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Shipping antiques can be a delicate and challenging process, especially for beginner antique dealers selling antiques for the first time. I remember shipping my first set of china and quickly learned every mistake not to make when the package arrived severely damaged.
Properly packaging and handling antiques is essential to ensure they arrive at their destination safely and in good condition. Here are some tips for shipping antiques as a novice antique dealer or someone who needs a little refresher.
Proper packing is essential to protect your antique during shipping. Here’s how to get started.
Choose the right packaging materials.
Antiques should be packaged in sturdy, protective materials that will cushion and support the item during shipping. Good options include bubble wrap, foam padding, and sturdy boxes with plenty of packing peanuts or other filling material. Avoid using newspaper, as the ink can transfer and stain the antique.
Use plenty of padding and support.
Antiques should be well-padded and supported to prevent damage during shipping.
- Use plenty of bubble wrap, foam padding, or packing peanuts to cushion and support the item, and make sure that it is securely packed in the box.
- Avoid using too much filling material, as this can put pressure on the antique and cause damage
- Add a minimum of two to three inches of packing material on each side of the box, which should be enough to protect fragile items.
Handle antiques with care.
Antiques are often fragile and can be easily damaged if not handled properly. When packing antiques, be sure to handle them gently and avoid applying too much pressure. Use gloves or soft cloths to avoid damaging the antique’s surface, and be careful not to bump or drop the item during packaging.
Protect delicate or breakable parts.
Antiques may have delicate or breakable parts, such as legs, handles, or knobs, that can easily be damaged during shipping. To protect these parts, use extra padding and support, and consider wrapping them in bubble wrap or foam padding. Avoid placing these parts near the edges of the box, where they may be more susceptible to damage.
How to Ship Antiques
When shipping antiques, it is important to choose the right shipping method to ensure the safe arrival of your valuable and fragile items.
Ship antiques in multiple boxes if necessary.
For example, instead of shipping an entire dish set in one large box, consider breaking down the pieces into several smaller, lighter boxes. It may cost you more to ship, but you’re less likely to damage the items.
Use the right shipping method.
Choosing the right shipping method for your antique is important to ensure its safe arrival.
- For larger or heavier antiques, consider using a freight service, which offers more protection and support than regular shipping services.
- For smaller or lighter antiques, a regular shipping service may be sufficient, but be sure to choose a service that offers tracking and insurance in case of damage or loss.
Label and mark the package properly.
Properly labeling and marking the package can help ensure that it is handled properly during shipping. Be sure to clearly label the package as “Fragile” or “Antique” and include any special handling instructions. Also, be sure to include the recipient’s name and address, as well as your own contact information, in case of any problems.
Insure the package.
Shipping antiques can be risky, as they are often valuable and one-of-a-kind. To protect yourself and your antique in case of damage or loss, be sure to purchase insurance for the package. This will cover the value of the antique in case of any problems, and can provide peace of mind during the shipping process.
When shipping antiques, it is important to purchase insurance for the package. Antiques are often fragile, valuable, and one-of-a-kind and can be easily damaged or lost during the shipping process. Shipping insurance can provide peace of mind and protect the value of the antique in case of any problems. There are several different types of shipping insurance available. The type you choose will depend on your specific needs and the value of the antique.
- Basic shipping insurance. This type of insurance typically covers the value of the antique in case of damage or loss during shipping. It may have limitations or exclusions, such as a maximum payout amount or exclusions for certain types of damage.
- Declared value insurance. This type of insurance allows you to specify the value of the antique and purchase insurance coverage for that amount. This can be a good option for high-value antiques, as it provides greater protection and potential payout in case of damage or loss.
- All-risk insurance. This type of insurance provides the broadest coverage, including protection for damage and loss as well as other risks such as theft or natural disasters. It is typically the most expensive option, but provides the greatest level of protection for valuable antiques.
Shipping Mistakes to Avoid
In addition to the tips and advice for properly packing and shipping antiques, there are a few other mistakes you can avoid to ensure the safe arrival of your valuable and fragile items.
- Using a box that is the wrong size. Using a box that is too small can result in the antique being crushed or damaged, while using a box that is too large can allow the antique to shift and become damaged. Be sure to choose a box that is the right size for the antique and allows for plenty of padding and support.
- Not sealing the box securely. Using strong tape to seal the box can help prevent damage during shipping. Avoid using masking tape or other weak tapes, as they may not hold up during transit.
- Choosing an unreliable shipping service. Using a reputable and reliable shipping service can help ensure that your antique is handled properly and arrives safely. Research different shipping services and compare their rates, services, and customer reviews to find the best option for your needs.
- Not using a third-party shipper for complex jobs. If you are unsure about how to properly pack and ship your antique, or if you have a particularly valuable or fragile item, consider using a third-party shipper like Freight Center, which specializes in handling antiques. These companies can provide expert packing and shipping services to ensure the safe arrival of your antique.