Auction Item Shipping

Auctions are a fun way to find things, whether online or at a live auction house. Auctions offer quality, unique, and hard-to-find items which may not be available new or in retail, and often offer the chance to get them at a better price than a specialty shop or company. Auctioning also “recycles” things from one generation or owner to the next. Most of all, there is the thrill of competition, watching the bids fly until the hammer comes down (or the clock runs out.) Sometimes the find is a quirky thing the buyer just stumbles upon, other times it is the end of a quest that may have lasted years, or the final piece in an extensive collection. No matter what the case, both buyer and seller want that item to get to the new owner in great condition with no problems or delays.

This is true also of items being placed in consignment. When an owner sends a piece or lot to auction, it’s important for it to arrive in great shape on the auction floor so it can realize its true value.

If you have just bought, sold, or agreed to consign a precious item through an auction, you can get a quick, accurate shipping quote right now by calling Pack and Ship at 855.322.9684, or you can use our handy online form. We have been assisting with the needs of the auction community for many years….even before eBay. Many auction houses and collectors choose us again and again for the service we provide. You can even email us a picture of your item, to give us a good idea of the exact nature of your item. We will get you a thoughtful, accurate shipping quote within 24 hours.

Many people hesitate to list or consign large things because it seems like moving them would be too much trouble. The shipping team is comfortable with any item you come up with, and we have a keen focus on articles that are large, heavy, and often considered “not worth the trouble” of trying to sell. We take equal care with small, fragile, and delicate shipments. Our service is complete, including the delivery, and can include international destinations. However, we can also move your lot across town or around the corner safely. We focus on helping our clients with every step, from packing to unpacking.

Auction Items

In today’s world of online auctions and online publicity for live auctions, just about anything under the sun can come up to bid. There is nothing as satisfying for a buyer or seller as knowing an item is going to a new home to be valued and appreciated. However, the worry that it might be damaged in the transition is a real one. If you have won it or sold it, we can help you pack and ship it with confidence, securely and safely.

  • Fine art, paintings, sculptures, vinyl records
  • Tables, plant stands, end tables
  • Couches, sofas, divans, loveseats, ottomans
  • Tools and machinery, new and old
  • Ethnic and cultural artifacts
  • Jewelry, watches, and precious gems or fossils
  • Display cases, TV cases, Entertainment Centers
  • Dolls, Bears, Figurines, Chess sets, toys
  • Guns, Swords, Armour, Saddles
  • Collections of coins, stamps, or delicate ephemera
  • Rugs, fine carpets, draperies, tapestry, quilts

Large and Bulky Lots

We all know that feeling of “I got it!” followed almost immediately by “Now how am I going to get it home?” These are the items we enjoy: a challenge to the average shipper. These are things that may be hard to move safely no matter how close to home they are. They quite valuable and need special handling and consideration. We know all the things that will be needed, from ramps to ropes. There’s no need to move to the “What was I thinking?” stage when we can help you.

  • Pianos, organs, harps
  • Freestanding sculpture and art installations
  • Pool Tables, Full taxidermy pieces
  • Fountains and statuary
  • Classic cars and collectible vehicles
  • Long pews and railroad benches
  • Chandeliers

Antique and Vintage Items

It’s very exciting to win or sell something that has survived 100, 200, or even 500 years. Many of these articles are no longer made, or were made with quality components that are impossible to replace. So many rare and one-of-a-kind pieces can be found at auctions. It’s also wonderful to find vintage items, often the ones remembered from childhood. Once the furious bidding is over, the challenge of getting it to the winner can be stressful. We love this kind of challenge, and have helped people with it for almost 30 years.

  • Barware, kitchenware, bottles, sets of dishes
  • Fine crystal, glass, porcelain, and pottery
  • Statues and sculptures
  • Textiles and clothing which needs special handling
  • Old scientific and medical equipment
  • Escritoires, étagères, and other fine furniture
  • Wardrobes, armoires, pieces with parquetry and inlays
  • Mirrors and stained glass windows
  • Claw-foot bathtubs and old iron furniture
  • Tiffany, Steuben, Lalique and antique glass
  • Oil paintings, murals, pastels and humidity-sensitive art
  • Old books, maps, postcards, photographs or daguerreotypes

Office Equipment

Sometimes buying and selling office equipment through an auction can be practical when it comes to the cost, especially if you are designing an elegant or unusual work environment. However, the shipping of those items can be intimidating.

  • Lobby items like artwork and mirrors
  • Conference tables and boardroom decor
  • Partners’ desks, executive custom desks
  • Fine Bookshelves, Globe Office Furniture
  • Oak or mahogany filing cabinets


  • White Glove Service

    This is the same level of care we use for museums. Every factor that could be involved in damaging an item is considered, from fingertips to air.
  • Expedited Service

    Need to get or send your item quickly? We will provide overnight and other expedited shipping.
  • Custom containment

    We custom build crates from corrugated cardboard or wood, with double-walls or reinforced padding, to suit any item. If an item needs controlled humidity or temperature, we can allow for that. Special foam-in-place or dust-free packing are possible.
  • Any location or method

    Ground, Air, Rail, and Ocean – whether you need domestic or international shipping, we know the carriers and the benefits of each.
  • Always full service!

    We provide full retrieval and delivery from and to any location. We don’t just drop things at the curb or a warehouse, but help unpack and remove any debris.
  • Documentation

    We can provide full documentation for customs, compliance, and brokerage, and create a clear record to support every transaction for insurance or legal purposes. Most auction houses have good record keeping, but if you are using an online auction service such as eBay, it can be important to have records and a clear chain of custody and proof of shipping for eBay and Paypal. This is especially important if you are using a shipping method with multiple legs, such as truck to ship to shore to truck. In the event of fraud or poor communication, we can provide records to help you sort it out.

Tips for Shipping Auction Items

Get Details up Front

Make sure your measurements are accurate. If the item is coming to you from an auction house or seller, they will provide these. However, if you are the seller, or are sending something on consignment, it will be important to get the details. Estimating the shipping weight of some pieces can be a challenge, since you can’t step on a scale while holding the dining room table. If you are shipping a piece of furniture, using a moving weight estimator can help.Weight Estimator Bear in mind that the materials will also play a factor; a wicker settee will be much lighter than one made from walnut or mahogany. If you need assistance, give us a call; also, let us know if the weight you provide is an estimate (as opposed to actual weight from a catalog, for example.) Knowing the exact dimensions of your items allows us to give you the best packing and shipping quote up front. Sometimes an inch in size can mean a different vehicle or kind of crating will be needed for shipping a piece. For smaller items that are awkward, try weighing an empty box, then weighing the item in the box and subtracting the difference. If you are trying to determine the shipping of a fragile item that must be packed, allow yourself or a packer ample room for packing material and insulation.

Know Your Options

Consider the different methods for shipping items, the time they take, and what will be best for you. Different carriers may have different limitations. For example, extremely large trucks may not always gain access to residential locations.

Learn the Costs

Understand any fees and charges that may be associated with shipping a particular item. For example, some carriers may charge extra to provide special containment. Each mode of transport has different industry standards. The burden of estimating costs usually falls to the seller, but knowing all the facts can help a buyer be prepared if something was overlooked. Shipping is not just about the miles covered; it’s about the quality of care and the condition of the shipment at the destination.

Insure Adequately

Make sure you have an accurate description of the item or lot, and know its fair market and replacement values. In some cases, this is easy, if you have just bought or sold the item. You can use the listing or catalog as a reference point, along with the hammer price. In other situations, such as in the case of sending your possession to an auction house when its true value has not yet been determined, you may need to consult an appraiser, or do some research to find out what like items are selling for today. Taking a few pictures and writing down the provenance, or history, of an item will help you in working with any insurer or adjuster. Many auction houses require this before they accept a consignment. A complete description can be vital. For example an “old picture” does not tell us as much as a “17th century oil on canvas in hand-carved, gilt wooden frame, unknown artist, Dutch school, subject: ships in harbor.” Some shipping carriers have coverage limits, and in some cases you may want additional insurance for a special item. Some auctions require insurance to be purchased, but eBay, for example, does not. Understanding the value of your item is important in making insurance decisions. We can provide you with a trained, talented appraiser if you need one.

Know the Rules

Be aware of restrictions and regulations that may affect your shipping if the auction item is coming from or going to an international location. Each country will have their own specific export, import, and customs regulations. Duties, taxes, and other fees will also vary depending on the locations involved. Precious auction items are often subject to extra scrutiny in customs, and knowing the import and export regulations will help you give the information they need up front to avoid delays.

Be Organized and Communicate

Have a coordinated plan when it comes to pick-up times, delivery times, and all the parties involved if the item is large enough that there must be meeting times. For example, if you have acquired a piece for a museum collection, the museum staff and security personnel will need to be aware of the arrival and ready to receive the piece. Let both your shipping carrier or broker know about special requirements up front, and be sure to give them ample contact information, such as cell phone numbers, email, and land line options for all the parties that will be involved. Timing can be very important to the success of an important shipment. Any delays or changes in the schedule should be communicated to everyone as soon as possible, so everything will go smoothly.

Types of Auction Item Shipping Companies


Most auction items are usually categorized under the heading of “household goods” by freight companies and couriers. It can be LTL, which means less-than-truckload, indicating that your items will share transport with other items, and may stop at different warehouses and locations along the way. You will also hear about truckload freight, which means you have a truck dedicated only to your auction items, but it will be rare that you will have enough to fill a truck. If you do, truckload freight will go straight from the point of origin to the destination. Air Freight moves more quickly than standard freight, but does not necessarily mean it is flown in an aircraft.

Blanket Wrap

A blanket wrap carrier will wrap each item by hand. Any flaws or damage will be noticed immediately, rather than in the case of a package or crate, where it may not be seen until an item is opened. Blanket wrap generally has lower labor costs, and is environmentally friendly, since blankets and equipment are re-used. In some cases, cling wrap may be used rather than a blanket, to prevent drawers from sliding open, for example. This is a good option for furniture items and large fine art pieces.

Van Lines

Van lines usually use actual vans or trucks which are designed for carrying specific kinds of cargo, but may also employ shipping containers. These will offer packing and crating, but sometimes also allow you or the auction house the option of doing the item packing, although this may be more risky. Vans often have special fixtures for handling tall furniture securely, padded walls, and come with specialized equipment for moving heavy and awkward objects such as pianos or artwork that is large, like a fresco that is 10 feet tall.

Pack and Post is a brokerage, so we look at the big picture and have a complete understanding of all these options and more. Like a travel agent, we can often get the best rates as packing and shipping companies compete for our business. We also know how to pick and choose the best, most qualified carriers and handlers. We are experts at planning the packing and shipping of precious items, and coordinating the entire project from start to finish.

Pack and Ship has over 28 years of experience, and all the tools for every job. Many galleries, fine auction houses, museums, and serious collectors choose us as their primary shipper because they know the quality and professionalism we bring to every job. No item is too big or too small. Although we have shipped things for many years, we know each item is unique and each shipment requires personal, hands-on attention. If you need an auction item shipped, we can help you. You can relax, confident that every detail has been addressed. In some ways, the auction is not “over” until the buyer has the shipment safe and sound. Call now at 855.322.9684 or use our convenient, fast online form for a personalized quote!