Think of all the electronic devices you use throughout the day. You most likely wake up to the alarm on your phone. You work from a laptop and/or computer. You flip on the TV to decompress after work. Electronics play an important role in our lives, so knowing how to properly ship these products is crucial. Your customers will want to rip their new phone or Playstation out of the box for immediate use, not have to send it back because of a cracked screen or internal damages. That’s why we have tips, guidelines, and restrictions straight from carriers to prevent any lost or damaged electronics along the way.
What are electronics?
We’re talking about items powered by a battery of some sort, whether it be a chargeable device or a product with physical batteries. These items include:
- Game consoles
Where to sell electronics
When it comes to selling electronics, Amazon and eBay are two of the most commonly used marketplaces. Amazon and eBay each have guidelines and regulations for selling on their platforms, including refurbish guarantees, to provide your customers with the best products. We recommend reaching out to their support teams for additional information and any questions you may have.
A major benefit of selling through Amazon and eBay is that ShippingEasy offers direct integrations. Connecting your Amazon and eBay stores to ShippingEasy means syncable orders will automatically pull onto your orders page*, so you can get orders to customers even faster. Instructions on how to add an Amazon and/or eBay store to your ShippingEasy account can be found below!
*Stores will be scanned for orders hourly, with the exception of Volusion, Solid Commerce, and Americommerce, which sync every 2-4 hours.
Settings > Stores & Orders > + Add New > Amazon > Enter seller information
> Wait for orders to roll in!
Settings > Stores & Orders > + Add New > eBay > Enter seller information
> Wait for orders to roll in!
Learn more about multichannel selling in Shipping 301!
Shipping electronics with USPS®
Most USPS guidelines focus more on batteries than electronics themselves. Regular new batteries like AA and AAA batteries can be mailed, as long as they have the correct packaging and markings. If you’re shipping electronics that are refurbished or broken with batteries in the device or packaged with the device, you can only use ground-based services; you’ll also need to mark your package with the following labels: “Restricted Electronic Device” and “Surface Transportation Only.”
Additionally, non spillable batteries can be shipped, as long as precautions are taken to keep the batteries from leaking in transit. The only exception to shipping non spillable batteries is for those containing UN2800, which can’t be shipped internationally.
The labeling required for your package will differ, depending on whether you’re using an air-based or ground-based service. However, both service types need clear and legible markings, so your shipment is handled properly by USPS. We’ve included the materials and labeling needed directly from USPS, and the full list of USPS guidelines for shipping batteries can be found on their website.
Learn more about USPS in Shipping Unboxed: FAQs about USPS.
- For air transportation, a mailpiece containing a mailable corrosive material must bear the DOT square-on-point marking. The top and bottom portions of the square-on-point and the border forming the square-on-point must be black, and the center must be white or of a suitable contrasting background. The symbol “Y” must be black, located in the center of the square-on-point, and clearly visible. Mailpieces must also bear the appropriate approved DOT Class 8 hazardous material warning label, the identification number, and the proper shipping name. A properly completed shipper’s declaration for dangerous goods must be affixed to the outside of the mailpiece.
- For surface transportation, parcels containing mailable Class 8 materials must be plainly and durably marked on the address side with an approved DOT Limited Quantity surface mark (see 325.4). Surface shipments bearing the Limited Quantity surface marking are not required to include the proper shipping name and identification number. A shipper’s declaration for dangerous goods is not required for mailable Class 8 corrosives sent via surface transportation.
- When the DOT square-on-point markings are used, markings must be durable, legible, and readily visible, and must be applied on at least one side or one end of the outer packaging. The border forming the square-on-point must be at least 2 mm in width, and the minimum dimension of each side must be 100 mm, unless the package size requires a reduced size marking of no less than 50 mm on each side.
Shipping electronics with UPS
UPS offers several helpful tips for shipping electronics through their services. For example, when shipping laptops, UPS recommends to:
- Dust off and clean the laptop, making sure it’s free from any moisture. Double check the laptop is completely powered down, but don’t try to remove the battery from the device.
- Protect the power button and volume buttons with a small patch of cardboard or electrical tape, so that the machine does not accidentally get switched on in transit. For extra protection, place a thin layer of bubble wrap or foam between the keyboard and screen to protect the keys and screen while the laptop is closed.
- Wrap the shell of the machine with plastic or bubble wrap. To protect against any static electricity risks while in transit, place the laptop in a snug-fitting plastic bag. Separately wrap any cables, plug adaptors, and other accessories in bubble wrap and secure them with cable ties.
- Place the device in a padded laptop box and fill any remaining space with additional packaging material, like foam inserts, to hold the machine securely in place. Avoid loose packaging material since it’s less effective at preventing the laptop from sliding around on the move. Add any accessories into the box.
- Gently shake the box to ensure it is securely packed and there is no internal sliding. If you don’t feel any sliding, close the box and tightly seal with tape to avoid moisture getting in.
And when you ship UPS on ShippingEasy, you get access to deep discounts! Get discounts on domestic and international shipping, including up to 78% off on UPS® Ground shipments, up to 73% for UPS 2nd Day Air® service, and UPS Next Day Air® service and up to 82* off international services*.
For more tips on shipping electronics with UPS, visit The UPS Store® website.
Shipping batteries with UPS
The services available for your shipment and the packaging/labeling requirements will vary depending on the type of battery. Additionally, UPS provides shippers with a full guide on shipping batteries through their services, and it’s a great reference to add to your bookmarks!
*Discounts off UPS daily rates. Rates are limited to shipping from the U.S. only. Rates and any applicable discounts are subject to change at any time without notice.
Shipping electronics with FedEx®
FedEx also provides merchants with step-by-step guides on shipping electronics like cell phones. When shipping cell phones, FedEx recommends:
- Backing up your data
- Deleting your personal info before you ship a cell phone
- Choosing the right box size for phone shipping
- Protecting your phone
- Taking special precautions with batteries. (More on this later)
- Determining if you need shipment insurance
Additionally, when shipping electronics with monitors, FedEx recommends:
1. Remove peripherals
- When shipping screens remove stands, mounts or any other peripherals. This will allow the screen to fit into the box without any sharp or uneven edges. If you wish to ship a TV/monitor stand, power cord, remote, etc., break down the pieces as much as possible. These will be shipped in the box with the TV/monitor if there is room. Additional boxes may be needed for these items.
2. Pack and ship at a FedEx Office location
- Create a shipment at your local FedEx Office with your shipping information and a payment method. Pricing includes the right FedEx box solution, cushioning materials, and expert packing service backed by the FedEx Office Packing Pledge.
3. Or pack and ship without visiting a FedEx
- Obtain a box for your shipment. Fill the bottom of the box with packing material such as loose fill peanuts or air-cellular cushion. Center the shipment inside the box and fill any empty spaces on all sides.
- Using the H taping method, apply pressure-sensitive adhesive plastic tape to both the top and bottom of the carton to protect the package and its contents. Tape all seams or flaps.
Shipping batteries with FedEx
Similarly to other carriers, service restrictions and packaging guidelines will vary, depending on the type of battery you’re shipping. However, recalled or damaged batteries can’t be shipped through air services. The only exceptions are if the imperfections are something cosmetic like an incorrect serial number and/or the batteries don’t stay charged.
FedEx has a free interactive guide to shipping batteries available that breaks down every type of battery by weight and service, so you can become a battery shipping expert!
How to pack electronics for shipping
Treat electronics like fragile items when purchasing supplies and packaging. Your shipment is likely to shift during transit, so it’s important to plan accordingly.
- Avoid oversized shipping boxes and fill spaces with kraft paper and other materials to reduce the chance of damage
- When shipping electronics like TVs and monitors, wrap the screen for additional cushioning
- Include arrows on your outer packaging, so carriers know how best to handle your shipment
- Package batteries separately and in leak-proof packaging to keep any acid from leaking through.
- Place package remotes, controllers, and other equipment in separate boxes and wrapping
- Keep temperatures in mind and prepare your shipment for several days of travel, including both hot and cold temperatures
How to electronics internationally
The idea of shipping internationally shouldn’t prevent your business from growing. That’s where GlobalPost comes in! GlobalPost works to modernize the world of international shipping for entrepreneurial merchants. They’ll handle tariff codes and customs forms, so your business can focus on expanding to global markets.
GlobalPost follows the same international shipping restrictions as USPS, so anything deemed illegal or hazardous to ship by mail in the United States, or in the destination country, will not be accepted. Lithium batteries can’t be shipped internationally under the following conditions:
- If batteries have been damaged or recalled by the manufacturer
- If batteries are loose in the package instead of installed in the shipment
- If batteries are in a separate package than the equipment they’re meant for
- If batteries are included with broken, damaged, or used electronics in the device or packaging
Say goodbye to your international shipping fears with the help of our blog!
How ShippingEasy helps with shipping electronics
Now that you’ve charged up your shipping knowledge, it’s time to incorporate everything into your shipping workflow. The shipping automation options in your ShippingEasy account help provide extra security for your electronic shipments, including shipping rules, delivery confirmation emails, and SMS branded tracking.
- Create a shipping rule to automatically add confirmation options to shipments from a specific store or with specific SKUs
- Enable confirmation emails for eligible stores, so customers are notified when their shipment arrives to avoid theft
- Encourage customers to sign up for SMS branded tracking for eligible shipments for text notifications
For more advice on specialty shipping, download our ebook!
Tips for shipping electronics
- Carefully package electronics to avoid any damages during shipping
- Follow carrier restrictions to avoid delays or penalties when shipping
- Use services with insurance or buy additional insurance where available
- Confirm the address is correct with the customer before shipping the package
- Consider delivery confirmation or other confirmation options to prevent stolen packages
- Shipping Restrictions & HAZMAT – What Can You Send in the Mail? | USPS
- USPS.com Postal Explorer – 348 Corrosives (Hazard Class 8)
- How To Ship a Laptop | UPS – United States
- Pack and Ship Electronics | Electronics Packaging | The UPS Store
- Shipping Batteries or Devices with Batteries | UPS – Reunion
- How To Ship Batteries | UPS – United States
- Global Shipping Restrictions & Prohibited Items | FedEx
- Shipping Phones | FedEx
- How to Ship a TV/Monitor | FedEx
- From Coffee to Clothing: ShippingEasy’s How to Ship Guide
- Lithium Battery Shipping Guide