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Can I purchase labels for moving boxes & personal belongings on Pirate Ship?
Can I purchase labels for moving boxes & personal belongings on Pirate Ship?

Learn why DON'T recommend using Pirate Ship to ship personal belongings or moving boxes (either domestically or internationally)

Updated over a week ago

We do not recommend using Pirate Ship to send personal belongings or moving boxes

While we ARRrrrr all about saving plunder on shipping labels, we do NOT recommend using Pirate Ship to send personal belongings or moving boxes 😅

That said, if you do use Pirate Ship to send personal belongings and/or moving boxes, we recommend you follow the precautions we've listed below.

Don't send any prohibited items

  • No Prohibited Items: USPS and UPS both restrict you from shipping certain items, and sending any of them will automatically void any USPS insurance or UPS carrier liability included with your label(s).

Ensure you have proof of value for each item in your package

  • Proof of Value for All Items: Having proof of value for each item in your package helps you know how much value to declare per shipment when adding insurance coverage. Some common documents that serve as "proof of value" for each of your items are recent invoices and recent appraisals.

    • In this case, "recent invoice" and "recent appraisal" means an invoice or appraisal dated within 60 days before the shipment date. Invoices are typically shown on a sales/transaction receipt for the items.

Insurance claims won't be paid out without proper proof of value

  • Proof of Value is Required for Claim Payouts: The issue with personal belongings—especially if you've had them for a long time or they were given to you by a friend or family member—is that they don’t have these types of proof of value associated with them 🙈

    • So, if you attempt to collect insurance for a missing/damaged package of personal belongings, it's likely the claim won’t be paid out unless you can supply those documents.

    • This is the main reason why we don't recommend using Pirate Ship to send moving boxes or packages containing personal belongings.

Create an itemized list of all the contents in each package

  • Itemized List of Your Contents: In the event you need to file an insurance claim, you will need to list each item in each shipment. When you create an itemized list, you'll have a document to refer back to when it’s time to take inventory of your items!

Also...take pictures of everything in your shipments

  • Photos, Photos, Photos: On top of creating an itemized list for each package, we suggest taking clear pictures of your items before and after you pack them. This might sound like overkill, but sometimes packages take damage or go missing during the shipping process, and you may need both sets of photos as evidence for insurance claims.

    • To help you stay organized, we recommend doing this before you purchase any shipping labels 😊

Pack each of your boxes properly

  • How You Pack Your Boxes Matters: As the shipper, it's your responsibility to pack your shipment to withstand the normal rigors of transit. Any shipments that aren't packed sufficiently likely won't be covered under an insurance claim.

    • You can find great UPS packaging guidelines here, as well as USPS packaging tips here.

  • Follow the Carriers' Guidelines: When you send photos of your shipment to the insurance company because some of your belongings were damaged during transit, they may deny the claim if they determine you didn’t pack the items according to the carrier's guidelines 😳

Packing tips from Pirate Ship

Here are some additional tips from ARrrrr crew:

  • Use Plenty of Protective Packing Material: If you are sending fragile or delicate items. Some examples of packing materials you can use to shield your items and fill up space inside your boxes are air pillows, packing peanuts, foam inserts, spacers, and bubble wrap.

    • If it feels like you used too much material to protect your fragile items, you probably used just the right amount 😉

  • Avoid Using Moving Boxes with Handle Cutouts: These are usually simply labeled as "moving" boxes and found at hardware or office supply stores.

    • Please keep in mind that while typical moving boxes are great for local moves, the way these boxes are designed compromises their shipping integrity. Therefore, in the event you need to file an insurance claim, it may be denied due to the type of packaging used.

  • Purchase Moving Boxes Designed Specifically for Shipping: As a general rule, you'll want to look for a box that is double-corrugated and has a Box Maker's Certificate/seal at the bottom certifying the weight it can carry. You may be able to find these locally or online.

Purchase insurance for the total value of items inside each shipment

  • Cover the Whole Package: USPS Priority Mail labels come with $100 of built-in insurance, and all UPS labels you buy on Pirate Ship come with $100 of carrier liability per package. Priority Mail Express International labels also come with $200 of built-in insurance.

    • However, Pirate Ship also lets you purchase third-party insurance when creating your labels, and you can declare much higher amounts for all of the items inside your boxes.

  • Enter Your Declared Value: Once you know every shipment's total value based on all of the items inside, you’ll enter those totals as the “Declared Value” when you purchase extra insurance for each of your labels 👌

  • Having a Recent Invoice or Appraisal is Crucial: Even though we don't recommend using Pirate Ship to send personal belongings, we always suggest purchasing insurance if you do end up sending these types of packages... so long as you can provide a recent invoice or recent appraisal for the items!

    • That way, you’re protected for up to the full value you declared in case any of your items get damaged or lost in transit.

    • Remember: without proper proof of value such as a recent invoice or recent appraisal, your insurance claim likely won't be paid out.

"Personal belongings" isn't an acceptable description on customs forms

  • Customs Forms for Personal Belongings: When creating international labels, “personal belongings” is not an accepted description on customs forms. Unfortunately, if you are shipping personal items to an overseas destination, there's no way to properly designate these shipments...and this may cause issues with some countries' customs departments.

    • Without the proper descriptions on your customs forms, there's a chance your package will be returned back to you.

    • This is another reason why we do NOT recommend using Pirate Ship to send moving boxes or any personal items internationally.

Drop your packages off directly at the Post Office or The UPS Store®

  • Hand Your Boxes to USPS or UPS Directly: While you can schedule pickups for your USPS and UPS packages through our software, we recommend directly dropping the packages off yourself and getting them scanned by a worker behind the counter.

    • Knowing your packages got scanned in will give you more peace of mind, and you'll be able to follow along with your packages' tracking information as soon as you leave. The employee should provide you with a drop-off receipt, which you can keep as proof that the package entered the mail flow.

Let ARRrrr Support Crew know how we can help!

Any questions? Click the blue chat button to hoist the flag and contact our Support Crew - we ARRrrr always happy to lend a hook! 😃

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