Friday, February 04, 2011

POLL: Which service do you trust when you post or ship artwork?

As artists on the Internet, we're probably more aware than most of the perils and practicalities of posting artwork to exhibitions and customers, at home and overseas.

But who do we trust when we post our art?

Which are the firms we prefer to use when posting or shipping art and which are the ones we like to avoid - and why?  

The February Making A Mark Poll is going to try and find out which postal services or courier firms we feel able to use and/or recommend.  The comments on this post will hopefully provide some insight into different people's experiences of posting art.

The poll does not set out out to identify who gives the best service in terms of scope of services offered or which is the cheapest or alternatively a total rip-off.

I'm just trying to identify the service we feel most comfortable using when we want to make sure that artwork gets to its destination unharmed and on time

Which service do you trust when posting/shipping artwork?

Ideally I'd be breaking this poll down into responses for the country of origin and whether or not you're posting within your country or overseas.

However I've already started polls like this in How to pack, post and ship art

So what I propose is a very high level (aka "let's see what happens") poll!  It includes the big courier services and local postal services in the UK and USA plus a local postal service for everybody else

Which service do you trust when you post or ship artwork? The options are:
  • DHL
  • FedEx
  • UPS
  • (US) US Postal Service
  • (UK) Parcelforce
  • (UK) Royal Mail
  • (other countries) local postal service
  • another parcel carrier / courier service
  • a specialist fine art shipping service
As usual the poll will finish at the end of the month (27th February) and the results will be posted on 28th February.  You can find the poll in the side column - in-between "5 recent top posts" and "bloggers who follow this blog"


What's your experience of different services?

Which services have worked for you and which have caused you problems?

Please also feel free to leave your comments and stories of:
  • services which have provided an excellent services and 
  • services which have let you down.  

Note:  This week I received art mailed to me from California as part of our new A Postcard from my Walk project.  

You can see the postcard I received on the blog on Thursday next week.  

Today you can see the very first postcard which reached its destination having travelled from Germany to France.

15 comments:

Tina Mammoser said...

For under 24"x24" I just send Royal Mail. Larger than that and I use HMC Logistics who collect, pack, post and insure. They generally are working with a courier like Fedex or DHL but it can change from shipment to shipment.

Tina Mammoser said...

ps. Not sure why you put UPS just for the US (they ship from the UK to worldwide?)

Julie Douglas said...

Hi Katherine,
I always use Fedex and have always been really pleased with their service. The forms for shipping outside Europe (and the corresponding ones for getting artwork back INTO Europe) are daunting sometimes but the staff have always helped me. Once, I had to take an artwork, packed in its huge ArtBox, to the Fedex depot, and I had the hangover from hell. They were SO helpful, filled in the forms, put them in the box and helped me with the 20 miles of bubble wrap and tape that I was getting all over myself. A few months later I went again, and the staff, who I didn't recognise, were once again, delightful. At the end I thanked them and said that the last time I'd been in, the guys that day had also been lovely. Yes, they said, we remember you... Oh blush.

Julie Douglas said...

Hi Katherine,
I always use Fedex and have always been really pleased with their service. The forms for shipping outside Europe (and the corresponding ones for getting artwork back INTO Europe) are daunting sometimes but the staff have always helped me. Once, I had to take an artwork, packed in its huge ArtBox, to the Fedex depot, and I had the hangover from hell. They were SO helpful, filled in the forms, put them in the box and helped me with the 20 miles of bubble wrap and tape that I was getting all over myself. A few months later I went again, and the staff, who I didn't recognise, were once again, delightful. At the end I thanked them and said that the last time I'd been in, the guys that day had also been lovely. Yes, they said, we remember you... Oh blush.

Steve Kohr Fine Art said...

At present I've only been shipping giclee prints of my work (printed on watercolor paper) in mailing tubes. I ship via the United States Postal Service and haven't had any issues.

Linda Shantz said...

I use Canada Post up to their size restriction (sorry I don't know exactly what it is off hand) and either DHL Express or FedEx Express for larger items, though I don't really like either. I had a very, very poor experience with Navis Pack& Ship. Very disappointing, because it cost me twice what it would have with FedEx or DHL.

B. J. said...

I have used UPS, FedEx. and our postal service and there has been an occasional problem with each.....not often. However, for each non delivery and lost package I have never received the insurance I paid for. The insurance is expensive and doesn't seem to expedite the delivery....the answers I receive are always it is someone else's fault, not the carriers. I have decided to not insure any more since it doesn't seem to matter if it is insured or not.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Good point BJ! I've heard the same from other people.

Tina Mammoser said...

Fedex, UPS and DHL do not insure fine art - it's excluded in their policies. (DHL won't even ship large artwork without paperwork proving value from galleries or an auction house valuation) This is one benefit of using a logistics agent instead, as they provide their own 3rd party insurance.

Kendra said...

When I ship to a client I usually use US postal service because the rates seem less expensive. For exhibits, the agents want UPS or FedX and I find them about the same.

You are all giving some good tips here! Appreciate it.

Debra Collins said...

I'd be interested in finding any info about shipping art for submission to competitions like Mall galleries and BP portrait prize. Some of them need the artwork unpackaged for handing in, I haven't got a clue how to do that, does anybody know where to find any info on this or have they done it?

Olha Pryymak said...

Royal Mail for small stuff and over certain size - FedEx. Lost a package just once last year. Several times Royal Mail packages, exp closer to holidays took weeks longer to reach over the pond though.

renatabarillipainter said...

Hi Katherine,
During my SBA DLDC, I used to send my Assignment By our Italian Mail Service to England. It was terrible because I had my work damaged for 3 times. The most common damage was that a big heavy boxe had crashed onto mine, making deep signs into the surface of both the parcel and the paper drawing. So now I use always MAIL BOXES ETC that is a sort of Office Assistence Service that send by UPS.
The store Manager is very clever : she deal with all problems.
Just once there was difficulty in getting back a parcel from an Exhibition in Italy, but I had to do nothing as she did all.

Nadine said...

I need to figure out how to ship paintings in packages ca 70 x 9 x 90 cm cheaply abroad form the UK. I can't find the info on the Royal Mail website, will they ship that size and for how much?

All the courier services are quoting £50 or more and I cannot afford that, nobody will pay that sort of money for shipping alone. Any help would be appreciated.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Nadine - Did you look at my website Highlighted above) How to pack, post and ship art - Resources for Artists

This is the Parcelforce link you need to assess how much it will cost to send a parcel abroad. http://www.parcelforce.com/price-finder

You need the WEIGHT, height, width and depth and don't forget to allow inches for the packing materials

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