Thursday, April 24, 2014

Shipping Troubles

I thought I would share this with you all, it might be useful for some of us who send their artworks overseas.

Now, so far I have used sturdy cardboard mailers to ship my paintings to US and other international destinations and I thought it was good enough. I would put my paintings in a polypropylene bag and seal them to prevent moisture.I would also add a backing board or foam board to make the package sturdier.
And that was all.
Two days ago I received a mail from a client who had been waiting patiently for her two paintings to arrive at her US residence.The package was delayed by more than two weeks and we both were worried.
Finally it did arrive but it was damaged-the mailer was soaked at some point and then crushed in the process.The paintings were not wet but creased badly and thus,unusable.
Since these were originals,we both were devastated.I had to apologize as my packaging was not good enough; and offered her a  return on her money--but that is not the point here.
The point is how to prevent such thing to happen again.

After spending an entire day searching for answers, I came upon some.

From now I will be using 2 mm MDF panels (they are quite sturdy) to tape my painting on.That goes into a clear polypropylene bag and then all of this gets wrapped in a bubble sheet and taped shut to create a secure package.Lastly I will put this package in a cardboard mailer.
I feel this would be good enough for UK. However I will be putting this all in an additional polythene envelop for my international clients; so that even if the postal service guys dip it in water it will be safe!
Sound like an overkill...but once bitten twice shy!


  1. Hi Arti...So far I have been lucky and received overseas art without a hitch or without damage. I also have had purchased art never arrive (and I think the artist I purchased from doesn't believe that I didn't receive it to this day). I did receive a damaged package from within the U. S. but fortunately the art itself was not damaged.

    One artist shipped to me from Canada a couple of times and she always shipped with her art on Masonite. Always arrived in pristine condition.

    When I've shipped art, I've always made sure it was encased in plastic so that if the outer package did get wet, the art was safe. I've only shipped a couple of pieces though and never heard back from the recipient that it arrived damaged.

    Hopefully, this was a fluke and will not happen often!

    1. I am paranoid now as just a week ago a client from Germany said that her package got damaged when the postal guy stuffed it in her letter box!Thankfully the painting was still intact.In any case, I am not going to take anymore chances as I value my clients very much.I have updated my post regarding the intended method now :) It will be more material, heavier package(may be costlier,too) and a foolproof method :)

    2. BTW I am amazed that you did not receive an artwork that you paid for- and the artist did not believe you! That is not fair at all.
      This is why I send all my art using a traceable service.

  2. That's is just awful Arti!! i am so sorry that your work was so damaged. i've shipped overseas a few times and this last time we had to track the painting down and found that it was stuck in customs for 2 months. unfortunately now they have permission to tear through anything. it's a real concern. best of luck with future shipments, it sounds good and secure to me.

    1. Yes Suzanne, we put in a lot of love in our work and nothing hurts more than having them smashed! I am not letting that happen again.I needed to be worried as most of my paintings go to the US.