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selling & shipping tiles...postal info,

updated fri 3 sep 04


Angela Davis on thu 2 sep 04

As a 31 year retired Postmaster I feel somewhat qualified to
give my opinion on package shipping.

Tiles are heavy and fragile, which means they can damage each other
if not package correctly. How many you put in a parcel is up to you
but you need to make sure each is protected individuly. The box inside a
with appropriate cushioning is best. Just be sure the tiles cannot possible
touch each other or the outside of the package. You could place a piece of
between 2 or more tiles and package them as one unit, if there is relief on
your tile
put them back to back with the cardboard between and wrap them as one.
The size and design of your tiles will determine the best method.

Consider that your package will be traveling with thousands of other
that may be much heavier than yours so choose
a sturdy carton.

You might want to go self insured if your item is easily reproduced and you
mail enough
for it to actually be a savings. For example, you mail 20 parcels and
insure each for $50
(actual value) for a cost of $26 for the insurance. If you package properly
you should
have no breakage but a parcel may become lost or be involved in some
accident this means the
Postal Service will pay you the insurance amount plus the postage for that
If you were self insured you would have the $26 you didn't spend on
as a fund to replace the damaged item. You can see self insured might make
if you mail many parcels of low cost , easily replaced items.

If you are mailing one of a kind , difficult to recreate art pieces or just
a few
packages by all means insure them, but remember
if you package correctly you shouldn't encounter breakage. Proper packaging
is often
misunderstood especially of delicate items, your Post Office will have
information if you have
questions. Also if anyone is experiencing breakage of their shipments take
your items in and
get some information on what the problem might be.

When an item is damaged in handling the item, carton and packaging materials
must be presented
to the Post Office. If protection was not sufficient the claim can be

If you do go self insured I would recommend some form of Delivery
Confirmation which will help
you track your package. There are electronic options available online that
range from
free to just a few cents. I always recommended this option to my Ebay
mailers who wanted
to go self insured, it stopped a lot of problems they had from buyers who
said they did not
receive their package just to get a refund or another item free.

The USPS offers free Delivey Confirmation on your Priority Mail packages at
their website, they also
have many atractive options for the small business mailer, online postage,
free packaging and labels
for example. Go to and check out the options.

During my career I found the majority of insurance claims came from items
that were
damaged because of improper packaging, the second highest problem were
labels that were
so poorly affixed the package could hardly have made it out of town.
Tape over your labels, don't use
scotch tape but wide package tape, use a waterproof pen if printing by hand,
and include your shipping information on the inside of the package.
If everyone did this the huge warehouses with mountains of undeliverable
parcels could be eliminated.

And of course compare rates with other shippers, sometimes they have better
prices and we all like to save money.

Angela Davis

I spent a lot of time trying to educate my mailers on
how to help us get their package there safely and have only been retired a
year ,
so excuse me if I sound like I have a cause.
Kinda hard to stop thinking "Postal" sometimes. But it was a nice small
diversion to keep
me from thinking too much about "Frances".

----- Original Message -----
From: "Darlene Fletcher"
Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2004 12:13 AM
Subject: selling & shipping tiles

> Hi Clayarters,
> I am hoping to touch base with anyone out there who has had experience in
> shipping tile orders. So far we have just been selling our tiles locally,
> but we are ready to expand our horizons. Immediate questions that spring
> mind are as follows:
> - packaging: how many tiles per box seems reasonable and what packing
> materials do you use?
> - insurance: is this a must?
> - breakage: how big of a concern is this?
> Any other general tips or good/bad stories would be most appreciated!
> Thank you,
> Darlene Fletcher
> (Victoria, BC)