Shipping a guitar from U.S. to Germany - any advice?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by guitarist58, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. guitarist58

    guitarist58 Member

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    I'm about to ship a guitar that I'm selling to someone in Germany. I've only shipped small things like pedals out of the U.S. before. It's not an expensive, guitar, but is near-one-of-a-kind, and probably could never be replaced. I've heard it may be best to use US postal service--some carrier's "insurance" doesn't really cover an instruments actual value... Of course I'm hoping it won't cost a fortune to ship it. I'd really appreciate any tips, suggestions, info, etc. Thanks for any insight! :)
     
  2. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    Check out International Express mail with the post office... just make sure the box is under their size limit... you can get all the details at USPS.com.
     
  3. johan

    johan Member

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    Exactly!
    USPS.com - International Shipping
    Check size restriction for Germany for International Express.

    This is exactly what playon posted but it's the way to go. Forget about UPS and FedEx.
     
  4. TheGrooveking

    TheGrooveking Member

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    Question and I don't want to stir up a storm but why not use FED EX or UPS, since you can track the progress of the shipment from start to finish? USPS, basically will give you the info that it shipped, I've never had another country's postal service use the same tracking info, so it was kind of in limbo until it arrived (opposite for me, I have bought stuff from Germany, England, Japan, Canada, Australia amd a few other places).

    TheGrooveking
     
  5. johan

    johan Member

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    When I've used USPS International Express the tracking has been just as good as FedEx or UPS. The tracking on USPS works in the States. The day after it left the States I can pick up the tracking on the Swedish Post site. Same tracking number with up to date info. Don't know if it's the same in Germany.

    DHL is owned by the German Post so I guess they will take care of it in Germany.
     
  6. oscar100

    oscar100 Member

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    I always do fedex int economy but usps global seems to work too
     
  7. tonio19

    tonio19 Member

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    You could not find a buyer for that guitar anywhere in the good ole US of A...? Personally I have taken an oath to myself to
    "Try" and simplify as many things in my life as possible. When I sell something on Ebay as an example, I always state right up front "USA" only. "Might" I get some out of country bid for a few bucks more if I liked to play Russian roulette... maybe? BUT: Is it really worth the potential hassle and expense.... if even 1 time a deal goes bad??? Not for me. Of course as they say YMMV.
    Of course everybody dances to a different drummer these days, I'm just saying, what are you thinking? Is there any real gain to opening up the international shipping can of worms with as large of a potential market as there is right here...
     
  8. pennylink

    pennylink Member

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    Generally speaking, FedEx tends to be more expensive than using USPS.

    Regardless of which shipping method you use, make sure the guitar is insured for its full value. International buyers often will request a lower declared value to try and avoid some of the import duty and taxes in their country.
     
  9. Dylan61

    Dylan61 Member

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    I ve bought several guitars, had realy trouble with USPS, shippings is in two days, but it stays here 4 weeks before Customs let it go, different papers.

    Feddex is here in 5 days total, better tracking, about $75 more.
     
  10. samtheman

    samtheman Member

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    +1 FeDex, a bit more but worth it !

    /sam
     
  11. Shooter

    Shooter Member

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    I've always used UPS to ship internationally UNTIL THIS MONTH...

    UPS price quotes are now 3-4X what they used to be :FM. I'm assuming that UPS recently raised their rates for larger items because of increasing fuel costs, whereas the Postal Service has more of a time lag in raising prices...(?) I would agree that UPS shipping is worth a SMALL premium to the Post Office, but they're NOT worth 3 or 4 times the cost!

    I've shipped nice guitars to Germany, Australia, Japan and the UK this month, and I also shipped an amp head to Germany. US Postal Service quotes were dramatically cheaper than UPS or FedEx for every single item. The quote to ship a Fender to the United Kingdom was $440 from UPS, for example, while the US Postal Service shipped it for $112. And that was UPS's cheapest quote! FedEx, on the other hand, was a nonstarter because they wouldn't even insure the guitar for more than $500. They said it was a UK restriction and was out of their hands, but the USPS insured it with no problems. I was unable to get a DHL quote in time for any of the items, but I don't think I'll be using UPS or FedEx again. If the rest of the shippers raise their rates like UPS, I'll just never ship guitars internationally again.
     
  12. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    I've had two K-lines (strat & tele) shipped to me by Chris and they cost between 70-90 USD to ship...they were in a hardshell case and a cardboard box on the outside...both arrived with no problems...

    Chow,
    Seegs
     
  13. imonabuss

    imonabuss Supporting Member

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    Here's a related question. How do you guys who sell overseas handle international sales as far as payment is concerned? I was burned on a sale by taking a bank cashier's check and then having it the funds pulled out of my account after the guitar was gone. Really nasty; I thought bank checks were good, but my bank said no, that bank checks can be written against a personal account and if the funds are pulled from that account the check is cancelled. And Paypal will not provide a seller's guarantee for anywhere except US and Canada.
     
  14. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    bank wire transfers are safe and not reversable...just make sure the fees get taken out on the buyers side...

    Chow,
    Seegs
     
  15. gearitis

    gearitis Gold Supporting Member

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    When selling that is the only way to go on a more expensive item like a guitar or amp. However, I have found many potential buyers won't pay using a bank wire and they can't understand why you won't just take Paypal.
     
  16. imonabuss

    imonabuss Supporting Member

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    I hear you on overseas buyers getting upset about Paypal. But when Paypal is uncomfortable enough not to have seller protection on overseas salkes, why shouldn't I be? I get e-mails from someone from Singapore on eBay with 6 transactions asking what is wrong with me not accepting an overseas Paypal purchase?! Then someone in Belgium with 3 transactions!

    And, heck, I'm nervous giving away my bank information for a wire transfer with all the electronic fraud going around!
     
  17. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    it does limit the playing field but I'd rather be safe than sorry...as a buyer if I really need something I don't mind paying with a bank transfer...

    the instances where I will take Paypal have just about dried up...to many horror stories...

    Chow,
    Seegs
     
  18. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    whats left...an escrow service?

    Chow,
    Seegs
     
  19. imonabuss

    imonabuss Supporting Member

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    I know; it's ridiculous, but true. So, what's left is: I don't sell overseas.
     
  20. Barefoot

    Barefoot Senior Member

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    Just used DHL and USPS for euro sales. Both were hassle free. USPS limited insurance to $650. That's not acceptible for some stuff. Both delivered in a timely manor.

    USPS was much cheaper with 6+- day service and tracking number to customs.

    DHL was 2 days to the guys front door including customs. STUNNING!

    Wire transfers appear to be the only way to go.

    With the dollar where it is and the price of US products in Europe our prices are a bargain.

    Most of this appears to be a learning curve.
     

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