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How should I ship a computer?

By jefeolson ·
Any tips on shipping a computer? I've got one I'm sending to some family in another state and I want to get it their safely.

I do not have the packing the PC came in, and the case is rather large, 21x10x22 (inches) and 25 lbs. The case is also fairly empty inside, quit a bit of open space.

I'd also like to avoid buying expensive packing.

The computer has:
2xDVD drives
1xFloppy drive
2xSATA HDD
1xMedium sized video card
1xStick of RAM
1xMedium sized heatsink. (Standard AMD Athlon XP size)

Estimated value: $800

Ideally I'd like to spend less than $30 on packing and shipping costs. FedEx estimate for the shipping is $18

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Static disapative bubble wrap

by DMambo In reply to How should I ship a compu ...

Maybe I'm lucky that we manufacture electronics at my work, but we have pink bubble wrap and I've used it many times to send PC's across the country, and I've never had a complaint about damage. I just pack it around the equipment pretty tightly. I never save original cartons because I have no place to store them.

Stop by a local Staples or other PC retailler and ask if they have any scrap packaging. Go to the back of the store near the stock area and find a kid walking out of the back. Don't ask an assistant manager, he'll probably be too busy and tell you they don't have any.

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Safety first

by Jack-M In reply to How should I ship a compu ...

I'd take it to a place that does the packing for you. Mailboxes etc., UPS, even USPS provides packing material for a price. Insure it for 2x it's value and you should be covered in any eventuality. It costs money for peace of mind sometimes. Good luck.

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Get INSURANCE.

by fungus-among-us In reply to Safety first

Last year, my mother sent me her PC (one that I built for her) via UPS. From New York to Ohio, took UPS 4 days to deleiver. She packed it fairly well, she used a combination of bubble wrap and newspaper. No physical damage could be seen to the packaging, but her heatsink did come off the CPU in transit. It was time for me to upgrade anayway, so I gave her the "guts" of my system. She went from an Athlon XP 1800 to a Pentium 4 3.0, and I went from the P4 3.0 to an Opteron 148. I didn't mind UPS being rough with a "broken" PC, but I sure as **** didn't want to ship a "working" PC back through them. I personally delivered the PC to mom over the Thanksgiving weekend. I know not everyone would go through that, but I am her only child and she is my mommy after all. Definitely insure that parcel... insurance is fairly inexpensive through the shipping carriers, and worth your piece of mind. And as someone else suggested, insure it for double!

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Can buy a box too

by mr.macadam In reply to How should I ship a compu ...

http://www.cameronpackaging.com/computerboxes.html#CPU

Spendy, but includes pretty much everything you need.

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Carefully!

by QueryEverything In reply to How should I ship a compu ...

As the old saying goes, "Ya, gets wot ya pay for." Being thrifty on the packaging/carrier/insurance and you may be surprised at how many pieces a machine can break down to. Question is, can you afford to throw away $800 or would you sooner lose $100 on shipment costs?

Recently had to ship a mission-critical complete machine across the Atlantic and the carrier would only insure it if they did the packaging - they made a purpose-built wooden crate on-site in the end with the machine bolted to the internal framework. On the other hand I usually ship non-critical machines wrapped in at least 3 or 4 layers of bubble wrap on all surfaces, placed in a box with at least 4 inches space all around it with screwed up bubble wrap in the cushion-space.

IMPORTANT: Don't just plug the machine in and go when it gets to the other side - seen too many burnt circuit boards and dead drives for that. Open the case and make sure everything is still fitted properly and especially that all those unused power connectors are not touching anything.

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How do I ship a Computer

by ghardyjr1 In reply to How should I ship a compu ...

What I have done is go to a Neighborhood Computer Dealer and Ask for a Computer Case Box. They are usually lined with StyraFoam and are fine for shipping. I have sent Several out this Way.

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No UPS!

by mlknibbs In reply to How do I ship a Computer

I have shipped several pc's over the years, and would never use UPS again. They are too rough, I've never seen one make the trip without some physical damage to packaging and/or computer. Rec'd one from Tenn. to Ohio, the computer case was so damaged, that the case was shorting against the motherboard. It looked like they had thrown it off the truck and backed over it (maybe they did??). It took UPS 2 months to make it right and to cover the cost.

I'm with he one that said pay the price, and pack it well!! I've had better luck with paying the little extra and sending it USPS.

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No UPS!

by mlknibbs In reply to How do I ship a Computer

I have shipped several pc's over the years, and would never use UPS again. They are too rough, I've never seen one make the trip without some physical damage to packaging and/or computer. Rec'd one from Tenn. to Ohio, the computer case was so damaged, that the case was shorting against the motherboard. It looked like they had thrown it off the truck and backed over it (maybe they did??). It took UPS 2 months to make it right and to cover the cost.

I'm with he one that said pay the price, and pack it well!! I've had better luck with paying the little extra and sending it USPS.

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No UPS!

by mlknibbs In reply to How do I ship a Computer

I have shipped several pc's over the years, and would never use UPS again. They are too rough, I've never seen one make the trip without some physical damage to packaging and/or computer. Rec'd one from Tenn. to Ohio, the computer case was so damaged, that the case was shorting against the motherboard. It looked like they had thrown it off the truck and backed over it (maybe they did??). It took UPS 2 months to make it right and to cover the cost.

I'm with he one that said pay the price, and pack it well!! I've had better luck with paying the little extra and sending it USPS.

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I'm fortunate to have the materials

by Gilsbugs In reply to How should I ship a compu ...

We get new computers or replacement out the stock room so I have all the packing I need. If I didn't have that packing material, I believe I would go to a "pack and ship" store and have them take care of it. I never used them, I've heard they do a good job, and I believe they insure against damage that's included in the price. One stop shipping........

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