Shipping high-value items in the mail can sometimes be an anxiety-inducing process. Concerns about your valuables getting lost, stolen, or damaged are understandable. However, there are measures you can take to mitigate these risks and ensure your high-value items find their way to their intended recipient. Here are the top three ways to ship your high-end items as safely as possible.
Before looking at the best methods for shipping high-value objects, such as jewelry, high-end electronics, or luxury watches, it is essential to identify the potential risks and dangers of shipping high-value items by mail. Generally speaking, you want to protect your valuables against:
- Damage and degradation
- Delivery delays
Although there is no such thing as zero risk, there are multiple ways to minimize each potential danger before entrusting your package to a shipping carrier.
3 Safe Methods for Shipping Your High-End Items
To ensure your package containing a high-end item reaches its final destination safely, you’ll need to choose how you ship the package carefully. Consider private and public shipping options with enhanced security measures that allow you to track and insure your package.
1. U.S. Postal Service
One of the safest options for shipping your high-end items is to take advantage of the Registered Mail option from USPS. You can use Registered Mail to ship domestically or internationally, with some limitations. Domestic registered mail is available for First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, First-Class Package Service (commercial), and First-Class Package Service (retail). International Registered Mail is only available for First-Class Mail International (including postcards) and First-Class Package International Service.
When you select the Registered Mail option from USPS, a system of receipts is provided as a way to monitor your package’s progress and location. Registered Mail is processed manually and kept highly secured, delaying delivery. USPS doesn’t recommend using Registered Mail for time-sensitive shipments because they cannot issue an expected delivery date. In addition to receiving a receipt that records the date you sent your shipment, you can use Registered Mail to insure your high-end item for up to $50,000. Upon delivery, the recipient must sign for the package, adding an extra layer of security.
2. Private Carriers
Although the USPS is a safe and reasonably priced option, they may not offer the services or features you need to ship high-value items. The most common alternative is to use a private carrier instead. Each company offers different services, rates, terms, and conditions, often costing more than the USPS. However, they typically make up for it with higher reliability rates, faster shipping, and additional features.
For example, UPS offers guaranteed express shipping, making it an ideal choice if you need same-day or next-day delivery. FedEx offers one of the best package tracking systems on the market and does free Saturday delivery. Compare each company’s services. Most offer plans specifically intended for high-value items, which may provide you with extra advantages and benefits.
3. Courier Services
Courier services are an alternative to the standard shipping services offered by public and private mail carriers. They differ from standard shipping by delivering door-to-door, with no intermediaries or warehouses. This delivery method limits the maximum size, number, and weight of each shipment. Each package is typically small and relatively light. Couriers rarely ship more than 10 boxes or 100 lbs. at a time.
Couriers are typically the fastest and most efficient way of delivering a package to a customer, as long as it fits their size limitations. Although they are more expensive than the USPS or private carriers, they may be the best choice if you want a personalized delivery service with lightning-fast delivery and high reliability.
3 Practices for Safe Shipping
Regardless of which shipping method you select for your high-end item, it’s essential to take these three steps to prepare the package for transit.
1. Pack your items Safely.
The top concern when shipping items, regardless of the value, is ensuring they survive the trip without damage. Shipping conditions can often be harsh and unforgiving, even with proper labeling. Additionally, the longer an item spends in transit, the more it may be subjected to rough handling, impacts, and other harsh forces, further increasing the risk of damage. If you intend to ship a box of Hublot watches, your primary concern is protecting them from dust and moisture, which can damage their delicate interior components. The best way to pack your luxury watches is to seal the watch’s original box into several layers of bubble wrap. Alternatively, you can place them inside a waterproof and dustproof protective case.
You can combine multiple methods to give your items comprehensive protection against most forms of damage. However, remember that most carriers charge fees based on the package’s size and weight. The more protective layers you add, the bigger and heavier your shipment will be. Find the right balance between package size and protection level to avoid overpaying shipping fees.
2. Fill out the paperwork.
Although filling out shipping paperwork is inevitable, regardless of the carrier or item value, it is vital to be as thorough as possible when shipping high-value items. Before placing your item inside a shipping box, ensure your high-end items are in good condition and prepare a paper trail. If your item arrives damaged, this paper trail helps you make an insurance claim and proves that you took every precaution to ship your items safely.
When filling out your shipping labels, describe the package’s contents, especially when shipping overseas. Critical information includes the type and quantity of items shipped, their exact dimensions (length, height, width), their weight, and their declared value. However, you don’t need to include more information than is necessary for your carrier and insurance. For example, it is sufficient to describe the items as watches instead of listing the specific luxury watch brands, model names, and serial numbers.
3. Insure your package.
You should never ship high-value items without insurance. Even with the best packing practices and accurate paperwork, accidents still happen. Without insurance, you are financially liable if the package is damaged, lost, or stolen during transit. When shipping valuables, the total item value per package typically exceeds the maximums for standard insurance. Instead, look at the carrier’s high-value item insurance options. Terms, conditions, and rates vary by provider, and many have upper limits on the maximum item value per shipment. When choosing high-value item insurance, look for the following features:
- High maximum declared value per shipment ($50,000 or more)
- Coverage designed to protect the type of item you intend to ship (e.g., jewelry insurance programs)
- If you ship overseas, ensure your insurance provider has international coverage
- Full replacement value insurance, also known as 100% replacement cost
For maximum security and peace of mind, research when the coverage period for each carrier begins and when it ends. In most situations, coverage starts when the package enters your carrier’s computer systems (e.g., when an employee scans the package), and it ends when the recipient picks it up and signs for it. As long as your selected carrier continues internally tracking your package, the insurance coverage for your package remains active. For this reason, avoid using drop boxes for shipping valuable items. Even if you bought full insurance coverage, there is an increased risk of theft before an employee has a chance to add the item to your carrier’s shipping database.
Ship Valuable Items Worry-Free
Shipping high-end watches and other valuable items may seem like a daunting task at first, especially if you have never sent high-value packages before. Following these tips can give you peace of mind, ensuring your items reach their intended destination as quickly and safely as possible.