For some time now I have wanted to pack and ship some of my artwork to see how the process goes. The only thing holding me back from doing so was that I haven’t officially opened my Etsy shop and I haven’t sold anything, at least that needed shipping. I’ve only sold artwork at the fair. So I wasn’t in any hurry to ship my art.
Anyways, the past few weeks have been very revealing to me, as far as my career goes and just life in general. I knew that I would have to do some test shipments before I actually opened my shop and so it was kind of a big deal. If I knew something shipped securely I would feel more confident to open my shop. So do you see how this whole shipping deal was holding me back or rather I was holding myself back with procrastination. So this past week, I mailed some artwork! Check and almost check!
It sounds easy to say but with two small children, a husband and working overnights, what should have been a seemingly small task to complete turned into….something much more time consuming and I’m so glad I did some test shipping.
What I thought would take about 30 minutes turned into days of research, prepping and actually packaging. The second to last step for me was mailing it at the post and this was by far the easiest! Now I have to wait and see how durable and hopefully undamaged my art package will be. My process went like this. (BTW below are my notes, not advice, because my package hasn’t been delivered securely yet. Take it more as a journal entry if you want but please not as advice. Haven’t shipped enough to give any advice.)
My process was like this….
Research: I had no idea what I was doing. I turned to Etsy shipping art forums, Google, YouTube and library books.
For me the Etsy forum was the most helpful, they got right to the point. I was able to get average shipping prices which was about $18-$35 dollars for US domestic shipping. Also they shared tips with how to ship and creating your own boxes. Which is the method I went with as you will see later.
Prepping: I had to get a box large enough for a 16 x 20 canvas, bubble wrap, tape, scissors, box cutters, additional pieces of cardboard, markers and whatever else I thought I would need, labels, ribbons and literally a bow. I thought the bow looked cute but I didn’t even use it. During my research on the Etsy forum other artists talked about making their own boxes using recycled boxes and wrapping them really well. Basically making a sandwich of the canvas using recycled boxes. I went with this method because I had a bunch of previously used amazon boxes that could be recycled and that made me feel good. So I went with it.
Packaging: This was an interesting process for me because I wanted the packaging to look nice but at the same time I wanted my art to arrive undamaged. After wrapping and rewrapping I finally found something I think would ship safely and it looked ok for the first time.
Like I mentioned before the actual going to the UPS store was by far the easiest and quickest part of the process. (Possibly because I only had one shipment.) Also I had to return a skirt at UPS so I choose to send my package via UPS. I have no preference which mailing service I feel that I will eventually use all services at one point or another.
I’m not going to speak about the delivery because it hasn’t happened yet. I’m anxiously awaiting its arrival to my grandmother and I hope it’s undamaged. However, if not, I will try, try again.
If you are wondering the cost to mail my package it was $29 and the package weighed 0.44lb. During my online research the average cost was $18-$35 so I was within range. I do feel that once I get more experience with weight and shipping materials the cost will fluctuate.
I’ll will post about the arrival soon. Have a wonderful day!