Collecting, selling, and trading movie posters is an enjoyable activity for many film fanatics all over the world. Like many collectors of valuable items, shipping them requires paying careful attention to the fragility and value of the item itself.
Because posters are generally composed of thin material that can be easily bent or torn, it’s essential that you are mailing them properly.
In fact, if you plan on sending a hyper-expensive and highly collectible poster, then I would suggest hiring a professional company to do the packaging for you. But if you want a basic rundown on how I ship posters and collectible art screen prints, then this article will help you out.
Roll the Poster Up Inside a Tube
When you sell or gift a valuable movie poster to someone, it would be frustrating to both parties to learn that the recipient has been given a damaged item due to improper packaging before shipping.
One of the best ways to avoid unwanted creasing or crumpling of the poster is to roll it up inside a high-quality shipping tube that will not be easily crushed during transit.
In order to ensure the movie poster remains in good condition, lay it on top of a piece of craft paper that is slightly larger than the size of the poster before rolling.
Then, roll up the craft paper and the poster as one so that the art on the front of the poster is protected from rubbing against each other.
One of the most important things to remember when rolling up the poster is to not secure it with a rubber band. Keeping the poster rolled with a rubber band or any other type of elastic will only contribute to the potential of bending or creasing, which will damage the movie poster. Instead, simply place the rolled poster inside of the tube without securing it.
Side Note: you may be wondering if you can send a poster by Media Mail which is way cheaper. Before you do so, make sure you read this, Are Movie Posters Media Mail? (Consider This).
Secure the Shipping Tube
Once the rolled poster is inside the tube, place the bottom of the tube in place, and secure it with high-quality tape.
Then, carefully turn the tube over to the other end that is still open and place some form of a cushion, such as a handful of packing peanuts, inside the shipping tube to keep the poster from moving around too much inside the tube and damaging the edges.
Next, fasten the end of the tube with shipping tape. At this point, you will be able to affix the shipping label directly to the cardboard tube and send it as it is, but it is highly recommended that you place the shipping tube inside of another box, such as a triangular mailing tube from USPS, in order to ensure double protection for the movie poster during transit.
Choose the Right Carrier and Verify Insurance Policy
When shipping a movie poster, it’s vital that the cardboard shipping tube is high quality. Once you place your package in the hands of a mail carrier, it is no longer in your control.
As such, the only way to make sure that the poster tube is not crushed or bent during transit is to use a shipping tube that is not easily crushed or bent in the first place.
You can indicate that the package is fragile and should be handled with care all you wish, but that does not guarantee the mail carrier will be diligent.
If you are unable to find a cardboard shipping tube that is durable enough to withstand possible damage, a PVC pipe from the hardware store can work very well.
Picking a carrier and insurance is confusing and tricky
Full disclosure, I’m not an expert when it comes to insurance and shipping extremely expensive posters. The posters and artwork I have sent back and forth have been in the $50-$1,000 range. Please do your own due diligence when selecting the proper insurance for your poster.
In terms of choosing the right mail carrier for shipping a valuable movie poster, we recommend using the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for posters worth less than $5,000. The reason being is that is the highest amount you would be able to insure your poster for.
Be warned, though, that the United Postal Service has insurance rules which can be found here.
For anything over the $5,000 value, you may want to use UPS or other carriers. Insurance is a tricky and complicated subject, and each carrier seems to use a different insurance company for its customers.
Plus, the policy can be confusing. You will want to make sure “collectible posters” are even an insurable item that is covered in the policy. Most of the time, they will require “proof of value,” which I would assume to be a receipt. Once again, you will need to confirm that they will insure your poster.
UPS uses a subsidiary company called Parcel Pro for high-value items. If you are sending a super expensive poster, you may want to give them a call to see if they even ensure posters or artwork.
Another solution is to use a Fine Art shipping company. It may be the most secure way to get your shipment to its final destination secure and insured. Here are a few companies that may suffice.:
The USPS situation
Not only does the USPS have triangular Priority Mail shipping tubes that create a great second buffer for your cardboard shipping tube, but it also offers some of the most dependable insurance.
It’s crucial to note that insuring your package, it is vital to confirm that you will be covered if the package is lost or damaged.
What we have found is that the best insurance to purchase is the USPS Registered Insured Mail insurance because it tracks the package with keen attention to detail and also requires the package to be signed for by the intended recipient.
Here are some recent domestic insurance costs that were found on the USPS website; always check their website in case their fees change:
|$0 to $50||$2.25|
|$50.01 to $100||$2.85|
|$100.01 to $200||$3.55|
|$200.01 to $300||$4.70|
|$300.02 to $400||$5.90|
|$400.01 to $500||$7.10|
|$500.01 to $600||$9.55|
|600.01 to $5,000||$9.55 plus $1.40 per $100 (Maximum Liability is $5,000|
Overall, mailing movie posters successfully comes down to paying careful attention to the way that the poster is packaged, shipped, and insured.
Shipping continues to get better with time, but bad things do happen to the best of us. Always do your best with due diligence, and don’t skimp on the preparation.
If you are into movie poster collecting, here are a few articles you may enjoy:
- How to Tell If a Star Wars Poster is Original (Tell-Tail Signs)
- 10 Most Iconic Movie Posters To Have In Your Collection
- What Is A Quad Film Poster? (All You Need to Know)
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