Online and estate auctions can be great places to find antique and vintage treasures. Unfortunately, if the seller is just happy to get the payment, then save a buck on protective packaging materials to assure its safe delivery, then you are likely to be on the receiving end of that awful sound of broken china.
Photographing the remains for insurance purposes and opening cases to get some resolution is no fun either.
Been there, done that. Cried a river : (
While newspaper can be great for packing out corners of boxes, it should NEVER be used as the only protection, it offers little in the way of cushioning as the box gets tossed around on mail carrier vehicles and PO conveyor belts.
Imagine first, the journey....your box may be dropped by a careless postie, tumbled down PO chutes, get hooked up on corners of conveyor belts and may have 20 lb boxes of books stacked on top of yours in a delivery truck. Fragile stickers mean nothing to the heavy beating any box can and WILL sustain in everyday shipping methods. If your box survives this process, then spare another thought for how the carrier may throw your item onto a porch or deck at the other end. No one on its journey will care more than you do.
Now... wrap accordingly!
While these paper plates may have seemed like a good idea at the time, any trip on a bumpy road could have been all it took for these plates to impact each other and break. They were possibly broken before they ever even made it to the post office.
Apply a layer or two if tissue paper to delicate bone china, so any bubble wrap won't sweat in the box and damage gilt edges or hand-painted surfaces.
Then a double layer of bubble wrap between each plate, so even if the box is jolted, the pieces will never come in contact with each other. Now wrap around the outside of that.
Wrap handles and spouts with extra padding, then give at least three layers to encapsulate your pieces.
Never leave a lid inside a pot, wrap it separately.
Be sure that no china can impact another piece, even if it encounters a rough trip, or a fall.
Double box your treasures, it is well worth it and only adds a small amount of extra weight. Most breakages are due to impacting the side if a box during transit. Double-boxing is a must!
Use plenty of packing peanuts! They are your friend here! Leave enough space all the way around your inner box to add a final layer of peanuts.
Keep your heavy duty tape for the final closing, NEVER use large thick tape around your delicate china, it will be easily broken as someone has to use sharp scissors or a knife to extract their item from its taped cocoon.
Make your next buyer's experience a wonderful one...it's a thrill to open a box well packed and know that I will NOT be hearing that sickening sound of broken antiques!
So many beautiful pieces have been lost forever since online selling has become so popular. So wrap it with love and care and be confident that your item will make it to its destination in wonderful shape!