Shipping Best Practices
You joined the WTA, studied the course and now you’re ready to start trading watches but wait, you found that perfect starter watch and now you need to get it in your hands so here starts your next journey: Shipping!
Shipping is a bit more than slapping a label on a box and surrendering it to FedEx and we at IFS are here to help you to do it right.
It all starts with packaging, when shipping a highly sensitive and precious time piece it is very important to safely pack and protect the timepiece while it’s being handled by FedEx.
Always keep in mind that the box on the outside looks like any other express box (and that is of course what we want to prevent temptation) and neither the driver or the package handler at FedEx are handling the box any differently.
Take note that Loss or damage caused by or resulting from insufficient or defective packing are not covered.
All of this is easy when you are the one packing up the timepiece but you just bought the watch and now having to rely on the seller packing it up, for that reason always give very clear instructions to the seller how you want the watch to be packed:
Watches that include the original watch box can be packed in a single box but have the shipper wrap the watch box in a protective layer to prevent damage, the watch even on a nice pillow, wrap in a protective layer (bubble wrap) to absorb shocks during shipping.
Leave no empty space between outer and inner box, boxes are stacked and a heavier box can crush another box especially if there are voids in the box.
Naked watches can be packed in a small express box but of course with heavy wrapping, make sure to fill the empty space up with bubble wrap or even newspaper, place the small box inside a medium to create a more sturdy box.
Instruct the seller to print the shipping label twice, place one in the inside of the box (if you use a small FedEx box inside a medium attach to the box, if you have a watch box inside tape it on the outside of the watch box), this will make it easier for FedEx to identify the shipment in the event the outer box gets damaged and or the label was damaged or even fell off the outer box.
Labels are to be attached to the box in such manner that falling off is highly impossible, trust me if I have seen labels placed on boxes with 2 small pieces of Scotch tape, use either the free peel and stick labels (laser label, order them and we will send them for free) of in case you have something shipped to you have the shipper use the plastic pouch and tape this up so the label won’t fall out!
The box itself (outer box) needs to be brand spanking new, no used boxes as these have been opened once already and can be opened again and you won’t be able to tell if that’s the case.
Never use an Amazon box, for some reason people like taking stuff from Amazon boxes, maybe someone was expecting some silly low value item that no one would miss (surprise a Panarai!) we have seen anything from Shoe boxes to grocery bags and they simply don’t cut it!
The shipper should either take the box to a FedEx office or FedEx shipping hub but not to Walmart, Walgreens, office depot, Hanks Liquor store or any other questionable place that happens to have a sign in the window saying authorized FedEx ship center, always have them ask for a receipt that way you know the box was actually shipped.
Don’t and I mean DON’T, go to a FedEx location or FedEx office and pack up the watch in front of any of the FedEx employees instead do it in your car outside if there is little privacy at the location if any FedEx employee should ask for the content of the box the standard answer is “precision instrument” but never ROLEX!!
And when you are shipping a box out, the box is your business card. Use the above guidance on top of making the box look professionally packed, you will leave a much better impression compared to the shoe box guy!
Lastly, as most of the WTA gang is shipping either to or receiving at a residential address (and yes I am going to repeat myself here) ship hold for pick up during these strange times, COVID still has an impact on FedEx standard operating procedures and shipments are still being left at the front door.
Drivers knock the door or ring the bell and run like hell back to their trucks as they don’t want to meet anyone that potentially can infect them, unfortunately they do not always wait till the door opens and assume someone will come to the door in the next few minutes.
Our team at IFS Inforsure is here to help, we are a call (800-219-8923) and email ([email protected]) or for those who already have signed up for an account a Chat on our website away!