This article describes auction house shipping and the questions that you should ask when choosing a shipping company.
As more and more auction houses are established due to the growth of the internet, there are questions you should ask the auction house before you make your online purchase.
Does the auction house have a list of preferred shippers? Are these shippers listed on the Auction house website? Can the auction house provide you with their email and phone number so that you can establish your shipping charges before you bid on an item? Make sure that the shipper can offer you pick up service or that the auction house is willing to drop off the item at the shipping location.
Does the Auction house pay for the shipping, or is it up to you, the consumer to both pay for and arrange shipping for out of city purchases.
It is recommended to check and see if the auction house will let you drive in and pick up your purchase rather than having it shipped. Auction houses often have preferred shippers listed on their auction sites. We recommend calling the shipper to ask questions before you arrange your shipping.
If you are shipping artwork from an auction house, is the shipper prepared to pick up and build a custom crate for you artwork? What about large statutes or marble? Does the shipper have experience preparing and shipping these items? Call ahead and ask the shipper details.
Ask the shipper their procedures for packing. Do they use solid wood crates? Do they use bubble wrap, peanuts and Styrofoam to protect the statue in the crate during the shipping process? Can the shipper ship both domestically and internationally? Does the shipper stock heat treated wood for international shipping? If the purchase is for greater than two thousand five hundred dollars for one item, is the shipper able to prepare the paperwork to attain the SED, or will you need to look up the Schedule B number on your own?
If you are shipping medical equipment, does the shipper have the ability to pick up, pack and palletize or crate your medical equipment? Ask the shipper how they protect the moving parts of the medical equipment. If there are arm, does the shipping company block and brace the moving part during shipping? Can the company you choose properly value the shipment during transit? If you purchase a large lot of medical equipment, can the shipper provide you with a quote for a blanket wrap move verses freight shipping? The shipping company needs to offer alternatives that will help you save money.
If you have purchased a high value delicate item, can the shipper properly value the purchase during the shipping process? Ask how the company packs and protects the shipment. For glassware you need to ask if each piece of glassware is individually wrapped and protected for shipping.
Are you able to speak to a person at the shipping company to get answers to your questions, or are you only allowed to communicate via email.
We recommend that you contact a shipping company before you bid at the auction. That way you can know the total costs associated with your purchase before you make a bid and send in the payment for your purchase.
If you have any questions about how to select a shipper for an auction, please feel free to call pack n send in Houston at 713 266 1450.
If you have purchased a container full of equipment, can the shipping company pick up, load, prepare paper work and ship a container for you? Can the company you choose give you a quote ahead of time? Are they able to prepare the paperwork on your behalf?