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Favorite/Least favorite packaging methods - share your horror stories

Mar 26, 2012

    1. I do not yet own my own doll, but I spend a lot of time on the forums and on youtube looking at box openings. For me, it's a good way of seeing a variety of different dolls all in one place, usually in their raw states.

      But I've come to notice a few different methods of packaging utilized by different companies. First, there's the traditional bubblewrap mummy, that you have to carefully hack at to liberate your doll. This may also include pillows, either wrapped up with the doll, or just laid underneath and on top of it. Second, there's the customized cushion of Soom, with its velcro straps and hand sleeves and whatnot. Other companies have a similar version that just ties the doll around certain places with ribbon and the whole thing may or may not have been bubble-wrapped. Third, which seems to be getting more popular, is what I call a foam coffin, used by Dollshe and Fairyland among others. Where the doll lies in a dolly-shaped foam hole, which also has holes cut out of it for certificates, extra heads, etc.

      And for non-resin items, clothing usually comes in those little baggies with the sticky strip, and eyes and wigs may or may not have their own boxes, other times just be in baggies as well.

      I'm sure there are more, so if you have seen one I haven't covered here, I'd like to hear about what you think about it.

      So some questions for discussion:
      Which method of packing do you trust most?
      Which do you trust least?
      Which do you use, if you ship things to people?
      Has a packaging method ever nearly given you a heart attack when you saw it after opening the box? Like 'Why would you ever do that?!'
      Has a doll or other item ever arrived damaged due to flaws in the packaging? I'm not just talking banged up outer boxes or inner boxes, but serious damage to the part you paid money for.
      --If so, what did you do about it?
       
    2. I've never had too much issue with company packing. Usually I've gotten some mix of bubble wrap and pillows -- and all the dolls i've gotten have been perfectly fine. Unidoll did a good job with their foam cut out that held their dolls in place, AoD not so much with the too small boxes for SD sized dolls (that was a long time ago, though. They may have changed since then.

      The doll I shipped to someone else I wrapped his hands in toilet paper for added protection, wrapped him in bubblewrap, but not too tight where it would stress joints, and sandwiched him inbetween pillows. I shipped him in a doll box placed inside an outer box the same way companies do. The doll I bought second hand that was the least well packaged came in a box that was not in good shape at all -- it was so soft that it hardly offered any protection whatsoever. Luckily the doll was fine, however.
       
    3. I haven't had major issues with packaging, either. I've never bought a doll from someone else or sold a doll, so I have no experience in wrapping or being sent a doll from someone else.

      I always have a fondness for the bubble-wrap mummy and it's various forms. I think it probably keeps things in place better than the foam person method. I always thought the foam container would increase the potential for things to move or hit together. So far, I haven't had a foam container; only mummies.

      I did have an issue where my BBB had a small piece of resin take out of his ankle. It doesn't bother me, it doesn't interfere with posing, and I don't see it unless I go look for it. It actually helps a little, because I can remember which calf goes where when I restring it.
       
    4. I was shipped a strung doll body once in the box that the entire doll had originally come in. Being headless obviously subtracted a good six inches from the total length of the doll, and she slid around in the box and broke her ankle. The person who packed her denied realizing this might be a problem.
       
    5. I had only good experiences with pillows/bubblewrap. Foam cutouts/bubblewrap I only had twice but both companies (Soom and IH) forgot head protection, making the lashes come off right away. Also the IH's hook part of the foot broke. I think that could have also been too tight stringing, though.
      You can't do much with the foam either. The pillows I use in photos, for dolls to sit on... The foam I want to keep for maybe shipping or moving in the future, but until then it's useless.
      I'd prefer pillows for shipping, since it's easier and I have a load of pillows right here. ^^
       
    6. I've never had a problem with any company shipping/packing. Probably the best and most professional I've seen from memory was Iplehouse - she came basically encased in foam :whee: Soom was also good, and I think had a reusable sleeping bag type thing which is handy, I think my Leeke D had this too, and most of the others have come well bubble wrapped with the standard pillows. Never had a breakage and I've ordered a lot of dolls :XD:

      I have also bought many times second hand. I usually ask for the doll to be sent unstrung and packed into as small a box as possible to save on shipping. Or if it is an MSD, curled up into a little ball with head off! This has always worked out great - I generally don't want to keep the boxes anyway, I don't have space for them all. I have never bought from someone who packed a doll carelessly - thank you to all the lovely, responsible DoA people who have sold me dolls! ;)
       
    7. I've never had any issues with company doll packaging at all, they're always either cocooned in bubble wrap or trussed up in pillows/foam like an exceptionally comfy christmas turkey.

      Second hand...well. I usually request shipped unstrung and those are more often than not bubblewrapped to within an inch of their tiny resin lives and fine...but I have had instances of less than stellar packaging, included but not limited to:

      An unstrung MSD with no facemask, no bubblewrap and indeed no visible padding at all barring some thin bits of tissue paper that presumably STARTED the journey wrapped around the parts and then SPENT the journey wandering loose across the inside of the box so that when I unwrapped it, there was a pile of it wedged into one corner and a jumble of body parts and AIR in the rest of the box. It was not in a great state.

      An SD body unstrung, but then dumped into a box the size it would have needed whilst still strung, with nothing more than about a half a box of polystyrene peanuts. Needless to say EVERYTHING was scratched to hell where it had just swung about inside the box and caught on the other parts and S-hooks.

      And my personal favourite, a Chiwoo elf head (WOAH!delicate pointy ears!) wrapped in a single square of kitchen roll and shoved into a plain brown NOT PADDED envelope. How that thing made it across from the states intact remains beyond me, resin miracle?!

      Lessons to be learned here? POLYSTYRENE PEANUTS AND TISSUE PAPER DO NOT PADDING MAKE.
       
    8. all my company ordered dolls have come packaged very securely but second hand ones are another matter entirely. Shipping things is not hard at all and the fact that some people try to cheap out and won't use proper packaging supplies really makes me mad. I've actually comprised a list of things i've seen done when shipping dolls that to me, just seems negligent.

      1: Dolls and doll parts just don't need to be shipped in padded envelopes, EVER. It blows my mind when people think a padded envelope is an acceptable protection for large doll head.

      2: Paper towels, crunched up printer paper and used plastic shopping bags do not take the place of bubble wrap and packing peanuts.

      3: There should never be enough space left in the box that you're able to hear stuff knocking around when the box is being gently shaken. If you don't have enough packing supplies to fill up the box just get a smaller box!

      4: 'I couldn't find a box' is never an excuse to mail things in poor packaging. Boxes are not that hard to locate, and if you can't find one i'm sure most buyers would gladly pay you a bit extra to get a flat rate box.

      There are way more stupid things i've seen done when shipping dolls but these are just the few I see done most often.
       
      • x 1
    9. I know what you mean about #2, but I find if you have space left over in the box and no packing materials, plastic bags are an awesome box filler. Especially if you pile 3 or 4 bags into a tiny space. This is, of course, after items have been bubblewrapped ;)

      Honestly, I don't have many horror stories. I've seen them around in the problem transaction subforum (Acrylic eyes in a paper envelope spring to mind), but luckily all the sellers I've had have been really good about packing, and I hope I'm good too to my buyers!
       
      • x 1
    10. From companies I've had good experiences with the exception of one case. The good experiences had dolls all wrapped up in bubble wrap, then in cushions or a cut out from foam, then in a doll box and then in a shipping box with news papers, packing peanuts or foam to fill in the gap between the interior of the shipping box and the doll box. The bad experience consisted of a well packaged doll shipped with some brown packing paper around the doll box. The doll was okay, but the doll box was ruined. This was done by a dealer who no longer sells ABJDs, so I hope people don't worry too much about experiencing the same.

      I prefer shipping boxes even if the doll or doll parts are in a doll box or wrapped in bubble wrap. Dutch customs is known to open packages and on several occasions they have taken items out of the bubble wrap packaging and not wrap it back up. Once a doll head was taken out of the bubble wrap and then jammed back in the plastic container causing a scratch to the side of the head, which is not the fault of the sender. When my Narin was shipped, the extra parts I had ordered were taken out their bubble wrap and the plastic bags that were taped to the inner side of a doll box, then the parts were tossed in the doll box without the bubble wrap. Luckily they then got to shift between the doll pillows agains a bubble wrapped doll inside a doll box that was inside a shipping box.
      Another time I was shipped doll parts wrapped in bubble wrap, but the (non-doll company) seller put the parts in a plastic bag. One doll part was taken out of the bubble wrap at customs and then put back in the plastic bag without anything protecting it. When the package arrived that part almost poked through the plastic and it could have been damaged if something hard would have hit the package.

      If you send something to another country, please remember that things may get unpacked and not repackaged properly by customs. Make sure that the outer box is sturdy and can protect poorly packed items from the outside world.
       
    11. i much prefer boxes every time...I won't mention the company but i had a doll through in a "silk bag"
      surrounded by bubblewrap and consequently ended up with a doll with a busted hand....To be fair it was
      probably a heavy handed postman, but i was a bit taken aback that my dolls were not in a box...
      she came with another doll in the same package...they are the first dolls i have ever received like this and
      the first breakage ever, so yes i prefer boxes for definite
       
    12. The dolls that l'v ordered came in a box with pillows/bubblewrap or foam cutouts and so far l like them send this way.
       
    13. Which method of packing do you trust most?
      I've only ever encountered the bubble wrap mummy and cushions. I prefer both combined.

      Which do you trust least?
      When the doll has no bubble wrap, it's just placed in between two cushions or, you know, no cushioning at all. ^^;

      Which do you use, if you ship things to people?
      Bubble wrap mummy and placed in or between cushions.

      Has a packaging method ever nearly given you a heart attack when you saw it after opening the box?
      Um, yes. I once received a doll with no packing whatsoever. No bubblewrap, cushions, nothing. She was just put in a grocery-type bag. She was fine, though!

      Has a doll or other item ever arrived damaged due to flaws in the packaging?
      No, I don't think so.
       
    14. When ordering from direct from the company I've yet to see a method of packing that made me scratch my head. Most of the time my dolls come in the traditional method: bubble wrap mummies and pillows. No problems with that yet.

      Second dolls have reached me just fine too. I guess I've been pretty lucky getting dolls from people who take the time to securely package the passenger.

      I'm an over cautious mailer. Clothes get placed in ziptop bags, resin is always secured with bubble wrap, space in the box is usually filled with plastic grocery bags for extra cushion. I also make sure the recipient's address in there too just in case the label get ruined. You never know what could happen to the box.

      Here's a picture of something I sent to Canada: http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn248/leaveme_dogs/canada10.jpg

      It was a Brownie head and wig I sent as part of a trade. That is how my trade partner got it. Luckily my overkill method kept everything safe.
       
    15. Which method of packing do you trust most? I like the "foam coffin" method. He can't slide around, he's very stable and secure and the boxes seem to be stronger too. My RingDoll and BlueBlood dolls came like that. It also requires no packing peanuts (which my dog seems to think would be yummy...) and very little, if any bubble wrap. Nice and neat AND safe!
      Which do you trust least? Tied in a pillow and nothing else...
      Which do you use, if you ship things to people? Since I can't get my own cut out foam, I'll go with bubble wrap and peanuts. Usually, I'll unstring and wrap each individual piece, labelled with what side it is, then put all pieces in a box with peanuts. If I ship the doll whole and in their box, again, tons of bubblewrap, then pillows, then peanuts.
      Has a packaging method ever nearly given you a heart attack when you saw it after opening the box? just the pillows. Two of mine came like that. My Only-Doll YiFeng came from MoC with just bubblewrap loosely on his hands and tied in a pillow, rattling all over his box. he had a dirty smudge on his nose, but was ok. I bought an MSD girl off the MP that was tossed in her box with pillows, but not wrapped or secured, faceup protector tossed in the box but not strapped on...when I got her in the mail, something was rattling and terrified me. it was her faceup protector beating her and damaged her faceup. She was curled up in the bottom of the box outside the pillows. there was no other damage, but I was pretty upset. The seller never responded to my PM about it.
      Has a doll or other item ever arrived damaged due to flaws in the packaging? just the faceup on that doll.
      If so, what did you do about it? the seller never responded, so I just redid her faceup.
       
    16. I've had a second hand doll posted to me in a bubble envelope before: no face protector, nothing *_*
       
    17. Which method of packing do you trust most?
      I don't have a set favorite, as long as it's secure and well-padded. I do kind of prefer bubble wrap and cushions because I can reuse it more easily than the 'foam coffin' method.

      Which do you trust least?

      no particular preference, though I suppose I don't really trust methods like the pillow bag where they just stick a doll in without protecting any specific parts. I like for hands to be protected and kept away from the rest of the body at the very least.

      Which do you use, if you ship things to people?
      I tend to go for some bubble wrap mummification combined with lots of padding. Protecting the most fragile parts and making sure things can't shift much in transit.

      Has a packaging method ever nearly given you a heart attack when you saw it after opening the box? Like 'Why would you ever do that?!'
      I once received a doll with no pillows or padding, just loose in the box with a bit of crumpled paper tossed here and there.

      Has a doll or other item ever arrived damaged due to flaws in the packaging? I'm not just talking banged up outer boxes or inner boxes, but serious damage to the part you paid money for.
      In the situation mentioned above, the doll broke one of its fingers. Luckily that was the only damage done and I was actually really surprised it fared so well given the state of the packaging. I glued the finger back on and that was about it.
       
    18. Which method of packing do you trust most? I love the foam coffin because it can go through customs and it's easy for the inspector to shove the doll back where it belongs, and nothing rattles around.
      Which do you trust least? Padded envelopes. Nothing resin/breakable should ever go in a padded envelope, and I have even gotten wigs damaged that way. Clothes are ok but I still prefer a hard-sided box.
      Which do you use, if you ship things to people? I use a box in a box when possible, bubble wrap on the inner layer, bags or peanuts on the outer layer between the box and the shipper. Some people don't like the mess the peanuts make, so I try to use bubble wrap/tissue/bags when possible.

      Has a packaging method ever nearly given you a heart attack when you saw it after opening the box? Like 'Why would you ever do that?!' And ebay person mailed me a doll body in a shoebox with no packing at all..I was astonished it came ok, though it was very dirty.

      Has a doll or other item ever arrived damaged due to flaws in the packaging? I'm not just talking banged up outer boxes or inner boxes, but serious damage to the part you paid money for. Yes, but I was the packer--I didn't wrap up the fingers on a Delf boy body, and though he was in a pillow in a box it wasn't enough--he was on a flight between cities and probably just dropped off the end of the conveyor belt, and the weight of the body mashed the hand. Lesson learned.
       
    19. Which method of packing do you trust most?
      For dolls, I don't have a preference between the foam cutout & the bubble wrap mummy. I've have both, and either way works. Ideally, I'd then like for the doll to be secure in its box, then that box well packed with peanuts into a shipping box. At the very least, I'd like the doll or parts bubble wrapped then placed in a shipping box with lots of extra box filler padding.

      Which do you trust least?
      As with any fragile items, if the shipping box makes a rattling sound when shook (aka items are loose inside) then it's not likely to offer adequate protection.

      Which do you use, if you ship things to people?
      It depends on the item, but I tend to use bubble envelopes for clothing & eyes (after I've also bubble wrapped the heck out of each eye). Dolls & doll parts go in boxes with face protectors, tons of bubble wrap & extra packing.


      Has a packaging method ever nearly given you a heart attack when you saw it after opening the box? Like 'Why would you ever do that?!'
      Unfortunately yes. One of my second hand dolls was sent to me overseas in quite a...creative...package. There was no box at all. The outer layer was some type of paper wrapped a million times over with duct tape (the mailman told me that when it had arrived at the post office he & his co-workers had actually had a discussion on what sort of contraband might be inside such a weird lumpy package :|). Inside of the paper was a soft yoga mat type bag, squished on all sides except for its flimsy plastic bottom. Then the fully strung SD-sized doll was sort of folded up in the bag, just lying there akwardly with nothing but plastic baggies rubberbanded over his hands & head. It was so ridiculous I wasn't sure whether to laugh or gasp in shock. Miraculously the only damage to the doll was one broken off finger (which the hand's baggy had helpfully contained lol, so I was able to reattach it).
       
    20. Which method of packing do you trust most?
      I've had an unstrung doll (bubblewrapped parts) inside a pillow, strung doll strapped into its pillow, and two heads in boxes with lots of bubblewrap and peanuts. All of them have gotten to me in perfect condition. I'm so thankful to have had such wonderful sellers ^_^

      Which do you trust least?

      Nothing yet to date from my personal experience.

      Which do you use, if you ship things to people?
      Lots of bubblewrap and a box. Face-up protector if applicable. If the doll box is going inside of a shipping box, then I use newspapers or these shipping packets filled with air to make sure the box has padding.

      Has a packaging method ever nearly given you a heart attack when you saw it after opening the box? Like 'Why would you ever do that?!'
      Nope, not yet!

      Has a doll or other item ever arrived damaged due to flaws in the packaging? I'm not just talking banged up outer boxes or inner boxes, but serious damage to the part you paid money for.
      Nope~​