So you’re almost ready to sell online. Have you considered how much it will cost to get your lovely wares to their new home?  The cost of Antiques postage and packaging charges can really eat into your profits if you are not careful. Heres a list of things to consider from someone who has been doing this for a living for 20 years.

Remember Its the sender’s responsibility to get the item safely to the buyer. If this doesn’t happen then the sender must issue a refund. 

Selling Antiques Postage and Packaging Charges

The cost of antiques Postage and Packaging Charges will depend on a lot of different things:





  • How many items are you sending and how often
  • The size of your item
  • The weight of your item
  • How valuable is it?
  • Where is it going?
  • Is it fragile?
  • How quickly do you want it to get to the customer?
  • How are you going to pack it ?

How many items are you sending and how often? 

If you are sending a one-off or very few items irregularly then The Royal Mail is a good choice for items which fit within their size and weight guidelines. See their on-line look-up for prices.

This applies World Wide, for valuable items and for very small ones too.

If like me you spend thousands on post every year you can get a credit account with them and your own personal postage license number. But that comes a bit further along your antiques selling journey.

The size of the item

Very large items such as pianos and furniture need specialist handling. If you are sending them to the same country you are posting them from then it is not too difficult. Most removal companies will help if it’s not too valuable. Valuable items and sending large pieces abroad need a specialist company and it’s going to be expensive.

I suggest if you only have a few such pieces you sell them as “Buyer Collects”. You may not get as much money for them as you would with transport offered but that will easily be covered by not paying the transport costs.

Very small items can go Royal Mail large letter rate. Scarves, jewellery, coins, small pieces of ephemera like postcards.  The prices on their first class recorded service for under 100 grams isn’t normally beatable for antiques.

If it’s too large for Royal Mail then you can try Parcel Force or one of the other Courrier services. A quick scout about online will bring up a fair selection. The advantages of a courier service are that they will collect from you. The disadvantage is all the paperwork you have to fill in especially if sending items abroad.

The weight of your item. 

It is the weight of the final packed parcel that matters. This is why bubble wrap is so popular as it weighs so little and can protect your items well. Anything under 100 grams is cheap. above that, the price goes up with weight.

One thing I always consider is if the item can be sent in more than one parcel. Tea sets, for example, are usually safer and cheaper in several parcels rather than one.


The value of your item

Do you want to insure your item? For cheap stuff, it’s not really worth the cost.  But remember it is the sender’s responsibility to get the item safely to the buyer. If this doesn’t happen then the sender must issue a refund.  All parcel services offer insurance, with some its mandatory.

Where is it going?

Not all carriers offer services abroad. Personally, I only send smaller items overseas as I find heavier and larger parcels prohibitive on cost.

Is is Fragile?

Some items need little protection in the post. Others need a lot. This often depends if it’s fragile or not. If you have a valuable porcelain figuring or glass vase then it’s your to take a lot of packaging and you need to factor this into the costs you charge.

How quickly does it need to arrive?

As a general rule of thumb the faster you want to get a parcel to its destination the more expensive it is.  Have a think about this before calculating your postal charges.

How are you going to pack your parcel?

Personally, I box almost everything. I make an exception for cheap silk scarves but that is about it. I think its worth the cost and effort as it really does minimise damages. Once again, it is the seller’s responsibility to get the item safely to the customer.

Jewellery I pop in an organza bag and then inside a small box and then into a bubble wrap bag. Like this, it will arrive safely and most items will travel at large letter rate.

Over the years I have dispatched thousands of pieces of china and glass and became quite adept at working out Antiques Postage and Packaging Charges. My personal rule of thumb was to ensure there is  2 inches of bubble wrap between the item and the box in every direction. Watch out for handles and spouts they are particularly vulnerable.

Heavy unbreakable items such as cast iron door stops and books have their own particular problems. They are often very expensive to post in relation to the value of the items. Do work out the costs before listing the item.


To close,

a final word about antiques postage and packing charges. I would say, work out the costs to post to your own country before listing an item. You may not be able to say for every country in the world but at least you will be covering the majority of your likely customers up front.  Personally, I like to include domestic postage in the base price I charge, International costs can be on top if you wish.

Also, note you must state that P&P charges are extra if you don’t include them in your prices. Buyers hate nasty surprises and I bet you would too.

Any questions on Antiques Postage and Packaging Charges? Drop a note in the comments and I will see if I can help. If my article has helped you in any way then Please remember sharing is caring 😉