Thousands of people across the United States collect limited edition screen prints, including gig posters and collectible movie prints. Unsurprisingly, collectors expect their purchases to arrive in mint condition, and while cardboard mailing tubes can help you ship these items safely, mistakes can still happen. If you want to make sure your buyers get their screen prints safely, avoid the five following mistakes other people sometimes make.
Choosing a tube that's not wide enough
It's easy enough to carefully roll up a screen print without creasing the precious paper, but you need to make sure you choose a mailing tube that's wide enough. If the tube is too narrow, you'll have to roll up the screen print too tightly, which is a good way to damage the paper.
If you roll the print too tightly, you can scuff the artwork on the front side of the paper. What's more, to roll the print up tightly, you often have to apply a lot of pressure, which can crease the screen print. Choose a tube that is wide enough to hold the print rolled up without leaving too much or not enough room inside.
Choosing a tube that's too thin
Collectible screen prints can cost thousands of dollars, so you owe it to your buyers to make sure the shipping tube is sturdy enough. Thin mailing tubes are cheap, but they may not withstand the rigors of the postal service or a courier. If the print turns up damaged, the buyer will almost certainly want his or her money back.
For collectible screen prints, it's generally a good idea to choose a heavy-duty, thick-walled cardboard tube. It's almost impossible to bend or crush this type of tube, and the thick wall will also offer protection against water damage.
Failing to seal the tube correctly
The plastic caps on a cardboard mailing tube seal quite snugly, but they can pop out in transit if you don't fix them in place. Once one of these caps pops off, the screen print inside the tube is vulnerable and may even slip out of the tube. As such, it's important to take time to properly seal the caps.
Apply tape around the full circumference of the cap, sealing the cap completely against the cardboard tube. Use several strips of heavy-duty tape across the end of the cap as well, as this will give you extra protection.
Failing to wrap the print in paper
It's important to carefully wrap the screen print in acid-free paper, as this will protect the artwork from the inside layer of the tube. Although a brand-new tube is clean, the brown cardboard can still rub against and damage the screen print. A collector won't want a screen print with scuff marks on the back.
Carefully roll the screen print up in an oversized sheet of acid-free brown paper. This will give you a thick layer between the print and the tube. Seal the rolled up paper in place by taping the ends of the brown paper down. This will stop the contents shifting and/or slipping in transit.
No padding inside the tube
Even if the tube is strong and secure, damage can still occur to the screen print inside the tube if it can move around in transit. As such, you should always put a cushioned layer at the top and bottom of the tube, which will stop the rolled up screen print moving around.
You can use folded bubble wrap or acid-free tissue paper. These materials weigh very little, so you won't add to the cost of mailing the tube, but you will protect the screen print. Don't use balls of newspaper, as the paper is acidic and the ink can rub off on the rolled-up print.
There's a good market for collectible screen prints in the United States, but buyers expect their goods to turn up in mint condition. If you use cardboard mailing tubes, make sure you pack your prints properly, or you could end up with several disgruntled customers.
For more information, talk to a professional shipping company, such as Erdie Industries shipping services.