|Fri Sept 7 2012 12:38:24|
What's the Hardest Thing You've Had to Ship?
By: Julia Wilkinson
Packing and shipping..for many, those are the ugly twin stepsisters of selling online. Most of us have gotten a groove down...the usual materials handy when we need them; a basic idea in our heads of what certain items will cost to ship; and a postal scale to be sure.
But have you ever had a real challenge? What's the hardest thing you've ever had to ship?
This may also be the biggest thing. Some years back, David Steiner found a unique way to deal with his ginormous solid cast-aluminum metal tractor toy: going Greyhound. This shipping method for super-big and/or heavy items also occurred to me when I sold one of the most cumbersome items I've ever dealt with: a chandelier with crystals.
But Greyhound has some limitations, as David points out. Among others, the buyer will have to go pick up the item; you'll have to drive to a Greyhound terminal; and it does have size limitations -- "measurements of length, width, and height shall not exceed either: A) 33" x 33" x 48" or B) 24" x 53" x 74". Maximum weight per piece is 100 pounds."
Sometimes just finding a box can be most of the challenge. I recently sold a (very cool) vintage Martin guitar -- close to the same type Bob Dylan played -- for a friend. It sold for a healthy sum to a real aficionado. But then I realized I had to package the durn thing. Where to find a box big enough?
But sometimes there really is such a thing as a free lunch...er, box. The owner of our nearby neighborhood music store took me down into his store's basement where they kept all the guitar shipments, and I got a big cardboard box specifically meant for a guitar, for free. (OK, so it's true that over the years we had spent a fortune renting and buying various musical instruments there for our kids, none of which they still play today, but still...).
So sometimes it pays just to ask.
How about you? What has your biggest packing and/or shipping challenge been, and how did you conquer it? Were there any disastrous mistakes, such as breakage of a very expensive item? Post a comment here!