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  #1  
Old 04-17-2013, 10:20 AM
LAH LAH is offline
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Question Shipping questions

I have a sculpture 58" x 24" 24" (wt. of sculpture alone is 35#) that I have to ship from MI to WI. Cost of sculpture is $3500. Cost of Fed Ex (freight) for shipping is $771 if I pack the sculpture with 3" clearance all around (is this enough clearance to for shipping freight?). Am wondering if there is a less expensive way to get it there safely. Have considered driving it or taking the ferry across with it. Cost of ferry and gas would be about $400 (this does not factor in my time but at least would be a pleasant trip). Driving around Chicago would cost less but definitely a white knuckler in a geriatric van. Client knows they are responsible for shipping cost but I don't want to loose the sale because of the cost of getting it there. I need to get back with them on a price for the shipping.

Question: Would love to hear any suggestions as to what others out there would do for it's safe economical delivery and pricing such. Thank you greatly. LAH
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:10 PM
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mantrid mantrid is offline
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Re: Shipping questions

Personally I would drive it there if its cheaper, also you can be certain it will be handled properly.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:15 PM
LAH LAH is offline
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Re: Shipping questions

Thank you for your input. How would you charge for driving it there? (so much per mile?, cost of gas?, my time?) (Please forgive my naivete--this is the first time I've had this come up). Again thank you for you take on this.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:06 PM
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mantrid mantrid is offline
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Re: Shipping questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by LAH View Post
Thank you for your input. How would you charge for driving it there? (so much per mile?, cost of gas?, my time?) (Please forgive my naivete--this is the first time I've had this come up). Again thank you for you take on this.
I would personally just cover my petrol costs to give the client a good deal, and consider the trip a short break/holiday away from home. But its totally a personal thing only you can decide this.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:51 PM
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tonofelephant tonofelephant is offline
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Re: Shipping questions

LAH - what Mantrid said. Take it personally to the gallery/client. You will make sure that the sculpture gets there in one piece.

Charge gallery/client the shipping that FEC EX would charge. If the client balks, tell them that it would normally cost the client your time @ $____ per hour + $.75/mile + making the boxes & getting the shipping supplies (should run over $1,000). But decided on just charging what FED EX does because you wanted to meet the client & make sure the sculpture got installed properly. This is brownie point time.

As to shipping, just went through a shipping funfest with UPS & an LTL trucking company. The safest way to ship your sculpture is to double box it. The inner box would be 3" larger on all 6 sides. Then this inner box is put in an outer box that is 2" larger on all 6 sides. The inner box is suspended on Ethafoam cushions in all 4 corners when slid into outer box. I ship stone sculpture & UPS & the LTL managed to destroy two pieces. One $3,200 & the other $2,000.

So take the time to have a nice ride to the client. See a show or go get a goody that you cannot get at home. Don't get hung up on "is it more to ship by commercial carrier or drive it". If within 400 - 500 miles one way - drive. Spend the night. Makes for piece of mind & possibly an adventure.
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  #6  
Old 04-20-2013, 06:19 PM
LAH LAH is offline
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Re: Shipping questions

Thank you so much for your kind input and sharing your experiences. I like the idea of looking at delivering it in person as a little justified downtime and adventure (sometimes when I have work needing to be finished staring at me it's hard to give myself permission to relax--even though it's much needed). I appreciate your thoughts on how to charge also. I can maybe offer to bring another piece or two if there is something they would like to see in addition the one they are purchasing--there would be no extra delivery charge for an additional purchase. Can't hurt to be optomistic. Thank you again. LAH
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:12 AM
Art-Deco Art-Deco is offline
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Re: Shipping questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by LAH View Post
Thank you for your input. How would you charge for driving it there? (so much per mile?, cost of gas?, my time?) (Please forgive my naivete--this is the first time I've had this come up). Again thank you for you take on this.
There are formulas the IRS and others use as a basis for what it costs to do this, essentially using your vehicle for a business related trip. There is more than JUST the cost of the fuel to consider! the formula takes into account wear and tear of the mileage, depreciation, maintenance and insurance.

Don't forget that every mile you drive creates wear on every component of the vehicle, including the oil, tires and a percentage of the insurance.

If you drive say 800 miles in 2 days, and you change your oil every 2000 miles, you've burned up the equiv of almost half the cost of the next oil change just for this trip, little things like that most drivers don't think about!

Michigan to Wisconsin doesn't look like a very straight trip, I'm guessing your trip might be 400 miles each way? you mention the ferry, so that's a cost but if we assume 400 miles one way @ 75 cents a mile that might be about $600 plus your time. Since it was quoted $771 to ship for you, you might tell your client that or send them a copy of something that states that amount, and then offer to personally deliver it to them for $600 to cover your fuel and mileage, ferry toll etc and it will be safer for the sculpture, the client will get to meet you in person, maybe you can set the sculpture up for them, and as a bonus they still save $171 minimum over shipping it.
They may have said $771 but you can bet there will be some little add-ons like fuel surcharge, taxes, and if they re-weigh the crate because they don't think it's the weight you stated, there's a charge for that too.


These figures might help you out, you can google map the route for the miles there, double it as you will be returning, and multiply by one of the below figures. A SUV 4WD they figure costs 75.7 cents a mile and that's probably comparable to a van, a minivan is a little less:

Quote:
Cost of Owning and Operating Vehicle in U.S. Increased 1.9 Percent According to AAA’s 2012 ‘Your Driving Costs’ Study

Cost Per Mile:

Small Sedan 44.9 cents
Medium Sedan 58.5 cents
Large Sedan 75.5 cents
Sedan Average 59.6 cents
SUV 4WD 75.7 cents
Minivan 63.4 cents

Last edited by Art-Deco : 04-21-2013 at 12:27 AM.
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  #8  
Old 04-21-2013, 08:41 PM
Mack Mack is offline
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Re: Shipping questions

My thoughts: Charge your client whatever makes your trip worthwhile to you.
Bring other pieces with you but don't try to "sell" them, say whatever you want as to why they are in your truck but don't try to "sell" them,show them if you have the opportunity, because you like people to see what you do, but leave it at that. And, most importantly, always charge more than you think is "fair"!
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  #9  
Old 04-22-2013, 10:17 AM
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tonofelephant tonofelephant is offline
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Re: Shipping questions

LAH - we covered the sipping aspect. Now make the trip worthwhile. Mack mentioned: "Bring other pieces with you but don't try to "sell" them, say whatever you want as to why they are in your truck but don't try to "sell" them, show them if you have the opportunity, because you like people to see what you do, but leave it at that."

Email/Call galleries in the state where your client is located & set up appointments to see them. That way you can honestly say you are going to see galleries after you see the client. Reason for this is I know in my case, a neon sign goes off over my head when I am "stretching the truth", prevaricating, or however you characterize some form of lying.

Am doing the exact same thing in May when I deliver a sculpture to a client in NC. Called 10 galleries & have appointments to see two of them. The two galleries seem to be okay via their website & talking to the gallery owner on the phone, but will see in-person. I will have a larger limestone sculpture in the truck as well as 2 - 3 smaller alabaster sculptures. Am looking to come back with an empty truck.

Making the rounds from one end of NC to the other will extend my trip by a day or two (and about 500 miles) to get more business. Also get to be in one of my favorite states at a great time of the year. This is one of the perks of being self-employed.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:31 AM
LAH LAH is offline
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Re: Shipping questions

Thank you all for your feedback. I so laughed at your comments about what happens when "stretching the truth even a little" -- I have one of those flashing neon lights also. Shall have to do a little head scratching for other business in that area. Good luck in NC. I hope you come back with an empty truck and orders for more

Last edited by LAH : 04-26-2013 at 08:36 AM. Reason: wanted to thank all that responded not just the last two
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