How to Safely Ship Your Phone

After your phone sells it needs to arrive at the buyer’s doorstep intact so you can get paid. Here’s how to securely package and ship your iPhone, Android or other phone, plus estimated shipping costs and a way to save when you ship your phone.

How to package a phone for shipping

Phone shipping supplies include a sturdy cardboard box, packing material (bubble wrap, newspaper and/or packing peanuts) and packing tape. Optionally, you can purchase “fragile” stickers to place on the box. Your box should allow for at least one inch of space for protective packaging on all sides of your phone (or on all sides of the original box, if you still have it). Some stores sell special phone shipping boxes. You can purchase packaging materials from stores like Amazon, Walmart or your local shipping store (USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc.).
STEP 1: Wrap your phone in bubble wrap or newspaper to form a one-inch thick protective layer on all sides. Seal with packing tape. If you have the original box, you can place your phone in it first, then wrap the box in packing material and seal with packing tape
STEP 2: Place a layer of packing material in the bottom of the box (bubble wrap, newspaper or packing peanuts)
STEP 3: Set your phone on the bottom layer of packing material, then fill in any remaining space with packing material. It should be packed tight enough to prevent shifting but not so tight it puts too much pressure on your phone
STEP 4: Seal the box securely with packing tape. Go over seams twice for extra hold
STEP 5: 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 phone is now packaged securely and ready to ship.

Estimated phone shipping costs

Depending on which type of box and packing materials you use, phone packaging can cost anywhere from $5 to $10. Shipping costs vary by dimensions, weight, courier and destination. Most phones weigh less than 8 oz. and can be shipped in a 9 ¼ x 6 ¼ x 2-inch box, which is a standard size for USPS Priority Mail. That means the total cost to package and ship a phone ranges between $25 and $35. It’s a good idea to purchase insurance and signature delivery confirmation when you ship your phone. This protects you from lost or damaged items and ensures your phone is delivered to the intended recipient. Here are estimated costs to ship a 9 ¼ x 6 ¼ x 2-inch box that weighs 8 oz. from New York to Los Angeles and is insured for $500 (use the linked shipping calculators for each respective courier to calculate your exact fees). USPS (shipping calculator)
  • Priority 2-Day Mail: $9.30
  • Insurance: $6.95
  • Adult signature: $6.40
  • Total: $22.65
UPS (shipping calculator)
  • UPS Ground: $11.71
  • Insurance: $5.25
  • Adult signature: $6.05
  • Total: $23.01
FedEx (shipping calculator)
  • FedEx Home Delivery: $11
  • Insurance: $5
  • Adult signature: $6.05
  • Total: $22.05

How to save on shipping a phone

You can have the buyer pay for shipping, but that increases the total price – a competitive disadvantage on marketplaces like eBay. Or, you can pay for shipping yourself, which of course reduces your profit. You can forgo insurance and signature confirmation, which would reduce the overall cost by around $11 to $13, but you won’t be protected if your package is lost, stolen or damaged. Alternatively, you can avoid paying for shipping altogether by selling your phone to an online buyback store. These stores pay shipping fees and provide free shipping labels. Some even offer free phone shipping kits so you don’t need to pay for materials.

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