Do you sell a lot of items online, like on sites such as eBay? If you do, you probably know how important finding the right packaging is already. Even if you don’t sell much, but still buy plenty of items from online retailers, you still might have an opinion on what makes the best packaging. If you are trying to improve the packaging you use, or just want to know what makes good packaging and what makes bad packaging—then you’re in the right place.


In this article, we’re going to look at a number of packaging mistakes that you will want to avoid. Don’t keep sending your items in the wrong packaging, or stop buying from people who simply don’t know where to start when it comes to packaging items properly. So what are the packaging mistakes you should avoid? Experts like C.L. Smith know a lot about packaging, and you should too. Let’s have a look…

1. Packaging isn’t strong enough

One of the biggest mistakes when it comes to packaging is using materials and processes that simply aren’t strong enough. In other words, the packaging doesn’t protect the items to the level they should. Whether that’s because the tape or other fastening methods used aren’t strong enough, or the body of the actual package itself doesn’t have the strength to withstand a delivery journey.

And that’s the thing with packaging, it needs to be able to do the job it’s there for. That’s keep things safe for the duration of the delivery journey. Whether it’s a long international delivery or just a local one, packages can go through a lot of hands and bumps. While most delivery drivers and logistics workers will try their best not to throw items around too much, you can’t guarantee this at all times. Assuming the item is strong enough to cope with that sort of thing, the packaging needs to be too. You don’t want it ripping, or opening up and threatening the integrity of the item inside.

2. Unreadable labels

Another big problem with packaging these days is using labels that aren’t readable. This can make it hard for delivery companies to tell where an item is supposed to go to. That means it could either get delayed or even lost. You need clear labels both for where the item is heading, as well as your return address in case something goes wrong. imagine if they couldn’t read the destination, or even your return address, your package might get completely lost.

Alongside labels that are ineligible, you also need strong labels that stay stuck on and are strong enough to withstand the journey just like your packaging should be in general.

Print large labels and avoid writing them by hand to make sure they’re readable. make sure you’ve got the address format and language right for the destination country as well. Double-check things like addresses online beforehand.

3. No indication of the right way up

If you’ve got a fragile item that needs a certain level of care, make sure it’s indicated on the outside clearly. You can’t expect delivery drivers to know what way up your item should be at all times. So if this is important, make it clear on the outside of the box.


4. Too heavy

One other major problem with packaging these days is that it can be too heavy. When calculating your delivery costs weight can be a big factor. So you don’t just want to make sure the actual item is light enough, the packaging and total amount need to be. Some people use packaging that’s simply far too heavy by itself, increasing the cost of their delivery or making it harder to delivery drivers or logistics companies to move around. The packaging you choose should be light enough while also still being strong (as we looked at earlier).

5. Too bulky

Another issue with packaging these days is that as well as being too heavy, it’s also often too bulky. Your item should be well protected with padding if necessary (for certain items), but it shouldn’t take up more space than is necessary. That could both make delivery costs more expensive, or simply make it harder for delivery companies to handle. Make sure your packaging is strong, but doesn’t have too much extra bulk or any more than is completely necessary.

6. No brand identity

If you’re just selling items by yourself, you won’t need your brand on the packaging. You probably don’t have one. However, if you’re sorting out the packaging for a company, you’ll want to make sure the brand is included on the packaging. It’s a good way to get some free advertising and grow recognition. not only that, but people who take delivery should know what they’re opening before they do so.

7. Lack of instructions

If your item needs specific instruction on it, then these need to be as clear as possible. Perhaps it needs opening at a certain end, or has other specific information that’s important to the person opening it. Just like the labeling issues we looked at early, if there are specific instructions for your item, make them as clear as possible.

8. Too expensive

If you’re sending out a lot of items, you don’t want to be spending too much on the packaging. Even if you’re not doing a lot of shipping, the cost of your packaging can still play an important role. Try and buy in bulk from a retailer you’ve made prior arrangements with. Make sure you’ve got the best quality packaging you can find at the right affordable price.

9. Too hard to open

Finally, if your packaging is strong and sturdy, that’s great. But it also needs to be easy to open. It can be hard to find the right balance between protection and ease of opening, but you don’t want people having a really hard time opening your package.

Hopefully, you now know enough about packaging so that you can start doing a better job.