Shipping Your Camera: Everything You Need to Know

Knowing how to safely ship a camera is vital if you ever decide to mail out one of these often expensive items. Photography has been a popular hobby for many decades and it shows no sign of weakening. Today, mobile phones give everyone the opportunity to take pictures and share them with ease. Even so, 35mm film cameras continue to enjoy popularity and every range of digital camera has a dedicated following.

With cameras being so popular the world over, there is a thriving second hand photography market. Sites such as eBay and Gumtree make it easy for you to find the camera that you desire.  Generally, cameras are fairly fragile and need to be handled with care, so packaging and sending them correctly is vital to ensure that they do not get damaged in transit.

Packaging Time: 7 Minutes

Packaging Materials

Find a cardboard box that will comfortably fit everything you are sending as well as plenty of packaging material. It is better to have a box that is too big rather than one that is too small. This will minimise the chance of damage to your camera during its travels.

  • Scissors
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Tape
  • Polystyrene Chips
  • New Box

How to Pack Your Camera:

Step 1: The first step to packaging your old camera is to remove the lens and any peripherals that may be included. This includes memory cards, strap, battery and flashes. Removing these items prevents them from potentially becoming detached and damaging themselves or the camera. If you have a lithium-ion battery then it must remain inside the camera.

Step 2: Attach your lens caps and wrap the lenses in bubble wrap and use whatever tape you decide to firmly stick the bubble wrap together. Follow the same procedure for the detached items.

Step 3: Next carefully wrap your camera in bubble wrap. Be liberal here as the more layers of protection the camera has the better chance it has of being safe.

Step 4: If you have a camera case, then carefully place the camera and items inside the bag being careful not to overfill it and crush anything. Using the case provides a little more protection for your equipment.

Step 5: Grab your cardboard box and cover the bottom with Polystyrene Chips. Place your camera and any other items you are sending in the box and fill with more Polystyrene Chips and if you have it – packaging paper. Make sure that your camera and any other equipment you are sending never touch the sides of the box.

Step 6: Hold the box lid shut and shake the box. If you can hear anything moving about then you need to use more packaging material.

Step 7: Take your packing tape and secure the seams of our box. Again, you can be liberal here as the more time you spend securing your package is a safeguard against damage.

Step 8:Finally write “Fragile” on your box.

We chatted to renowned New Jersey Photographer, Scott Wyden Kivowitz and he gave us his expert tips on shipping cameras:

  • Remove your battery prior to shipping.* When the battery is in the camera, there is more of a chance for static electricity to occur. You never know what might happen with static during shipping.
  • Always ship your camera with the body cap on. The mirror and sensor in your camera are extremely sensitive. The body cap is the one thing that can protect it during shipping.
  • Never ship your camera with a lens attached. Always remove it, and put the front and rear lens caps on.
  • Bubble wrap your camera separately from the lens.
  • Take photographs of your camera during the shipping preparation process. Those will come in handy if you needed to utilize shipping insurance.
  • Make sure you have a log of your camera and lens serial numbers. I recommend LensTag for that.

Sending Your Camera

When it comes to sending your package, you have a number of options. You can either chose to have a courier pick up the camera and have it delivered or you can leave it at a drop-in centre and the courier service will collect it along with other packages and deliver it after collection. With ParcelHero, you don’t have to worry about finding the best deal as we clearly list all your available options. You can choose between the two methods and then filter through the available couriers. We are a one-stop-shop for all your shipping needs.

To send your package follow these four simple steps:

Step 1: First enter the details of your package on the shipment page. You will enter the measurements, weight and contents of your package.

Step 2: Choose what insurance option to add to your order, with ParcelHero you automatically receive a complimentary £50 loss/damage cover (except on Hermes shipments).

Step 3: Print off your shipping labels and sign where required. Be sure to keep hold of the sheets that you are directed to.

Step 4: Finally, depending on what service you have booked, either drop your package off at a drop off centre or wait for your courier to arrive.

*Please note; if your camera contains a lithium-ion battery, it must remain inside the camera during shipping.