Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Blue Tile Fever, Feb 28, 2009.
I have no box so i might just have to let them do it. Any idea how badly i'll get screwed?
TOO MUCH. I thought their packing supplies and services were very expensive. ( chances are the gorillas in the back will break it anyWAY )
All depends on the box size and packing materials needed but I would not at all be surprised if it was over $50 based on what others have told me about their pricing.
Oh come on....
All you need to do is go down to a local music store and get boxes. If not there, go to appliance stores..
It is really not hard to find boxes at all.
Packaging supplies? Grocery bags... Home Depot for foam panels...
All it takes is a little effort.
Get a box from a local store and some bubble wrap and what not from Lowe's or Walmart. You'll end up paying just as much for packing as you do for shipping. They over-charge because of their laziness and inability to provide good good customer service...fact. If you were going to go that route, use Fedex. It will still be expensive, but I've had much better luck with them in the past.
I just had The local UPS Store ship a 20 pound Gibson GA-5 amp for me. The 18 x 18 x 18 inch box with them packing it was $12. The cheapest UPS shipping rate including $4 for insurance was $38. the total was $51.
I don't understand how people are shipping things for ten bucks. It seems that if a seller lists a realistic shipping rate, the buyers think the seller is inflating the shipping price as a way of making extra money. Do people really think that everyone just happens to have the right size box and bubble wrap and tape just sitting around? I guess I could have used a glue stick to make a bigger box out of several kleenex boxes and I could have used a couple plys of toilet paper rather than bubble wrap.
How are people shipping things at a low price?
Guitars usually cost me $45 +- to ship
Heads about $50 to $65
I shipped an AC30 type amp for over $125
I just shipped a quad of speakers in two boxes for $70
Effects going through USPS with their free boxes are about $9
Items a little larger through the Shipping companies are about $16
More importantly, do they really think $40 is worth the risk of the amp arriving damaged?
Btw, if you pay a 3rd party for packing, insist you supervise. They don't know about amps. Nor do they care.
Shipping an Amp / packing an amp.
Being a guitarist for 20 years AND a UPS store employee for 7, I can tell you most people pack musical gear insufficiently. Even when you think it's packed well, it's usually not. ask yourself these 3 questions:
1. if my package fell from a height of 5-7 feet, would it be okay?
2. if a 70 pound package fell on top of mine, would it be okay?
3. if the package was rolled end over end, would it be okay? (yes, delivery people are trained to move heavy packages this way.)
if you can't answer yes to all of those questions, it's not packed well enough. end of story.
as for UPS/FedEx or USPS (UPS and FedEx are basically the same service, regardless of what others tell you...if somebody has better luck with one or the other, it's because the 'bad' one screwed them first), use UPS/FedEx. They both offer comprehensive tracking and their insurance rates, options, and claims processing are all superior to USPS's.
yes, it's usually best to pull the tubes and wrap them separately in bubble wrap.
here's how i pack all of my amps at the very least (the heavier/more expensive ones get better treatment than this):
--wrap the amp in big bubbled bubble wrap. you can usually get the tubes in the body of a combo amp.
--put the wrapped amp into a very snug box. if there's any extraneous room, fill it with more bubble wrap or peanuts. NOTE: only bubble wrap, foam, and peanuts are acceptable packaging material for insurance and claim purposes. Do not use newspaper or anything that doesn't have 'memory'.
--put that box into an outer box lined with 1" thick foam sheeting.
--tape the hell out of the box. there's no such thing as too much tape.
there should be cardboard, 1" thick foam, more cardboard, and 1"+ of bubble wrap/peanuts between the outside of the box and the amp. this is minimum.
for lighter/smaller amps, there is a type of packaging called 'foam in place' which is a spray in foam that molds to the shape of the item. this would be another excellent option for packaging amps.
i've seen too many high end things (guitars, amps, computers, etc) damaged because people skimped on packaging, especially on eBay sales. i know it costs more, but it's worth the extra money to package things well. would you rather pay an extra $50 to make sure something arrives safely, or potentially lose $1500 when the item arrives damaged and your insurance claim is denied because it wasn't packed well enough?
My comment: do not let the carrier pack your amp. On any given day, you have a different employee who might think peanuts is enough. I know - I have received items with all the peanuts on one side of the box. JUST DON"T DO IT!!!!!! Follow the advice above.
Finally some truth & sense. Thanks
Don't do it, UPS Stores are a rip period!
Don't be lazy and careless pack it yourself.
Easiest thing to do is reuse boxes being thrown out by a music store.
Well, there certainly won't be any love involved.
I save any box (and original packing material) that came with an expensive amp and have a few guitar boxes I've saved as well. I saved a 4x12 box because they're a pain to hunt down and kept a 2x12 box as well JIC. I've also put away a bunch of bubble wrap and sheets of Styrofoam that were used for packing items shipped to me. A roll of clear packing tape and you're good to go.
In order to save money open up an account with FedEx...shipping will be much cheaper. Packing it myself, I shipped an Atomic 112-50 for $26 and did a much better job than FedEx would have.
A little effort and foresight goes a long way.
I packed and ship an AC30 1x12 in original box that I PACKED and it still cost $110... if UPS packed that sucker forget about it.
To the OP, go find a box. It's much harder to find a good guitar box (if your local doesn't have any lying around). There have been times where I have done the "create a box" deal for guitars. Takes more time (and tape) but it's still worth it in the end.
I called UPS one time to ask if I can buy a box to ship a guitar - I think they use bicycle boxes? It was at least $15... for a freaking BOX.
I went behind Best Buy . They have paper recycling dumpsters with broken down boxes. Grabbed a bunch of HD suitable sizes. I made two boxes to fit. One for the amp and another to put that box into. Homebrew box in box tecnology. Cost only the price of a couple of rolls of re-enforced tape. Went I brought it to the UPS store I was glad. Couldnt believe how much they were quoting some people to box stuff! Bob
Did you do this during the day or at night after they'd closed?
Make sure the amp is not going to be flopping around in a box that's overly large. Get some solid foam and peanuts. Pack it in tight with special attention to the corners. Tape up the box well, then use some fiberglass tape for reinforcement. The box will get slammed around, that's a given with any shipper.
Bogner Metropolis 1x12 NJ to Minnesota packed and insured for 1200 was about $100. Insurance was 40% of the cost IIRC. Usually I pack my own, but higher priced items can get pummeled. Letting UPS store do it all, it's guaranteed if there is a problem.
I need to get a FedEx acct opened.
All these ideas are great and packing things yourself is definitely the way to go. I have not seen anyone mention putting "Fragile- Handle with care" or "Do Not Drop" on packages. I get them in a roll of stickers from Office Depot. They may or may not make a difference to the package handler but at least it will warn them that the item being shipped is delicate.
I was sending an amp chassis recently from a full size 1x12 combo...didn't have a box the right size or any packing materials. I spend about 12 for them to pack it. It's worth it if you 1) don't have materails, or 2) don't have patience for such things