Boxes with packing materialsOver the years, we’ve done a lot of packaging for board games and more. So if you intend to do the shipping yourself, here are some of why boxes are damaged during shipping:

  • Box contents are too heavy
  • Cardboard box material is too light – often results in dinged corners when the packing box is dropped corner side up.
  • Items are packed flat and stacked on end (i.e. horizontal and vertical at same time – see picture on right)
    • this often leads to the horizontally packed boxes pushing into the vertically packed box causing crushing damage due to weight of the horizontally boxed games (possible even when resting).  This is of particular concern when the games / items involved have boxes / packaging material that is very light.
    • In the picture on the right, because the boxes are so small and light, this is unlikely to cause damage, but with a particularly large and small box combination, damage is likely to occur.
  • Games slide around on the inside of the box due to no packing material used
  • Forklift driven into the box (yeah, there’s nothing you can do about this one).

General packing tips
Ticket to Ride in a right sized box

  • Use the right sized box.
    • Slightly larger is best as you can then use corner protectors (cardboard cut and inserted in corners)
  • Try to keep it to the same size items if possible (often not!)
  • Use packing material to fill ‘gaps’ when items are of different sizes.
    • paper is great for volume but not in tightly packed corners
    • use cardboard protectors at edges of box to give extra stability or where horizontal / vertical boxes meet especially if there is sliding space
    • Styrofoam peanuts are great for weird sizes which require more stability. Shake the box a bit once you add peanuts, it’ll settle them and sometimes require you to add more peanuts for additional stability
  • If possible, keep boxes packed separately if there is a significant weight difference between boxes and/or a game box is significantly thinner than normal (e.g. RoboRally, Dust Tactics Core Set)
  • Pack so that weight is towards the centre of the box. If it is weighted towards one end or the other, it makes the box easier to drop
  • Seal edges of the package especially for heavier boxes (otherwise the box gets picked up by the edges and can cause tears and dropping)
  • When box is sealed, there should be no movement in the box if shaken. If there is, repack!

What you don’t have to worry about:

  • If you are using heavy (industrial) cardboard (the kind that you buy at Uline for example); the games or Kickstarter product can be right up against the box. The cardboard material in the box added to the gamebox material itself will protect it against most drops
  • Sleeves can be used as packing material if you are shipping them – they compress nicely and can’t be ‘damaged’ per se.  This is the same for other materials like t-shirts and other cloth / compressible material
  • Inserting cardboard between packed boxes. If you pack the box right, there should be no sliding so this is unnecessary.

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