You've heard the story about people who have moved all their household belongings from one location to another, and after twenty years, they still have not finished unpacking.
Well, that's us, except it's only been fifteen years. And we're still not totally unpacked, but every year we open another box or two.
When checking the condition of these boxes (that were taped/sealed fifteen years ago), what I find amazing is the packing tape has continued to hold firmly. In fact, they look the same as they did fifteen years ago.
And these boxes are not stored in a heated area. They are subjected to changes in humidity and temperature, like summer heat in the nineties, and frigid single-digit temperatures in the winter. Talk about durability!
Okay,let's transition back to the launch of our upstart (Aapporto) bag business and the many items needed to fill in our supply chain.
One of the many things on our "to-do" list was the decision about sourcing packing tape. Being e-commerce, rather than brick-and-mortar, means we are shipping all bags in a box and that requires quality tape.
Our shipping destinations are not limited to the fifty states in the US, we opted "in" to Amazon's export offer, so our bags have been shipped to every continent.
I decided I'll use the same big name tape brand I used fifteen years ago...ya know the one that comes in the red plastic dispenser. It's a little more costly than other brands, but it's very important that our product packages are sealed securely.
In the early days as the business grew, we were consuming more and more packing tape. And because expenses continued to increase, I experimented by purchasing lower cost brands of packing tape. And from a variety of sources, like big box stores and wholesalers.
Part of my routine was making daily trips to our local post office to purchase shipping labels and drop off packages for shipment. (these trips were in the early stages of our growing business, and "before" I set up the time/cost saving of having packages picked up).
Then one day at the post office, I felt this "jolt of anxiety"!
Worry had arrived.
I said to myself,"Is this customer going to receive their package okay?". The postal clerk from behind the counter, after inspecting my packages, quickly grabbed her own dispenser of packing tape and started applying additional packing tape "over" my tape that was loose and not sticking.
On that day I felt like a novice. The clerk had to spend additional time to "help" me, while a line of people behind me were waiting patiently for their turn with the postal clerk. After this experience I was determined to source a better quality packing tape, even if I had to invest more funds buying it in bulk.
The good news is a week later, I checked the tracking of those packages I shipped with my sloppy tape job and was relieved to discover that the packages were delivered safely.
In a way I was not surprized at what happened at the post office that day. Because during the prior week I was experiencing reliability problems with the tape I was using. It was costly to do this, but I was applying double layers of tape just to make sure my packages were securely sealed.
What's even more strange, remember the tape that was not sticking properly, that day in the post office? That was not the lower priced brand, that was the good stuff, the most expensive tape I was using at the time. Go figure.
I'm done experimenting.
I finally decided to source packing tape with a company that I've dealt with for many years, Uline. So long as their quality remains consistent, they are my packing tape supplier. They may not be the cheapest, but their bulk prices are reasonable.
There, that's that.
Now I have the opportunity to work on other aspects of the business!
Thank you for reading and sharing,
ps- If we can help you safely carry your cell phone, check us out! Our cell phone bags are available in four colors, black, brown, gray and blue.