Jun 14, 2011

It's Never Too Big to Ship

Don't you love estate sales? You're wandering from room to room, grabbing up a few treasures along the way. Then boom! You see it. A 1928 wood panelled commercial refrigerator, still in use. You drool over the gleaming steel hardware, the enamel lined interior and the inset glass doors. You dream of the mansion this should be in and contemplate the $$ value. Then you shudder.....ship THIS? No way!! And away you walk, leaving thousands of dollars behind you. 

A reproduction built by Iceboxes.com

This has happened to every online seller I know at one point or another. In all of our minds there is THAT item that we won't even deal with because of the shipping risk. But I'm here to say don't be intimidated by big. Big can be good. Very good.

1960's Kidney Shaped Table by judygovintage

There are several shippers that will help you and if you've got a hot enough item, your buyer will be willing to pay. A low cost option that I adore is Greyhound. Yes, the bus company. According to their website (which is very easy to use), package dimensions need to be within 30 inches x 47 inches x 82 inches. The weight limit is 100 pounds. These size limits are very generous and allow for a huge range of items. (My Danish modern teak sideboard, 73 inches long shipped this way!) 

Rustic fruit dolly table from honeystreasures




A high end option is Craters & Freighters. They will come to your home or place of business, pick up the item, build a crate for it and ship it anywhere. I have used them for over 2 dozen items and been very pleased. The most recent was our family heirloom 6' high clock, built by Great Great Grandpa. It arrived in fabulous condition, wrapped, padded & in a custom crate.


South Texas long horns from ohmermaidme
 If your item is too big for Greyhound and not worth the cost of Craters & Freighters, consider shipping it via truck. This means you'll be packaging it up yourself. The easiest way to ship is via "less than load". This means you don't require an entire truck, just a portion of it. It's important to find out if your customer can pick their item up at the local freight terminal, since delivering to a residence really hikes up the bill. To find trucking companies that offer this, type "LTL shipper" into Google. This will bring up a whole range of companies that cater to that need. 

Tiffany protege window by BeautyInfusion

While some of these options may require some major elbow grease, the items involved are generally worth it. Nothing kills a potential sale faster than by saying shipping isn't even an option. By taking a little time to educate yourself about these options now, you'll be prepared when you run across that Have-To-Have-It find this Summer. A much better option that trying to make an uninformed choice on the spot. Go Big!  


26 comments:

Delia said...

Great post! I've had some chairs sitting around that I could not even imagine shipping, but you've given me hope. My heaviest/biggest item I've ever shipped has been a 25 lb. typewriter, and man was I worried about it until it got there.
Thanks for the resources!

mbh said...

someone gave me a huge rattan asian suitcase to sell....just putting it off because of the size, but now I have no excuse!

Megan said...

This is so so helpful! I've shipped chairs and heavy typewriters, but never larger furniture. I'm glad to know there are options out there!

Vicki said...

Great information for shipping large pieces - thanks. I just shipped five Danish modern chairs using Greyhound. It went smoothly and is a fairly economical shipping option. Thanks for your shipping advice and information.

cherrylippedroses said...

...very informative... I love learning something new about an aspect of this business, and this was an excellent piece...

cherrylippedroses

Patricia at TheOldBarnDoor said...

Wow this is loaded with very helpful information. Makes me look at a few things I have a bit differently now. Thank you so much for providing inspiration and direction

ImSoVintage said...

Thanks, Heidi. I have definitely passed up some great buys because of this. Now if I could just find some strong man to carry them home for me 8-)

wonderdiva said...

This was uber-helpful!!! And now you've inspired me to list a couple of mid-century metal cabinets that I haven't been able to sell locally. I know there's hipsters out there with midcentury homes who would love to have them, so I'll give it a whirl!

Cheeky Chic Vintage said...

Well-timed post! have a Mid Century table I've been waiting to list for this very reason! Thank you for the info!
Donna
CheekyChicVintage

France Geek said...

Yay! Terrific post, so helpful. Will be coming back to it when the need arises. Thanks!

Mona at Cabin and Camp said...

I too have things I would love to list but think they're too big. I live in the northern boonies so it's not as easy as all that, but after reading this, I'm sure there's a way. Our son sent us a 42" TV via a company that I never knew about, so I know they can deliver here. That means I should be able to ship from here, too!

Thanks for this. Very helpful.

Mona (Deer Path Vintage)

Deer Path Vintage said...

Oops, sorry. Wrong email addy. This is me!

ArtfulVintage said...

Great information! I get stressed out just thinking about shipping large items. You've made it seem much less intimidating. Thanks!

Nachokitty said...

Thanks everyone! Just to clarify: for Greyhound you have to pack it and drop it off yourself. Your buyer also has to pick it up from the Greyhound terminal. That's the reason it's so well priced.

nora - treasurehuntvintage said...

Informative as always. Thanks, Heidi!

Lisa said...

Thank you for featuring us here! ;)

Amy Mortensen said...

Awesome info! Thanks so much, this totally makes me rethink a few things.

Judy said...

Oh to take the leap! I SO want to be able to ship larger items! Thanks for all the info- I'm going to check lsl right away! And thank you for the feature!

Jenny said...

This is great information Heidi. I'm always so curious about folks who have large things listed on Etsy. My husband's gonna kill me!! Kidding. :)

cindy-the vintage hat shop said...

Thanks for the info. I had no idea these options were available. Now there's no excuse..........!

Callooh Callay said...

Great info, Heidi--keep 'em coming!

Ashley said...

What a great post! I never would have considered buying large furniture before, but now I just might.

Kenton said...

I've used Greyhound before, and UPS is actually pretty cost effective. The great thing about shipping big, is buyers expect to pay for it, and I've not yet had an issue with damage during shipping large items, so I've always enjoyed it. Time to start thinking of those bigger pieces again! :)

kits said...

thanks for the info.....good to know!

The Chickens' Auntie said...

Your post has got me thinking of all the 'might have beens' (all the great, BIG things I, like you, have walked away from). This is very valuable information -- I never would have thought of Greyhound as a shipper. Thanks!

Sabine / Kultur* Vintage said...

Fantastic post, thank you for the info! : )