Just made my first reverb sale and overpaid on shipping. Don't be me.

adamfox

Member
Messages
212
Got my first reverb sale under my belt. Charged $50 for shipping, since that it what I saw and heard was common to a guitar, or at least close enough. Sold to a buyer in the mid-west, and I am in the Mid-Atlantic, so figured I couldn't get burned too bad. I was in a rush so just ran the box over to the UPS Store... I know, I know...
Anyway, the cost was around $120. I emailed the guy who sold me the guitar that I re-used the box for, and he paid around half of that for a similar journey, value, etc. Turns out he used the tool on Reverb where you put in the measurements yourself and generate the label. I had no idea that would save so much costs.
Another friend told me I should have used USPS, that would have probably been cheaper too.
Either way, when you go to ship your guitar, leave yourself a little chunk of time to shop around, and don't just squeeze it in on your morning commute when you have an 8AM meeting.
Any other tips for shipping guitars?
 

xzacx

Member
Messages
1,539
UPS stores are often the most expensive for stuff like that in my experience—since they're franchises that basically charge whatever they want. FexEx is usually considerably cheaper for me too. Either way though, one of the biggest benefits of using Reverb (outside of the massive audience) is the pricing on shipping.
 

DaveNJ

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,607
I've just asked Reverb to add a way for buyers to pay "actual shipping" based upon locations, proper weights and measurements being added to the listing by the seller when it gets listed. As a seller, it's a bit of a crapshoot trying to guesstimate how much shipping will be - especially when the Reverb Safe ship option can vary dramatically for no good reason.
 

derekd

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
42,768
Yeah, guitars take up a bunch of space on delivery trucks. If you toss in insurance (I always do), then the cost can really climb.

I shipped a $1700 guitar from WI to Cali this summer and it was $125 with insurance FedEx. Just part of doing biz and something that needs to be figured into the mix. I'm not sure I'd trust USPS right now with the problems they've been having unless the seller specifically asked for them.

Congrats on the sale.
 

Jarick

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,255
Yeah the UPS Store is horribly overpriced. I remember when I was going to ship a Kemper out they quoted me about $120. So instead I bought the box they were going to use for about $10, packed it myself and bought a label from UPS.com for about $50, and dropped it off.

Reverb's shipping discount is nice as well.

Somewhere along the line, I sold something on eBay and they let me register for a UPS customer account with something like a 30% discount on shipping.
 

poppunk

Member
Messages
774
I've just asked Reverb to add a way for buyers to pay "actual shipping" based upon locations, proper weights and measurements being added to the listing by the seller when it gets listed. As a seller, it's a bit of a crapshoot trying to guesstimate how much shipping will be - especially when the Reverb Safe ship option can vary dramatically for no good reason.
I sold several instruments this year. Every one was sold on eBay instead of Reverb because:

1) eBay has auctions. I'm really not interested in trying to figure out how much I should list something for where it will sell but I won't' take an unnecessary hit. I don't want to rink a dink negotiate and I don't want to start at some higher value and keep dropping it over time. I'm sure I could extract a little more value on some of the items not doing the auction, but as long as it's a reasonably common item I find a reasonable sale price in the market.

2) eBay charges actual shipping based on where it's going (and still has discounted rates). I make the buyer pay the shipping, and I don't rip them off trying to list shipping at the maximum amount farthest from me (when somebody close may buy it), and I don't get an unexpected hose-down when I have to lose more of my sales cut. All things being equal, this actually allows bidders who are closer to me to bid more as well.
 

EL34

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,238
I’ve found that purchasing shipping through Reverb saves money about 75% of the time, and sometimes by a substantial amount (usually for heavier items). For pedals and small items, it seems to be a wash.
 

adamfox

Member
Messages
212
I will definitely be using the integrated shipping on Reverb's site next time. I really wanted to get the ball rolling as early as possible this morning so the buyer could hopefully have it before Thanksgiving. I have also read that it could be helpful to go right to the UPS location, but that is almost an hour drive for me. Hopefully someone else sees this one day, and saves themselves the $40 I missed out on.
 

COYS

Member
Messages
5,528
Always get your own packing materials before you list the item, and buy the shipping label through Reverb. You get a discounted label and you can get the seller protection/insurance included.

If you go to the UPS Store, you're paying a high retail markup on that shipping label and the insurance. If you have them pack the item, you're paying a huge markup on cardboard and foam peanuts. You are not paying UPS directly there, you're paying the franchisee a big markup to print the label and hand the package to the UPS driver.

Shipping a guitar costs more than $50, that's just the customary shipping charge on Reverb; the buyer pays $50 and the seller absorbs whatever it costs above that.
 

Golem

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
664
I'm not going to read every thread here to check if someone said it first, but grabbing your own box (e.g., from a store), measuring it, and weighing it will allow you to use Reverb's postage and save you a good bit of cash. UPS then becomes the best deal for me and usually $50-60 anywhere in the 48 but I'm in the midwest. FedEx Ground works really well for me, but I no longer allow them to box it as I had issues once where they couldn't even measure a box (while flat granted) and were way overcharging me. I don't think they understood what 2D measurements end up being in 3D. I wish I was kidding.
 

adamfox

Member
Messages
212
Thanks guys. I did box it myself. I re-used the packaging from a guitar I bought last week, which was packaged extremely well. Even with that, and only shipping 1/3 way across the country, it was still 120 with everything. Granted, 1800 in insurance, signature required, and tracking was like 40+ by itself.
 

ixnay

Member
Messages
4,060
I will definitely be using the integrated shipping on Reverb's site next time. I really wanted to get the ball rolling as early as possible this morning so the buyer could hopefully have it before Thanksgiving. I have also read that it could be helpful to go right to the UPS location, but that is almost an hour drive for me. Hopefully someone else sees this one day, and saves themselves the $40 I missed out on.
Even if you don't use Reverb's labels, you can sign up for an account on the Fed Ex or UPS site, put in your weight/measurements, print your label, and drop it off at the UPS Store/FedEx for much less than buying the label at the UPS Store/whatever the Fed Ex equivalent is. Reverb is cheaper, but if you ever sell outside of Reverb, this would be the way to go.
 

TheOtherEric

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
91
Never take anything to a UPS store to buy a shipping label — they charge double or triple for that. This would have cost you under $35 insured through Shipnerd (UPS) — you can get a free quote on their site. Reverb has similar pricing, but usually a smidge higher. This is why guitar sellers charging $80-$100 annoy me; they’re either totally ignorant of how to ship or are trying to profit from shipping fees.
 

Jahn

Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
28,707
It’s all about the size. I shipped a fairly light package but hey it’s a guitar and boom over a hundred bucks shipping. It really has changed from the days where shipping big boxes could stay under fifty. Best bet for me now is to just sell big things locally, and ship small things with a a flat fee shipping option like Usps priority.
 

Guitarworks

Member
Messages
10,411
You'll need to do some careful calculation before assessing a shipping fee. ebay is better than reverb in this respect. When I print a label on paypal for an ebay sale, I know long in advance to the cent how much shipping will be billed to the customer. When that's not possible, you'll need to make your best educated estimate on shipping (make sure you charge enough)and add it to your posted price. Buyer pays the tax, shipping fees get taken out of gross revenue.
 

adamfox

Member
Messages
212
If I put in the dimensions and weight of the package upon listing, will reverb automatically show the shipping fee for each buyer that loads the page?
 




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