Here are four secrets from a former UPS worker on how to make sure your package gets where it’s going safely.
1. Don’t bother writing “FRAGILE” on the box. Each handler loads about 250 packages an hour. They aren’t going to notice “fragile” . . . and since so many boxes say “fragile,” they’ll probably ignore it anyway.
2. Disguise your box as a gift. The one time the handlers will take special care of a package is if it looks like a kid put some effort into making sure it looks good. So wrap it, add bows, maybe add a handwritten message in crayon, and you’re good.
3. Don’t reuse boxes without removing every old sticker. The scanners scan the first barcode they encounter. So if there’s an old shipping label on there, or a FedEx or Post Office label that could scan . . . your package could be lost.
4. Follow their instructions perfectly. If your package IS destroyed or lost, you might be able to get reimbursed . . . but follow ALL of their instructions. Use a new box, don’t overpack it, use wide tape, and waterproof what’s inside.