Tuesday, September 14, 2010

If It Fits It Ships

Ever use that flat rate shipping that the USPS offers?  If you could squeeze your wedding dress into that larger flat box, it would be a deal!  Unfortunately, most wedding dresses are going to require a more involved shipping and handling process. 

When my daughter sold her Paloma Blanca gown, we were excited, of course.  We were also nervous.  The gown needed to be paid for, the shipping address confirmed, and the dress safely delivered.  There were some snafus that we encountered in the payment that turned out to be an overly cautious credit card company, but that is a good thing in today's crazy Internet world where scammers lurk.  So once payment was secured, the shipping rested squarely on our shoulders.  I first confirmed the buyers address.  How?  Ever hear of google?  And I called the phone number given to give us some reassurance that this was the real deal.  Can you see how skeptical I am?  I was able to find out that someone would be there for delivery, and that was important, too.  Next, I went comparison shopping.  I only have two options locally.  USPS and UPS.  I started at UPS thinking I would get faster service.  I was shocked to learn that they could not offer me delivery confirmation.  That was after they had measured and weighed and estimated between $50 and $60 to ship.  USPS offered tracking,delivery confirmation, and insurance for a very reasonable price.  Now before you invest in USPS insurance, please know that unless you have a receipt for what you are shipping, you are wasting your money.  I had the receipt, luckily, so I felt very fortunate to be able to insure it.  It still cost over $50 to ship, but I packed it in a box suitable for the gown's fullness and still allow for some packing material so it was a HUGE box!  To pack the dress, I lined the box with lots of plastic bubble wrap to make it as waterproof as possible.  The dress itself was also in its garment bag to prevent soiling and provide another moisture barrier.  I stuffed any empty space with white tissue.  On the outside I marked top and bottom and noted on the box to avoid sharp objects.  I was so nervous letting it go, but my husband laughed and said it was the buyer who should be worried, not me.  She had paid me almost $1000 and I had her money and the dress.  Still, I wanted the transaction to go smoothly.
Happy Ending?  Yes!  The gown arrived safe and sound.  It fit her like a glove.  She was thrilled to get a dress for half of what it would have cost, and my daughter and her new husband bought a piece of antique furniture for their new nest. 
I just hope she saved the box...


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