How to define shipping destinations, prices and dispatch your artwork

So you’ve added an artwork to your exhibition, given it a price and now you need to add shipping. How do you set shipping destinations and prices you ask? Simply follow this guide here.

Important: Before we start it is worth noting that shipping on The Exhibit is defined per artwork not per exhibition. This means you can set relevant shipping prices and destinations for each artwork dependant on their individual shape, weight and/or size.

Shipping options on The Exhibit are also pre-emptive not responsive. This means you pre-define what shipping prices and destination options you want to offer for each artwork when you set up your exhibition, not in response to where your potential sales enquiries or buyers are located. Artwork shipping needs to be disclosed upfront to your exhibition visitors and cannot be ‘arranged after sale’. However, potential buyers can of course still make contact with you if you didn’t offer shipping to their location, and then you can edit your exhibition and add additional rates for them if you wish to.

Our aim is to make all pricing and delivery options completely transparent prior to purchase and keep the checkout process simple so the buyer is charged once for all costs (artwork and shipping).

Step 1. Choose Your Shipping Destinations

The first step is to decide where you are going to ship your artwork to.

On The Exhibit, we currently support artwork shipping (and purchases) within and to the following locations: Australia, New Zealand, USA, UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

You can ship your artwork as far and wide as you wish to any of the countries above.

Some curators and artists only send artwork domestically or within their city of residence, others send overseas to locations of their choosing. This often comes down to the size, weight, and fragility of the artwork.

If your artwork is quite breakable or a difficult size to package, you might want to only offer local shipping or a pickup option.

If your artwork is lighter and more able to be safely packaged for long distance postage, you might offer shipping options to multiple overseas locations.

It is all about what works best for you – but if your artwork is for sale you must provide at least one shipping or pick-up option to buyers.

Visitors to your exhibition will be shown the shipping destinations available for each artwork when they are browsing the artwork details page. So if you have a devoted following in a certain country or region and you are promoting your exhibition to them online and on social media, it’s best to make sure their location is included as one of the shipping destination options.

Step 2. Define Your Shipping Prices

Now that you know where you are going to ship too, you need to work out some delivery prices to get your artwork safely to those locations.

You can format your shipping prices in a number of different ways such as the following:

For Domestic Shipping:

  • If you wish, you can set specific prices per specific destination – e.g. one price for delivery within your city, another price for delivery within your state or province, and another price for your country of residence etc.
  • Or you might just want to offer a flat ‘Country Wide’ price for your country of residence (you can calculate this by averaging out the shipping prices for the main states, provinces or cities in your country)
  • And you can offer a pick-up option as well for local buyers if you wish

For International Shipping (if you want to offer international options):

  • Again you can set specific prices per destination – e.g. a specific price for each overseas country you wish to send to
  • Or you might want to just offer a flat ‘Worldwide Wide’ rate by averaging out your shipping costs to send overseas (NB: this will be only within the countries The Exhibit supports as mentioned above.)

And you can also break down your shipping pricing further per destination if you want to offer a variety of provider, speed (for example, overnight, courier, 3-day or 10-day options) and insurance options (for example, fully insured or partially insured).

Now how to get prices:

Start by having your artwork’s measurements at hand and weighing it so you know how heavy it is. Add a bit of extra size and weight to your measurements to approximate the size and weight of your artwork when packaged up ready to send.

Armed with this information, you can visit the websites of the local postal providers or courier companies that best suit your needs (and which you trust!) to get quotes for shipping your artwork to the destinations you have chosen.

If you have an oversized, very heavy or expensive artwork for sale you may also want to investigate specialist art couriers in your local area.

In Australia, some companies that we recommend are Moving Art, Pack n Send and IAS Art Couriers.

In New Zealand, we recommend Pack n Send, Courier NZ and for large and difficult to ship works such as sculptures Exhibition Services.

It can be worth comparing a couple of postal and delivery providers as they often differ on value, insurance level and speed of delivery.

Once you have settled on your options, make sure you gather all the information you need to complete The Exhibit’s shipping form. You will need the following information:

  • Cost to ship to each location or region you have decided upon
  • Type of shipping: Such as Economy, Standard, Express, Airmail, Courier, Same-day Delivery, Next-day Delivery, or Specialist Art Courier
  • Insurance Level: Full 100% Insurance, Partial Insurance, or No Insurance
  • We also provide you with a ‘Shipping Notes’ field, so if there is any other shipping or packaging information you want to pass onto buyers you can note it here.

Additional things to keep in mind:

Some additional things to note when finalizing your Shipping Prices:

  • On The Exhibit, all shipping prices must be provided as tax inclusive.
  • If you are required to collect tax on your shipping costs, you will need to build this into the price.
  • We also recommend you add in any packaging costs you will incur into your shipping price. Sometimes artwork packaging can be expensive for certain objects so we recommend doing a bit of research here as to what it will cost to pack your artwork so it arrives at its destination safely.
  • While you can choose to send you artwork uninsured, we do recommend only offering insured shipping options and preferably ones where a signature is required on receipt of the artwork. This way if anything happens during shipping you are covered!
  • Shipping prices need to be reasonable and accurately reflect the costs involved to ship your artwork to the destinations you advertise.

Optional Shipping Price

Lastly, you can also set an ‘optional shipping price’ for when 2 or more of your artworks get bought by the same buyer and are shipped together. This may not work for large, unusually shaped or heavy items, but for works on paper or canvas, you may be able to pack two or more items together and therefore reduce the buyer’s shipping costs.

To provide a combined Shipping Price, simply use the same online postage quotation tools mentioned above, but instead of working out the price for a single artwork, work out the shipping price for a parcel containing two of your artworks. Then divide this combined price by 2 and you have the reduced price required to fill in this column on our Shipping Form.

Step 3: Pack and Send Your Artwork

Once your artwork is sold, you will receive an email alerting you to the sale. If you are the one responsible for dispatching the artwork to the buyer, you will also be provided with the buyer’s address details so that you can proceed with arranging the shipping of the artwork. And don’t forget the more promptly you send your work, the sooner the buyer can start enjoying it and the more likely they will leave a positive buyer review!

The next thing to do is package your artwork ready for shipping so that it will arrive at its destination safe and sound. If you are unsure how to best pack your artwork, YouTube has many professional tutorials on packing artwork for shipping, and you can get advice from your local courier companies. When packing your artwork, we recommend also adding a personal touch, such as a handwritten thank you note or business card.

Once your artwork is packed up, arrange for it to be collected by your courier company or deliver it to your local post office. Make sure that you get a tracking or consignment number for your package as you must advise The Exhibit of this as part of the dispatch process. A tracking number also allows you to know when your artwork has been successfully delivered to the buyer.

Now you have your tracking number, don’t forget to mark the artwork as shipped on your Account area’s Sales tab. This will not only alert The Exhibit to the fact you have dispatched your artwork but it will also trigger an email to the buyer telling them their purchase is on its way. The buyer will be provided with the tracking number in their email so they can follow the progress of the artwork to its final destination.

After you have successfully marked your artwork as shipped, your exhibitor payout can then be processed. The payout will be deposited into your bank account 28 days from the date of the sales transaction. If you don’t mark off your item as shipped in your Account area, your payout will be held and we will be unable to pay you on day 28 – so don’t forget! :-)

 

Have more questions about Shipping Destinations, Pricing, and Dispatch? Please contact us at support@theexhibit.io and we will get right back to you!