Online Sellers Feel Pain of Product and Packaging Damage: Tips on How to Prevent Home Delivery Returns

damaged_packageOver 50 percent of online sellers say they have had products returned as a result of damaged packaging, emphasizing the cost to businesses of improper selection. ASC Direct offers tips to get product safely to the destination.

Damaged packaging is costing small independent retailers significantly in terms of lost sales, time and profits, according to a recent survey by packaging specialist ASC Direct (

Over 60 percent of the 1000 people participating in the survey claimed to be online sellers with 85 percent of them selling goods on eBay. In excess of fifty per cent (58 percent) of online sellers acknowledged having had goods returned to them due to damaged packaging – highlighting the importance of using the right size and type of packaging.

According to one online retailer, however, revisiting and redesigning their packaging solution had resulted in a significant decrease in the number of faulty items being returned and an increase in repeat orders.

“Packaging was never a real priority for my business until I experienced a spate of returns for one item which had unusual dimensions,” commented Tina Parker of, a company which sells French shabby chic furniture & accessories. “The time, not to mention sales lost as a result of this made me realize I needed to invest a bit more time looking at my packaging requirements. I now consider the packaging as part of my marketing and I believe it’s helped to build my repeat customer base. ”

Around 38 percent of respondents claimed they had received goods in such poor packaging that it would dissuade them from using that retailer again. Likewise 40 percent felt that wasteful packaging would dissuade them from using a retailer again highlighting the often overlooked importance of packaging.

“We are a nation with many small online sales businesses,” stated Andrew Woodhead, managing director of ASC Direct. “Packaging is often an afterthought, but it shouldn’t be. Cheap poor quality packaging significantly effects sales and ends up costing more in the long run. It’s detrimental, especially for the smaller businesses.

“With selling and buying online becoming more and more popular there’s plenty of consumer choice, so it’s time we thought more about the quality of the service, which includes the quality of the packaging.”

ASC Direct observes that everyone has experienced buying items that arrive on the doorstep broken or in an over-sized box for an item less than half the size of the box.  “As a business you need to consider the type of box, size of box and packaging inside to secure your items,” ASC Direct suggests. “Making the right choices here may save you money in the long run, you won’t be paying for refunds for broken items and you won’t be paying for excessive packaging that isn’t needed.”

ASC Direct advises to measure the size of the item you are sending by courier or post, then order a custom cardboard box or find a standard stock box that is close to the size of your item. “To keep the item secure when in transit you need no more than 1 to 2 inches of space between the item and the inside of the cardboard box. This will give you room to add foam pellets to secure the item in place or add air filled bags to give your item security.”

ASC Direct has been providing a wide range of box solutions for over 30 years. Catering for both large corporates and small independent retailers ASC Direct provide a variety of packaging services and can cater for both large and small volumes.

The business is well known for its boxbuilder tool which allows customers to design and create boxes to suit their specific product and packaging requirements.