Buying Products Online

It is true that we are moving into a new period of online shopping and eCommerce that has never been seen before in the history of the world. Especially with everything that happened during 2020 with COVID and all that, more people relied on the internet and technology than ever before. Nowadays, shopping online is becoming the new normal thing to do. People often enjoy shopping online for a variety of different reasons, and you can find just about anything you want to buy on the internet now. In fact, prices on the internet are often cheaper than in-store purchases if you don’t mind paying for shipping and handling as well as waiting for the products to arrive at your door. Since online shopping is becoming so popular and widespread across our market and our economy, I wanted to throw together a brief article about shopping online. I came up with some tips and tricks that you can use online to save money, save time, and stay safe while cruising the internet and shopping to your heart’s content!

The first tip I have for you is to avoid shipping costs as often as you can. Maybe 10 years ago, shipping costs were just considered part of the consequence and convenience for shopping online or ordering products over the phone. This is 2021 we are talking about now, which means that paying shipping costs should be a thing of the past. That’s why I am advising you to be wary about paying for shipping and handling. Many websites don’t even charge for shipping anymore, especially larger and more popular sites like Amazon. Some websites even have free shipping if you are spending over a certain amount of money (like free shipping on orders of 50 dollars or more). In this case, it may make more sense to spend a little bit more to get free shipping, depending on how expensive the shipping is and how far away you are from being able to cover the cost of shipping. Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than mentally preparing to pay a price for a certain item online, only to see the final shipping cost slap you in the face. Hopefully after reading this you will be more careful to avoid these fees!

Another tip I have for you is to always have shipping supplies on hand if you are someone who frequently orders products online. Especially if you are buying products that you are not always certain about, like clothing or electronics, it is helpful to have shipping supplies on hand that allows you to return products without too much hassle. No one likes going to the post office if they don’t have to, so save some time and order these things ahead of time over the internet. Hopefully this can save you some time and frustration the next time you receive a product in the mail that you intend to send back. I know that this little tip has saved me a lot of time and mental energy over the years, and I think it will do the same for you.

The next tip I have for you is to never click on links that you do not recognize, and definitely be careful when entering credit card information into your computer. Don’t risk your financial information being leaked!

Areas Where Smart Packaging Shines 

For the last couple of years, the future of smart packaging has been a hot topic. With a lot of professionals curious about barcodes and QR codes, a lot of people are starting to wonder that, while it is successful, does this engage the customers, offer feasibility, and also doesn’t break the bank? Will there be a chance for brands to fully unlock this. With new near-field communication technology on the packaging itself, especially with the iOS app for this type of packaging, this is definitely becoming a new world where customers can interact with this, offering new and innovative packaging. By reinventing this kind of packaging to offer more customer engagement, it can be elevated from just a functional sort of tool to a more valued kind of service. 

It also offers more options for internet of things, which is where the smart items offer new ways to collect and exchange ethe data that’s there. The idea of high-tech packaging taking a big place in the industry as they attempt to establish this offers new ways for you to have packaging. Imagine being alerted when you’re about to have food that expires, so you should eat it? It also is a way to tell you that you’re almost out of milk, pasta, or whatever it is. By offering connectivity, smart packaging has the chance to offer long-term applications. So how can we use t? Let’s dive into it! 

The Content 

There are NFC chips that are put in the packaging, allowing for customers to learn about recipes, some cooking instructions, and other important information, offering an experience that’s richer, with more information than normally included. By doing this, the packaging can play a huge role in boosting brand engagement. 

Replenishing 

You also can se this kind of packaging to offer a notification to let the customer know when they’re running low on something. You can from there eve automate the replenishment, which does build customer loyalty in order to prevent competition from seeping in when it’s time to refill this. 

Expiration 

It also can be used to tell you when the product is about to expire, which gives customers a chance to avoid waste of the food, by pushing people to use this product. As the technology grows and develops, there may be a chance that smart fridges over time will develop a means to see the customer’s buying habits, and form there they can offer recipes to help the customer have a week’s worth of food, perfect for the meal prep types. 

Authentication. 

Finally, this can be used as a security sort of means to help let people know when something has been tampered with. This is good because if there is something wrong with it, and the food is compromised, it plays a major role in how I could be for the customer. By offering a chance for your fridge and whatnot to automate and tell you, or through even just scanning a QR code, you can tell people when something has been messed with, and if the food is safe to eat. So will customers be receptive to this? Possibly. It is a bit invasive, but if there is a way for you to possibly paint this as a means for customers to stay safe and health, then there you go, it can be a wonderful means for you as well. But the test of time and whether or not this will be safe for you to consume is a big part of this, and a lot of people will look into this over time. 

How can you Reuse Cardboard Boxes in a Creative and Innovative Way?

The use of cardboard is not limited to packaging only. You can use it in various and creative ways. You can see the incredible usage of cardboards around yourself. You might have seen decorations, stands, gift boxes, jewelry boxes, and many other innovative products made of cardboard material. Thus, you cannot use it in only one way or manner. Even kids can make their toys from cardboard boxes.

Thus, there are more than a hundred usages of this material. Also, it depends on your creativity. You can make different items for them. You can make covers, boxes, stands, decorations, paintings’ frames, photo frames, toys, and so many other things. You can make a necklace from the cardboards, add some colors and pearls to it. Thus, it is all up to you and your innovative mind. I have seen a flute that has totally made of a cardboard box. Thus, you can design your own musical instrument with this substance.

Also, you can create many other fun elements from the cardboard. Even in the kitchen, you can make shelves and stands for the placement of utensils. You can make cups and drawers with cardboard. Even you will find so many creative things on many online websites like Amazon that are made from cardboard boxes. The use and creation are not just about the packing of food, toys, makeup, and clothes. Even many people create trays from the cardboards. Some people can make a doll out of this simple stuff. The mere point does not think every simple and small thing useless. You can make so many new things when you think, you will have to reuse them. Thus, recycle the waste products at your homes and build new items for your room and kitchen.

Garden Boxes

Well, this is one of the best, creative, and versatile reusing techniques of cardboard boxes. Yes, apart from the jewelry boxes, gift boxes, and toys, you can use this substance for your gardening. If you need pots to plant the seeds. You can use small cardboard boxes for this purpose. As this material is biodegradable; thus, you can ass soil in this and grow a new plant. First, you need to take a small cardboard box. You can make it round or you can use it in any shape.

You can add soil and seeds to it. Shower water daily. Do not add a glass of water. Little drops in the morning are more than enough. Also, do not water your plant in the evening. You can bury the cardboard plant in the soil. Or you can also use a small pot. The seeds you plant in the cardboard material grow faster. Thus, do not feel hesitation while the usage of cardboard boxes for your flowers. If you place these plants in small pots, you can transfer them later in the deeper soil. Even you can grow vegetables in the cardboard. Tomatoes, lemons, green chilies, and herbs grow faster and safely in the pots of cardboard stuff.

Play Area for Kids

When it comes to the toys and playing area, you will have many expensive ideas in your mind. But the good news is that you can make something beautiful for your kids at home. With the reuse of cardboard boxes, you can make toys, playing areas, puppy houses, and forts. This is not something difficult or impossible to do.

You can use paints, colors, ribbons, pearls, curtains, bows, and many other items to decorate the items you make. Also, you are not bound to anything. You can choose your own size for the toys and forts. Moreover, you can make small homes for your pets. Also, you can make the laptop stands for your kids.

Should you Automate in-House Packaging 

When it comes to packaging lines, you may wonder if there is a chance you might want to automate. 

Due to the pandemic, labor shortages, container ship issues, and resignation, in-house lines aren’t easy, and the supply chain has started to take some major hits. 

For a lot of people, the pandemic changed the way things are run, and for in-house packaging, it’s even harder. 

But what’s the best way to handle it? The truth is, there are different plus points and drawbacks to each type of packaging line, and here, we’ll go into whether you should automate or not. 

Automate or No? 

This is one of the biggest questions, especially since we have a lot of unpredicted measures in place, and there are a lot of changes which are happening all at once. 

With the rise of new communications and eve the metaverse, we’ve got a lot of different options. Plus there is IoT, which of course is something that’s getting integrated into all parts of life, packaging included. 

With all of this in place, you may wonder if you absolutely need to have people, or if you want to automate. 

There is no simple answer to this however, since automaton may help or harm your business, depending on the packaging line in place. 

Right now, there are three types of ways to set up the packaging line, and we’ll touch on each one here. 

Minimal Automaton with an expanded work force

This is where you keep the current packaging line with the same kinds of machinery, all while making the workforce larger. 

Depending on the equipment and the investment of the labor, it may be the least expensive type of line that you need. 

Also, you can create more jobs, and also grow the business. It may be good for some people, especially if you’re not seeing shortages. 

With the pandemic unemployment largely ended, this might be the best option if you do want to rely mostly on the labor of other humans rather than just machines. 

Semi automaton 

This is partial automating the line, which is where there’s a bit of automaton working, but a few humans also working. 

By doing this, it does decrease the laborers, which may help for reducing the spread of viruses and other pathogens. 

However, this does have a larger financial investment, so you might want to consider buying or leasing the equipment instead. 

Full Automaton 

If you want to, you’re always welcome to fully automate everything, and then have the bare minimum of employees that are human. 

This can be done in a way where only a few people implement the machinery and then oversee everything that’s happening, doing occasional maintenance and repair as needed. 

This is the most expensive to implement, but it later on can be the cheapest way to go. 

As technology improves too, you may be able to do all of this in your office or other places as well. 

But whether or not you should do it is ultimately up to you and is at your discretion. 

It’s best if you look to see if it’s worth it, and if you’ll make money back through the automaton process. If you can afford to pay employees and don’t have to worry about them leaving due to the great resignation or other means, you should of course, try to have human bodies running the packaging line. 

Otherwise, it’s your discretion, since it can impact the overall results of the packaging, and the state of the line as well, so be mindful with your decision. 

Use the best filling for your shipping department

Now that 2021 is here, we are seeing more growth in eCommerce than ever.  It is now the major way that people buy goods and will soon be the biggest industry.  There are so many reasons why eCommerce is booming and a big part of that is the regulations being put in place by the COVID-19 Pandemic.  It is pretty simple that people who find it hard to be outside or are annoyed with the regulations simply want to shop from home.  This has left so many companies selling online instead of at their storefronts.  So the times are changing and with that, there are some lessons being learned about shipping supplies and the items that are used to get those packages to their customers.  Now if you are not using good products to get your items to people then you could be losing money in strange places. 

The safety of packages and bags is really important.  If you ship something it is going to be sent through a big company that does not care about it.  That means that the item inside that box or bag needs to be safe in transit and this is a big deal.  The cost of actually having a damaged item and shipping it back and a new one out can take out all the profit from the wholesale. This costs a ton of money for companies and it also costs a whole lot of goodwill as well.  No one enjoys getting a bad item in the mail because they have to go through the hassle of returning it.  This leads to questions about how good your customer service team is.  If you have great customer service then you will pay for a call tag and replacement.  The cost of this kills companies all the time, but it can be overcome with the right knowledge.C

Padding is really the answer.  Like a football helmet, you can protect your head and your product with good stuffing.    I like to think that the filling of the packages is just as important as the box or bag itself.  The way items are shipped can be the difference between Christmas bonuses or pink slips.  It sounds dramatic but the money over the long run simply shows and does make a large impact.  That is why I love the fact that there are so many good shipping supplies stores that can get you all the stuff you need to make this work well! 

You can use a ton of different items, but newsprint is pretty cool.  These are basically just paper sheets that you can roll up or fold over any object.  It not only helps to provide padding but also to give a nice old-time look that many people enjoy.  I like to think of it as when you buy glass from a nice shop and they wrap it in newspaper.  It looks good and has a nice fancy feel.

We all know about bubble wrap, but it does take up space.  This is the fun plastic wrapping that we all enjoy popping when packages come in.  The best part of this is the cheap and lightweight protection it provides.  It is not as flexible as newsprint sheets, but it provides more padding for impacts.  Luckily, it is lightweight and is easy to use. 

What would be the Colors for Packaging Designs in 2021?

When it comes to the colors theory, it includes art, designs, and color scheme. Also, packaging designs are incomplete without a vibrant or attractive colorful pattern. When you talk about the color theory, you involve everything. It does not mean, you only need some beautiful and technical colors, you also need different designs, sketches, and patterns for eye-catching packaging. Once there was a trend for neon and bright colors for the packing. But now, you do not need shiny patterns to sell your product or attract customers. People now love elegant and simple colors as well. You have seen many big brands who have white, gold, sky blue, silver, and black colors for their packaging. Many companies use one or two colors for their logo and base. Many companies are still using rainbow patterns to attract people. But people also love the combination of one or two colors. Apart from color, you also need attractive styles and designs. Many brands use elegant straight lines on a single side of the packaging. You have seen such patterns in rainbow colors in many other colors from their logos on apparels’ packing. Here are some fundamental concepts, you can use for your packaging in 2021.

  1. 1.    The Combo of Red, Blue, and Green

RGB (red, blue, and green) is a mixing model for colors combination. This is one of the vast used and famous combo of the colors. The RGB is a mixture that has widely used in TVs, screens, computers, mobile phones, and photography. Thus, these are best and popular for the use of electronic devices. Either digital or electronic media, everyone uses this mixture of colors. Apart from electronic, digital, and conventional photography, this theory was famous in human perception. Red, green, and blue, the RGB has originated in light. If you will mix all these colors, you will get a pure white. Now, people design their logos, packaging, and post by keeping the RGB in mind. You cannot get rid of this combo even you make products for ads, Facebook posts, or your website.

2. CYMK Colors

When it comes to the color scheme of packaging, there is no rule or limit. Also, the creative teams build and create their own combination of color patterns. Thus, there is no rule for the colors of the packaging. However, there is another phrase for the color scheme and that is CYMK. It is equally important. The CMYK is a combination of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black, CYMK. These are subtractive and you will get a darker shade in the end. However, these patterns are fully compatible with the printer. You can use this scheme for the printing of your packaging. You get the best dark shades of the packing in the end.

3. The Color Wheel

The color wheel is not an unknown phrase in the packaging world and color schemes. It has three basic shades. We can say it is like RGB Red, Green, and Blue. This hue also has three patterns. Also, it has six tertiary colors in the making procedure. The difference thing in this theory is that it has a common base color. Every color would have that basic color as the foundation. Thus, from that basic shade, you will create a new color for your packaging. However, you can generate as many colors as you want for your packing. Only, you need to keep the primary and basic shade common. You need to pick the foundation color original, else you can make the secondary colors in different shades. You can create many contrast colors and different patterns for the packing.

Shrink Packaging – How Can You Get Better Shrink Wrapping?

Many businesses get frustrated because of the packaging. They used to complain about the shrink wrapping for their products. They usually that the products do not come out of the packaging machinery the way they want. Everyone wants the result they have thought of or they need. Thus, when the consequences are different, it becomes a heart-breaking situation. Also, you do not get what is the actual reason behind this failure. Sometimes, you get the point that the shrink application is not appropriate. Also, in a few cases, you have everything perfect, but still, you do not get your desired results. This is one of the biggest problems of many logistics and manufacturer companies. There could be an issue with the material or the machinery. Let’s see the real cause and find out the solution for this.

The first thing is that people usually do not deal with different materials differently. Many laborers do not know the new materials in the market. Also, they do not know about the usage and application of that. They apply all the materials with the same machinery or with the same technique. This is wrong and can lead to the wrapping fiasco. Also, sometimes companies keep changing their machinery. They do not stick to the real and the appropriate one. This is also a wrong technique. First, you should know which type of machine is adequate for which type of packaging material.

Sometimes, you cannot run a machine assuming that it is having a technical problem. But, usually, you do not have complete information about the tools and techniques. Thus, when you buy new machinery, you need to know about its usage and running tactics. You can ask for the demo when you buy it. If you still face problems in running the machine, you should go to the company and ask for a video demonstration. This will clear your mind. Also, if you forget a point or a usage of a specific tool, then you can play it and memorize the method.

Many people and companies have a common mistake. This, we have realized for so many years. While purchasing machinery, they always try to do adjustments on their own. They do not let the primary company get involved in further problems. They try to fix the tools by themselves. This is a wrong technique. This can even make the situation worse. So, when you are buying new machinery, ask for the complete demo and method of running it.

When it comes to the perfect shrink application, you need to start it with flawless machinery. The machine should be working. All the parts and sealing should be in good condition. While putting the film on the machine, move the film down and seal it up. Finally, it will go to the shrink tunnel.

Sometimes, you have flawed shrink wrapping because of the tunnel size. Sometimes it is not too big and your product is giant as compared to the tunnel. Thus, it damages the entire packaging. However, in a few cases, the tunnel is big but your product’s size is not appropriate. Thus, the shrink packaging does not fit on the item. So, before going to pick out any intricate detail, you need to find out the size of the tunnel. It should be not too small or not too big.

Another essential point is the heating of the tunnel. If the tunnel is not heated properly, then the product will not have appropriate sealing. The tunnel should be hot enough to seal the shrink film. The mild hot or cold machinery cannot shut the packaging.

How to protect packages from Theft 

The pandemic did bring a lot of businesses to a stop, and ecommerce is something that’s grown, and a lot of packaging thefts have happened too. This is something that affects stores and customers, since it means refunds, returns, and revenue lost.  You may wonder if there is a way to stop it, such as maybe the fulfillment or the packaging crating damaging goods.  Maybe the customer left this on the porch for a long time. The liability does determine the place that’ll take the fall, so you’ll want to come up with a proper solution for this. 

Why this happens 

This happens for a few reasons. The first, is that the packaging materials don’t’ have enough cushion, which means that the vibrations, shock, and the force that’s external hits the materials. You can create more cushioning to help with this, and also utilize shock absorbent material. 

Another thing is the package is big. A lot of people see big packages as easy targets, and they’re also very easy to damage too. Plus, in order to make it sit right in the truck, or to protect it, you’ve got to use packaging. There is also just bad handling courtesy of the person who is delivering it. The person that handles this is the ones that are possible to risk damage and thefts of packages. You can even make it wrapped with fragile all over it, but these days, they don’t even care, so it does rely on you. 

Plus, with about 20% of people experiencing porch pirates during the dearly days of the pandemic, this is something that happens even more during the holidays. Security, neighborhood watch, doorbell cameras, and home security cameras don’t help a lot.  It’s something as well that it can happen when the package gets delivered. If it happens during the in-transit process, or more damages, you’ll have to figure out a refund or replacement usually. 

How to prevent this 

There are a few ways to prevent this. For the packaging, the first thing is make sure to use the correct kind. Oversized does put it at risk for damage and will drive up your costs. You should also look at the padding that needs to be used. Natural fibers are generally the best for consumables and food, but they get pricey. You should go for plastic or food grade cardboard. 

Make sure not to leave any space that’s empty there. This can damage it, and you’ll spend more just trying to protect it. You should wrap everything in a material that’s protective. Bubble wrap works, but also plastic coverings or packing packer works too. You should look at te damages that happen during shipping, to figure out where you need to improve it too. This also is great for those who suffer from repeated offenses. 

If you haven’t put it in already, use indicators for shock and impact, as this can protect it from heavier damage. You should always make sure to put together the precautions necessary for shipping whenever you can. 

Holding carriers liable. 

You can hold them liable if you can prove that the package was in good condition before you handed this over. they do have some policies that come with this usually. If the package is usually shipped in a right condition, and then damages happen or maybe it gets lost or stolen, you’re allowed to hold them accountable. 

Packaging theft is not fun, and it’s frustrating for businesses. But if you take the time to prevent this, you can stop it from getting worse for those involved. 

Good advice for change housing locations

There are a few things that I have learned over the years that I feel everyone should know.  It is all about changing your housing locations.  From a small child to college, to my adult years I have moved probably 20 times.  I know that sounds like a lot and it is.  With all of this moving, I have found a few things that work better than others.  I think moving into a new area or getting the chance to help someone on the next stage of their life is a great boost.  Sometimes people are moving all their possessions and sometimes it is not for a good reason.  Having a helping hand and a should to lean on and help is something that I am always honored to be a part of.  So if this is something you are going to be doing I want to go over my experience with it and maybe help you out on your next move too.

Your attitude makes a difference.  I have moved in bad situations and been positive and it made a difference.  I have also been that guy that did the opposite as well and that was not a good time for anyone.  Moving is filled with stress and random things that can go wrong.  Be in good spirits and even if you are not do your best to lift others up.  It may be a harder time for them than you and it is always nice to have a positive person working on big tasks.  Many people are very sad when they have to order shipping supplies to move all they own.  It can be daunting or simply too emotional for some people to handle. So a calm, helping hand is a wonderful thing to have in this situation.  just be calm and patient because we all deal with emotions differently. 

Now don’t be cheap, save up some lunch money and buy new boxes.  If you are moving or even helping I have found that using old boxes causing injuries and breaks items.   A new heavy-duty moving box is really a surprisingly nice thing to have and can be picked up rather cheap.  I now go to my local shipping supplies store online and get a moving package for myself or any family and friends that are moving.  It comes loaded with boxes, tape, and markers for all different occasions. I find that this really is a great way to help people out even if they don’t think it’s a nice gift.  In the end, they always appreciate the boxes and tape.  Plus no one gets injured due to a flimsy box with too much weight in it shifting. You don’t lose your personal possession to stupid boxes and that is nice.

Get the right vehicle for the job.  If it costs a 100 to rent, then save up for it and budget for it.  Now I always say that you should attempt to find a trailer with a walk-on-ramp.  This is worth renting if you have a vehicle to move it.  The ability to walk furniture and heavy items up a small ramp and not have it go in a truck is amazing.  So much less damage happens usually and people seem to find it so much more simple to move with a trailer. My father-in-law taught me this and I have tried to make sure to have one on each move I have done since. It was great advice.

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