Shipping large prints

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by BetterSense, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I need to ship an 11x14 mounted on a 16x20 board. I might wish to ship a 16x20 frame with it if it doesn't increase the costs of shipping it drastically.

    I was going to just take it, sandwiched in cardboard, into the FedexKinkos store and let them box it and ship it, but my customer lives in rural WY and has a PO box. This leaves USPS, which I have sworn off a long time ago, and last I heard they would not ship frames with glass in them.

    Anyway, how do you ship mounted/matted or framed photographs?
     
  2. Whatadame

    Whatadame Member

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    I use the USPS but lie about the contents :wink:
     
  3. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Make an envelope from a couple of pieces of foamcore, lightweight and stiff.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I really don't like shipping framed prints. If the glass breaks, it often ruins the print. The proper way to do it is in a wooden shipping crate. A frame shop or lumberyard may be able to build one for you.

    An unframed print mounted to 16x20" isn't so difficult. The print goes in an archival plastic sleeve. The sleeve is taped to an oversized sheet of corrugated cardboard with another sheet of corrugated cardboard behind it and two on top, and then ideally the whole thing goes in a corrugated shipping box, but I've sent prints like this with the four sheets of cardboard sealed with tape. You might look at boxes like these, which are double walled, so you don't need as many corrugated sheets--

    http://www.lightimpressionsdirect.com/item.action?itemGroupId=448

    You might look at the West Coast Imaging website to see how they ship prints. They have it down to a science.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2009
  5. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    My wife is an artist and in establishing her career, she entered a lot of competitions (won a couple) and this meant we were shipping paintings and drawings all over the place for a few years there. There is only one way to ship framed art work if you want it to survive and that's (as David said) properly crated. Yes, shipping a piece in a frame will substantially increase the cost. Shipping a mounted print is easier and letting Kinko's or the like pack it is a viable alternative - although that would not necessarily be cheap, either.

    If you're sending this to a place where USPS is the only alternative, but you don't wish to use the USPS, I don't know what else we can tell you.
     
  6. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    I have shipped prints this size in Nielson frames but with plexiglass (not glass). I cover the plexi with some type of paper to prevent scratches, cover the corner of the frames with cardboard and leave it to UPS. Depending on the circumstances, I purchase insurance as well. If you have the proper packing materials, you could pack the box yourself and insure it via the regular post office and hope for the best. Use plexiglass, not glass.
     
  7. Dave Martiny

    Dave Martiny Member

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    I've shipped 4 framed and glazed 12x16 prints at a time, all the way across the country using FedEx. I researched the issue by going to or calling stores that sell packing material and do custom packing and crating. The consensus was that I needed to use a box within a box. I packed all 4 framed prints in a box, stacked with layers of 1/2" styrofoam ($12-15 for a 4x8 sheet at Home Depot)between and around them. The inner box was maybe 3" larger in every direction (ie, 6" total in each dimension) than the cube of stacked prints. Pad generously around top, bottom and sides, with peanuts, airbags, or the cheapest, crumpled newspaper. Then, place this box into another bigger box, again 3"-4" of space all around from the inner box, and pad the space in between the boxes with crumpled newspaper. The outer box absorbs any shipping abuse from being transmitted to the inner box with your prints. As I recall, FedEx shipped it all for about $40-$45. When I checked into a custom made crate, I believe they wanted something like $150. All 4 of these prints arrived safe and sound.

    Regards,

    Dave
     
  8. John Jarosz

    John Jarosz Member

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    I mount my 8x20 prints on 12x24 board. I use 1/4" thick masonite sheets with masonite spacers on the perimeter to form a 1/4" cavity for the prints and packing. The print go inside poly bags in case the package gets wet. No glass. I use USPS because they are cheaper. The total thickness of the shipment is 3/4". I can make up a container like this in 15 minutes on the table saw and assemble the whole thing with gaffer tape.

    Once a framed print gets larger than 11x14 (framed) I think the possibility of damage is too great to ship. Either let the recipient frame them when they receive it, or ship it to a framer who can do the job. Then the recipient can pick it up at the framer's or ask the framer deliver it (locally). David is right, if the glass breaks, the print will almost certainly be damaged.

    Of course, large framed prints are shipped all the time. But once they get that large, the costs to ship become excessive (IMO). My style is to keep things simple and cheap.

    John
     
  9. eddym

    eddym Member

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    Ditto to that advice.
     
  10. thefizz

    thefizz Subscriber

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    I have posted mounted prints in the past by sandwitching between two pieces of thin hardboard or plywood (4 or 5mm thick) and place inside a large padded envelope or wrap in cardboard. While the hardboard/plywood does add a bit of weight to the package and therefor added cost, it has always worked perfectly and provided me with peace of mind.

    I have not sent out framed prints but would do the same as above if I was sending any.

    Peter