People who ship things regularly will always use the same service until something happens. And when it does, one of the other shippers becomes their preferred provider. All of them usually provide pretty good service within the same country and to other countries. You can talk to several people who have experience to help you decide which one to use.
Each of these services can provide you a shipping container (usually a triangle box or tube into which you will place the pieces to be sent. The triangle box is recommended because it will not easily roll around. Regardless, select the container with the thickest walls.
Insure your contents. While this is optional and the decision is yours, shipping insurance is just that - a financial resolution to a what if situation. If something did happen and you didn't have something - you'll have an example for the rest of your life of what stupid is. Do not over-insure the contents. If something did happen, you will need to prove the value.
Shipping times will vary for the package to arrive, generally based on the cost. Regular shipping will be the cheapest, with 2-3 day shipping being a bit more pricy, and topped out at overnight express. Select the one that fits your requirements.
Packing the sticks requires some attention. The shipping container (triangle box or tube) does not allow excessive use of packing material. This is a recommended process.
- Roll each piece in a newspaper sheet and hold it in place with a single piece of tape.
- Wrap each piece in thin bubble wrap, just enough to slide easily into the container.
- Wrap up the several pieces (if multiple) with enough additional bubble wrap to require a little effort to fit the container.
- Add your packing slip or note for the recipient and include your address and contact information with the recipient's.
- Bunch up a little extra bubble wrap to protect each end.
- Seal the package.
- Write out the address label and affix to the package.
- Take to the shipper and send it. Use the tracking number to follow its progress on the web.
- Send an email to the recipient to provide the tracking number and to confirm the package is in the pipeline.
Here are some don'ts:
- Do not use tape directly on the pieces. Adhesives can leave a mark.
- Do not use a rubber band or tape to keep the pieces together (even over bubble wrapping).
- Do not use Styrofoam peanuts. They have a nasty habit of shedding into small pieces which become very difficult to clean up.
- Do not over pack. You want firm packing to hold the pieces still. Over-packing can split the seams of your container.
Shipping does not have to be a pain to do. As the opportunity arises, pick up the necessary material and place in the back of any convenient closet. Then you'll be ready to ship your sticks as needed.