View Full Version : Selling Pastel Pieces Internationally?

05-11-2015, 02:40 PM
All --

I am in the U.S. Someone from Europe has asked to purchase one of my larger pieces, 18" x 24", based on an image he saw on my web-site. I have transported pieces of that size in the US following the packing and shipping instructions that Charlie included in one of her posts. But how do I do it internationally? Also, how do I collect payment? What information do I need from the purchaser? Do I take a deposit? What shipping company do I use? What kind of guarantees do I provide?


05-11-2015, 04:52 PM
Be careful, it could be a scam.

05-11-2015, 05:01 PM
I don't think it's a scam. We've exchanged emails and my sense is that the buyer is legitimate. Has anyone sold paintings to a foreign buyer before? What vehicle have you used for receiving the funds? I see a ton of foreign flags on member IDs!! So I'm sure folks have dealt with this issue before.

05-11-2015, 05:08 PM
I believe that I would take all the info as a art material shop want when I buy from them. Maybe google the persons name after that. Paypal is one way that art material shop use, so that is probably a good way because then you don't have to give any info about you except for your address if you are working from home.

Don't send any art before it is paid. Be careful

water girl
05-11-2015, 05:21 PM
AnnaLisa has given good advice. I always Google buyers.

05-11-2015, 05:59 PM
PayPal for sure, or electronic transfer. There is a company called ULine that sells all sizes of heavy duty shipping boxes specifically for art, and everything else. DHL, UPS, FedEx are all international shippers so you probably don't need a broker, who would put your box in a half empty shipping container and you'd see it in about 2 months. They don't deliver on the other end, either.

05-11-2015, 07:15 PM
I would get payment in full before shipping. Check to see if the art sandwch will fit any size of flat rate Priority Mail International since that's worldwide and reasonably fast and very reliable. I never lost an artwork that was in a Priority Mail box. If not check with UPS or FedEx and get a quote. Insure it for full value. Both of those services go world wide.

If no Priority Mail box works, the flat boxes Blick ships sheets of paper in are good but do keep the cardboard insert and wrap around the Art Sandwich with corrugated cardboard on both sides with saran wrap or kitchen wrap. Use a large plastic trash bag around the entire insert and tape shut. This helps. I only had one or two paper boxes arrive dented in over a decade ordering stuff.

05-11-2015, 07:23 PM
Congrats! Pack it the same way. Get paid by Paypal.

Moqui Steps
05-12-2015, 11:15 AM
Another vote for payment by PayPal. Only ship to the verified address for their PayPal account and you are covered, as well as them.

FYI, if you ship UPS / FedEx it is going to be very expensive - probably over $500 if the buyer has to pay brokerage fees on their side to get it out of customs. You should ask FedEx and UPS if there will be brokerage fees to the ship to country because your customer is not going to be happy with a surprise $60 brokerage fee on their end.

Here are the slowest / lowest rates to a residential address for a 24x30x8 box at 15 pounds, insured for $2000. I added 3 inches of padding to the 18x24 dims. you might go less than that, but I wouldn't, particularly if you go US Mail. Your dimensions will be larger of course, if you have a wide frame on it.

$440 FedEx*
$455 UPS*
$250 USPS Global Express
$90 USPS Priority Mail

*Not including any brokerage fees.

I would not send glass, either no glass with a protective sheet of chrome coat paper on the pastel, glassine covered with mat board, or polycarbonate - which is probably the best choice since they won't have to get glass cut and have it inserted, increasing the chance of damaging it.

Find the box first, pack it, accurately weigh it then look up the rate on the web before you quote the shipping rate to your customer so you won't be burned on shipping. If you ship by US Mail, usually no brokerage fees for the buyer but it might get a bit more rough handling than the other two plus insurance claims on international US Mail shipments are sketchy from what I recall, but the last box that we lost sent by mail was over 20 years ago. We were only given 10 cents on the dollar for the loss claim for a box sent to Australia. Things may have changed since then.

Both FedEx and UPS have handled insurance claims quickly and fairly, though we have also only had one from each carrier for the last 35 years. if you have business insurance, often you can add a shipping insurance rider for a modest fee. Back when we were shipping 10K a month worth of stuff, the rider was a tiny fraction of the UPS/FedEx insurance fees we were paying each month.