The Breyer SpotLight: Your Horse Model Market Resource
In this issue
- What's new and interesting
- Packaging and Shipping Breyer Models
What's new and interesting?
We recently expanded and updated our mustang pages, including new pictures of vintage models:
Breyer Mustang Horse Models
Packaging and Shipping of Breyer Models
How often have you as a Collector heard horror stories of how a wonderful Vintage Breyer Model has been carelessly shipped? Maybe you have had the experience yourself. Or maybe you are just starting your Collection and are not sure what to look for. Or are you starting to sell models and no idea where to start when it comes to properly packaging and shipping the Models you sell.
When you follow a few basic tips, your Models will most always be received in perfect condition. Of course you can't rule out the unfortunate haphazards of all shipping companies. After working as a Postmaster Relief for over twelve years, I've seen my share. However, for the most part, these will work wonderfully.
Start with a general rule of thumb: For local shipping, that within your own country make sure there is a minimum of 2-3 inches of space between the Model and EACH side of the box it is packaged in.
For shipping outside of your own country, use a 4-6 inch rule. The reason is the distance of travel, type of travel as well as excessive rough handling. The more time the box is tossed, kicked, thrown, juggled across a giant room, the more risk there is of serious impact. And your risk of damage increases with each mile traveled.
Next, it is best to start with soft tissue that goes directly against the model. I use the plain white tissue that is available everywhere and is least expensive. This is very important when using tissue: Make sure the smooth side is against the Model. When you look very closely you will see that one side of the tissue is smooth, the other side is a bit rough. Only use the smooth side against the model so that the models surface is not damaged.
This is a necessary step before using bubble wrap. Bubble wrap by itself directly against the model can leave circles in the finish should the temperatures become warm enough. Therefore, smooth side of the tissue first, then plenty of bubble wrap.
The medium size bubble wrap that is twelve to eighteen inches wide I have found works the best. You can find rolls of this for sale very cheap on eBay.
I would wrap the model several times both directions, tape the edges and then feel for any points or parts of the model that may not be protected. Every now and then there may be a few, such as a tip of a tail, feet or ear tips. Double up a piece or two more of the bubble wrap and tape it on.
This is going to be the majority of protection for your model when you box it.
When you place the mummified model into the box, make sure and check to see if there is any open space in any direction. Should there be, these area's need to be filled with something; and those wonderful little Styrofoam peanuts work fantastic. They fit into small areas and are light weight so that you are not paying for shipping newspaper around the world or across the country.
The third “rule of thumb”; when you think you are all done packaging and ready to ship your model, first close the top and hold it shut with your hand. Then pick it up and shake it. Do you hear anything moving inside?? If you do, then you need to add more peanuts to the box.
Many people have used newspaper for stuffing, and I admit, I have done the same when in a pinch. However, newspaper does not protect the contents of the package as it will settle and be flattened by the contents of the package.
Add to this the fact that newspaper weighs a great deal more and you end up paying more for shipping cost as a result.
I have also seen the shipping pillows used for packaging models. These may work for a short distance, however, for longer travel they are not recommended as they can break or leak and your packaging is gone.
Then your customer's model is at risk of damage, and you are at risk of losing a valuable customer you worked hard to obtain.
Saving money on shipping:
Click and Ship on line is wonderful and very easy to use. The price of shipping a package is reduced when you do all of it online. Just make sure you purchase a scale that is approved by the Postal Service. These usually cost no more than $5-$10 at the most. Make sure you get one that is digital as it is more accurate. Also, whatever the scale states for weight, be on the safe side and add an ounce or two just to be sure.
You can also save your time and your gas by having the mail carrier pick a priority package you are shipping out from your home. For those of you who live in the country, the carrier can go up to a half a mile from the point of drop off of your mail. This applies to those whose mailbox is located down the road from your home.
There are some programs out there that offer stamps and shipping labels and such. Don't bother with them. They will end up costing you more than they are worth. Simply print your labels through PayPal or go directly to the USPS or UPS website and set up an account. They will require credit card information in order to purchase any shipping labels; however, they are safe sites that are very useful.
Because of the elevated risk of damage to a package the longer it is in transit, the less time it spends there the better. So what I am saying is, looking at the cost comparison between priority shipping and parcel post, it is better to go with priority. Faster shipping time, lower risk, and happy customer.
Many Sellers make the statement that Insurance is recommended or required. And while I agree wholeheartedly that insurance of a model is a must, I would suggest that you simply add the cost of the insurance to the shipping total and state that it is included in the shipping. This way there are no mistakes or mishaps.
When you use UPS for shipping, insurance up to $100 is included for free. Depending on where you ship from, whether it is an actual UPS shipping store, or you go through an agent, you may have some hassle getting reimbursed for a damaged item. Check with you location to be sure before you send an item out.
You do not need any fancy labels to print a shipping label from your computer. Although it certainly adds a professional appearance, you can simply use plain paper. Just make sure that all area's, except for the barcode, are covered with clear tape.
Also, a printed label looks better than a hand written one. And always make sure you have your return address on the package.
When I ship something via Postal Priority Mail, I make sure to use as many of their free supplies that I need.
Some additional thoughts on insurance:
I have heard someone say that the insurance coverage was for the Seller, not the Buyer. And when you think about it now, it has come to that point. The reason has become such due to the policies that eBay has put into place. Should you have an unhappy customer, or one that chooses to be a little less than honest, you will more than likely have the funds withdrawn from your account.
When you cover that packages with insurance, you should be able to get your money returned. However, keep in mind that both post offices must be willing to work together. You must have your copy of the insurance number that was issued for the damaged package. I would also highly recommend paying for the signature required option. This way you will know one way or the other if the model was received.
Until next time, Keep Imagining!
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