I have received many rolled and folded posters over the years from various different sellers, with varying degrees of what would be classed as ‘adequate’ package. In this article, I will be discussing the correct way to ship rolled and folded movie posters to avoid damage whilst in transit. We also have a rogue gallery highlighting some of the movie posters and tubes I have received in the post. These have been delivered by different couriers and all have sustained damage resulting in the movie posters being damaged.
The Anticipation of Delivery
One of the biggest and most satisfying feelings as a movie poster collector is to find a poster you have wanted to add to your collection; you make a deal and purchase the poster….. wait for it to arrive…. and then the moment of dread, the tube has been crushed or the envelope is bent. You tentatively open the packaging not wanting to find damage, in the vain hope it has in some way survived unscathed but due to poor packaging it is damaged and feel a wave of huge disappointment coming over.
In most cases, the seller just didn’t know how best to package and shipping the movie poster. The seller doesn’t want to have to deal with a postal claim as much as I don’t and in most cases would have been happy to have packaged in a different manner had they known beforehand. This guide will not guarantee the item arrive in a perfect condition every time as in some cases the damage can’t be avoided, however, it will if followed help to minimise the risk of damage whilst in transit and protect the contents should anything happen.
Rolled Movie Posters
1. Make sure the area you are working in is clean and dry. I always find it best to prepare my packaging materials before handling the posters to be shipped. I recommend to always use new poster tubes of at least 6mm in thickness and 50mm in diameter. If you are going to be using an old tube which I DO NOT RECOMMEND make sure you remove any labelling and bar codes.
2. Unroll a sheet of Kraft Wrapping Paper – this can be purchased relatively cheaply in most stationary/hobby stores – longer than the poster you are shipping. I find it easier to put some weight on the corners to prevent it rolling back up but I DO NOT RECOMMEND putting any items on the poster directly. Position the movie poster about 2-3 inches from the end of the paper.
3. Carefully roll the Kraft paper and movie poster so the poster is sandwiched in between the Kraft paper. I would recommend at this point it is rolled in a smaller diameter than the poster tube you are using.
4. Place some tape on the leading edge of the Kraft paper to prevent it unrolling.
5. Cut a piece of bubble wrap several inches in length and enough to go around the poster at least once.
6. Roll the bubble wrap around the middle of the poster and put some tape on the leading edge to prevent it unrolling. Once you have completed this step, check to ensure the poster fits inside the tube. If it doesn’t, either remove a layer of bubble wrap if wrapped multiple times, if not, you may need to re-roll the Kraft paper and poster so it fits. The poster should fit inside the tube quite snugly with little or no movement either side.
7. Cut a piece of bubble wrap and roll it up so that it fits into the end of the poster tube. Place the cap on and tape the end closed with your parcel tape ensuring it goes round the tube and end cap and then down the poster tube.
8. Insert the movie poster with the bubble wrap around the middle into the shipping tube and place another piece of bubble wrap and this end, same as Step 7. Make sure that the bubble wrap doesn’t prevent the end cap being applied without too much force. If the poster does not fit in the tube remove some of the bubble wrap from the ends until it does. Place the end cap on and shake the tube very lightly to make sure there is no movement from side to side or end to end. Tape the end of the tube closed using your tape.
9. Apply the shipping label to the outside of the tube, making sure it is visible and secure. I generally cover my labels with sellotape to protect against water damage to ensure that the sender and receiver addresses remain intact. Although marking the tube as fragile will highlight a visible fragile warning to the carrier it will in no way change how the item is handled.
Following these steps will help to ensure the safe arrival of the movie poster and are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. It will ensure the poster is rolled away from the edges of the poster tube which will help to reduce damage from any dinks or other damage sustained to the poster tube, the bubble wrapped tube ends will ensure the poster does not have free movement whilst being transported which will reduce damage to the ends of the movie poster.
Folded Movie Posters
1. Make sure the area you are working in is clean and dry. I always find it best to prepare my packaging materials before handling the posters to be shipped. If you are going to be using an old envelope which I DO NOT RECOMMEND make sure you remove any labelling and bar codes.
2. Take your tape measure and measure the outside dimensions of the folder poster.
3. Carefully cut your cardboard sheet into 4 pieces of the required size, usually the dimensions you measured in the previous step with an additional 2 inches each side. When you cut the cardboard ensure you have two sheets have the corrugated ribs facing in one direction and the other two facing in the opposite direction. This will increase the strength of the sheets which will help to avoid any damage from bending.
4. Cut four small strips of cardboard about 1 to 2 inch in length. These will be used to place around the poster. Although this step is not essential it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, as the poster may have soft fold lines and will prevent the poster from being pressed flat which could create hard fold lines that can cause colour breaks and separation.
5. Place the folded poster in a protective plastic bag and tape it closed. If the plastic bag is larger than the poster fold over the excess and tape it in place. Be careful not to damage the poster by placing tension or folding it by mistake.
6. Place the poster in the middle of one of the cardboard sheets cut in Step 3 and tape the edges down with masking tape so that it can’t move around.
7. Position the small cardboard strip from Step 4 if you chose to use them and use masking tape to hold them in place. This will help to prevent damage to the poster and is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
8. Place the other remaining pieces of cardboard from Step 3, one to back of the cardboard sheet with the poster attached and the other two to the front. As discussed in Step 3 make sure the corrugated ribs are facing in different directions.
9. Place a few pieces of tape around the package to hold together and then wrap the entire outside edge using shipping tape.
10. If using a postal bag over the packaging, place the poster inside and seal. Apply the shipping label to the outside of the packaging and make sure it is visible and secure. I generally cover my labels with sellotape to protect against water damage to ensure that the sender and receiver addresses remain intact. Although marking the packet as fragile will highlight a visible fragile warning to the carrier it will in no way change how the item is handled.
Following these steps will help to ensure the safe arrival of the movie poster and are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. It will ensure the movie poster is secure in transit and help to reduce damage from bumps, crushing or other damage sustained when in the hands of the carrier.
I went through the whole anticipation of delivery with these movie posters, waiting for its arrival and then…
Although the movie poster was wrapped in Kraft paper an extremely thin poster tube was used for shipping which resulted in the tube being crushed and ripped open.
These tubes were far too thin and the posters arrived without any form of bubble wrap padding around the middle of the poster or at either end and a poor poster tube was used. The result was a damaged poster, followed by a reimbursement claim and refund.
The images used for in the rolled and folded poster sections are courtesy of posterfrom.com
Other Guides in the How to Series