As computers become less expensive, laptops are becoming more readily available. With a projected 95.2% of American households having at least a computer, shipping laptops out is becoming more and more frequent. Whether you’re moving or own a laptop refurbishment store, you might run into the issue of having to ship a laptop. In this guide, we will walk through the steps on how to properly ship a laptop.
Shipping a laptop
Before you jump into picking out boxes and creating your label, you need to first understand a couple of issues that you might run into before shipping off your laptop. It’s important to read the electronic guidelines from the national carrier you pick to ensure that they can ship your laptop. Not only that, you need to know specific handling requirements that come with specific laptops, like if your laptop has lithium-ion batteries or not.
Let’s face it. Shipping a laptop falls under different guidelines than a normal package. Before you throw it in a box, you need to read the shipping guidelines and restrictions that the national carriers have in place to ensure your shipment makes it to its location safe and sound. Below, we have included the shipping guidelines for a few national carriers.
The next step of research you need to do is whether or not your laptop has lithium-ion batteries. Chances are that it does — most electronics like your tablets, mobile devices, and laptops have lithium-ion batteries. Why is this important? Lithium batteries are considered a dangerous good. By following lithium battery guidelines like USPS has on their site, you can reduce the risk of potential fires and damages to the electronics you’re shipping out. So, what are your next steps after doing research on shipping laptops? It’s time to pack your laptop for the shipping process.
How to pack a laptop
When packing your laptop, there are a couple of important steps that are added to a normal packing process. For one, you need to prep your laptop before even placing it into the box. Second, you need to make sure the package is properly labeled based on the guidelines you learn from the national carriers’ websites. Here’s the process on how to pack a laptop for shipping.
Prep the laptop
Like mentioned before, you need to prep your laptop before placing it in the box. What does this mean? If your laptop is in its original box and wrapped up, then you can move on to the next step. If it’s not, then you need to pay extra close attention to this step.
- Clean your laptop of any imperfections and remove any dust that has accumulated
- Use electrical tape or cardboard pieces to protect your power and volume buttons to ensure the laptop doesn’t turn on during shipping
- Place a thin layer of foam between the keyboard and screen to protect the keys and screen during shipping
- Wrap the laptop in bubble wrap or place it in a foam case to protect the exterior shell of the laptop
Find the right box and supplies
Finding the right box might be the easiest step of this process, well outside of dropping off your package. The most important factor is finding a box that is just slightly bigger than your laptop. Allow some space in between your box and laptop to fill with foam or bubble wrap. By doing this, you reduce as much movement as you can while your laptop is on the road.
From here, it’s best to opt-in for a second box to really ensure that your expensive electronic equipment is secure when shipping. This box will be your outer box that will take on the hits during shipping. Fill your outer box with infill, packing peanuts, or bubble wrap before placing your inner box containing your laptop into it. By doing this, you give your laptop extra security and cushion as it moves through shipping facilities.
Label your box
Finally, you need to label your box based on the lithium-ion battery guideline that your national carrier has in place. By labeling your box, anyone handling your package knows it contains lithium batteries. This action can ensure your package is placed in the correct location where it avoids extreme weather conditions. You wouldn’t want your laptop to be broken by the time it has reached its destination due to it sitting in the extreme cold for too long.
Drop it off at your carrier
Once you’ve correctly labeled your box, it’s time to print off your shipping label and drop it off at your national carrier’s location or schedule a pick-up time. From there, you have successfully learned how to ship a laptop, and it should be on its way to its next destination.
Laptop Shipping FAQ
How to mail a laptop?
Mailing a laptop is easy to do, especially when some carriers like FedEx have created laptop shipping boxes especially designed to ship laptops. Otherwise, preparing your laptop to be sent in the mail may require finding a box that it fits snugly in, and then wrapping it in plastic multiple times, along with cushioning to make sure it fits snugly in the box. The laptop’s lithium battery may also cause shipping safety complications, especially if the laptop’s battery is not shipping in the manufacturer’s original sealed packaging. Some carriers may only ship lithium batters in ground transport, which can reduce shipping times.
How much does it cost to send a laptop?
The cost to send a laptop will vary based on the weight of the laptop, the carrier used, the box that is purchased for it, and the destination to which the laptop is being sent. One example of the cost of shipping a laptop is in May 2023, a laptop was shipping from North Carolina to Tennessee by FedEX. The laptop box cost $29.01, and the shipping (standard) cost $27.01. The grand total cost for sending the laptop was $56.02.
How to ship series
Many eCommerce companies offer special expertise in shipping hard-to-ship items. For example, Red Stag Fulfillment is experienced in shipping high-value items, like laptops, and heavy or oversized merchandise. We also have insights on shipping things that may be classified as hazardous material, such as lithium-ion batteries.
Our How to Ship series offers wisdom on shipping many types of products that need special handling. Here are a few of the highlights:
- How to Ship Food
- How to Ship Packages from Home
- How to Ship Musical Instruments
- How to Ship a Painting
- How to Ship a Bike
If you are looking for a new 3PL, why not give us a call!