Stained Glass · Lamp Repair · Mosaics
The easiest way to learn your cost of shipping is to figure the dimensions and weight (dimensions are usually the most relevant) of your package, have your shipping information including emails and phone numbers on both ends handy, then fill in the UPS Create a Shipment page. Your cost will be calculated.
The UPS Packaging Guidelines page has information that is rather general and common sense about how to package.
More helpful is their UPS Packaging Advisor page. I recommend clicking the box Housewares/Home Décor (Breakable) and then filling in the other information. This will provide you with very specific information as to what is required to meet the UPS insurance requirements. UPS is pretty tough regarding any reimbursement, so it is important to follow their guidelines, and I would also recommend documenting each step of your packaging with photos. I find that the default measurements are centimeters and kilograms, so if you’re in the U.S., be sure to re-set these to inches and pounds. If you are using a boxing company, I would check to be sure that they are aware of these guidelines and that they follow them scrupulously. This may all be a more important issue for me when returning the restored lamp than when shipping a broken one, but breakage can occur either way, and we both save money if the packaging used to send can be re-used for the return shipment.
The UPS Weight and Size page has the basics of now to measure your shipment. It would take quite a large lamp (plus the required cushioning and double-box) to reach the limit of 165” girth + length. The girth is the distance around the package- 2 times the width + 2 times the height- + the length (the length should be considered the largest dimension).
Weight wouldn’t normally be a factor, as much of the volume of a packaged lamp is lightweight packaging. However, UPS calculates soomething called dimensional weight, with this description on the Weight and Size page: “Packages with a large size-to-weight ratio require special pricing and dimensional weight calculations.”
You can wade through the UPS Dimensional Weight page to understand this better, or you can trust me when I write that the dimensional weight of your package will exceed the actual weight, and we will be charged accordingly. It is easier to have UPS figure this for you, and this can be done on the aforementioned UPS Create a Shipment page.
Shipping via the United States Postal Service (USPS)
The Postal Service has a simple informational guide to mailing, packaging and shipping.
They provide an easy-to-use postage and shipping estimator.
I don’t favor UPS over the Postal Service or vice versa. I have rarely received a FedEx shipment and have no experience using them. I understand that DHL is the way to go for any shipments to Europe, but I have not made such shipments.