So you're thinking about shipping your antique dresser, and maybe you're terrified. Or maybe you aren't worried at all. In either case, you might have more to consider.
At the heart of it, you want to make sure of two things:
- Don't ship it like it is low cost furniture. If you know its value, treat it like it's worth.
- Make sure the shipper knows its value (more on that later).
So what are some things you should know to make shipping that expensive piece successful?
Know the Value
This is huge! The value is going to determine everything – how the piece is packed, how it's prepped on-site, moved/shipped and even delivered. These pieces can very quite a bit in value too, I've seen ones valued as low as $1000 and as high as $80,000 so it's best to start by knowing how much your particular dresser is worth. If you suspect your piece might be on the higher side, I would suggest getting a certified appraisal. They're not as expensive as you might think and honestly you should probably have one anyway for your home owners insurance policy. It's also nice to have on hand in case the insurance company requests proof of value.
Know the Condition
Also crucial. Make sure to document the condition, take pictures or a video, making sure to note any chips, dents, scratches, etc. on the household goods descriptive inventory – it's easy to forget the details. And of course, if you are not the receiving party it's great resource for them to make sure the dresser arrives in the same condition it left. And it's one of those things that, if you don't do it now, you might regret it later.
Know Who to Use
Please, please don't just use anyone. I'm sure cost is a factor, just don't let it be your only one. First, if you don't already know, you're probably going to need a shipper, not a mover. Most moving companies have large minimums, 1000 lbs. and up, so you're going to need someone that can handle a smaller load. Second, make sure they can offer insurance, if they can't be concerned. Very concerned. Finally, make sure they have experience in these kinds of moves, you want to find a company that has done this before lest you walk in on your one-of-a-kind being strapped onto a refrigerator dolly.
Know How You Feel About the Piece
This is just as important as the other considerations. Be honest with how you would personally feel if something happened to the piece and use that to frame the whole process before starting. If it is something that you deeply care about (and I'm guessing since you are reading this, you do) how could you skirt the previous points? Knowing the value will help you understand it's financial worth to others and give you an idea of compensation from insurance companies if the worst should happen. Knowing the condition will allow you to track the piece's condition from point A to point B, and also keep you from the common issue of thinking old damage is new damage. And both of those points should lead you into why knowing who to use is so important: if they don't care about the value and condition of high-value pieces... you are just rolling the dice.