As a reborn artist, one of the hurdles you must face is packaging and shipping your dolls off to the respective buyer. Once you've made your first sale and received payment for it, you'll then need to package and mail it off in a timely manner; otherwise, you probably won't get many repeat customers. In the business of making and selling reborn dolls, it's the repeat customers where most of the money is made. If you take your business serious and want to make a name for yourself, then you shouldn't take this step lightly. Keep reading and we'll reveal the right way to package and ship your reborn dolls.
In addition to shipping your reborn dolls off in a timely manner, you also need to make sure they are packaged right. Unfortunately, it's all too common for newcomers to carelessly toss their dolls in a box, slap some tape on the top, and send them on their marry way to be delivered. You might be able get away with this for a while, but you'll eventually get complaints from buyers claiming their dolls were damaged in transit. To save you both the heartache of such instances, take the necessary precautions to ensure your dolls are packaged properly.
Choosing a Box
Obviously, you are going to need a box in order to ship off your reborn dolls. Don't just pick up the first cheap brown cardboard box you come across at your local post office or shipping supply store. Sure, these will work, but they don't send the right message to your customers. Spending a couple extra dollars on functional AND attractive boxes will show your customers that you spare no expense in providing the very best reborn dolls. Besides, premium boxes just look like better homes for reborn dolls than some cheap brown box.
So, just what type of box should you pack your reborn dolls in? There are plenty of suitable boxes available, but you'll need to do some digging to find them. Ideally, the box should be rectangular shaped (slightly larger than your average doll) with thick walls and a bold color. The color isn't going to affect the function of the box, but it will make it look more attractive. If you aren't able to find boxes that meet the criteria previously mentioned at your local shipping supply store, check online. I'm a huge fan of PaperMart.com, as they offer dozens of different shipping boxes in all shapes, sizes and colors.
Note: If you plan on reusing a box, make sure any labeling and bar codes are removed; otherwise, the shipping courier may reject your package until the fix these problems.
Of course you'll need more than just a box to properly package and ship your reborn dolls. Here are some of the other packing supplies we recommend stocking up on:
- Bubble wrap (and plenty of it)
- Colored tissue paper
- Clear Scotch tape
- Packing tape
- Confetti sprinkles (optional)
How To Safely Pack a Reborn Doll
Now that you have all of your necessary supplies, it's time to start to packing up your reborn doll so you can ship it off to the buyer. The truth is, however, that there's not one single "right" way to pack your reborn dolls. In fact, if you purchased a doll from 10 different artists, chances are you'll see each of them packaged differently. The method we're going to cover here is the one I personally use when packing my reborn dolls. I've found that it keeps my dolls safe and secure while they are in transit, and it's more attractive than basic packaging.
Here the steps to packing a reborn doll:
- The first step in the packing process it to open up your shipping box line the bottom and sides with a couple sheets of tissue paper. I prefer using colored tissue paper simply because it looks more attractive than boring white. Pink, red, green or yellow are all excellent colors that will show your buyers you care about the look of your reborn dolls.
- Once the tissue paper is down, lay out enough bubble wrap on the bottom of the box so it can wrap over your doll and any accessories you plan to include with your reborn. Depending on the size of your shipping box, you may need to use 2 or 3 layers of bubble wrap. Remember, it's better to use too much bubble wrap than too little.
- Gently place your reborn doll (dressed in cute favorite outfit) along with their accessories on top of the bubble wrap. Some of the accessories that you can include with your doll are socks, a pacifier, diaper, birth certificate and an extra outfit. Try to place the doll and accessories as close together as possible. This will prevent them from moving around and potentially becoming damaged when in transit.
- Pull the bubble wrap on tissue paper on the sides back over your doll and accessories. Fill up any holes with additional bubble wrap if necessary. When you are finished, place a couple strips of clear Scotch tape over the bubble wrap to secure it. Sprinkle some confetti pieces over the package for a stylish edge.
- Lastly, close the box up and tape it shut with a packaging tape.
Choosing a Shipping Courier
With your reborn doll packaged and ready to go, it's now time to find a shipping courier. This is undoubtedly one of the most confusing parts of the hobby, as many people are clueless when it comes to shipping dolls or other goods. Choosing the wrong courier or type of service can be a costly mistake than tacks on valuable time to your delivery. So, what's the best shipping courier to use when sending off your reborn dolls? Let's take a look at some of the best ones...
- United States Postal Service (USPS) is arguably the best all-around option for shipping reborn dolls. They are inexpensive, reliable, ship fast, and you can use their priority boxes if your dolls will fit in them. The only downside is that the USPS ONLY ships within the US, so you'll need to find another option for international shipping.
- United Parcel Service (UPS) - Not to be confused with the USPS, UPS is one of the largest shipping couriers in the world and can handle any job no matter how big or small. If you are shipping within the US, you can expect to pay slightly more using their service over USPS. However, unlike USPS, UPS will gladly ship your dolls to buyers oversea.
- FedEx - Another shipping courier that's available for both local and international orders is FedEx. Although the name suggests they only ship "federally," FedEx can ship your dolls to a number of other countries. Click on the link to get a quite on your doll packages.
- DHL - Many people seem to forget about using DHL as a shipping option for their reborn dolls. While the company isn't quite as popular as UPS or FedEx, it's still a leader in international shipping.
No matter what shipping courier you decide on using, be sure to purchase insurance and tracking. Hopefully it never happens, but it's nice to know the courier will refund you for any damage to your reborns caused from shipping. Even if the doll isn't damaged during transit, some buyers out there may try to sneak a fast one on you by claiming it was. Insurance is there to protect both the seller and buyer, and it's something you should never cut corners on with your reborn doll business.