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So many of my followers are buying art and antiques and reselling collectibles online to buyers worldwide. If you are trying to ship that oil on canvas painting, wooden carving, or ceramic vase that you have sold to an online buyer in South Dakota or Sweden, then you need to read my tips about smart shipping tips for antiques and collectibles.

I spoke with a client recently via video call who bought French Impressionist pastel on paper online and received it from the seller damaged because of poor packaging. The piece as badly damaged because the frame’s glass broke in transit. The seller didn’t pack the piece correctly so the buyer ended up with a package full of a million small sharp shards of glass. The shards damaged the pastel.

To solve this problem, I want to share a well-known solution for shipping framed artwork under glass from my experience working in major museums and shipping artwork out for exhibitions and display at other museums and galleries. When shipping a work of framed art under glass, place bands of blue painter’s tape in a criss-cross pattern all over the entire surface pane of framed glass. Then wrap the work of art for shipping. Upon arrival, the blue painter’s tape will be easy to remove from the glass when compared to masking or duct tape as it does not leave adhesive residue. If, by chance, there is breakage to the glass during shipping, the blue painter’s tape in the criss-cross pattern will keep any broken glass pieces stable as these shards will stick to the tape preventing further damage to the work of art. It takes more time on the front end, but the framed piece will stay safe.   

When it comes to shipping, size matters. Bigger is not always better and neither is smaller.  When it comes to shipping boxes, choose the correct size box. A shipping box that is too big may dent or collapse upon itself or upon the object inside of it. If the shipping box is too big and only has one small item inside, then the item can move around and become damaged in transit. If a box is too small and stuffed with stuff, then the box could burst open. The result of this could be that you lose everything in the box.  

When shipping heavier and expensive objects, you may save some money by spreading them out over several more lightweight boxes. Instead of placing ten objects in one big box, break them up and ship them in two or three boxes with only a few items inside. When it comes to shipping collections, be sure to get insurance on all the boxes you are shipping because there is nothing worse than getting only one half of an antique set. Always check weight restrictions first.

Dr. Lori Verderame is the director of and

She is the award-winning Ph.D. antiques appraiser and artifacts expert on History channel’s #1 rated TV show, The Curse of Oak Island, about the world’s oldest treasure hunt. Dr. Lori presents her Antiques Appraisal Comedy Show with Free appraisals nationwide. Visit or call (888) 431-1010.