What Happened to the Painting on its Way? - Rhia Janta-Cooper Fine Art

What Happened to the Painting on its Way?

I sold the original acrylic painting titled The Sound of Mull some time ago. It depicts a yacht, a narrow sea, and a mountain range in the background. The sky seems to be turbulent; however, the water in the sound is calm. And yes, it was a peaceful day as I visited this place in Scotland between the Inner Hebridean island of Mull and the Scottish mainland.

A Postal Delivery to Remember

A few years ago, The Sound of Mull original painting was sold to a collector from Singapore. However, they have ordered to deliver the acrylic painting to their offspring, living in Los Angeles, California, USA. It should be a gift and a surprise... I am optimistic and expected nothing other than smooth delivery as I was used to.


 The Sound of Mull an acrylic painting by Rhia Janta-Cooper sold

So, the thrilling road to California began.
Actually, the painting arrived pretty fast there, but nobody wanted it...

Slowly I thought about freaking out. My mind produced crazy scenarios.

As an artist and a seller, you are pretty powerless after you gave your well-packaged artwork to a courier.

Anyway, you feel directly involved in the delivery of your artwork. You have the feeling of being personally touched by it. It also involves money. You have spent around £80 on delivery and you really, really don't want to lose it; aside from that, you will not get paid for the painting either as undelivered or lost artwork will result in the money going back to the collector.

OK, there may be insurance, but many couriers do not insure lost or damaged artwork, so the last thing you want is to lose your art.

And I haven't mentioned the biggest problem yet, an unhappy customer. It hurts you personally a lot when your collector is not satisfied with the delivery. Of course, you pay them the money back, probably you will not receive any payment from the so-called insurance, and you are out of pocket for the transportation.

Not a nice outlook.

The USPS informed me they have tried to deliver but did not find the recipient under the given address. I contacted the buyer in Singapore via email. They told me that the address was correct; they also spoke about the surprise for the recipient. And I thought, how can we keep the surprise and deliver the painting? It seemed difficult to carry it through.

Something had to give way.

A few days later, after phone calls and emails between Singapore, the UK and Los Angeles, USPS informed me they tried again to deliver without positive results and that they would return the parcel to the UK in the following days.

On the other hand, the collector told me that, to their knowledge, USPS hasn't even tried to make a delivery. It was absolutely confusing to me. 

Finally, there was the possibility of collecting the parcel. However, they did not know where to collect it - I helped with the address; they did not have a car to do so - no way I could help with this, so I worried a bit more.

Anyway, somehow, the painting was finally collected in the next few days, and the recipient was delighted with it.

A happy end.

But I have changed my approach to the delivery.

Since then, I decided not to use USPS for my deliveries. USPS in general has never made me any big problems, but I have noticed that my collectors had little confidence in USPS. So since then, I am using only couriers like UPS, FedEx, and DHL. Mostly I am using DHL because of their high reliability, but if my collector wishes UPS or FedEx, I would use them instead. A happy customer means everything to me! :-)



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