Originally Posted by J.W.
No one has complained to me about shipping in tubes, and I've been doing it for a few years.
Most of the people I have bought large prints from use tubes. I prefer the triangular tubes, as they are far stronger than typical round tubes, and lighter than the heavy duty round tubes I've seen.
Besides, how feasible is it to ship an 18x24 poster flat?
Right--I ship 14" x 18" (the mat size) prints flat, and that's a bit of a hassle. I have to use heavy cardboard boxes and leave a couple inches of "bump space" on each side to ensure that the prints arrive undamaged. That makes them a bit heavier, and the dimensions of the box I use (I affix the print in the middle of the flat box) are 24" square. For an 18 x 24, you'd need the box to be at least 28" on one side. My shipping costs, with insurance, work out close to my $6 shipping/handling/insurance charge, and that's not including materials, so that takes away a bit of my profit on the print. And I've paid up to $17 to mail the way I do internationally.
My wife keeps trying to talk me into using tubes and selling prints without the mats, but I like selling with mats a lot better, and I figure that increases the chances that someone might actually hang the work up when they receive it instead of sticking it in a closet, on a shelf, under a couch, etc.
I have bought a number of posters in tubes (I collect a lot of horror film posters), and only had a problem one time--somehow, the US Postal Service managed to puncture a heavy-duty tube, which punctured the poster, too. So tubes aren't a bad idea (although I have a number of posters still in tubes in a closet, but that's a space issue, lol)