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Shipping Boxes

WindfieldWindfield USAMember Posts: 33
edited January 2014 in Buying & Selling Topics
I am not sure if anybody has discussed this previously or not. But I am curious, where do you guys get shipping boxes to ship Legos that you sold on eBay, amazon, bricklink, etc?

As a collector, I realize the importance of protecting the Legos so they arrive to the buyer in perfect condition.

I have ordered some free boxes from USPS but they are just not big enough for the bigger sets.

Any input is appreciated. Thanks!!!
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Comments

  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    I typically reuse the boxes I receive the sets in. LEGO.com has the best boxes of course. Toys R Us are the worst. Target and Amazon are not bad.

    Otherwise I get some boxes from uline.com.
  • WindfieldWindfield USAMember Posts: 33
    @sidersdd, thanks a lot for the info! I just checked uline.com for the first time and it seems to have what I need.

    Thanks again bud!
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    Uline! And hopefully you live near one of their distribution centers and can will call it.
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    edited January 2012
    Doesn't uline require some crazy minimums? When I looked into them I seem to remember needing to order 25x of a box that I only needed 3x of.
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    edited January 2012
    No minimums, but the boxes do come in bundles :P

    If you only need three just drive around the back of strip malls and other retail centers. Plenty of boxes to be had.
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    Yeah I've tried that route and it was more frustration than it was worth for me. I just want a box retailer that sells every imaginable box dimension ever, where I can buy as little as 1 box for a non-absurd price. And they're located across the street. Is that too much to ask?? =P

    I hate dealing with boxes for shipping, if you couldn't tell. I have a tiny living space, so I can't afford a closet just for tossing used boxes into to save for future shipments. So when I actually DO need a box I usually have to go buy one. One particular box was $12.25 at the UPS store! It was only 24"x24"x20" I believe. Not tiny, but it wasn't like I needed to ship a rocking chair either. I was floored by the cost.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,421
    Most large US cities will have a paper supply store that sell them. The largest will be XPEDX or Paper Plus as well as others. Not to be confused with Office Max et al.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    buying those $12 boxes will eat a huge hole in your profit margin. I did that a couple times when i started, but now I never buy boxes. Worse comes to worse, you can usually fashion one the size you need using other castoff boxes and spare cardboard. Just make sure you tape 'em up real good.
  • bahnstormerbahnstormer Member Posts: 180
    the lego factory boxes are pretty strong, i picked up a bunch when supermarkets were re-stocking before xmas.

    most staff are pleased to get rid of them as it saves them a ton of hassle with the baling machine.
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    I use Rajapack, but I don't think that does the USA?
  • tk79tk79 Member Posts: 329
    edited January 2012
    Seeing how much resellers ship, this seems like a good spot to ask...

    Anyone have experience using these and if so, did they work to protect your Lego box in transit? Seems like the shipping box shouldn't be much more than 3/4"-1" bigger than the Lego box on each side for the protectors to be able to stay in place:

    http://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/S-6064/Protectors/3-5-8-x-3-x-2-Foam-Corner-Protectors
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    I think you just need boxes fit to the correct dimensions. They are not hard to stock as most Lego boxes across themes are the same size. Lego bags are great filler when needed. If I did not have a ton of Lego bags I would use the big rolls of bubble rap when necessary.
  • cbaker1974cbaker1974 Member Posts: 150
    I use a combination of the sealed air bags that I re-use (Target, Amazon, [email protected] use the best, the ones from TRU seem to have a worse half-life on deflating) along with bubble wrap purchased from Amazon in big rolls. There are 3-4 vendors on Amazon who will ship free w/ Prime or Super Saver Shipping and their prices jump around a little bit so I just go with whoever is cheapest.

    I used to get packing peanuts from B&N when I used to run an eBay business fulltime, they would leave them on their back loading dock in big bags. However one of the things I learned from that business (where I was shipping 30-40 packages a day), was that "free packing supplies" were for the birds...having nice new boxes and new bubble wrap was a huge time server and well worth the investment, just work it into your business plan. Working through uline or a similar box company you can get "right-sized" boxes for a dollar or less per box and not have to fool with awkward packing situations, especially since Lego set boxes are all slotted into distinct sizes (like the largest box for modulars and exclusives, next one down for PotC ships and SW AT-AT, etc).

    The boxes that come from TRU, Target and [email protected] are usually way too big for their contents and while free, can be a pain to pack when you have to stuff it with extra packing material.
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654

    I used to get packing peanuts from B&N when I used to run an eBay business fulltime, they would leave them on their back loading dock in big bags. However one of the things I learned from that business (where I was shipping 30-40 packages a day), was that "free packing supplies" were for the birds...having nice new boxes and new bubble wrap was a huge time server and well worth the investment, just work it into your business plan. Working through uline or a similar box company you can get "right-sized" boxes for a dollar or less per box and not have to fool with awkward packing situations, especially since Lego set boxes are all slotted into distinct sizes (like the largest box for modulars and exclusives, next one down for PotC ships and SW AT-AT, etc).

    The boxes that come from TRU, Target and [email protected] are usually way too big for their contents and while free, can be a pain to pack when you have to stuff it with extra packing material.
    Right on. Totally agree.

    Didn't know about the B&N thing, however -- would have been a nice savings for some other things I used to sell.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    The TRU boxes are worthless for reshipping, in my personal opinion. Target boxes can be good, I've got a stack saved... [email protected] boxes are the best, but even then I only keep about half of them.

    I buy boxes from uLine, worth every penny... They sell 24x20x4" boxes that fit the modulars perfectly, leaving just enough room for bubble wrap around each side. For the valuable sets, I then stick them in a larger box and off they go. If I'm selling a $1,200 Cafe Corner, $5 in purchased packing supplies goes a long way. Amazing that so many people selling sets in this price range are so cheap.

    When I buy stuff off eBay and it arrives other than as promised, usually due to the seller being cheap with packing, it ends up costing them more because either they have to take it back, or adjust the purchase price to compensate.
  • BalloonistBalloonist Member Posts: 52
    I get made to measure in the UK from ascdirect.co.uk. Need to order in packs of 25 and the little bit more I pay per box, in my opinion outweighs the use of other packaging material for padding. Also saves time and provides a more professional finish.
  • Cam_n_StuCam_n_Stu UKMember Posts: 368
    Thanks @Balloonist, that might come in handy!

    As everyone says LEGO.com boxes are great but if haven't got those and don't want to pay for boxes keep a look out for boxes that have held high-end electronics like Hi-Fi or business grade IT kit as it is usually double walled and considerably stronger than most of boxes.
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    Thanks @Balloonist, that might come in handy!

    As everyone says LEGO.com boxes are great but if haven't got those and don't want to pay for boxes keep a look out for boxes that have held high-end electronics like Hi-Fi or business grade IT kit as it is usually double walled and considerably stronger than most of boxes.
    Those boxes are heavier as well which adds to your shipping cost. Doesn't "seem" like a big deal, but many times it bumps you up to the next pound.

  • MartinMartin Member Posts: 375
    I too use ascdirect.co.uk for custom boxes to match LEGO box dimensions. I usually hold about six sizes of box in stock and therefore always have exactly the right box for the job. Packing is then a piece of cake.
  • JT32JT32 BasingstokeMember Posts: 124
    I do a little bit re-selling on the side to help fund my Lego addiction and I've now built up quite a collection of BNIB sets that I'm currently selling or storing away for a rainy day.

    Can anyone recommend a good shop/website (in the UK) where I can find some Large Lego set sized good quality boxes?

    I've done a few searches but most cardboard box websites don't have and boxes that really suit large Lego sets. Sure I can order custom sized boxes which I may have to do but I was hoping someone might be able to advise me of a good (cheap) place to buy them.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,945
    I save ones that Lego [email protected] use, or amazon (and the air pockets to stop them moving around).
    Cam_n_Stu
  • JT32JT32 BasingstokeMember Posts: 124
    Yes so do I which is great when sets come individually boxed but sometimes they come 2-3 to a box so then I have to box them individually to ship.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,945
    Encourage your customers to buy multiples! Some custom boxes are expensive. If you are going to pay £3 for a box to send a set to someone else, you might as well discount an extra set to an existing customer by that amount and ship it in an existing box.

    Also, check whether the set box is massively important to the buyer. If they just want sealed and new, but not necessarily a mint box, then don't use a premium lego shipping box, but use something else with plenty of airbags.
  • mressinmressin Lego City... erm LondonMember Posts: 843
    @JT32 I have the same problem. I found boxes online, but you have to buy them in bulks of 50 or so, and they still seem to cost GBP 3.50 per box (don't remember the vendor name off the top of my head). There are very large jiffy bags in stores in WHSmith, so I started sending out Lego boxes wrapped in abundant amount of jiffy wrapping. Obviously that still doesn't protect sets very well.

    But would be very interested if somebody knows a vendor for boxes which can hold Lego sets, e.g. 54 mm x 28 mm x 5.5 mm or some such.

    Lego set boxes can come in quite strange proportions, come to think of it...
  • SiESiE Member Posts: 237
    I source mine from work. We have boxes that paper comes in, boxes for new pc's and monitors, boxes for stationary, books allsorts. I also ask local shops to keep them for me.
  • bricknationbricknation Member Posts: 680
    I had no other choice than to order custom made boxes as there was nothing suitable readily available.
  • roxioroxio UKMember Posts: 1,335
    I get a lot from work as well - laptop boxes are very strong and well suited to medium sized sets
  • JT32JT32 BasingstokeMember Posts: 124

    I had no other choice than to order custom made boxes as there was nothing suitable readily available.

    Where do you get them from and how much do you roughly pay for them, if you don't mind saying?
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,953
    mressin said:

    But would be very interested if somebody knows a vendor for boxes which can hold Lego sets, e.g. 54 mm x 28 mm x 5.5 mm or some such.

    Crikey, you must have some very small sets! :)

  • mressinmressin Lego City... erm LondonMember Posts: 843
    Why, that's what my B-Wing came in. Never managed to get it back in there, though.

    Sorry, I meant cm. ;)
  • bricknationbricknation Member Posts: 680
    edited November 2012
    I got them in two sizes made to my exact specification by www.fast-pak.co.uk
    image
    195 x 70 x 145mm for smaller sets £0.16 per box
    385 x 90 x 285mm for bigger ones £0.27 per box

    Prices were low only because I ordered something around 3500 boxes at once.

    Both are single wall board but overlapping flaps make them unusually resistant to rough handling. The bigger box easily takes my weight without being crushed. I can step on it and nothing happens (85kg if anyone is wondering). Since getting those boxes I had no complaints about crushed parcels.

    Opening being in the longer side allows to use the boxes as telescopic boxes in case the LEGO set we pack is bigger. It works this way:
    image
    So for a big set like #2507 that is around 58 x 38 x 9 cm I would use 2 separate boxes and everything still looks neat, tidy and most importantly protects the contents well.

    When it comes to even bigger sets like #10214 I'm reusing [email protected] boxes if I can. If not i still have some boxes I got from ebay a long time ago from http://stores.ebay.co.uk/WER-Online-Shop. I have only few left and will need to start looking around soon for some more.

    paul_mertonCam_n_Stucoachie
  • mressinmressin Lego City... erm LondonMember Posts: 843
    @bricknation Impressive. Thanks for the explanation.

    Curious what @LegoFanTexas has to say about this topic. ;)
  • leemcgleemcg Member Posts: 607
    ^ LFT might not see this thread as its got UK in the subject but I've definitely read another thread where he talks about getting custom correct size boxes in bulk.
  • morezonemorezone Member Posts: 207
    Thanks @bricknation. I'm going to look into it. I was going to buy some off the shelf boxes in packs of 100 but will have to check sizes and prices and compare. Now where can I store 3000+ boxes? hmmm
  • fy222fy222 Member Posts: 171
    3500 box at once?

    you have so much space!
  • bricknationbricknation Member Posts: 680
    Not so much. They're folded flat :P
  • BrickbaseBrickbase Member Posts: 100
    Not located in the U.K. For the sets that I do resell(only a few) I order custom boxes. The size of the box will be a little bit bigger then the biggest Lego box I have. To fill all the rest space in the box, I use shredded printing paper. Seems to work pretty well.
  • BalloonistBalloonist Member Posts: 52
    Ascdirect.co.uk
  • fy222fy222 Member Posts: 171
    even at 1cm depth per box after folded... 3500 will be 35 metres long....
    Brickbase
  • MartinMartin Member Posts: 375
    ^^ seconded. Min qty 25 and they are reasonable value for money even in small quantities.
  • JT32JT32 BasingstokeMember Posts: 124
    thanks for the advice, I'm looking at buying around 200 boxes in total so should be good. I'll check it out later.
  • BuriedinBricksBuriedinBricks USAMember Posts: 1,366
    I'm at a point where I have pretty much run out of larger boxes for shipping big sets. Is there a good US source for boxes or an outlet people prefer? I'm mainly looking for something in the 20-24x18x5 range. Most stores around here have boxes with the first two dimensions, but they tend to be 12+ inches deep, which is just too much dead space to fill when shipping a set.

    U-LINE appears to have a decent range of side-loading boxes that might work, while I also saw these on Home Depot's site.

    Does anyone have a preferred box style for shipping bigger sets? I'm looking for something multipurpose, since LEGO boxes tend to vary pretty widely.
  • legogregorslegogregors Member Posts: 402
    I am also curious about this.
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    edited December 2013
    I use a local place, packagespot.com, and pick up in person to avoid shipping fees. I normally just buy two sizes, 24x16x4 and 24x24x6. That covers pretty much everything except the small sets, which I try not to bother with except if I'm selling a used set I've already built.

    Those side-loading boxes could be a pain. Since I generally use packing paper and/or newspaper to pad the sets, it might be hard to get even padding coverage on a side-loading box.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    The top loading boxes from uline tend to be cheaper than the side loading. Sometimes you have to go to a page a level deeper to find the full range of sizes, or enter the dimensions

    24x20x4 are perfect for modulars, IS, HH, AA, Orthanc, ewok

    24x20x6 for bwing, TB, TH, SOH

    24x16x4 for xwing, jabbas palace, vampire castle, etc

    20x16x4 for new winter village sets, 20x12 for the older ones
    bluedragonBuriedinBrickskylejohnson11MathBuilder
  • BuriedinBricksBuriedinBricks USAMember Posts: 1,366
    @dougts...thank you. The hardest part about this has been trying to sift through all of the different sizes that are out there.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    I use ULine for all my shipping supplies... It helps that they are local and provide free local delivery when buying $300 worth at a time.

    24x20x6" boxes perfectly fit sets like the B-Wing and Tower Bridge

    24x20x4" boxes perfectly wrap a modular size box

    24x16x4" boxes perfect wrap a Jabba's Palace size box

    They have various boxes for smaller sets too.

    I use their 24x24x24" double-wall 275lb test boxes for shipping in bulk. They aren't cheap, at almost $5 a box, but when packed you can stand on them and they don't require protection in the box, you can pack them wall to wall with no filler materials. Load them up to 70lbs and the cost per lb is pretty reasonable when doing bulk shipments.

    They have great quality bubblewrap and packing tape. If you pack a lot, spring for the 3" wide tape, it is worth the time and trouble saved, it does a better job holding boxes closed. If you pack at home, they have quiet tape that is really quiet, the family will thank you. Expensive tape, but worth it when the kids are sleeping.

    You can get discounts the more you buy. Even more than their web site, you just have to call and work with a rep, but I've often been able to haggle down 30% or more off their published prices when buying over $1,000 worth at at time. Clearly you need to be a larger shipper to do that of course.

    If you don't buy enough or can't get free shipping, ULine gets much more expensive.

    Boxes need to be purchased locally, so if you don't have a ULine nearby, there will be a box supplier of some type nearby. Your phone book is a good place to start actually...
    LegoManiacc
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    I have my local box supplier price match Uline. They are happy to do so. Go local if you can.
  • korkor Member Posts: 392
    I'm running into the same problem. Much to the dismay of my wife, I keep every larger box that comes in. The last few weeks of selling sealed sets has wiped out my stash and I hate paying for boxes!
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    I don't like paying for boxes either, but at some level of volume, it is simply easier to buy the correct size of new boxes, have them all in perfect condition, not worry about leaving old shipping labels on, finding the right size, etc.

    If I was doing this part time from home, I'd reuse boxes as well, but when you're paying someone else by the hour to pack, the cost of a stack of new boxes vs. paying them to sort used boxes rather washes out after awhile.
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