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Shipping Disasters—Do’s and Don’ts

Thank you so much for testing with us this year! If you’ve been fretting over test scores or worrying about percentile ranks, rest assured—the scores will be there soon. Meanwhile, it’s a hidden danger that keeps us up at night—the dangerous ride your materials take on their way back to us! Here’s a peek at our deepest fear and some tips to keep it from coming true with your package.

Potential Disasters in Receiving Materials

Damaged Envelope This envelope was recently received by a customer who was preparing to test. The envelope was saturated by rain water, badly stained, and carelessly shoved into a tiny P.O. Box with several other items, tearing and smashing the sides of the envelope. Fortunately, this quick thinking and responsible Super-Tester responded appropriately by immediately contacting us to document the damages.

What do I do if this happens to me?

  • Immediately contact BJU Press Testing to inform us of the damages to your achievement tests and to make any necessary arrangements if replacements are needed.
  • Keep all of the shipping materials to return with your completed tests—they’re evidence!
  • Go into “forensics mode”—take photos of the scene and document the damage. Help us build the case for a reimbursement claim.

What should I not do if this happens?

  • Panic!!! Whatever happens, it can be dealt with and will be greatly helped by good communication and organization.
  • Let it go without contacting us, hoping everything will turn out all right in the end.

Potential Disasters in Returning Materials

This box arrived at BJU Press split down 3 sides and open on the bottom, with nothing left but the packing materials inside! The homeschool group that sent it had to reorder, retest, and resend the materials. So much time and money lost! Thankfully, they had insured the shipment.

Damaged Box BottomDamaged Box CornerDamaged Box Side

What is the best way to return my testing materials?

  • Carefully organize and package the materials. Don’t put answer documents along the sides of the box where they could slip out or leave them inside the test booklets.
  • Always use an insured and traceable method of shipping when returning materials!!! Insure the package for the amount that it will cost you if you have to reorder each item.
    • Helpful Tip: UPS is traceable and automatically insures all packages up to $100.
  • In rare cases, some carriers may claim that they “do not insure paper.” Should this happen, feel free to present this letter to your shipping provider.

What is the worst way?

  • Shove it all into a box or envelope, cross your fingers, and hope for the best.
  • Skip the insurance because you “never needed it before”—this may be the one time it’s useful!
  • Pack the testing materials carelessly—
    • You may be held responsible for any damages to the materials caused by a sloppy packing job.
    • Tightly stuffing your box or envelope could result in damage to the testing materials when your package is reopened upon its arrival at our office.

“Well begun is half done”

Before you close the box, make sure to double-check the testing booklets. Circled answers, pencil art, and stains could potentially distract students and prevent us from reusing those booklets.

  • If you find something that can’t be erased, please put a sticky note on the book to alert us to pull it out of circulation. If you know how the marks or stains happened, a brief explanation is always helpful.
  • If you discovered the marks/stains prior to testing (or a student brought it to your attention during testing), please include a note to let us know.


Shipping is a risky business and has the potential to make or break your testing venture. But being prepared for potential problems is the best way to help everyone—on your end and ours—have a positive experience, no matter what form it may take!

Damaged Box

 Updated October 21, 2015.

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