I shipped two of my small works to a show in Michigan last week. They fit in one modest box. The cost of it horrified me! Wow, I had been out of the shipping loop for a while. I thought about changing the shipping policy of Susan Hensel Gallery...But then my post office began behaving (again) as though delivery of boxes were optional.
I have been asked, more than once, "Why on earth do some galleries (like me) require artists to ship UPS or Fed Ex when the post office is so much cheaper?" Well, here goes:
•Delivery to the gallery is more reliable; My post office sometimes behaves as thought delivery of boxes is optional. In fact, that happened over the past weekend. In the past they have occasionally made no attempt to deliver boxes AND left no notice of the boxes being held at the post office.
•You cannot get return pre-paid postage labels from the post office. Stamps you can buy and enclose.
•The post office does not generally pick up boxes, nor is their parking set up for me to bring in up to 50 boxes for a show of this size.
•Both UPS and FedEx have relatively easy online procedures for setting up your own account from which you can ship & return ship your work. It costs you nothing to set up the account and it costs you nothing until the boxes enter the system. In other words, if you are lucky enough to sell your work, the return label can be cut up and thrown away.
•UPS and Fed Ex will both pick-up at the gallery. Fed Ex Ground will not.
It seems that large cities are having more and more problems with the postal service. I know that stories from New York city mirror mine. So, do I ever ship my artists books via the postal service? Sure. But if I am particularly concerned about delivery to a large city, I check my bank balance and use UPS.