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fine art shippingCongratulations, you’ve sold an amazing, framed piece of art! Now that you’ve safely secured payment from the buyer through an online escrow services like PaySAFE, how can you ensure that all of the time and effort you put into your creation isn’t damaged or ruined during shipping? If you pay attention to the tips below, you can ensure that your talent isn’t obliterated due to careless of accidental shipping mishaps.
Remove the Glass
If the framed piece you created is displayed behind glass, the first thing that you’ll want to do is remove the glass from the frame. While it’s definitely not required by any shipping companies, removing the glass and packing it separately within the overall package can help protect the canvas should the glass be cracked or broken during shipping. Separately packaging the glass can also free the glass from the rigidity of the frame itself, which can help to keep the pane intact.
Styrofoam is Your Friend
One of the best packaging materials you can use to protect a framed piece is styrofoam. You can purchase specially cut styrofoam from art stores, but one of the best and cheapest styrofoam materials you can find is insulation foam from your local hardware or home goods store. Most locations will have insulation foam in 2’x4′ panels that cost in the neighborhood of $10. Depending on the size of the piece you’re shipping, you can sometimes get several packagings out of one or two panels of insulation.
Reuse Cardboard
Saving other cardboard shipping containers can be a great way to encase your styrofoam covered canvas. Breaking down a large, cardboard box will allow you to easily wrap your framed piece. If you happen to be shipping a larger-than-normal piece of art, places like FedEx or UPS will often have oversized cardboard packaging available if you don’t happen to have enough at home or in your workshop.
Insure Your Shipment
Know how much your chosen shipper will insure your package for. There are limits for every shipping company as to how much they will insure your package for, but we’ve seen examples of UPS covering fine art at values of up to $50,000 whereas FedEx will only cover a value of $1,000 or less. Because these regulations change frequently, it’s always smart to check with your chosen shipping company each time you drop off a package. There’s no worse surprise than to find that not only was your package destroyed, but that the insured limit is significantly lower than the value of the item.
Every piece of fine art is different. If you happen to be shipping an exceptionally valuable framed piece, or something that cannot easily be fit into common shipping containers, consider a third party shipper like or consult with your chosen shipper for additional recommendations.
For more tips on buying and selling fine art, see our posts on how to commission artwork, and how you can help protect yourself against fine art fraud.

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