Having the shipper pack a guitar

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Trebor Renkluaf, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Silver Supporting Member

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    I think the UPS bashing here is second only to the Gibson bashing. People see UPS (or Gibson) and immediately go into bash mode. This post is in response to dmcsern's post "Would you allow (trust) UPS to pack and ship a guitar without a case??" since people continue to bash UPS even after I posted this there.

    I just had the lovey guitar pictured below sent to me via UPS by our own hodad. He chose to have it packed and shipped by UPS. What he does is to take pictures of the guitar with the UPS person holding it. Then he has them pack it and ship it. How can they possibly deny a claim if they packed and shipped it and you have photographic evidence of the condition of the guitar prior to being packed/shipped by UPS? Think about it people - you do know how to think don't you? If they pack it and insure it, they are liable if they damage it. That's plain common sense. It may be expensive, yes, but how much is your guitar and/or peace of mind worth?

    Anyway the guitar arrived safe and sound and I have to say it was absolutley the finest packing job I have ever seen in having recieved dozens of guitars. It was in its case, wrapped in bubble wrap. They used some sort of stretchy tape to secure the bubble wrap that when you found the end unraveled easliy, yet held the bubble wrap securely to the case. Very nice. Then it was placed in a box with a massive amount of packing peanuts all the way around - I would guess at least 3" on all sides, probably more. The box itself arrived in very very good condition and showed minimul shippind damage, really none. My guess is that if they pack it, it might get flagged and they treat it with extra care. As I said it was without a doubt the finest packing job I have seen.

    The best packing job I have ever seen was buy a UPS employee.

    That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
  2. eurotrashed

    eurotrashed Member

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    Maybe you just had an employee with some common sense. UPS store employees are hardly "packaging professionals"

    I trust myself way more, plus UPS rips you off on supplies. I think they wanted $15 for materials. The box they were using cost $0.40.... What a rip.
     
  3. Tuco

    Tuco Member

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    Shipping is a profit game, just like the product inside.
     
  4. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Silver Supporting Member

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    I never argued cost. I only said the best packing job I have seen was done by a UPS employee.
     
  5. sqadan

    sqadan Member

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    I would never trust a guitar to UPS to pack.

    Around here I'd say the average UPS clerk IQ is maybe 75. You got lucky friend.

    Yeah - you can make an insurance claim etc... but I'd rather have an intact guitar.
     
  6. eurotrashed

    eurotrashed Member

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    What you had was a rarity.

    At the cost you pay UPS to pack, you would think that you would get a pack job. But you don't usually.

    There really is no reason to pay so much and risk having a crappy pack job
     
  7. Lammy

    Lammy Supporting Member

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    I had a lap steel ina case come just throw in a box that was way too big, wrapped in saran wrap. From a UPS store. ridiculous.
     
  8. hodad

    hodad Member

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    I shipped this guitar. At the UPS store I use the employees are, in fact, "packaging professionals." What else do you call the person who handles the packing? The same individual does this job all day, day in and day out and he's really good at it. I have shipped several guitars this way with excellent results. You can see that Bob was very happy with the packing employed with his guitar. I actually shipped a PRS Singlecut in a gigbag from this store, packed by them; no problem.

    More importantly, this method removes the defense always used by the carrier: improper packing. At a $30 charge, it is the most cost-effective insurance you can buy to protect your multi-thousand buck guitar. Why take a chance on packing it yourself?
     
  9. XKnight

    XKnight Member

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    The quality of the "professional" packing job by UPS definitely varies. I had one guitar arrive that was professionally packed and the box was actually two boxes taped together to fit the guitar. There was no packing material in the box, just the guitar in its hard case. Luckily the guitar and case made it in one piece with only minor scuffs on the case.
     
  10. eurotrashed

    eurotrashed Member

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    1) You found one of the few people at the UPS store that knows how to pack, good for you.

    2) To become a "packaging professional" at a UPS store you watch a training video and some other garbage. Any one can get a job there. And why so many people have problems with the UPS store is because they aren't "professionals." When I worked at a grocery store I was a "professional bagger." Do you think that title means anything? It doesn't. And neither do the titles that people at the UPS store hold.

    3) I packed a guitar myself. I paid extra for the insurance and it was way cheaper than having the UPS store doing it. A UPS store employee doesn't know how to pack a guitar, they just get told generic tips on how to pack crap. They don't know how Gibsons like to break at the headstock. Any half-witted person can look up on the internet and find the proper way to pack a guitar. A guitarist knows what can go wrong with a guitar, and has a lot better sense than a UPS Store employee making guesses.

    4) There is such a profession as a "packaging engineer," it was my unofficial job title at my past work. You know when you buy something and it has all those specially cut packaging pieces? An engineer actually figures that stuff out so your **** doesn't break. There are actually real packaging professionals at UPS, they don't work at a store though. They have degrees and understand physics and stress and what packaging material can handle what. I have around the same training, and I can tell you. It is not hard work.

    Trust yourself, you all know how a guitar can get damaged.
     
  11. atquinn

    atquinn Supporting Member

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    Umm, the UPS store does not equal UPS. You folks know that right? Anyway, I always ship with UPS and do my own packing. No problems so far and I've shipped over 20 guitars with them. Packing a guitar isn't rocket science :D

    -Austin
     
  12. hodad

    hodad Member

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    With your training as a packaging engineer, I can see why you pack your own shipments. And you are correct, I have developed a relationship with my local "UPS" store. I have packed my own guitars before but now if they are damaged and UPS packed them, chances are I recover. If they break your's maybe a cite to your training will carry the day...

    Again, the results speak for themselves in this case - best packing Bob has seen. YMMV.
     
  13. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    sure, if you pay the $100 packing fee and extra shipping fee to ship from a ups store, they'll do a better job. Not much of a surprise.
     
  14. Big White Tele

    Big White Tele Member

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    He must have been new.
     
  15. eurotrashed

    eurotrashed Member

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    There is little engineering as a packaging engineer. I pulled out some fancy dynamics equations once for a report just so I don't forget the stuff.

    And I know that a good packing job doesn't take an engineer. But one good experience at a UPS Store would not put me in any comfort to allow any UPS store pack any of my stuff. They are poorly trained and don't give two craps about their job generally.

    I figure most of your guys have to have decent heads on your shoulders, cause you must be exerting yourself in some way to afford all these fancy guitars, and to afford the atrocious prices that a UPS Store charges for packing. Use your brain, you know what kind of damage a guitar can have, you know the weak points, you know how to pack a guitar better than a poorly trained employee that is just taking guesses "doy, me gonna bubble wrap this"
     
  16. hodad

    hodad Member

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    As I noted above, the packing fee was $30. I'm trying to point out that this is like an insurance policy. They pack & break it, they buy it.
     
  17. eurotrashed

    eurotrashed Member

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    I spent $1.00 to pack a flying V shipped from Philadelphia to CA. Would anyone at the local UPS store know how to pack this guitar? I think not.

    Like I said, you got lucky. I would not trust those bozos otherwise.
     
  18. hodad

    hodad Member

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    Nope, I have a working relationship with these shippers. They shipped a $12K vintage SG w/o issues. Luck was not involved.

    Again, I have no problem packing a guitar for a minimal cost and have done so. This method increases the liability on the shipper, giving me greater peace of mind.
     
  19. eurotrashed

    eurotrashed Member

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    But the thing is, if you were at any other store, they would not know how to pack your guitar and this working relationship would not exist. In other words, you still got lucky.
     
  20. HeyMrTeleMan

    HeyMrTeleMan Colonel of Truth Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm not defending the UPS Store (well, sort of in a way), but I ship a "ship load" of packages in my business. The boxes I use costs a lot more than $.40.

    I figure I break even if I add $10 for packaging materials plus actual shipping costs. I lose some and win some but it all balances out.

    Think about it... Bubble wrap ain't cheap. The 275# test boxes come to me at about $3-4 each, in varying bundles. (Size matters!). Plus the shipping of the materials from the Uline warehouse (any idea how big 12 cubic feet of biodegradable peanuts is?) to my office? Strong packing tape ain't cheap either. And I use it on the inside too, to reinforce it even more. Then there are the "Fragile" stickers on all 6 sides. And the "Do Not Stack" and "This End Up" stickers. And the shipping labels and printed documents. And the cost for pickups. Man, don't get me started.

    Hey, wait. You just did...;):D
     

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