By Jewelers Mutual® Group
Choosing the fastest, cheapest, and most secure option to ship jewelry could be challenging before the term “Coronavirus” became part of our everyday language.
In a twist of fate, shipping has now become one of the most welcomed solutions for the jewelry industry.
While retailers have been forced to close their showrooms, there’s still an opportunity to keep cash flowing by selling jewelry online and shipping it to customers.
While this is great news, the risks of shipping jewelry during the COVID-19 pandemic are greater than ever. To keep you safe and your assets secure, here is a breakdown of four shipping best practices and health reminders.
1. Upgrade to the most secure signature service
The highest security option is commonly referred to as an “adult signature”. It ensures the carrier will not leave a package without either viewing the recipient’s ID or verbally collecting their name to record in their tracking system.
There’s usually an additional charge for this option, but it’s essential for now because procedures for obtaining a signature are being altered or omitted for standard, lower-security options.
USPS, UPS, and FedEx all have information on their operations during the era of social distancing. Given the varying degrees of severity across the country, you may even want to contact your carrier to confirm the actions they’re taking in your area, as well as the locations you plan on shipping to.
2. Contact the Recipient
Confirm your recipient’s current address and advise that your package is on the way before you print a label and send the package.
If you ship internationally, note that some countries have closed borders and shipments in or out are not permitted at this time.
3. Watch your package get scanned and obtain a receipt
The shipping experts at Jewelers Mutual® Group have always recommended this but should be reiterated due to other procedural changes some carriers are making.
Do not drop your packages into a bin to be scanned later. This may suffice for low-value items, but jewelers need to recognize their situation is an exception.
Because a scan is critical to shipping coverage in the event of a loss, select a carrier you know will be able to scan your package in-person and provide you a receipt with a tracking number immediately.
4. Use expedited services
It’s extremely difficult to determine what will unfold in the coming days and weeks, so deliver to your recipient as soon as possible. Two reasons for this are:
- There’s an increased risk of lost or stolen packages the longer they are in transit
- Your recipient’s situation or location may change
Given the need to use the “adult signature” service, you’re going to come in close contact with your courier.
Also, if you’re the recipient of a package, you need to be cognizant that it will be handled by multiple parties and may come from or have passed through a “hot spot.”
Here are a few suggestions for staying healthy when shipping jewelry during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Above all, follow CDC guidelines and guidelines from your local health officials
- If you have them, use a mask and gloves when handing off or receiving a package
- Wash your hands before and after handling packages
- Don’t assemble or unbox packages in common areas where you eat or rest
- Keep your assembly area clean and disinfect it often
Talk with an Expert