Category Archives: Posting and Packaging

Important Information On Christmas Delivery Dates….

Due to the adverse weather conditions as of 1st December 2010 Royal Mail have suspended their guaranteed delivery times on Special Delivery items.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but unfortunately it is totally out of our control. We will continue to despatch ALL items within at least 2 working days of receiving your payment to try and ensure you do receive your purchases for Christmas!

Help With Packaging Ceramics, Pottery & Glass

If you’re wanting to post pottery, ceramics or glass or even simply store some bits away at home in your loft then you’ll probably need tissue paper, bubble wrap, boxes and tape to name just a few bits!

I often wrap pieces in tissue paper first then in bubble wrap. The tissue paper can help protect any delicate decoration or gilding on the item from being worn or pulled off by the bubble wrap (this does of course depend on what the item is).

Often, packagaing stores may have an Antiques & Fine Art Department. This groups together all the kind of things you’ll need when packing antiques and collectables – including bubble wrap, a whole range of different sorts of tissue paper, variety of tapes including Fragile of course, corner and edge protectors and of course boxes!

If you have any tips on wrapping, posting or storing your antiques and collectables then go ahead leave us a comment so fellow readers can benefit from your experience.

European Parcel Services – February Discount Code With Worldwide Parcel Services

If you have a parcel you’re wanting to send somewhere in Europe in February 2010 then why not obtain a quotation from Worldwide Parcel Services and use this 10% discount code to get a little bit off?

euro10pc

Worldwide Parcel Services offer all kinds of postal services not only to Europe but as the name suggests Worldwide as well! You can easily obtain an instant online quotation for your parcel to your specified destination using their website.

Click here to visit their website

This code is valid until the end of February 2010 and should offer you a 10% discount on any parcels sent within the European Union. If you use it and have success or attempt to use it and fail then leave us a message and let us know how you got on.

Perfect Pieces Christmas Posting Dates

If you’re still shopping for Christmas then you might be interested in our Christmas posting dates!

Royal Mail staff have decided not to strike again before Christmas – thankfully! Coupled with the fact that Christmas Day is a Friday, this means we can post quite late and still provide pre-Christmas delivery.

Listed below are our last shipping dates for pre-Christmas delivery to UK destinations. Please note these are based on advice from Royal Mail and Parcelforce and cannot be guaranteed by us. All items require a signature on delivery:

  • All items over £30: 23rd December (Special Delivery)
  • Items under £30: 21st December (1st Class Recorded)
  • Very large items: 21st December (Parcelforce 48 hour service)

Needless to say, we need to receive cleared payment before we can ship your items and we do need time to pack them, too – so any orders placed after 2pm will probably be too late for shipping the same day, as we will miss Royal Mail’s collection times.

CLICK HERE – TO VIEW OUR CURRENT SELECTION OF ITEMS FOR SALE

Tips On Posting Parcels Worldwide!

As you might have guessed we have to send many parcels both nationally and internationally! Whatever the item you hope it arrives safe and sound, and if using a tracked and guaranteed service on time as well for the convenience of not only yourself but for the person waiting in for it at the other end.

First of all you have to package your item – for help and tips take a look at our Postage & Packaging Guide here.

Once that’s done if your parcel is under 2kg then you have lots of options available from Royal Mail ranging from standard 1st and 2nd class,  recorded 1st and 2nd class delivery right through to guaranteed next working day delivery by Special Delivery.

It’s when the parcel is over 2kg that it becomes slightly more complicated, and even more so if you want to send it abroad!

Within the UK for parcels over 2kg you could try Royal Mail’s Special Delivery which is usually around the £20 mark. This gives you guaranteed next working day delivery but you do have to remember there are size restrictions on the size the parcel can be so it’s always wise to check this out before you head down the post office with your parcel. You can find out more information on Special Delivery from Royal Mail’s website – here.

Alternatively you could try one of Parcel Force’s services – we sometimes use Parcel Force 48. This service is guaranteed delivery within 48 hours and you can even have Parcel Force collect the parcel from you if you book it online so you don’t have to take your chunky parcel to the Post Office! See Parcel Force’s website for further details about their service – click here.

Now, if you’re looking at sending a parcel overseas that weighs more than 2kg then you’ll probably find that Royal Mail aren’t much use. A good site to check out is Worldwide Parcel Services. They allow you to obtain an instant online quote based on your parcel’s weight and dimensions so you can see straight away the options available to you. Click here to visit their website.

If you have any tips on sending parcels, then be sure to get in touch it’s always good to hear about other people’s experiences in sending parcels.

Live Overseas And Want To Buy British Pottery? No Problem…

If you live overseas and have been browsing the Perfect Pieces website and found some items you are interested in purchasing then don’t panic, we do ship overseas!

As you will notice all items on the Perfect Pieces website currently include FREE UK postage and packaging. It does cost more to send parcels overseas and as the cost of shipping is based on the packaged weight of the item(s), so we charge postage for overseas orders at cost only – we don’t charge you for packaging.

We regularly ship to  Australia, Europe, USA, Canada, Ireland, Scandinavia to name a few, so where ever you live it shouldn’t be a problem for us to ship your chosen item to you.

We usually ship international orders over £50 by by Royal Mail International Signed For Airmail. This service is tracked and requires a signature on delivery.

Once you place your order we will prepare the item and calculate the shipping cost. We’ll then send you an invoice detailing the cost of shipping so you can see how much it will be – international shipping costs can range from only a few pounds to usually no more than £25 for heaver larger items. Once we receive your payment we’ll then aim to ship the item out to you within 48 hours, and we’ll email you to confirm despatch of your item.

Delivery to overseas locations we find can take anything from a few days to around 2 weeks depending on your precise location.

If you have any further questions about overseas postage then don’t hesitate to get in touch.

If you want to browse our current selection of British pottery and collectables to see if anything takes your fancy, then please – click here.

Recycled Packaging – How We Use It

Recycling is a hot topic nowadays – but how many times have you shaken your head in amazement at the amount of unecessary packaging wrapped around even the most mundane of purchases?

I don’t think anyone would deny that our goods need to be generously packaged, but to reduce both our costs and our impact on the environment, we use recycled or secondhand packaging for almost everything. Let me explain.

We package pieces by wrapping them in bubble wrap and then placing the item in a box surrounded with either polystyrene pieces or shredded newspaper (or sometimes a combination of both!). Despite our resulting steady need for bubble wrap, we have never – in more than five years of online trading – actually had to purchase any.

All of our bubble wrap comes secondhand – from friends, neighbours or local businesses (who would otherwise throw it away).

The recycled theme continues with our boxes. We have also never purchased a single box for packaging! We get our boxes from people and local businesses – indeed, our need for boxes has become well known and various neighbours now routinely give us the boxes in which they receive parcels.

We only ever use boxes of good strength and quality but their varied origins mean that sometimes they are plain brown and other times they may be branded with their original contents – which can be quite obscure and varied!

In fact, the only packing ‘ingredient’ we regularly have to buy is parcel tape – unforunately we haven’t devised a way of reusing this, yet!

Recycling and reusing is an important way of reducing our impact on the environment and of combating today’s disposable life style. We hope that when you receive our parcels you too are able to reuse some of the packaging in some way – or perhaps pass it on to someone who can.

As a side note, we often get asked questions about how to best send pottery and glass through the post so it arrives safely – as a result we have written a short guide on How To Post Pottery.

To read this guide, click here.

About our postage policy:

We regularly send delicate items through the post (as you might have guessed!).

Our chosen UK postal service is almost always Royal Mail Special Delivery, which is tracked, guarantees next working day delivery by 1pm and requires a signature on delivery. By using this service we can track our parcels and ensure they arrive successfully.

International parcels are usually sent by Royal Mail International Signed For, which we have found to be competitively priced and reliable.

How To Post and Package Pottery

One of the biggest concerns we come across amongst people who are anxious about buying antique pottery online is whether it will be packed well enough to survive the postal system. Horror stories abound – we spoke to someone who had received a Troika Spice Jar that had been wrapped in newspaper and posted in a jiffy bag… from Australia [to the UK]! Needless to say it was in pieces on arrival…

The truth, however, is that packing pottery well is not especially difficult, and can be done almost wholly with recycled packaging materials if necessary.

To help anyone who isn’t sure where to start, we thought it might be useful to provide this illustrated guide to packaging.

How To Pack Pottery

Here’s how we do it. Bear in mind that this is a fairly small, light item being posted within the UK. For an international shipment, or a heavy item that might shift in transit, we would double box the package. This means that the box pictured would be placed within another box, with a layer of padding between them. The benefit of this is that even if the outer box is damaged/placed under pressure, the inner box should be relatively unaffected, protecting the item from damage in most scenarios.

(Click on any of the pictures to enlarge them)

    1. Wrap the item in several layers of bubble wrap. Bubble wrap can get caught on gilding and on some kinds of paint (causing it to flake), so if in doubt about this, first wrap the item in a layer of tissue, then in bubble wrap:

    1. Having identified a suitable box (one that is reasonably strong, in good condition, and allows at least 1.5″ – 2″ around the item), fill the base with packaging. We’re using proper polystyrene packaging in this example, but shredded newspaper or polystyrene packaging from other items can also be used (bear in mind paper weighs more, so will add to your postage costs):

Prepare box with polystyrene chips

    1. Build up a good layer of poly or shredded paper in the base – aim to position the item being packed in the centre of the box:

    1. Place the item in the box, on top of the packaging. In this example it looks a bit of a tight fit, but this is only a result of the camera angle/perspective – there is enough room around it:

    1. Fill the area around the items with packaging – make sure you fill the space down the sides up evenly – this will hold the item safely in place in the centre of the box. As a guide, when you have finished packing the box, you should be able to shake it without the item moving at all:

    1. Now it is just a case of filling the area above the item with packaging – make sure this comes slightly above the top of the box, so that when you tape the box closed the packaging will be compressed slightly – this will stop it moving around and settling too much, and hold the item firmly in place:

fill slightly above the top with packaging

    1. Tape the box tightly closed with proper parcel tape – usually available cheap from markets, car boots, or online:

    1. As we have not used a plain box, we will cover it in brown paper too. This is not always necessary:

cover box in brown paper

    1. And voila – nicely covered in brown paper and taped up:

Box covered in brown parcel paper

    1. There’s only one stage left – label the parcel. Small fragile labels are available free from the post office, but proper fragile tape makes more of a visual impact, and is truly unmissable!

Fragile goods labelling

That’s how we pack things, and we find it works well. It is worth considering double-boxing when posting abroad, although weight and size constraints can make this very difficult. As a general guide, two slightly tighter fitting boxes might still be better than one box if you have to choose, but keeping parcels under 2kg and within the size constraints (click here for details) can be challenging!

In case you think we are making it up, here is another, excellent, guide to packaging glass.

Finding packaging materials can be difficult – especially if you need much quantity. There are many packaging websites that can come in handy – with a full choice of packaging including materials tailored for antiques. We also recycle a lot of packaging, which helps reduce waste.

Postage Methods

The only other area to consider is how to post your item. In the UK, we always use Royal Mail Special Delivery for items under 2kg, as the parcels are handled separately from other mail and the service guarantees a pre-1pm delivery the next day. For items that are over 2kg or are too large for Special Delivery, we often use Parcelforce 48 and have found this to be a good service too.

Overseas postage methods vary according to the value and destination, but for items with some value, Royal Mail International Signed For is usually the best choice. Strangely, we often get quicker deliveries with this service than with Royal Mail’s Airsure service, even though Airsure is meant to be the premier service…

International parcels over 2kg are a special case. Costs increase dramatically for international parcels over 2kg. Expect to pay £60-£100 or even more for items over 2kg or which are particularly large. For international parcels over 2kg we use Parcelforce or Worldwide Parcel Services.