You may have already sold your Mac mini, or you might still be in the planning stages — but if you’re reading this article, you are likely going to be shipping a Mac mini pretty soon. Shipping a Mac mini isn’t overly complicated, but there are some key things you should do in order to make sure it doesn’t get damaged during shipping.
How to package a Mac Mini for shipping
When it comes to shipping, a commonly asked first question is how much will it cost. Obviously, keeping the cost down is a good goal, but equally important is making sure the item is securely packed. Making sure your Mac mini is securely packed means taking a little time to prep and gather your materials, which include a box, packing material, and packing tape.
- Shipping box: Your shipping box needs to be sturdy, and it also needs to be big enough to fit the Mac mini, any cables or accessories, and the packing material. Ideally, everything should be secure, and you shouldn’t leave any open space. Leaving open space means the items may shift around, and that could potentially lead to damage.
- Packing materials: We recommend using bubble wrap as your packing material. There is a good chance you’ll have to buy some, but it is relatively inexpensive. Bubble wrap is also intended to be used as packing material, which means your item will be better protected.
- Packing tape: This is another item you may need to purchase, and similar to the bubble wrap, it should be relatively inexpensive. Just like how bubble wrap is intended to be used for protection, packing tape is intended to securely seal your box and to ensure it stays sealed during the shipping process.
Doing the packing correctly may add some cost, but we’d argue it is better to spend a little extra money and get quality packing materials because it isn’t fun dealing with an item that gets damaged during shipping. After all, if the Mac mini gets damaged in shipping you’ll have to deal with an upset buyer, and possibly have to file a damage claim with your shipping provider.
How much does it cost to ship a Mac Mini?
Shipping costs vary based on several factors, such as the size and weight of the package, the shipping method, and the shipping provider. Of course, as we noted in the previous section, you may also have an associated cost for any materials you need to purchase.
Once you have your shipping box you can get the exact measurements, and if you have a scale handy, you can put it all together and get an exact weight. The shipping materials, the box and bubble wrap, will add to the overall weight, but the main portion of the weight will be the Mac mini. The following lists outline the weight (and measurements) of the Mac mini going back to the 2014 model year (which is the oldest model that can be listed and sold in the Swappa marketplace).
Third generation (2014) Mac mini (Unibody model)
- 2014: 2.6 pounds 1.4 (H) x 7.7 (W) x 7.7 (D) inches
Fourth generation (2018) Mac mini (USB-C model)
- 2018: 2.9 pounds 1.4 (H) x 7.7 (W) x 7.7 (D) inches
Fifth generation (2020) Mac mini (M1 model)
- 2020: 2.6 pounds 1.4 (H) x 7.7 (W) x 7.7 (D) inches
Ship your Mac mini with USPS
USPS is the most popular shipping provider used by Swappa sellers. This popularity comes due to price and convenience. USPS allows you to use your own shipping box, and they also provide Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes. The Flat Rate boxes are good because they ship for a fixed price, and often arrive within 1-3 business days. Not to mention, you can grab a flat rate shipping box for free from any Post Office. Another perk of using a flat rate box is being able to arrange free pickup at your home or office.
The USPS Priority Mail website lists current pricing, along with the sizes of the flat rate boxes. You can also check shipping rates using the white button below if you are planning to use your own shipping box.
Ship your Mac mini with UPS
UPS is another good option to consider due to its convenience. There are lots of retail UPS Store locations around the country, and also lots of retail shipping stores that ship for UPS. As with USPS, you can use your own box and packing materials when shipping with UPS. Using your own materials means you will be doing the packing yourself. The UPS Store also offers packing services, though this will mean an added cost because you will be purchasing the materials from them.
We recommend reaching out to your local UPS Store if you plan on having them handle the packing. Otherwise, you can use the white button below to check current UPS rates based on the size and weight of your packaged Mac mini.
Ship your Mac mini with USPS or UPS through PayPal
Swappa uses PayPal for all payments due to the extensive protections they offer for buyers and sellers. This means all Swappa sellers are required to have a PayPal account, and that leads to another reason why USPS is so popular with Swappa sellers — the ability to purchase and print a shipping label directly from their PayPal account. Perks of getting your USPS or UPS shipping label through PayPal include:
- Discounted shipping rates with USPS and UPS.
- PayPal pre-populates your buyer’s shipping address, which helps to reduce errors.
- PayPal also saves the shipping label as part of the payment transaction, which means the tracking number will be noted as required for your PayPal seller protections.
Ship your Mac mini with FedEx
You may not be able to print a FedEx shipping label through PayPal, however, FedEx does share many of the same perks as UPS. For example, there are numerous FedEx locations around the country. You can find regular retail FedEx stores, and also FedEx OnSite locations which are located inside other stores such as Dollar General and Walgreens.
FedEx allows you to use your own shipping materials, and they also offer shipping services. As with UPS, if you opt to have FedEx pack your Mac mini — the cost will be a bit higher because you are buying the materials from them. Your local FedEx location will be able to provide an estimate if you plan to have them handle the packing, and otherwise, you can tap the white button below to check current rates based on the size and weight of your package.
Make sure to ship with tracking and insurance
If you’ve sold your Mac mini in the Swappa marketplace you will be required to ship with tracking and insurance. Items sold on Swappa must be shipped within two business days of the purchase, and the tracking number must be provided to your buyer within that time frame. The tracking number allows you, and your buyer, to keep track of the package as it makes its way to the buyer. Shipping with a tracking number is also a PayPal requirement.
Swappa requires all sellers to include insurance that covers the full value of the shipment. Most shipments arrive without any issue, but having insurance means you are covered if the item is damaged during shipping.
The last point in this section is setting a signature requirement. This isn’t a requirement of Swappa or PayPal, but more a preference of some sellers. Requiring a signature on delivery will add a small additional cost, but just like the insurance in case of damage, having the signature requirement means the item will be delivered to the intended recipient, and not left sitting outside your buyer’s front door.
Sell your used Mac Mini on Swappa
Swappa is a safe, trusted, and easy-to-use marketplace. Swappa staff is available 24/7/365 via our help desk if you ever have any questions. You can also read some independent user reviews on Trustpilot, where we have a rating of Excellent based on over 14,600 reviews.