Packing an antique clock;

Views 4 Likes Comments Comment
Like if this guide is helpful

I have been dealing in antique clocks for well over forty years. In that time, I have purchased a great many antique and vintage clocks, many on eBay. While most arrive safe and sound, quite a few arrive badly damaged, sometimes beyond repair. There are quite a number of reasons for this; bad packing, bad handling by the courier or a combination of both!
As a seller, there are a number of measures that can be taken to minimise the risk of damage. By following these few simple guidelines, you will (or should) be able to avoid an "item not as described" case opened against you, neutral or negative feedback or any bad feeling between yourself and your buyer. It could also cost you by having to not only refund the buyer the purchase cost and P&P but also the cost of having the clock returned to you at your expense, leaving you considerably out of pocket.  Most buyers will be happy to pay a pound or two for decent packaging but most will object to paying a fortune for substandard and poor packaging.
Step 1: First of all, find a suitable box. It will need to be almost double the size of the clock and of decent quality. "Crisp" boxes are not suitable. They are far too thin and flimsey and they offer no protection whatsoever for your clock. Double wall boxes are ideal.
Step 2: Line the bottom and sides box with either large bubble wrap or 2-3 layers of small bubble wrap.
Step 3: Prepare the clock for transportation. Remove the pendulum and key from inside. Secure the pendulum leader by placing a piece of folded paper or foam behind the leader against the back plate of the movement. Secure the chime hammers with the transit clip, if it has one. If not, use a plastic coated wire tie, as often used with food bags. The same applies to striking hammers when the hammer can be tied to the gong using one of these ties. This will help to keep it quiet during transit and will help eliminate any possible damage to the movement at the same time. A piece of folded bubble wrap can also be placed inside for a little more protectection.
Step 4: Lay a suitable piece of nice, clean bubble wrap on a flat surface. Using another piece of bubble wrap, make a thick pad roughly the same size as the glass of the clock. Place this pad on your main wrapping and lay the clock face down onto the pad. Wrap the clock with at least four layers of bubble wrap, working length ways and width ways.
Step 5: Place the key and penduum in an envelope. Don't forget to include any setting up instructions or notes regarding the clock that your buyer may need. DO NOT leave the key and pendulum inside the clock, as they can do irrepairable damage to the movement if they get caught up in the wheel work during transit.
Step 6: Place the clock upright into the centre of the box and fill the voids using polystyrene packing peanuts or plenty of screwed up newspaper. Pieces of torn up cardboard, supermarket carrier bags and old and tatty chunks of polystyrene will offer little or no protection for your clock!!
Step 7: Place the envelope containing the key, pendulum and any paperwork, etc, on top of the packing and seal the box closed. If you wish to add that "caring" touch to your parcel, wrap the box in a nice clean sheet of brown wrapping paper. Address the box correctly and mark it "FRAGILE" either with the appropriate tape or with a decent thick ink marker.
Step 8: Choosing the courier! This is probably THE most important final step to take. Certain couriers that offer a 3-5 days service have absolutely no respect whatsoever for their customer's parcels. They are sometimes the subject of a "football match" between warehouse staff!! Some people still choose the expensive way and use the Royal Mail. They are neither cheap nor careful!! One courier dropped a parcel on my doorstep as I opened the door. I informed him that it contained a clock costing £6,000 to which he replied "not my problem pal"!! The clock did survive but more by luck than anything!!
I can recommend an excellent courier who will provide you with a 24 hour service for just £8.75 plus VAT (£10.74) for a parcel up to 15kg. Their 48 hour service is even cheaper!! If you book this courier through Interparcel, they will collect the same day and deliver the next if you make and confirm the booking BEFORE midday. This courier ALWAYS treat their customer's parcels with respect. They will collect from your house and deliver to your buyer the very next day, excluding Saturdays and Sundays. I have never received an item with any damage delivered by them. They are a national company and I will be extremely happy to recommend them if you contact me to ask.
By following these few simple steps, your clock should arrive with your buyer in the same condition that it left you. The end result will be a successful transaction, good feedback and the possibility of repeat business. Try to avoid over pricing your P&P. By charging more than around £12.00 for P&P, all you will achieve is a lot less money for your item and your DSRs will take a hit!! 90% of clocks weigh less than 10kg when packed!! If you do use the cheaper courier, think about your possible feedback and DON'T charge for the expensive one to cover your eBay and PayPal fees!! You should also bear in mind that NO courier will insure a clock for damage. Even trying to claim for one that is lost is extremely difficult!! Please remember this when you charge your buyer for insurance. It could return to bite you on the backside!!
I hope that you will find this guide useful as every antique or vintage clock that arrives damaged is another piece of history that is possibly lost.
Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides