Guideline on Packing Materials and Packing Material Evaluations

Stanley Packaging share useful packing tips to help you get that item safely to your buyer!

Using recycled packing materials is a point of great debate between members. Many members choose to use all new; others only use recycled materials, and still others use a combination of recycled and new. Following are some general usage guidelines on packing materials:

  • Packing Foam – Recommended as an added protection, not for use alone. This can be a great way to add protection around items or between stacked dishes. We recommend using this in combination with bubble wrap, not alone for delicate items. Please see manufacturer’s recommendations of thickness and use.
  • Packing Peanuts – Highly Recommended. Packing peanuts are one of the best packaging materials for absorbing shock available today. These recycle beautifully and do not wear out. They may break to pieces as they absorb impact, but whole peanuts can be used again and again. Static, antistatic, or starch-based all seem to work equally well for glass and pottery items. Please, use caution with starch based peanuts, these do dissolve in water.
  • Air Pillows – Not highly recommended as a substitute for packing peanuts due to the risk of popping. Use with caution.
  • Bubble wrap – Highly Recommended. Comes in a variety of sizes of bubbles, perforated or un-perforated, stick or not sticky. Most items can be wrapped in small bubble wrap. Larger bubble wrap is recommended for heavier items that are prone to get more shock during shipping.
  • Tissue Paper – Highly recommended for the first layer of wrapping to prevent scratching
  • Newspaper – Not highly recommended for shipping. Do not place directly in contact with your item. The ink can adhere to the surfaces of your items, especially bisque and other unglazed surfaces. Newspaper is not a great shock absorber. If used, it should be fresh, crumpled or shredded. Newspaper loses it shock absorbability quickly.
  • Blank Newsprint – Use with caution. Often available for very little cost from your local newspaper, makes great wrapping paper and can be used for box “fill”.
  • Shredded Paper (not newspaper) – Recommended, but use with caution. Can be used to nest lightweight items and between inner and outer boxes. Some find it better for odd shaped items. This retains it shock absorption qualities longer than newspaper. If it is new and unused, it does not pack down easily and really keeps things from flopping around in the box. Warning: this can add weight to your package and increase the shipping costs.
  • Cardboard Boxes – Recommended. Great to add protection during shipping. This can be cut to add extra strength to boxes, shaped to add shelves or compartments in existing boxes, and cut and shaped around finials, spouts, and handles for added protection.
  • Styrofoam Egg Cartons – These can be used to hold items inside a box in place or when double boxing, place these inside a larger box. Cut off the tops, they are not as strong as the bottoms. Just put a layer upside down on the inside bottom of larger box. If space permits, set in the smaller box and fill in around the smaller box. They are free and don’t add any weight.
  • Coffee Filters – Coffee filters can be a great substitute for tissue paper. They are ideal to wrap items you wish to keep lint free. Consider using them between stacked plates to prevent scratching when you store your fine dinnerware!
  • Cardboard Box Lids – Box lids can be cut down for many uses. They are a great source of extra cardboard that is mentioned in tips throughout these pages. They can even be cut in half to create an inexpensive box for double boxing.