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How do you package your lego sets?

GodspeedGodspeed Member Posts: 14
edited October 2012 in Buying & Selling Topics
I've recently considered selling a few Lego sets, and I'm wondering how do you guys package your Lego sets? The trouble I'm having is finding boxes that fit larger lego sets in their original boxes, such as modular sized boxes. The largest box for the post office in AUS has a length of 430mm, while the longest side on the modular box is something around 580mm. A few packaging websites do sell appropriate boxes but their service is only viable when buying in bulk, so is not an option for an occasional seller like me. Anyone have any suggestions? Especially if you're in AUS too. Thanks!

Comments

  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    Really the only way to get "appropriate" sized boxes is to buy in bulk. The only alternative is to cut and tape boxes together to make them fit. At least here in the US, the bundles typically are in groups of 25. Weigh what your time is worth to "customize" your own boxes vs having a few left over from a bundle.
  • cloud0cloud0 SingaporeMember Posts: 101
    How about you just wrap them in those wrapping plastic sheets movers use during transportation?
  • Penkid11Penkid11 Member Posts: 789
    edited October 2012
    Go to nearest big chain toy store and ask for boxes. My nearest Toys R Us has horrible customer service, but the manager let me have quite a bit of their shipping boxes. Largest one I got said it contained a Vampire Castle. Had the set box nearby and put it in... Almost four Minifig heights worth of room to slide.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    I second the bulk thing... We don't use CM here, but a modular is 24x20x4" in size, and that box is easy to find in bundles of 25 from any number of bulk box suppliers.

    I myself use ULine, pay about a buck per box, but they are new, fit perfectly, and take about 10 seconds to use.

    That isn't to say I don't reuse boxes, I love the Lego [email protected] boxes, they work well, I get other boxes here and there that work, but the bulk of what I ship are brand new ULine boxes.

    Another benefit? I get almost no damage claims. The very, very few that I get, would have been damaged no matter how you ship them (think run over by a truck). :)
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    edited October 2012
    For many sets (except for the very largest ones), you can buy moving boxes at Lowes and Home Depot for less than $2 (I'm assuming you may live in the US; if not, this may be helpful for others who do).

    Of course, these boxes are too tall to use, since shipping would cost too much. To circumvent this, simply slit the box corners to the size you need with a box cutter, re-fold the flaps using something straight, and then you have a flatter box that will work perfectly with most Lego sets. I leave the top flaps extra long for added strength, though you could trim these if you wanted.

    For padding, I use crumpled up newspaper. It is free, lightweight, and very effective. I normally wrap the Lego box in brown paper so the newspaper ink doesn't rub off on the box.

    So there you go. Cheap, easy and effective.

    Home Depot moving boxes


    EDIT: Based on your use of mm as a metric, it looks like you live outside of the US. However, the same approach will probably work for you.
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    ^He also mentioned that he lived in Australia... twice. So that may be a better indicator than the metric thing. :D
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    ^Lol. My multi-tasking could use some improvement:)
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    I've bought hundreds of sets off Bricklink in the past 6 months.

    I have to say the success rate of using "cut down moving boxes" is terrible, perhaps 1 in 10 has arrived crushed or damaged.

    You ruin the entire box by doing it, unless you're really good and know what you're doing. Just cutting the sides and folding over doesn't work, the box has no vertical strength left, it is very easy to crush what is inside.

    You have to score the four sides almost perfecly to provide for even folds, it is a learned skill, that's for sure. There is proably a special tool somewhere for this, but I've never seen one.

    Just keep in mind that for every bit of "savings" you try and make on a box, is it worth it if the item is damaged in shipment?
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    edited October 2012
    ^I agree a resized box may not not be as perfect as a pre-cut box, and if I sold more Lego than I do, I would certainly purchase in bulk from u-line. However, when done with some attention to detail and accurate measuring, I feel the end result is a pretty sturdy box. As previously noted, it is necessary to use a flat edge to fold the new box flaps; any other way will result in a mess.

    I should note that I also re-use boxes quite a bit, since I buy a fair amount of Lego online. I probably ship less than 20 percent or so with the re-folded boxes.

    Regarding savings, it's not just that I'm trying to save money. It's that new boxes just aren't readily available in the ideal sizes in small quantities. If I bought in bulk from u-line, I would have extra boxes lying around that would never be used. I agree entirely with your general assertion that shoddy shipping is not worth it; I think we just disagree a bit regarding whether or not a "properly" resized box constitutes shoddy shipping:) I've compared a few boxes I've resized to a typical box from Amazon, and I really wasn't able to discern much of a difference with respect to rigidity/general strength.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    :) Amazon boxes are not what I'd call "good". :)

    But then I'm a bit anal when it comes to shipping, I've seen so much damage, I just don't care to deal with it.

    But that might be a volume thing as well. At some point, the cost of customer service, having to answer e-mails, replace items, deal with a refund, exceeds the cost of boxes, at least for me. If I could hire overseas customer service like Amazon does, perhaps I'd feel otherwise.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,742
    cloud0 said:

    How about you just wrap them in those wrapping plastic sheets movers use during transportation?

    Absolutely not. If you don't ship LEGO in an outer box then the set box will almost inevitably incur some damage which isn't acceptable to many buyers, particularly if you're selling high-value items like modulars.

    If you can't find shipping boxes big enough, you can consider carefully crafting your own outer covering out of scraps of stiff cardboard cannabalised from other boxes and pad the inside with bubblewrap - I've seen some pretty epic efforts from sellers in my time ! It's an effort, but it's the price of entry if you want to sell boxed LEGO sets of any value.

  • Penkid11Penkid11 Member Posts: 789
    cloud0 said:

    How about you just wrap them in those wrapping plastic sheets movers use during transportation?

    Them's fightin' words, sonny! :oP
    If that is your mindset, I hope this thread (and the shipment damage thread) will assist you, if not many, who will try shipping a set.
  • TyoSoloTyoSolo Member Posts: 539
    If you can't recycle existing shipping boxes (better for the environment), Use a nice stiff, sturdy box (double walled). These are easy to find a staples, but they aren't the cheapest.

    Depending on the item, either bubble wrap or those polystyrene packing "noodles" are good for protection. The noodles are my favourite, as they are very light weight and pack odd shaped items better. For a standard big box, the "big bubble" wrap works really well though.
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,101
    For what it is worth, I make most of my own boxes. I round up large appliance boxes, unfold them into a large piece of cardboard and then cut them to the size needed. I make the box 1.5 inches larger on all sides and them fold them up appropriately. I then carefully tape all edges. I would have to say that may custom made boxes are much better then most store bought ones.
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    I use Dell computer/monitor boxes for the most part, as I have a ready supply of them at work. I would much prefer to get new correct size boxes though, as the resizing of boxes is time consuming if done half way decent.

    I really need to look into getting new boxes if I can find them cheap enough, price is a big part of the problem in Austrailia.
  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,258
    edited October 2012

    I second the bulk thing... We don't use CM here, but a modular is 24x20x4" in size, and that box is easy to find in bundles of 25 from any number of bulk box suppliers.

    I myself use ULine, pay about a buck per box, but they are new, fit perfectly, and take about 10 seconds to use.

    24x20x4? Crap. You can tell I've never actually fondled such a box... I ordered a bunch of 24x16x4 thinking they would cover any job, and I had hoped that boxing up modulars was going to be somewhere in my near future. Crap.

    Uline is the cheapest for boxes, yes, BUT you have to buy a truckload of them! Or wait, maybe I'm thinking of bubble wrap. Anyhow I got mine from Paper Mart, they'll send a nice bundle of 20 for $40-50, so like $2 a box.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ULine actually isn't the cheapest for boxes, but the service is great and they ship for free to me, and since time is money... :)

    I just looked, I paid $1.47 per box for my last batch of 24x20x4" boxes, it is the 24x16x4" boxes that are closer to $1 each.

    But there is something to be said when you're paying someone $12/hr to package stuff for shipment, in having all the right box sizes. You have a roll of 12" wide bubble wrap to go the short way, a roll of 24" bubble wrap to go the long way, in about a minute you have wrapped and taped shut a modular neat and protected in a quality box.

    Needless to say, you have to do volume to make that work of course.

    My favorite boxes from them are the 32x24x12" boxes, I get these double-wall, 275lb test, for shipping the big expensive sets like 10030 and 10179.

    You can just about stand on the boxes and they won't crush, while I don't want to test that with such a set inside them, knock on wood... I've never had a single damage complaint of any expensive set shipped in such a box. For $6 a box, that is the cheapest insurance you can buy.
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