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Do You Hate Packing Peanuts?

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If you hate styrofoam peanuts as much as I do, I recently came up with a really functional solution for handling them. It's on my blog ....

 

http://www.goodelephant.com/1/post/2013/09/giant-cardboard-teapot.html

 

If anyone else has tips to make packing and shipping easier, please share!

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I packing peanuts also. However, I really don't use them anymore. I purchase bulk popcorn from Sam's club, pop it, and use it to pack my chalices and patens when I send them out. Have not lost one yet using USPS single boxes, with pieces wrapped in bubble wrap and packed in highly compressed popcorn. Boxes get sent out with computer printed labels and return addresses. No insurance. By the time I go through the paper work and hassle of insurance, not worth it. Popping is a hassle, but I include a shipping and handling fee that pays me for some of the time. In the long run cheaper than buying bulk peanuts, and environmentally safer, I think.  Customers have a popcorn party when the boxes arrive.  Do not send overseas this way, then I go to peanuts.

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My goodness Prez ... Don't pay for peanuts! So many places are thrilled if you come and get them.

I get mine during the run up to Christmas at a local gift store. I promise to pick up their boxes which they leave by the back door and get enough peanuts to last for years. Even just letting your friends and neighbors know you want them will load you up. Everybody wants to get rid of them.

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When I moved a year and a half ago I saved all the packing popcorn, paper sheets, shredded paper and bubblewrap.... Every stitch of it all. I have a closet under the stairs next to my studio that I put it all in huge clear plastic bags then stuffed the bags in the closet. I couldn't stand the thought of having to PAY for something that I had already paid for in my move. Heck I would have paid 3 times once to pack the stuff, once to have it taken away and then again when I had to rebuy packing supplies once more. But good lord I don't dare tear a bag accidentally or its like an avalanche in there!

 

I stick a little note in my shipped boxes stating that I use recycled and repurposed packing supplies. People like to know stuff like that. I also try to always use priority mail to send stuff and I do insure if its over a certain dollar amount. I have only ever had 1 item broken in shipment and the picture I saw it looked like the box had been run over by a truck so I don't think any amount of packing peanuts or bubble wrap would have helped. Luckily it was over my insure amount so it was insured and the person just had to take it to the post office to get their money back.

 

T

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I wish I could buy starch peanuts. Most of my shipments are for wholesale orders, i.e. large cartons with about 20lbs of pots. The starch peanuts are not sturdy enough for that amount of weight, they squish and lose their volume. Although I won't turn down starch peanuts if someone is giving them to me. They work great for online orders, where it's just one pot in a small box. That's another reason to hate styrofoam peanuts, they aren't eco-friendly.

 

I'm lucky to get lots of free peanuts from my students, and even some of my customers. I used to get free peanuts using Freecycle, but eventually got too grossed out by how many time I got bags that also contained trash, mouse droppings, etc. Yuck. So now I only take free peanuts from people I know, and buy the rest.

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I absolutely HATE plastic peanuts/popcorn or whatever folks call that crap.  Even the starch ones.  It is a pain to pack with, a pain to unpack for customers, and in the case of the non-degradeable stuff.... terrible for the environment.

 

I use and re-use bubble plastic (or air packs) almost exclusively.  Still plastic...and bad for the environment...... but at least it doesn't fly everywhere in the slightest breeze. 

 

And it does not settle, pack out, and allow stuff to move around......a key cause of breakage in shipping.

 

It takes a bit longer to pack with bubble, and costs a bit more...... but my work's prices support this.

 

best,

 

.......................john

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I never buy any packing materials anymore-I just use recycled boxes from many sources . I store this stuff in small shed.

I like sheet foam between inner and outer boxes and use recycled bubble or plastic air bags (like Amazon uses) these are all had from free scources and stored. I do get free used peanuts ocasionally and store them in large bags.For me the key is having lots of everything to choose from. I usually double box.I like the sheet foam the best and save of it whenever I find it. I have also broken down foam (from molded larger pieces) to make smaller fill. I also sometimes roll work into seperate cardboard spaces all taped so they cannot move. You can do this with mugs and glasses easily as long as the space is tight and locked up.I have not had any breakage in years.

One last tip-I never ship the 5 weeks before x-mas-all shippers are to insane on stuff-I tell my customers that I will ship a few days after x-mas and they all get it and are happy to wait. I learned this after double boxing a few soup tureens one x=mas and having them smashed-I value my work more than to just get paid for smashed work so I quit shipping then. It's on my web site as a whole page on shipping . I try to spell things out so folks can get it. Cost of shipping ceramics is also spoken about as well as my mugs sizes as these are the most often covered things I need to convey-like this week two e-mail on mug orders but they never ask for a size? It drives me nuts. Most e-mail orders require many e-mails (4-5 is the norm) and then about 1/2 a phone call. All for two mugs

hers todays oder you you can see what I mean

(Comment

I would like to purchase two of your coffee mugs. Design #6. They will be replacing two that were broken by mistake. Please let me know the price and time frame of delivery. )

 

This person does not tell me what size mugs or where I'm shipping to but wants a price.This happens most of the time.

So I send them those questions then some get answered some need another e-mail soon I've sent 4 to 5 and the deal is not done yet

I'm not trying for more shipping business its just happens a bunch no matter how little i try for it.I'm not in the mail order business but it just happens and I go along with some of it.

http://www.liscomhillpottery.com/shipping-info.html

Mark

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The store I work at brings in Pottery from across the country. It travels quite a distance and the potter uses a product that is a vinyl underlay. He wraps each piece individually and tapes with packing tape to keep it wrapped. We have never unpacked a broken piece. We get two orders a year of over 100 pieces of pottery. We never know what to do with all the leftover material. I wish I could give it to any of you ( he gets the underlay from a store that installs flooring. He uses the leftover pieces. They can't use).

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The store I work at brings in Pottery from across the country. It travels quite a distance and the potter uses a product that is a vinyl underlay. He wraps each piece individually and tapes with packing tape to keep it wrapped. We have never unpacked a broken piece. We get two orders a year of over 100 pieces of pottery. We never know what to do with all the leftover material. I wish I could give it to any of you ( he gets the underlay from a store that installs flooring. He uses the leftover pieces. They can't use).

Do you think you can post a picture of this material? I'm really curious to know more about it.

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I'm guessing it is "carpet underlayment".  It is a rubbery foam type product that provides some of the "cushion" that most carpets seem to have when walked upon.  It is maybe 1/4" to 3/8" thick, and spongy.  The one issue I would see if I am remembering correctly is ....compared to somthing like packing foam or bubble wrap... it is relatively heavy.

 

Great use of recycled scrap.

 

best,

 

...................john

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Yes that's the stuff! I called it vinyl but your right it is more rubber like. It's very light. The orders he sends are huge so weight is very important Shipping charges are crazy expensive where I live. He also sends his pottery in boxes that holds maybe thirty pieces each

It travels well.

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pack·ing pea·nut
/paking pÄ“nÉ™t/
noun
plural noun: packing peanuts
  1. the evil seed or spawn of demonic beings from hell, with no specific gravity, which cannot be stored or contained within any reasonable space.
  2. the seed pod resulting from cross propagation of the "styro" plant with the "foam rubber" tree.
  3. see "necessary evil"
  4. a synthetic packing material with a decay rate slightly less than that of a Twinkie
  5. believed to transsubstantiate into cocker roaches if exposed to bread crumbs and butter after midnight.
  6. the playground of kittens:  

Love the stuff...

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