Finding Fine Art What company to use to ship LARGE PAINTINGS?

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Original Post

Hi, I have a 48"x60"x1.5" painting that because of it's size it costs too much to ship via FedEx (over $700) and cannot ship via USPS due to it's size.

I've seen many paintings listed here on Etsy with the same size and the shipping charges are as low as $50? Some $65? How can this be?

I would really appreciate your feedback on the matter.

Thanks in advance,

Posted at 11:16am Apr 5, 2011 EDT


Jashme says

I'm going to give this a bump, as it is a great question that I would also like to know the answer to.

Posted at 7:57pm Apr 10, 2011 EDT

I always use UPS in general. They have a better reputation with artists and getting the work unharmed and their insurance policies etc. Just my personal choice.

Posted at 10:48pm Apr 16, 2011 EDT

ArtdeJoie says

I use UPS for larger works, although they are indeed expensive. Most likely, people charging only $65 or so are taking a loss.

Posted at 3:06pm Apr 17, 2011 EDT

I have never used UPS and I've shipped paintings larger than 53". USPS has shipped all my work for the past 2.5 years. Much better pricing than anyone else - I always get full insurance & delivery confirmation for the packages.

I haven't had any problems at all and have been fairly busy up until recently - I've spent a couple of months on a large commission.

Posted at 8:08am Apr 18, 2011 EDT

I agree. I see all these large pieces shipping for $30. How in the world can they do it and make any money. Furious how much did they charge to ship your 53" painting? Did you crate it or have them pack it?

Posted at 10:01pm Apr 19, 2011 EDT

devikasart says

I have shipped large pieces UPS, I think the
people who charge $30 for large paintings may
be padding the price of their paintings a bit to cover their costs..

Posted at 10:22pm Apr 19, 2011 EDT

Brooke - the 53"x20" painting probably ended up being 56"x23" with padding and since it was only going from outside Philly to NYC it was $43 inc. insurance.
I pack all my own work in silicone paper, bubble wrap foamcore and then have cardboard boxes that I cut down (from Talas, RoyalMailer & Uline). I didn't include those costs in this rate, that would add about $10 or more.

However, on the same size painting going to LA or a longer distance costs would be much more. So figure that into costs for larger paintings - $30 is very cheap, even for USPS. People know that high shipping costs deter some customers, so I expect that's why they'd rather add to the price point instead.

Posted at 12:10pm Apr 20, 2011 EDT

$700 to ship via FedEx is crazy! I'm so surprised - I've shipped extra large paintings through FedEx (the last one was to Australia) and it was never more than say $130 or so - and that last one included them using their own packaging. I wonder why that estimate was so much? Did you use a wood crate or did you package with cardboard?

I actually just got back from the PO and asked my buddy there about the size restrictions. International size restrictions vary from country to country, but shipping from within the US to anywhere in the US, he said the largest you can go is 130" combined length & girth.

Farias I hope you'll post again so we can find out what made that quote so high. The only thing I can think of is that it was packaged in some kind of wooden crate. Or maybe it was framed with glass? Either way, 700 seems extremely high to me.

Posted at 4:55pm Apr 20, 2011 EDT

I've had estimates from professional shippers on my larger works that ranged from about $700 to about $1100 to go from PA to NC and Australia, respectively. Each painting was 60"x70", 50"x60".

That shipper was based outside Philly and used corrugated cardbd packing and probably would've done a great job. The company had a deal w/FedEx, so their rates included packing, insurance + shipping costs. But still, a large painting is costly to ship.

Jessica's right, USPS will only ship so large. You might also try googling artist shippers -- NY galleries & artists have to ship work all the time for exhibits.
I was going to use these guys until my potential buyers backed out of the deal - because of the shipping costs that I certainly couldn't absorb.

Posted at 8:02pm Apr 20, 2011 EDT

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