Imagine this. Your up-and-coming business has just sealed the deal on a baseball cap, which, once chucked in a plastic bag, tosses and turns in a transit van as it travels from state to state. An excited customer eagerly waits for its arrival, only to find the cap crushed and battered. Instead, the only thing your company will find is an angry message demanding those dollars back. Let’s be honest, this scenario is better avoided.
So, what is the best way to mail a baseball cap? The best way to mail a baseball cap is by sending it in a strong cardboard box that fits the cap just right. It needs to be taped up securely and complete with returns documents, ideally with shapers and protective wrapping surrounding the hat.
As a vendor, it’s your responsibility and duty to provide your paying customers with the best possible service. If you’re in high demand, we understand you may be under pressure to have a quick turnaround. However, slacking and cutting corners will only put up hurdles - these hurdles are bound to trip you up in the future. If the caps you send off are damaged upon arrival, and purely due to lack of packaging care, you’re practically begging for bad reviews. And, as most independent businesses will know, bad reviews will leave you without a leg to stand on, especially in this competitive fashion industry. In order for your small brand to flourish, you need to make preparation a priority. And so, we suggest you read on - you might just learn a thing or two.
Cardboard Boxes - A Simple Marvel
Cardboard boxes are perhaps the most obvious method when it comes to shipping, but their ‘rules and regulations’ are often overlooked. Although a seemingly simple thing to use, it’s definitely not a case of just chucking the baseball cap inside the box and hoping for the best. And don’t even get us started on sending your items in an envelope - unless your customer is Flat Stanley and he’s in need of a flattened baseball cap, never do it. Those are the rules - stick by them!
Making your customers pay for shipping as opposed to listing it for free can give your small business the reassurance that it’ll be able to cover packaging costs - we know these things aren’t always cheap. Let’s get a little technical. It varies, but on the whole, it costs $3-4 dollars for USPS First Class Mail and $6-7 for Priority Mail (both taking 1-3 business days to reach the customer, depending on distance). It’s all about finding balance, though, because only packages under 13oz qualify for First Class, with 16oz being the limit for Priority. A popular cardboard box size tends to be 8" x 6" x 4", but it depends on the actual cap, of course - if you’ve got a heavier hat with a larger bill, don’t risk it by shoving it inside a smaller box. Remember that you can fold the back of the cap forwards, inside the front panels (like how it would be found on display shelves in stores). This could allow you to use boxes that are shorter but taller (but still smaller overall, costing you less cash). If you’ve made a lot of sales and have many trips to the post office to make, order a bulk bundle of boxes to save yourself time and money. Be savvy.
Always Be Safe, Never Sorry
It doesn’t take a genius to know that during shipping, your box and the contents inside of it will get battered, bruised and bounced around. In order to minimise damage, and therefore reduce any looming complaints, take extra precautions. Be safe, not sorry. You could nestle the baseball cap in sheets of paper wrapping or bubble wrap for protection, and if there are any stickers or embellishments covering the cap, we suggest you cover them over with plastic. Otherwise, they risk getting disturbed or damaged completely. You can also purchase plastic or cardboard shapers that can be inserted inside the hat - so long as the box is big enough, the cap will retain its shape during transit. This could make a huge difference.
Before you even think about shipping off your parcel, you need to make sure the box is actually suitable - and we’re not just talking size-wise. It needs to be made of a good-enough quality so that it’s less likely to get torn or completely soaked with water, should it encounter some. Seal your package up with strong duct or packaging tape, and it’s bound to withstand the ‘rollercoaster ride’ that lies ahead. Alongside the cap, include returns labels and any necessary documents. Be a stickler for organisation and it’ll pay off. Your customers will have smiles on their faces!
If your buyer has splashed the cash on an expensive cap, for example, we’d urge you even more to comply with the tips we’ve given you above. As the vendor, you’re responsible for the condition of the cap when it arrives. They’ve put their trust, (and hard-earned money), in your hands, and they’re expecting a baseball cap in one piece, thank you very much.
Polythene Bags - Yes or No?
Poly bags are a go-to for sellers wanting a quick solution to easy shipping. Being made of polythene, they’re extremely kind to the pennies in your pocket. And, due to the fact they can be found around practically every street corner, many people rush to grab them when sending off an item. This includes those who sell second hand items from the comfort of their own homes, all the way up to the online fashion giants. If you’ve ever ordered a baseball cap from an online retailer, or even just some form of headwear in general, you may notice that it arrived in a polythene bag. And it’s true - some companies who favor quantity over quality simply chuck it into plastic.
Don’t get us wrong - we know that on the odd occasion, it’s not possible to raid your local postal service and clear the shelves of their speciality boxes and extra-strength tape and fancy label stickers. As a small business, you need to make sure your profit isn’t razor-thin. This is understandable. However, cutting corners and slacking when it comes to the point of handing over the baseball cap, will only go against your brand.
If you have to spend slightly more money on decking out your storage cupboard with stacks of boxes, by all means, go for it. Because if one of your customers receives their baseball cap in a bag made of plastic, its bill crushed and unwearable, you won’t be getting any positive reviews - the only thing you’ll be getting are demands for refunds. Properly packaging your items might just set you apart from your competitors.
Whatever You Do, Don’t Cut Corners
It could be argued that there’s a certain misconception among smaller businesses who are just starting out - they might believe that cheaper packaging will increase their overall profits. This might be the case on a short-term basis, but in the long run, it will only go against you. Getting constant complaints from your buyers will give you poor reviews and few recommendations - so, at the end of the day, cutting corners really isn’t worth it. Not one bit. Every refund adds up, and before you know it, you’ve made no profit whatsoever. So, box up your baseball caps properly, even if it means marking up your price slightly to cover these costs.
From reading the above, it’s no brainer that strong cardboard boxes are most definitely the way to go. However, it’s not as simple as chucking in the baseball cap and praying it’ll reach your buyer in one piece. Being careless and carrying out your tasks half-heartedly will only cause you to trip yourself up - you need to build yourself a good reputation and strong rapport with customers, and the way to do this is by putting their best interests first. They’ll be expecting to receive their money’s worth. Although the physical transit journey is unpredictable, secure tape, plastic coverings, bubble wrap, paper wrapping and infill shapers can all play their protective roles. The appearance of a cap upon its arrival has more of an impact than many vendors realise - as they say, first impressions really do count. Always keep the golden rule in mind - if it’s worth selling, it’s worth packaging properly.
How much does a baseball cap weigh? On average, a baseball cap weighs 3.9oz (110 grams). However, this weight varies depending on the material used, its height and how large its bill is. The heavier baseball caps can go up to 9oz (255 grams), meaning the packaging requirements will differ slightly. In this case, simply purchase a larger box and charge the customer slightly more to cover the cost of shipping. If you’re unsure of the weight of your cap, find yourself a pair of scales, or simply use those at your local post office.