Somebody asked me: What do you ship in?

A note from a customer has prompted this blog post. She is trying to reduce her use of plastic (admirable, also a goal of my family this year) and wanted me to be sure to ship without using plastic.

Which made me think. (Also made me chuckle, she paid with a credit card, aka “plastic,” and the play on words made me smile all day.)

I do ship in plastic about 70% of the time. Plastic does this neat thing, it keeps your fabric items dry and protected from the shipping process in a way that cardboard just cannot. It’s lighter, meaning cheaper shipping for you. It’s easy and compact to store.

But it’s also not what I reach for first. In order, here’s how I prefer to ship your items:

– Used cardboard boxes or other used shipping containers. Sometimes, however, I save these for customers who have chosen DHL or UPS. These shipments are often larger than the poly envelopes I have, and DHL won’t take packages in USPS boxes, lol. (And, um, that would be illegal.)

– USPS Priority mail, I reach for USPS Priority boxes first. Sometimes I don’t have one that’s a good size, sometimes I’m all out. But if I have one that will fit, it’s what I use.

– Polymailers. These are my standby, and what most orders go out in. They’re inexpensive, lightweight, waterproof, durable, and available in many sizes. I almost never run out, because I can store about 1000 in one file cabinet drawer, whereas cardboard boxes present more of a storage issue.

So if you’ve ever wondered about the logic that goes into what I reach for when I ship your item…now you know.


About sarahtar

Our Family lives in central Iowa. We are Christians, conservatives, and crunchy granola heads. We love the outdoors, photography, and lindy hop. Turn ons are people who are polite, honesty, and really good root beer. Turn offs are mean people and people who make my life more difficult.

Posted on August 21, 2008, in Somebody Asked.... Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Great post!
    This is from Joel Makower on grist and he makes some great points on the plastic vs. cardboard shipping costs and concerns for businesses:

  2. ooo, awesome awesome article. Thanks so much!!

  3. Totally agreed on your point about polymailers/ poly envelopes. It’s for protection and presentation as well.

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