How to Ship a Laptop
Once your laptop sells, it needs to arrive at its destination intact so you can get paid. Here’s how to securely package your laptop, plus estimated shipping costs and a way to save when you ship your laptop.
How to package a laptop for shipping
You’ll need supplies like a sturdy corrugated box, bubble wrap, plastic wrap and clear packing tape. Optionally, you can purchase anti-static packing peanuts and “fragile” stickers. Boxes sized 17″ x 13″ x 5″ fit most laptops, but you can use any size that accommodates your laptop plus at least 2″ of space on all sides for protective packaging. Some stores sell special laptop shipping boxes. You can purchase packaging materials from stores like Amazon, Walmart or your local shipping store.
STEP 1: Place a sheet of bubble wrap between the screen and keyboard to protect the screen when closed
STEP 2: Wrap your laptop in plastic and seal with packing tape to prevent damage from liquids, dampness and rain (if you have the original box, you can wrap the entire box in plastic)
STEP 3: Pack your laptop
If you have the original box with packing materials
- Pack your laptop in the original box
- Place a 2-3″ layer of packing peanuts or bubble wrap on the bottom of the shipping box and set your laptop box on top
If you don’t have the original box:
- Wrap your laptop in a 4″ layer of bubble wrap and seal with packing tape
- Place your laptop in the cardboard shipping box (you can add a 2-3″ layer of packing peanuts on the bottom for added security)
- Alternatively, you can use a special laptop shipping box
STEP 4: Pack accessories
- Wrap accessories (mouse, A/C adapter, cables, etc.) in bubble wrap and secure with packing tape
- Place accessories beside your laptop, not on top of it, to prevent damage during shipping
STEP 5: Secure and seal the box
- Fill in any open spaces with packing peanuts or bubble wrap. It should be packed tight enough to prevent shifting but not so tight it places too much pressure on your laptop
- Seal the box securely with packing tape. Go over seams twice for extra hold
- Place your shipping label on top of the box and cover it with clear packing tape to prevent tearing during shipping. You can optionally place “fragile” stickers on each side of the box
Your laptop is now packaged securely and ready to ship.
Estimated laptop shipping costs
Depending on which type of box you use, laptop packaging materials can cost anywhere from $10 to $40. Shipping costs vary by dimensions, weight, courier and destination; but in general, you can expect to pay between $20 and $40 for shipping. That means the total cost to package and ship a laptop ranges between $30 to $80, though most people will likely spend between $30 and $50.
It’s a good idea to purchase insurance and signature delivery confirmation when you ship your laptop. This protects you from lost or damaged items and ensures your laptop is delivered to the intended recipient.
Laptops weigh between 2 and 4 pounds, depending on the model. Here are estimated costs to ship a 17″ x 13″ x 5″ box weighing 4 pounds from New York to Los Angeles (use the linked shipping calculators for each respective courier to calculate your exact fees).
USPS (shipping calculator)
- Priority 2-Day Mail: $20.05
- Insurance: $14.35
- Adult signature: $6.10
- Total: $40.50
UPS (shipping calculator)
- UPS Ground: $21.85
- Insurance: $10.50
- Adult signature: $6.05
- Total: $38.40
FedEx (shipping calculator)
- FedEx Home Delivery: $21.78
- Insurance: $10
- Adult signature: $6.05
- Total: $37.83
How to save on shipping a laptop
You can have the buyer pay for shipping, but that adds to your total price – a competitive disadvantage on marketplaces like eBay. Or, you can pay for shipping yourself, which of course reduces your profit from the sale.
Alternatively, you can avoid paying for shipping altogether by selling your laptop to an online buyback store. These stores pay shipping fees and provide free shipping labels. Some even offer free laptop shipping kits so you don’t need to pay for materials.
Where to sell your laptop
Flipsy Trust Verified Stores Buying Laptops
Contact these Trust Verified stores to get a cash quote for your laptop. Let them know your serial number, condition and any items that you have or that are missing. You’ll typically get a quote back that is competitive with selling on marketplaces like eBay or Swappa plus they pay shipping. If you accept the offer they make, payment is made 1-2 days after receipt of your laptop.
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