Safe Jewelry Shipping Advice from Jeweler's Mutual

With shipping losses currently affecting several Jewelers Mutual policyholders-with recent claims attributed to address errors, lack of communication between shipper and recipient and improper packaging--the organization has issued important precautionary measures.

1. Place merchandise in a medium-sized cardboard box and seal with tape. Label this box with your return address (using non-jewelry-related words) and the tracking number. This will serve as identification if the outside container or mailing label is destroyed in transit.

2. Place this box in a strong, oversized shipping box (i.e., 12 inches by 12 inches by four inches). If possible, use a packaging box from a delivery service. If you do not have a box from a delivery service, disguise your shipment in a sturdy box from a different product. Never use an envelope or a box marked with any jewelry-related words. Also avoid using old boxes that lose strength.

3. To prevent the inner box from rattling, tape or glue it to the shipping box. Fill the remainder of the shipping box with packing material to help protect it during transit. Do not use jewelry catalogs or ads.

4. Seal the shipping box with reinforced mailing tape, pressure-sensitive shipping tape, tamper-evident tape or stamp over the tape so that any tampering is evident. Do not use string, masking tape or cellophane tape to seal the box.

5. Confirm and double-check the correct address.

6. Address the package clearly. Do not indicate that the package is coming from or going to a jewelry-related business. Use a name that does not contain jewelry terms and do not use abbreviations that could be misunderstood. Change the name regularly. Disguise the return address in a similar fashion. Use the name of a business associate (with their permission), such as your accountant or attorney, who is at a different location, not in a jewelry district or with a prominent jewelry zip code.

7. List the contents of the package as "parts" or "supplies," instead of using jewelry-related terms.

8. Use extra caution when shipping packages to/from these zip codes: 10017, 10036, 60602, 60603, 60659, 90013, 90014, 90015, 94102, 94103 and 94108. When possible, deliver packages to the post office, to the carrier's convenience center or to another location outside of these zip code areas, but avoid shipping to a residential address.

9. Log the details of the shipment, its value and the carrier used in case of a loss, as well as for reporting total exposures at policy renewal time.

10. Require a signed receipt upon delivery.

11. Buy coverage for the shipment from the carrier. Insurance coverage by most carriers is not automatic; it must be purchased.

12. Inform the recipient when the package is sent. In many shipping losses, no one realizes a loss has occurred until the sender calls the recipient to check on a delivery. Without the sender informing the recipient of a package shipment, several weeks can pass before the loss is detected.

13. Before signing for received shipments, be sure you have received the correct number of packages, open them, check contents and then sign for packages in view of a security camera so the entire transaction is documented.

For additional security tips, visit Jewelers Mutual's Web site,, and click on "Security and Safety" on the business tab. Training courses are also available through the JM University link.

Jewelers Mutual also offers a free shipping poster and many other materials and training sessions that can be ordered online or by calling (800) 558-6411. Supplies are free to policyholders

More safety advice from Jeweler's Mutual: Stay Safe During an Armed Robbery

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