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How to Ship Stuffed Animals

How to Ship Stuffed Animals: A Complete Guide

Stuffed animals often hold sentimental value, making them meaningful items to gift or collect over the years. When it comes time to move or gift your plush toy collection, proper shipping is key. With some preparation and the right materials, you can safely pack and ship stuffed animals of all sizes and types.

This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know, from decluttering your collection to choosing the best shipping carrier and method for your needs. You’ll also find real-world examples and cost comparisons to ensure your special stuffed friends arrive safely at their destination without overspending.

Preparing Stuffed Animals for Transit

Before packaging up your stuffed animals, some prep work is required:

Sort and Organize

  • Go through your collection and decide which stuffed animals to ship. Set emotional favorites aside to pack separately.
  • Check seams, glass eyes, and appendages for damage and repair if needed.
  • Remove batteries from electronic plush toys to prevent battery acid leaks.

Clean Stuffed Animals

You have a few options to freshen stuffed animals before shipping:

  • Spot clean problem areas with a damp cloth and mild detergent. Allow to fully dry.
  • Surface clean using a handheld vacuum with brush attachment. This lifts dust and surface debris.
  • Dry clean smaller plush toys if they are very soiled. Avoid getting stuffing wet.

Pack Most Treasured Animals Separately

If you have a few extra-special stuffed animals in your collection, set them aside to pack individually with extra care. This prevents damage when stacked with other plush toys.

Protective Materials for Safe Shipping

You’ll need to gather some materials to ship stuffed animals safely:

  • Bubble wrap: Helps cushion against shocks and drops. Use bubble side towards plush toy.
  • Tissue paper: Wraps around stuffed animals and fills empty spaces in boxes.
  • Plastic bags: Seal stuffed animals from dirt and moisture. Avoid suffocation warnings.
  • Boxes and mailers: Choose a sturdy size suitable for stuffed animal size.

Tip: Recycle packaging materials from recent deliveries to save money!

How to Package Stuffed Animals for Shipping

When packaging your stuffed animals for transit, follow these tips:

Wrap in Tissue Paper

  • Start by wrapping each plush toy separately in a few sheets of thin tissue paper. Make sure appendages are protected and not poking through seams.

Seal in Plastic Bags

  • Place the wrapped stuffed animals in sealable plastic bags. This prevents dust and dirt from soiling the plush fabric.
  • For suffocation safety, make sure to use bags larger than 5×7 inches. Do not completely seal bag.

Protect with Bubble Wrap

  • Wrap bubble wrap around sealed bags, using the bubble side against the stuffed animal for shock absorption. Poppable bubbles provide cushioning if dropped.

Fill Boxes Efficiently

  • Pack wrapped stuffed animals tightly in boxes, filling empty spaces with added balled up tissue paper so items don’t shift or rub together during transit. Do not overstuff!

Example of properly packaged stuffed animals

Pro Tip: When shipping especially beloved or valuable stuffed animals, consider using an additional small box inside a larger box, with padding in between. This adds an extra layer of protection.

Shipping Carrier Options

Major shipping carriers like USPS, UPS, and FedEx all deliver stuffed animals. The best option depends on factors like:

  • Shipment size and weight
  • Delivery speed needed
  • Shipping costs and fees

Here’s an overview of what each offers:

USPS Shipping

USPS offers economy postal mail services. Best for light stuffed animal packages under 2 lbs:

  • First Class Mail – For under 1 lb, delivery in 2-5 days. Lowest rates but no included insurance.
  • Priority Mail – Fastest and most affordable for over 1 lb packages. $50 insurance included.

Note: USPS rates are calculated by zone based on source and destination distance. Shipping will be cheaper within the same zone.

UPS Shipping

UPS provides guaranteed delivery dates and tracking. Best for medium stuffed animal packages.

  • Ground – Affordable for heavier packages but slower, in 1-5 days.
  • Air – Much faster delivery but costs more. Best for expedited shipments.

Insurance can be added to UPS shipments. Rates fluctuate based on weight, destination zip code, and delivery timeframe selected.

FedEx Shipping

FedEx offers speedy and reliable stuffed animal delivery in 1-3 days.

  • Ground – Budget friendly like UPS Ground for heavier packages.
  • Express – Fast overnight to 2-day delivery options. Premium rates.
  • Freight – For oversized large stuffed animal shipments on pallets.

Both UPS and FedEx charge fees based on “dimensional weight” – space the package occupies, not just weight. This is factored into costs.

Extra Shipping Prep and Services

Some additional things to consider when shipping stuffed animals:

Insuring Valuable Items

If your stuffed animal collection contains rare or expensive plush toys, opt for insurance in case of loss of damage. File claims if needed for reimbursement value.

Delivery Notifications

Enable delivery notifications with the carrier so you can track stuffed animal packages and confirm when they’ve arrived safely. Require a signature upon receipt for expensive items.

Vacuum Sealing

For lightweight stuffed animals, vacuum seal bags remove air to compress size and prevent dust. Leave a small opening. Avoid for old/fragile items as it may damage fabric.

Storage with Airflow

If storing stuffed animals sealed in bags long term after shipping, allow some airflow every few months to prevent moisture issues like mold. Monitor for odors.

Real-World Stuffed Animal Shipping Examples

To give you a better idea of real costs and approaches, here are some examples of stuffed animal shipments:

Shipping Small Stuffed Animals

Robin collected small 5 inch stuffed animals over the years. She sold 10 of them online and needed to ship them affordably to buyers across the country.

She wrapped them individually in tissue paper, paired two per plastic bag, and surrounded them with bubble wrap in a medium USPS Priority Mail box.

It cost $15-$20 per shipment for the 2 lb packages. Delivery only took 2-3 days within the US with the $50 of included insurance giving both Robin and her buyers peace of mind.

Shipping Medium and Large Stuffed Animals

James inherited a large collection of plush cats from his grandmother. He picked out a few favorites for himself and sold the rest online. Some were up to 20 inches tall!

He wrapped and sealed the medium 12” stuffed cats individually in plastic, then placed pairs together in large boxes surrounded by inflated packing pillows for snug support.

For the 20” plus jumbo plush cats, he shipped them solo in oversized boxes lined with bubble wrap using FedEx Ground service. The dimensional weight pushed costs to $25-$35 per large package but they arrived safely in under a week.

International Stuffed Animal Shipping

When Sara moved from the US to France, she wanted to bring her beloved stuffed panda collection with her. There were 15 pandas of varying sizes, including one human-sized plush!

After cleaning and individually wrapping each panda in tissue paper, she vacuum sealed them to compress their size and prevent dust exposure. Sara packed the sealed pandas compactly in two large reinforced boxes.

She used FedEx International Economy to ship the boxes door-to-door. With the cost of a full-service move, bringing her sentimental stuffed animals was worth the extra shipping fee of $200 EUR. Customs forms were completed accurately to prevent duties or delays.

Key Takeaways: How to Ship Stuffed Animals

Follow this stuffed animal shipping checklist to ensure safe delivery:

✅ Sort and clean plush collection, checking for damage

✅ Wrap animals individually in tissue paper and seal in plastic bags

✅ Protect with bubble wrap and tightly pack boxes to prevent shifting

✅ Compare USPS, UPS and FedEx based on size, speed and cost needs

✅ Consider extras like insurance and delivery notifications

With some strategic preparation, you can ship stuffed animals of all types and sizes to preserve their special memories for years to come. Just be sure to use protective materials and sturdy boxes suitable for their shape and fragility.

Repairing and Maintaining Stuffed Animals

If your stuffed animals encounter wear and tear during shipping or regular play, fear not! There are effective methods to restore them:

As highlighted in how to make stuffed animals soft again, consider the following steps:

  • Re-fluff stuffing with a soft brush or pin to untangle fibers
  • Spot clean stains using a gentle detergent and a damp cloth
  • Sew torn seams with closely spaced stitches for durability
  • Replace missing parts like noses or eyes with suitable substitutes

Proper storage is crucial for maintaining your plush friends over time:

This guide on storing plushies suggests:

  • Using breathable containers to avoid moisture accumulation
  • Wrapping in acid-free tissue paper for added protection
  • Labeling bins with the names and details of your plushies for easy identification

The Role of Stuffed Animals in Child Development

Stuffed animals play a pivotal role in nurturing the growth and development of young minds.

In the light of this review of the Lil’ Biscuits Baby-Safe Plush Elephant, notable features include:

  • Soft, tactile fabrics that encourage sensory exploration
  • Providing emotional comfort which supports self-soothing abilities
  • Interactive elements like movable parts that foster fine motor skills
  • Encouraging role-play which is vital for social skill development

Choosing stuffed animals that are designed with developmental benefits in mind can significantly enhance a child’s cognitive and physical growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are succinct answers to common inquiries about shipping stuffed animals:

  • Best method for shipping large stuffed animals? Use a sizeable box and secure the stuffed animal with bubble wrap or packing pillows to minimize movement and cushion impacts.
  • Cost to ship a 20-inch stuffed animal? Shipping costs for a large 20-inch stuffed animal typically range from $25-$35 domestically via FedEx Ground or UPS Ground services.
  • Is vacuum sealing stuffed animals for shipping advisable? Yes, vacuum sealing can compact stuffed animals for shipping, but caution is advised. Leave a slight opening and avoid using this method for vintage or delicate items to prevent damage.
  • What to do if a shipped stuffed animal arrives damaged? Inspect your delivery promptly. If insured, file a claim with the carrier immediately to seek reimbursement for any loss or damage.


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