How to Ship a Telescope – Step by Step Instructions to Prevent Damage

How to ship a telescope is not that hard if you use plenty of bubble wrap, a couple of boxes, and some thick layers of cushioning, whether you use paper, packing peanuts, or other materials. Find out how to do it step by step and how to find the cheapest way to ship it.

Whether you are selling your telescope due to an upgrade or you run a business selling telescopes, pick-up is not the only option out there.

Most people choose this option when it comes to fragile items because they are very likely to damage, but proper packaging prevents such issues.

Learning how to ship a telescope is pretty simple – just a few basic rules.

Keep in mind that everything is about cushioning. This article will explain everything.

Table of Contents

What You Need to Prepare

  • The telescope you want to send
  • Bubble wrap or padded foam for a layer of protection
  • The original carry case or a similar box
  • Shipping box for the whole item
  • Packing peanuts for extra cushioning
  • Adhesive tape to seal the box
  • Plastic bags for small parts
  • Labels for each plastic bag
  • Shipping labels
  • Money to cover the shipping costs 

How to Pack Telescopes

In this guide, you will learn how to ship telescopes safely and efficiently, like a pro. By following these steps, you can minimize the risk of damage during shipping.

1. Prepare the Telescope and Clean it

Get the telescope ready for shipping by cleaning it.

If it has been stored for too long, it might be dusty.

When pressured by tight bubble wrap, dust and debris can scratch the telescope and damage it, so give it a quick wipe before packing it.

2. Bubble Wrap the Telescope for Protection

Bubble wrap each part individually. Insist on parts with joints that might break down due to improper handling – you never know how courier employees handle it.

Throw a few layers of bubble wrap around each part.

Smaller parts can do with a couple of layers only.
You can place other small items in plastic bags. 

3. Bring in the First Box for the Telescope

If you still have the original box, use it.

If you run a business selling new telescopes, you can skip all the steps so far.

The telescope is already wrapped and packed accordingly.

If you send a used telescope, go through one step at a time.
Place it in the original box, or use a small cardboard box if you still have it.

You can make it yourself – for example, grab a large piece of cardboard and make a tube for the telescope.

4. Use Packing Peanuts for Cushioning

If you make the box yourself, add a few packing peanuts to ensure it is secured.

Despite the bubble wrap, you do not want parts moving around the box, as they can get damaged.
All in all, put the small box into a large shipping box.

Add packing peanuts – bubble wrap or crumpled newspaper will also do, but packing peanuts seems more effective.
Close the box and shake it a little for the cushioning materials to settle.

Open it, add more materials and do the same again until there are no more gaps to fill.

5. Seal the Shipping Box with Adhesive Tape

Close the box with adhesive tape, but feel free to exaggerate.

Improper handling or a small cut can tear all the tape apart – you do not want parts of the telescope lost.

Go around all openings a few times and cover the corners and sides.
You can write fragile on the box or get one of those stickers that recommend handling with care.

This warning does not guarantee that courier employees will be more careful with the parcel. However, it is better to play it safe.
Remember that such a warning is not a substitution for proper packaging.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship Telescopes?

Prices vary from one courier to another.

You can get standard shipping, but you can also opt for various types of express shipping – more expensive, of course, and quicker delivery.

Most couriers will charge you per weight, but voluminous boxes will also come with extra fees – therefore, keep the shipping box as small as possible.

A massive box will cost you more – plus, you will need more cushioning materials, too, so it is pointless.

Usually, shipping a telescope will cost you around $50 to $70 with most couriers.

You can also choose to insure the package if the telescope is expensive – it may add another $10 or $20 to the cost.

Shipping a telescope abroad will most likely increase prices to over $100, depending on the destination you send it to. 

The Cheapest Way to Ship Telescopes

It is worth shopping around and finding the best courier.

However, most people use USPS because it offers some of the lowest rates on the market.

USPS also has a bunch of different options – standard and more types of express shipping.

Besides, you can get insurance as well.

You will need shipping labels for the package, and USPS will charge you for them.

The good news is you can go around this extra expense.

Pirate Ship offers software that allows you to print your shipping labels – for free.

It is not just a money saver but also a time saver.

You will have to weigh the item yourself, so you need a scale.

If you ship telescopes for business purposes, chances are you will need them later, too, so it is worth the investment.

It will pay for itself due to the free shipping labels.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, figuring out how to ship a telescope is not that difficult.

The secret is to ensure proper cushioning.

Add as much bubble wrap as possible until it feels safe enough.

Feel free to go crazy on packing materials, too – they are needed for safe transportation.

In terms of costs, while you do have plenty of options, the USPS and Pirate Ship combo is probably the most cost-effective option.

USPS offers cheap rates, and Pirate Ship allows you to print as many shipping labels as you need for free.​