Packing Your End of Lease Return
Do you have questions about how to pack your end of lease return? Your questions may range from how to pack the equipment to how to mark the boxes and what paperwork needs to be included. Some items may require things to be removed before shipping. We will cover where and how to remove these items. Additionally we will cover where to find packing supplies and lastly how to safely pack your items.
If you have original box and packaging please skip to section How To Pack Section 1.
There are a few different places that you can acquire packing materials if you do not have them.
- Your local U-Haul
- A local home improvement store (Home Depot, Menards, or Lowes)
- Your local UPS or FedEx Store or other pack & ship store
Packing Materials For A Small Shipment (Ground)
If you have a small amount of equipment or small pieces, shipping ground is typically the most economical option no matter which carrier you choose. The things you will need are bubble wrap, proper boxes and of course some packing tape.
Packing a Large Shipment (LTL)
If you have a large return, meaning many pieces of equipment or large sized and heavy equipment it will be safer to ship on a pallet. Many carriers offer affordable rates and are able to pick up from your location even if you do not have a loading dock. To pack a large return you will still need boxes, bubble wrap and tape. However you will also need a solid pallet, shrink wrap, and preferably a strapper to secure the equipment to the pallet.
How To Remove items
There are certain items that may require the removal of pieces before being returned. For example Mailing Machines and some Printers/Copiers.
Most Mail Machines have a pre-paid meter inside that covers the cost of the mailing that is ran through the machine. These meters are specific to each manufacturer and almost always need to be returned to them without the Mail Machine itself. We will cover how to remove the meter from the most common machine and what tool is needed to do so.
Please refer to the drop downs to the right for picture references.
Printer and Copiers
There are certain printers and copiers that will require you to remove the ink or toner before shipping. It is important to check the user manual or with the manufacturer to determine if your model requires you to do so. These units require the removal because the movement during shipping will cause the ink or toner to leak out inside and out of the printer or copier. If a leak happens, even if contained within a box, it becomes very tedious and time consuming to clean the unit so that it is usable again.
How To Pack Equipment
Once you have your packing materials and your equipment gathered the next step is to pack it. By now you should have determined which method will best suit you; If you have the original box and packaging use steps in Section 1, if you do not have the original box and packaging but have a small amount of equipment use steps in Section 2, if you have a large shipment or large equipment use steps in Section 3.
Section 1 – How To Pack With Original Box and Packaging
Remove the packaging (foam, styrofoam, and cardboard) contents from the box. Place the equipment inside the packaging, including any accessories such as power supplies and etc. Tape the box shut with multiple strips of tape ensuring that the box is completely closed and will not open without cutting the tape.
Section 2 – Packing a small, ground, shipment
Important – A Package should never be more than 50LB unless it is packed in its original packaging, and we do not recommend using packing peanuts.
Find a sturdy box that is large enough to fit the equipment with additional room on every side. The box should be free of any damage and stickers containing any shipping info. Next, gather packing materials such as bubble wrap or packing paper. Items such as laptops, tablets and other small items can be wrapped together ensuring there is a layer of bubble between each unit.
Larger and more abstract shapes can be individually wrapped before placing into the box. Once the units are safely wrapped with bubble covering every side you will want to add multiple layers of padding to the bottom of the box. Next, place the units into the box and place bubble around all four sides and corners so there is no empty space. After each side is filled you will place multiple layers of packing on top. Lastly, place a copy of the return paperwork in the box to ensure that the warehouse can identify your return.
The goal is to have the equipment fully surrounded by packing material and that if the box is shaken that there is very minimal movement. It is always safe to assume that the box will bounce around throughout the shipping process and you want to ensure that the equipment will be padded enough to withstand any mishandling.
Section 3 – Packing a large, pallet shipment
When you have a large quantity of equipment or large pieces it will likely be more cost effective to ship via a pallet. Equipment can be packed similarly to shipping ground (see above) and then boxes should be stacked on the pallet. If it is a large piece and does not fit in a box it can be placed on a pallet and wrapped in shipping blankets or thick bubble. Once everything is stacked on the pallet it should be stretch wrapped to hold everything together. Lastly, the wrapped equipment should be strapped to the pallet.
Alternatives To Packing Yourself
Local UPS or FedEx Store
If you do not feel comfortable packing your end of lease return safely and it is a small return that would fit under Section 2 above than you still have other options. Simply take your equipment and an extra copy of the return paperwork to your local UPS or FedEx store. Each offers a service to have your equipment packed and then shipped out. We recommend taping a copy of the return paperwork to one of the pieces of equipment to ensure that it does not get left out of the box when packed. As stated earlier, the paperwork is what allows us to determine where the equipment belongs and to account for it as being returned on or by a specific date.
Hiring A Company To Pack and Ship (Padded Van Line)
If you have a larger shipment that you are unable to pack on your own you can hire a company to pack and ship your equipment for you. Typically you will need to provide them with a list of the equipment to be returned and approximate size and weight. They need this in order to determine what materials are needed, manpower, and cost.
IMPORTANT REMINDER – most companies will have different options so it is important that you do not just take the first and least expensive option, this option typically means they will come to your location pick up your equipment and ship it to our location without fully packing the equipment. We have found that this leads to damaged equipment more times than not. To ensure this does not happen make sure you choose the option where they will safely pack the equipment at your location before loading it and shipping the equipment.
Where to Go From Here
Packing your end of lease return properly is very important to ensure everything arrives safely and can be accepted under the proper account. Following the steps above will help guarantee that everything will be accepted in a timely manner and not be damaged in shipping.
If you have any questions on packing and shipping please call us and we will be happy to help walk you through the process!
Visit our Contact page.