The Secret Formula to Ship Gifts

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Thinking about what you should ship as gifts to your loved ones? JustShip has shipped tens of thousands of care packages and gifts internationally for our customers. Over time, we’ve built up experience of what makes a good gift to ship internationally, so we’re here to share that with you!

The Secret Formula to Ship Gifts

The secret to preparing a great gift for international shipping while getting the most bang for your buck? This is the formula we came up with:

Gift shipping utility

You might be saying, “Get the most bang for your buck by maximising value to cost? Well duh!”.

Hear us out! By breaking this down further, we can get more insights into the best types of gifts you can ship.

With the risk of sounding like real geeks here, let’s proceed to break down this formula into its constituent parts.

Gift shipping utility

Let’s run through some examples to demonstrate this formula at work.

Price of Item

Imagine spending $50 on shipping fees to send a $5 cushion to your loved one. That doesn’t sound like a great deal.

cheap pillow

$50 to ship this cushion?

Now, imagine spending the same $50 on shipping fees to send a $500 premium cushion to your loved one.

expensive pillow

Ah okay, $50 to ship this cushion.

Suddenly, the shipping fees make more sense in proportion to the delight your loved one experienced from receiving a great cushion.

Meaningfulness of Item

Not everything is about money! Back to the example of the $5 cushion, it can still be a great gift if it held some meaning to your loved one.

pillow collection

Meaningful pillow collection

Perhaps, you have a ritual of gifting a cushion to your loved one every year. Suddenly, them receiving a $5 cushion is not really about the price of the cushion but more about you remembering and continuing a ritual of love.

The value of an item to your loved one can be heavily dependent on the meaning they draw from the item.

Uniqueness of Item

The more unique an item is, the more valuable it is. Back to the example of gifting a cheap cushion, it would make even less sense as a gift if it was a generic cushion that your loved one could buy from the nearby mart where they were staying.

personalised pillow

Personalised pillow with a unique quote


On the contrary, if the cushion was a uniquely Singapore-designed cushion, or perhaps a cushion that you personalised by sewing your loved one’s name on, then the item becomes a lot more valuable, even if it may not be expensive to buy in Singapore.

Chargeable Weight of Item

The chargeable weight of an item is the higher of its actual weight or volumetric weight. So, a small but heavy item will be expensive to ship. So will a light but large item.

chargeable weight

Chargeable weight compared with size and weight

For the same value to your recipient, you would ideally want to have an item with a lower chargeable weight and accordingly, a lower shipping fee.

For example, if your loved one will be as happy to receive a large teddy bear as they would a small necklace, you might prefer to gift them the necklace instead since it would cost much less to ship!

Combining Everything

A final point is that your loved one will not be receiving an item, but a package. This means the principles you’ve learnt can and should be abstracted to the package level.

For example, each of the items you gift might not be very unique in isolation, but the curation of an entire combination of items that you think your loved one will like is, in itself, making the package a unique gift.

personalised box of items

Personalised box of regular items

Top it off with a handwritten card that tells a story about the items you’re gifting them and you check it off as well on both meaningfulness of the items as well as personalising the gift to make it something they can’t get anywhere else.

Making it happen

You might be saying now, “wow thanks for the framework, but this sounds like a lot of work!”. In fact, we’re not even done yet, because you still need to put your items through the test of whether they will be allowed for shipping by Customs.

But don’t worry, we will take away the hard bits so you can focus on the important stuff.

Check out this post we wrote for 50 best universal gift ideas to ship overseas. These gift ideas have been curated to all score well on “Gift Shipping Utility”, and are generally the type of items that are allowed for shipping. Find some that you think your loved one will enjoy and buy them!

Also, because Singaporean items tend to be meaningful and unique and a really popular gift category, we dedicated an entire article to share a whopping list of 100 best Singaporean gifts for your family & friends overseas.

Some of these are snacks and notoriously tricky to know whether they are shippable. But again, we’ve done the homework to curate only snacks that are safe to ship so you can focus on the important job of picking what your loved one likes.

After you’ve bought a range of items to gift, hand it over to JustShip. We will pick up the unpacked items from your doorstep for free, pack them securely at a cheap rate, and ship them to your loved ones in 2-5 working days.

For more tips and ideas for shipping gifts, you can take a look at our gift hub to find out everything you need to know about being the best gift-giver!

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JustShip
JustShip
November 22, 2022
shipping gifts, secret formula

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