Have you ever received a package in the mail that looked like it had been thrown around a football field instead of placed on a delivery truck? While you can't avoid all package mishaps, you can certainly reduce the chances of something happening to a package by upgrading your supplies. It's all too common to find people using cheaper-quality supplies because those are also the ones that cost less. But if you spend a little more and get the better supplies, anything you have to mail will suddenly stand a much better chance of arriving at its destination in one piece.
Not all cardboard is alike. A lot of smaller boxes are made of thin, single-layer cardboard that, while tough, doesn't hold up that well to rough shipping. You may also find some that use corrugated cardboard, but sometimes this cardboard can be so thin as to be the same as single-layer cardboard. Look for boxes labeled as heavy duty. These will be stiffer and harder to bend, and the box walls will be a lot thicker than those made with regular cardboard.
Shipping Tape, Not Storage Tape
Use the right type of tape too. There is tape that is made specifically for mailing, and it's usually labeled as mailing tape. This is different from storage tape because the adhesive used in mailing tape is made to be stronger so the tape doesn't fall off during shipping.
One point of confusion is that some mailing and storage tapes are labeled as packaging tapes. Look for information on the label about whether the tape is suitable for moving and mailing or storage, and get ones meant for mailing. If you can't find that information, look at the tape material; acrylic tape should be used for storage, and hot-melt tape should be used for mailing.
Another type of tape you'll find is strapping tape. This is a filament tape that is very difficult to break open without scissors or a knife. If the tape itself breaks, the filaments often stay in place, keeping the box closed. In addition to your mailing tape, wrap some strapping tape around the boxes in a couple of places. This is an added layer of protection that really helps keep everything together, literally.
You can get tapes in different thicknesses and colors, and boxes are available in all sizes from good mailing-supply dealers. Try to keep extra supplies on hand and buy mailing containers to ensure you're never without what you need for those last-minute mailings.