Office Depot, U-Haul, some warehouse storage facilities.
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I have found that styrofoam insulation works very well. Many speaker manufacturers use it. It can be cut to size and does not shift like packing peanuts.
I purchased a 6 pack of 6'x12"x2" for a couple of buck at Home Depot. It's especially good to use for heavy items as it does not shift and can be cut to exact shapes.
For wrapping components, I use clinging plastic wrap (kitchen). Again, it will not shift/move and provides a nice barrier around the component/speaker to keep it from being scratched. I just tightly wrap several layers completely around the piece. Go across the unit both long-way and short way to insure coverage.
As a third item, bubble wrap is good, but expensive. Do not use packing peanuts/crushed paper as the primary packing material, as it will shift and compress under load.
Whatever you use, slightly overpack the box to insure complete protection in case of settling.
Buy a big bag of regular popcorn kernals. Then pop them using a hot air popper, or maybe the microwave. Biodegradable as well, or use as bird/squirrel feed by receiver. See links:
One of the best bets is go to your local sears outlet store for larges boxes, go to a lamp store or the likes for smaller one. Sears usually tosses their boxes at 730 in the morning, The lamp store and furniture stores, you just need to bribe someone to call you when they get a shipment in. They also have that self molding expanding foam that will still work many times over for shipping audio gear. I buy the guy lunch that does all the
unpacking once a month or so, and he calls me when they get it in, more than a fair trade. I do a lot of shipping though. Your local grocery store that is an independent is usually pretty good about telling you when you can come buy in the mornings(after night stocking) and get all the boxes you want. Have a safe move.
Geez. Scavenging for boxes at liquor stores, lamp stores, dumpsters, etc?
Yes, I always enjoy receiving an amplifier that smells like produce of broken beer bottles.
Get real. Also, who's time is so expendable that they can go on these used box hunts?
And for what? To end up with a compromise so you can save $5 and risk a shipping claim?!
"Hey, you got any extra boxes?". "Yes sure, they are out in the trash can, help yourself".
Ugh.... Good idea (for who I do not know).
As items are unpacked in stores the boxes are usually sliced with razer blades and destroyed. Destroyed or not, they almost always quickly go into a recycling bin or compactor.
Go to Uhaul.
Boxes we typically use (five to seven entire dollars and no mystery finding them):
BTW, with 2000+ shipments last year and our TOTAL claims for damage?
Answer: 1 (thank you so much, Fed Ex; a company we rarely use).
In other words, I know more about shipping than everything on this thread combined, x's 1000.
I am so tired of these go on a box hunt suggestions and damaged trade-ins.
Ship it the cheapest way & pack it the cheapest (and most time consuming way) and then wonder why items so often arrive damaged, and then get pissed off at the freight company. What a common scenario, what a joke.
The only cheap packing I have seen that works well is if you go to foam store and ask for scrap
(look in the yellow pages, and CALL FIRST).
Often a 90 gallon bag is $25. Foam pieces can run $60 for one 4' x 10' x 3" piece, so the scrap is a deal.
Peanuts? Peanuts are for fill ONLY. They are the WORSE thing to use (by themselves).
They compress and do NOT bounce back. Items packed in them always work their way to the corners of the box. It's just USELESS except for fill, but, if you buy the right sized box, rather than trying to spend your day finding a free one to save that $5, less your dignity, then you might end up with the wrong size and need all those peanuts for fill.
Bubble pack is your best bet.
Packing supply stores (which is NOT Staples, Office Depot, etc) sell 250' x 24" rolls for about $40
(1/5th the price of Staples and the like).
Basic Tip: Put ANYTHING that you are shipping in a clean plastic bag before packing it.
No one wants dust (especially from peanuts) *IN* their components, nor do they
want styrofoam wedged into the grain on their speakers, etc. New hefty bag works fine.
PLEASE! NO MORE DAMAGED TRADE-INS!
For your reference:
Yellow pages under ship supplies.
Copyright @ 2002 Brian@Hello.lt