Posting with or without tracking

Please advise me on the need of tracking when posting a painting. I have now sold two paintings abroad and come to realize in full how abhorrent the delivery fees from Finland are. There is a great difference, though, depending on whether tracking is applied or not.
I just sent a parcel to USA. It would have been almost USD 40 with tracking but ‘only’ 20 without it (as a ‘maxi letter’). Besides, I heard that the tracking is active only until the parcel leaves Finland! So I chose not to track. But now I’m afraid of what will happen if the parcel gets lost!
What do you recommend? I can’t charge buyers 40 dollars for the delivery and I’m not that famous that I could price my paintings high and compensate for the expensive delivery that way. Please share your experience.

Could you describe your paintings; are they framed? what size are they? On paper, canvas or board? If large-ish, would smaller paintings be cheaper for you to post?
Bit difficult to compare my UK postage facility with the Finnish one, but we have (generally) three options for international delivery; untracked, tracked, and tracked + signed. The advantage, I guess, is that tracking does help to pinpoint things if a parcel goes astray en route to an overseas destination…especially if the artwork is a bit more expensive.
Does the Finnish system offer compensation for lost parcels? The amount will (perhaps) vary according to the service you choose.
Since I don’t know the Finnish postal rates, I can’t suggest much else other than perhaps forget framing (if you’ve done that), create smaller pictures with less weight, etc. It’s a difficult position to be in.

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Have you checked out other shipping sources such as UPS besides the postal service? Does tracking include insurance or does it just tell you it was received? Small paintings on hardboard or canvas panels are all I will consider shipping internationally because of weight. Some countries will notify you when the item is received, but not all. Hope this helps…I know it’s a headache!

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I ship from Canada, mostly tracked and mostly to the US. Canada Post has a small parcel, tracked rate. While in Canada, parcels can be tracked via Canada Post but once they reach the US, they can be tracked with the same number on USPS. Perhaps it works this way for Finland.

I ship from France where the overseas postal rates are quite expensive (similar to yours) especially for parcels. In France if the thickness of your parcel is less then 3 cm it is considered as letter and the rates are much more interesting even with tracking. So, the solution for me is to paint on thinner panel or paper, or on canvas and not to frame it. I send by international letter with tracking delivered against the signature. I have also to choose between 2 insurances depending on value in case of lost. French Poste has information from USPS untill the letter is delivered. Probably it will work the same way in Finland? As for framed works I indicate the real cost or put a little bit less in shipment but arise the price, all the same, you have to fixe for how much at the end you are ready to sell your artwork. In all cases, I prefer to send with tracking + signature. I think it is more reassuring for buyer and for me and I guess it is mandatory for PayPal in case of dispute (hope never to have one!). Hope this helps…

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Thanks so much, Christine, Patricia, Gary and Olga, for your very supportive answers! They gave me lots of aspects to consider. I’ll investigate the Finnish Posti’s services on this basis, and also USPS. I’m starting to think having the parcel insured against loss or damage is important, as having that happen would be very disheartening. For your interest, Olga, I can tell you a recent experience I had with PayPal. I ordered an item from a foreign (British) second hand shop and paid via PayPal. I paid the fee for the insurance that was offered. I never received the parcel and it became apparent in my conversation with the seller that he/she was fraudulent. When disputed with PayPal, the seller tried to win the case saying that I had not paid for a tracked parcel (and that’s true). Yet, I won the case and got the money back. So that indicates having the parcel tracked is not an absolute must for PayPal to compensate.

In that instance, it was probable that others had same problem with that scammer.

I don’t know that this was a scammer but I believe they usually side with the buyer. I describe my expeience here: Tracking number! paypal/ebay purchase/use tracking number always!