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Another big shipment to the USA

One of my regular trade customers from the USA recently confirmed safe delivery of another big shipment. It was for 57 framed leaded lights and 24 frameless. I will always give a discount if someone is buying in this sort of quantity. On this occasion the treasure was sent in three crates. Here I will explain how such a shipment is put together. First I have to work out the size of the crate(s) before I can obtain a price from the manufacturer and the cost of carriage from the shipping company.

Whether the customer has selected individual items or a set from my trade category, I will provide a fully itemised packing list. Not only does this assist me and the buyer but it can be used should customs take an interest or in the unlikely event there is an insurance claim. There is a column for “condition” so that there can be no misunderstanding, given that the item listing on my website may be deleted after purchase.

All that involves a fair bit of time before I physically start the packaging process. Once the crates arrive I will pad with 50mm thick polysterene all round.

To ensure a tight fit I wait for the crates to arrive so I can take accurate measurements.

The great thing about buying toplights is that they are roughly the same size, which helps for streamlining the packaging. As they are already framed there is already some protection and so they don’t need padding in addition to the lining of the crate.

Crate 3. Note every frame is coded for ease of identification.

If you are still reading, here comes the really interesting bit! Despite all my planning it usually happens that there will be some empty space. I then offer to sell more to the customer. I will already have discounted for the original selection, I don’t offer a discount on any additional items but do not charge anything extra for the shipping. It will typically be small frameless pieces as these fit into the various nooks and crannies between the framed pieces.

Crate 2. The black box on top contained 15 small suncatchers.

Everything is double-checked. First when it is retrieved from storage and then when put in the crate.

Just in case the external address labels become detached there is another inside.

Crate 1

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1 thought on “Another big shipment to the USA

  1. Enjoyed your photos & narrative. You should teach a class to people who sell antiques online. Too many assume “if it fits, it ships”. I can’t begin to count how many fragile items I’ve received that weren’t packed to survive a trip across town, much less hundreds of miles. Some sellers apparently think labeling a package “FRAGILE” means it’ll get white glove treatment. It’s best to pack as if a Steinway will be loaded on top. 😉

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