All posts by Holly

Shrink Your Time & Cost

Packaging  can sometimes be time consuming and costly.

TimeMoney

In some cases, Time = Money. Money you could be making in the time it takes you hours to package up individual items to be shipped to FBA or any where. There are some who will slap a bar code sticker on the back of a book or game and toss it into a box to be shipped “as is” to the warehouse or even directly to their customers.That little bit of time they save by being careless, only comes back around sometimes… costing them more time and money.

What’s wrong with that? Nothing.

Well, nothing to you if you don’t care about your items being returned & received damaged, customers requesting more frequently refunds due to damage, and the quality of service you can provide for your customers satisfaction…oh, and there’s the negative or neutral feedback you could receive that could damage your reputation.

Think about it…your new or very good book, gets handled by someone before you. Then by you. Then by the unpackers at the warehouse. Then probably placed in storage…or even on a conveyor belt. Then handled again by the guy placing into yet another box to be shipped to the customer. Then finally by the customer. Mmm… I wonder what condition it was received in?

Oh it’s a small price to pay , you may say…worth not having to spend hours packing. That small price adds up over time. Pennies become dollars. That negative feedback adds up too. I have seen a book store’s reputation that was 100% fall to 90% on Amazon in a year. So, you say…it’s still 90 %!

Well, believe it or not, I had a customer tell me that the reason she was willing to pay a dollar fifty extra in cost … because our reputation was 100% and the last book she bought from us was shrink wrapped. She said she knew the next book would be care for and preserved in the same way.

Yes, Shrink wrapped. Oh, it only took us mere seconds to place her book into a pre-sized bag and seal it with our sealer. A dollar fifty more profit for a few seconds of caring. The feedback she left increased reputation and made us personally smile. Also, she was a return customer!

“….careful packing that justifies the price…A+Thx.”

Shrink wrap is not as expensive as you may think in the long run. Especially if you buy it in bulk and in sizes that are common. A penny or two a bag usually. It pays for itself.

shrink2-1A sealer can cost you, but it pays off in the long run. You can even find them on Amazon or eBay…sometimes even on Craigslist cheap. In most cases, you don’t even need a sealer. Just a sticker or a clear piece of tape will do. Sealers cut time with scissors and just makes your product look neater. You could use a blow dryer to shrink games and hardback items…or simply leave paperbacks and bendable items looser in the bag without hitting it with the heat.shrink1-1

Not only can you help ensure better shipping and handling when using shrink wrap, but you can make an item that was in just “good” condition to almost “like new” or “very good”. This means you can price higher. Taking a few seconds to shrink wrap some game pieces or cards…and the game box itself can improve the quality and increase your profit. Honestly, who wouldn’t want their game to look in great shape when they get it instead of spread out loose and bent up cards that got shifted and bent during shipping?

How am I shrinking my time if I am taking time to wrap items like this?

Well, lets see… It’s less of your time dealing with customers messages if you don’t have complaints. Less time trying to build up good feedback to cover bad feedback. Less time figuring out if your item is worth paying for the return cost and then waiting for it. Less time & money than saran wrap or in somecases ziplock bags and bubble wrapping….dealing with tape & scissors. Less time & money packing materials needed to pad boxes for shipments. AND…if your like me who cares perhaps too much about my customers satisfaction, …Less time worring about the quality of your products and the condition they are received in.

changeShrink wrapping our products is definitely shrinking our cost & time. It’s a pretty site and definitely will make you some pretty pennies & positive feedback  in the long run.

 

 

 

Magic does Exist!

You would be amazed at the amount of magic this one little genie sponge has! Not sure what’s exactly in it, but it works like a charm!

This is one product I personally stand behind. It has helped me take dirt, crayon, permanent marker, ink, and even coffee stains off of my inventory products. Not only will it clean up plastic, boxes…etc but I have noticed it does so much more. It will even clean the toughest stains off your counter top surfaces. I used to use bleach and a little elbow grease to clean up tough marks, not anymore. The eraser does it with ease. Even hair dye comes off the sink top. Its is gentle enough to use on your stove top and lap top.

They work so well, they sometimes take the finish or writing off your books or games so be careful. Always test spot a spot first by rubbing very gently. You don’t even have to dampen the eraser in most cases. We recommend when cleaning book and other non coated surfaces not to dampen it.

I buy them by the box full. They last me a while.

 

Peeling Price Tags

For those of you that have nails and for those of you who don’t…here’s a quick easy tool for peeling tags without wetting or ripping your product.

They are called Label Peeler tools.

Yes, your investing in buying a tool that looks a little like a mini shovel…but the cost is a very small price to pay for the quick convience of getting a sticker or label off without damageing your product. It has saved me a lot of time and effort. It was worth it in the long run.

There are several brands of these. They come is several colors. They also come in plastic or metal. I personally use the Scotty Brand but you can look up which ever are cheaper for you.

They can be bought cheaply on the net, Ebay or even Amazon. Sometimes, you can even find them at yardsales or even in Walmart.

The plastic label peelers work really well and are the ones I most commonly use. The metal one is for those super tuff ones but you must be careful not to scratch/cut your product when useing the metal. I made that mistake the first time I used it. I wasn’t under the tag properly and sliced right through the thin plastic on a CD, making the CD’s “new” value decrease.

Useing water and damping your product is time consumeing and can damage the cardboard or paper covering of an item. Even your nail can split the plastic or even in cases rip the tag in serveral places making it tougher for you to remove it in one or two easy pulls.

Try it…if you have other helpful tips on how to pull and remove tags from items, please feel free to post in the comments below. I would love to hear your ideas.

Batteries not Included.

Believe it or not, one of the most common complaints or problems that people reported with their purchases or merchandise is that… “It isn’t working”.

This can mean several things. For most, it’s a simple matter of the batteries not being included or they have gone bad. Yes, things have been returned for simply not checking to see if the power source is valid by being either plugged in, charged up or even batteries replaced or put in.

Check your power source. Make sure if you place batteries in it …that they aren’t cheap ones that may already be bad. Sometimes, especially buying ones from the dollar store can have a “bad” batch.  We recently had this happen to us with our own personal camera. We thought the camera was broke and kept turning itself off, only to find out the batch of cheap batteries we bought were the reason.

Here’s a video you may find amusing…enjoy : )

Batteries Not Included 

 

 

Brown is the New Green

Did you know that most grocery stores will give you brown paper bags if you ask for them? Most of the time, grocery stores even offer them for free as an alternative to plastic. Now a days, “Going Green” means “Going Brown”.

Brown paper bags are great cost efficient way of wrapping packages. Heck, in most places it’s absolutely free! The post office also prefers brown paper and usually wont accept random colored wrapped packages.

Now before you bash brown for it’s drab cheap appearance…some of the prettiest and playful packages I have ever wrapped have been from a plain old brown paper bags cut and flipped so that the printed side is faced down.

There are so many things you can do with a blank canvas like that. Stamp it, mark it, paint it, color it …heck even sticker it. The more creative you are with it, the more you amuse others who receive it. (And we all know that A muse ing = Smiles.) Adding a personal creative touch to your package shows you care. Not only that, its a cheap fun way to get a packaged wrapped and your recycling!

The post office will accept brown paper wrapped packages with touches of color.

So, don’t bash the brown. Brown is the new green and saves you some green $!

Fun Fillers for Free!

Everyone loves FREE stuff, right?

Why buy tissue paper, bubble wrap, wrapping paper and packing peanuts when you can fill your package for free in a fun way?

Fun Fetti:

Do you have a paper shredder? Paper makes a great filler. If you do, shred your old newspapers, cereal boxes, mail or even those pesky junk mail flyers and use it as fun soft filler for your packages. Mixing different shredding sizes also will help give your package a unique inner look. It’s like your package had a party!

 

 

Crinkle Cuts:

No shredder, no problem. Remember making paper fans as a child? Use a pair of scissors and cut your paper into thin or thick strips. Length and width doesn’t matter. Fold the paper back and forth creating a ripple effect. Toss it in your packages. Fun, fast…heck even the little ones can help with it.

 

Nifty Knots:

Paying for packing peanuts are in the past…people. Nifty knots are the new free cool way of filling packages.

Use those plastic bags that your groceries and clothing come in, as packing material. Rip or cut them into thick strips. Tie the strip into a loose knot or several loose knots depending on how long your strip is. If you make several knots, space them out and then cut between them to make them look like old fashion candy drops.Drop them in your package.The more colorful your plastic bags are, the more nifty your packages become.

These are just some of many ideas you can do to make your fillers fun and free. If you have other ideas or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below describing it or email us with your creative idea  and pictures so that we may share it with others.

Pack Outside the Box

Have you ever heard the expression “think outside the box”?

Try packing outside the box.

Did you know that you can bubble wrap unusual shaped or very large items several times and ship them at the post office, UPS or FED EX that way without placing it inside a box? It’s true.

Some people are stuck in the old tradition of packing inside a box. Bubble wrap can be a light cheap way of getting your item shipped and help prevent your package from being damaged at the same time.This can also save you some change on packaging, since cardboard adds to the weight of your item and buying cost of boxes.

Now, for breakable items or appliances, I would not suggest packing only in bubble wrap. Here’s a small list of items that I have packed or seen packed like this:

A sit n spin, big cloth dolls and hard baby dolls, a big metal pot & metal cook ware, a large toy car, a game controller, purses, shoes & boots, toy vacuum, a fishing pole, a toaster, fake plants, gift baskets, a car seat and so much more.

Q: Can’t you can see what I’m shipping through the bubble wrap?

A: No, not if you wrap it well or even use paper to wrap it first. Newspapers make for great packing material, is hard to see-through and is lighter than a box.

Bubble wrap that is bought in bulk is usually cheaper, There are several online places that you can search for the cheapest deals. Bubble wrap can also can be re-used from packages you receive as long as the air bubbles are still intact. If not…you can re use bubble wrap as a plastic wrap. Plastic makes for a good filler as well for packages.

You can also plastic wrap then brown paper items that you don’t have a box for. Brown paper is super cheap. The Dollar Store usually has rolls of brown paper for just a buck.Looking for free? Try your local grocery store for a pile of brown paper bags. Paper bags can be cut and used for wrapping and it’s also a form of recycling.We all know recycling is good.

So next time you can’t find the right size box…try packing outside the box.