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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Home Maintenance & Moving > Shipping Art or Antiques

Shipping Art or Antiques Cost


How Much Does Shipping Art or Antiques Cost?

 
low costLow: Less than $20average costMedium: $90-$238high costHigh: Thousands
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Art and antiques are fragile and expensive, so proper transportation is crucial. Shipping prices are based on size and weight plus insurance.

Typical costs:

  • Insurance may be the biggest factor in shipping and ranges from 55 cents - $4 for every $100 of value beyond the first $100. Insurance for a $500 piece could run from $2.20- $16. Insuring a $5,000 work could cost from $26-$196.
  • A $500 work under 8x10 inches and less than one pound may be sent in a Priority Mail package through the US Postal Service for $4.60, plus insurance at $4.60 plus 90 cents per $100 of value after the first $300. Mesart.com[1] recommends using Signature Confirmation for around $2.00.
  • A 2x3-foot oil painting valued at $5,000 can cost from $90-$238 to transport and insure from Los Angeles to New York City. The lower price comes from a local UPS Store, the top price through a professional art shipper with higher insurance rates.
  • A French side table valued at $10,000 and weighing 50 pounds that is prepared for transit and insured by specialty shipping companies can cost $450-$884 to send from Los Angeles to New York City. The widespread price shows the difference of one art shipper charging $1.25 per $100 for insurance versus another priced at $4 per $100.
  • Along with the cost of insurance, large or heavy works may require special handling. FedEx Custom Critical offers coast-to-coast transport from $6,500-$10,500 (not including insurance charges) in a variety of vehicles from cargo vans to tractor-trailers. Galleries, collectors, artists and museums have spent $12,000-$20,000 or more to transport priceless pieces.
Related articles: Local Mover, Long Distance Mover, Piano Mover, Auto Transport

What should be included:
  • Art and antiques should be specially crated before shipping. Wood crating prices depend on the size and type of piece. Siggraph.org gives a step-by-step guide to building a shipping crate[2] . A ready-made artwork shipping case[3] designed to help protect a painting during shipment costs about $147-$257 depending on size.
  • Tip: The New York Foundation for the Arts offers an online guide to shipping artwork[4] from packing materials to common shipping requirements.
Shopping for shipping art or antiques:
  • The US Postal Service[5] ships up to 108 total inches (height/width/length) and/or 70 pounds.
  • UPS[6] ships up to 130 inches and a 150-pound weight limit.
  • Federal Express[7] regular service limits items to 10-feet in length, 165-inch girth and/or 150 pounds.
  • DHL[8] has no size limitations.
  • For heavy pieces, uship.com is a shipping marketplace[9] where owners list their items which are then bid on by shippers. Each shipper carries different maximum insurance limits. Specialty art and antique shippers include Fine Art Shipping in Los Angeles and Navis Pack and Ship[10] centers. The Better Business Bureau[11] offers company background checks.
  • Tip: Ask whether the company can supply verifiable references, whether they have secured facilities for storage and transit and whether they specialize in packing and transporting art.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.mesart.com/art/FAQ:Shipping
  2.  www.siggraph.org/s2006/main.php?f=cfp&p=teapot&s=shipping
  3.  www.portfolios-and-art-cases.com/shipping-cases.html
  4.  www.nyfa.org/archive_detail_q.asp?qid=93&fid=6&year=1999&s=Fall
  5.  /www.usps.com/
  6.  www.theupsstore.com/products-services/Pages/index.aspx
  7.  www.fedex.com/
  8.  www.dhl.com/en.html
  9.  www.uship.com
  10.  www.gonavis.com/
  11.  search.bbb.org
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