So here I am in Boston, stuck with a computer that doesn’t work. My kid brother back home in Philadelphia says he can fix it for me, no big deal. All I have to do is ship my computer to him. He’ll do his magic, ship the computer back to me, and I can get on with my busy life as a college student.
Sounds simple, right? Well, here’s what I learned along the way:
First: Never pack your computer in a padding envelope for shipping.
Seriously, I thought my computer would be fine. Those envelopes are really thick and full of bubble wrap, and the perfect size for my little laptop. But it turns out that that bubble wrap isn’t enough protection. I don’t know if something crushed my computer or if it got dropped or what, but by the time my brother got it, it had damage that it didn’t have when I shipped it.
Now I know: Ship computers in sturdy new cardboard shipping boxes. If you have the original box the computer came in, that’s great – use that to box your computer and then put that box inside another new box for maximum protection.
Second: Double Check Your Shipping Address
I’ve known my brother literally all of my life. Of course I know where he lives, right? That may be true but what I did was mail my computer to his old apartment. Luckily his old roommate was still there and he gave my brother a call when the computer was dropped off – but I could have very easily have never seen my computer again.
Now I know: Confirm shipping addresses.
Third: Insure Everything
Did you know that you can protect your computer in case it gets lost, damaged, or otherwise wrecked during the shipping process? I did not know this. After I talked to a company that specializes in shipping computers in the Boston area, I learned that there are various types and levels of insurance coverage available.
These same pros would have steered me away from the padded envelope (they’re the ones who told me about the double boxing technique). Considering that my computer wound up damaged and almost wound up lost during this incident, the next time I am definitely going to go to a pack and ship company and skip all this stress!