Odd Man Out, Watercolor, 20.5″ x 40″, 52cm x 101.5cm, currently at the Kansas Watercolor Society National Exhibition, Wichita Center for the Arts.
I recently shipped this painting to Wichita and have shipped several paintings with FedEx since I last posted several articles on shipping artwork: Shipping Artwork FedEx Ground vs. UPS, Declared Value for Shipping Artwork: What Does This Mean & What Do I Need to Know?, and Shipping Large Paintings: What I’ve Learned.
I wanted to add another tip that has seemed to work for me so far with the issue of the declared value and return labels. All the shows I have been in require that you include a return shipping label with your artwork so that it can be sent back to you if it does not sell. If you ship FedEx Ground service and you select the “return label” option to create the return label. FedEx will only let you put a declared value of $1000 on the return. Therefore, what do you do if your painting is worth more than $1000? Here is how I have gotten around this issue, which has worked so far.
Do not choose the “return label” option, but save all of your data in the address book for the shipment going to the gallery or show, and then create a new label reversing the addresses. FedEx will make you choose a shipping date for the return, which will usually always be sooner than the show will be over. I choose the last date possible. The reality is the return won’t go into the system until the label is scanned by the driver at pick up. So the date you put filling out the label is a moot point. By creating this second label as opposed to indicating you want a return label on the one you create to get the work to the show, lets you put the same declared value on the painting, you had when you sent it there, instead of the FedEx default value of $1000.
If my painting is valued at less than $1000 then I go ahead and choose the return label option. I hope this helps fellow artists. If you are new to sending your work off to various locations learning all the ins and outs of shipping can be a bit daunting!