Packing & Mailing Antique Bottles
This web page provides guidelines on packaging and sending antique bottles.
Packaging Antique Bottles
- Wrap the bottle in bubble wrap so there is at least one inch of bubble wrap
surrounding the bottle. To seal the bubble wrap closed, use rubber bands instead of
tape. Bottles have been scratched when the buyer tries to cut open the tape.
You can also wrap the bottle is newspaper, but bubble
wrap is better to insure against damage.
- Pick the right size box. If you are packing only one box, pick a box that is at
least big enough so the sides of the box allow at least a 2 inch gap between the box
and the bottle.
You can order free boxes from the
Post Office for business use.
Here are some good sizes for sending bottles by priority mail:
- 7”x7”x6” Priority mail box Item No: O-BOX4
- 12”x12”x8” Priority mail box Item No: O-BOX7
- 6”x25” Priority mail tube Item No: O-1098S
- Line the bottom of the box with styrofoam peanuts or loosely crumpled newspaper.
Idea is to get at least a 4 inch cushion between the bottom of the box and the bottle
in case the box is dropped or slammed to the floor.
- Place the bubble-wrapped bottle on top of the bottom cushion layer, positioning the
bottle as close to the middle of the box as possible. Sometimes it helps to pay the
bottle diagonally so the lip and base of the bottle point to the corners instead of
the sides; this will increase the gap between the bottle and the box.
- Fill loosely crumpled newspaper or styrofoam peanuts around the sides of the bottle,
then fill the bottle to the top of the box with the same material.
Important to have a 2 inch gap between the top of the box and the bottle so the blade
used to open the box top will not cut the bottle.
- If packing more than one bottle, insure there is at least 3 inches between the bottles.
I've seen several cases where bottles got broken simply because they were packed
too close together.
- Before sealing the top of the box, insert a piece of paper with
the to and from addresses and the description of the contents.
That way if outside of box is damage, the postal claim worker
can open package and discover where it was destined for.
- Seal the top of the box with shipping tape.
Place an address label with the
"to" and "from" addresses on top of the box, then put clear tape over the label (keeps
it from getting torn off, and keeps ink from smearing in case it gets wet).
The US Post Office has
this page where
you go online and print your postal label, and even prepay the postage
online if desired. Advantage to prepay is you get free Delivery Confirmation
with Priority Mail.
- Put some type of "FRAGILE" sticker on the box. These can be bought from
ULINE by visting www.uline.com or calling
1-800-295-5510; or S-3003 (4x4 inch "FRAGILE").
Placing some of these stickers on the sides
of the box would help as well.
- If sending "Registered Mail", then clear tape not allowed - must
use brown paper tape instead. And be sure to paper tape all the box
seams since no seams can be showing on a Registered Mail box.
- Send package insured priority mail unless buyer (recipient)
waives right to insurance. Always use priority mail since
the air ride is easier on bottle than bouncing up and down
in back of a truck.
If insured value is over $600, then it's cheaper to
send by "Registered Mail" which can also be insured.
Sending Antique Bottles
- Mail the bottle 1st class or priority mail, which usually costs $3 to $5 depending
Insure the package. Only costs 75 cents for up to $50 coverage.
Also see USPS Info on eBay
with Postage Rate Calculator
and Shipping Tips & Tricks.
- UPS is also good for sending packages if your buyer has a physical address (UPS will
not send to PO Boxes) and a UPS counter is close by. Mail Service stores that
handle UPS packages will charge you a lot extra, so going direct to the UPS counter
will save money. UPS automatically insures packages up to $100 for no extra cost.
- USPS: United States Postal Service
- UPS: United Parcel Service