Shipping Questions

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Smacky the Frog, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. Smacky the Frog

    Smacky the Frog Silver Supporting Member

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    On forum runner so the search function isn't the best so apologize if this is the 3,873,521st post on the subject.

    I'm getting ready to list an Asher Ultra-T and Custom Shop Firebird in the Emporium. The last time I went to FedEx to ship an amp via FedEx ground it cost me $120. Hadn't ever paid that much before so it took me aback when I got the quote. The next thing that took me back was that they lowered the declared value and insurance to $500. Considering the Asher's going to be priced at $2k, how do posters with similar items ship and how do you feel about shipping something so valuable that if lost or damaged your only recourse is to claim the $500?

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  2. ZeyerGTR

    ZeyerGTR Supporting Member

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    I would not ship a guitar - especially an expensive one - without full insurance. Too many horror stories of guitars arriving damaged - it just happens.

    Shipping an electric via UPS Ground is usually in the $50 range for CONUS. I've never personally used FedEx...
     
  3. Johnny Alien

    Johnny Alien Supporting Member

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    $500 is the default value they cover. You can declare the value higher but it cost extra money. I think it goes up by a certain amount for every extra $100. Make sure you give the actual value and pay the extra.
     
  4. rowdyyates

    rowdyyates Supporting Member

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    I always use FedEx Ground with insurance and it is never limited to $500. You must have used one of those shipping stores? They double fees and limit insurance because they are responsible.
    Pack it in a good box and take it to a FedEx staffed location, or a UPS staffed location. I shipped a $4000 guitar, insured for that amount, not long ago and it was about $70.
    Best of all, get a FedEx or UPS account. Print you labels at home, walk in and put the box on the counter and you're done. They also take better care of account holders if you need anything. Doesn't cost anything and it doesn't matter how much you use it.
     
  5. ixnay

    ixnay Member

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    I have never paid more than $60 (usually around $30-35) to ship FedEx Ground, and that included declared values of up to $3000.
     
  6. zestystrat

    zestystrat Member

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    Def pay for the extra insured value - whichever shipping company you use.

    BTW where in Rockland are you in? I grew up in the Valley Cottage / Nyack area.
     
  7. Smacky the Frog

    Smacky the Frog Silver Supporting Member

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    Tappan. I don't know the last time you were in Nyack...but I now refer to it is "Williamsburg West". It's like a young hipsters haven now, though the restaurants are excellent. Far from what it used to be, where if you ventured off Main or Broadway it was really shady.

    To others: Yes, I went to an actual Fedex store. I was told $500 was the maximum value I can declare. I'll do a little more research and open an account and see what kind of quotes i can get.

    Any other advice is always appreciated
     
  8. wwit

    wwit Member

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    I've never used FedEx to ship anything as there closest drop point is a 60 mile round trip for me. But have had many dozens of things shipped to me from Zzounds via Fedex. Great service.

    I have a USPS and UPS located 2 miles away in the same plaza, so I use 1 or the other. Both have online estimators. You just need box size and weight. Then add in what type or speed of service and insurance needed and it will give you the price. That way no surprises. FedEx probably has something similar, though I haven't checked there site.

    But $120 for an expensive guitar for shipping sounds expensive, but is probably fair if insurance is included. And shipping without insurance is so risky. IF the buyer will pay big bucks for the item, then he should also pay to have it properly protected.
     
  9. treeofpain

    treeofpain Supporting Member

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    The FedEx store is a retail location and charges much more than going to an actual shipping center where the trucks are located. Even better, sign up for an account online and get a discounted rate. As long as you have a way to measure and weigh the package, you can even print out your own shipping label. It is cheaper and much less of a hassle.

    As far as insurance, FedEx has what they call "declared value". The default is $100, but you can pay extra for a higher declared value. This is not insurance, but it makes it much easier to get compensated if there is a problem. I shipped an amp head recently and forgot to declare a value. FedEx lost the package and I got $100, when the amp was worth about $400, so definitely pay extra for this.
     
  10. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    The last two guitars I shipped Fedex cost around $27. That was in the last six months. No idea how you're getting $120 quotes unless you're shipping internationally.
     
  11. Johnny Alien

    Johnny Alien Supporting Member

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    1. He said that he shipped an amp that was $120. That is alot heavier than a guitar.

    2. I can't see how any guitar that is insured for $1000 or more could be under $30 anymore unless it was traveling within the same state. I have a fedex acct with discounted shipping rates and the last one I shipped from coast to coast was closer to $65. It was insured for $2000.

     
  12. rowdyyates

    rowdyyates Supporting Member

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    An estimated weight is fine. I usually put 20lbs on a guitar. They weigh almost everything before setting the charge anyway, especially if you put 2lbs on a 40lb package.
     
  13. Fireball XL5

    Fireball XL5 Supporting Member

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    Best to open a free FedEx account. Cheaper rates, print your label at home, and most importantly, it allows you to just drop off your package with NO hassles from the shipping center.

    Just shipped a Gibson Historic R9 with a declared value of $5,000 from Florida to Tennessee and it cost $68. Just dropped it off at the counter, they scanned it and done.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015
  14. drmcclainphd

    drmcclainphd Member

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    A few things I've learned or done over the last year or two:

    Ship guitars in a case for added protection. Even a cheap, ugly case adds an extra layer of protection. A good case could almost ship by itself. But don't. An obvious guitar case in shipment is an invitation to learning how to collect your shipping insurance. Pack the guitar in bubble wrap, in a case (or one of those almost triangular guitar boxes music stores throw away often), more bubble wrap, inside main box, in all cases snugly. Maybe even wrap the nekkid guitar in a clean trash bag first, to keep packing droppings off.

    Loosen the strings slack. Take detailed photos of the guitar. Put a note just inside the outermost layer of packing where it can't be missed: THIS INSTRUMENT MAY HAVE BEEN SUBJECTED TO TEMPERATURE EXTREMES DURING SHIPPING. RAPID TEMPERATURE CHANGE MAY CAUSE UNEVEN EXPANSION RESULTING IN CRACKING. DO NOT UNWRAP THIS GUITAR UNTIL THE TEMPERATURE HAS STABILIZED. 24 HOURS IS RECOMMENDED. Tell the customer you're doing this so they're not surprised.

    If the package arrives damaged, have them report that immediately, but tell the carrier it can't be opened immediately for inspection and why. They can decide with the carrier whether it will be inspected by the customer or whether they'll send out an inspector to witness the opening.

    Require a receiver's signature, if not a pickup at the shipper's location. Otherwise it could get dropped on a porch or in an entryway with nobody there to see who picks it up and takes it away, or walks on it and crushes it causing damage that the shipper can deny.

    USPS is sometimes cheaper than UPS. A 20 pound rectangular 42" x 16" x 6" package will carry a guitar well protected for about $38. $2K insurance, add $27, so $65. UPS shows $72 for the same, both up to 5 day delivery for coast to coast.

    If you take it to UPS, take it to UPS, not a franchised store. They can set their own prices.

    If you're willing to pay an extra $12 or so, UPS will pick it up. You can prepay the charges over the net and save a little. You just need to be able to print the label. USPS will not pick up large parcels like this unless you know someone, ask real nice, and purchase the postage ahead of time. Since they will only sell it in person, you might as well take the thing with you and drop it off.

    I've had too much lost, late or damaged with FedEx and got nothing but excuse and ignored, so I don't use them. I've had fewer with UPS, and they always try to make good on it. I've never had a problem with USPS, and I've used them most. Your milage may vary.

    Make friends with someone at a local store that has regular UPS pickup and ask them to ship it. They get a discount.

    Greyhound carries frieght, sometimes pretty cheap. But for the above package, it's $78 with a maximum of $1,000 insurance. And it has to be both picked up and dropped off at a bus station. Lousy choice in this instance.

    FedEx and UPS just raised their rates. The UPS rate above is current. The FedEx rate comes out $63 (4 day delivery). Not cheaper enough, IMO.

    Mark it FRAGILE prominently. This end up, do not place packages on this, etc. It will probably be ignored, but having done so the shipper can't say "Well, you should have told us." Try FRAGILE: CONTAINS GLASS SOAP BUBBLE SCULPTURES. DO NOT EXPOSE TO GRAVITY. At least they'll notice it.
     
  15. 73Fender

    73Fender Member

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    ^^^Very informative thanks..
     
  16. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    Missed the amp part. One guitar I shipped from Florida to New York insured for $1,000. The other was insured for $800. I don't remember for sure where it went, but I think it was Tennessee. I was very surprised at the rate, but they were both in the $27 range.
     
  17. geodr

    geodr Member

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    One other thing - check if you can ship through your workplace. I work for a big company and they have very low Fedex shipping rates, about half the normal rates. I've shipped many pedals 2nd day air for <$4, and a few guitars and amps for < $25. The mailroom person calcs the price, I write them my company a check, and off it goes.
     
  18. JZG

    JZG Member

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    Definitely look into opening a UPS and/or Fedex account. That will save you a few bucks and make life a little easier.

    If you did indeed go to a shipping store, maybe try a different one, if there's another one close to you. I used to use a UPS Store near my work. They were really good at padding up the bill. I finally got fed up and started using another one closer to my home. They'll always cut me deals on packaging, and I found their shipping rates to be much more reasonable than the other store.

    Also, if you're into high dollar guitars and other gear, you may want to look into a separate insurance policy for that stuff. My policy will cover an item I've sold throughout transit, up until the time it's received by the purchaser. I just have to provide the shipping address.
     
  19. jasons7

    jasons7 Supporting Member

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    Great info, but when I work a quote from AZ to PA at 20lbs and those dimensions I'm getting stuff on the order of $100. What am I missing here?

    EDIT: OK my bad that was for Priority USPS. Standard post was $35
     

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