Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
18 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Discussing Retailers

Subject: What's the best way to ship a game? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Brad Oliver
United States
Glendale
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
So I've come to the conclusion that I have a number of games in my collection that will never hit the table, and more than I care to admit are still in shrink wrap.

My plan is to list these on the BGG marketplace in the near future and send them off to a better home.

I've done a few trades and sold one or two games, and each time I seem to have trouble finding a decent, cheap way to send these games. Putting aside for the moment international shipping, what way have folks found works best to ship games?

Example: I just recently sold a copy of Uberplay's WildLife. I boxed it up into 2 adjoining USPS Priority Mail flat-rate boxes. I had done a preliminary estimation of roughly $10 to ship going by weight and the USPS site, but when it came time to take it to the post office, I discovered it was actually $15 for priority mail.

Do most people ship using Parcel Post? Is media mail applicable? What's a reasonable range to shoot for for your average-sized boardgame?

Thinking back as a buyer, I guess I never cared too much how it was shipped so long as it was cheap and didn't take weeks. Is this pretty much the norm?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sean Dooley
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Here's what I do:

If I can fit it in a Flat Rate Priority Box, that's my preferred shipping method. Depending on the distance the package is traveling, you can sometimes save shipping by simply turning those boxes inside out so that it doesn't have any USPS 'stuff' on the outside.

I've shipped a few heavier games via media mail, but those were games that didn't shake too much so that they actually 'sounded' like books. From what I understand, the post office doesn't exactly smile upon this practice...but hey, at Borders games are inventoried under "large books," (or at least were when I worked there) so I figured, what the hell.

I know that's not a SUPER huge help for you, but that's how I roll.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Boards & Bits
United States
Spokane Valley
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The problem with the flat rate boxes is that they rarely hold the game plus enough packing materials to protect the game.

The best way is to use a box that is at least 2" bigger than the game in each direction, then add enough materials on all sides of the game(s) to protect them.

Then ship via priority mail or parcel post. Since this is at the buyer's expense, and it is to protect their new game, they shouldn't mind the additional $1-4 for materials.

Media Mail is *not* appropriate for games of any kind.

Tom
Boards & Bits
www.boardsandbits.com
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Ridgway
United States
Fairfax Station
Virginia
flag msg tools
How much for the little game in the window?
badge
Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Any specific advice for shipping from the the U.S. to the E.U., specifically to the U.K.? I just got matched in a math trade and I'm looking for the most economical way to ship there. Thanks in advance for any advice.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Boards & Bits
United States
Spokane Valley
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Vetinari wrote:
Any specific advice for shipping from the the U.S. to the E.U., specifically to the U.K.? I just got matched in a math trade and I'm looking for the most economical way to ship there. Thanks in advance for any advice.

Sorry, there is no economical way. Since USPS decided not to offer "Surface" shipping, which was very slow but about 1/2 the price of Priority, Priority (or Express, which is a little more expensive) is the only real option. But USPS Priority is still the preferred method as it is quick and less expensive than UPS or FedEx and usually results in less taxes and customs fees.

A lot of people complain about Surface shipping not being available, but I for one appreciate it. Some packages took up to 10 weeks to get where they were going, which only generated a lot of questions and stress. Add to this that package were in the USPS system for that long and there are bound to be lots of damages.

Tom
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Ridgway
United States
Fairfax Station
Virginia
flag msg tools
How much for the little game in the window?
badge
Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the quick reply. I just finished starting my own thread and you've already answered my question.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Lexington
Kentucky
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Here is a link to a thread compiling user tips for packaging:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/196679
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
Brad Oliver wrote:
Do most people ship using Parcel Post? Is media mail applicable? What's a reasonable range to shoot for for your average-sized boardgame?


At the weight levels of shipping a board game, it's usually a matter of $1 or less between Parcel Post and Priority Mail, but a matter of 2-3 days versus 10-14 days, shipping wise. Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation is really the way to go.

Additionally, Media Mail is only supposed to be used for books, music, DVDs, and the like. Board games aren't on the list, and if the PO chose to open the package to confirm the contents qualified as Media Mail, you could get stung with some surcharges.

Really, just go with Priority Mail. It's the simplest choice, even if it is a little more expensive.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sean Dooley
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
BoardsAndBits wrote:

Media Mail is *not* appropriate for games of any kind.


Hey Tom!

Any way you can elaborate on this a bit. I've only done it twice. Is it not appropriate because the post office doesn't like it, or because of the manner in which the games are handled?

THanks!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brad Oliver
United States
Glendale
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
Verkisto wrote:
Really, just go with Priority Mail. It's the simplest choice, even if it is a little more expensive.


So in my recent case, the game weighed 4lbs or so. Is that reasonable, given the size of the box, to come out to $15 or so using Priority? Just wondering if I maybe packaged it wrong.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carl Bussema
United States
Lansing
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Brad Oliver wrote:
Verkisto wrote:
Really, just go with Priority Mail. It's the simplest choice, even if it is a little more expensive.


So in my recent case, the game weighed 4lbs or so. Is that reasonable, given the size of the box, to come out to $15 or so using Priority? Just wondering if I maybe packaged it wrong.


Sounds way too much for 4 lbs. I shipped like 6 or 7 pounds for $7-8.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Lexington
Kentucky
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Here is a link to the USPS pricing page:

http://www.usps.com/prices/
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Johnson
United States
Cloquet
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
One time a guy shipped me 2 games both crammed into a flat rate box. the box was expanded around the 2 games. Another time someone shipped me a game in a flat rate box, and there was no packing material whatsoever! needless to say, it was just rattling around in there. Both times the games did not fare well in the shipping.
Tom is right, you must pack it so there is at least 2 inches of packing material all around the game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Don Cooper
United States
Syracuse
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Postal Service is probably the best way to send games. Use priority mail. Flat rate is good but the boxes are small and often do not hold larger games. That said you should use flat rate if you are shipping far away as opposed to close or local. Media rate cannot be used to ship games, as they do not fit the definition of media rate. You have the possibility of having your game returned to you with the cost of lost shipping. Also if you do use parcel as opposed to priority you must get your own box. If you think you can use a priority mail box inside out think again, you can be fined and have the item returned to you.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Boards & Bits
United States
Spokane Valley
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
wittdooley wrote:
BoardsAndBits wrote:

Media Mail is *not* appropriate for games of any kind.


Hey Tom!

Any way you can elaborate on this a bit. I've only done it twice. Is it not appropriate because the post office doesn't like it, or because of the manner in which the games are handled?

THanks!

As was mentioned already, games are not listed as acceptable items for Media Mail. I have no idea what, if any, the penalties would be, but I don't bother for the couple of dollars it saves. In addition, media mail usually doesn't have a guaranteed date, and IIRC can be even slower than Parcel Post.

Tom
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ann Hamon (annhamon@aol.com)
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have the USPS site and the FedEx Ground site both bookmarked. You can weigh your package and put in the weight and the zip code on both of those sites.If it is under a certain weight USPS is cheaper but when you have a parcel over say 4 or 5 pounds FedEx Ground is cheaper. UPS is usually more expensive. You can bring the costs down also by shipping to a business address with FedEx Ground and the cost includes $100 of insurance.

When shipping overseas check on the USPS site sometimes First Class Mail is a lot cheaper than Priority Mail though International Priority Mail also includes a certain amount of insurance.
Ann Hamon
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
Brad Oliver wrote:
Verkisto wrote:
Really, just go with Priority Mail. It's the simplest choice, even if it is a little more expensive.


So in my recent case, the game weighed 4lbs or so. Is that reasonable, given the size of the box, to come out to $15 or so using Priority? Just wondering if I maybe packaged it wrong.


It depends on where it's going. A 4 pound box going across town is going to be a lot less than a 4 pound box going from Florida to Washington.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brad Oliver
United States
Glendale
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
Verkisto wrote:
It depends on where it's going. A 4 pound box going across town is going to be a lot less than a 4 pound box going from Florida to Washington.


Right, I neglected to mention that important fact. It was going from AZ to PA (so, pretty far), and it was somewhere in between 4 and 5 lbs - I don't remember the exact weight any more.

Which leads me to the next item: I took 2 USPS Priority flat rate boxes and taped them together back-to-back so that the game would fit inside with a little extra room for packing material, not 2 inches certainly, but enough to be snug I thought.

I don't know if I have the time or patience to lovingly hand-craft boxes from scratch, so I'm wondering if there's in general a good place or resource to get boxes that more conveniently fit board games. The flat rate ones are several inches too short in one dimension, for example, but would otherwise seem fine to me. Failing that, maybe I did what most people do - cobble together 2 flat-rate boxes...?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.