Shipping a guitar out of US

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by mifar55, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. mifar55

    mifar55 Supporting Member

    May 16, 2011
    I have shipped a lot of guitars but, none out of the US. I have someone who lives in France, wanting to buy a guitar I have up for sale. I know USPS will ship internationally and, you have to make out a customs form. I would like some insight by someone who has done this before. The person who wants to buy my guitar, gave me a link to USPS, that shows the price is about $105.00 with a 20lbs limit and a
    Max. length 60", max. length plus girth combined 108" for the package.

    I would like to say thanks in advance.
  2. mfitz804

    mfitz804 Member

    Oct 12, 2007
    You seem to have all the info correct right there. Make sure the package complies with all of the requirements, make sure the item is safely packed, and its all good.

    I will add that 99% of my eBay problems have been from shipping guitars overseas. Never had one get damaged but I have had buyers get upset about how long the package took to get there. One in particular, that actually did go to France, was "delayed" (I believe lost) in customs for 2 weeks before it ever left the States.

    Nothing I could do about it, I shipped it within 18 hours of the sale. But the guy still filed a Paypal claim, etc. Eventually he got it and the claim was withdrawn.

    I have had similar troubles happen several times with foreign purchasers, so if I were you, I would stress that the shipping time could be long and you have no control over it.
  3. Carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates Member

    Feb 27, 2008
    I shipped a guitar to France once. I believe it cost about $90 shipping via USPS. The buyer was patient and everything went totally smoothly. Wish I had more info for ya but it was years ago. As long as you are both on the same page regarding expectations (it will cost a lot and take a good deal of time, and that's not the seller's fault), I don't really see an issue. Communication is key!
  4. gtraddict

    gtraddict Member

    Feb 7, 2006
    I have shipped 12 times or so overseas, all of them went well the were better than the people in the US to be honest. Went to USPS after I checked size and weight regulations. It seems like most oversea buyers are a little more layed back.

    the only problems I ever had with ebay buyers it seems a couple try to "stick" to you afterwards, caught one selling an amp on craiglists after he claimed shipping broke it and such and filed a claim.
  5. Fab

    Fab Member

    Jul 14, 2004

    I'm the french guy who want to buy the guitar from mifar55. Having buyed several guitar, amps, pedals from USA I must say that what I'm reading here is broadly true.

    I have tried USPS, FEDEX and UPS for the delivery. All of theses services works. FEDEX and UPS are the fastest (not always, but...). USPS is the service I favorite because it cost less (by far) and when the package is in France, it's the french post who take it to the delivery. And the french post (called "La poste") works (generally) well in France.

    The only problem you can have (like mfitz804 says it), it's the french custom who can delay the delivery. Example, I'm actually waiting a pedal from XAct Tone Solutions. It's blocked for customs clearance in France from the February 28. But it's just a delay I'm sure the pedal will come here wihtout problems.

    Two things could help you for a good deal in France (and other part in the world):
    1/ always ensure the best communication possible, and assume that your buyer is not always talking and understanding english like you. Example: some time, I think I have shocked the seller by my questions or trying to negotiate the price, but it wasn't intentional, was just because of my lack of mastery of language and culture difference.

    2/ inform your buyer about the customs. I have said previously, customs can delay delivery for a week (sometimes more) and cost a lot. And assure you that he understand that perfectly.

    3/ always choose a payment by Paypal, and not gift payment. It's what gives you the best security. When the money is on your Paypal account, seller can't take it back. And it gives the buyer the best insurance if the sellers is not sending anything (but I assume your honest, it's just for the confidence of the buyer). Depending of the amount of money and what the buyer made recently with is Paypal account, the payment can be delayed (too much money sended with is money card or if it's Paypal account is not verified).
    Wire transfert is also a good way to be paid, but it takes more time and gives no insurance to the buyer.

    4/ if for a reason you prefer to pass on sending a guitar overseas, that's your right, but at last, take the time to answer politely the buyer.

    Thanks for reading, excuses me for my bad bad english. Hopes it help. If you ever plan to send a guitar overseas and need help, you can ask me by PM.
  6. Bhodie

    Bhodie Member

    Dec 18, 2007
    Central FL
    I have shipped to Germany and by far the cheapest (that worked well) was USPS. Make sure you have all the paperwork in an envelope taped on the outside and another copy sent to the buyer so they can deal with customs..

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