The revenue from e-commerce consumer electronics in 2021 made for a whopping $123.8 billion U.S. Dollars in the United States alone. Globally, the consumer electronics e-commerce market was worth $473.21 billion in the same year. Taking these numbers into account, there’s no doubt that the market for consumer electronics is out there – you just need to know how to tap into it.
If you’re unsure where to start or need a little help along the way, you’re not alone. Keep reading for some essential tips and best practices on how to ship electronics.
Packing Tips When Shipping Electronics
When it comes to shipping electronics, paying close attention to your packaging is an absolute must. Not only does choosing the right packaging minimize shipping costs, but well-thought-out packaging also protects the items from damage in transit.
Creating a packing protocol that supports package protection is a great first line of defense against shipping damage. Here are a few key packing tips to keep in mind:
- Wrap pieces individually. For example, place items like cords and remotes in their own bags. If there are any extra pieces or accessories to the main item, separate those as well (unless you’re using custom packaging that includes spaces for these components). It’s also a good idea to add bubble wrap or foam for an extra layer of protection. A good rule of thumb is to include at least 2 to 3 inches of padding around fragile items.
- Consider investing in custom shipping boxes. Tailoring special packaging dimensions to your electronic goods can greatly impact packages arriving safely to your customers in one piece. Custom boxes reduce the space surrounding items, making them more secure.
- Choose light but protective infill. Another great way to secure and protect items is by using a protective infill. Choosing a lightweight option allows you to add that extra security without dramatically increasing shipping rates.
- Mark boxes as “fragile.” Marking boxes as fragile is the best way to encourage shipping carriers to handle them with care.
- Take care to properly seal packages. Use high-quality packing tape and make sure boxes are taped down securely. Water-activated tape forms a permanent bond with the box and is our recommended tape solution.
Choosing the Right Carrier for Shipping Electronics
Picking the right carrier to ship electronics is crucial to customer satisfaction. As a business owner, you’ll want to look for the right mix of value, speed, and service. Luckily, using a multi-carrier shipping solution like Shippo makes it easy to pick the best one every time.
How to Ship Electronics with USPS
Need a good mix of the lowest prices and best service? Shipping electronics with USPS is a great option. However, you’ll sacrifice transit times if your package contains lithium batteries, as packages containing them can only ship via the carrier’s Ground service. You’ll also need to mark these packages clearly, with labels stating “Restricted Electronic Device” and “Surface Transportation Only.”
How to Ship Electronics with UPS
UPS offers convenient solutions to your shipping electronics problems. For example, visit one of UPS’ 5,000 retail locations across the U.S. and Canada to take advantage of their specialty electronics packaging. These locations are even staffed with packing pros that can help you ensure your shipment will arrive to your customer unscathed.
How to Ship Electronics with FedEx
Shipping laptops and other electronics is easy with FedEx. Like UPS, FedEx also offers padded packaging geared toward shipping electronic devices. They also offer services to help you ship high-volume or heavy-weight electronics orders safely and securely.
How Much Does it Cost to Ship Electronics?
There’s no doubt that offering competitive shipping prices positively impacts your customers’ experiences. Understanding how much it costs to ship electronics empowers you to ship electronics for the best price.
As you might expect, the cost of shipping electronics depends on the size and weight of the package and the distance it’s traveling. Shippo makes it easy to compare rates between carriers, taking our member discounts into consideration.
For example, to ship a 5-pound, 5” x 5” x 5” package via USPS from New York (zip code 10001) to Los Angeles (zip code 90210) with Shippo, the cost would be $8.85. On the other hand, a 10-pound, 10” x 10” x 10” package would cost around $14.55 to ship the same route via the same carrier.
Using flat-rate boxes may also be a viable option since the weight of the package wouldn’t affect the price of the shipment as long as everything fits in the box. You’ll just want to make sure that your protective in-fill can also fit in the box as well.
How Long Does it Take to Ship Electronics?
Understandably, the transit times associated with shipping electronics depend on both the carrier and the service level chosen.
For example, a package shipping via UPS Ground from Oklahoma to North Carolina carries an estimated delivery of 3 days. For an upcharge, UPS Next Day Air® could deliver the same package by the next business day.
Weekends and holidays can also impact how long it takes electronics to be delivered. USPS, for example, doesn’t deliver on Sundays, and weekends don’t count against UPS transit time guarantees.
Major holidays such as Christmas, Memorial Day, and Juneteenth can also cause delays due to carrier closures.
Choose Signature Confirmation When Shipping Electronics
Shipping electronics requires an additional layer of theft protection. One of the best ways to protect shipments from getting stolen is by requiring signature confirmation at delivery.
This service requires an adult over the age of 18 to sign for the package before it can be delivered. This added security measure helps ensure that electronics don’t get stolen off customers’ porches. Signature confirmation is also a great way to show proof of delivery in the event that customers make false claims stating they didn’t receive their package.
Even though this service comes at an additional cost, the added security measure makes it worth it. In the event that no one is there to sign for the package, it will simply go back to the retail location of the carrier where it can either be resent or picked up by the customer.
Use Shipping Insurance When Shipping Electronics
Today’s shipping carriers have the experience and expertise to prevent packages from getting damaged or lost, most of the time. However, accidents can and will occur.
Offering shipping insurance helps to protect both you and your customer from unforeseen losses. These policies offer coverage against some types of damages in transit, lost packages, and sometimes even stolen packages.
However, some electronics aren’t covered by shipping insurance. For example, LCD screens and monitors, TVs, and laptops or cell phones without signature confirmation are generally excluded.
The default shipping insurance offered by carriers can also be insufficient to cover the value of the electronics you ship since carriers typically only cover up to $100. You can purchase shipping insurance from a carrier for packages that exceed a total value of $100, however, there are faster and more affordable options.
Instead, consider using a third-party shipping insurance solution since you’ll be able to save almost half the cost you would spend with a carrier and go through the claims process quicker.
How to Ship Electronics Internationally
Shipping electronics internationally is the same as shipping them domestically in many ways. However, there are some key differences.
First, you’ll need to ensure the international carrier you choose will allow your package to travel by air. This is especially true if the device contains lithium batteries or other potentially hazardous components since these items are sometimes banned.
It’s also important to make sure you understand the packaging and paperwork requirements necessary for exporting. Without the right information, you could run into shipping delays in customs. Additional fees such as a goods and services tax (GST) might also apply, depending on where you’re shipping to.