How military collector IMA was able to sell antiques online successfully through a shipping configuration catered to their business
ShipperHQ keeps us legally compliant. I rest easier at night knowing they have our back.
If you’ve watched movies like Saving Private Ryan or Dunkirk then you’ve seen authentic props provided by International Military Antiques (IMA), an online antique seller.
IMA is now the largest military collectibles business in the world. It got its start when founder Christian Cranmer inherited his father’s collection of 300 antique weapons. The inheritance really piqued a passion in Cranmer.
Since 1965, IMA has been selling military weapons of all type, ranging from 17th century flintlock pistols, to World War II-era Italian General military uniforms. Collectors, props masters and history buffs can all count on IMA for unique finds.
Selling antiques and weapons online, even deactivated items, can pose formidable shipping challenges.
Alex Cranmer, IMA’s CEO and frequent expert guest on the History Channel’s Pawn Stars, explained how the company was able to sell antiques online. specifically by configuring complex shipping scenarios in ShipperHQ.
For example, some of one antique seller’s collectibles have restrictions. Even a deactivated machine gun cannot be exported out of the United States without a license from the Department of State.
And while IMA employs a knowledgeable fulfillment workforce that manually reviews all exports, ShipperHQ is still IMA’s first line of defense to catch any errors.
ShipperHQ has saved us man hours. We no longer have to cancel orders when we can’t legally ship an item, or contact customers after they’ve ordered because we need to update their shipping quote.
By utilizing Shipping Groups in ShipperHQ, IMA prevents customers outside the U.S. from ordering a deactivated machine gun, or other restricted items. And because IMA includes messaging at their checkout about these rules, shoppers can easily understand what is and isn’t allowed to be shipped to their location.
The “antique” in antique gun is also vital. Guns manufactured in 1898 or before are considered antique. But guns manufactured in 1899 or after are considered firearms and require a license in most U.S. states.
“ShipperHQ keeps us legally compliant. I rest easier at night knowing they have our back,” Cranmer said.
But to sell other antiques online, and not just guns, pose their own shipping challenges.
Take, WWI and WWII daggers, for example. Some have built-in brass knuckles, which as you can guess, certain states outlaw them. The powerful combination of ShipperHQ’s shipping groups and IMA’s knowledgeable warehouse staff was important. It help create a strong line of defense against an accidental (and costly) shipping snafu.
But ShipperHQ hasn’t just help IMA master complex shipping scenarios for their products. We’ve also helped improve IMA online shopping cart’s native shipping options.
Previously, IMA were unable to differentiate between small and light items, and items that cost more to ship. With ShipperHQ’s Packing Rules, they can now easily differentiate between mailing a small decal and a heavy antique firearm.
According to Cranmer, the ability to charge reasonable shipping rates based on the size and weight of the item immediately increased conversions.
ShipperHQ continue to help us provide a better, cleaner user experience. And in our niche industry, when customers are happy, they tell a friend.
If you’re experiencing unique shipping challenges like IMA, start a 30-day no-risk free trial with ShipperHQ.