UPS: Packing Products Correctly and Safely

July 9th, 2009


Here are tips provided by Benita Matthews of The UPS Store.  These packing tips are for shipping your products to your customers safely, economically and on time.

Select the Right Box
Start by selecting the right box for the ‘item to be shipped.’  The UPS Store does not recommend that you pack in used boxes.  Each time a box is shipped or used. it looses integrity and can break down in transit.  Likewise we don’t recommend that you use old ‘moving boxes’ or those free gift boxes you get from department stores.

Be careful of old shipping labels that may still be stuck to the used box.  These can cause delay-time in transit to the destination.  You will find the proper weight limit and allowed box strength at the bottom of your box.  This helps you choose the best box for your shipment.

Handling Heavy/Fragile Packages
Heavy and extremely fragile packages definitely require Double Width box.  When you compare the DW lined vs. SW (single width) lined boxes you soon see that more walls of cardboard provide more crush resistance especially for trips down miles and miles of conveyor belts. 

Double Boxing
Depending on how fragile is your item it could be necessary to have it double boxed..

This fragile vase requires Double Boxing to arrive safely at its destination.   First pack it in one box with 2 inches of loose fill, as shown here, and bubble wrapped with ½” bubble at least 2” thick.  Carefully place it in the center of the first box.  Place that box in a second strong box with 2 inches of loose fill surrounding it in the 2nd box.  Now tape closed using the H taping method to ensure proper packing. 

Also tape the bubble wrap with brown packing tape so the recipient will know how to unwrap the gift/item properly.

H-taping Method
You should use the H style for taping a box closed safely and securely.

Do not use Duct Tape or Masking tape as these products could loose their adhesive qualities due to extreme temperatures packages are exposed to en route. Also, do not wrap packages in brown paper and tie up with string. These items can get snagged on conveyor belts or machines while in transit.  Remember UPS guidelines  recommend that neither newspaper, nor bath towels are a proper cushioning for products.

Customized Boxing
The UPS Store carries quantities of different size boxes.  If you ever have a package with an awkward shape or size, the staff at the UPS Store can custom build your box if  The UPS Store does not carry a corresponding box.

Look at this fishing pole.  It requires a Custom Box.  First we use commercial glue for affixing a 2nd box to the 1st box so no shifting or movement will take place.  Then we bubble wrap the pole, insert our loose fill, and tape it up with the H style of taping.

Shipping Products with Batteries
When shipping a toy or electronic item that requires batteries, please remove the batteries first.  If sound or movement occurs, it could possibly be stopped for inspection by UPS and in turn be held up during transit.

Use Shipping Labels
It’s always important to put a shipping label inside of the box in the event the label is removed by a machine during transit. This way, UPS could open the package and would still know where the package is to be delivered.

If you want to learn more you can get all of this information by going to and searching dimensional weight.

AAA Discount
If you are a Member of AAA remember to show your AAA card to The UPS Store associate for 5% off UPS Shipping and 15% off the cost of the box; and packaging materials.

Large/Heavy Packages
If your item exceeds UPS length, width, height and/or the 150 lb maximum weight, please contact the nearest location of The UPS Store for a UPS Freight quote and/or shipping needs.

“Brown” Promotes ‘Green’
And for those “green” customers, should you have any foam packaging peanuts or bubble wrap just hanging around cluttering your home or business, please feel to drop it off at participating locations of The UPS Store for recycling.

Pack and Ship Promise
Participating locations of The UPS Store offer the Pack and Ship Promise. Our promise to YOU is if in the unlikely event an item packed by our associates and shipped via UPS is damaged or lost, you’ll be reimbursed for the item’s value (subject to the lesser of actual value, replacement or repair cost), the full retail price of packaging materials and services, and shipping charges (excluding declared value charges). Restrictions apply. 

WHY do it your self?
You can save time and have one less thing to worry about by having the professionals at The UPS Store Pack and Ship your gift/item.

UPS has ALL the Supplies
If you want to pack your goods yourself, keep in mind that The UPS Store carries all the supplies needed to pack those items.

The UPS Store thanks you for your time and should you have any additional questions, please visit to find the location nearest you.

Tisha Rogers sings the National Anthem

July 4th, 2009

Thank you to everyone following us on Twitter.   The Twitter Duel was lots of fun.  Here is the video of Tisha Rogers singing the National Anthem – Enjoy!  

Happy 4th of July!

Trade References

July 3rd, 2009

When you ask a genuine wholesale supplier for an account with credit terms, the wholesaler typically asks you for Trade References.  When supplying a Trade Reference your provide a telephone (fax or email address) that allows the new wholesale supplier to contact people your have purchased from in the past to determine your payment history and credit worthiness. 

A new business will not have any prior credit history.  You will have to pay up front or using your credit card until you have built up a good credit history with your wholesale supplier.  That wholesale supplier then becomes a Trade Reference for you (provided you have a good payment history with that wholesale supplier.)

What Is Buying At Cost?

June 29th, 2009

A genuine wholesale supplier might use the term: At Cost.  Do your research carefully on this before you go ahead and buy at cost.  When a wholesale supplier sells ‘at cost,’ it means they are making no profit on the sale since they are selling at the same as it cost them to buy from the manufacturer.

Also, if the wholesale supplier’s customers are NOT buying the product, you may want to check out the demand using your Product Sourcing Tool before you place any orders.  Unless people want to buy, you may be the next person selling ‘at cost’ or probably much ‘below cost.’

Click to review more of Chris Malta’s “Wholesale Tips”

SKU? It’s Just a Model/Product Number.

June 26th, 2009

When you deal with genuine wholesale suppliers, you will frequently hear the term: SKU.   A SKU is the unique number a wholesaler assigns to a product type.  It may be a model number or a product number.  If a wholesaler carries 8,000 unique products, in the industry they talk of the wholesale supplier carrying 8,000 SKU’s.

A model with three colors is likely to have three SKUs to identify the product, one SKU for each color.  Note this is not a number that is unique to each product (like your Social Security Number).  It is a number that is unique to each product description.

It’s as simple as that.

Click to review more of Chris Malta’s “Wholesale Tips”

RA or RMA – “Return Authorization” or “Return Merchandise Authorization”

June 23rd, 2009

What is RA?  You need to know the wholesale term, RA or RMA.  Either refers to product returns.  RA means “Return Authorization”.   RMA means “Return Merchandise Authorization”.

Most wholesale suppliers have a strict process you must use to return any item.  When wanting to return an item, you must contact your wholesale supplier to obtain an RA Number.   The reason for the return may affect the method of return.  The wholesale supplier may set up a UPS or FedEx, pre-paid pick up.   You must clearly mark the RA number on the outside of the return package.  Once the wholesale supplier receives the product, they will pass you a credit.

The process is similar with wholesale drop shippers.   Your customers must contact you requesting a replacement.  You then contact your wholesale supplier to request an RA and submit a replacement order.   In some cases, the drop shipper will ship the replacement product even before they receive the damaged product.  This saves the customer having to wait for their replacement to arrive.

UPS, United Parcel Service, has some very helpful hints on handling ‘Returns.’  View this UPS video now.

Click to review more of Chris Malta’s “Wholesale Tips”

Chris Malta talks about ScamBusting on WCMF Radio

June 22nd, 2009

   Catch Chris Malta LIVE

    on New York radio station WCMF right from your home computer,

Tuesday morning, June 23, at 8:30am  EST

Listen here:

Chris is on the road bringing the RIGHT way to do business online to anyone who’ll listen. 

He’ll be talking about online scams, how they work, how to avoid them and how to get OUT of them if you do get caught.

Listen on your computer through WCMF’s audio streaming. Just point & click!

It’ll be fun AND informative…thanks in advance for listening in!

Net 30 – “30 Days to Pay”

June 19th, 2009

Here’s our next term: “Net 30”.   Net 30 refers to the credit terms your wholesale supplier extends to you.   When your wholesale supplier types Net 30 on your order and invoice, this means you have 30 days to pay for that invoice.   The advantage of such payment terms is that you have some time to sell all of the products on that invoice and actually receive the money before you have to PAY for the goods.

If you are new to that wholesaler, you cannot expect to get Net 30 terms from the start.  Wholesalers base your credit terms on your business credit HISTORY, not your personal credit history. You begin by paying up front for your purchases with cash or credit card until you build a good purchase and credit history with your wholesale supplier.  At that point you can apply for Net 30 terms from your wholesale supplier.   The more business you bring them, the sooner you can request a Net 30 order. 

Once your account is approved, you can begin to establish a business credit history.  This will also help you get Net 30 terms with other wholesale suppliers more quickly.

Click to review more of Chris Malta’s “Wholesale Tips”

What is ‘FOB’ – “Free on Board?” or “Freight on Board”

June 16th, 2009

What is ‘FOB’?   The fifth wholesale term is FOB.  FOB is a shipping term that stands for “Free On Board” or “Freight On Board”.  Whatever city is listed as the FOB, is the destination to which the wholesaler pay the costs of shipping.  If it says FOB Atlanta, GA, for instance, this means the wholesaler pays the costs to get the shipment to a terminal in Atlanta, GA.

From that point onwards you must either pick up the shipment yourself, or have it forwarded.  However, all logistics and expenses after the shipment arrives at the Atlanta, GA, terminal must be paid by you.

Typically, the FOB will be the same city where the supplier is located.   In that case, you’ll pay the shipping cost to get the shipment from the wholesaler’s warehouse to your destination.  To determine the right  Cost of Goods Sold, COGS, you must add this cost into your own shipping costs to determine the correct profit per item.

Click to review more of Chris Malta’s “Wholesale Tips”

QOH – “Quantity on Hand”

June 13th, 2009

Here’s a wholesale term you want to watch carefully: QOH, “Quantity On Hand”. The QOH reveals the quantity of an item the wholesaler has in inventory at any given time.

Some wholesalers keep the QOH in private areas of their web site so that only their retailers can see the QOH of any item. Some wholesalers keep their online retailer interested via email. If you don’t have the QOH for each item you are selling, keep in contact with your wholesale supplier regularly to find out.

This is essential on products you drop ship. Becareful to remove a low stocked item from your Amazon listing, auctions and eBay store when your supplier’s QOH drops too close to zero. You should avoid having back-orders thus being unable to fill your customers’ orders. When you see the QOH stabilize, you know the wholesale supplier has restocked and you refresh your listings. Pay absolute attention to the QOH on hot selling items especially during the holiday season.  Back orders typically result in angry customers and negative feedback.

Click to review more of Chris Malta’s “Wholesale Tips”