Shipping artwork can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially when it comes to large or delicate pieces. In this post, we'll cover the best practices for shipping extra large artwork to ensure it arrives safely and in excellent condition. We'll also provide some tips for shipping smaller pieces.
Shipping Extra Large Artwork
When you need to ship extra large artwork, you have a couple of options to choose from. You can use a shipping carrier to transport it flat, or you can remove the canvas from the stretcher and send it to a framer in close proximity to your client. The framer can then re-stretch the canvas and offer delivery and installation services if needed.
One popular option for finding a carrier is Uship, an online marketplace that connects customers who need to ship large or bulky items with a network of shipping companies and independent carriers. To use Uship, you simply enter your shipment details (including the size and weight of the item, the pickup and delivery locations, and any special requirements) and wait for bids from interested carriers. You can review the bids, read reviews and ratings from past customers, and select the carrier that best meets your needs and budget.
Uship can be a great option for shipping extra large artwork because it allows you to compare prices and services from a variety of carriers, rather than relying on a single shipping company. Plus, because the carriers are competing for your business, you may be able to negotiate a better price or find a carrier who is willing to offer additional services (such as white glove delivery or installation) at a competitive rate.
Of course, it's important to do your research and choose a reputable carrier with experience in handling artwork and other fragile items. Uship provides tools and resources to help you vet potential carriers, such as insurance coverage and customer reviews. And as always, be sure to communicate clearly with your carrier about your expectations and any special requirements for your artwork shipment.
Ship to Framer
Help your client find the best framer to re-stretch the painting by obtaining bids from multiple framers in the area. The process of selecting a framer can be daunting for some clients, so it's important to make it as seamless as possible.
Start by getting bids from at least three framers in the vicinity of your client. Inquire about whether they offer delivery and installation services. Once you have the bids, provide them to your client and let them make the final decision, keeping in mind that the cheapest option is not always the best.
After your client has made their choice, it's time to ship the artwork to the framer. Take the canvas off the stretcher, roll it up, and pack it securely. Use a shipping service like UPS to send it via air mail to the framer.
Stay in touch with both the client and framer throughout the process to clear up any questions or issues that may arise. As the liaison for the process, you can ensure that everything runs smoothly and the artwork is properly re-stretched to the client's satisfaction.
When it comes to shipping my own artwork, I prefer to use air freight rather than paying for additional insurance with UPS. In my experience, air freight is a safer and more reliable option for transporting artwork, and it can often be less expensive than purchasing insurance. Of course, every situation is different, so it's important to weigh the risks and benefits and choose the shipping method that makes the most sense for your particular artwork and circumstances.
Shipping Smaller Artwork
When shipping smaller artwork, it's important to properly pack it to prevent damage. Begin by wrapping it in furniture wrap and then wrapping it in paper. Don't forget to include any necessary hanging hardware.
Include a note thanking the collector and offering to assist with any installation or framing questions. This is a good time to offer a discount on their next purchase if you so choose.
Once the art is packed securely in a sturdy box, label it as fragile. Depending on the price, either USPS or UPS can be used to ship the artwork.
Pricing for Shipping
Let your customers know before purchasing if shipping is included in the price of the piece or if you expect an amount from them. Provide a range of possible shipping costs and charge them the exact cost within that range.
Do not profit on shipping, and let your customers know upfront the cost of shipping to avoid any surprises. While you can charge a handling fee for art shipping, be transparent with your customers about any additional costs.
Note: If you use a platform like Shopify, they give you a discount on shipping with UPS and USPS.
Reusing Packing Materials
You can save money on packing materials by reusing those from items that arrive in the mail. If you have storage space, keep brown paper, bubble wrap, and cardboard to use when packing your artwork.
Specialty Packing Materials
Order specialty tapes and stickers to pack your art, which can make your customers excited to receive their artwork. You can order them from companies such as Sticker Mule. Get creative and make your artwork's packaging part of the experience.
Shipping artwork can be stressful, but following these guidelines can help ensure your artwork arrives at its destination safely and in excellent condition. Protect your investment by carefully packing your artwork, choosing a reliable carrier, and being transparent with your customers about shipping costs.
With these expert tips, you can now ship your artwork with confidence and ensure its safe delivery to your clients! Don't let shipping logistics hold you back from sharing your beautiful creations with the world. Start implementing these best practices today and take your art business to new heights!