Tamper-resistant jewellery packaging for international shipping
October 5, 2017 1:52 AM   Subscribe

How do I package jewellery for international shipping so that one can tell if the package has been opened by anyone after I ship them off?

I sell jewellery to international customers and I would like to package them so that it is obvious if the package had been opened by anyone after I seal and ship them.

I pack my items in rectangular cardboard jewellery boxes something like this.
Jewellery Box

What would be the best way to ensure security? Security tape (the kind that leaves writing on the box if removed) all around the lid on all four sides? Tamper-proof labels attaching the lid to the box (on all four sides or are two sides enough?) that easily shred if removal is attempted?

I do not wish to spend too much money on this. I am not so much concerned about making access to the contents difficult but more concerned about detecting if anyone has accessed the contents at all.

Thank you.
posted by whitelotus to Technology (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Not specific to jewelry, but this is the packaging for my products, the kraft sticker that closes the box ensures it’s very obvious if someone opens it. My box hinges on the back, so I only need this sticker on the front, but you could do a nice label stuck all the way around? My boxes are uncoated cardboard so it’s very obvious if the tape has been peeled off, it tears right away.

You could print your own using A4 sheets of sticker paper (more work), or get custom tape printed with your own design (more $). Online printers such as vistaprint also offer custom stickers in various (also) custom sizes.
posted by PardonMyFrench at 2:06 AM on October 5


Would it be possible to use a wax seal somewhere on the box so that any opening of the lid requires the wax to be cracked? This would also make a jewellery box opening seem more special.
posted by Stark at 3:07 AM on October 5 [1 favorite]


How about wrapping it with very light, delicate tissue paper, and taping the tissue with strongly adhesive tape. This way, the tissue paper would be disposable, but you box would remain intact for the recipient to enjoy.
posted by amtho at 4:12 AM on October 5 [1 favorite]


so that it is obvious if the package had been opened by anyone after I seal and ship them

Obvious to whom? Are you trying to give your customer an assurance that nobody could have intercepted and substituted what they bought from you, or are you trying to cover yourself against frauds perpetrated by customers? If the latter, are you looking for something unsubtle enough to show up in a customer-generated photo of an allegedly unopened box, or would you want the allegedly unopened box shipped back to you for personal inspection?
posted by flabdablet at 4:41 AM on October 5 [1 favorite]


You could email a photograph of the package at the same time you send it, and they can compare the photo with the actual item.
posted by nickggully at 5:54 AM on October 5


"tamper-evident" is a keyword that might help in searching. I think the security tape would work.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 6:15 AM on October 5


flabdablet: Parcels sometimes go missing in the foreign postal system or are supposedly unclaimed by customers (no detailed tracking overseas). I just know they were in country A for weeks status unknown and then returned to sender (me). I would like to be able to know if the box was really unopened and the jewellery unworn while it was in limbo overseas so I can determine what to do with the contents.
posted by whitelotus at 6:35 AM on October 5


Put the box inside of a poly mailer. As far as I can tell it's impossible to open one of those bags without destroying it.
posted by gregr at 6:43 AM on October 5 [1 favorite]


Are your packages routinely inspected by customs when shipped internationally? Any solution to sealing the box will probably be moot if the inspectors need to get inside. They will open it up with a chainsaw if they want to.

Perhaps vacuum-sealing the final jewelry in clear plastic and signing the package with a Sharpie can prove that nobody messed with the item and/or wore it before return?
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:30 AM on October 5 [1 favorite]


There are also currency deposit bags that show evidence of opening or tampering.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:32 AM on October 5


JoeZydeco: Customs do not usually physically open my international parcels for inspection based on past experience.
posted by whitelotus at 7:38 AM on October 5


and then returned to sender (me). I would like to be able to know if the box was really unopened and the jewellery unworn while it was in limbo overseas

Shrinkwrapping your gift box, then signing or applying a custom stamp to the wrap with permanent ink, would be super cheap and should work.
posted by flabdablet at 9:16 AM on October 5


flabdalet: Do you mean with a shrink wrapping machine? What kind of shrink wrapping machine will be low budget and suitable for home use? I've never used one before.
posted by whitelotus at 4:00 PM on October 5


Yes. The machines cost about $300 but the packaging itself costs well under one cent per item. That means that the economics work in favor of the person handling the larger volume of packages, which would be you.

Even if you didn't sign or stamp the wraps, customer fraud on a scale that would justify the purchase of a shrink wrap machine to try to fool you would require a noticeable concentration of customers.
posted by flabdablet at 9:58 PM on October 5


I've never used one before.

It's pretty straightforward.
posted by flabdablet at 10:03 PM on October 5


Thank you everyone, you have offered me many creative and useful suggestions.

I think shrink-wrapping is probably the ideal and most secure long term solution for my issue but I do not have room in the budget for a $300 machine right now so I am going with the security tape.
posted by whitelotus at 11:45 PM on October 5


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