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Thread: mailing a quilt

  1. #1
    Senior Member Cagey's Avatar
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    I'm mailing a baby quilt and table runner to my SIL in Maryland.
    I know I need to insure both items but not sure what value to reasonably put on them. (lots of pain and agony making the table runner!) It is better to mail quilts UPS or US mail?
    How do you pack your quilts for mailing?

  2. #2
    MTS
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    Doesn't matter.
    Should they get lost or damaged, unless you have a certified appraisal for insurance purposes, the most - the MOST - you'll maybe get back is the cost of supplies.

    The post office considers a quilt something you get at Kmart for $20. They're not in the least interested in your skill or the time you spent creating it.

    Sorry, but that's the reality.

    Send it USPS Priority w/ DelConf.
    That's how I always send my gifts and packages - within the US, and also to Canada and international destinations.

    You can send if Signature Confirmation if you want someone to sign for it but it still won't matter if the package is lost.

    Same, btw, for UPS and FedEx.
    They won't even insure the artwork.
    Most of the well-known teachers/quilters - who ship their item all over the place to guilds/shows - have separate insurance policies to cover the items should anything go wrong.

  3. #3
    Super Member merry's Avatar
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    Loosely wrapped the quilts in bubble wrap to protect from rain, etc. Mailed in box well taped. Insured for what it would cost to purchase a replacement. Sent by U.S. mail. Friends told me they were delivered to door by mailmen. Have mailed 4 quilts this way without any problems.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    I would use a shipping service that lets you track the package. Make sure you get the tracking number and use it! In my opinion, the Postal Service's delivery confirmation is not as useful as UPS's or FedEx's tracking.

    As far as insurance goes, without an appraisal it will be hard to prove how much your quilt is worth. You might try figuring out how much the material costs were, and something for your labor. If you have receipts, keep them until the quilt arrives at its destination.

    Use a sturdy box for shipping. Label the quilts with your name, address, and phone number, and wrap the quilts in a clear plastic bag. Write the shipping information on a card and attach that to the plastic bag - that way if the outside label is damaged, the information is still with the quilt. Make sure the carton is securely taped so it won't pop open.

    If you want more info, Maria Elkin's website lostquilt.com has a section on shipping - it's very helpful!

    Janet

  5. #5
    Super Member CoriAmD's Avatar
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    I put mine in a plastic bag inside the box and tape well. I use USPS - insured (for the amount I am charging the person if they have commissioned it), otherwise, what I think it's worth, priority mail with delivery confrimation. Have never had a problem.

  6. #6
    Senior Member MissSandra's Avatar
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    I ship frequently to the west coast, and I use usps with delivery confirmation, some times I insure but most of the time not, I have never had an issue.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Sophie2's Avatar
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    I prefer to us FedEx. I feel less people handle the package, therefore, less chance of getting lost. Like CoriAmD stated, I insure for the amount I am commissioned to do the quilt for. The USPS told me I could insure it for the amount I would sell it for.

  8. #8
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i ship quilts all across the country on a regular basis- i always send them through the post office- i use priority flat rate boxes when they will fit- when they wont fit i have to use a different box- but i still send priority- with delivery confirmation. I ensure them- if it is over $200 the delivery confirmation is included/no extra charge.
    the one time i did not follow this plan the package took 4 months to arrive at it's destination- as long as i've been doing them this way they arrive within 3 days (4 or 5 if a weekend is involved)
    i had one package (in over 10 years of sending through the mail) that was damaged in transit- and the quilt was damaged- when i filled out the claim i received the $200 i had it insured for.

  9. #9
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    One tip I was told at the post office is to make sure to but inside the package a ship to address as well as a return address. They said often if a package is lost and the outside address is no longer legible they open the package to see if there is a clue to where it belongs.
    They went on to say that many of the packages that end up in their "lost" bin would be able to be delivered if only a shipping label was on the inside as well as the outside.

  10. #10
    Super Member RkayD's Avatar
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    I ship mine in those plastic space bags. While the seals on those things don't hold up long term they do work beautifully for shipping. Can't help on insuring..But I most definitely would get a delivery confirmation.

  11. #11
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    It's funny this topic came up. I was just talking to my local postmaster about this. Keep your reciepts, and find other comparable items online that have a similar price, print them out and keep them on hand just in case. If you can prove that other items out there are valued the same then they'll give you your money. As far as quilts you sell if you keep a cancelled check, or verification of payment then that will suffice as well.

  12. #12
    Super Member leiladylei54's Avatar
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    Horror story about using FedEx....when our daughter got married, her new father-in-law lovingly handmade a small grandfather type clock for their fireplace mantle out of rare Hawaiian wood. He built a special crate to house the clock during transit, keep it upright, and insured it and all that. When the said "crate" arrived....no clock, just a piece of board that had the name and address on it. Tracking did no good as the tracking was tracking that piece of address board and not the whole crate.

  13. #13
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    Well, I *was* going to say that I preferred FedEx, but after that last horror story posted from Hawaii... yikes!

  14. #14
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    This did not work at my local post office. A while back, I mailed a small quilt with insurance via USPS. They would not pay anything for the lost quilt as I could not "prove with receipts" what I paid for the quilt. They only thing they would give me was reimbursement for shipping & insurance.

    I had the correspondence from the person who purchased the quilt, but USPS would not reimburse the cost she had paid.

    Quote Originally Posted by pnptrapp
    It's funny this topic came up. I was just talking to my local postmaster about this. Keep your reciepts, and find other comparable items online that have a similar price, print them out and keep them on hand just in case. If you can prove that other items out there are valued the same then they'll give you your money. As far as quilts you sell if you keep a cancelled check, or verification of payment then that will suffice as well.

  15. #15
    MTS
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    I think the difference is that if you made it for sale or bought it on eBay, you have an invoice and payment (paypal/check) showing what you paid - which becomes the official value.

    When you make it as a gift and send it out, there's nothing except the fabric receipts.

    Even thought it can be two exact items, the PO will treat them differently.

    So to even have a slight chance you'd have to pay for insurance you probably won't be able to collect on.

    :roll:

  16. #16
    Super Member mhansen6's Avatar
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    I always use UPS. I ship things to my daughter in NY all the time and have never had a problem. I love being able to track my shipments online.

  17. #17
    Super Member LoriEl's Avatar
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    I always suggest signature confirmation if there is not anyone home when the mail comes. A delivery confirmation package can just be left at the door or worse, I've seen packages hanging on mailboxes at the road. If someone has to sign for it, it can't be left outside "all alone".

  18. #18
    Senior Member sarahconner's Avatar
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    I would send it USPS Priority with delivery confirmation

  19. #19
    Super Member leiladylei54's Avatar
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    Yes, FedEx....that horror story was sure a deterrent to not use them....at least for me. I've sent things either by Postal Service or UPS and have never had trouble.

  20. #20
    Super Member crafty_linda_b's Avatar
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    My post master told me to NEVER put the word quilt anywhere on the outside of the package!! If you are mailing it out of the country. Just put craft supplies on it. He & his wife are both quilters...good luck...crafty_linda_b

  21. #21
    Super Member MacThayer's Avatar
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    I agree that you should never put on the outside of the box that there is something of value inside, like a quilt. It's a signal to thieves to help themselves, and in this economy, sorry to say, more things are disappearing not just from the mail, but from bags at the airport, hotel rooms, and public places. As the economy worsens, this will only get worse. Also, attach to the quilt both your name and address, and the name and address you are sending it to, and I mean attach. Don't just toss a paper in the bag. Pin it to the quilt in a couple of places. Also sew your name, date of quilt, whatever identifying information you usually put on a quilt -- and sew it into the quilt in such a way that it would damage the quilt to remove it. Sorry, I guess I spent too much time in the big city. But that will make people think twice, especially if the plan was to re-sell it.

    I use a UPS box as my mailing address, so I am good friends with the people at UPS. I am always trying to make sure I know how to get things safely where I need them to go. They tell me that the number one way to ensure that something gets to its destination is to take it to the UPS store, and let them pack and label it. When them pack it, they are invested in making sure it is done correctly, and will arrive in one piece (I've sent many delicate items, and they've all arrived in pristine condition this way.) They are also invested in just plain seeing that they arrive, since they were responsible for doing the shipping labels. And of course, insure it, for the proper value. I have been told that the loss rate on packages packed by UPS personnel is less than 1/4 of 1%, and if they packed it, there is no quarrel over paying the full amount of the insurance. Of course, insist on a tracking number, and then, for heaven's sake, track it! If it's starting in Las Vegas, and headed for New York, and somehow ends up in Portland, Oregon, you'll see that on the tracking. That's when you get on the phone and find out what the heck is going on. Don't wait until it's lost! Personally, I've never had that problem, but apparently it does happen on occasion. Something gets put on the wrong truck, etc. So stay on top of it until it arrives. Quilts are just too important; they have too much time, money and heart invested in them to do less. Personally, I've sent lots of things this way, especially sensitive materials for my husband's business, when it had to be somewhere by a certain date or it was a disaster, and I've never had a problem when I've let them pack it. Cost's a little more, yes, but worth the peace of mind, at least to me.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by crafty_linda_b
    My post master told me to NEVER put the word quilt anywhere on the outside of the package!! If you are mailing it out of the country. Just put craft supplies on it. He & his wife are both quilters...good luck...crafty_linda_b
    I agree with this 100%. MY postmaster said the same thing-someone along the way may want it. I recently bought a subscription to a quilting magazine, and only received half of the mags... no one is perfect. Be careful mailing, and best wishes! :?

  23. #23
    Senior Member Boxer mom's Avatar
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    I would go UPS, I mailed 2 quilts to a friend and insured them for $300 and when they didn't arrive on the day it said I started to panic. It showed up 2 days later. If you do go postal get it insured, signed for and pay for any tracking. I will always go UPS now to mail my quilts.

  24. #24
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    Please make sure you have something attached to the quilt and table runner to tell the usps where the items are going to, and where they came from. A piece of paper will do, if the box gets torn open and contents fall out, they know where it is going and will get it there. USPS, del. confirmation, it will be fine...

  25. #25
    Member gimnich's Avatar
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    Be sure the recipient has to sign for the package. I lost 2 quilts because the delivery confirmation only shows it was delivered to that address. The package was left at the mailbox but they did not ever see it.

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