How to Ship Clothes: A Few Tips That Might Come in Handy

How to Ship Clothes Clothes are relatively easy to ship: they typically don’t weigh too much, they are neither fragile nor perishable, and there are few shipping restrictions on clothes as far as international shipping is concerned. However, there are still things you need to know if you want to ship your clothes cost-effectively. Let us offer you a few tips on shipping clothes that might come in handy.

Choose the Right Carrier and Shipping Method

Since most clothes do not require special handling, you can choose the best carrier based on their rates using a shipping calculator. The cost of shipping clothes will depend on a variety of factors, the key one being their weight (other factors include the shipping distance and the speed of delivery). You can weigh smaller items using a cooking scale and larger items using a bathroom scale.

You should keep in mind, however, that many carriers charge by dimensional weight rather than by net weight, so it is actually the dimensions of your package that really matter. To figure out which of the weights you will be charged by, you need to weigh the clothes and the packaging, then pack them and calculate the dimensional weight of your package. Carriers typically charge by whichever weight is greater.

In many cases, flat rate shipping is the most cost-effective way of shipping clothes, so we recommend that you look into it.

Package Clothes for Shipping Properly to Reduce Shipping Costs

As we’ve already mentioned above, the cost of shipping clothes will most likely depend on the package dimensions, so you need to package the items you’re shipping as efficiently as possible. The good news is that most clothes, except for delicate and/or expensive garments, do not require special handling.

Small and lightweight items like T-shirts can be shipped in a padded envelope or plastic bag; if you need to ship multiple items or delicate garments, a cardboard box will be a better choice. Since clothes are not too heavy or fragile, you can reuse an old box as long as it’s still in good condition; just make sure to remove any old labels.

The box should be a little larger than the volume of the folded clothes. If the box is too small, the clothes inside will get wrinkled; if the box is too big, they will slide while in transit and also get wrinkled. In addition, a too large box means a greater dimensional weight and therefore bigger shipping costs.

Here are a few tips on packing clothes efficiently for cost-effective shipping:

  • Make sure all clothes are clean and dry to prevent unwanted odors or mildew, especially if you’re shipping clothes internationally.
  • Fold each type of clothes neatly. For example, if you’re shipping jeans or pants, fold them in half legwise, then fold them from the knees to the pockets, and finally fold in half once more. Smooth them down as you go. For T-shirts, lay the item face down, fold the sleeves inward, fold each side of the shirt so that the edges meet in the center, and fold the length of the t-shirt in three. You can google folding tips for each type of clothes depending on the clothes you’re shipping.
  • Do not add too much cushioning. Since most clothes do not need extra protection, additional cushioning is excessive and prevents you from reducing your shipping costs.
  • Consider packing clothing items in garment or plastic bags for additional protection. Alternatively, you can lay tissue paper between items of clothing in the box to prevent creases and cover the top with paper to protect the clothes from dust and dirt.
  • By no means pack clothes into vacuum bags to reduce their volume. If a vacuum bag unseals or gets damaged while in transit, your box might split open.

Be Aware of Shipping Restrictions and Import Duties

We’ve mentioned that there are few restrictions when it comes to shipping clothes, but this doesn’t mean that there are no restrictions at all. Some countries have import restrictions on clothes; for example, Australia and New Zealand have restrictions on used outdoor clothing, Canada does not allow the import of clothes with the purpose of resale, India and Mexico have restrictions on second-hand clothing, and Mexico also restricts the import of Chinese clothes and shoes. You also should learn about the import taxes of the destination country before shipping clothes internationally.