Here’s some handy tips and tricks to know when shipping a laptop through the USPS.
How To Package Your Laptop
Before you can ship out your laptop, the first thing you need to know is how to package it. With a piece of tech like a laptop, it’s essential to know how to prepare your package to reduce the chances of any damage.
Packing correctly can also help reduce shipping costs, as well as making sure the laptop reaches its destination on time with no complications.
Choosing the right box is the best place to start. Depending on what delivery options you choose, you can get a standard size box directly from your local post office, or you can order one online directly through the USPS website.
Alternatively, try to find a box that the laptop will be secure in, and make sure any previous labels and barcodes are covered or removed.
Now you have a box for your laptop, you’ll need to make sure the laptop’s secure and protected.
The best way to do this is to wrap the laptop in several layers of bubble wrap, with an extra layer of bubble wrap or padding between the keyboard and the screen.
You can then secure the accessories such as the charger in a clear plastic bag with another layer of bubble wrap to protect them.
Place all the items in the shipping box, and fill in any gaps with more bubble wrap or some packing paper. This is to make sure the items don’t slide around inside the box. You can give the box a light shake to see if the laptop is sliding around.
Finally, secure the box with several layers of packing tape, ensuring that all flaps and gaps are sealed.
Measuring Your Package
Now everything’s wrapped up, you need to measure the parcel. USPS calculates shipping costs by weight and volume, so make sure you have scales and a tape measure to hand.
There’s a bit of math involved here, so you might also want a calculator. Making sure that the dimensions and weight are optimized can save you money on shipping, so this is an important step!
You can measure the volume of your package by measuring the height, width, and length of the package, and multiplying them together. For example, if your box is 30” x 10” x 5”, you’ll have a total of 1500 in^3 (cubic inches).
You can measure the weight of your package in pounds and ounces either by using scales at home or by going to your local post office and weighing it at one of the self-service kiosks there.
Once you have the dimensions and the weight of your laptop, you can check how much the shipping cost will be by using the calculator on the USPS website, found here.
Because the shipping cost depends on the weight and size of the package, you can reduce costs by making sure the box is the correct size and by using lighter packing materials like bubble wrap and packing paper.
How To Choose Postage And Packing
USPS has plenty of options for delivery services depending on what you’re shipping, how fast you want it to arrive at its destination, and some optional extras such as tracking and insurance.
Here are the best options for postage, as well as some recommendations for extras.
Priority Mail is one of your best options. Your laptop will be delivered in 1-3 business days, with its flat-rate you don’t need to weigh packages under 70lbs, and tracking and insurance up to $50 is included so you have some extra peace of mind.
Prices for this service start at $7.95.
Priority Mail Express
Want an even faster version of Priority Mail? Priority Mail Express guarantees next-day to 2-day by 6 pm delivery, or your money back.
Tracking and insurance are also included, but the included insurance is now $100. While a little bit more expensive, with prices starting at $26.60, the assurance and speed Priority Mail Express guarantees are worth it.
USPS Retail Ground
Not worried about fast delivery? USPS Retail Ground might be the best option for you. Shipping is between 2-8 business days, with tracking included.
This option starts at $7.95 and is only available in USPS post offices. This is a great option if you want to send out the package in person, or if you’re already at the post office to weigh the parcel or pick up a postage box.
While these postage options already include tracking, there are some optional extras for some more reassurance that your laptop arrives in one piece.
You can get additional insurance on both Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express, as well as insuring USPS Retail Ground.
Additionally, all three services offer Signature Confirmation (to make sure the right person receives the laptop), Return Receipt (where you can choose to receive an email or letter confirming delivery), and Collect on Delivery (where the recipient can pay for mailing fees upon collecting the laptop).
These extras are all optional, but will help you make sure the laptop gets where it needs to go without any hiccups.
Sending Your Laptop
It’s finally time to send out the laptop! Now you’ve packed the laptop and any accessories, chosen your delivery service and paid for postage, all you need to do now is send the laptop on its way. There are a few ways you can do this.
You can take the laptop directly to a USPS post office. From there you can either send it out over the retail counter, or you can drop it off in the lobby package slot.
If you can’t go to a post office to send it, you can schedule a package pickup. This service is free, and will usually be on the next delivery day. Alternatively, for a small fee you can arrange a 2-hour slot for the post office to pick it up.
Sending a laptop in the post can be worrying, but by following the correct processes it’s simple and painless. As long as you follow these steps you’ll have no issues posting your laptop, and there’s plenty of ways you can ensure the delivery is hassle-free.
And if you have any more questions or concerns, you can always check USPS.com to find out more.