Packing and Shipping Video Game Consoles
Please read the disclaimer before using these instructions.
The point of this guide is to show how to ship video game consoles, controllers, and game cartridges. Atari consoles are notorious for fragile plastic housings so adequate protection is necessary. The guide can also be applied to virtually anything that you are trying to ship.
Most shipping centers that package things for you do it incorrectly as well. If you take it to a UPS store make sure to tell them you want everything individually wrapped in bubble wrap. It will cost more but it is worth the extra $1.50.
Shipping a Video Game Console
If you are shipping controllers and power supplies make sure to rubber band the cords in a neat fashion.
Everything that is being shipped should be wrapped in bubble wrap. This will prevent items from bumping, scratching, and cracking.
Roll the power supply in the bubble wrap.
Take the excess bubble wrap and fold it over the prongs.
Now use packaging tape to wrap the bubble wrap around the power supply. Make sure the tape doesn’t touch the power supply.
The same tactic is applied to controllers. Make sure the stick part doesn’t have any pressure caused by the bubble wrap.
As with the controllers and power supply the console gets the full bubble wrap treatment.
Wrap the console twice in bubble wrap and tape it.
Loose game carts should be rubber banded together then wrapped in bubble wrap.
To prevent things from shifting around tape all the items together.
The selection of the box is just as important as bubble wrapping the items. Make sure the box is about 2″ or larger in size in all directions of what you are shipping. Also make sure the box is in decent condition and doesn’t collapse if you press on it.
Fold the bottom of the box by folding the two shorter sides in first then the two longer sides on top.
Tape it down with packaging tape. Press the tape firmly against the box to ensure it will stick. Go about 4″ up on the sides.
For packaging bulk Styrofoam peanuts are popular because they are cheap and available anywhere. I try to reuse and recycle all my peanuts so don’t throw away any excess. Stay away from crumpled newspaper and wadded plastic bags as they don’t provide the cushioning needed. Air bags are great for large areas but they are difficult to get in small places.
Start by filling the bottom of the box with about 1.5″-2″ of peanuts. Remember we are trying to surround the items completely.
Place the items on top of the bottom layer.
Pour more peanuts on it to fill the box. Press the peanuts into every crevice and void. The pile of peanuts should be slightly taller then the sides of the box.
Compress the peanuts and tape the top of the box down just like the bottom. You should be able to press down on the box and it should be firm and stiff.
All that’s left to do is bring your box to either USPS, UPS, or FedEx to ship. All their prices for Continental USA shipping are similar so just pick the one that is the closest to you. For international shipping USPS is much cheaper then the other options however.