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Old 09-03-2012, 08:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How to ship a paintball gun (pic heavy)

Not sure if this is the right section for this but here goes nothing!

So remembering what happened to Rover's “Grease Gun” brass build during shipping and thinking about some other threads I've seen around here regarding shoddy shipping I thought I'd post up a little “how-to” about shipping markers.

The basics of good packaging are simple.
1)Tape is your friend, use lots of it.
2)Bubble wrap is worth its weight in gold
3)Always use more packing material than you think you need
4)Shake it before you send it (if you hear it move, you've made a mistake)

So, for the purposes of this “how-to” we will be using bubble wrap and paper packing material because its what I have on hand. Most anything that will take up space in your box will work. I've used plastic grocery bags, balled up newspaper, even old t-shirts. You just need something in there to keep things from moving around and to absorb impact. Be reasonable and careful about this though. Bubblewrap or packing peanuts are ideal to take up the extra space in the box. In a pinch though you can improvise with other things like paper, bags etc. You'll have to use A LOT more of those types of material to achieve the same level of protection but it is possible. When in doubt though, use what you know will work.

We start here:



I always start by wrapping up the main body area of the gun first. Right around the trigger area. This should leave enough extra bubble wrap to wrap at least part way around the grip frame and the reg if the gun you're shipping has one. For bubble wrap, tape everything in place to save yourself headaches and if you're item is heavy use a couple of layers.

I started here:


Then added another layer to make sure I had some extra padding around the handle and the ASA



Next the barrel. Its an extra challenge on guns like this or any fixed barrel gun. If you can take the barrel off, DO IT!! Never ship a gun with barrel on it if you don't have to.


Best thing to do in this case is just wrap that sucker right up. I used three pieces of 1.5” packing tape down the length of the barrel here to hold it in place. Notice that there is extra left off the end, that is used to make a nice big ball of protection right at the end of the barrel. Depending on how the gun is shaped you can do this on lpr's, cocker front blocks, or even hpr's. Make sure you tape that sucker in place to keep it where you want it.



So that's the pirate wrapped up. Now the PGP. PGP's and pistols in general seem to be most frequently tossed into a padded envelope and left to the dogs. Please don't do that, its a really terrible idea.
Start here:



Put it near a corner, fold that corner over the grip and then over the whole gun a few times. I cheated with this one. I had a piece of bubble wrap with a sticky back that I used to cover the whole thing after wrapping it. Here's the end result:



For most markers flat rate boxes (the free ones from the USPS) work very well and are very free. Unfortunately in this case we're shipping a Sheridan so those are out of the question. I had to use a box that wasn't my 1st or even 2nd choice, but for our purposes here today its pretty good. You really can use any box your item will fit in if you prepare for it.


Yeah, its from a 3' fake Christmas tree.

To put it plainly this box, by itself, sucks. We can still use it though:



Those are pieces of a large flat rate box, like I mentioned before. I just wanted to reinforce the sides of the box to make them a bit more sturdy. Next step is to make a nest of packing materials.



Place your item(s) in the box, making sure they don't touch the sides. Its like that game operation!
You want to pack the sides all around your item with more packing materials. While we're here, if you have multiple parts or items TAPE THEM TOGETHER! Not only is it easier to protect one big item but it keeps everything from bouncing around during shipping. Remember Murphy's Law, if it can go wrong it will. If those parts can find a way to rub and mar one another during shipping, they will. Just stop all that before it starts. Like this:



Really pack those sides to keep things from shifting. If you can get those “Air Bag/Air Pack” things do it! They are fantastic for keeping things from moving around.



I forgot to snap a picture of it before I closed it up, but on the top of this I put another layer of that packing paper and more pieces of the flat rate boxes on the top. After than many pieces of tape. I always tape over every seam on the box. It makes me feel better, maybe I go to far..



When re-using boxes remember to peel any old packing labels and remove or scratch out and bar codes from the box. Remember to shake that box HARD to make sure nothing is moving around. If its moving, open it back up and pack it tighter.
Now you're good to go!

Some things to remember for shipping:
1)Always ask to have it marked FRAGILE, it doesn't cost a cent and could keep your package from getting thrown. (yes, thrown)
2)Always buy tracking, its less than a dollar always better to have than not.
3)Insurance is always an option, if its my item I almost always insure it. Better safe than sorry. If its going to someone else, I always give them the option while gently reminding them that it left my hands packaged well and in perfect condition. I can only be responsible for so much after it leaves my care.
4)You have to pretty much assume the worst when it comes to shipping. All those nightmare scenarios you get cold sweats about happening to that gun you just bought/sold in the B/S/T? They will happen. Just do your best and remember the sellers who do as well. They will thank you!

I really hope this helps. Between having done my fair share of B/S/T work here and on eBay, and having spent 4 years working for the USPS seeing what horrors these packages actually have to endure....
I just wanted to share what I've learned.

Feel free to PM me with any shipping questions.
Thanks for reading!
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Last edited by mailmanmike; 09-04-2012 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great write up!
Triangle boxes are your friend when shipping long markers such as sheridans.

Some other advice.

CCMs ship great in medium flatrate boxes with the foam.
Small items such as misc parts can be placed in the USPS priority bags and padded with things such as grocery bags.

Want to reiterate a point you made... ALWAYS ALWAYS CHECK AND MAKE SURE NOTHING RATTLES!!!! Items should not move! But do provide a crush zone for more expensive items.

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Old 09-03-2012, 08:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by senghing27 View Post
Great write up!
Triangle boxes are your friend when shipping long markers such as sheridans.

Some other advice.

CCMs ship great in medium flatrate boxes with the foam.
Small items such as misc parts can be placed in the USPS priority bags and padded with things such as grocery bags.

Want to reiterate a point you made... ALWAYS ALWAYS CHECK AND MAKE SURE NOTHING RATTLES!!!! Items should not move! But do provide a crush zone for more expensive items.

You just reminded me of a point i forgot to make!! Time to edit..
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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i'll do you one better.

i like to use foam board, to "anchor" the gun in the box. foam board at the dollar store, is $1 and you can cut it to length to fit the box. my GF had some cloth strips, about 1" across. so i tie the gun, in at least two places to the foam board(a box cutter to make slits in the board) and then lay the packing peanuts or bubble wrap on the bottom of the box and on top. before i tape the box along all seems, i give it a good shake, and even toss the box around(anticipating normal handling of the box) to listen for any movement. if there is, add in more bubble wrap.

i would never use news paper or any paper product for packing. there is nothing there to take up the space. paper is flat. crumpling up paper does nothing. take a piece of paper then step on it. bubble wrap, the bubbles(not all of them) will pop before you crush it.

if asked, i'll provide pics of my method.

i'm not saying that this method is any worse than mine, but i do have an opinion. if anything, if someone can help improve how all items are shipped, then there won't be any problems with receiving damaged goods.
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Great Write up



I always have tracking numbers and insurance forms on hand. I put them on the package after I seal everything. I'm now forced to use them. I have no choice and the few extra dollars go a long way if a claim has to be made at USPS.


REMEMBER:

IT IS NOT YOUR MOMMY'S RESPONSIBILITY TO GET THIS DONE, IT"S YOU THE SELLER




If you are to cheap to use them, you shouldn't be selling. I always try to include a few extra dollars in my transactions for insurance and a tracking number for me

If you have eve gotten a package from me, it will always have a tracking number at minimum



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Old 09-04-2012, 08:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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i'll do you one better.

i would never use news paper or any paper product for packing. there is nothing there to take up the space. paper is flat. crumpling up paper does nothing. take a piece of paper then step on it. bubble wrap, the bubbles(not all of them) will pop before you crush it.
I see what you're saying here. I only use that heavy duty packing paper when shipping these days. In a pinch though, I really feel that you can use all of it to stabalize a properly wrapped item. Even packing peanuts will crush if you step on them. You just need something there to hold things in place and absorb that impact. Granted bubblewrap or packing peanuts are best for this job, in a pinch I feel you can still use paper (primarily heavy packing paper) or even plastic bags for the job. You just have to use A LOT of them.

I'll edit my original post for clarity. I really appreciate the input from all of you!
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Something else I do, when shipping multiple things in one box is to label each wrap "1 of x" 2 of x" etc, that way, the recipient knows when to stop searching.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Small parts should *ALWAYS* be in a ziplock baggie, taped shut and attached to either the box or the marker. I have almost thrown out little parts, far too often.

Please, for the love of God, don't send me packig peanuts! I *HATE* them! The cats love them and I find them *EVERYWHERE*... Then the room mates want to kill me...

No DAMN packing peanuts!

On a more serious note... Excellent write up. I wish people would read this, before just tossing anything in a random box and dropping it in the mail.

One last thought... I have taken to having photos, with the date, of the object mailed and of the packing job, for insurance purposes. Makes me feel better, if I were to have to argue the point with the post office.

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Old 09-04-2012, 11:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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great write up for the shipping impaired

cant believe the kind of pieces ive got in an ENVELOPE

paintball parts dont go in envelopes! lol
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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lol my favorite type of packing padding.....

candy!

i had a guy ship his barrel, wrapped in a layer of bubble wrap, and then put in a medium flat rate box and used laffy taffy instead of packing peanuts.

i had soooo much candy it was great!
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