Hi there, fellow artists! It’s Ralph, long-time artists and Head Curator of Patronart. I’m back with a few tips for shipping artwork. Shipping can be stressful, from packaging your painting to handing the piece over to be shipped. I’ve been shipping my own work for decades, so I understand what perils can be involved. Hopefully these tips help you avoid your own mailing mishaps.
Make sure the paint is dry before you package the work, or give it to a shipping service to package. Any packaging can rub off or scratch wet paint, and we’ve had at least once instance where a patron opened a package and smeared the wet paint themselves.
For those of you who package your painting yourselves, a layer of butcher paper or kraft paper secured with artists tape, followed by bubblewrap, is your best friend. There’s a chance that bubble wrap might adhere to the surface of your painting if you apply it directly to certain types of oils, acrylics, or varnishes. For those of you who let a shipping store pack your art, stay and watch them package the art. I lucked out and found a location that is extra careful about packaging, but I still watch them, just in case.
Whether you package your painting yourself or let the shipping store take care of it, always watch them attach the label. That’s not a typical flub, but it has happened a few times recently. And, while USPS may be cheaper, if they lose your package, it’s just lost. There is no real recourse for investigating a lost package, and they aren’t fond of returning your calls anyway. Patronart has a corporate account with UPS, which means that we can call them up and process claims easily if something goes wrong, we also get a discounted rate, and there’s a tracking number that logs everywhere the package has been, making lost packages easier to find
Lastly, always keep your receipt, and store it somewhere you’ll remember, for example, your car’s glove compartment. Your receipt is proof that you’ve been in the store and spoken to someone that works there. UPS is a great company, but UPS stores are run by franchisees and sometimes you’ll encounter one that won’t entertain an investigation for a lost package.
A lost piece of art means having to refund money to an angry customer who isn’t going to remember either of us in a pleasant light, or having to redo the painting you promised. So it’s important we do all we can to help guarantee safe delivery of your one-of-a-kind work of art to your patron. If you do experience an issue, and you’ve sent your package using a label we’ve provided you, alert us immediately and we’ll initiate an investigation.
Hope this helps!
Head Curator, Patronart.com