Our packaging – a reassuring message to our customers

Having received two items from Europe this year, both poorly wrapped and not surprisingly broken upon arrival, its worth us reassuring our customers on how well we try to wrap our sold items for sending. Nearly everyone reading this will have received a damaged package, it doesn’t matter if its from a small time sole trader or a large company like Amazon. Breakages just happen – but you can take steps to reduce the risks.

The broken items we received were both single boxed and had a terrible lack of protection. The clock which we received at the beginning of the year was in really quite a good solid box, it may have even been 3mm plywood but the packaging inside the box consisted of 1) a jumper with some chewed gum embedded in it and 2) a small pillow under the base of the clock – that was it. The heavy marble clock inside the box was allowed to move around freely and it was no surprise to us that the item arrived broken. So badly damaged was it that where we might expect to find large chunks of broken marble, the marble had mainly been ground to dust.

Today we received a ceramic panther which was single boxed and the only protection given was 1) a bath towel and 2) a piece of bedsheet wrapped around it. The box was bulging where the back of the panther was too large to safely fit inside. As I unwrapped the item, I could feel no crack or breaks to the statues back, the area I was almost sure would most likely be damaged, Maybe this one made it through without damage after all. But alas, it wasn’t to be, the front of the statue had been broken at the panthers feet. A piece of history destroyed by poor packaging. The box length was 27 inches and the panther (before the break) was just under 26 inches. With only minimal packaging the end result was almost inevitable given the distances involved.

Our pet hate is poor packaging. Not only does it cause irreparable and avoidable damage to rare items but its a very horrible experience for the buyer to go through. The anticipation of an item you have waited patiently for, maybe even had to save money to purchase is replaced with despair in an instant.

Does everything we send arrive undamaged? No, sadly not. As best we try, once it leaves our hands, its in the fate of those who transport it but we make every effort to reduce the risk of damage. Our main wrapper of items at the moment is Mark, he’s very particular about how items are wrapped.

Firstly he will wrap the item in a number of layers of bubble wrap then fold over any excess bubblewrap to create more protection, paying particular attention to the fragile areas. The wrapped item is then placed inside our inner box which will purposely be a few inches larger than the bubblewrapped item. Gaps in this box will be filled with an array of soft padding; from scrap bubblewrap to polystyrene chippings, from foam rubber to balled up newspaper, whatever is deemed appropriate or available at the time. Once the inner box is filled to satisfaction and taped shut Mark will wrap the inner box in another couple of layers of bubblewrap taped directly to the outside of that box.

A larger box will be used and further soft padding placed around the inner box to fill all space so no side of the inner box can directly touch the outer box. This will provide more padding and leave more space between the item and the walls of the outer box.

It is very rare that we have received a package with an item wrapped to a higher standard than we believe we do ourselves. It is also fair to say that we have received very poorly wrapped items in immaculate condition but these are usually smaller, solid items which would be harder to break.

Often when our customers do receive our items, they will inform us of its safe arrival and praise the level of packaging. We genuinely love to hear these messages and we always pass them on to the specific packer. Not only is it nice to have your work appreciated but it is also knowledge which helps us learn about best practices for future packing.

If you have had a similarly bad experience with deliveries as we have today and maybe you worry about getting something sent in the post, please be assured we take time and care over the way we send our items. No one benefits from a broken item and its certainly in our best interest to make sure you receive the item in the same condition it left us. Equally we do not want to destroy an important part of history and always respect the items we are sending which are often unique pieces.

Next Blog: Hopefully part 2 from Lindsey B

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