Currently I cut most larp staffs just under 6' tall and I cut the root mass to barely fit in an 8" square box. I chose this size for a few reasons. It allows nice staff proportions. It also allows me to pack it using two 3' long boxes. My method is pass the staff through the closed flaps on the first box to support the middle, then pass the seond box over it and glue the boxes together. Two 36"x8"x8" is much more affordable than a 72" box. I could legally ship up to a 72"x9x9 box but the boxes are much more pricey and the postage can increase up to $16 more. I am currently testingthe waters with a few to see. I amalso tring a few 76" tall staffs as well. An expensive 8" telescopic box would be nice but they are 8.5" on the big end, hence you would be paying shipping on a 9" box regardless. So basically I am trying to balance proportion, packaging and shipping costs...which are high to begin with. I would love to leave more space around the roots for packaging but it would push shipping costs much higher. Would I cut and ship a different size? I'll entertain the idea and see how many requests I get. I can't just buy one box at a time.
My only other idea that I would be willing to try is to cut a 6" long tapered scarf joint in the middle of the staff, thereby making two pieces about 42" long. You would have to glue and clamp it together and conceal the cut somehow. It would obviously not be as strong but probably sufficient for a prop. I can quote it and try...it can probably reduce shipping to the west coast by $30.
Please give me shipping damage feedback so I can improve my methods. To date I have only had two badly torn boxes that I was made aware of (although the staffs were undamaged). And thank you in advance for your input.