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Recommended International Shippers

How Much Does It Cost to Fill a Container with Antiques?

Dear Diva Readers,

While we don’t do international shipping ourselves here at The Antiques Diva & Co we do liaise our clients on antique buying tours with international shippers to help them get their purchases home sweet home across the pond.  As such we get asked A LOT of questions about how it works to ship antiques internationally.  In general when queries come my way I direct them to the experts – making introductions to shippers we know and trust and have worked with long-term.

Perhaps the most popular questions after “Which international shippers do you recommend?” and “How much does it cost to ship a container?” is “How much does it cost to fill a container full of antiques?”  The answer to this question lies in the answer to the question, “How many antiques fit in a shipping container?”

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If you visualize a 20 foot container…it can hold approximately 40 medium size pieces of furniture.  Then to determine the cost of filling a shipping container with antiques you need to determine how much you are going to spend on average per item.  Chest of drawers could range anywhere from 100 Euro to 10,000 Euro depending on the age, quality, provencance, etc of the items you’re buying.  Buying 1950’s pieces cost a lot less that pieces from the 1750’s!

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If you determine an amount that you feel comfortable with as an average item of purchase and multiply that number times 40 you’ll have a rough ball park figure on “How much it costs to fill a shipping container with antiques?”  Obviously you’re not going to be buying 40 chest of drawers so this isn’t an exact science but it leads you down the path to determining what your budget should be for buying overseas.

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Clients come to me with budgets ranging from 20,000 Euros to 100,000 Euros, saying this is the amount they have to fill their 20 foot container.  On average, serious buyers – Antique Dealers – seeking to fill their container with decorative vintage and antique pieces – the type that you see in all the magazines, chic and stylish, with a degree of age on them but not necessarily uber high-end – come to me with a budget of approx. 40,000 Euro knowing they may spend less or they may spend more depending upon the price point of the items they fall in love with.  The client I was just with found a slew of cocktail tables at 50 Euro each – this brought her average purchase down exponentially and she managed to save a significant amount of money off her anticipated budget.  However…cocktail tables weren’t on her buying list.  Sometimes in order to get the best deal you have to be open to what’s on the market when you’re seeking to buy.  The client will be able to retail those cocktail tables for about $600 USD each – so she is getting a heck of a profit on them!

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When shipping remember it’s better to overbuy and overfill your container than underbuy – the less you buy the more it costs per item in the container.  The best way to save money shipping is to squeeze as many items into the container as possible! And remember – shippers use every square inch! If you have a chest of drawers you can easily pack those drawers full of smalls so there is no wasted space!

Net, net – there is no easy answer on how much it costs to fill a container – but if you use this as a guideline for shipping antiques you’ll have a starting point in determining your budget for buying antiques overseas.

Happy Shipping,
The Antiques Diva®
(Hmmm…. today perhaps you might want to call me The Shipping Diva!)

How To Ship Antiques From Abroad

Dear Diva Readers,

When you’re traveling overseas and shopping for antiques you have a few options on how to ship antiques home from abroad:

The first option is to only buy what you can pack in your suitcase.  This costs nothing and is perfect if you’re looking to buy a few trinkets or smaller items – but what if you’re really wanting to buy a lot when you’re overseas?

The second option? Buy an extra suitcase. When you’re at the Paris Flea Market they actually have stalls with suitcases for sale. Pick up an extra suitcase and fill it to your heart’s content. (It’s not a bad idea to bring a hand-held luggage scale with you on holiday to make sure you’re within the weight limit).

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But what if you’re buying porcelain or other breakables? Do you really want to risk putting that in your suitcase? I didn’t think so.

Your third option? Then we’re talking either the local post office or FedEx – hint: the post office in Europe is always much cheaper than FedEx. Plus at the post office you can buy the box for packing your purchases. Investigate if the town you’re traveling to has a Mail Boxes, Etc. I often pay to have Mail Boxes, Etc pack my breakables for me. When Mail Boxes, Etc finds out that I’m using the post office to mail my box instead of them, they often offer a discount off their services. They are faster than the local post office so if you can get a bargain it’s worth paying a little more for special handling to go this route.

 

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Now – you may not know this – but if you want to get a bargain in Europe – RARELY will you get that bargain on smalls. The smaller, the more perfectly packable it is, the more expensive the price tends to be when comparing it with American standards. On the other hand, if you fall in love with an armoire it’s likely to be 1/3 the price you’d pay stateside. As I always say “Go Big or Go Home.”  The bigger the antique the better the price. But if you want to ship an armoire what’s a girl to do?  Hire an international shipper! They will give you a cubic meter price – an estimate on the cost of shipping the item. You’ll want to ask them for a door-to-door quote and specify that they include insurance on the delivery. The price they give you may not be exact – it’ll probably be an estimate. You’ll have the option to air freight the item or to put it in a consolidated container to ship home on the slow boat. Find out the price difference between the two methods. Be aware that delivery ALWAYS takes more time than you’re expecting.

 

AD&CO crates for shipping and storage: How to ship antiques from Europe, International shippers for Antiques Diva ToursIntroducing your fourth option: For help with how to ship antiques home, contact The Antiques Diva & Co. Our white glove art and antiques international shipping service (AD&CO Logistics) is ideal to ship home antiques that you purchase in Europe. Our shipping service is available even if you’re not on an Antiques Diva Buying Tour. At AD&CO we can also liaise you with some of our preferred international shippers. We’re always happy to help you get antiques home sweet home across the pond.

Happy Shipping!
Toma, The Antiques Diva®

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The Antiques Diva & Co offers custom planned Antiques Buying Tours for tourists and trade professionals. Whether you’re looking to buy one specific piece or wanting to fill an entire container, our personal shopping antique buying guides share their vast knowledge of secret sources to take you to all the right places.

The Antiques Diva & Co is a LAPADA Approved Service Provider 

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The Antiques Diva & Co is the Official Tour Guide of Paul Bert Serpette at The Paris Flea Market

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