally really surprised at how cheap, easy and clean it is and there is no better insurance on a package than taking a little extra time to pack it properly.