Tips For Shipping Handmade Jewelry
I have received a few questions specifically related to shipping jewelry so I put together some resources and tips.
Here are some online retailers of cotton lined jewelry gift boxes that you can use for shipping:
Buy jewelry boxes in bulk for substantial savings.
It is best to use a ring or jewelry box rather than placing your handmade jewelry inside an envelope. Boxes offer more protection and are more professional.
You can add more cotton to the jewelry box so your items do not move around. Wrap the jewelry box with bubble wrap and then place everything inside a bubble mailer. For more protection you can wrap your jewelry in bubble before putting it inside the cotton filled jewelry box. You do not want items to move around inside the box and get damaged.
If your handmade items are very delicate, do the same as above but place the bubble wrapped jewelry box inside a small shipping box. Compare priority flat rate box shipping rates to small boxes like you would find at www.uline.com
The key when putting the bubble wrapped jewelry box inside another box is to fill the empty voids of the larger box with either shipping paper, newspaper, or packing peanuts. Items can be easily damaged if they are allowed to move around inside of a box.
Be sure to insure your shipments and use delivery confirmation. The USPS requires your parcel to be greater than ¾ inches thick at its thickest point to use delivery confirmation. Placing a bubble wrapped jewelry box inside a bubble mailer will give you this thickness.
When shipping internationally be careful with customs forms. Other countries have restrictions on what can be shipped there. In some cases certain precious materials may be prohibited or you may run into issues with high priced jewelry. Be sure to ask the shipping clerk what term to use on the customs form. Some recommend claiming it as a “fashion accessory” vs putting “jewelry” on the label to prevent possible theft. You do not want to lie however, so be sure to ask. The term “jewelry” is often used to describe items with precious stones or metals. If your items do not fall into this category, “fashion accessory” will be fine.
The USPS does not include delivery status and tracking on their Priority Mail International Flat Rate Envelopes or Small Flat Rate Priced Boxes. This is only available on medium and large priority boxes.
For much higher priced handmade jewelry you may not be able to get enough insurance coverage through the USPS. A couple ways around this are to split up your items if possible and ship them separately, or use a third party insurer such as http://www.shipsurance.com/. Be sure to know the restrictions of the country you are shipping to as you may not be able to get proper insurance on a restricted item.
Hopefully these tips will help you ship your handmade jewelry more safely.