GUIDE TO SHIPPING MOVIE POSTERS

 

Nothing is more frustrating than receiving a poster that is damaged or destroyed due to poor/lazy/cheap shipping. I’ve received hundreds of posters by mail and approximately 10-15% have arrived damaged.  A properly-packaged poster should arrive safely 99.8% of the time.  Poorly-packaged posters are routinely destroyed/damaged. 

SHIPPING FOLDED POSTERS

When refolding a poster for shipping, always follow the original fold pattern. Never add any extra folds to make the package smaller.  (Adding extra folds instantly devalues a poster.)  Never “reverse fold” a poster. It’s normally easy to detect how a poster was originally folded.  The poster should fold easily in its original fold pattern. 


Always ship folded posters with sufficient protection, preferably using at least two sturdy layers of cardboard.  I’m astounded by how many cheap/lazy sellers send fold posters without cardboard protection!  Those posters invariably  show up bent and battered and heavily damaged. 


Below are the basic materials for proper shipping of folded posters: rigid mailer, two layers of cardboard, and plastic bag:

Insert the poster into a plastic bag (to keep out moisture):

Tape the bagged poster to the cardboard backing (to ensure it does not move during shipping):

Place the bagged posters between the two layers of cardboard:

Insert the cardboard into the rigid mailer (alternatively a large “bubble envelope”).

SHIP BY THE RIGHT METHOD!

SHIPPING ROLLED POSTERS

It’s easy to improperly ship a rolled poster. If the poster is not secured properly inside the tube, it will move up and down during transit and be severely damaged.  If the tube is not strong enough, it will be crushed during transit and the poster inside will be ruined. I have received many crushed tubes like the following:

Far and away the most important rule of shipping rolled posters is BUY A STRONG TUBE!  For cardboard tubes, if you can squeeze it with one hand, rest assured it will be crushed in transit.  Ideally - especially for valuable posters - you will use a durable plastic tube (see right pic).

It is extremely important to wrap the poster in wrapping paper that is larger than the poster. This will prevent the poster from sliding up and down during transit. Cut the wrapping paper to a length slightly shorter than the tube:

Lay the poster on the wrapping paper (left pic) and fold the wrapping paper over the top of the poster (right pic, only fold the wrapping paper only, not the poster):

Although not required, I staple the folded wrapping paper together at the edges (be careful not to staple the poster):

Carefully roll the poster.  Be sure NOT to roll it tightly - a tightly rolled poster will never recover:

Insert the rolled/wrapped poster into the tube.  After you insert it, allow the poster to expand flush inside the tube and cap it.  Fill any extra space between the top of the tube and the rolled/wrapped poster with newspaper to limit movement during shipping.

You can mail the tube by itself.  However, I recommend putting the tube in a triangular mailing tube for extra protection.

Rolled: Always ship rolled posters rolled. Never fold a rolled poster! Folding a rolled poster instantly devalues the poster.


Folded: Normally you should ship a folded poster folded.  A folded poster is almost impossible to flatten if shipped rolled.  This folded “Spy Who Loved Me” poster is ruined because it was improperly shipped rolled:

FOLLOW EBAY SHIPPING POLICIES   

Ebay’s shipping policies are very sensible, fair, and enforceable:


  1. (1)Sellers are 100% responsible for ensuring the poster is delivered undamaged to the buyer’s address. Therefore, sellers must package the item safely and securely. No “ifs, ands, or buts.”

  2. (2)Sellers cannot disclaim responsibility for shipping.

  3. (3)Sellers cannot specifically charge buyers for shipping insurance.  That is a cost of doing business.  However, shippers can charge a higher general price for shipping that covers shipping insurance.

  4. (4)Sellers cannot refuse to accept returns of items damaged in shipping.

  5. (5)Sellers must pay for return shipping of items damaged in shipping.

Below is a typical sale on Ebay that blatantly violates Ebay shipping policies:

If a seller violates any Ebay shipping policy, leave negative feedback and obtain a full refund (plus return shipping costs) by filing a dispute with Ebay’s Resolution Center.

This are typical examples of posters damaged during transit when the tube is dented.  The posters are dented/wrinkled from top to bottom in the center:

However, IF a folded poster has been thoroughly flattened - normally for several years - it can be sent rolled.  However, get the buyer’s permission before sending a folded poster rolled.

“DO NOT BEND/PLEASE DO NOT CRUSH/HANDLE WITH CARE” = USELESS

Many shippers uselessly write phrases like “Do Not Bend” or “Please Do Not Crush.”  No postal service employee will read, care, or think about those phrases, so do not waste your time writing them.  All packages are sorted by machine. Any particular package that you drop at a station will be shipped to a processing center in a container. The container will be pushed in a APU (automated parcel unloader) that feeds into an automated convoyer belt. The belt drops all parcels into a slide, feeding 6 keying stations. USPS workers key in the zip code of the packages, the key station sends the package onto a carrier cell of a parcel sorter. The parcel sorter drops the item to a container for further shipping to destination. Your package will sustain lot of loading and unloading (dropping) and squeezing inside the containers. Accordingly, you must securely package posters to survive the automation process.

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