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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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PostPosted: Fri 04 Nov, 2016 7:39 pm    Post subject: Packing swords etc. for resale; your experiences         Reply with quote

Hello historical arms and armor collecting community.

We often talk about unpacking our trophies when they arrive. Not always, but in some reviews people like to talk about the box, how well it was packed, and how they felt when they first saw a new piece. We all have our little rituals when we do this (you know what I'm talking about). After all, its the moment of truth and the moment we've been looking forward to.

That's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about the opposite: packing up a sword or other such item for purpose of a trade or resale. I actually find this to be a rather stressful experience. Most times I end up feeling exhausted by the end.

Obviously its not as fun as getting receiving something. Its most often a piece that you once wanted or liked very much, but now its time to part with for some reason; change or lack of interest, financial need, need to make space etc. There may be some lingering regret about letting it go or at least a moment of 'separation anxiety' from a prized possession. Its an inconvenience and there's little to be excited about, except perhaps for the expected trade or what you plan to do with the money (for me, usually to put it into another piece). But I find the physical process itself a bit stressful.

This is the way it goes for me, when it comes to swords. First of all, there's the finding of an appropriate box, usually selected from a pile that I keep from incoming. Then there's the finding of packing materials, wrapping material, cleaning materials, and tape. Probably removing some old shipping addresses from the box. Usually for the materials are whatever is on hand from those previous shipments so its never exactly the same.

When its all ready to go I clean the sword a bit and oil it for shipping. I then stick something on the tip: a left over plastic tip protector (whatever they are called) or whatever I can come up with, even a sold cork. I'm paranoid about the tip breaking through because it has happened twice to me with incoming. Then wrapping up in bubble wrap or whatever else plastic wrap is on hand, held in place with some tape. And some more cardboard wrapping around the tip for good measure. Then (unless an Albion box is on hand), placing harder packing materials toward the tip of the box to prevent either end breaking through, something beneath the sword, the sword itself, and then packing materials all around, again with whatever is availble (bubble wrap, foam wrap, foam peanuts, paper, whatever). Finally, there's the wrapping of the box - I probably put way too much tape round but again I've seen boxes come apart and by that time I'm pretty worked up. I don't bother with writing addresses any more since they will be stuck on at the post office.

Somehow, in this process I always feel like its a race and end up tired and sweaty.

Even dropping off at the post office is a bit stressful. First of all, my local post office is only open when I'm usually at work so it requires some special logistics. Then there's the reactions to 'sword' on the form (one woman told me it was illegal) and the whole rigamorol of getting the address right, filling out forms and payments. Then getting a tracking number and getting that back to the purchaser, hoping there are not problems or complaints. At least so far, knock on wood, there have been no problems or complaints, other than a couple of very long delivery times with some overseas shipments. Thank goodness for tracking numbers!

All in all, this is my least favorite part of the hobby. Am I alone in this or does it resonate for anyone else?
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
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PostPosted: Sat 05 Nov, 2016 7:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have a garage half full of old sword, axe, armor, and clothing boxes. Also, neatly folded and stacked bubble-wrap and packing paper, and a jar full of plastic sword tip protectors. I don't like mailing things away either....especially having to make labels, getting a return authorization code, having to make a trip to the post office...yadayadayada. I usually am just returning items for various reasons. In that case, I always use the original box. I've only ever re-packed something once. I sold a helm and a mail shirt. The shirt weighed 30-ish pounds, sooo.....a stout box and a roll of packing tape later, and it was ready to go. You could have dropped it from a 20 story building and wouldn't hurt it. Laughing Out Loud ...............McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sat 05 Nov, 2016 8:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You wrote sort of mostly almost everything I could think of ...... but, there is always something else one can add ...... Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud

If it is a sword with a complex guard extra protection around the whole guard by folding a rectangle of stiff cardboard around the whole guard and taping it in place so that it wont slide up or down in transit exposing any parts of the guard.

Long pointy quillons need to be treated the same as a sword point.

Scabbard ? Sword in scabbard, if it has one, is a possibility or wrapping it separately to avoid rust should moisture get into the scabbard. If the sword is in the scabbard one shouldn't cover the blade with too much oil that would damage the scabbard: One might never be able to remove any excess oil from the scabbard.

If shipped in scabbard a dry lubricant oil or maybe Renaissance wax would be a good idea.

I also would add forwarding and return address in the package should the package get lost in transit or the exterior address labels get damaged and unreadable ..... I'm sort of paranoid about just relying on the glued on address labels and I usually also write the destination address on multiple sides of the package and cover these with transparent shipping tape.

I also have half a garage full of the shipping boxes I received swords or other weapons in ..... I should probably only keep a few as the clutter can grow to be " ridiculous " if one keeps every shipping box one has received .... Wink

Oh, some swords and pole arms I bought in the past where actually shipped in wooden boxes the makers made for shipping and those are certainly keepers that would be useful if one sold them, or even if one needed to pack them up for a move.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Sat 05 Nov, 2016 12:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Although inevitable, I somewhat dread the process of shipping. A great many of my swords can ship in the medium USPS triangular tubes but I have others that would need more attention to protection when shipping. Something I would suggest to protect cruciform type guards are sturdy widths of cardboard rolled up as tubes and longer than the guard to keep them from poking out the sides of shipping cartons.. Hard plastic bottles, such as prescription bottles are also candidates for both guard and point protectors. I would add more to a point cup.

Shipping my A&A GBS will inevitably give me nightmares but mine came to me with the guard poking out one side. More troublesome than even my baskets here, the GBS would be the bulkiest and most trouble to pack.. When loading out for events or parties, I have taken to bundling other cruciforms in and along the rings of the GBS and binding the lot with rope. Lump o' sword.

Tubes or bottles over the guard ends I guess my best offering of a tip when not having a custom box to secure it in cardboard. Rifle cases a very good solution and if bought new, usually has an outer cardboard carton as well. One ATrim years ago came in a bare case just taped shut with a shipping label. Worked for me Wink

Many could probably ship as large flats and that may save some if cost is by overall dimensions. One tiny ol' sabre in scabbard came in boxed in this massive dimension. The guy hardly packed it as if the ship might sink but the sword hardly needed a 12"x12"x48" behemoth. Another one of those boxes of air routines

Cheers

GC
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
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PostPosted: Sat 05 Nov, 2016 12:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Never buy what I can't afford to receive. Never sell what I can't afford to lose. Always buy the insurance. Yes, I've had a problem or three. Yes, it was annoying. Yes, everything got sorted by being reasonable. No, I don't dread shipping and packing. :-)
"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
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PostPosted: Sat 05 Nov, 2016 4:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks guys for the input.

Something Jean said reminded me of the time I sent a sword to Kult of Athena and it got lost for a while because I did not put my name and address inside the box.

I have a feeling that I go overboard with packing. Once a fellow forumite send me a sword loose in a box with only some protection on the tip, and it made it through OK. Then again, as I mentioned, sometimes reasonably packed swords break free.

Ever see a sword packed by Jeff Helmes? Never mind the sword, his boxes are battle-ready.
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Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz




Location: Michigan, USA
Joined: 08 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov, 2016 5:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J.D. Crawford wrote:
Thanks guys for the input.

Something Jean said reminded me of the time I sent a sword to Kult of Athena and it got lost for a while because I did not put my name and address inside the box.

I have a feeling that I go overboard with packing. Once a fellow forumite send me a sword loose in a box with only some protection on the tip, and it made it through OK. Then again, as I mentioned, sometimes reasonably packed swords break free.

Ever see a sword packed by Jeff Helmes? Never mind the sword, his boxes are battle-ready.


... I think its a good idea to go overboard with packing. I always try to. One thing I've found that's
pretty cheap but efficient is wrapping the blade with newspaper until you have what is basically
solid scabbard-like protection. I even make a " tip " out of repeatedly folded newspaper. And will
wrap the handle and hilt accordingly ... then I use reasonalbly good shipping tape to wrap it all
up.

My usual problem is finding a box that is as close to the right size as possible. I often find I
have to use standard UPS boxes that require lot's'o stuffning ... B-)

I like the way John Lundemo packs his swords. Light wooden case with screws and tape and
enough wrapping inside -- bubble and shrink -- to secure the item. Ultimately reusable.

Experience-wise, I once had a sword delivered that was so poorly packaged it looked like the
box must've had special instructions to be kicked from one post-office to another, thrown into
the back of each truck, then kicked up to my front door, tossed onto the roof until it rolled off
onto my front walk ... then kicked some more for good measure.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov, 2016 7:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is a good thing some swords are flexible. Sometimes packages get caught up in conveyors/etc. This carton was almost completely ripped apart, with a tape repair after the event. Whether they checked contents or not, I don't know..





Picked up at the PO and the clerk had an ear to ear griin but I know they meant well. The 18th century sword and scabbard were fine. Of dozens of receipts, this was the worst looking and caused the most gray hair. I did contact the seller to confirm it started as a new box.

Cheers
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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov, 2016 9:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I feel the same way about packing swords JD. I often procrastinate when it comes time to do it, because I too find it a bit stressful. I've sold and packed many swords for shipping, and its always a process I loathe. I generally feel a sense of relief once I've mailed them, not because the sword has sold, but because I'm done with the shipping part. Packing and shipping swords is definitely my least favorite part of this hobby...
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
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PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov, 2016 9:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glen, your pictures didn't turn out......give it another try. ........McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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David Lewis Smith




Location: NC
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PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov, 2016 10:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I save boxes, my attic is full of them. Sometimes I use a rifle box from walmart, they are pretty handy when it comes to shipping a sword, they are the right size, have packing material inside, and are hard sided.

I now have the bad experience of a sword arriving and the receiver saying it was not as advertised and put in a paypal claim against me. I am now out a sword and $1900. I am about as angry as I ever get. Fortunately I took photos of the whole process and of the sword. I do not think he will win this claim but my founds will be tied up until at least early Dec.

David L Smith
MSG (RET)
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
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PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov, 2016 11:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tim Lison wrote:
I feel the same way about packing swords JD. I often procrastinate when it comes time to do it, because I too find it a bit stressful. I've sold and packed many swords for shipping, and its always a process I loathe. I generally feel a sense of relief once I've mailed them, not because the sword has sold, but because I'm done with the shipping part. Packing and shipping swords is definitely my least favorite part of this hobby...


Amen.
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Bryan Heff




Location: Philadelphia
Joined: 04 Mar 2012
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PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov, 2016 1:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's definitely a stressful part of the process. These things we ship are basically why we are here and pretty much all of us don't want these things to get beat up once we hand them over to the vast shipping network.....

The other thing, swords are long...and long thin boxes are not as readily available as people think, and that's part of the problem.

The church is near but the roads are icy. The tavern is far but I will walk carefully. - Russian Proverb
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov, 2016 4:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Moore wrote:
Glen, your pictures didn't turn out......give it another try. ........McM


Hmm, works fine for others (yes? no?). It may be a Google fart for some or your browser settings. I have been using a tool for exporting and displaying Google drive pictures. If in doubt, open the post in a quote and download the images by opening the link.
https://sites.google.com/site/gdocs2direct/

An example currently elsewhere (just posted another packing experience)
http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showthread.p...-education

No big deal, just a crushed and ripped medium USPS tube.

Cheers

GC

Yup, just fired up the Win 10 machine and they load/view just fine. I am on a Chromebook most of the time. They may take a few seconds to appear in a quick view. Call me lazy but it eliminates one more upload for me.
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Harry Marinakis




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PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov, 2016 1:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've had blades arrive in the mail with the point sticking out of the box -- from both amateur traders and professional sword & knife makers.

Boys and girls, pack you swords and knives in such a way that the point is not going to hurt someone during transit.
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Paul Mullins





Joined: 22 May 2006

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PostPosted: Mon 14 Nov, 2016 7:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can buy hard plastic rifle cases at Walmart for $12-$15. I have shipped swords and rifles (to FFL holders) with no issues ever. The added cost is factored into the price of what I am selling. It's worth the peace of mind.
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