Need advice on packing an open box motherboard for a friend

StoleMyOwnCar

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My friend is building a new computer. I noticed the motherboard they wanted to get for their new AM5 build was in Microcenter's open box section for half off (MSI Mag Tomahawk B650, marked down to 99$ from 199$). I picked it up for them. I'm going to take some time to test it for them just to make sure it posts (which is a PITA, considering I only have one AM5 chip but oh well) before shipping.

I don't really sell my computer parts at all. Supposing it posts, I need some tips on how to pack this so it survives its trip to Missouri, from people who sell parts a lot. One thing I noticed is that the individual who had it before did not repack it with the little plastic cap that goes onto the CPU socket. I'm worried about its pins getting bent in transit if somehow some of the other material under it rubs into the socket at the right angle en-route. It's unlikely since the motherboard takes up most of its box, but anything is possible. It is still in its OEM box. it's just not exactly very secure in there.

Oh and maybe some tips on which carrier you use.

Not sure where else to post this, thanks
 
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I use pirate ship to figure out shipping....sometimes a regular box is cheaper than a flat rate box.

I've seen where cardboard packed over the cpu socket has been used when there isn't the guard. Maybe you could go back/call and ask microcenter if they have any spare guards.
 
Secure, cheap and ugly - is how i do it with non-conductive scraps filling the box until nothing moves around anymore.

But i always put the hardware in an anti-static bag before. Even the ones suitable for a motherbard are cheap on amzn.

Then i put the Original box in a slightly bigger (2-4 fingers all around) box and fill that with scraps.

The already mentioned cardboard cpu cover i usually tape onto 2 empty cigatette boxes and secure that on the cover lid of the original box so i does not move around when i fill the rest of the box.

If i don´t have a suitable cardboard box i cut and tape something together. The uglier it is, the less likely it "falls of the truck".
 
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I tested it out, it does post with my CPU and RAM, so looks good. Updated the BIOS for them, too. I'll ship it out to them whenever they get their finances together. 50% off is a pretty nice savings lol, this feels like a pretty good mobo.

I use pirate ship to figure out shipping....sometimes a regular box is cheaper than a flat rate box.

I've seen where cardboard packed over the cpu socket has been used when there isn't the guard. Maybe you could go back/call and ask microcenter if they have any spare guards.

Thanks, I'm assuming you mean putting the cardboard just over the top of the entire socket, including the metal clamp? Normal plastic guards go underneath the clamp in between the socket and the clamp. Since we can't get a perfect shape like that, and it's risky to possibly have the cardboard rub against the pins, I'm assuming you mean over the top of the entire thing right? I don't know if I'll be in the Microcenter area again for a bit. It's 20-30 mins away which isn't much for some people but I quite despise driving.

How much would you say shipping would be for a motherboard overall? I know you don't know the location yet, I'm just curious as to what rates we should be expecting roughly, for shipping within the US.
Secure, cheap and ugly - is how i do it with non-conductive scraps filling the box until nothing moves around anymore.

But i always put the hardware in an anti-static bag before. Even the ones suitable for a motherbard are cheap on amzn.

Then i put the Original box in a slightly bigger (2-4 fingers all around) box and fill that with scraps.

The already mentioned cardboard cpu cover i usually tape onto 2 empty cigatette boxes and secure that on the cover lid of the original box so i does not move around when i fill the rest of the box.

If i don´t have a suitable cardboard box i cut and tape something together. The uglier it is, the less likely it "falls of the truck".
Thankfully its original box is intact, including the cardboard standoff. I do plan to put some more filling in there after I get a CPU cover, thanks. Tons of packing paper filling from all of the weeb stuff I order. I have a lot of packing material thankfully.

It also still includes its default anti-static bag, so should be good there. No cigarette boxes because I don't smoke though.
 
Another quick question, is there any harm in shipping it with the CPU installed already? I saw the 7800X3D on sale and managed to get it discounted to the $196 bundle price and with the RAM. I assume that it would probably be fine, and could also act as the socket cover.

I'm not sure about shipping it with the RAM already installed though. I think that could snap if they happened to apply force to the top of the box in the wrong way. Plus the entire RAM box should probably fit inside the mobo box.
 
Another quick question, is there any harm in shipping it with the CPU installed already? I saw the 7800X3D on sale and managed to get it discounted to the $196 bundle price and with the RAM. I assume that it would probably be fine, and could also act as the socket cover.

I'm not sure about shipping it with the RAM already installed though. I think that could snap if they happened to apply force to the top of the box in the wrong way. Plus the entire RAM box should probably fit inside the mobo box.
It's fine to ship it with the CPU installed already. The RAM I would not leave installed. And yea usually the RAM box is small so it should fit fine.
 
Good stuff, thanks for the input everyone. I'm just running memtest on it with XMP on before I send it out.

$526 with tax, for a 7800X3D, nice B650 mobo, and 64GB Hynix M-die kit. Even with shipping, should be a pretty damn good deal. Just waiting for him to get the money together before I ship it.
 
I'd leave the CPU installed, put the motherboard in the anti-static bag and then just wrap the board in bubble wrap if you don't have the original box for it. I've sent boards out like that and have never had issues. Generally, I don't take any chances with the CPU pins, so the CPU installed is better than a bare socket or something that "could" fall off like cardboard/tape over it. I've gotten used boards from fleabay, etc. without a socket cover, and it's 50/50 as to whether or not it survives the trip intact without bent pins.

That's a pretty good deal for your buddy.
 
Well, I've sold & shipped 15-20 mobo/cpu combos over the years, leaving the cpu installed but NOT the ram, and never had any issues whatsoever...

But for computer parts in general, I tend to over-pack things with large amounts of bubble-wrap, peanuts, and or styrofoam though, and I AWAYS use the original box if available, and then put that box inside another generic one with even more packing materials :)

As for services, for small stuff like 3.5" drives, ram kits, AIC's etc, USPS Priority offers some nice boxes with decent rates, and as they say "if it fits, it ships" regardless of weight or destination for decent prices....

HOWEVER, for anything like a mobo or larger, it can get tricky because of "shrinkflation"....ie.....they have steadily made their various boxes smaller & smaller over the past few years, so that you have to use the next larger size at the next higher price bracket :( The older medium size flat box from 2 years ago (of which I have many stockpiled) used to be a perfect fit for an ATX mobo inside it's mfgr box, but now is not tall enough, so it would now need the "Large" box....

I also use PirateShip to get & compare rates now, since most of the time they offer the same services for a good bit less $$...

The last item I shipped was a very large & very heavy pc case in a HUGE box that I fabricated myself.... UPS wanted $189 to ship it thru their website, but PirateShip took it via UPS for only $97....
 
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