This particular blog it the first in the series of blogs under ‘My Small Little Business’, there will be more to follow so stay tuned!
I’ve always wanted to write about this topic because as I was purchasing through the posh world I came across some awful and even some exciting packages through the mail. This is just a basic guide on how to package your products! This is definitely NOT the rule but hopefully after you read this you can set your own standards to how you want to package your products.
Before I get into the nitty gritty of packaging I just want to set you up with just a basic understanding of what your packaging means. This is the absolute closest that people get to getting a tactile first impression of you. Yes we’ve seen the cover shots, and we see the comments and detail in your listing, but as far as first personal impressions, this is as good as it gets. You may not think that your packaging has an impact on how people perceive you, but it really does. I once ordered a purse (an expensive purse) through Poshmark and when I received it, it was in an envelope no tissue, no note, and no dust bag. My first reaction was…wtf?! Not only did I dish out some big bucks, but the person didn’t even have the decency to make sure that through shipping, the item stays in the same condition as how I saw in in the picture. Not only did I NOT want to shop at her closet again, I felt a bit cheated. Now there is a small standard when it comes to sending out your packages, it’s definitely not required, but it’s been standardized through practice, which is a ‘Thank You’ card. Now I don’t feel like you should dish out $2.99 on each thank you card, but a simple note could be that added extra touch that makes your buyer feel that much more inclined to shop or even better, refer you to other people. Anyway we will get more into that later.
So- Packaging really sets your buyers up for what they are to expect from you on future shopping occasions and it really helps you in your branding of yourself. Just like how this series is titled ‘My Small Little Business’ you are really setting yourself and your closet as your little business brand. You need to make a stellar first impression with your packaging, you’ve got to beat all the other girls’ closets on Poshmark as well as the other businesses for people to come back to you. So how do you do that?
Well, how do you want to get a package? That’s the first question that you should ask yourself. In my first example, I know I did not want to get my high end expensive purse in that manner. So I thought about if I were to send a really expensive purse through the mail, how would I do it? How would I want to feel when I open up that box? I want to feel like how Carrie Bradshaw got the Vivianne Westwood wedding gown in Sex in the City! That was a magical moment. I mean, I was so excited to get my item (as everyone is), that when I actually got it, my excitement was all gone. So when you’re packaging up your items its best to keep your buyer in mind and that expectations don’t fall flat before they get to the actual item itself. Now that you know that, lets start packin’! This is how I package my items – now this is just a basic view, typically if I go to a Posh event (meet up/ poshfest/ spring fling) and Poshmark hands out some goodies, I tend to pass them along to my buyers. First I start with my supplies:
Right here I’ve got some tissue paper, clear scotch tape, and packing tape. I use the scotch tape to hold down some of the tissue paper when wrapping, because I like a clean looking wrapped item. If you don’t then to each’s own!
I always like to add a thank you card, and if I am selling quite a few items it’s difficult to handwrite every single card. So I like to have ones that I can add a small personalization to it but also get some information across as well. I printed the notes on to label paper and then just cut and stuck them to the actual thank you card, for me it saves time. If you are a person who likes to handwrite each one to give that more personalization to it, by all means, GO FOT IT. I personally choose to do it this way, but it’s all about how you want to come across to your audience. The packaging that I saw on this BCBG dress that I purchased came with a card that said to tweet or Instagram your purchase with a hashtag and to tag them and I thought it was cool, so I set up accounts for my blog so my buyers can do just that! Btw, I LOVE fashion quotes, so I add them to the envelope that I printed on a label. Before I printed on the actual envelope something along the lines of “To One Gorgeous Looking Girl” which I really liked, but the envelopes don’t absorb the ink too well so it wasn’t an option for the moment but it will be in the future! Also I add my business card too. If you’ve ever seen my closet on Poshmark you’ll notice that everything is in chevron. I liked it so much that I kind of ran with it, and added it to my business card (which I got for free for attending Poshfest 2013). I got them from moo.com which is really cool that they are bite sized and they are made from a harder paper than regular business cards. You can customize it however you want but I added some vital information in the event that a buyer needs to get ahold of me or even just to see that I have a freakin cool business card! You never know when they need to get ahold of you or just want to share what it looks like to other people. However you want to get people to notice you and your closet, I would totally do it!
I got these also from moo.com and these are awesome stickers you can create from any image. I’ll be using these in a bit, but I got the idea for using these during Poshfest when people were talking about how they package their stuff. Since my theme is chevrons, I stuck with the chevron stickers. HOT PRO TIP: Some Poshers I know look for small businesses who need more marketing, and will ask a small fee for shipping supplies, in exchange they add some of the companies marketing materials into the package. If you can do it, then more power to you. I personally don’t have the time with all the other stuff on my plate, but that is definitely an option for any of you!
First I start with the garment.
Wrap it nicely.
Add my stickers to add to the theme of my closet, my own personal touch.
Add my note, and add the other garments in this bundle.
Seal the box, and use the packaging tape to seal the label on and seal the box shut. I do like to recycle boxes that other companies send to me, and not just use use the free ones that I order through usps.com. But I primarily do use the USPS boxes, but for this example I just used a recycled one. So that’s pretty much it, feel free to add your own comments and feel free to tag me in some of your own ways of how you send out your items, I love get inspired! Before I show you some really great creative ways to send your packaging, here is a few pointers that I got about shipping and packaging: POINTERS
- When shipping out your garments make sure to be conscientious of the weight restriction. Poshmark allows up to 5 lbs, but if your bundle is 5 pairs of jeans plus a pair of boots, I would think twice about giving that stellar discount! Make sure to add on the additional amount for shipping on the listing price (minus PM 20%) so you don’t get stuck paying for the additional weight for shipping. If the weight would over exceed what it is on the label one of 2 things may happen: 1) They send it back or 2) They hold your package at the post office and you have to retrieve it, then pay the additional to send it out, or pay Poshmark to get a new label with the correct weight amount, print it, then re-stick it back on your package. Big task, not cost effective.
- Do NOT, I repeat do NOT wrap your packages in wrapping paper. Now you can wrap them in wrapping paper and then put it in another box and send it off, but wrapping paper, twine, tags, etc. rip off immediately during processing. And if your precious label is on that wrapping paper, those conveyor belts will rip it right off and now your package is lost! So wrap it up cute, but make sure it’s secure inside of another box that can take the destruction of those high powered conveyor belts!
- If you have Adobe pdf (not the reader the actual program) installed in your computer, there is a way to print 2 labels on one sheet. If you are trying to be cost effective, then printing one label per page, isn’t going to help your cause, so if there is a way for you to save a little bit of cost then do it! You can also do it on Microsoft Word if you have it, and add little Poshmark logo’s on the label, or if you have a blog then you can add it there too! For me, that’s in the works right now.
- Remember: People love free stuff, so if you got extra samples that you got from Sephora or you have some Poshfest left overs that you can share, then do it! It just adds an extra touch and keeps your buyers excited!
- Remember: There are ways to be cost effective and still have that same effect on your buyer, so stop by the Dollar Tree for supplies! You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg for packaging tape or sparkle! Get some basket crinkle and add it inside your package before you add in that necklace/ earrings box.
- Remember: Adding a thank you note has been standardized by practice, so if you don’t send one it’s not against the Posh law, but it is an expectation that people have become accustomed to. Use it to add special information, like your Instagram handle so people can follow you! Or start a hashtag trend!
- Need some extra cash for shipping supplies? Ask a local boutique or a start up clothing company that is looking for some additional advertising. Slip in their marketing material in your packages for a small fee and voila! You got some extra spending cash for tissue paper!
- If the item is of high quality, or sensitive to immense movement (i.e, leather, beaded detailing, fabric that can easily be scuffed) then make sure you wrap in a dust bag, if you have one, or tissue paper, or any material that can keep it from being damaged whilst traveling cross country.
- Use the USPS app to set up pick up times for your packages. It’s really useful if you promise to send out packages a certain day of the week to your buyers or if you run a tight schedule. I never recommend just leaving your packages on your doorstep because no one is above theft, but you can leave in a hidden area that you can indicate through the app where the mail carrier can find it and retrieve the packages while you are away!
- Getting USPS packing supplies is free but don’t get boxes through the app. Get them online at USPS.com and under the tab SHIP A PACKAGE select ‘SHIPPING SUPPLIES’. On the Left select PRIORITY MAIL and choose the shipping supplies you want for free! They even ship right to your door. Just make sure they aren’t they ones that say FLAT RATE on them (FYI if you order boxes through the app, the only ones that you can select are the flat rate ones, so do it online to get the correct boxes). Otherwise if your use the flat rate boxes, you’re paling another gamble with the Post Office!
As promised, here are a few examples of some stellar packaging:
If you have more pointers, then please share in the comments below! Thanks so much for reading I hope this helps and feel free to tag any newbies that are in need of some guidance or some people just looking for more information! I’d love to hear your stories and if you have some stellar packaging you’d like to show off go ahead and tag us on Instagram @healthygirlfashion and Twitter @healthygirlUS and we will retweet! Stay fashionable, stay healthy. -E