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I am about to send a used CPU I sold on eBay to the buyer.

I do not have an anti-static bag handy, and they seem to be difficult to come by in shops, at least in my neighbourhood. I could place a mail order but I fear that would take too long.

Is it responsible to send the CPU packaged only in plastic bubble-wrap, or is that massively jeopardizing its safety?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 8 down vote accepted

You will probably have better luck finding Pink Poly than ESD bags. Bubble wrap alone is not fine, neither is regular foam(you need ESD-safe foam). If you are shipping this and want the buyer to actually get a working CPU the proper care needs to be taken in the shipping process.

If you truly can't find it locally and can't wait to order it online, I would ask around at say a Big box store or a place that installs electronics/car stereos they may have some discarded packing materials. Also, check with a local shipping store like UPS/Mailboxesetc. They may have pink poly or pink poly bubble wrap.

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Thanks. I will go looking for proper packaging, or order it online. Better have the buyer wait a few days than getting a broken CPU –  Pekka 웃 Jan 26 '11 at 14:48
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Do note that pink bags are often "static resistant" bags and devices can be killed even if they are packed inside the pink bag. Pink bags are supposed to prevent generation of static electricity and generally do not protect against shocks. So safest way would be anti-static bag in a pink static resistant bag. –  AndrejaKo Jan 26 '11 at 15:09
    
You're correct hence the proper care in the shipping process comment. Comments re: pink poly were if he was going to just ship it, giving viable alternatives that would present some measure of ESD protection. For the record I have never seen a esd-safe foam packed, pink poly bagged component not work in the real world due to esd discharge. Just a FYI and not a suggestion, it happens. –  Dan M. Jan 26 '11 at 16:46

The guy above claiming cotton is crazy, ignore him. Cotton is most certainly not antistatic and actually holds charge more readily than air, making static gather insider it and increasing the amplitude of any discharge from hands etc as a result.

(Rub a balloon on your cotton jumper and watch it stick to it if you dont believe me)

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Cotton as this is a neutral material! will work but not the best make sure it is 100% cotton because polyester and silk and other materials will generate a static charge wood will also work but it could become negative and attack static this seldom happens!

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The bubble-wrap should be fine. But have something like a piece of foam where you can stick it in with the contacts (if it is a sockel with needle contacts). The way where it can get dangerous is with electric discharges (statics). This is what the anti-static bag is for. People's hands are often charged with static energy. But if the receiver is very careful and not statically charged, everything should be fine.

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But if the receiver is very careful and not statically charged, everything should be fine. What about transport itself? There's no guarantee that during transport static electricity won't be generated. –  AndrejaKo Jan 26 '11 at 14:20
    
Does the static electricity travel through the carton/package? I have basics, but I don't know about this key thing. If yes, throw my answer away, because you will, 100 %, need the antistatic bag!!! –  sinni800 Jan 26 '11 at 14:22
    
@sinni800 Well, I'm not 100% sure that it does, but why would they package computer components which are in carton boxes in anti-static bags if it doesn't. On the other hand, Intel's processors are packaged in a plastic box. I don't remember if the plastic is anti-static or not... –  AndrejaKo Jan 26 '11 at 14:46
    
@AndrejaKo maybe they package it in antistatic because people TOUCH it when they take it out? And are often statically charged :) –  sinni800 Jan 26 '11 at 14:48
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@AndreajaKo when googling, it seems Polystyrene is in fact antistatic –  sinni800 Jan 26 '11 at 15:17

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