Best/Most Secure Way to Ship Valuables
January 4, 2017 10:02 AM   Subscribe

Jewelry, silver flatware, crystal, etc.

As we transition a family member into a "memory care" facility, we are likely to be shipping a fair amount of valuable antiques, jewelry, sterling flatware, small artworks, etc. The consensus opinion back in 2006 seemed to be USPS Registered Mail with insurance. Wondering if that's still the case.
posted by slkinsey to Travel & Transportation (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How much money are you talking here? The USPS insurance caps at out $2500-5000, and while I don't have firsthand experience with USPS on it, generally if shippers lose or damage items you would need some kind of professional validation of the value of the items and proof that they were safely packed before it'll pay out. See 3.2.

If it's a significant amount of money or stuff, it may be more practical to drive it from point a to point b, keeping in mind that you'll need to establish whose insurance is liable for it in transit and make sure that you comply with their terms (such as potentially not being able to leave items in a vehicle overnight at hotels).
posted by Candleman at 10:38 AM on January 4, 2017

I've bought and sold tons of stuff (some of it very fragile and/or valuable) on eBay and I've never once had a problem with USPS. As far as reliability goes, I wouldn't hesitate to use them unless there was an issue with cost or insurance.

Whichever shipping method you choose, I believe that 80% of successfully shipping valuables depends on how it's packed, so reasearch the best methods for individual items. Is cost an issue? I've sold a few 12-piece sets of Waterford crystal and they were very expensive to ship; the boxes weren't that heavy, but between the all that bubble wrap and double-boxing (very imposrtant!) it required oversized boxes, so be prepared for sticker-shock. Maybe a moving company would be another option since they would be insured (and bonded?)
posted by Room 641-A at 5:46 AM on January 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the responses thus far. To clarify: I am not so much concerned about breakage as I am about loss or theft. Some of the stuff I contemplate shipping includes a very extensive set of sterling flatware, for example.
posted by slkinsey at 10:07 AM on January 6, 2017

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